Lesbian & Gay Vienna

Vienna's lesbian and gay scene is pretty limited for your average Western European capital. However, in the 1990s, it enjoyed something of a blossoming, best symbolized by the establishment of an annual pride event, Regenbodenparade (Rainbow Parade; www.pride.at ), held in June. Nevertheless, there are only the merest handful of gay bars and clubs, scattered across the city, with a cluster in the "gay district" around Naschmarkt. The social and political heart of the gay community is focused on the Rosa-Lila Villa , 6, Linke Wienzeile 102 (U-Bahn Pilgramgasse), which proudly flies the rainbow flag and proclaims itself as a Lesben und Schwulen Haus.

The best gay clubs are often the one-nighters like the mixed gay/lesbian Heaven, every Thursday at U4 , 12, Schönbrunner Strasse 222. In addition, check out the following:

Café Berg, 9, Berggasse 8; U-Bahn Schottentor. Cool café with mixed gay/straight clientele, especially during the day. The food's good, and you can pick up flyers about up-and-coming gay events. Daily 10am-1am.

Café Savoy, 6, Linke Wienzeile 36; U-Bahn Kettenbrückengasse. Even more than the Berg, this scruffy fin-de-siècle café is by no means exclusively gay, but things pick up in the evening (for men at least). Mon-Fri 5pm-2am, Sat 9am-2am.

Café Willendorf, 6, Linke Wienzeile 102; U-Bahn Pilgramgasse. Café-restaurant inside the Rosa-Lila Villa, with a nice leafy courtyard. Another good place to pick up information about events. Daily 6pm-2am.

Frauencafé, 8, Lange Gasse 11; U-Bahn Lerchenfelderstrasse. Vienna's only permanent women-only space is a small, but friendly café next door to a feminist bookshop. Tues-Sat 5pm-2am.

Santo Spirito, 1, Kumpfgasse 7; U-Bahn Stephansplatz. Friendly Mediterranean bistro run by a gay couple, with an arty mixed straight/gay clientele and great Sunday brunches to loud classical music. Mon-Thurs & Sun 11am-2am, Fri & Sat 11am-3am.

Why Not?, 1, Tiefergraben 22. Late-night gay/lesbian bar and disco, popular with (but not exclusively patronized by) young gay men. Thurs-Sat 10pm-4am.

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