Vienna is not only the national capital of Austria, but also one of the gay capitals of Europe. Home to nearly one third of the Austrian population, Vienna is known for its diverse and thriving LGBT community, old-world architecture, phenomenal museums and culture around every corner. Beyond the elegant Viennese coffee houses and imperial palaces, you’ll find a vibrant gay-scene with countless gay bars, clubs and pop-up gay parties as well as gay cafes and events throughout the year.
As an LGBT tourist, you should feel comfortable expressing yourself while visiting this very progressive city. In fact, same-sex marriage was legalized by the Austrian courts at the beginning of 2019, supporting the already strong sense of community and LGBT acceptance.
Table of Contents
1. General Tips
2. Transportation & Airport Transfer
3. Gay Hotels in Vienna
4. Sightseeing & Activities in Vienna
5. Vienna Gay Tours
6. Restaurants & Cafes in Vienna
7. Vienna Gay Bars
8. Vienna Gay Clubs & Parties
9. Vienna Gay Saunas & Cruising Bars
10. Gay Events in Vienna
11. Day Trips from Vienna
To avoid the crowds and enjoy mild weather, the best time to visit Vienna is from April to May or September to October. This is because most tourists visit during the summer months (June to August) to take advantage of the warm, sunny weather. In addition to the summer, room rates increase and the city fills up in December as it’s popular to experience the Viennese Christmas spirit despite the chilly temperatures.
The Gay Mile district is the place to be for LGBT visitors. Here you’ll find more gay bars, clubs, saunas, cafes and stores than in the rest of the country. Geographically, it’s a square mile located in a sort of triangle between Naschmarkt, Mariahilferstraße and Kettenbrückengasse. For LGBT nightlife, head down to Wienzeile street and the famous gay Naschmarkt area to check out the best venues to party the night away.
Transportation & Airport Transfer
Vienna International Airport is located in Schwechat, about 11 miles (18 km) southeast of central Vienna. The airport has four terminals (Terminal 1, Terminal 1A, Terminal 2 and Terminal 3). Terminal 3 hosts the central arrivals hall for all terminals. There are several public transit options to travel from the airport to the city center, including City Airport Train (CAT), ÖBB Railjet, Express train S7 and bus connections.
The City Airport Train (CAT) is the fastest way to get to downtown (Wien Mitt transport hub). The journey takes 16 minutes and trains leave every 30 minutes from the early morning to late evening and a one-way ticket cost €12.
The ÖBB Railjet is also quick and convenient, leaving twice an hour and travels from the airport to Vienna Main Station (U1) in 15 minutes and Wien Meidling station (U6) in about 30 minutes. An adult ticket cost just €4.20 one-way. With the Vienna City Card, an additional ticket is needed.
Leaving the airport every 30 minutes and making stops at the Wien Mitte and Wien Praterstern stations, the rapid transit railway line S7 takes about 30 minutes to get to the city center. An adult ticket cost just €4.20 one-way. With the Vienna City Card, an additional ticket is needed.
There are also several bus connections that will take you directly to the city center to the Donauzentrum via Messezentrum and Vienna International Centre (VIC)/Austria Center Vienna or to the Westbahnhof and Vienna Main Station. The Blaguss Air-Liner offers non-stop connections via Erdberg and Vienna Main Station. A one-way adult ticket costs €8 and a return ticket is €13 with the Vienna City Card.
Gay Hotels in Vienna
There aren't currently any gay hotels in Vienna, but there are many gay-friendly options.
Hotel Pension Wild – family-run guest house offering rooms and apartments in a historic 20th-century building that’s centrally located with easy access to public transit. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast buffet and free in-room WiFi. The simple and comfortable accommodations range from single and double rooms with communal bathrooms to apartments with private bathrooms and a full kitchen.
