Nor are the chants always politically correct (to put it mildly). The lower tiers have more of a British football feel to them in terms of atmosphere. Can you drink beer at the games? Yes. Traditional fare at an Austrian game of football is a Krügel of beer and a Käsekrainer sausage. No pies that I know of. Best clubs to watch Vienna has numerous traditional football clubs, but try these four tips for the best match day experience. Wiener Sport-Club (“Sportclub”) (Sportclub occupy a unique niche in Viennese football) League: Regionalliga OstTypical attendance: Averaging around 1900, though a derby against Vienna (see below) can fill the stadium with 7000+ fans.
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At one point, the Austrian national team was pretty much the best on the planet. Those were the Wunderteam years of the early 1930s. Today’s domestic league suffers from the attractions of the German Bundesliga, the Premier League and elsewhere, which tend to drain the Austrian clubs and academies of all the top talent (and viewers). League structure The top two tiers of football are national leagues: the Bundesliga and the Zweite Liga.
Address: Klabundgasse 11, 1190 Vienna | WebsiteTravel tip: Take the U4 subway to Heiligenstadt and walk across (past or through the famous Karl-Marx-Hof) SK Rapid Wien (“Rapid”) (The stadium makes it clear who plays here) League: BundesligaTypical attendance: Averaging 15, 000 The best-supported club in the country and one of the traditional big four alongside city rivals, Austria Wien (see below), Sturm Graz and Red Bull Salzburg.
One team dominates the Bundesliga: 2013 was the last time Red Bull Salzburg were not champions. Other traditionally well-supported clubs are Rapid Vienna, Sturm Graz, LASK Linz and Austria Vienna. The third tier consists of three regional leagues Clubs from Vienna play in Regionalliga Ost alongside representatives from two other provinces: Burgenland and Lower Austria. Tier 4 consists of separate leagues for each province Since Vienna counts as a province in its own right, Tiers 4 and below are essentially city leagues populated more or less only by clubs from within the capital’s borders.
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Tier 4 is called the Wiener Stadtliga in Vienna. Each league normally has a lengthy winter break, since the Austrian climate often means proper winters with snow, ice and low temperatures. Fan culture (The Cemetery Stand at Wiener Sportclub) The typical stadium tradition among the top tier clubs is a little different to the British one. Rather than respond mainly to what’s going on in the game, the hardcore fans (ultras) keep up a continuous cacophony of noise and colour intended to create an atmosphere of support for their team. Of course, that atmosphere depends on the size of that hardcore group. And their efforts can have the opposite effect, should the ultras become disgruntled with the players or club.
Winner of numerous trophies, though the last one was way back in 2008. The ultras put on quite a show with huge pre-match displays and a raucous atmosphere, but that becomes a double-edged sword when the team performs below expectations. And there have been, shall we say, “issues” with some of the views expressed on the terraces. The entire crowd always welcomes the last 15 minutes with an ovation to encourage the players. This Rapidviertelstunde (“Rapid quarter hour”) tradition dates back over 100 years.
The new Allianz Stadium, opened in 2016, is a lovely, modern stadium with a capacity of around 28, 000. Purchase a prepaid Rapid Mari€ card at the stadium, which you use to buy drinks and snacks inside; you can top up the amount on the card at numerous locations around the stadium and concourse. If you’re only visiting once, then hand in the card within 60 minutes of the game’s end to get any remaining credit on it paid out in cash. Address: Gerhard-Hanappi-Platz 1, 1140 Vienna | WebsiteTravel tip: Catch the U4 subway to Hütteldorf and follow the crowds FK Austria Wien (“Austria”) (Generali is a large insurance company and stadium sponsor) League: BundesligaTypical attendance: Averaging 9, 000 Vienna’s other big professional club.
A fallen giant and cult club who hold the record for the heaviest defeat handed to Juventus in Europe, having beaten them 7-0 in the 1958/59 European Cup. (The two clubs have gone in slightly different directions since then. ) Extremely friendly and inclusive atmosphere in the English tradition with fans noted for left-wing leanings and a social conscience. You won’t hear racist or homophobic chants here. The core supporters group stands on the Friedhofstribüne (the cemetery stand). You’ll find me in the main stand most home games.
The oldest club in Austria and originally established by Englishmen. Another fallen giant (Mario Kempes once played for them), but currently on the way up again after financial problems back in 2017. Vienna gained promotion to the second national league in the 2021/2022 season. Like Sport-Club, a more friendly and inclusive atmosphere than elsewhere. The two teams are ostensibly great rivals, but, whenever they meet, the match is known as the “Derby of Love”. The iconic and unusual Hohe Warte stadium has a huge sloping grass hill on one side. It once hosted as many as 85, 000 spectators.
The Sport-Club Platz stadium is the oldest in the country where football has been played continuously. Fortunately, it is (will be / should be) undergoing a complete refit, though I’ll believe it when I see it (league matches are unaffected). Address: Alszeile 19, 1170 Vienna | WebsiteTravel tip: Take the 43 tram (from Schottentor) or the 2 tram (from, for example, Karlsplatz) to the Dornbach stop. First Vienna FC 1894 (“Vienna”) League: Zweite LigaTypical attendance: Averaging around 1900, though a derby against Sportclub can push the attendance up to over 5000.
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