11 Things to Do in Vienna at Night

Vienna's life and beauty doesn't end when night falls. In this post I share with you my personal list of the best plans to enjoy the Austrian capital at night.

Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro

9 min read

11 Things to Do in Vienna at Night

Vienna by night | ©Thomas Fabian

Although Vienna has a reputation for being a quiet city, the truth is that at night it gets quite lively and combines party and good atmosphere with the tranquility and beauty that the night offers. On the one hand, the beautiful buildings of the historic center are illuminated and encourage visitors to take a walk and enjoy the view. On the other hand, in some parts of the city, pubs and discos open their doors for nightlife enthusiasts.

This versatility is one of the main advantages of the city, since it offers plans for all tastes. Both for the quietest, as for the party animals or for lovers of culture among many other profiles. That's why in this post I have gathered what, in my opinion, are the best options for when the night comes. Read on!

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1. Experience a unique evening at the Vienna Opera House

Vienna Opera House| ©Pierre Blaché
Vienna Opera House| ©Pierre Blaché

If you are traveling to Vienna and you are looking for a different and unique plan at night there is an option that shines above the rest of the alternatives. I'm talking about going to the opera in Vienna, the Wiener Staatsoper.

It is best to book tickets in advance, but on the same day you can buy them at the box office and even at the last minute. However, the faster you hurry, the longer the queues. The last tickets are standing tickets, but the prices are very cheap. In any case, there are always options to enjoy one of the quintessential experiences of the city of music.

Here are some other options to go to a classical music concert in Vienna:

Book Mozart concert tickets in Vienna

2. Admire the monuments of Vienna from a night cruise

River Vienna|©Simon Berger
River Vienna|©Simon Berger

An evening dinner cruise on the Danube in Vienna is one of the best plans you can make in the Austrian capital, either as a couple or with family or friends, to admire the impressive palaces, buildings and monuments such as the Vienna State Opera, the Danube Tower, the Schonbrünn Palace.

You will enjoy the most typical and traditional Austrian dishes such as schnitzel, Viennese sausages and apple strudel, while listening to live classical and folk music. Don't hesitate, feel the magic of the city in this approximately three-hour experience!

Book a night cruise on the Danube

3. Ride the Prater Ferris wheel by night

Prater Ferris wheel| ©StoptheRoc
Prater Ferris wheel| ©StoptheRoc

The Prater Park is one of the symbols of Vienna. This extensive park in the eastern part of the city is a huge green area with many facilities including an amusement park.

It is here that you will find and enjoy tickets to the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel. Built in 1897, this Ferris wheel is also an emblem of the city and thanks to its 65 meters high has one of the best views of the Austrian capital.

Luckily both the amusement park and the Ferris wheel are open when night falls allowing us to see those views that I mentioned, but with the city illuminated under the night cloak. It is a highly recommended experience that we can also sweeten with a walk through the attractions of the park.

Book your tickets for the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel

4. Take a guided tour and get to know Vienna illuminated

Belvedere Palace by night| ©Hernán Piñera
Belvedere Palace by night| ©Hernán Piñera

Vienna's city center is filled with historic buildings of extraordinary beauty. Its baroque facades and varied architecture make strolling through its streets a real visual treat. This is reinforced at night, since the lighting projected on the buildings in the center makes its beauty stand out even more and added to the tranquility of the streets make a night stroll through the center one of the best plans there is in the Austrian capital.

The list of buildings and monuments is very extensive. But it is worth mentioning the illumination of St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Staatsoper (Vienna's opera), the Town Hall, the Parliament building or the church of St. Charles Borromeo.

Further away from the center we can approach the surroundings of the Belvedere Palace or even further away by the Schönbrunn Palace. Although it is also advisable to get lost in the streets of Imperial Vienna without having to take a fixed course. In this way, you will surely enjoy discovering the secrets of the city.

Book a tour of Vienna with a visit to Schönbrunn Palace

5. Let yourself be dazzled by a night walk on the banks of the Danube

Danube| ©Efraín Rodríguez
Danube| ©Efraín Rodríguez

It can be said that the Danube flows through Vienna twice. Apart from the river itself, a canal was built from the river that runs through the old part of the city. The banks of the canal have been used to make walking areas and put several terraces, restaurants and shops that make it a very nice area for strolling and dining. In summer they even install a floating pool on a boat and set up bathing areas.

But it is at night when the canal is best used. In addition to illuminating the bridges that cross it, the canal bars and restaurants set up terraces with armchairs and chill out areas to forget the hustle and bustle of the city at night. For all these reasons it is one of the best areas to enjoy Vienna at night. You can even consider taking a guided bike tour through Vienna.

Book a guided bike tour in Vienna

6. Go night shopping or visit a museum at nightfall

On Mariahilfer Straße| ©alfred lex
On Mariahilfer Straße| ©alfred lex

In Vienna on Thursdays there are special opening hours for stores and museums. Both stores and some of the museums close later and stay open until 9 p.m. or even 10 p.m. in some cases. These are quite late hours considering that they are usually only open until 5 or 6 pm. So it is time to take advantage and visit some stores.

