Inevitably there are hundreds of events in Vienna. Local listings can be overwhelming, though, so here are the top annual events and festivals (listed by month), plus whatever catches my eye in the moment:
Notable current events
- The Kunsthistorisches Museum has an amazing Bruegel exhibition running until January 13, 2019
- There’s an equally-impressive Monet exhibition on at the Albertina until January 6, 2019
- The weekend of Oct 19-21 sees the GAME CITY gaming festival hit the Rathausplatz (good if you’re bringing kids)
Annual events and festivals
These should take place each year, but do check the links…
January – March
Slap on your skates at the end of the month for the Wiener Eistraum, which runs through until March. March also usually sees the Easter markets start up, depending on when Easter actually falls. See, for example, the one at Schönbrunn Palace.
April to June
The Easter markets may continue in early April, which is when most of the Vienna Blues Spring music festival takes place. The Argus Bike Festival also takes place in early April, followed by the Styrian Spring festival.
May sees the Fest der Freude, a free concert on Heldenplatz to celebrate the anniversary of the liberation of the city in WWII. The same month also features the Genuss Festival, a three-day food and drink festival in the Stadtpark.
July to September
The Jazz Festival usually extends into July, which also sees the start of the Rathaus Film Festival, with daily public viewings of concerts and performances from various genres of music on the square in front of the Rathaus. The film festival carries on through August.
August is also the traditional month hosting the Waldviertelpur regional festival, when you can stuff yourself with specialities from one of Austria’s more rural regions. There’s also the Vienna Old Timer Parade, when numerous classic cars parade around the Ring.
The food theme continues in September with the Vienna Harvest Festival (Erntedankfest), while those of a more alternative bent will enjoy the international Buskers Festival and the family-friendly Streetlife Festival. The last Sunday in September is European Heritage Day, when various buildings open their doors to the public (for free).
And if you’re in need of a drink after all that, try the Rum and Gin festivals.
October to December
Early October is all about Vienna Design Week and the Long Night of Museums. Gamers of all ages can then enjoy free entry to Game City on the Rathausplatz. Mid-October is also when the city celebrates a different type of music to the usual classics with Hollywood in Vienna. The film theme continues later in the month with the highly prestigious international film festival, the Viennale.
The Viennale carries through into November, which marks the start of the Christmas season, notably the wonderful markets (and the modern equivalent – Winter at the MQ). These continue through until December 25th, and often beyond in the form of New Year’s markets. Many people also celebrate New Year’s Eve in Vienna along the Silvesterpfad.