by Santorini Dave • Updated: February 27, 2019
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When is the Best Time to Visit Vienna?
The best time to visit Vienna to experience its unique and magical atmosphere is during the Christmas season. The most popular time to visit Vienna is summer, for its pleasant weather and many wonderful festivals. During these crowded times, lodging and airfare rates will be very high; for both mild weather and mild crowds, visit Vienna during spring or fall.
- Best Time to Visit Vienna for Good Weather: Summer is the best time to visit Vienna for good weather. Although rain is always a possibility, temperatures will be warm, with the average high in July and August at 24°C. Mid-September through early October can be an ideal time with comfortable temperatures and less precipitation.
- Best Time for Sightseeing: The best time for sightseeing in Vienna is late summer through mid-autumn when there are fewer tourists, shorter lines, and a reduced chance of rain with temperatures that are still warm, typically in the upper teens and low 20s C.
- Best Time to Visit for Shopping: The best time to visit Vienna for shopping is when the Christmas markets are open, between mid-November and Christmas Eve. This is when visitors can pick up all sorts of unique holiday items in a festive atmosphere. The best time for bargain shopping is just after Christmas and into early January, when there are lots of sales throughout the city.
- Best Time to Visit Schönbrunn Palace: One of the most popular attractions in the city, the palace is open year-round but is best visited from mid-March through early November, when landmarks that are open seasonally will be available to tour, like the Privy Garden, Orangery Garden, and Maze. Holidays and weekends bring the longest lines, but no matter when you visit, it’s a good idea to purchase tickets online with a specified time. The best time to book a tour to avoid big crowds is typically between 1 and 2pm or anytime after 4pm.
- Best Time to Ride the Riesenrad (Giant Ferris Wheel) at the Prater: The Prater amusement park is home to one of Vienna’s trademark sights, the Riesenrad, or giant Ferris wheel. One of the oldest in the world, the 213-foot-high wheel offers exceptional views of the city during the day, providing a great way to get a perspective of its layout. While it’s open year-round, it’s best enjoyed during pleasant weather outside of the peak tourist season, in late spring or early fall.
Vienna Travel Seasons
- High Season (June through August, December through early January): The warm weather of summer brings the peak of tourism season, although there is another “mini-peak” in the weeks leading up to Christmas through early January thanks to the many Christmas markets in Vienna. In the summertime, visitors and locals can sit comfortably outside in the evening, enjoying the cafes, restaurants, bars, and great people watching. During both of these periods, expect the city to be quite lively and filled with tourists, which also results in higher airfares and higher accommodation rates as well as the need to book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
- Shoulder Season (April, May, September, and October): The shoulder season is a great time to visit Vienna for pleasant weather and fewer crowds, although it may be a bit chilly. As the busy tourist season either hasn’t ramped up or is cooling down, there’s no need to worry about inflated prices or long lines. A visit in October brings the opportunity to witness colorful autumn foliage.
- Low Season (November, mid-January through March): Winter in Vienna is cold, but the city often looks like a fairytale. If you don’t mind bundling up against the chill, expect to find hotel rooms that are less expensive more easily booked, as well as lower airfares. Outside of the holiday period, there are unlikely to be many tourists lined up at tourist attractions or in the streets.
Vienna Weather by Month
- Vienna Weather in January: January is the coldest month of the year in Vienna, with low temperatures dipping down to -4°C while highs in the daytime are often no more than 2°C. Precipitation, averaging 38mm over 15 days this month, falls mainly in the form of snow. On warmer days, there’s a good chance for moderate rain, which means that packing a pair of comfortable waterproof boots is a good idea. To stay to warm you’ll also want a winter coat, hat, gloves, scarf, and thermal layers, including leggings and a long-sleeve shirt. While days are shorter this time of year, there are still 9 ½ hours of daylight on New Year’s Day, providing plenty of time to see the sights; especially picturesque with a dusting of snow. (Average Max Temperature: 2°C. Average Precipitation: 38mm.)
