It’s not a bad time to visit Vienna. March has a chance of decent spring weather but it’s not peak tourist season, so you miss the crowds that swarm across parts of the city in high summer.
On the other hand, as with February, it’s relatively quiet in terms of major events. Unless Easter happens to fall in March…
Top activities in March 2020
Visit an Easter market
(Eggs at the Freyung Easter market)
The Easter markets open around two weeks before the Easter weekend. So with Easter Sunday on April 12th in 2020, expect them to appear at the end of March.
Take the opportunity to browse for handicrafts and gifts, but also to sample traditional (and unusual) Austrian fare at the many stalls selling food and drink.
For more seasonal entertainment, read the guide to Easter in Vienna.
Buy some vinyl, art…or bread
March hosts one or two weekend festivals, as Vienna slowly emerges from its winter sleep. For example:
A taste of retro
The Vinyl & Music festival (March 7th and 8th) is a market, fair, exhibition, and gig rolled into one.
Held in a working brewery, it harks back to the days when music was “real” and not this manufactured nonsense the kids listen to these days. Why, I remember when all you needed was a washboard and a…sorry, pass me my slippers.
Actually, the festival combines a retro feel with contemporary dynamism. “Authentic” is the word I’d use.
If you like a decent loaf in your life, then the Brotfestival is a one-day celebration of the baker’s skills. Bakeries from across Vienna, Austria, and beyond collect to showcase their wares and talents.
Unfortunately, I just heard that the festival is taking a one-year break in 2020, with the next one slated for 2021.
Two wheels good…
The end of March often arrives wearing a cycling helmet. The Argus Bike Festival (March 28th and 29th) is a two-day event with information stands, bike-related exhibitors and lots of two-wheeled show action.
A question of taste
And if modern art is more your thing, then find your way to the Hofburg palace and Art Vienna (March 27th – 29th).
This 3-day contemporary art fair brings together numerous art galleries and usually features works of international and regional importance, as well as giving a platform to up and coming artists.
Enjoy the spring flowers
It’s all a little dependent on the weather, obviously, but March sees the emergence of the green shoots of spring, with tulips, daffodils, snowdrops, and other flowers optimistically forcing their way up through the soil.
The municipal gardens department does an excellent job of filling Vienna’s many parks (and roadsides) with spring colour. A couple of tips, if the climate allows:
- The Lainzer Tiergarten is a managed nature protection area with free-roaming deer and wild boar, paths through the woodland, playing areas for kids, and places to eat
- The Vienna woods (Wienerwald) cover the hilly west of the city, with numerous walking trails and restaurants dotted throughout
Major art exhibitions
There are always plenty of art exhibitions going on at any one time. But in March 2020, you might consider:
- Cézanne, Matisse, Hodler exhibition at the Albertina, drawing on the Hahnloser collection
- The Thonet exhibition at the MAK museum (coffee house chairs!)
- Reading Time in Space at the MUMOK museum, featuring works by the likes of Picasso, Kandinsky, Kokoschka, Magritte, and many more
Take your last chance
March is the final full month of the Viennese ball season. And probably your last opportunity to indulge in some winter sports until the end of the year:
- The Ice World outdoor skating extravaganza usually closes very early in the month (on March 1st in 2020!), as does the open-air rink at the Eislaufverein (March 8th is the last day). But…
- The skiing season continues. Vienna’s “local” Alpine ski resort at Semmering should still be open and is suited to a day trip out to the slopes
Treat yourself to a spa day
With the weather still liable to turn chilly at times, you can always dip into a thermal pool.
The Vienna spa complex (Therme Wien) has various indoor and outdoor pools, a well as the usual array of spa offerings: from Swedish massages to Austrian pastries.