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(Un)dress To Impress

(Un)dress To Impress

For retro-themed ambiance, Vienna has few rivals, being somewhat Vintage itself: elegantly decrepit fin-de-siècle decadence still saturates the very walls of the manifold venues presenting themselves. One of them is the Volkstheater’s Rote Bar, home of the burlesque carnival Cirque Rouge, a celebration of vaudeville and cabaret culture taking place every few months. Setting it apart is its dedication to recreating a first-half […]

Mojito Coast

Mojito Coast

Nestled in a side street just off Kärtnerstraße, the Cuban dance bar El Floridita is an underground haven of alegria y pasión tropical (joy and tropical passion, the motto of its Saturday night dance club), a cavernous, peach-coloured dance hall with long, well stocked bars and an excellent humidor welcoming Vienna’s pan-Latino community and indigenous […]

Warsaw, Still Rising

Warsaw, Still Rising

In downtown Warsaw, imposing, sleekly designed towers dot the skyline. Glass and steel towers have sprouted near the Palace of Culture and Science. A sign plastered to a skyscraper in progress, which wouldn’t look out of place in midtown Manhattan, identifies future “cosmopolitan apartments”.  Since we were last here, Warsaw has become exhilaratingly urban, at […]

Ride the Pony

Ride the Pony

You’re at a club. Over the din you hear the first riff of that tune from way back when, that cheesy, heavy-rotation song from your teens. But hearing it now makes your heart beat faster. You just can’t keep your feet still… Sound familiar? The DJs at Pony Club understand. Meet Katarina Cherabon, a freelance […]

Belgrade: The Late Bloomer of the East

Belgrade: The Late Bloomer of the East

“Traffic here works according to the principle of self-determination,” my friend Oliver tells me. “You wait for a good opportunity to cross. If there isn’t one, you have to create one. Just stare down the cars and hope for the best!” The wide street is feeding more cars into the roundabout on Slavija Square, in […]

Brothel Turned Bar

Brothel Turned Bar

As the world’s oldest profession moves steadily towards Vienna’s city limits, a few of the older downtown establishments have been converted to bars or venues, like Morrison Club off the Naschmarkt, or the Arena Bar on Margaretenstraße. Another former house of (not so) ill repute in Vienna’s 6th has followed suit and now caters to […]

The Gate Crasher: Sodom and Gomorrha

The Gate Crasher: Sodom and Gomorrha

An upside-down cross hung over the dance floor as I stepped into the Sodom and Gomorrha party at the disco Grelle Forelle on the Danube Canal. This was the first time I’d ever jumped the line. It may have been due to gate-crashing-cojones, or just the drinks I’d already consumed, but who cares? I was […]

Night Life Face Lift

Night Life Face Lift

It’s a late Saturday night as Vienna commuters descend into the Künstlerhauspassage at Karlsplatz to find themselves surrounded by flamboyant revellers. They are on their way to Rhinoplasty, one of the city’s least-secret parties. A quartet of bearded men dressed as Valkyries, with neon braids, hold court in front of Club-U – Top-40 hits and […]

After Dark: The Retro Pavillion

After Dark: The Retro Pavillion

Tuesday used to be a boring night in Vienna. Other than Thursdays, which were always “gay night”, Fridays and Saturdays were the only days to party. Not that you necessarily want to party hard during the week, but it’s nice to have a place to gather and bump into people you know, as one does […]

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