Hotel Beethoven Wien – family owned and operated 4-star hotel inspired by the culture and diversity of Vienna. Each of the 6 floors and 37 rooms is thoughtfully designed with a different theme that’s elegant and artsy. Guests can enjoy complimentary coffee and tea in the Papageno lounge, start the day with the breakfast buffet and browse the library to read and relax.
Boutiquehotel Das Tyrol – 4-star boutique and art hotel with stylish accommodations that have been awarded Trip Advisor Best of the Best. The atmosphere is opulent with gold tones that shimmer offering a touch of luxury. Guest rooms are modern and sophisticated with charming decor. Guests can enjoy the lounge & bar, private spa, free WiFi and the location in the hip scene of the Museumsquartier.
Le Meridien Vienna – 5-star hotel in the heart of Vienna with spacious guest rooms and suites that include slippers, bathrobes and a mini bar. Artwork and impressive interior design can be found throughout the luxury property. Indulge in the Viennese cosmopolitan lifestyle enjoying the 24-hour concierge on call, hotel library, indoor and outdoor dining options, wellness center and indoor pool.
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Sightseeing & Activities in Vienna
The Hofburg – located in the center of Vienna, this is the official residence and office of the President of Austria. Formerly the imperial palace of the Habsburg Dynasty, it was built in the 13th century and has expanded to over 2,600 rooms. With the same ticket, you can visit the Sisi Museum, imperial apartments and the expansive silver collection. Book tour →
Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens – situated in Hietzing, Vienna, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was the imperial summer residence. Visitors can tour the 40 rooms and private apartments as well as the opulent 18th-century interiors with audio guides available. There are many different tours and ticket packages to choose from that include the palace, gardens and even the Schönbrunn Zoo. Book tour →
St. Stephen's Cathedral – one of the most impressive examples of gothic architecture, this 12th-century cathedral serves as the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna. Of its four towers, visitors can ascend the 343 steps of the south tower to enjoy breathtaking views and admire the cathedral’s roof which has been laid with colorful tiles to create the Royal and Imperial double-headed eagle and Vienna coat of arms. Book tour →
Belvedere Palace – historic building complex made up of two Baroque palaces, the Orangery and the Palace Stables. Tour the grounds and learn about the architecture and decor of the palace. Visit the highlights of the art museum housing iconic works by Monet, Rodin and Van Gogh as well as the world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt paintings. Book tour →
The Naschmarkt – famous market with over 120 market stands and restaurants offering a variety of cuisine. A few of which are Neni (Israeli-Oriental dishes), Umar (seafood restaurant), Urbanek (wine bar) and Eiserne Zeit (traditional Viennese). It’s a popular meeting place, has DJs on the weekend, offers free WiFi and a weekly flea market on Saturdays. Book tour →
Central Cemetery – one of the largest cemeteries in the world with over 330,000 graves and over 3 million interments, including those that honor world-famous musicians such as Johannes Brahms, Franz Schubert and Ludwig van Beethoven to name a few. The space offers brilliant Art Nouveau architecture and lush greenery to enjoy. Book tour →
Vienna Gay Tours
Half-Day LGBT Private Tour in Vienna – taking approximately 3 hours, this private tour is the perfect way to discover gay culture and history in Vienna. Starting from Karlsplatz, your LGBT guide will take you to several stops along the way including the house where composer Franz Schubert died and stories about his relationship with men as well as the Naschmarkt, the heart of gay culture in Vienna. Book tour →
Restaurants & Cafes in Vienna
Café Savoy – opening in 1896, this Viennese coffee house and gay bar is located on the left bank of the Wien River in the heart of the gay district. In addition to being one of the most beautiful cafes in town, it serves up excellent coffee, drinks and food in an elegant atmosphere with fine furnishings.
Sixta Restaurant – an upscale restaurant serving inspired dishes that balance creativity with traditional Viennese cuisine using high-quality seasonal ingredients in a cozy and sophisticated atmosphere. Guests can enjoy the fine wine list and drinks in the dining space, on the generous outdoor terrace or at the bar area with cafe seating.
