Bars, clubs and live venues
Surveys have shown that a vast majority of the Viennese are safely tucked up in bed by as early as 10pm. Meanwhile, however, a hard core stay up until very early in the morning - in fact it's quite possible to keep drinking round the clock. Vienna's late-night bars are concentrated in three main areas, the most famous of which is the so-called Bermuda Triangle , or Bermuda Dreieck , which focuses on Rabensteig, Seitenstetten-gasse, Ruprechtsplatz and the streets around. The emergence of the Triangle in the 1980s helped kick-start Vienna's nightlife out of its stupor, though the area has become a victim of its own success. That said, such is the variety packed into these few streets that you're bound to find somewhere that appeals.
The two other areas worth exploring are the Naschmarkt , where late-night licences abound, and Neubau's Spittelberg area - the narrow streets between Burggasse and Siebensterngasse, behind Messepalast - which has the highest concentration of late-night drinking holes, many of which double as restaurants and cafés.
Vienna's club scene is very small indeed for a city of 1.5 million. Dance culture, such as one would find in, say, London, is restricted to just a few venues. Aside from discos, the majority of Vienna's clubs are, in fact, bars, which either occasionally, or regularly, have live bands, or, more often than not, resident DJs spinning discs (both danceable and non-danceable). As it's so difficult to differentiate between what is a bar, what's a club and what's a live venue, we've simply organized the listings by area. To find out what's on at Vienna's clubs, check out the numerous flyers as well as the "Musik-U" section and "Party-Timer" calendar in the weekly listings tabloid Falter . Drink prices are relatively high - bars in the Bermuda Triangle tend to charge öS40/?2.91 and upwards for a Krügerl (half-litre) - but in those clubs where there is an admission charge, it's rarely more than öS100/?7.27.
The performing arts
Vienna prides itself on its musical associations, and classical music and opera, in particular, are heavily subsidized by the Austrian state. The chief cultural festival - featuring opera, music and theatre - is the Wiener Festwochen ( www.festwochen.or.at ), which lasts from early May until mid-June. In July and August, when the Vienna Philharmonic go on tour, the Klangbogen (Summer Music Festival) pulls in guest orchestras and more opera, while on the Donauinsel, on one weekend in August, there's a huge free pop festival, known as the Donauinselfest organized by the SPÖ. The city's film festival, or Viennale ( www.Viennale.or.at ), runs for two weeks from mid-October, followed shortly afterwards by the Wien Modern festival of contemporary classical music in early November. But by far the busiest time of the year is Fasching , Vienna's ball season, which begins on November 11, and continues until Ash Wednesday the following year. To find out what's on in Fasching, pick up a Wiener Ballkalender ( www.ball.at ) from the tourist office in the months leading up to and during the season.