SCHWEIZERHAUS:
THE FAVOURITE
BEER GARDEN
OF ALL VIENNESE.

SCHWEIZERHAUS:
THE FAVOURITE
BEER GARDEN
OF ALL VIENNESE.

Sounds of amusement from the Wurstelprater to the front and a breath of fresh air from the city’s green lung wafting in from the back.


Welcome to Schweizerhaus! From mid-March through October, Viennese of all walks of life fancy stopping by for a pint. Even the Lilliputbahn makes a short stop at our house on its way from Praterstern to Ernst Happel Stadium, swapping out full bellies and quenched palates for hordes of the hungry and parched. Schweizerhaus is a magical place where the daily grind waits outside, while guests inside take a time out to enjoy life while relishing pork knuckles and a traditional draught.


In 1920, local butcher Johann Kolarik was on one of his frequent visits to the Prater when Schweizerhaus caught his eye, which was, at the time, in a state of absolute disrepair. However, Johann did not take over the building, but rather his 19-year-old son Karl Kolarik. And just like the first name for male descendants, Schweizerhaus has been passed down from generation to generation. We recently celebrated 100 years of family history in the coziest inn in Vienna — although the festivities were slightly fizzed out thanks to corona. We look forward to welcoming you to Schweizerhaus. Today, tomorrow and also in another 100 years.

Your family Karl Kolarik Unterschrift

It’s not always sunny
in Schweizerhaus.


Merely a trifle, though, as it doesn’t detract from the fun at all. With over 800 seats, we are perfectly prepared to take the fun inside, where it is always warm and dry. And where the beer and the freshly prepared food find their way to your table just as quickly as in the beer garden. But there is one thing you will not be spared at Schweizerhaus: having to decide for one room and against 5 others. A total of six indoor areas, each christened with the beautiful names Belvedere, Gloriette, Prater Au, Küchenstöckl, Schönbrunn & Wintergarten Oberlaa look forward to welcoming you.

Belvedere

Gloriette

Prater Au

Küchenstöckl

Schönbrunn

Buffet Stehbereich

Oberlaa

An oasis of cosiness,
that we call a beer garden.


The picturesque beer garden with its many chestnut trees is the perfect place for a casual get-together. Whether in a tailored shirt or a T-shirt. Here, the name of the game is come as you are. Under the shady canopy, we’re all one and enter into this fleeting paradise through the same gate. To make it easy to find your way around the beer garden, it is divided into Viennese districts. So you can wave to your table neighbors in Donaustadt from the Innere Stadt and pass through Penzing on your way to the restroom.

There’s something in the air
in the beer garden.

City slickers may not be all too familiar with it: fresh air! As it’s centrally located and easy to get to, Schweizerhaus is a part of Vienna’s so-called green lung, how the locals affectionately refer to the Prater. The local recreation area not only brings hungry and thirsty guests to us — it also provides good air quality and emanates relaxed vibes all across the beer garden.

Refreshment is on the way

Where the Viennese call home: our beer garden

A bite and a pint al fresco is twice as nice

The neighbors have highlights, too

If you can’t find something on our menu, you’re not hungry

The gate to paradise

Let’s take a trip back in time and back again. Don’t forget to pack refreshments!

1716

The first recorded mention of
the Schweizer Hütte (Swiss hut).

At that time, the Prater was not yet accessible to the common people. Only the highborn were allowed to enjoy the privilege of hunting in the area. And as we all know, hunting makes you hungry and thirsty. That’s why, almost 250 years ago, Swiss beaters entertained the lords and ladies here.

1766

Prater bestowed upon the Viennese.

Emperor Joseph II. made the Prater publicly accessible for the first time ever. Joyous crowds of locals flocked in great numbers to the park.

1780

Smoke billows over the Prater.

“Zur Tabakspfeife” opened its doors. This inn, which by the way means “tobacco pipe“ was the first place where guests could come for a drink and a nosh, but also to enjoy their pipes.

1815

Hail the Russian Czar.

Following the Congress of Vienna the inn was renamed to “Zum russischen Kaiser” (The Russian Czar) in honor of the Czar, who was visiting Vienna at the time.

1873

The birth of Schweizerhaus?

For a long time, it was assumed that the inn located in the Prater has been called Schweizerhaus since the 1873 World Expo. Today, however, we know that our beloved Schweizerhaus has been known as such for much longer.

1840s

A brief trip back in time.

