by Dóra Wohner and Amina Frassl
It’s been a tough few months – we could hardly leave the house without worrying. But now the Great Captivity has almost come to an end, we can enjoy life once again. (Really? Is it safe?) To help you get started, we compiled a list of activities – all safe and all sanctioned! – to lure you back into life on the outside.
1. Indulging in the fine arts
Velázquez, Correggio and Caravaggio are all waiting for you in the Museum of Fine Arts (KHM) now reopened for visitor in controlled numbers. Until June 30, you can enjoy the museum’s Pay as you wish offer by booking your ticket online. With your extended annual card, you will also catch September’s special exhibition on Beethoven’s influence on visual arts. The newly opened Albertina Modern offers further art historic experience by featuring post-WWII Austrian painters and sculptors. Whatever you choose, never forget the mask on the coat hook by the door
2. Peepshow Performers – music at a safe distance
Live music instead of live sex! The managers of Guckloch (literally, peep hole) realize that we’ve all had an overdose of intimacy under quarantine and what we need now is an orgy of a different kind. Instead of naked bodies writhing on the poles, you get musicians such as Voodoo Jürgens, Clara Luzia and Hosea Ratschiller undressing their souls to entertain their culture-starved audience. Strange times call for strange measures.
3. Once More to the Lake
You don’t have to go abroad for an unforgettable holiday. With lockdown lifted, the Neusiedler See, just an hour south of Vienna, has reopened to visitors. Beginning with a bicycle rental at the train station, you can tour the lake, scoping out the endless offerings for sport and diversion – from swimming, sailing, windsurfing or wakeboarding, to hiking and horseback riding through the countryside. This is also wine country, with vineyards to visit and a Heuriger or three in every village.
4. Spending your gastro Gutschein
With support of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, Vienna residents will receive vouchers by post beginning in the middle of June valued at €25 and €50 to promote Viennese gastronomy. Now, you can once again enjoy the civilized leisure of a morning at the Kaffeehaus and the pleasures of Schnitzel und Pommes with an 1/8 of Grüner Veltliner, while the city picks up the tab. For the second round, though, you’re probably on your own.
5. Being a tourist at home
How lovely it is to enjoy all the most popular sights you have so carefully avoided to escape flocks of tourists. This summer you have the opportunity to rediscover the beauties of Vienna. With the Sisi Ticket Deluxe, you can visit all the top locations in Schönbrunn without the threat of being poked by a selfie stick. But that’s just the beginning:
6. On the trail of Hundertwasser
The quirky charm of Friedensreich Hunderwasser is enduring – shades of Klimt and Schiele transformed into playful design that changes our relationship with architecture and space. You can give yourself a Hundertwasser tour beginning with his legendary apartment block, the Hundertwasserhaus at Kegelgasse 36-38, in the 3rd district, and the museum and shop across the street. From there, it’s just a short walk to the Hundertwasser Museum in the Kunsthaus Wien – itself a work of art – that guides its visitors through the life of its founder, his multifaceted talent and the work of artists who follow his tradition. With the opening of swimming pools and baths, you can also spend a weekend in the fairy-tale setting of Rogner Bad Blumau, a magical spa hotel in the Steiermark, that Hunderwasser designed and inspired.
7. This summer is all about culture
To boost the revival of our spirits, the city has organized a “Kultursommer 2020” where in July and August, Vienna becomes the stage for concerts, plays, dance, cabaret and literary performances. You can enjoy a safe and sparkling series of events all around the city, free of charge made by local performers in all areas. Staging areas are now being checked out, for good sound, good sight lines, and, of course, good spacing. Watch this space!
8. Swopping the table linen for a blanket
Grab your basket and have a picnic in Türkenschanzpark. If you’re too lazy to bake home-made cookies, you can grab a bite at Meierei Diglas, the park’s idyllic restaurant, while enjoying live piano, as part of the city’s “Klavier im Kaffeehaus” series..
9. Getting in shape
If you survived the quarantine you are officially invincible. If you want to be immortal too, you should go to the gym. Holmes Place is the perfect choice for getting rid of your love handles. However, you should be aware of the regulations and book training slots in advance. Sport venues such as Golf Club Schloss Schönborn, the lovely SVSB tennis club in the Prater and WAC (Wiener Athletiksport Club) all have strict corona-era rules about touching balls. No problem: You were planning on hitting them.
10. Saying “I do”!
It was supposed to be an April wedding. You’d bought your dress at Flossmann and ordered your bouquet from Blumenhaus zum Dom – all before the lockdown. Well, the flowers may have faded, but you can now marry without a mask and if you’re lucky, you might just grab one of the last remaining slots in the beloved wedding church of Dürnstein. Unless, of course, you’ve changed your mind…
11. A hot time in the old town
Party venues have gotten the green light too. Pratersauna, a House-, Electro- and Techno-Club on Waldsteingartenstraße, in the 2nd, near the WU was among the first to open, as all young people know all the ways that alcohol disinfects. Having already killed Corona in quarantine, they can enjoy local DJs in the spacious Sauna’s garden while still keeping a safe distance.
12. Burying Oma
And then there is Oma, who had “taken the 71 tram” (that’s the one to the Zentralfriedhof) before the lockdown. If she had known how chilly it would be in the morgue for two and a half months, she might have asked for cremation, saving the costs of the coffin and the plot lease. But here we are, and it’s time to give her an appropriate send off – n’ schöne Leich — now that we’re allowed. May her soul wing Heavenward, well primed with a Wienerlied in the great Heuriger of paradise.
(Foto: Nicole Heiling/Guckloch)