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’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.
CAFES, RESTAURANTS & BARS: Vienna’s gay and lesbian scene is flourishing. Many establishments make it easy to be part of the “scene” all day long. For a list of some of our favorites, click here.
SHOPPING: In Vienna, gays and lesbians can do more than just go out. Their shopping desires can also be fulfilled. Click here for your shopping guide!
PARTIES & CLUBS: Not a weekend goes by in Vienna without a megaparty. A lot happens on Vienna’s gay and lesbian scene - from the techno party in the trendy industrial location to the disco, pop or house event in the city’s hip clubs. Click here to join the party and find the hottest clubs!
EVENTS: The great annual events for the gay and lesbian community are becoming more and more popular. Click here and find the most important dates on the Viennese gay calendar.
Take a personal tour with one of Vienna's brightest stars, Conchita Wurst!
Copyrights: Vienna Tourist Board/Rainer Fehringer angeben
The Gay Scene in Vienna
Vienna’s gay scene won’t go unnoticed. Our gay travel experts estimate Vienna’s LGBT community to be around the hundreds of thousands!