Nightlife in Vienna: music for everyone
- Recommended for:
- Food and Drink, Nightlife, Free, Budget, Mid-range, Expensive
Vienna now has plenty of choice when it comes to going out for a good time at night. Listen to all kinds of music, live acts or just party and dance. This city is alive and you can feel the beat!
Cocktailbar - Restaurant Comida – Red Room
This restaurant, bar and music club, serving Caribbean and Mediterranean cuisine, attracts Vienna's jet-set. Famed for the devilishly delicious cocktails and good DJ soul sounds in the stylish “Red Room” cellar, the illuminated floor and red decor is quite eye-catching. Open daily 8pm till 2am; Thursday to Saturday until 4am (Stubenring 20; 01 512 40 24; www.comida.at).
For lovers of loud music: join the crowd in the unused subway shaft under the Danube Canal. Notably equipped with the best sound system in the city, only a few years ago the Flex was named one of the best clubs in Europe. International stars and newcomers perform a wide range of music styles. Techno and drum 'n' bass is what you'll hear when famed DJs come to town. The Flex club serves free soda water when the going gets hot. Open daily from 6pm to 4am (Donaukanal at Augartenbrücke; 01 533 75 25; www.flex.at).
The best known, and possibly best loved, disco in town is located in a defunct pedestrian underpass on the Ringstrasse next to the Burggarten. Amazing Dr Who style lighting effects, flexible, futuristic interior decor and funky sounds attract a very chic clientele. Open Tuesday to Thursday from 8pm-4am, Friday and Saturday until 6am (Burgring / Babenbergerstraße; 01 961 88 00; www.sunshine.at).
Grace Jones, Nirvana, Sade and Johnny Depp have been to this cult disco. Conny de Beauclair, Vienna's best-known bouncer and photographer, published a book recently highlighting thirty years of the U4's colourful history. Open Monday-Saturday 10pm–2am (Schönbrunner Straße 222; 01 817 11 92; www.u-4.at).
Set in a romantic garden pavilion, dance indoors or out to music that varies from rhythm 'n' blues to reggae and hip hop. On Sundays from May until September, starting at 6pm, ballroom dances are on the bill: Latin, salsa, Tango Argentino, swing and boogie. Open Friday and Saturday from 11am-2am (Burgring 1, Volksgarten; 01 5324241,; www.volksgarten.at).
Close to the MQ, this hip locality offers special light effects from Dr Flash! A daily DJ line-up from 8pm plays techno, minimal and electronic music. An in-house sausage stall serves vegetarian sausages - takeaways too. Open daily from 8pm–2am (Schweighofer-Gasse 10; 01 523 81 05; www.donautechno.com).
Star chef Christian Petz cooks in the galley of the Badeschiff - a floating cargo container that was transformed into a restaurant, swim bath and club – one of the key nightlife venues in summer. Open 11am–4am. Closed Sundays from January until March. Anchored on the Danube Canal between Urania and Schwedenplatz: Donaukanallände (0699 15130750; www.badeschiff.at).
This popular club and concert venue was built above a disused pedestrian underpass, the downstairs passage became the Wanne (Tub). Artists and stylish youngsters make up the audience here. Upstairs party and concerts, downstairs very loud rock concerts and DJ sounds from hip hop to techno. Open daily 6pm–4am (Praterstern 5; 01 218 28 24; www.fluc.at).
Jazz clubs are usually less expensive than other night venues, some offer free entry and food and drinks are cheap. In a few locations musically gifted patrons get a chance to participate in sessions. See Manfred Kramlinger's Jazz in Vienna website for more information about live performances: www.jazzpages.com/JazzinWien.
Porgy & Bess
This 10-year-old jazz and music club is one of the very popular central locations for live gigs. In the basement of this former cinema, Austrian and international acts perform on a regular basis. The restaurant offers a good choice of food and drinks at fair prices: main courses for under 10 euros, draft beer for 3.70 euros for a half-litre glass. It's open daily from 7.30 pm (Riemergasse 11; 01 5128811; www.porgy.at).
Just opposite the Hietzing U4 underground station at Hadikgasse 62, the Art Nouveau-styled Reigen stages international acts and holds regular jazz and disco evenings. A newly-installed sound system attracts well known musicians like Charles Lloyd and Bill Evans - with open end sessions on occasion. Saturday night is Latin music dance night. Open 6pm–2am, weekends until 4am; the restaurant serves good hot food until midnight; closed Sundays (01 89 40 094; www.reigen.at).
The first authentic Vienna jazz club opened nearly 40 years ago and saw many of the local jazz artists rise to fame after making their first appearances in this cellar under St Ruprecht's Church. More than 300 international jazz stars, like Tony Coe and Roy Williams, have performed here since the club's opening in 1972. Open Monday–Saturday from 7pm, live music from 9pm; closed Sundays (Franz Josefskai 29; 01 533 25 75; www.jazzland.at).
A cellar with a stage just big enough for 10 musicians, where anything from jazz, blues, folk, rock and pop - even punk and metal - can be heard live on stage. Open daily 6pm–2am; Friday and Saturday until 4am (Liechtensteinstraße 61; 01 310 14 04; www.vienna-unplugged.at).
From Tuesday to Saturday all variations of live music can be heard. On Sunday and Monday a jazz group plays from 9 to 10pm, after that a session starts and musicians in the audience are invited to take the stage and show what's in them. Open daily from 8pm (Florianigasse 39; 01 405 34 65; www.tunnel-vienna-live.at).
Where to stay
For a full list of my recommendations on where to stay in Vienna, see Vienna hotels.