In the hot summer months, there are plenty of outdoor events in Vienna. Open air cinemas pop up all over the city in July and August – perfect for taking advantage of the warm evenings! Many films are shown in English, or with English subtitles. To find films that aren't dubbed into German, look out for the following abbreviations:
OF or OV indicate that the film is the original version
OmU means it's the original version, with subtitles in German
OmeU is the original version, with English subtitles.
Music Film Festival in Vienna
The biggest summer film festival is held at the Rathausplatz, or City Hall, until 31st August. A beautiful neo-Gothic building on the Ring Road, the Rathaus is easy to get to and a must-see on any tourist's itinerary.
The film festival focuses on music and theatre productions, with something to suit every taste; including screenings of ballet, jazz, pop music, opera and musicals. Ballet fans will love Romeo and Juliet and Sleeping Beauty, whilst pop music aficionados can catch concert screenings of the Beach Boys and Vienna's very own Falco. Disney's Fantasia is among the highlights for kids.
Foodies can choose from 26 stalls offering Austrian and international cuisine – top picks include trendy Vienna restaurants Ra'Mien and Dots, which both serve Asian fusion food, and the ubiquitous Wiener Würstelstand, where you can enjoy a hot Käsekrainer or Wiener Schnitzel. This year's film festival coincides with the 10th annual Vienna Wine Award. Open daily between 15:00 and 18:00, visitors will be able to taste some of the top Viennese wines, with expert advice from sommeliers.
All film events are free to attend, and are open whatever the weather – there are folding canopy roofs so you can still enjoy your evening, even if it rains. Food and drink stalls are open from 11:00 daily and screenings begin at nightfall. The City Hall is just a short stroll from the Hofburg Museums, stop 4 on the Red Route of your Vienna Big Bus Tour.
Cinema on the Roof
Another option for outdoor cinema this summer is Kino am Dach at the Hauptbücherei, or Main Library. Sitting on top of the underground station Burggasse-Stadhalle, several flights of stairs lead to the roof with spectacular views over the city. Here the “Cinema on the Roof” series is held, the highest open air cinema in the city. Running until 31st August, the programme is packed with cult favourites and rare films. There are plenty of films in English - upcoming highlights include, The Darjeeling Limited and Withnail and I. Tickets for all films cost €7.50 and the library is easy to reach from the MuseumsQuartier underground stop at Mariahilfer Straße, stop 3 on Red Route.
VOLXkino is a wandering summer cinema which is this year celebrating its 25th anniversary. Films are shown at various locations throughout the city until 26th September. The focus is on reviving urban spaces and seeing film differently. The programme is centred around Austrian talent and award-winning foreign films, with a range of films in English including In the Loop, Enough Said and Only Lovers Left Alive. All films are free to attend.
Also free is the programme at espressofilm. A short film festival - screenings are held every Thursday and Friday until 29th August. As well as films, there's an interesting programme of talks and events. Held at the Gartenpalais Schönborn, also the site of the Volkskunde Museum (Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art), visitors can visit the museum for free on screening days between 17:00 and 20:00, to see the exhibition “Photography as a tool in the Habsburg Monarchy” - a central theme of the film festival. The park is a 13 minute walk from the Rathaus, making it easy to combine a cinema trip with sightseeing: hop-off your Big Bus Tour to explore the sights in the area, including the Austrian Parliament Building, Burgtheater, Votive Church and the University of Vienna.