Villa Vida – a queer community cafe that opened in 2019 creating a space that makes people feel welcomed and celebrated. They focus on providing a safe atmosphere, fresh and delicious food and joyful events. Check their website for events like queer movie night and International House of Drag Queens Brunch.
Fett+Zucker – hip and trendy vegetarian and vegan cafe and restaurant offering vegan pastries, small bites, coffee and drinks. Enjoy the retro vibe and welcoming atmosphere and relax on the outdoor terrace adorned with Pride flags.
Thell (formerly Motto) – This trendy gay-friendly bar/restaurant is a favorite amongst celebrities visiting the city – like Jude Law. Found in the trendy Margerten area, it has been running for over 30 years and has a classy looking interior complete with green upholstery and marble tables.
Vienna Gay Bars
Felixx Bar – Gay bar and lounge with outdor patio seating, a cafe atmosphere on the ground level and clubroom on the lower level with a sound system and large projection screen. Stop in for a drink choosing from one of many Austrian wines and tasty cocktails. Stay for the friendly service and regular events from karaoke to trivia and drag shows.
Village Bar – one of Vienna’s trendiest gay bars that’s located in the heart of the Naschmarkt area. This popular cocktail bar serves up tasty drink specials and features a large music video wall in a relaxed atmosphere with regular events.
Sling Bar – gay club, bar and cruising lounge with a sex shop and dark rooms and cabins. Guests can enjoy this state-of-the-art bar, music, free snacks and WiFi and cinema with sexy strip shows. There’s no entry fee and the best time to visit is after 8 PM and during popular themed nights like “naked mask” and “party in the dark.”
Eagle Bar – one of the oldest leather and fetish bars in Austria, here you’ll find a bar, dark room, sex shop and regular events. With plenty of room to play, guests can enjoy a wet area, sling, cubicles and dark areas as well as a large bar playing erotic films.
Mango Bar – popular gay bar in the center of the gay neighborhood, Naschmarkt, thats been around since 1981. Its regular events and drink specials draw in a young gay crowd and boasts a private outdoor space, wifi and a private smoking area.
Vienna Gay Clubs & Parties
Why Not – a Vienna gay institution with 3 floors and 3 bar areas that attracts a mostly mixed and LGBT crowd. Order a tasty cocktail and dance under the disco balls while enjoying themed nights, drag shows and guest DJ’s. Open Fridays and Saturday with free entry before midnight.
KEN Club – join the biggest dance party for gays, lesbians and friends as DJ’s play a variety of hits from pop to house. Regular events are hosted at various venues and typically charge admission. Check KEN Club’s Facebook page for upcoming parties.
Queer Beat – this club night has been part of the Vienna gay clubbing scene for over 13 years and draws a mixed crowd of gay men and women and their allies. Pumping out pop, RnB and dance music through the night.
The CIRCUS – Austria’s biggest gay party that draws in a crowd from all across Europe. The various themed parties feature international DJ’s, sexy go-go boys and sassy drag queens making for a high-quality production with outstanding special effects and wild performances. Usually taking place on Saturdays at Club Arena, check their Facebook page for upcoming events.
REPLAY Party – taking place at Opera Club in the heart of Vienna since 2017, this monthly gay dance party features international guest DJ’s and the best club beats focused on the Progressive Tribal House and Circuit Style. Check their Facebook page for upcoming events.
G.SPOT – since 2003, this group has been organizing queer dance parties for the LGBTQ community and friends. Taking place at Vienna’s most iconic clubs, they feature various guest DJ’s and a wide variety of music depending on the event and theme. Check their website or Facebook page for upcoming dates.
Vienna Gay Saunas & Cruising Bars
Hard On – gay cruise club and meeting place for leather/fetish-interested guys with a playground for uninhibited fun. As part of the LMC (Leather and Motorbike Club) Vienna, they host regular themed nights and events. Before visiting, you must register as a LMC Member, which you can easily do on their website at no cost.
