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 2022
So what might you do in April 2022 beyond the usual year-round delights that Vienna has to offer the enthusiastic visitor?
(Continuing public health requirements related to COVID-19, the ongoing event ban, and Vienna’s hard lockdown – lasting through April 2021 – is why I’m already writing only from the perspective of a 2022 visit.)
With Easter falling in mid-April in 2022, the chances of bumping into seasonal holiday activities are high in the first half of the month.
In 2022, expect these markets to open from the beginning of the month to around April 18th.
The Easter markets offer a colourful mix of arts, crafts, food, and drink. This includes 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 venues are Schönbrunn, the Freyung and Am Hof. All three are wonderful, but I’d recommend Schönbrunn because it’s in the courtyard of the summer Habsburg palace, which makes for a glorious setting.
Enjoy some 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 (dates TBA for 2022).
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 an exhibition
April 2022 remains a way off so exhibition highlights will grow as museum programmes evolve. So far, it looks good for these particular highlights among the many exhibitions on at any one time:
- The design giant, Josef Hoffmann, gets a major exhibition at the MAK museum
- A Lower Belvedere exhibition explores the impact of a certain Sigmund Freud on the art of Salvador Dalí
- Fancy examining a Hockney or two? Visit the Kunstforum Wien
- The Albertina throws the spotlight on Edvard Munch with works by the master and those inspired by him. I’m also hopeful the Albertina Modern has an Ai Weiwei exhibition
Enjoy the music
(The Reigen hosts most of the Vienna Blues Spring gigs)
The Vienna concert season is normally in full swing in April, of course, but if you fancy something a little different…
- The Vienna Blues Spring features performances from both local and international musicians, with a focus on (guess?) blues
- The (free) Electric Spring electronic music festival took a break recently, but will perhaps return at some point with its wide mix of styles and performers across open-air and indoor venues at the MuseumsQuartier
Enjoy the running
April normally hosts the weekend of the Vienna marathon, an international event with added kudos (though it moved to September in 2021). Part of the course for the race is the same stretch of road where Eliud Kipchoge became the first human to run the marathon distance in under two hours (at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge).
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 in April (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 summerhouse 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, don’t forget 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 usually open up in full 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 – part of the city’s horticultural nursery complex. If that sounds relatively uninspiring, it’s actually quite beautiful. They’ve turned it into a landscaped botanical gardens, with a palm house and a fair few birds and animals in there, too. It’s a bit of a secret and off the usual tourist trails. Oh, and it’s free
Go for an ice cream
If that sounds banal, it’s not meant to. The local ice cream season typically 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 remarkably 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.
The official 2021 “ice cream of the year” was Mozart, in commemoration of the 230th anniversary of the musician’s death and composing (see what I did there?) primarily of nougat and pistachio flavours. No news on 2022’s top flavour yet…