Ready for a gay Vienna tour?
Here’s the interview of Alessandro, a local guy from the city.
Hi Alessandro, you are Gaybassador for Vienna. Tell us a bit more about you.
I am an architect and painter and moved to Vienna for work in 2017.
I am easy going, and always like to meet new people. Culture and spending time in museums or visiting new places… but also hang out with friends for drinks in nice bars are for me.
Why do you love Vienna?
Opulent palaces, museums with incredible art collections, history and culture: this is what impressed me since my arrival here.
But Vienna is much more, it’s one of the world’s top cities for quality of life, friendly people, good food, excellent public transports, beautiful parks
My 4 favorite local places
Neubaugasse: This is my favorite district, here you can find plenty of bars, restaurants, alternative clothing and design shops
Donau Insel: This green and peaceful island, between the Danube river and the Neue Donau channel, is the right place to go if you are looking for relaxing in the middle of nature.
In the summer many gay people like to come here to sunbathe and to swim in the Danube.
WUK: Concerts, exhibitions, and alternative events take place in this beautiful old brick building
Palmenhaus: Located in the Burggarten, just behind the Albertina Museum, this magnificent building was initially a greenhouse.
Recommended for brunch or lunch
Glacis Beisl: Not far away from Museums Quartier, in this contemporary restaurant you can find delicious Viennese dishes
Die Burgermacher: here you will find the best burgers in town.
Gasthaus Pöschl: Tiny but good restaurant with traditional dishes: come here for a Wiener Schnitzel or a Goulash.
2 minutes walking from the Kaiserbründl sauna
Which are the 4 main spots you like to show to gay travelers in Vienna?
Stephansplatz: It’s the heart of Vienna, here is located the beautiful St. Stephen’s Cathedral, one of the most important examples of Gothic architecture in Austria.
Hofburg: The Imperial Palace was the residence and seat of government of the Habsburg monarchs for over 700 years.
Ringstrasse: Along this magnificent boulevard are located many of Vienna’s best-known sights: the Rathaus, the Parliament, Maria-Theresien Platz and the State Opera.
Museums Quartier: This fantastic art complex is considered one of the central cultural hub of the city, people come here to visit museums or to enjoy a drink in one the bars of the district.
As an extra place, I would choose Kunsthistorisches Museum: The Art History Museum was built to host some of the best pieces of the art collection of the imperial family and is one of the most important museums in the world.
What about gay local life in Vienna?
Vienna is a gay-friendly city, people are tolerant, and the LGBT community is quite active. The gay scene spreads out among different areas and districts, with plenty of possibilities: parties, clubs, bars, traditional coffee houses, swimming pools, and saunas.
Gay bars and parties in Vienna
Life ball – Pride Village – Regenbogenparade: This series of LGBT events take place every year in June, in front of the spectacular Vienna City Hall (Rathaus)
Cafe Savoy: Classic and stylish gay bar/coffee shop, loved by locals and tourists
Pitbull (@Club Titanic): Famous monthly gay party (every first Friday of the month) for bears, admirers, and beard-lovers
Village Bar: Nice bar with friendly young people, packed during the weekends
Gay balls in Vienna
Vienna is the capital of ball culture. Each year around 450 ball events take place in the city. In the lineage of Sissi the Empress, Viennese balls are normally the very illustration of preciousness and pomp, while being the expression of a conservative society.
As a result, the unwavering attachment to tradition has meant that balls in Vienna have excluded anything that is not strictly heterosexual.
Which is kind of strange, considering it is the gayest thing ever. These are sophisticated dresses encrusted with fake diamonds, three-piece structured suits and the ultimate glamour of high society.
The Wiener Regenbogenball (Vienna Rainbow Ball) is the most famous LGBT ball. On Saturday 26 January 2019, it will take place for the 22nd time. It is a traditional Viennese ball while being an important manifestation of the modern spirit of queer culture, celebrated by LGBT and heterosexual guests. Until the end of the night, guests dance mocking gender roles and men, women and others waltz.
Last but not least, it is a major fundraising event. The profits support the work of HOSI Wien (Homosexual Initiative Vienna), which is the largest gay and lesbian organization in Austria. It runs the Gugg Community Centre and organizes the “Regenbogenparade” (Rainbow Parade).