Travel info

Cultural and Sporting Highlights for Lesbians in Vienna

Held at the end of January, the height of the Viennese ball season, the Rainbow Ball is a major annual highlight on the capital’s ball calendar. Summary text

Each year an opening committee comprising same sex couples gets the ball officially underway. Following hot on their heels is a large-than-life performance by queer dance formation, Les Schuhschuh. Formal dancing is an important part of life for many lesbians – all year round Café Gugg hosts women’s dancing evenings on Fridays, immediately following a dancing course provided by women’s dancing club In addition to providing the ideal stage for perfecting moves ahead of the ball season and generally having a good time, Gugg also hosts the dancers who organize the international same-sex Vienna Dance Contest, which takes place almost every year in September.


LGBTIQ culture

There is much to do for locals and tourists alike.



Lillis Balllroom

Queer Tango

The lively dance studio offers Queer Tango Courses and workshops so check out their website for dates. They also do have Pride Specials and regular Latin and Tango Parties.

1090 Wien, Spittelauer Lände 12,Stadtbahn­bögen 326–329




The feminist bookstore in the inner city also offers books for LGBTIQs.

1010 Wien, Kleeblattgasse 5



Since 1993 Löwenherz offers LGBTIQ+ books and other multimedia devices to the public.

1090 Wien, Berggasse 8




Vienna has hosted its annual Rainbow Parade – along the Ringstrasse boulevard the opposite way to the usual direction of traffic – since 1996. From the beginning, this colorful spectacle has been a political statement that brings people closer together. For the past six years (with one exception), in the days before the parade a Pride Village has sprung up featuring a large number of associations, businesses and political parties who share their plans, ideas and products. Vienna’s trams help to get the whole city in the mood by sporting rainbow flags throughout June.

In 2001 Vienna hosted EuroPride for the first time, which included a fringe program designed to showcase the sheer diversity of the capital’s scene. EuroPride will return to the Austrian capital in 2019, with the theme “Visions of Pride” (June 1-16, 2019,,
The Rainbow Parade and Rainbow Ball have both been organized by HOSI Vienna for a number of years, whose social club Gugg has been a popular event venue for different groups from the outset. Anyone looking to conduct some research into lesbian history can do so at the QWIEN archive, or the Stichwort archive of the women’s and lesbian movement. Stichwort has an extensive library and organizes regular readings, film evenings and exhibitions. The capital’s universities also have long-standing research and study programs focusing on lesbian, woman-centric and queer biographies, texts and institutions. L’Homme, The European Journal of Feminist History, is based in the Austrian capital, as is the Frauennachlässe collection. And to support the fight against prejudice and marginalization, the Akademie der Vielfalt presents training and education courses “under the rainbow”.

Lesbian authors can be found at the regular readings hosted at ChickLit and in gay and lesbian bookstore Löwenherz, which stocks a wide selection of lesbian literature. Readings also take place at Fett + Zucker, a café near the popular Karmelitermarkt and the perfect place to sit down for a delicious slice of cake in a queer setting, while Marea Alta is another lesbian and queer meeting place and venue. Night-time is for partying – and Las Chicas organize regular club nights at different venues throughout the city. The PiNKED website and newsletter provides info on these events, and Wet Vienna also posts updates on events and parties “for girls looking for girls.” Queerfemz is a group that is oriented toward “LGBTIQPA+ women* aged between 21 and 30 who are interested in LGBTIQPA+ women*” – or who aren’t sure of their orientation, or who don’t want to define it at all.

Diversity within the scene itself is reflected in the establishment of MiGay, the platform for queer immigrants, and the Oriental Queer Organisation (ORQOA). Queer Base at the Türkis Rosa Lila Villa provides advice, accommodation and mutual support for LGBTIQ refugees, and received the Dr. Alexander Friedmann prize in 2017, which is awarded to persons and organizations that demonstrate special engagement with traumatized people – victims of persecution, refugees, members of minorities or migrants.

Deaf lesbians, gays and transgender people have also set up a group, called queer as deaf. People with an interest in religion get together to discuss homosexuality and faith in the Ökumenische Arbeitsgruppe, while the Re’uth focuses on the Jewish faith. People whose identity is not reflected in the binary definitions of male and female have come together to form Gender Galaxie, while monthly screenings at the trans screenings x space feature alternative cinematic representations of trans persons and viewpoints that are marginalized in the mainstream. The Transition international queer minorities film festival takes place every November, to increase the visibility of the diversity of minorities within the LGBTIQ community. And queer film festival Identities adds more to the city’s rich cultural blend every two years, while keeping viewers informed of queer screenings in Vienna throughout the year. The festival was started over 20 years ago by Barbara Reumüller and has become an established presence on Vienna’s film festival scene.

There is no shortage of active lesbian and queer fitness fans. Vienna’s first Pride Run took place on June 9, 2018 along the Prater Hauptallee, offering a chance to send a clear, active signal for the acceptance and visibility of LGBTIQ people over a distance of five kilometers.

The BALLerinas are a collective of women, lesbians and inter and trans people who have come together to play soccer, outside of any association structure – purely for fun and open to anyone interested. The Kraulquappen (a portmanteau of the words for front crawl and tadpoles), Austria’s only LGBTI swimming group, are co-organizers of Viva Vienna Valentine, a three-day sports (swimming and volleyball) and party event for members of the queer community and their friends that has been going since 2005. Lesbians and their friends have been playing volleyball together since 1990 – the original club now goes by the name of Vienna’s Queer Melange. Dykes on Bikes certainly know how to up the tempo, getting together for excursions during the summer and meeting regularly in winter – that is when they aren’t leading the Rainbow Parade when their revving engines are accompanied by STiXX, a diverse group of feminist and rhythm-devoted women with a huge number of drums who also can be seen at many other events.

There are also various professional associations such as the LGBTI teachers group and, still going strong in its second decade, the Queer Business Women network which works tirelessly to raise the profile of lesbians in the world of work. Female lifestyles are the exclusive interest at Liebenswert, Austria’s first erotic store for women and all who love them; the store also hosts events.

Traditions from the distant past have now been joined by a whole host of modern traditions, and it is this blend that makes life in Vienna so livable for its lesbian and queer residents and exciting for visitors.


Source: Vienna Tourism

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