It’s June, and that means it’s almost summer! That’s why Spotted by Locals has selected 10 spots with its Spotters to enjoy the sun. This time we take you through Vienna. Have a Grüner Veltliner white wine near Old Donau at Zur Alten Kaisermühle, visit the Koreahaus & Donaupark by the pretty Lake Iris or rent a bike from Reanimated Bikes to explore this beautiful city! Try Grandma’s homemade cake at Vollpension or head to WUK for a truly unique musical experience. More than enough sunny places to explore in Vienna. Take your sunglasses, put on comfortable shoes and let’s discover this beautiful city!
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WUK – Craft beer and concert hall in a railway factory
The WUK (Werkstätten- und Kulturhaus) in Vienna is a stellar place for all bohemian types looking not only for a place to have a beer, but also to find a full community center filled with open-minded, creative people and warm. Just two tram stops from Schottentor, the WUK is a unique cross between gastropub, beer garden, cultural center and music venue. Although just outside the normal tourist circuit, the WUK is an important destination for those wishing to experience the community functioning of Vienna and its eclectic people.
Zur Alten Kaisermühle – Cozy place in old Donau
Zur Alten Kaisermühle, although hard to find, is one of the best spots in the old Donau, the closed Danube channel that now forms a recreational lake. During the warmer months, the restaurant primarily serves a number of tables and bar benches outside on the canal bank. The setting is idyllic on a long sunny evening for a crisp beer or a Grüner Veltliner white wine.
The restaurant is a traditional Austrian Wirt and offers better than average Austrian cuisine. Although a little more expensive, the quality of the food is definitely reflected and the location provides the rest of the reasons for choosing this Wirt over others. For those who want to get off the beaten path of the city center and head towards the sparkling Danube, Zur Alte Kaisermühlen will be more than enough for a spring evening.
Koreahaus & Donaupark – The style of the 60s
The Koreahaus & Donaupark is a 60s-style park in Vienna that is definitely worth visiting while walking around the city. Especially in spring with its many cherry blossoms, Vienna received as a gift from Japan or at the beginning of summer with so many blooming flowers!
Created in 1964, more than 40 years ago, it all started with a major international garden exhibition. And artifacts from those days can still be found. One of them is the very special Korea Kulturhaus, on the edge of the pretty Lake Iris. The glass and concrete house with 60s-style architecture was once a lakeside restaurant. Now you can immerse yourself in Korean culture – and enjoy traditional Korean dishes in the simple Café/Bistro “Arirang”.
The terrace offers a lovely view of the small lake, behind rise the imposing skyscrapers of the UN city and from time to time a small train for children passes by. Such different eras, eras and worlds meet here.
Karlsplatz pond – Sitting by the water
If you haven’t visited the pond at Karlsplatz yet, it definitely deserves to be high on your list of things to do in Vienna. The oval pond was built in the 1970s and seems to blend seamlessly into the adjacent urban jungle. Its border is concrete, slightly raised above the ground, with a few steps on each side leading to the edge and the water respectively.
The pond itself isn’t extraordinarily spectacular, but there is absolute beauty and a magical feel to the surrounding plaza. Karlsplatz is always bustling, bustling and full of life. This is the perfect place to have a beer or a bottle of wine and sit by the pond. Whether it’s to enjoy the sun during the day or to relax in the evening after a long day of exploring the city, Karlsplatz is never empty and always cozy!
Mayer am Nussberg – Enjoy the summer
Mayer am Nussberg, on the border of the 19th district, high up on Kahlenbergstrasse, is the perfect place to enjoy spring and summer in Vienna! Although there are countless wineries and heurigen in the outskirts of Vienna, none have the relaxed and refined vibe of Mayer am Nussberg.
This small wooden cabin is located in the middle of the vineyard and has no seating inside. However, the grassy field surrounding the cabin is full of tables, benches, beds, and sofas. The view of Vienna is slightly obstructed, but still breathtaking on a clear day. Plus, the abbeys of Kahlenberg and Leopoldsberg are directly in view on the hill above (and can be reached with an intrepid and somewhat steep 20-minute walk). The wine is, of course, local and the snacks are excellent. Here, people mingle with families over a Grüner Veltliner and a local charcuterie.
