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.

Five things to do in Vienna this weekend
Karlskirche, or St. Charles Church, in Vienna (Copyright: © WienTourismus/Christian Stemper)

Karlsplatz and Karlskirche

The Karlsplatz is a town square in the fourth district of Vienna (right by the first district) where the famous Karlskirche is (or the St. Charles Church). 

Visiting the square and the body of water under the church is a great way to spend a summer afternoon in Vienna. However, the church’s baroque interior and its exhibits are also worth the visit. During the evening, the Karlskircheis also the stage for church concerts (including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons).

This weekend, though, the square is hosting the Popfest am Karlsplatz, a pop music festival taking place again in full after two pandemic years.

You can check out more information here.

Kino am Dach

If you haven’t visited this open-air cinema in Vienna yet, then you are in luck! The structure was supposed to close for the season but has been extended with several programmes until August 21st.

The open-air cinema on the rooftop of Vienna’s main library (Urban-Loritz-Platz, 1070, Wien) is a great way to spend your evening and enjoy the movie and a great view of the city. This weekend, the films playing are Thor: Love and thunder, Everything Everywhere All at Once, and Preview: Rubikon. In addition, there are movie showings every day of the week.

The tickets cost €10. The entrance opens at 8pm, and arriving early is good because there is a free choice of seats. Films are shown in the original version with German subtitles (unless the film is in German, then there are no subtitles).

You can check out more information here.

Hiro Restaurant

For fans of Japanese food (particularly sushi), Hiro Restaurant is a great place to check out. It’s “all you can eat”, but you order it “a la carte”, choosing your dishes and asking for them as many times as you want for a fixed price.

The tasty food is only one of the attractions of this restaurant, located in Vienna’s 21st district. The tech side of Hiro is also something that brings in many visitors. You can order your food using a phone app and might get it served by one of the “waiters”, a robot.

During lunch, the all-you-can-eat buffet will cost €14.50. During weekends and dinners, adults pay €21.90. Children will pay less, depending on the day and how old they are.

You can check out more information here.

English-speaking stand-up comedy

This Saturday evening, British-born comedian Jack Holmes brings his stand-up act to Vienna, talking about dating, “expat life”, culture shocks and growing older.

The event from 8pm (entrance at 7:30 pm) to 10pm takes place at the Sheebeen International Pub, on 45 Lerchenfelder Straße, 1070. Online tickets cost €12, and the door price is €15.

Jack’s new touring show, Emotional Distancing, is a relatable deep dive into the healing process the world currently finds itself in. A first-hand look at adult relationships, travel, identity, ageing and the struggle to become a better person, he says.

You can check out more information here.

Mayer am Nussberg

One of the Viennese’s favourite Buschenschank is Mayer am Nussberg, with a beautiful outdoor area overviewing the vineyards.

By the way, do you know the difference between a Heuriger and a Buschenschank? While a Heurigen offers cold and hot dishes, Viennese wine and other beverages, only cold delicacies are served at a Buschenschank (though this is changing and more of them also have warm plates). And, most importantly, wine and beverages may only be from own production at the latter.

The Buschenschank is also not open all year round, so enjoy them while it’s the season. Mayer am Nussberg only opens when nice weather allows people to enjoy the surroundings properly.

A glass of wine starts at €2.30, and a cheese board costs €11.90. There are some (but not many) vegan options as well. Getting there is part of the fun. Since it’s located by the vineyard, at Kahlenberger Str. 213, 1190, you can hike there from the station Kahlenberg and Nußdorf or take the Heurigen Express circular train.

You can check out more information here.

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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.