Vienna for Lesbians
Lesbian Nightlife in Vienna
In the last years, a more positive self-image has evolved and fostered a self-confident women's scene has developed and established oneself in Vienna - offering something for everyone and caters to many different needs. And it certainly doesn’t have to hide anymore.
Café Willendorf in the 6th district is a good place to meet. It’s open every day and there are always a lot of people. Although its lesbian-gay mixed, women are the majority. You can just sit at the bar and look around or meet your friends and eat and drink. A lot of lesbians gather there before going out to clubs.
Café Berg is a very popular meeting place during the day time. The majority is gay male, but there are always lesbian women and you can relax with a Melange or a glas of Prosecco and enjoy the atmosphere. Right next door, Löwenherz - the gay and lesbian bookstore - offers a wide range of lesbian and feminist literature and DVDs.
Another - genuinely - feminist book store is ChickLit in the first district.
Dancing and flirting
Marea Alta is in the epicenter of the queer village in the 6th district. There are cool events and great DJanes and live performances. You can spend whole nights there. It’s medium sized and very cosy with an outside area in summer.
There are also some cool regular dance clubbings for lesbian women like g mix, g.spot. Las Chicas and other events from pinked. Check our website for all lesbian events.
Feminist - lesbian
For feminist women we can recommend FZ - Frauenzentrum (women’s center) and again the feminist book store ChickLit, as well as Frauencafé. There are a lot of events: Readings, parties and information. Especially FZ is place for women that has remained despite a lot of opposing wind that is worth a visit.
Frauencafé has been founded in 1977 and sees itself as a center for feminist movements for more than three decades. Heterosexual women, lesbians, transgenders and intersexuals are very welcome. And by the way: Frauencafé serves excellent toasts.
This is the place where you get the best cakes in town. It’s next to Karmelitermarkt and there’s a few tables outside the Café in summer. Fett+Zucker (meaning fat+sugar) is frequented mainly by lesbians, but everyone is welcome of course.
1020 Wien, Hollandstraße 16
EGA Women's Center
The EGA in Mariahilf hosts feminist, lesbian and queer events, concerts and seminars. The cornerstones are culture, communication and contact, on which the offer of the EGA is oriented. In addition to art & culture, there are also many educational opportunities.
ChickLit on Kleeblattgasse in the 1st district is a feminist bookstore with a wide range of feminist and lesbian non-fiction books and literature.
Löwenherz, the oldest LGBTIAQ bookstore in Vienna right next to Café Berg, also has a large selection of lesbian non-fiction, literature, novels, photo books as well as DVDs.
Liebenswert in the 6th district is a sex store of a different kind, aimed explicitly at women.
Lesbian and queer life in Vienna is flourishing thanks to its strong roots and the capital’s all-pervading atmosphere of Gemütlichkeit or welcoming coziness. Today Austria’s largest city has a vibrant lesbian scene, with a fantastic café and restaurant culture, and offers endless ways to find out more about its fascinating historic lesbian connections.
Cultural and sporting highlights
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. 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 Resis.dance. 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.
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, www.europride2019.at, europride2019.vienna.info).
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 – g.spot 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: Wien Tourismus