Travel & Living

Insider Guide: Where to Eat, Play and Stay in Vienna this Summer

A city of cultural wonders, culinary thrills, and open-air delights, Vienna comes alive in summer.
Photos: Giant Ferries Wheel, Prater © Vienna Tourist Board Paul Bauer; Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum) © Vienna Tourist Board Paul Bauer; The LOFT - Restaurant, Bar & Lounge © WienTourismus Christian Stemper.

Let us reveal the untold charms of this dynamic European city, as we share the best places to eat, play and stay in the Austrian capital. Just a short six-hour flight from Dubai, Vienna is within easy reach of the GCC, perfect for a summer getaway to escape the heat.


Dinner at the Museum: On Thursday evenings, Vienna’s cultural and culinary riches combine when the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna hosts its weekly Dinner at the Museum. This unforgettable experience includes a five-course menu served in the grand domed hall, followed by a tour of the museum. Reserve a table between 6pm and 10pm on Thursdays. Throughout the week, you can also get your culture and culinary fix at the chic café-restaurants in the Naturhistorisches Museum Vienna and the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna.

Dine with a view: Take a seat at some of Vienna’s prime tables to enjoy postcard-perfect views with your meal. On the sixth floor of the Do & Co Hotel, nab a window-side table at ONYX Restaurant, where the colourful tiles and lofty spire of St. Stephen’s Cathedral provide a striking backdrop to your contemporary Asian dinner. To take in all of the city’s major sights, from the Giant Ferris Wheel to the Karls­kirche (Church of St. Charles), hightail it to DAS Loft, a restaurant, bar, and lounge on the 18th floor of SO/ Vienna. Indulge in classic Viennese cuisine with inspiration from across the world and sip on drinks with a twist as you marvel at the spectacular views of Vienna.

Drink in the sights: Open only during the summer months, the colourful  Rooftop bar, on the ninth floor of Hotel Lamée, is an ideal spot for sundowners, boasting impressive views of the cathedral and Vienna’s historic streets. The Ritz-Carlton’s Atmosphere Rooftop Bar is similarly well positioned, with enchanting Vienna vistas from every angle.


Pedal through Prater: Vienna’s iconic Prater park is the perfect starting point to embrace the city’s idyllic summer weather. Hire a bicycle to explore the sights, riding along shady, car-free paths. From the Praterstern, pedal along a four-kilometre route to the turnaround point at the Lusthaus, with an array of places to branch off along the way. Explore waterways, nature reserves, the Jesuitenwiese playground, Ernst Happl Stadium (Austria's biggest stadium), the architecturally striking Vienna University of Economics and Business, and the Stadionbad swimming pool, perfect for cooling off on a hot day.

Open-air adventure: A destination in its own right, the Wurstelprater amusement park is home to 250 stands and attractions, from the iconic 65-metre Giant Ferris Wheel and traditional merry-go-round to ultra-modern highlights such as the Ejection Seat, which propels you to dizzying heights of 90 metres.Fun-filled events include Family Sundays, Vacation Games and Prater Fairs throughout the season. For a behind-the-scenes tour, take a Prater Adventure Tours, then refuel at the 60-plus cafés, restaurants, and ice cream and snack stands dotted throughout the park.


Boutique appeal: In the heart of the city, opposite the lush expanse of Stadtpark, Almanac Palais Vienna is a boutique 5-star hotel with 31 chic rooms and 80 beautiful suites. Set within a pair of historic buildings, this thoughtfully designed retreat is rich with Viennese charm and refined luxury. The hotel’s Donnersmarkt Restaurant and Bar offer an inventive take on Austrian Alpine cuisine, with a plant-forward menu inspired by Vienna’s traditional weekly markets. The Almanac’s serene spa is the perfect place to unwind after a day spent wandering Vienna’s vibrant streets and museums.

Grand ideas: Just a few steps from St. Stephen’s Cathedral, The Leo Grand is an exercise in Baroque opulence, with 76 elegant rooms and suites in a heritage-listed building. A celebration of individuality and contemporary indulgence, this lavish space pays homage to the eccentric, larger-than-life and art-loving Emperor Leopold I (1640-1705), who is a constant presence in the art-filled hotel. The Leo Grand’s character also extends to DOTS, its dynamic day-to-night café in the central courtyard.


To unlock all that this vibrant city has to offer, purchase a Vienna City Card. Available for 24, 48, or 72 hours, this card is your key to using the Vienna public transport system, and it also gives you discounts of up to 50 per cent on more than 310 attractions, including guided tours, gallery tickets, concerts, events and more. Prices start at 17 for 24 hours, and one child under the age of 14 can travel for free with each VCC.