VIENNA

Vienna can look back at a diverse gay and lesbian history: the gay general Prince Eugene, the beautiful Empress Sisi and the gay brother of Emperor Franz Joseph encounter visitors here. The city has... more

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VIENNA

Vienna can look back at a diverse gay and lesbian history: the gay general Prince Eugene, the beautiful Empress Sisi and the gay brother of Emperor Franz Joseph encounter visitors here. 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 gay and lesbian people.

© WienTourismus/Christian Stemper

The Baroque Belvedere Palace is a must-see for all gays and lesbians 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. Visitors who want things even more pompous, should not miss Schönbrunn Palace where the Habsburgs resided in summer, enjoyed the adjacent park and founded the world-famous zoo.

©WienTourismus/MAXUM

Gay and lesbian life is concentrated around the Naschmarkt area. At its center is the Rosa Lila Villa: institutions supporting the rights of gay and lesbian people have been housed here for the past 30 years. Café Willendorf is always worth a visit. Numerous gay bars, such as the Village, Felixx, the Mango Bar and the Red Carpet have opened nearby. A classic is the historic Café Savoy at Naschmarkt, which practices Viennese coffee house culture in a cozy atmosphere. 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.

©WienTourismus/Peter Rigaud

Each year in June, Vienna's gays and lesbians fly the flag at the Vienna Pride and at the Rainbow Parade, which runs along the historic Ringstrasse. The Queer Film Festival identities is also held in June (every two years). Europe's biggest AIDS/HIV charity, the Life Ball, is on the program in May. Fetish fans get their money's worth at the Vienna Fetish Spring and Vienna in Black. In winter, the classic waltz is danced at the Rainbow Ball, while a clubbing atmosphere prevails at the Rose Ball. Fans of cabaret meet during the festival weeks of shameless culture to watch international scene greats, such as Pam Ann and Margaret Cho.

©WienTourismus/Peter Rigaud

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, former sauna complexes or abattoirs, people dance to House, Techno, Electronic, Charts, Balkan-Pop or Disco classics until the early morning hours.

©WienTourismus/Peter Rigaud

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