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TOURISM

Seven Vienna bars with breathtaking views

Ever sipped your Zweigelt at eye level with the Volkstheater’s rooftop statuesque beauties? Barbara Cação of Vienna Unwrapped shares her cheat sheet of Vienna’s best high flying bars and hotels with amazing city views.

Seven Vienna bars with breathtaking views
Café Bar Bloom. Photo: Vienna Unwrapped

Café Bar Bloom

The best place in town to order a view of Stephansdom with your cocktail is Hotel Lamée’s Café Bar Bloom. Head straight for the rooftop bar on the 9th floor of Rotenturmstrasse’s most exciting corner. Nowhere else in town will you see the cathedral’s colourful roof patterns more clearly. The breathtaking views, mixed with the bar’s modern exteriors, top-notch coffee, cakes and drinks make this place a must for girlie afternoons, informal business talks, and lush romantic evenings.

Address: Rotenturmstrasse 15, 1010

Ritz Carlton Rooftop Bar

Photo: Vienna Unwrapped

The sofa strewn landscape of Atmosphere rooftop bar is as vast as the views it invites you to share. Ritz Carlton’s generous L-shaped rooftop terrace allows almost 360 degree views of the city centre, taking in Stephansdom, Karlskirche, the Hofburg’s green copper domed roof and the hills of Ottakring and Kahlenberg. Snacks range from Austrian Rauriser sausages to caviar shots. An out-of-the-ordinary place to impress friends, business partners and yourself.

Address Schubertring 1-3, 1010

Le Loft

Photo: austria.info

You can almost touch the clouds on a rainy day at Le Loft, 75 metres above ground in the Leopoldstadt. The bar and gourmet restaurant, inspired by innovative French/Asian/Austrian cuisine, is part of Hotel Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom. The stunning ceiling painting designed by artist Pipilotti Rist hovers like a canopy over the guests. When it’s dark, its reflection reaches far out into the night sky towards Stephansdom.

Address: Praterstrasse 1, 1020

Dachboden

Photo: Vienna Unwrapped

The lofty café/bar of the trendy 25 Hours Hotel in Lerchenfelder Strasse is the place to toast the rooftop belles of Volkstheater. The chic glass container and terrace overlook the rooftops of the Austrian Parliament, the Natural History Museum and Museum of Fine Arts, and the Volkstheater, to name the most prominent. The relaxed interiors display the hotel’s circus theme. Great for wine, drinks and a few nibbles with friends.

Address: Lerchenfelder Strasse 1-3, 1070

Sky Bar

The rooftop bar of department store Steffl has long been a favourite of local shoppers, tourists in the know, and a chic urban night crowd. A glass lift on Kärntner Strasse takes you up (those with vertigo – look towards the building). During the warm months, make sure you grab space on the terrace viewing Stephansdom. Live lounge music from Monday to Friday.

Address: Kärntner Strasse 19, 1010

Suite Hotel Kahlenberg

If you want to overlook the whole of Vienna from ‘outer space’ head for the terrace café of Suite Hotel Kahlenberg. During the summer months the cool lounge terrace regularly hosts chilled out music events. You can also eat modern Viennese cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant. The best time to be there is when the lights go on over Vienna and the Danube’s bridges during that magical twilight just before sunset.

Address: Am Kahlenberg 2-3, 1190

Coming soon: MQ Libelle

From the autumn of 2016, Museumsquartier is expected to boast a flashy new rooftop space above the Leopold Museum. Dubbed the MQ Libelle, the airy 600m2 glass container and terrace will be open for coffee, available as a space to host events, or simply as a place to hang out and enjoy the views of the Natural History Museum, Museum of Fine Arts and the Ringstrasse.

Address: Museumsquartier, 1060

Native Viennese Barbara Cação is the author of Vienna travel guide Vienna Unwrapped and runs a tourism blog about her home city. 

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ENERGY

From lighting to ice skating: How Vienna plans to save energy

Winter is approaching and with it a higher use of energy. Here’s what the City of Vienna is doing to save gas and electricity this winter.

From lighting to ice skating: How Vienna plans to save energy

As the war in Ukraine continues and energy prices skyrocket, Austria could be in for a tough winter.

To offset some of the impacts, the City of Vienna is now preparing for the cold season and rolling out a series of energy saving measures.

The aim is to reduce energy consumption in the Austrian capital by 15 percent by the end of March 2023, which is in line with the target set by the European Commission earlier this year.

FOR MEMBERS: UPDATED: How reliant is Austria on Russia for energy?

Mayor Michael Ludwig said: “Cooperation in Vienna is the most important basis for getting through difficult times well and safely.

“We proved that during the pandemic and we will prove that now. Our motto is: stick together so that everyone stays warm.”

Here are the main elements of the plan.

Ice skating

The Wiener Eistraum ice skating rink on Rathausplatz is scheduled to run from January to March 2023. But, according to the Wiener Zeitung, there is uncertainty over whether it can take place at all this winter.

The structure on Vienna’s town hall square is a popular winter attraction in the city. It attracts both locals and tourists with pretty lighting and pre-heated ice skates for hire. But it also requires a lot of energy to operate.

As a result, there is a possibility that the Wiener Eistraum could be cancelled or scaled back, although a final decision hasn’t been made yet.

READ ALSO: Reader question: I’ve received my Austrian Klimabonus as a voucher, now what?

Christmas markets

The Wiener Zeitung reports that Vienna’s Christmas market in front of the Rathausplatz is currently not at risk of being cancelled – at least not under the current plans.

The Rathausplatz is the city’s biggest Christmas market and is scheduled to open on November 19th, which is one week later than in 2021.

Lighting

The City of Vienna said the conversion to LED street lighting is continuing across the capital. So far, around half of the city’s 153,000 street lamps have been replaced with LED bulbs. 

The use of street lighting in Vienna has also changed. From 10pm, lighting in low-traffic areas is reduced to 75 percent, and then to 50 percent after midnight.

The LED street lighting project is expected to reduce energy consumption by 60 percent and is part of the city’s long-term energy saving plans.

Administrative buildings, campuses and pools

Energy saving measures are also being rolled out across administrative buildings, at public pools and educational buildings in Vienna.

The Town Hall claims that around 193,000 MWh (or €14.7 million) has already been saved at 42 government buildings, including at kindergartens and schools.

Further energy saving projects are planned for the Jörgerbad, Floridsdorferbad and Kongressbad public pools.

Additionally, the Liselotte-Hansen-Schmidt campuses in Donaustadt, Liesing and Penzing are heated and cooled with geothermal energy. They are also fitted with large photovoltaic systems.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How to keep energy bills down in Austria

Investment in the energy network

Between 2022 and 2026, Wiener Stadtwerke Group will invest around €6.2 billion to improve Vienna’s energy infrastructure, with €5.7 billion earmarked for “climate-friendly investments”. 

Wien Energie is investing €1.2 billion into the conversion of the energy system by 2026 and around €400 million is reserved for the expansion of renewable electricity production.

Peter Hanke, City Councillor for Economic Affairs, said: “In addition to the city’s goal of being climate-neutral by 2040, the security of supply for the Viennese is particularly important to me. 

“By 2030, we will invest around €3 billion in the network security of the federal capital Vienna via Wiener Netze. 

“Such a stable power grid makes the integration of renewable energies possible because 90 percent of the energy transition takes place in the distribution grid.” 

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