Wieden Bräu – Schnitzel, beer…
One of the best ways to get a feel for the spirit (and taste) of a city is through its food. So let’s have lunch in the oh-so-Austrian bar-brasserie Wieden Bräu. Burgers, cutlets and beer. Well, it’s a wacky Austrian lunch you’re about to have! You can also spend your afternoon in the beer garden of Wieden Bräu, which is definitely worth your attention if you want to try a local beer or chat with the locals. Our observer David mentions that the Wieden Bräu location is not crowded with tourists. So if you choose to have lunch here you will definitely feel like a local!
Lainzer Tiergarten – Where wild pigs roam
Want to get out of the city and go for a walk, accompanied by a little thrill? Lainzer Tiergarten, a huge forest part of the Wiener Wald on the outskirts of Vienna, might be the right thing.
Here you can walk for hours and – depending on which gate you use to enter the park – on weekdays you will sometimes not encounter humans, but: wild pigs! Chances are that on a long walk through this forest you will spot some of the approximately 800 wild pigs that live there.
But even if you don’t encounter any game, the forest is worth visiting at any time of the year. And if you like the Empress “Sissi”, then you should visit the beautiful Villa Hermès, even if only from the outside. Even Empress Elisabeth of Austria often preferred the countryside to downtown Vienna and owned a small villa there.
Majolika House – Art Nouveau Architecture
Stroll through the city and learn about Vienna’s Art Nouveau scene. Otto Wagner contributed many buildings to Viennese architecture, but other prominent architects like Josef Hoffmann or Adolf Loos also deserve a mention.
One of these stunning buildings is Otto Wagner’s Majolika House on Wienzeile. It is a perfect combination of architecture and nature. Allow yourself to take a broad look at the building. It’s like a gigantic flower! Whether you turn your attention to the facade itself, made up of thousands of tiles with floral designs printed on them, to the window lintels, which are themselves richly decorated with blue flowers, or to the steel balustrade of the balcony, you will come across the floral concept set everywhere.
Rumor has it that the interior of the building is also magnificent, especially the entrance and the main staircase. The houses on both sides of the Majolika House are also by Otto Wagner and you might want to check them out too!
Vollpension – The cakes of Oma parade
Vollpension is a delicious concept. The restaurant looks pretty standard but employs several older Austrian ladies called the Omas (grandmothers in German) to bake their favorite homemade cakes and sell them with the main courses. The motivation behind the idea is to give good working conditions to these elderly, but very active women, and at the same time to allow everyone to benefit from their years of experience in the kitchen of homemade cakes.
True to his word, the cakes are varied and extraordinary. The selection is different every day depending on Oma’s presence and the cake she plans to make. This makes repeat visits necessary so you can try to taste them all. In addition, the main courses are also very tasty, especially for a meal at brunch time on the weekend. Servers are friendly and indoor and outdoor seating is available. And due to its location on the bustling Schleifmühlgasse, Vollpension makes a perfect start to the day of urban exploration.
In retrospect, it seems so obvious: who wouldn’t want to have Oma’s home cooking available at all times?
Reanimated Bikes – Bringing Bikes to Life
No good bike should be scrapped, according to the mantra of Reanimated Bikes co-owners Pete and Rich. It’s literally amazing how many bikes are handed over to these guys to fix. Bikes that have been rescued from basements, bikes that have been left hopelessly locked to posts, and bikes that are donated by those who no longer have space for them. They are stripped, pimped and finally chased away. Better to buy a quality bike that has been rescued from the clutches of the chopper than to waste a few hundred on a cheap bike from the sports store. So if you’re looking for a new bike to ride around Vienna, you should definitely stop by Reanimated Bikes and find out how Pete en Rich breathes new life into bikes!
Good to know: you can also rent a bike there during your visit to the city for a really reasonable price! So head over to Reanimated Bikes, rent a bike and cycle through charming Vienna on a sunny day!