Gay Travel Vienna
It’s official! Vienna has received multiple awards as an LGBT destination. In early January 2018, Vienna was crowned by GayTravel.com as the "International Destination" Winner of the 2017 GayTravel Awards. In March 2018, the city beat other locations such as New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas as “Destination of the Year” at the Australian LGBTI Awards and Vienna became the first European metropolis to be chosen as the "most livable city in the world" by British magazine “The Economist” in the summer of 2018.
Marriage for all!
As of 2019 marriage is legal for all throughout Austria. If you are traveling to Vienna for EuroPride in 2019 you can also get married! And there’s no place more beautiful for LGBTs to tie the knot than in Vienna. Couples can step up to the registrar and exchange rings at spectacular venues such as Schönbrunn Palace, Belvedere Palace or the Giant Ferris Wheel. There are (almost) no limits to the opportunities offered to wedding planners and couples in Vienna. And if you’re already spending the best day of your life in Vienna, you should also start your honeymoon here. After all, no place is more romantic than Vienna.
While the daytime is filled with art, culture, music, excellent food and exquisite wine, Vienna’s flourishing LGBT scene lights up the night. Vienna has everything your heart desires: cozy cafés, stylish bars and cool parties in extraordinary locations. How many people can say that they have danced through the night in a former slaughterhouse or an Art Nouveau pavilion designed by Otto Wagner? It’s all possible in Vienna.
The Viennese gay calendar is full! EuroPride 2019 will be held in Vienna and so much more: two fetish events (one in the spring and one in the fall), a classic Viennese ball for the LGBT community (Rainbow Ball), a Boylesque Festival, the Pink Wiener Wiesn-Fest in the fall and of course the Life Ball, one of the largest HIV/AIDS charity events of all, offer numerous diversions to visitors in Vienna. In short: Vienna is the perfect LGBT destination.
In Vienna, gays and lesbians can do more than just go out. Their shopping desires can also be fulfilled.
Gay History in Vienna
At the crossroads of Eastern and Western Europe, Vienna has an authentic atmosphere that’s impossible to disregard. In addition to stunning architecture, art, music and setting, Vienna boasts a rich gay history and a sizable gay scene that will delight gay and lesbian travelers alike.
For centuries, prominent nobles, generals, artists, and professionals have left a distinctly queer mark on Vienna. The buildings and narrow cobblestone streets may look old-fashioned, but Vienna’s clubs, bars, restaurants, festivals, organizations, shops, parades, and museums testify to a far more open and tolerant attitude about the gay couples strolling, holding hands and kissing in the street. This modern perspective has been in development for centuries.
Perhaps it all began with Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736), who is something of an Alexander The Great figure to the Viennese. One of the greatest and most celebrated generals in imperial military history, he was also a lover of art, women’s clothes and the company of men. Today, his over-the-top palace, Belvedere, is home to the Austrian National Gallery, which presents a spectacular array of Biedermaier and modern art such as Klimt, Schiele, and Kokoschka. Naturally, the rich musical history of Vienna honors many gay stars and visionaries. Doubtless, the greatest of these is the composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828). “Franzl,” as he was known among intimates, was married but concentrated his desires on male companions. A torrid affair with his librettist Johann Baptist Mayerhofer led the two men to literally make beautiful music together – including numerous songs and a significant but unfinished opera, “Adrast.” The glorious Austrian National Opera on the spectacular Ringstrasse was designed and built by the gay architectural duo Eduard van der Null and August Sicard von Sicardsburg in the mid-1800’s.
Vienna Gay Scene
Vienna has a vibrant GLBT community and some estimates place their numbers at somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 in this city of 1.6 million. Tourism gurus in the city actively market to gay travelers. The center of gay and lesbian life in Vienna is Rosa-Lila-Villa, known locally as “Villa,” on Linke Wienzeile. Numerous gay, lesbian, and gay and lesbian organizations are headquartered here. Many gay and lesbian hotspots are situated near the Rosa-Lila-Villa, along Linke Wienzeile and Rechte Wienzeile. There are at least two prominent bathhouses in Vienna: Kaiserbründl-Sauna, an Oriental bathhouse, and Sport-Sauna, which is popular with younger people. During the summer, head for the nude area in the “Toter Grund” section of the Danube Island and, in the evening, walk through Rathauspark. The Viennese also celebrate gay pride at the end of June, with a Rainbow Parade following on July 4.
Vienna’s gay visitors find a dizzying array of events, places, and experiences tailor-made for their interests. Theatres, museums, music festivals, operas, symphonies, film festivals, galleries, exhibitions, markets, bookstores, coffee shops, cafés, restaurants, bars, clubs, parties, sporting events and of course, even the city’s beloved balls, all cater to and welcome gay citizens and guests.
Take a personal tour with one of Vienna's brightest stars, Conchita Wurst!