- Vienna Weather in February: The weather in Vienna warms just slightly in February with the average high temperature doubling to 4°C while the low is still quite chilly at -2°C. There is a similar amount of precipitation on average, with 42mm falling over 14 days in February, mainly in the form of snow. Those who plan to visit Vienna in February will want to bring the same warm winter attire as advised for last month for getting out to enjoy the sights. (Average Max Temperature: 4°C. Average Precipitation: 42mm.)
- Vienna Weather in March: Conditions are noticeably changing now with March marking the beginning of spring. Winter is finally almost over, although early in the month temperatures will still be right around freezing, with the average low temperature at 0°C. By late March, the temperature often climbs as high as 13°C; the average overall high is 9°C. Moderate snow is still possible, usually occurring during the first half of the month. With precipitation about the same as January and February at 41mm over 13 days, this month is often a mixed bag of snow, rain, and sunshine. Winter gear is still necessary and wearing layers that can easily be removed for a warmer afternoon and put back on when it gets chilly is advised. (Average Max Temperature: 9°C. Average Precipitation: 41mm.)
- Vienna Weather in April: April brings a refreshing change from March, with winter now finally behind, although it’s still likely to feel rather cool. It can even snow early in the month, although that’s unusual. The odds for sunshine and warm springtime weather get higher as the month progresses. The average high temperature now climbs to 14°C and light rain is common, with 51mm of precipitation on average this month. As the weather is unpredictable now, it’s best to bring a mix of clothing for cool and warm temperatures, including items that can be layered. (Average Max Temperature: 14°C. Average Precipitation: 51mm.)
- Vienna Weather in May: May is one of the best months of the year to be in Vienna. While there may be a few rain showers, the weather is often pleasant, with the average high temperature increasing significantly to 20°C. Bring a travel umbrella just in case, but the odds of sunshine are good on any given day. Winter gear is unnecessary now; a light jacket or sweater will suffice in the evening and early morning hours as low temperatures are well above freezing at 9 °C. Days are wonderfully long too, bringing plenty of daylight for outdoor sightseeing. On May 31 the sun rises just before 5 a.m. and doesn’t set until 8:45 p.m. (Average Max Temperature: 20°C. Average Precipitation: 61mm.)
- Vienna Weather in June: June officially ushers in the summer season, with temperatures especially pleasant now as the average high rises to 23°C. This is the wettest month of the year, with 74mm of precipitation over 14 days, mostly occurring as heavy rain showers. Be sure to toss in a travel umbrella now to avoid being caught out in a downpour, though typically these are short-lived with sunshine just around the corner. Now is the time to bring warm weather attire, including dresses, shorts, and short-sleeve shirts, but you’ll want a few items for cooler weather at night and perhaps a light rain jacket. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 74mm.)
- Vienna Weather in July: July and August are the warmest months of the year in Vienna, with an average high temperature of 24°C. Rain decreases a bit now, and visitors can mostly expect lots of sunshine and warm days. Moderate rain is the most common form of precipitation, seen on about half the days this month, so packing a travel umbrella is still a good idea. Otherwise, it’s all about clothing for warm weather – do bring a sweater or light jacket for late evenings with the low temperature at 14°C. (Average Max Temperature: 24°C. Average Precipitation: 58mm.)
- Vienna Weather in August: The warm weather of summer continues through August, along with long days that bring around 15 hours of daylight. That’s about to change soon, but now it’s all about warm temperatures and the occasional moderate rainfall. Sunshine is more common than grey skies now. The warmest days are typically experienced during the first half of the month, with temperatures gradually cooling as August progresses. (Average Max Temperature: 24°C. Average Precipitation: 58mm.)
- Vienna Weather in September: Early in September Vienna is likely to still be warm, sunny and crowded, but the second half of the month experiences a notable change. Mid- to late-September, and into October, are some of the best weeks to be in the city, with tourist crowds diminishing and weather often idyllic. The average high falls to 19°C, but on most days, you’ll be comfortable walking around in a short-sleeve shirt in the afternoon, and with just a light jacket or sweater at night. Precipitation decreases a bit to 45mm over just 10 days in September, so an umbrella may not be necessary at all. While days are gradually getting shorter, even in late September visitors can expect nearly 12 hours of daylight. (Average Max Temperature: 19°C Average Precipitation: 45mm.)
