It’s hard to not dream of a perfect summer, when looking out of my Berlin window into the pouring rain in the middle of July. And while Vienna is not commonly considered the go-to destination for a summer holiday I recently found it to be exactly that. It was the end of June when I packed my bags and left for the Austrian capital which greeted me with a delicious 37,7°C. Previously I had only been there in winter and was really excited to experience the city from a new, sunny point of view.

But what to do on a hot couple of days in a city with no lake or ocean around? Here’s what I recommend:

1. Take a walk at the Danube Canal

Above two photos by Maéva Caron, Hejorama

Located next to Vienna’s 2nd and 3rd quarter the Danube Canal borders on Vienna’s city centre and both sides of the canal are a mekka for joggers, skaters and cyclists on top of being hosting a happening club scene. During summer several artificial beach bars like Tel Aviv, Hermannstrandbar and Adria Wien invite you for a sundowner drink (Hugo, anyone?), watching people and boats pass by. We went to Badeschiff, an old transport ship converted into a pool – bar – restaurant – club to have dinner at the ship’s restaurant Holy Moly.

2. Cool off at Museumsquartier

As a graphic designer and art addict the Museumsquarter is easily one of my favourite places in Vienna. Not only for the range of museums (there are 8 in total) but also for the architecture combining the old with the modern. The lively area comprises various cafès and bars and offers plenty of space for children to play around in fountains and people enjoying the sun in one of the artsy benches.

I visited the “Art and Fashion” exhibition at “Mumok“, the museum of modern art. The exhibition lasts until 23. September and I even spotted some Travelettes style pieces…

Apart from Mumok, there’s the Designmuseum, the Leopold Museum with numerous works by Egon Schiele and the Kunsthalle. And why not to enjoy some art in rooms with air condition for a cool off inbetween shopping and lunch?

At night the Museumsquarter turns into a meeting point for the young Viennese, having a beer by the fountain or a “Spritzer” (Wine with sparkling water) in one of the bars.

3. Have lunch at Naschmarkt

At Naschmarkt, a traditional market that has been around since the 19th century and is open every day, you can stroll through the shadows of the over 120 market stands to watch and buy some delicious fruits, vegetables, candy, nuts, falafel, cheese, ice cream… well you get the idea. Apart from delicacies from around the world you’ll also find a vintage clothing here market every Sunday.

After watering our mouths with all the pretty treats we opted for lunch at the Naschmarkt Deli, one of the early pioneers of Naschmarkt and still a trendy place to eat. The food ranges from traditional Schnitzel (with cornflakes pranade) to Turkish antipasti treats.

Check out Ina’s post about the Naschmarkt for more info.

4. Rent a boat at the Old Danube

There is only one more thing you can do, if ice cream or a fan just won’t do to beat the heat: Grab your Bikini and go swimming! Apart from Badeschiff the best place to enjoy the water is the Old Danube, Vienna’s very own oasis. Only seven subway stations (stop “Alte Donau”) from the city center, the former branch of the Danube River is frequently visited by the Viennese to surf, sail and paddle because of the good water quality and charming atmosphere.

Paddle boats are around 10€ an hour and electrical boats are around 15€. Pro tip: Find a way to get back into the boat before you jump into the water. I could have done without showing off some stranded walrus scenes here.

5. Have a drink at “Dachboden”, the rooftop terrace of 25hours hotel

Do you like this view?

Well, then head over to the 25 hours hotel Vienna, take the elevator to the hotel’s own Dachboden bar, grab an Aperol Spritz, enjoy a warm summer breeze and wait until the sun sets. At least, this was the first thing I did when I arrived at the hotel for our Viennese book launch party. Even if not staying at the hotel itself, the bar is definitely worth a visit and it’s pretty popular among Viennese locals.

When staying in Vienna, you should definitely consider staying at the 25hours hotel. All circus themed, most rooms have floor to ceiling windows, a shower with a view and even a hula hoop to show off your Shakira hips. From the suitcase-TV-stands to the Dymo label-printed name tags of the staff, everything in this hotel is designed to the bone. Located right next to the Museumsquarter, you have several nice bars, restaurants and cafes around and the main shopping area around Mariahilfer Straße can be reached within just a 10 minute walk.

And seriously, I couldn’t think of a better thing to wake up to than a view all over the city with a few sunrays tickling my face, could you?

Sadly I had to leave Vienna after just 4 days, but I’m really happy I got a fresh perspective on the city, one that is both traditional and modern… and in the end even more beautiful in summer!

Thanks to Vienna Tourism for inviting me and 25 hours hotels for providing me with the most comfortable bed, a spectacular morning view and for a space to host our booklaunch party in!


This post was written by Nina Hüpen-Bestendonk, who has a funny name even for Germans; she is a wicked go-getter and creative freelance designer, photographer and blogger.

She has an eye for beauty and even finds it in ugly apartment blogs. Her weekly photo chronicle “My week in pictures” has already become a classic among urban Berliners. Find out more at