Apollo City Sauna – Vienna’s premier gay sauna – and the most popular – since 1989, it attracts mostly bears, butch and mature men. Their facilities boast a Finnish sauna, bar and lounge, swimming pool, private cabins and a cruise area. Stop in for one of the regular themed events and daily specials.
Kaiserbruendl Men’s Sauna – as far as gay bathhouses go, this one has to be one of the most curious in the world. As odd as it sounds it's worth a visit just for the architecture – made to represent the interior of a temple to a sun god – and the erotic classicist art plastered all over the walls. However, go for the art but stay for the men as there’s a large pool, sauna, darkrooms, a towel free area, bars, a huge terrace and even a restaurant to make new friends within. The charismatic sauna even holds popular events like ‘Warm Up Fridays’ – an ideal time to meet men before they go out on the town for the weekends.
Römersauna – gay bathhouse cover 2 floors and featuring a sauna, steam bath, massages, cruising areas and Gay-TV. Check out their weekly themed events like Hairy Tuesdays and XL Fridays as well as their monthly “Römerfest” party. They’re open most days at 11 AM for a delightful lunch break or evening of fun.
Gay Events in Vienna
Vienna Pride – Every June about 100,000 people flood the city streets to celebrate Pride Month. A series of Pride Villages pop up around Vienna featuring live performances, cultural activities, food and drinks. The highlight of the multi-day event is the Rainbow Parade on Saturday that takes over Vienna’s famous Ringstrasse boulevard.
Vienna Boylesque Festival – whether you’re performing on stage or enjoying the show, this week-long event is about recognizing everyone’s right to define their own sexuality with performances that positively reflect oppressed sexual identities. This event has become a mainstay of the artist community bringing in major sponsors and prominent performance venues.
Vienna in Black – Vienna Fetish Week – International leather and fetish weekend that takes place in Vienna. The main venue is Hard On and organized by the LMC (Leather and Motorbike Club) Vienna featuring a variety of events including a dinner, happy hour, leather brunch, bike tour and more.
Day Trips from Vienna
Salzburg – Vienna to Salzburg is 2.5 hours by train and the easiest way to travel with frequent connections. If you choose to take a private transfer, rideshare, or drive, it’s about 3 hours by car. This special city with the magnificent Alps as a backdrop is the birthplace of Mozart, home to the Salzburg Festival and, of course, the film location for the famous musical/movie, “The Sound of Music.” Sitting on the border of Germany, it’s divided by the Salzach River boasting medieval and Baroque buildings in the old town on the one bank and the 19th-century new town on the other. Hohensalzburg Fortress, the Mozart museums, the Getreidegasse and Hellbrunn Palace are famous landmarks in Austria. Salzburg is also an up-and-coming LGBTQ+ holiday destination in its own right. Book tour →
Bratislava – a visit to the capital of Slovakia is just an hour away by car and a pleasant escape from the hustle and bustle of Vienna. You can also travel by train, bus or even by boat sailing along the Danube River. No matter how you get here, you’ll be greeted by an 18th-century, pedestrian-only old town with countless bars and cafes that are usually less expensive than neighboring Vienna. Top sights include the reconstructed Bratislava Castle, St. Martin’s Cathedral, Grassalkovich Palace, Primate’s Palace and St. Michael’s Tower to enjoy stunning views of the castle and old town below. Book tour →
Wachau Valley and Melk Abbey – enjoy Austria’s UNESCO-listed Wachua Valley where the Danube River flows toward Vienna. Along the way you’ll spot vineyards, forested countryside and quaint villages on this 24-mile stretch between Melk and Krems. Visit the restored Benedictine Abbey in Melk that overlooks the tranquil river and is a must-see example of 18th-century Baroque architecture. After touring the huge abbey, make your way down the river by bike, bus or boat and arrive in Krems before returning to Vienna by train. Book tour →
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