In the early 1840s, young architect Eduard van der Nüll, who would go on to erect the Vienna State Opera with his partner August von Sicardsburg a good two decades later, built a new bar building in the style of a “Schweizerhaus” (engl. Swiss House). An architectural form that was incredibly popular at the time.

until 1918

A non-stop change of hands.

In the ensuing decades, a slew of various different owners tried their hand at Schweizerhaus. Some were successful in the venture, others failed completely. Of the bunch, Johann Bischoff deserves an honorable mention for offering fish and crayfish from local waters in 1876. So, too, do the Pach brothers, who took over Schweizerhaus in 1883, having previously founded the Café Central in Herrengasse.

1920

Karl Kolarik takes over.

At only 19 years of age, he was declared an adult early on and was thus able to take over the business. The house was quite dilapidated at the time as it was coping with the fallout of the horrific post-war period marked by hunger and suffering. However, life and joie de vivre were soon to return to the Prater.

1926

The original Budweiser Budvar: our beer.

In 1926, Karl Kolarik visited an agricultural exhibition in Ceské Budejovice with his father. The two of them liked the original Budweiser Budvar — a dark yellow, 12-degree lager — so much that they quickly decided: that’s our beer! They buy a whole truckload and bring it to Vienna, where it remains one of the Schweizerhaus’s undisputed specialties to this day.

1929

A feast for the eyes.

Karl Kolarik welcomed guests to the first open kitchen. It was not until many years later that others followed his innovative lead, which can still be seen in many restaurants today.

1945-47

The Ferris wheel becomes the birthplace
of the new Schweizerhaus.

In the waning days of the war, Schweizerhaus was decimated. Together with his wife Else, Karl Kolarik began reconstruction. For the first bar, the pair repurposed an old Ferris wheel car. Spurred on by a healthy dose of invention and enthusiasm, the couple worked hard to bring back a sense of comfort to Prater park.

1960

Bit by bit by bit.

Karl and Else Kolarik painstakingly erected bit by little bit what we call Schweizerhaus today. They were instrumental in transforming the beer garden in the Prater into a Vienna institution.

1986

The next generation.

In 1986, Karl Jan Kolarik, son of Karl Sr., took the helm, or more precisely the tap, of the family business, leading it into the second generation. Along with his wife Johanna and his sister Lydia, Karl Jan Kolarik continues to be in charge. But the third generation is already waiting in the wings!

1996

Karl-Kolarik-Weg, 1020 Vienna.

The local council committee for culture decides to name the path next to the Schweizerhaus after Karl Kolarik. During the speech, his son, Karl Jan Kolarik, shared this nice anecdote: When someone asked him: “How are you, Mr. Kolarik?”, his answer was: “I’m fine! How can it be bad for someone who is allowed to be in the pub all day and his wife doesn’t complain?”.

1999

New kitchen, same beloved quality.

It only took Schweizerhaus four months to construct one of Europe’s most modern open kitchens. The sheer speed at which scores of pork knuckles, chicken and schnitzels are passed from back of the house to the front has left the more squeamish among us dizzy.

2003

The new Schweizerhaus districts.

In 2003, the beer garden pushed its confines closer to the Liliputbahn with the Hietzing, Hütteldorf, Währing and Liesing sections; in 2010, St. Marx was added. Now, one of Vienna’s favorite beer gardens can accommodate some 1500 hungry and thirsty people.

2011

With more guests comes more beer!

The beer cellar, which contrary to popular belief does not run under the entire length of the garden, is expanded and modernized. Sitting atop it now: a brand-new bar stretching some 12 meters from end to end.

2020

100 years!

That’s how long the Kolarik family has been associated with Schweizerhaus. Today, it’s the third generation running things with Regina and Karl Hans Kolarik taking care that the family business is here for another 100 years.

2020

The big book for the big anniversary.

For the 100th Schweizerhaus season of the Kolarik family, the “anniversary book” was published by Ueberreuter Verlag: “The Schweizerhaus – the history of a Viennese institution” by author Herbert Lackner. The book — in German only — reveals many exciting details and new information about our historic restaurant.

DISCOVER EVEN MORE HISTORY

Grab some chips and take your places!


There are few cities in Europe where all the seasons are on such impressive display. Spring, the rebirth of Vienna, hot summers sending the masses into the shade. Fall and its, ehm, falling temps, as trees slip into their colorful autumnal garb.

Schweizerhaus maybe hibernating for the winter, but the sun will still shine tomorrow.

And if it doesn’t, ask yourself if the cold and gray of winter is precisely because Schweizerhaus is closed. In all honesty, we don’t have the answers for you. But we do look forward to seeing you back here, beginning March 15th, over some live music and a pint.

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