Now, April is quite a decent time to visit Vienna.
Well, spring should definitely have sprung. So you have a fair chance of avoiding the cold. Equally, it’s not high summer and there are no Christmas markets… so the city’s busy, but not peak busy.
So April is as good as March, but with a higher probability of sun and Easter.
Top April activities in 2020
Here are some suggestions for April above and beyond the usual sightseeing opportunities, museums, and similar.
With Easter falling in mid-April in 2020, the chances of bumping into seasonal holiday activities are high.
These markets offer a colourful mix of arts and crafts, with more decorative eggs than you can lay in a century and enough Austrian delicacies to keep your cholesterol and sugar levels high throughout your stay.
The main markets are at Schönbrunn, the Freyung and Am Hof. All three are great, but I’d recommend Schönbrunn because it’s in the courtyard of the summer Habsburg palace, which makes for a glorious setting.
Enjoy Alpine food
(Wine from the Steiermark)
Talking of Austrian cuisine, one of the country’s more Alpine provinces is the Steiermark. Each year, the region’s tourist folk, farmers and musicians turn up in Vienna for the Styrian Spring festival (provisionally planned for April 2-5 in 2020).
As well as offering a taste of the traditions of that beautiful part of the country, the festival offers a taste of the tastes, too. Like all Austrian provinces, the Steiermark has a proud culinary heritage. Look, particularly, for their wine, beer, and pumpkin products.
Enjoy the chairs
Ah, but not just any chairs. The Thonet exhibition runs until April 13 and features, for example, the iconic coffee house chairs from the famous furniture manufacturer. Pop into any of the traditional coffee houses and you’ll likely see Thonet’s products (or products inspired by their designs).
Enjoy the music
(The Reigen hosts most of the Vienna Blues Spring gigs)
The Vienna concert season is in full swing in April, of course, but if you fancy something a little different…
- The Vienna Blues Spring features daily performances from both local and international musicians, with a focus on (surprise) blues. It usually runs through the entire month
- Electric Spring is a free, two-day open-air festival of electronic music at the Museumsquartier (dates as yet unconfirmed)
Enjoy the running
April 18 and 19 is the weekend of the Vienna marathon, an international event with added kudos this year. The 2020 event is the first one since Eliud Kipchoge’s record-shattering INEOS 1:59 Challenge, where he became the first human to run the marathon distance in under two hours.
Enjoy the April sun
Unlike in March, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find spring flowers peeping up from Vienna’s numerous parks and gardens (and enough sun to enjoy them).
If you want to enjoy the fresh green on the trees and/or fruit tree blossom, then head for places like:
- The Lainzer Tiergarten – an extensive nature protection area with wild boar and more (the lovely Hermesvilla is here, once a summer house for Empress Elisabeth)
- The Vienna Woods – lots of cycle paths and hiking trails through the hills and forests that surround Vienna’s west
- Of course, there’s all the sculpted gardens attached to the various palaces, too, such as at Schönbrunn, Belvedere or the Volksgarten next to the Hofburg palace. You’ll see these as you pass through the usual sightseeing areas, anyway.
Several protected or private areas also open to the public end of March. For example:
- The Cobenzl city farm – just as it says on the label. Kids can get up close to farm animals
- Hirschstetten – this is part of the city’s nursery complex. Which sounds relatively uninspiring, but it’s actually quite beautiful. They’ve turned it into a landscaped botanical gardens, with a palm house and a fair few animals in there, too. It’s a bit of a secret off the usual tourist trails. And it’s free.
Go for an ice cream
If that sounds banal, it isn’t meant to be. The local ice cream season begins at the end of March, and we’re not talking about lollipops in the freezer aisle of the supermarket.
Vienna hosts a fair few high-quality ice cream parlours, so fill a cone with your choice of delicious flavours. Or take a seat and enjoy something off an extensive ice cream menu that might set your diet back a few weeks. Oh, and vegan options are usually available.