Vienna offers a diverse look at gay and lesbian history.
© Vienna Tourist Board/Peter Rigaud
Vienna can look back on a diverse gay and lesbian history: people come to visit the gay general Prince Eugene, the beautiful Empress Sisi and the gay brother of Emperor Franz Joseph.
The city has also evolved into an important community hotspot in Central Europe, which not only impresses with imperial flair and world-famous art, but also with cool parties and excellent establishments for LGBTI people. This year, Vienna became the only European city to make the shortlist for this year's LGBTI Awards. Voting for the prestigious awards is open until 31 December 2016.
The Baroque Belvedere Palace is a must-see item for all LGBTI tourists who visit Vienna. Not only because it's the place to go to marvel at Gustav Klimt's world-famous painting "The Kiss", but also because it was the summer residence of the gay general Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736). From here, there is a great view across the imperial centre of Vienna including Hofburg (with Sisi Museum), Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, MuseumsQuartier, Vienna State Opera, Albertina, Parliament, City Hall, Burgtheater and St. Stephan's Cathedral.
These sights bear witness to the imperial splendor of times gone by. Visitors who want even more pompous sights, should not miss Schönbrunn Palace. This is where the Habsburgs resided, above all in the summer, and enjoyed the adjacent park and founded the world-famous zoo. The Prater, the former hunting area of the emperor, is the perfect place to relax. And a ride on the Giant Ferris Wheel is a must for every visitor to Vienna.
Gay and lesbian life is concentrated around the Naschmarkt in the fifth and sixth districts. At its centre is the Rosa Lila Villa: institutions supporting the rights of LGBTI people have been housed here for over 30 years.
Numerous gay bars, such as the Village, Felixx, the Mango Bar and the Red Carpet have opened nearby. A classic is the beautiful and historic Café Savoy at Naschmarkt, which practices Viennese coffee house culture in a cozy atmosphere to this day.
Café Berg, near Sigmund Freud's former practice, is also a good place to relax in. Talking of relaxation: the most famous gay sauna in Vienna is the Kaiserbründl. "Luziwuzi", the gay brother of Emperor Franz Joseph, was once given a dressing down here for inappropriately touching an officer. Lesbians get their money's worth at the women’s clubbing events of Las Chicas or G.Spot.
Each year in June, Vienna's LGBTI community fly the flag at the Rainbow Parade, which runs along the historic Ringstrasse. The Queer Film Festival identities is also held in June every two years.
Fetish fans look forward to the spring when Vienna Fetish Spring is held and to Vienna in Black in the autumn. And in the winter, the classic waltz is danced at the Rainbow Ball, while a clubbing atmosphere prevails at the Rose Ball.
On June 10, 2017 one of the biggest AIDS charity events in the world and definitely Vienna’s most colourful party, Life Ball, takes place for the 25th time!
Those who want to turn night into day will get their money's worth at the numerous parties for gays and lesbians: in Art Nouveau buildings, modern clubs, or former abattoirs, people dance to House, Techno, Electronic, Charts, Balkan-Pop or Disco classics until the early morning hours.