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VIENNA’S NEW ROOFTOP BARS

High above street level, perched atop hotels and museums, zoos, and furniture stores, and even coming soon to the top of the Austrian parliament building, Vienna has lots of rooftop bars and restaurants that offer top-drawer views, as well as stunning design and mouth-watering hospitality concepts. Indeed, when visitors go up to the top of the venerable city, they may not want to come down.

Here’s an overview of some notable Vienna venues, stretching from the old town to the Prater park:

MQ Libelle: Located slap bang in the middle of one of the world’s largest cultural complexes, MQ Libelle only opened in summer 2020 but is already the most popular rooftop bar in town. And with good reason: the MQ Libelle (“dragonfly”) is perched on top of the roof of the Leopold Museum – home to the city’s leading museum of Viennese Modernism, which has the world’s largest Egon Schiele collection. Architecturally speaking, the MQ Libelle is a work of art in its own right with two of Austria’s most prominent artists were responsible for the central elements of the terrace and construction. Eva Schlegel designed the MQ Libelle glass wall, while the iconic lighting elements on the terrace were created by Brigitte Kowanz. This new addition is not just an epicurean hotspot, but also open as a new space for art and cultural projects, too. (MQ Libelle, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna)

Ikea: 70 fully fledged trees growing out of giant planters weighing tons, a fantastic view of Vienna and all that with no obligation to make a purchase either. One of the capital’s more unusual new rooftop rendezvous opened in August, right next to Vienna’s Westbahnhof railway station. Swedish furniture giant Ikea has created “hus,” an innovative city centre location featuring a greened facade, as well as a hotel called JO&JOE. But the rooftop terrace is where it is all happening. Open to the general public, there is no pressure for visitors to buy any of the culinary offerings to enjoy the views, but that would mean missing out a little: the Ikea Snackbar on the roof, a culinary world first, is inspired by vegetarian cuisine. (Ikea Westbahnhof, Europaplatz 1, 1150 Vienna)

mariatrink: Following Amsterdam and Stuttgart, Jaz in the City Vienna is the third hotel in the German chain’s portfolio and destined to make music fans’ hearts skip a beat. The lobby recreates a record shop vibe, and building on these laid-back musical foundations, the rooftop mariatrink bar has panoramic views of Vienna in store. The menu features innovative cocktails, alongside dishes made from regional ingredients. That all-important feelgood factor comes courtesy of luxuriant velvet seating. (mariatrink, Windmühlgasse 28, 1060 Vienna)

Chez Bernard Restaurant et Bar: Anyone yearning for spectacular architecture should head for the roof of Hotel Motto on Mariahilfer Strasse – a boutique accommodation scheduled to open this fall, where a combination of 1920s Parisian charm, contemporary Viennese lifestyle and Scandi chic awaits. And the same winning formula applies at Chez Bernard Restaurant et Bar on the rooftop: flooded with natural light, surrounded with lush greenery and spread across two floors, it holds court beneath a striking glass dome. The menu offers an assortment of Austrian dishes with French and North African influences. Freshly prepared food and organic ingredients set the culinary tone. Meanwhile, leftover bread from the in-house bakery is used to brew the signature beer Brewdi. (Chez Bernard Restaurant et Bar, Mariahilferstrasse 71a /Schadekgasse 20, 1060 Vienna)

Zoku Vienna terrace, photo – Ewout Huibers Photography & Concrete

Kindred Spirits Rooftop Bar: The boutique Hotel Zoku Vienna’s Living Kitchen Rooftop Restaurant and Kindred Spirits Rooftop Bar is ideal for a laid-back lunch or an after-tour drink, while taking in the 360-degree views of Vienna from the rooftop terrace. In the evenings, the attractions at the Prater amusement park below twinkle like a sea of brightly coloured lights, adding to the atmosphere. The cocktails, beers and wines served confirm the team’s strong commitment to Austrian artisanship. (Kindred Spirits Rooftop Bar, Perspektivstrasse 6, 1020 Vienna)

NENI am Prater: The new NENI am Prater offers top views of the Prater amusement park as well as the city centre. The rooftop restaurant, with spacious terrace on the top floor of hotel-hostel hybrid Superbude, serves cosmopolitan Middle Eastern cuisine centered on open-flame cooking. Seating is arranged around the centrepiece of the eatery, an open kitchen and the on-site bakery supplies freshly baked sourdough bread and focaccia every day. (NENI am Prater, Perspektivstrasse 8, 1020 Vienna)

360° Ocean Sky: Below, brightly coloured, shimmering exotic fish; above, eye-catching cocktails and great food. Opened in 2020, the 360° Ocean Sky is a spectacular rooftop bar and restaurant that enjoys pride of place on the top floor of the House of the Sea. The building it sits on is particularly interesting, too: the Haus des Meeres is located in a World War II flak tower which stands head and shoulders above the surrounding apartment buildings, opening up fantastic views of the city in every direction. The daytime and evening menus are full of classic dishes with a modern flourish. Breakfast with a view is another option here. A newly constructed panoramic lift whisks visitors to the top of the building to enjoy the culinary heights that await. (360° Ocean Sky, Fritz-Grünbaum-Platz 1, 1060 Vienna)

Coming soon: Another of Vienna’s rooftops is set to welcome an unusual new addition in the near future. The late-19th-century Austrian parliament, one of the most important buildings on the Ringstrasse, will unveil a modern rooftop restaurant of its own in 2022. Construction work is continuing at pace as part of a huge refurbishment project at the Parliament. Once complete, the new arrival will have four outdoor terraces that promise to open up previously unseen views of Vienna’s historic city centre. An area with table service, a self-service section and a bistro are all planned. The menu will include a mix of traditional Viennese cuisine and international dishes. (Parliament, Dr. Karl Renner Ring 3, 1010 Vienna)

With glass purposefully in hand, we at Travel Industry Today continue our series on some of the planet’s best bars, patios and rooftop venues. For more articles in the series, click here:

PREVIOUS ARTICLES: https://travelindustrytoday.com/pub-patio/

First published at Travel Industry Today

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