Hot Town, Summer in the City
“Hot Town, Summer in the City”
I can’t say with certainty whether the British rock and blues singer Joe Cocker was thinking of Vienna, though the current summer temperatures prove that he hit the nail on the head. A heat wave has a stranglehold on the city.
Many Viennese are looking to cool off, and as the “urbanites” have always done, they’re escaping to the countryside. Yet what should you do if you’re in the city as a tourist?
I can help you cool off a bit with a few tips and make your stay inViennaas appealing as possible while you go sightseeing in the city.
Here’s a popular tourist destination, for example: a visit to the catacombs beneath St. Stephan’s Cathedral or the crypt in St. Michael’s Church, in which some cadavers do not decompose but instead mummify due to the crypt’s special climatic properties. Granted, the historic walls could use some fresh air, but instead the temperature remains constant year-round.
Then I’d rather suggest a foray through the city center during the early morning, before the road surface and asphalt start becoming red-hot. Around lunchtime I recommend a detour to one of the many sidewalk cafés (“Schanigärten”), cafés or restaurants downtown.
During the late afternoon, a short walk in Stadtpark or along the DanubeCanal(Donaukanal) is an option. The artistically inclined can make an excursion to the Hundertwasser-Haus or the Fernheizwerk (district heating plant) in Spittelau. On the way back, you should definitely plan on stopping at one of the numerous bars along theDanubeCanal during the “Summerstage.”
In the evening, a visit to a “Heuriger” (wine tavern) in the vineyards is absolutely essential. My “insiders’ tip” and my favorites are the Heuriger Sirbu, which lies amongst vineyards halfway between Grinzing and the Kahlenberg mountain, as well as the Heuriger Zimmermann in the Mitterwurzergasse, which is located beneath fruit trees in Neustift am Walde.
As an alternative to stopping for refreshment at a Heuriger, I can recommend the Kino unter Sternen in front of St. Charles’s Church (Karlskirche) or the big screen in front ofVienna’s City Hall (Rathaus).
For anyone wishing to dive into the Viennese soul in the truest sense of the word and thereby keep a cool head, I can warmly recommend jumping into the Alte Donau (Old Danube) or relaxing in the channel along the Donauinsel (DanubeIsland). Both bodies of water are popular amongst Viennese natives and easily reachable via subway/underground. The Donauinsel is enticing not only with a length of 21 km with opportunities to swim, it is also a paradise for skating, bicycling, jogging and walking. An excursion with swimming and sunbathing at the Alte Donau combined with renting a boat can be arranged. For those who prefer the “all-inclusive” variant, with a swimming pool, bathroom facilities, recreation center, refreshments, etc., the Gänsehäufel, a typically Viennese swimming area, the Krapfenwaldlbad, the Schönbrunnerbad or the Stadionbad are recommended.
Last but not least, if you need to “get a vacation from your vacation,” I can offer you a particularly fashionable time on the Badeschiff near the Vienna Urania.
Well, dear guests, you’re now spoilt for choice, though on one point I’m very certain: Vienna offers something for every taste.