- Vienna Weather in October: Temperatures cool significantly now, with the average temperature at just 10°C and the average high at 14°C, both dropping five degrees over last month. Those who hope to enjoy the last of summer’s warm temperatures should plan their trip at the beginning of the month. As October moves forward, temperatures continue to decrease as cloud cover increases. Shorter days and cloudier skies mean around 7 hours of sunshine, a two-hour decrease since last month. When it comes to packing, a mixed bag of some clothing for both warmer and cooler weather is advised. (Average Max Temperature: 14°C. Average Precipitation: 41mm.)
- Vienna Weather in November: The dark days of winter will be arriving soon with conditions continuing to get colder and shorter in November. The average low temperature plunges to 2°C and snow is likely to return later this month, while moderate or light rain is commonly experienced during the first half, bringing an average of 50mm of precipitation over 14 days. With the average high at 7°C, it’s time to bring out that winter attire, including warm winter boots, a heavy coat, hat, scarf, and gloves. (Average Max Temperature: 7°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
- Vienna Weather in December: Although winter isn’t officially here until just a few days before Christmas, it will feel like it by the time this month arrives. With those colorful holiday markets comes the snow that gives the city an especially magical look. In fact, chances for snow are about 50/50 when precipitation occurs now, more likely during the second half of the month. Cloud cover is at its peak, with nearly 90% of the days in December grey. Pack your heavy winter clothing and plan for shorter days; sunrise is at 7:45 a.m. and sunset is at 4:09 p.m. on December 31st. (Average Max Temperature: 2°C. Average Precipitation: 43mm.)
Vienna Events and Festivals
Vienna in January
- New Year’s Concert – January 1 is a national holiday; banks, post offices and many businesses will be closed, although restaurants, cafes, and bars typically remain open. This is also the day the annual New Year’s Concert takes place. This long-time Philharmonic tradition brings concerts that include lively and nostalgic music from the family of Johann Strauss and his contemporaries, broadcast on television around the world.
- Epiphany – January 6 is a bank holiday that brings many business closures and limited public transportation. Children may be seen traveling through the streets stressed as the Three Magi and singing Christmas hymns.
- Coffee Festival – Coffee is an important part of Viennese society, rooted in tradition as well as modern culture. This annual festival is celebrated for three days in mid-January, celebrating coffee with tastings, demos, talks, displays, and more. Live music, DJs, and other entertainment are also featured.
- Vienna Ice World – Starting in late January and running through early March, the Rathausplatz and park are transformed into a more than 9,000 square meter ice skating venue. Overlooked by the magnificent city hall, Wiener Eistraum is made up of open-air split-level rinks and ice trails, with skate rentals available along with lots of food and drink.
Vienna in February
- Valentine’s Day – Vienna is considered one of Europe’s most romantic cities and visitors will find multiple ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day here, with special dinners and other events. Boat cruises along the beautiful Danube and carriage rides are just a few of the popular activities for couples.
- The Opera Ball – Part of the Vienna Fasching (Carnival) celebrations, the Opera Ball is always held on the last Thursday of the Carnival season at the State Opera House (February 20 in 2020). Considered the epitome of ball culture and a very high caliber social event, it attracts celebrities from across the globe.
- Vienna Accordion Festival – Every year for a month between mid-February and mid-March, Vienna hosts the Accordion Festival with classic, folk, and tango concerts held in over 15 venues across the city.
Vienna in March
- Vienna Spring Festival – This festival that starts in mid-March and runs through the first week of May brings music from some of the world’s greatest composers like Brahms and Mozart to the Konzerthaus.
- St. Patrick’s Day – St. Patrick’s Day may be an Irish holiday, but it’s celebrated in a big way in Vienna. In 2019, festivities will take place on March 16 with events across the city. There will be live Irish music at pubs and other venues, Irish food specials at restaurants, and the highlight, a parade that departs at noon from the Schottenstift followed by Irish dance performances.
