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VIENNA

Five things to do in Vienna this weekend

Vienna is full of events, places to visit and great new restaurants to try out. If you are overwhelmed with the possibilities or just wondering where you can find a cool English-speaking event, here are some ideas.

afrika tage Africa days festival vienna donauinsel danube island
The Africa Days Festival starts this weekend in Vienna (Photo Christina Karagiannis/Afrika Tage)

Stephansdom

Sometimes we live in a city but miss out on some of its major tourist attractions. In Vienna, a sure postcard of the Austrian capital is the Stephansdom, the St. Stephan’s cathedral.

Located in the middle of the old city centre, the Gothic construction gets well-deserved praise for its beautiful exterior and one-of-a-kind tiled roof.

Though people may be familiar with the cathedral’s architecture from the outside, the inside is just as beautiful and worth the visit. There are guided tours to the catacombs, and people can go up the north and south towers for incredible views of Vienna.

If you haven’t already, step into the Domkirche St. Stephan this weekend.

You can check out more information here.

Ottakringer Bierfest

From Monday to Saturday until September 2nd, the gates are open to this traditional beer festival in the 16th district, home of one of the most famous Vienna breweries, the Ottakringer BrauWerk.

READ ALSO: Five Austrian destinations you can reach by train to escape the heat

Admission to the festival is free, and you can enjoy the beer garden, lots of street food to try out, live music and, of course, a comprehensive fine craft beer selection from the Ottakringer brewing plant.

You can check out more information here.

Los Mexikas

Vienna is not very known for its choices of Mexican or Latin food, but Los Mexikas is usually the restaurant people will point you to if you are looking for authentic Mexican food. The food is delicious, and the restaurant, though small (make reservations!), is lovely.

There are two units, the Taquería, in Lange Gasse 12 (1080), and Antojitos, in Leopoldsgasse 31 (1020).

You can check out more information here.

Afrika Tage Wien

The Afrika Tage Festival is a yearly event taking place in the Donauinsel for several days. In 2022, the festival starts on July 22nd and will last until August 8th.

There are several musical and artistic presentations with many African and African-inspired rhythms. Tickets range from free to €15, depending on dates and times.

READ ALSO: The best festivals and events to enjoy in Austria this summer

Besides the shows, the whole area of the event is filled with arts and crafts bazaars (you can find textiles, musical instruments, small furniture, decoration, and more).

There are also food tents with African cuisine, a tea tent and a Sahara tent with musical performances.

Many events are primarily for kids, including drum sessions for the young (and the old) ones to learn African drumming, clapping, singing and movement.

You can check out more information here.

Go for a swim in the Danube

As temperatures continue high, going for a swim is a great way to try and cool off from the Austrian heat wave. There are many areas to swim in Vienna, from public pools to the different regions of the Danube.

If you want a no-brainer spot in the Danube, you can ride the U6 until station Neue Donau. When you get off, you can follow signs to the bathing areas or just follow the crowds, and the river is right there.

Finding a floating platform, steps leading down the river, and even a kids’ area where the Donau is not so deep is easy.

You can check out more information here.

READ ALSO: Five of the best things to do in Vienna this summer

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ENERGY

Vienna forced to dim street lighting and cancel some Christmas illuminations

Christmas illuminations in Vienna will also be scaled back this year as part of the city's energy saving measures.

Vienna forced to dim street lighting and cancel some Christmas illuminations

Vienna, a city known for its Christmas markets and its New Year concert, is cutting back on public lighting in the face of soaring energy prices.

“There will be no Christmas illuminations this year on the Ring,” the famous boulevard that encircles the centre of the Austrian capital, city spokeswoman Roberta Kraft told AFP.

READ MORE: Five of the biggest challenges facing Austria right now

And the lights at the Christmas market in the square in front of the city hall would only be switched on at night and not at dusk, as in previous years, “which is to say about an hour later, on average, every day”, she said.

The city authorities said they had not calculated exactly how much they would save, but the move comes after energy prices have skyrocketed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its response to Western sanctions.

Last Friday, the Austrian Energy Agency announced that its electricity price index for September rose by more than 256 percent year-on-year.

READ ALSO: Inflation at 9.2% in July: How to beat rising prices in Austria

Austria, with its population of nine million, is very dependent on tourism and its end-of-year celebrations are a major motor of the economy.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down much international travel, more than four million people visited Vienna’s famous Christmas markets in 2019.

In 2021, around 30 of Vienna’s shopping streets were lit up for seven hours a day, from November 12 until early January.

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