Austria’s capital city is famous as a cradle of classical music and high culture, for its skyline shaped by Hapsburg palaces, the Opera House and city symbol Giant Ferris Wheel, for tastes and experiences like chocolate/apricot Sacher Torte and coffee house culture, and even the renowned, high-performing and high-stepping, gleaming white Lipizzaner horses.
You may have been to Vienna before, but no matter how many times you’ve been to a city, seeing it from above gives you a whole new perspective.
That’s why the string of new rooftop bars in the city on the Danube river – with stunning design and inspiring food and beverage experiences - is so exciting for those of us planning Danube river cruises or guided trips to Central Europe soon.
Plan for daytime snacks or late-day drinks in at least one of these ‘elevated’ bars with a view!
mariatrink: Laid-back music
This is the most musical of Vienna’s new rooftop bars. Jaz in the City Vienna, located in the city’s sixth district of Mariahilf, is the third hotel in the German hotel chain’s portfolio. The view, if not the music, will make your heart skip a beat.
(Photo credit: Jaz in the City Vienna)
Contemporary design is the backdrop to an immersive music theme. The lobby recreates a record shop vibe, and the rooftop, mariatrink bar has the feel of a luxuriant jazz club, with velvet seating, innovative cocktails and regional dishes. But few jazz clubs can boast mariatrink’s real claim to fame: the panoramic views of Vienna.
Kindred Spirits Rooftop Bar: Drinks with Views of the Prater
Playtime at Vienna’s beloved Prater park… followed by smart drinks at the rooftop bar overlooking it. The boutique Hotel Zoku Vienna opened in June 2021, and its amusement-park-adjacent location is symbolic of its focus: providing a venue for work-life balance. Its special home-office hybrid solution appeals to working road warriors.
(Photo credit: Ewout Huibers Photography & Concrete)
At the top of the building, the Living Kitchen Rooftop Restaurant and Kindred Spirits Rooftop Bar are ideal for a laid-back lunch or after-work drink with a focus on Austrian wine, spirits, and culinary artisans, while soaking in the 360-degree views of Vienna. After dusk, the attractions at the Prater amusement park below twinkle like a sea of colored lights, illuminating the entire atmosphere.
MQ Libelle: Viennese Modernism and Rooftop Views
It only opened mid-pandemic during the summer of 2020, but it’s already the most popular rooftop bar in Vienna. MQ Libelle (libelle means dragonfly) is perched on top of the roof of the Leopold Museum, home to Vienna’s leading museum of Viennese Modernism (pictured, top). The museum has the world’s largest Egon Schiele collection.
And architecturally speaking the MQ Libelle is a work of art itself. Two of Austria’s most prominent artists were responsible for designing the main elements of the terrace, glass wall, and iconic lighting elements. The drinks and epicurean hotspot is also a new space for art and cultural projects in its own right.
360° Ocean Sky: a Zoo With a View
Everything about this rooftop bar has a fascinating story. The 360° Ocean Sky is a spectacular rooftop bar and all-day and –evening modern restaurant with pride of place on top of the House of Sea. Whisked to the rooftop in a panoramic elevator, guests enjoy eye-catching drinks overhead, while brightly colored exotic fish shimmer in the waters of the aquarium below.
The building itself is located in a WW2 flak tower that – by its very nature soars above the surrounding buildings, providing fantastic views in every direction.
IKEA at Westbahnhof Station
Your Saturday morning runs to IKEA at home may be more utilitarian, maybe with some Swedish meatballs as a treat.
But in Vienna, right next to the Westbahnhof railway station, IKEA has opened a ‘hus’ social hub complete with green façade and a rooftop terrace that’s open to the public with no obligation to buy a Billy Bookcase or even one of the items on the vegetarian menu.
(Photo credit: Ikea)
Seventy fully-grown trees in giant planters punctuate the space that has a fantastic view over Vienna.
Chez Bernard Restaurant et Bar: Sustainable and Stunning
The Hotel Motto is scheduled to open in Fall 2021, with a combination of 1920’s Parisian charm, contemporary Viennese lifestyle and Scandi-chic design.
Its rooftop Chez Bernard Restaurant et Bar is flooded with natural light that supports the lush greenery spread across two floors under a striking glass dome. Organic French and North-African cuisine, locally-roasted coffee beans and signature beer brewed from leftover bread from the in-house bakery – along with the views – make this a one-of-a-kind experience.
Parliamentary Proceedings with a Twist
The late-19th-century Austrian Parliament, one of the most important buildings on Vienna’s Ringstrasse, will unveil a modern rooftop restaurant of its own in 2022.
(Credit: Parlamentsdirektion / András Pálffy, Ortfried Friedreich und Christian Jabornegg)
It’s part of a huge refurbishment project at the Parliament. Once complete, visitors will be able to enjoy previously unseen views over Vienna’s historic city center from four outdoor terraces. An area with table service, a self-service section and a bistro are all planned. The menu will include a mix of traditional Viennese cuisine and international dishes.
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Top image: MQ Libelle: WienTourismus/David Payr / MQ Libelle