Soak Up Vienna On A Rainy Day

The good news: you are spending the weekend in Vienna! The bad news: after a week of constant sunshine while you’ve been stuck indoors for the GA, the weather is set to take a turn for the worse. But don’t let the bad weather stop you from exploring Vienna — take a look at this round-up of the best indoor activities and venues to visit.

Danube Tower in evening. ( IAU / P. Gay)

The butterfly zoo inside the Palmenhaus at Burggarten in Vienna

The butterfly zoo inside the Palmenhaus at Burggarten in Vienna. (Manfred Werner / Tsui)

A globe from the Globenmuseum, Vienna (Politikaner)

The Danube Tower is within walking distance of the Austria Center Vienna. It is the tallest landmark in Austria and you can take the express lift 150 metres up to the restaurant, café and the observation deck for amazing views of Vienna.

If you’re not too fond of heights and prefer to keep your feet firmly on the ground, you can take a hop-on hop-off city tour via bus or tram. There are several lines on the HOP ON HOP OFF bus tour that take you through different parts of town, and the Vienna Ring Tram will give you the opportunity to look at famous buildings on the Vienna Ring, such as the State Opera, the City Hall and the Parliament building. (see map below)

The Butterfly House is a tropical greenhouse in the centre of Vienna that houses an amazing collection of 400 live, free-flying butterflies. It is well worth a visit, not only because of the flora and fauna, but also because of its stunning Art Nouveau architecture.

Aqua Terra Zoo also has interesting architecture, as it makes use of one of Vienna’s flak towers, which were built during World War II. It houses 10,000 animals, including crocodiles, snakes, fish and monkeys. The entrance ticket also includes the Flak Tower Museum, which is only accessible during guided tours (daily at 11:00 and 16:00).

The Globe Museum is the only public museum in the world devoted to globes and has an amazing collection of 250 exhibits, including tellurions and armillary spheres. The main focus is terrestrial and celestial globes made before 1850.

Technical Museum was opened in 1918 and is one of the oldest museums of its kind. The permanent exhibition includes items from everyday life, astronomy, physics, communications and musical instruments.

The World Museum (formerly the Museum of Ethnology) has only recently reopened following refurbishment. It houses comprehensive collections of ethnographic objects, historical photographs and books of non-European civilisations.  

If you’re up for doing something sporty, why not visit one of the many public swimming pools around the city? We recommend the Amalienbad for its amazing Art Déco interior (partially reconstructed after heavy damage during World War II) or the Therme Wien, which is Europe’s largest indoor thermal bath with 26 pools.

The Ringstrasse is a well defined series of roads that surround the “Innere Stadt” or inner city, and include Opernring and Karntner RIngstreets. (Google Maps)