The Red Room Salud!

Channeling 2001: A Space Odyssey, this futuristic-looking subterranean lounge could very well become a First District hot spot—with the right marketing, that is. Currently attracting a glitzier, buttoned-up crowd, the Red Room has, in our opinion, great potential. Bring the right crew and you’re golden. The upstairs restaurant Comida serves refreshingly original Creole, Caribbean and Spanish fare, but the real highlight of the establishment lies back downstairs in the bar, with the stellar rum selection.

Passage Subway sounds

On the “Ring” at the corner of Babenbergerstrasse is the posh Passage nightclub which is located in a former underground pedestrian walkway that once connected the Hofburg Palace to the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

Owned by Sunshine Enterprises, which also runs various music related ventures around town (including the Roxy Club), this location has attitude—bouncers and 30 minute waits in line, chic and expensive cocktails, futuristic interiors and flashy people on display.

The state of the art sound system can match any in the world; mainly spinning house, r’n’b, and dancefloor-classics. Classic DJs such as Alan Braxe & Kris Menace, Derrick Carter, Ian Pooley, Kid Loco and Kenny Dope Gonzales have all passed through here.

Arena Cultural abattoir

A former slaughterhouse, Arena is one of the city’s biggest live venues, with a mad mix of established and underground acts playing under the same alternative umbrella. Four separate areas host artists as diverse as Seal, Dinosaur Jr., Roison Murphy and Helmet. Even good old J.B. (James Brown) made one of his last live performances here.

Not forgetting its d.i.y. (do-it-yourself) origins as a former squat, it still supports grass roots indie events that attract niche audiences. Goths, punks and graffiti crews have been known to travel from as far as Italy and Sweden to attend, perform and/or participate in these one-off made-to-order events. Apart from live shows the Arena presents film screenings, spoken word events and theatrical presentations.

Elektro Gönner Electric feel

Elektro Gönner is a former electrical shop-cum-bar located on a tangent path way off of Mariahilferstrasse. Run by a group of architects, the bare and minimalist space plays host to art and video installations, providing “something to look at” for its drinking patrons, many of which are members of the architecture community.

It is a good starter to get your motor revved up for more hardcore festivities elsewhere. As a weekday spot, the casual and non-trendy Gönner buffers conversations with enough ambiance and good music to keep you fixed on the bar stool, with a daily DJ line up playing a usual sound cocktail of drum ‘n’ bass, techno and electro. On the weekends, it positively bustles with one-off and monthly parties including techno party Elektroland, Superdisko and others.

First Floor From the ground up

One of the only places in Vienna to get an authentic, expertly mixed cocktail, First Floor sets the tone for intimate meetings, happy hours and night caps, all backed by a smooth mix of jazz and soul.

Designed by architectural duo Eichinger oder Knechtl, the cocktail boasts a swank and grown-up vibe—and the near-100 drinks on the menu mean that the night is literally shaking with possibilities. Grab a martini, then check out the big aquarium swirling with different a breed of liquid creatures.

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