Drinking at home is so yesterday. Plus, as mild summer evenings are too valuable to be spent indoors, why not take advantage of Austria’s permissive (or rather, barely existent) drinking laws and move your party outside? We’ve got some suggestions you can easily get to and from by foot or public transport.
In the city center (and close to various supermarkets selling booze) lies the imperial family’s formerly private garden. During the warm season, primarily youngish locals come together here to enjoy the sun and view of the palace and the Palmenhaus (an art nouveau winter garden turned swanky café; its terrace is popular for people watching). Frisbees and hacky sacks abound, along with plenty of fresh Burggarten air – yes, that’s weed you’re smelling there. Bring your own guitar for a midsummer night’s jam session or listen to one nearby.
You can use Burggarten’s toilets for 50 euro cents.
Literally just around the corner is Heldenplatz (Heroes’ square). The half-completed site of Emperor Franz Joseph I’s vision of an imperial forum (the Neue Burg was supposed to be mirrored by an identical wing where Volksgarten now is), it has long served as the city center’s largest public square, with wide lawns perfect for picnics and football. Enjoy the richly historical scenery: the impressive national library, the early baroque pistachio green-painted Leopoldinian wing and the enormous Burgtor surrounding you, and the picturesque city hall just down the road, looking like a fairy-tale castle.
Just across the Ring past the twin museums that even Viennese get mixed up sometimes, a buzzing culinary scene has developed at Museumsquartier (MQ), situated in the old imperial stables. In summertime, international DJs spin their turntables as a multitude of different people relax on the Enzis (their iconic benches), challenge one another on the boules alley and race tiny remote-controlled boats across the pool next to Leopold Museum. Making friends here is easy, so join a random group of people and invite them for a drink or two.
If you’re looking for some esplanade-feeling, join the party down on the Donaukanal. Mingle with the crowd and prepare for a tipsy night, either with drinks from the many bars lined up from the Wien river all the way up to the Augartenbrücke, or BYOB. On weekends, it might take a while to find a spot by the water. For more privacy and space, find a bench on the bank opposite the Urania. The impressive view of its illuminated façade and the surrounding bridges make this spot ideal for a romantic evening with your better half and a bottle of bubbly.
What better place to get “royally” drunk than Schönbrunn Palace Park? The Versaille-eque baroque setting is definitively worth popping a bottle of prosecco and the 120 hectares of twisted paths are perfect for a roving walk, ruminating about God and world. For a view of the grounds and city, climb up the serpentines to the Gloriette.
Open daily past 18:30 (check for specific opening hours here)
The red hammocks in Bruno-Kreisky-Park were originally a temporary art installation titled hanging around; but since everybody loved them, the hammocks stayed. Was there ever a more comfortable way to get drunk in public? Mix yourself a nice Cuba Libre, close your eyes, ignore the blaring traffic and pretend you’re somewhere in the Caribbean.
8. Karlsplatz and vicinity
In 2014, the municipal government opened the urban-gardening project Karls Garten, complete with pallet furniture in front of Heuer am Karlsplatz. Another picturesque spot is the pond at the foot of Karlskirche. Many have fallen in love with (and under) the nighttime view of the baroque church.
The many clubs and bars nearby make Karlsplatz a strategically perfect spot for pre-club drinking.
Have you found any good places to get drunk at in public?
Share your secret spots with us in the comments.