Fantastic rooftops and strong drinks
Vienna might not be seen as the life of the party but it definitely brings to the table plenty of inspired bars with expertly prepared cocktails.
All that ever matters in a bar is the drinks menu. Well, that’s true but why not do it right and add a great atmosphere, breath-taking views, comfy surroundings and live music blasting through the speakers? That is what we found while out looking for the best bars in Vienna. And yes, you can have it all:
Find it at: Kärntner Durchgang 10
Take a careful look and you might recognize this place as the location for a popular Gucci commercial. This iconic place has first opened its doors back in 1908, through the vision of architect Adolf Loos. Along with the likes of Egon Schiele and Sigmund Freud, Loos had a very distinct view of Vienna, one that wasn’t sweetened by Baroque embellishments and princess fairy tales.
The city’s first American Bar is a splendour of mahogany, onyx and marble, with green and white chessboard floors, equally green sofas, heavy wooden surfaces and wall mirrors. The cultural attractiveness of this place was on and off during its century-long history but the atmosphere here today is not much different from those times, at the beginning of the 20th century. The place will inspire you as it did many others. Quentin Tarantino included. So, if you haven’t had the chance to make a toast for the beautiful Austrian capital, do so here, in one of the best bars in Vienna.
Haas Haus, Stephansplatz 12
The gorgeous Haas House, a piece of noteworthy contemporary design, is not only the home of the DO&CO Hotel but also the Onyx Bar, the heart of the building. Located on the sixth floor, the ample space offers fantastic panoramic views of the neighbouring Saint Stephen’s Cathedral but, after a while, your attention will be drawn to the great selection of liquor.
Besides the exclusivist look, with immaculate white sofas and cherry velvet armchairs, the barkeeper will serve you (and the frequent VIPs) the most carefully balanced and prepared cocktails. If you’re going for the full Mad Men extravaganza, order something from their exquisite selection of cigars. Enjoy the cosy lounge atmosphere while it lasts because DJs take over after dark and the hip music is pleasantly deafening.
Find it at: Bauernmarkt 11-13 | Photo: www.pernod-ricard-austria.com
If the night is young and you’re keen to have some fun, you need to visit Roberto’s American Bar in the heart of the city. It is one of those places that you could move into any city and it will still look like it belongs. Dark and mysterious, the focal point of the bar is the actual bar, where Roberto Pavlovic – formerly at Loos Bar – works his cocktail magic under a giant chandelier made out of pearls lined up on chains.
If that sounds tempting, you can either reserve a private booth lines with black velvet or fight for a seat at the bar, to see the bartenders’ skills up close. And it’s definitely worth dealing with the crowds because the service and staff’s welcoming attitude will make you feel like you’re having a drink at home with friends.
“He’s the most charming barkeeper around, the drinks are delicious and often come with a little surprise, like strawberries with coconut on ice next to the Champaign.” Anja Tranninger, journalist
Find it at: Kärntnerstrasse 19
Another American bar, this time one perfect for a fashionista. That is because Sky Bar is located at the top floor of the Steffl Department store, a shopping heaven, particularly for lovers of high heels. But once shopping is done, find your way to one of the best bars in Vienna. Dark and refined, the interior stays understated to not draw attention from the exceptional panorama out the floor-to-ceiling windows: the Stephansdom, Town Hall, Belvedere and the Ferris wheel – they’re all there once you glance out the windows.
Open late into the night, the bar serves the finest drinks, from Hennessy Fine to Moet & Chandon. Order a cocktail, mingle with friends and come 9:30pm, listen to a live music concert. It has featured names like Tom Jones and Eros Ramazzotti and you might find other international celebrities seated at the next table.
Find it at: Lerchenfelder Straße 1-3
Another bar in another hotel but a totally different theme. Dachboden 25hours is actually an old student hostel converted into a hip circus-themed hotel with great nightlife included in the attic. The owners describe it as a mix between a beach bar and a parliament café, with furnishings and décor reminiscent of quirky items to be found in a circus ring.
Creative and colourful, with soft pastel sofas and bright accessories that might or might not have seen the inside of a circus tent, Der Dachboden attracts and assortment of young cosmopolitan crowds. The bar also has a lovely terrace to enjoy the evening air and a beautiful view of the area surrounding one of the best bars in Vienna.
Hope you’re enjoyed this virtual trip through some of the best bars in Vienna. Although nothing quite compares to grabbing a beer (or whatever drink you fancy) and testing these comfy-looking sofas for yourself. The list is never final and you can find even more fantastic bars in our upcoming Vienna Glam Guide. Don’t miss it!