Vienna in April
- Vienna City Marathon – Held in early April each year, April 7 in 2019, this marathon attracts over 40,000 participants and hundreds of thousands of spectators.
- Easter Markets – There will be Easter Markets throughout the city, the one at Schönbrunn, with its backdrop of the palace and focus on traditional arts and crafts, is the most popular. In 2019 it will be open from April 6 to April 23.
- Easter Weekend – Easter Weekend begins with Maundy Thursday and ends with Easter Monday, a public holiday. In 2019 it will be celebrated April 18 through April 22, bringing music and a variety of events to the city, including the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra which stages its annual “Spring in Vienna” concert.
- Styrian Spring Festival – This annual four-day program, April 11 through April 14 in 2019, offers the opportunity to watch Styrian folkloric lederhosen and dirndls, dance groups and demonstrations like local basket weaving, baking local Krapfen (donuts) with farmers and more.
Vienna in May
- Workers Day – Held on May 1 every year, Workers Day is a public holiday formally celebrated with parades from political groups and unions. There is also a traditional Mayday Festival held in Prater Park.
- Vienna Festival (Wiener Festwochen) – This annual festival runs for five weeks, mid-May through mid-June (May 10 to June 16, 2019), and is considered one of Europe’s most prominent cultural events. It combines a variety of disciplines in various events and traditionally opens with a free concert in front of City Hall.
- Genuss Food Fair – For three days in mid-May, May 10 to May 12 in 2019, Stadtpark is turned into the country’s biggest food fair featuring over 190 stalls. Watch chefs create themed tasters of regional dishes and Austrian bakers and farmers show off their work traditions. The highlight is the opportunity to eat your way through Austrian foods with everything from Viennese potato goulash to cheese Knopfle and Austrian sourdough bread.
- Long Night of Churches – This annual night will take place on May 24 in 2019, a free “open night” event in which locals and visitors can enjoy free concerts and plays, join tours, view exhibitions and climb up church towers and domes of nearly 200 Viennese churches.
Vienna in June
- Wienissimo – This early June festival (June 14-15 in 2019), offers the chance to join local Viennese at a nearly 200-foot-long table for dining on some of the best eats and drinks from local vintners, taverns, bakeries, and cake shops around the city. Am Hof Square also offers shows at its Lustspielhause theater pavilion.
- The Life Ball – One of the most important and most glamorous charity balls in all of Europe, this event will take place on June 8 in 2019 to raise money for non-profit organizations helping those with AIDS or HIV around the world. It includes an opening ceremony, performances, live concerts, international stars, and a fashion show.
- Danube Island Festival – The biggest free open-air music festival in Europe attracts over three million visitors to the city for three days to enjoy the music of world-famous musicians and bands, with some of the past acts including Scorpions, Train, and Simple Minds. In between the concerts are opportunities to try Zumba, slacklining, and boxing as well as watch street soccer championships. During the day there are activities for kids like a giant water slide and face painting.
- Midsummer Night Celebration – This celebration is held throughout Austria on June 21, marking the shortest night and the longest day of the year with bonfires and folkloric events. The highlight is the magnificent procession of ships that makes its way down the Danube River just north of Vienna while fireworks are shot from hill tops and the river banks.
Vienna in July
- Vienna Summer of Music Festival – A premiere event on the cultural calendar, Vienna Summer of Music brings a series of concerts to Schönbrunn Palace, City Hall, and landmark homes of legendary 19th-century musicians from July 1 through late August.
- Summer Stage – Temporary stages are set up along the quays of Donau Inlet, hosting live music, performances, and performance art every night through July and August.
- ImPulsTanz – This month-long event that runs from mid-July through mid-August, July 11 to August 11 in 2019, features the latest in cutting-edge performance art with more than 100 contemporary dance productions from around the world. There is also a special nighttime program with DJs and festival parties.
