Vienna for Lovers: From the amorous to the apathetic – there is something for everyone this February 14th
Valentine’s Day stirs the romantic in all of us, with even the most blasé taking their turns as Romeo and Juliet. So unless you’re a hopeless cynic who associates the day with Al Capone’s little redecoration job, or plan to drown your sorrows in a giant tub of chocolate ice cream, chances are you’ll want to help organize an evening to remember. Then whatever happens in the relationship, you will have had a great time!
For the undecided, here are a few suggestions to help express your love, Vienna style.
Dare to be cheesy
How about taking a Fiaker ride? While they usually take standard tourist routes, Vienna’s Fiaker are actually licensed to drive on any street in the city, so they can take you to your favorite setting for romance. You might, for example, ride out to the Prater amusement park and have dinner on the Riesenrad (Giant Ferris Wheel) erected in 1897 for the Golden Jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef. Gaze out across the city over champagne and canapés or indulge in a more extravagant dinner while taking in the breathtaking nightscape of Vienna seen from above. Either way, a fitting celebration of the season of love – just don’t quote The Third Man; murder and betrayal can ruin the mood.
To avoid the crowds, consider celebrating the day before Valentine’s Day at the Johann Strauss Ball at the Kursalon, where the Waltz King himself enjoyed some of his early successes. Sink knee-deep into the magic of Viennese ball culture, dressed to the nines as you dance the night away. The evening begins at 21:00 and includes a dance workshop to brush up your technique before you start swirling around in three-quarter time, throwing caution to the wind. And why not?
Alternately, take your Fiaker to the Marriott, for one of their Be My Valentine evenings on that weekend. You can choose between an elegantly appointed dinner buffet at the Parkring Restaurant or Festsaal (opens 19:00, €53), or à la carte at the Garden Café (opens 18:00, €36). Or just come for the live music: pop starlet Caroline Kreutzberger and her sister Sabrina at 19:00 will be followed by old-school crooner Louie Austen at 21:00, both performing admission-free in the Cascade Bar, a deliciously cheesy dive with soft neon lights and waterfalls flowing down a huge boulder, giving it a decidedly Vegas feel.
And for those of you (and you know who you are!) who prefer a more outrageous approach, there is an off-beat alternative: the Anti-Valentine’s Ball. Spinning off the quirky weirdness of John Waters’ 1974 cult classic Female Trouble, expect eccentric extravagance such as a toilet dance floor, a birdcage photo booth, showgirl boot camp, Hare Krishna spin-the-bottle, and a couch with cats. So put on your Cha-cha heels for this hedonistic and raucous version of V-Day and celebrate into the wee hours.