One of the best shopping areas is Mariahilfer Straße, next to the train station, where most franchises and interesting stores are concentrated. It is also a good idea to leave Thursdays at the end of the day to visit some museums in order to better organize our time, as the city has a lot to see.

Precisely at the end of the street of Mariahilfer Straße begins the so-called museum district, where we find some of the best museums in Vienna as the Mumok (the museum of modern art), the Kunsthalle of Vienna or the Leopold Museum that extend their hours until 21. In other parts of the city the Museum of Art History or the National Library also take advantage of this schedule.

Book tickets for the Art History Museum

7. Experience the nightlife at Schwedenplatz

Schwedenplatz by night| ©TheOtherPerspective78
Schwedenplatz by night| ©TheOtherPerspective78

Vienna is synonymous of good beer and therefore, of pubs and bars where to taste it. The city is full of pubs scattered throughout its different neighborhoods, but at night the best ones are concentrated in one area.

One of the best places to enjoy the nightlife accompanied by a beer is the Schwedenplatz square. Around this square on the banks of the Danube, 5 minutes from St. Stephen's Cathedral, are concentrated many of the best pubs in the city.

When the weather is nice, the square is full of terraces and at night the pubs of the square usually have their so-called "happy hour" in which prices are lowered and the glasses of beer do not stop flowing. In addition, as in the variety is the taste, in Schwedenplatz there are pubs of various types such as Irish, cocktail bars, German-style breweries and so on. There are also several street food stalls as well as some restaurants.

8. Have a drink at the Stadtbahnbögen

At a Stadtbahnbögen| ©Alle
At a Stadtbahnbögen| ©Alle

There is another alternative to the pubs on Schwedenplatz. In Vienna there are a number of bars known as the Stadtbahnbögen that were built under the arches of the city's former subway in an aqueduct-like arrangement. Most of them are located under line 6 between the stations Thaliastraße and Nussdorferstraße.

In general these bars are of a quieter character, perfect for drinks with small groups as they are not very spacious. In summer they also have small terraces outside.

The exception to the tranquility are some of these bars where small concerts are organized, especially in spring and summer when the weather is more pleasant. To get to this area it is best to go by streetcar to the Alser Strabe stop north of the center of Vienna.

9. Have an ice cream while strolling around at night

Zanoni & Zanoni ice cream parlor.| ©World of Jeff!
Zanoni & Zanoni ice cream parlor.| ©World of Jeff!

Vienna is a city with a great pastry and ice cream tradition. In fact, one of the best things to do in Vienna for the Viennese is to have an ice cream in some of the city's ice cream parlors to accompany a stroll through the streets of Vienna. So much so that it can almost be considered a tradition. Among all the ice cream parlors in the capital, two stand out: Tuchlauben ice cream parlor and Zanoni & Zanoni.

The first is located in the heart of the city very close to St. Stephen's Cathedral and the second even closer to the cathedral on the same street where the Hard Rock Cafe is located. The ice creams of both are of first quality and with an immense variety of flavors. Ice cream is the best accompaniment to a leisurely evening stroll through the center of Vienna.

10. Enjoy a dinner with a view at the Danube Tower

View from the Danube Tower| ©Iosif Michael
View from the Danube Tower| ©Iosif Michael

Vienna has a reputation for being a very romantic city especially at night. Therefore, dinners in special places are quite common in the Austrian city. And there are few more special places to dine than at the top of the Danube Tower. This emblematic construction of 250 meters high has in its highest part a restaurant with the best views of the whole city, or at least the most complete.

The tower is in the center of what is known as Danube Islandand in addition to the restaurant, at the top there is a 360-degree mobile viewpoint so you do not miss any perspective of the city.

It is true that the restaurant is somewhat expensive, but for the views and to celebrate a special occasion it is worth it. And if not, you can climb directly to the lookout without paying for dinner or opt for something cheaper like coffee and pastries in the cafeteria.

11. Experience the Vienna party

The Pratersauna| ©Julian
The Pratersauna| ©Julian

The night is synonymous with partying and so it is in laid-back Vienna. In fact, the city is home to some of Europe's most prestigious nightclubs. This is surprising given the fame of the Austrian capital. Apart from the pubs and bars we have already reviewed above, the best places to party in Vienna are: The Titanic, located in the 6th district, is a popular old-fashioned discotheque. The Pratersauna, which, paradoxically, used to be a spa and sauna where you could relax and today is one of the best and liveliest nightclubs in Vienna.

Finally, we have the Flex, a club built in an old subway station and is reputed to have the best sound in Vienna. Originally oriented to rock, today it is a temple for techno and dub lovers. The Flex has a reputation as one of the best venues in Europe. In addition to these, there are many more nightclubs that will delight the most assiduous to the nightlife.