Vienna in August
- Neustift Kirtag Festival – For four days each year in mid-August, August 16-19 in 2019, this festival takes place in the outskirts of town, when a winery village transforms into an authentic Austrian party. Local wines, traditional fare, dirndl dresses, lederhosen, and brass music are all enjoyed.
- Assumption Day – A public religious holiday celebrated on August 15. Expect many shops to be closed, although most restaurants and tourist attractions will be open.
- Kammermusikfestival – This chamber music festival enjoys an especially atmospheric setting at Vienna’s beautiful moated castle, Schloss Laudon, annually in late August. In 2019, it will take place from August 26 through September 1. It includes a rich selection of romantic and classical chamber works along with music from Beethoven Mozart and other greats.
Vienna in September
- Fashion Week – For 10 days in mid-September (2019’s dates yet to be announced), Vienna Fashion Week brings fashion shows to the fashion marquee in front of the MuseumsQuartier. There will be a variety of fashion parties and pop-up stores throughout the city, with both internationally-renowned designers and newcomers.
- Wiener Wiesn-Fest – For just over two weeks starting in late September, September 26 through October 13 in 2019, this festival attracts a mostly local crowd who celebrate Austrian folklore. The Kaiserwiese at the Prater amusement park will be filled with dance performances, brass music, local craft demonstrations, and lots of food and drink, including beer, sauerkraut, and stelze (crispy pork leg).
- Vienna Design Week – Starting in late September, September 27 through October 6 in 2019, this prestigious design fair takes place at various locations and includes guided design tours that delve into both new and classical Viennese design.
Vienna in October
- Austrian National Day – Every year on October 26, Austrians celebrate the country’s declaration of permanent neutrality following the Second World War, when it regained its status as an independent and sovereign nation. A public holiday, most businesses, government offices, and schools will be closed.
- Viennale International Film Festival – This is Austria’s most important international film event and one of the oldest and most famous in the German-speaking world. Every year in late October (2019 dates to be announced), it takes place in spectacular cinemas in the city’s historic center. It shows everything from golden oldies to daring avant-garde film, some in English or with English subtitles.
- Halloween – There are lots of parties and other events to celebrate Halloween in Vienna, including Prater’s annual Halloween event which includes special attractions like a family-friendly ghost train, horror labyrinth, and parade. Visitors and locals alike are invited to dress in costume and take part.
Vienna in November
- All Saints Day – November 1 is All Saints Day, with Austrians throughout the country honoring Catholic saints. Catholic mass is often held in local cemeteries, and as this is a national holiday, most shops will be closed.
- Wien Modern Festival – This contemporary music festival takes place for 30 days starting in late October or early November, bringing dozens of premieres and prestigious international performers to the city.
- Vienna Christmas Markets – Starting in mid-November, over 24 Christmas markets are set up on the city’s beautiful squares. Visitors enjoy buying and browsing all sorts of holiday-related items, local handmade crafts, mulled wine, hot punch, and roasted chestnuts along with live carol singing.
Vienna in December
- Vienna Christmas Markets – Vienna’s dozens of Christmas markets continue to operate in the city squares. Visitors enjoy buying and browsing all sorts of holiday-related items, local handmade crafts, mulled wine, hot punch and roasted chestnuts along with live carol singing.
- Feast of the Immaculate Conception – A national holiday celebrating St. Anne’s conception of Mary on December 8 each year; many businesses will be closed, but most restaurants and tourist attractions will be open.
- Christmas holidays – December 24 (Christmas Eve), December 25 (Christmas Day) and December 26 (St. Stephen’s Day), are all national holidays. Stores close the afternoon of December 24 and don’t reopen until December 27. Christmas concerts are held at City Hall and other venues on Christmas Eve.
- New Year’s Eve – On December 31 there will be parties throughout the city, including live performances from old-fashioned waltzes to rock. The New Year’s Path, Silvesterpfad, begins at 2 p.m. on December 31, with concerts and dancing in the streets. At the stroke of midnight, the bell in St. Stephen’s Cathedral will ring in the New Year and fireworks will be shot into the night’s sky.
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