The Viennese Woods and Heurige (wine taverns)
The Vienna Woods, and within the Viennese wine taverns (Heurige), are as famous as Vienna's Riesenrad (big steel wheel), the Schönbrunn Palace, the Vienna Boys Choir or the Lipizzaner horses - just a few of Vienna's TOP ATTRACTIONS. A must in case you are not under any time pressure and want to get away from the city centre and get a break from all the culture and historical sights, we definitely suggest a visit to the Viennese Woods, just about 20min by car, followed by a mellow evening at one of the typical Viennese Heurige (wine taverns). You will not regret it!
The real Viennese "Heurige", or wine taverns belong to Vienna as much as the Viennese do - in fact, locals frequent the famous Heurige as soon as the season opens - late spring, summer and early autumn. Our My Guide Vienna team has come up with great suggestions on which heurigen to visit.
Numerous songs have been dedicated to the Heurigen - and they have served as a backdrop for many films. When visiting the Heurigen, you will find yourself mending into a very special, extremely relaxing and cozy atmosphere, where the odd accordion player will play and sing typical Heurigen songs.
Fine Viennese wines and simple regional food will be served - a truly memorable and fun evening in exceptional atmosphere! To make sure you make it to one of the REAL Viennese Heurige (some are fake or tourist traps!), where only Viennese wines are served, look for a board outside the tavern showing a "bunch of pine branches" and a sign saying "Ausg’steckt is" - this will show you the tavern is open.
What does "Heurige" mean? "Heurig" means "current" in German - so Heurige does not just describe the tavern itself, but also the wine from the current vintage, which – in accordance with tradition - may be so-called only until November 11th (St. Martin’s Day) - then the season stops and you will not get any "heurige" wine anymore.
Mostly locals drink this pleasant and light wine by the glass or mixed with soda water (called "Spritzer"). But some of the Viennese Heurige also offer their guests fine wines sold in "Bouteillen" (0.75 litre bottles). The wines are reflecting the regions richness and variety, as well as the special Viennese climate, which is so favourable to grow this excellent quality of wine.
Just a general comment to those of you who are not regular wine drinkers...the Vienna Heuriger wine spritzer is not as harmless as it seems. Despite the fact that you would think you are only having some wine mixed with lots of bubbled water - the effect of this can be quite dramatic...this very refreshing drink (great on a warm summer evening) goes straight to your head, especially if you are not eating enough. There is a reason why Scotsmen always advise you to water down your whisky with regular water - never with sparkling water! Make sure that you order enough food while you are there, and ask for a taxi to take you home!
Check our nightlife section for the best Heurigen in Vienna.