What to do on a hot day in Vienna? Surviving summer in the city is often a challenge, especially in a city like Vienna where most flats lack (much needed) air conditioner. But there is still a lot to do to freshen up and spend a productive day, so here we go with our tips!
Editor’s note: Please mind, this is an updated version of the post published on July 11, 2019. Make sure to check the opening hours of the museums and other public places, that might have changed due to the Covid-19 situation. Stay safe and be responsible. <3
1.Visit a museum or a palace.
Lets start this list in an intellectual way! Vienna is a cultural capital with numerous wonderful museums and imperial palaces. For sure you haven’t visited every single one of them, right? The temperature inside museums is just perfect, it might even be slightly chilly. You can walk for hours, admiring the art works, hidden from the burning hot sun. It is a total win-win – you will learn something new and feel good. Our favorite museums are the Art History Museum, Belvedere and Albertina, but you should not forget about Schoenbrunn Palace, Leopoldmuseum, Palais Liechtenstein, MaK and many others.
2. Eat looooots of ice cream!
Don’t miss treating yourself with at least one ice-cream a day! 😀 Check our updated blog post with best ice-cream places in Vienna here. By the way, not mentioned there but don’t miss on Veganista’s ice-cream sandwiches. They are just sublime!
3. Wake up early to explore and take pictures of empty Vienna
Especially if you are a tourist, try to make an effort to wake up earlier and explore Vienna, before the heat becomes unbearable. We promise that you will thank us on this tip, since walking around Vienna early before it is invaded by people is truly priceless. Check our post here to see the beauty of Vienna waking up. Imagine having all those pictures of yourself with no people around! You want them, believe us. Walk around the first district and the Ring, or head over to some of the imperial gardens, like the one surrounding Schoenbrunn or Belvedere. When you are done, you can have a late breakfast or an early lunch. After that it is ideal to head back to your hotel and take a small nap, while it is burning outside. Sounds like a good plan, right?
4. Go for a swim in the Danube or at some of the city open air pools.
We have to admit that we never went for a swim in the Danube, but it is what most of our friends are doing, if they are spending the summer in Vienna. Also there are many beautiful open air pools around the city. For top tips on where to take a swim, read our blog post about Top Open Air Pools and Ponds in and around Vienna here.
5. Go shopping in a mall.
If you are more of a person of action, instead of taking an afternoon nap, spend the hottest part of the day in some of the air conditioned shopping malls. Our favorite mall is SCS, but if you prefer something closer, then head over to the Donauzentrum. We would advise you to stay away from shopping streets like Mariahilferstrasse or Kaertnerstrasse when it is too hot. You will find exactly the same shops, and even new ones, in shopping malls then the streets. Check more on this topic in our blog post about shopping in Vienna.
6. Spend the day in a spa.
It is always nice to dedicate some time to yourself, and what is better than relaxing in a spa! Therme Wien close to Kurpark Oberlaa are always a good choice. Check more info about them here.
7. Make a picnic or chill with your friends in some of the gorgeous Viennese parks.
Vienna has many beautiful parks and green areas where you can chill, get tanned or make a small picnic. From centally located parks, we can recommend you Stadtpark, Burggarten, Augarten, or for example Sigmund-Freud Park in front of the Votive Church. And if you want to go to a more peaceful place, head to Prater, the Danube Island, Kurpark Oberlaa, Schwarzenbergpark, Kahlenberg, Japanese Garden Setagaya, or (a park we absolutely love) Poetzleinsdorfer Schlosspark in the 18th district. For more tips and picnic inspiration read our post about top picnic spots in Vienna here.
I (Una) took the photo below in spring in Poetzleinsdorfer Schlosspark, when wild garlic was blooming. The model was gorgeous Olya, that you can find on Instagram here. She has a great blog where she is also sharing her travel and Vienna tips.
8. Visit Lainzer Tiergarten and Hermesvilla.
Lainzer Tiergarten is a huge park belonging to Hietzing, the 14th district. It is a wonderful place, with woods and endless walking paths. You can also spot some wild animals there. This is where Franz Joseph used to hunt, and where he built a gorgeous palace Hermesvilla for his wife Sisi. You can visit the palace, have lunch or picnic in the woods. Any time of the year here is great, especially for both nature and culture lovers.
7. Escape the concrete jungle and explore some wonderful locations close to Vienna.
If you are fed up with the city and have already checked out everything from the list, then gather a friend or two and simply escape! There are many locations less then an hour drive from Vienna which are ideal for a daily trip. We can especially recommend you, the following locations (simply click on bold letters, that will take you to separate blog posts about these places):
- Dreamy Laxenburg – we promise that you will fall in love with this place!
- Castle Kreuzenstein – if you are into medieval culture, you will love this place!
8. Visit Prater – the rides, colors, smell of cotton candy will bring you back to childhood! Adrenalin rush is guaranteed if you go for one of those crazy rides… 🎢 And you will manage to cool off too. 😀 And if you have already been to Prater, maybe you could go to the Böhmischer Prater in the 10th district. This place is according to many totally underrated! It is a small amusement park and event center that has a lot to offer to all generations.
9. Go klimbing in Kletterpark Purkersdorf! It is located a bit out of town (almost bordering the 13th district). Many of our friends went there and they loved it! Fun and action all day long!
10. Summer is for movies! Have you been to the Film Festival at Rathaus? Funfair atmosphere, free entrance, street food, music and many things that will keep you entertained! Other than that, there are numerous open air cinemas around the city. Take a look at this guide here.
We are sincerly hoping that we managed to inspire you with this post! And in case you have other cool tips, please share them in the comments. Lets inspire each other! <3
Enjoy your summer, no matter where you are!
Una and Isi