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 lights… so the city’s busy, but not peak busy.
Which makes April as good as March, but with a higher probability of sun and Easter.
- See also:
Top April activities in 2023
So what might you do beyond the usual year-round tours, museums, concerts, and other delights that Vienna has to offer the enthusiastic visitor?
The neo-renaissance Kursalon venue hosts daily Mozart and Strauss concerts through April, with an optional dinner upgrade. Johann Strauss himself introduced one of his new polkas at the very first concert there in 1868. And his famous golden statue is out the back.
Easter markets (and more)
(Easter market on the Freyung)
With Easter falling in early April in 2023, the chances of bumping into seasonal holiday activities are high in the first week or two of the month.
Easter in Vienna does not have the same impact on the city as the Advent period, but it has its traditions.
Most importantly, the season brings the Easter markets; in 2023, these begin opening in late March and continue until around April 10/11th.
The 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 lovely, but Schönbrunn has perhaps the most glorious setting in the courtyard of the huge Habsburg palace.
For another kind of open-air market featuring small-scale designers and producers, try WAMP (April 15th), which sets up store outside the MuseumsQuartier.
Exhibitions in April 2023
(The Albertina is always a good address for top exhibitions)
April 2022 had some astonishing exhibitions, and the 2023 programme looks like it repeats that level of quality. Some particular highlights:
- The Albertina offers up some cracking events, including a solo exhibition for Alex Katz, drawings from renaissance era Netherlands (think Bruegel), Picasso (!) and printed graphics across the centuries from Dürer onwards
- The Albertina Modern also has an exhibition of notable printed graphics, but from post-1945: Warhol and more. And get a peek at Pictorialism: progressive photo art from around 1900 (until April 23rd)
- Lower Belvedere has a Klimt exhibition which juxtaposes his works with those by artists (like van Gogh) that inspired him, as well as another exhibition exploring the institution’s long history
- The Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien showcases the art of Austria’s Kiki Kogelnik
- The Kunsthistorisches Museum has a major exhibition of Georg Baselitz’s works in dialogue with those of Old Masters. The coin gallery also continues with its small travel history exhibition. Elsewhere in the museum, discover the story behind efforts to photograph the paintings collection in the late 1800s
- Enjoy the MAK’s look at, for example, the creativity that emerged from the Fest tradition of celebrations, balls, parties, etc., the crafted metal art of the Hagenauer Werkstätte, the beauty of Folds, and the intriguing sculptures of Birke Gorm
- The Kunst Haus Wien’s Mining Photography exhibition takes a green perspective, exploring the environmental consequences of the photographer’s art
- Take advantage of the final days of several exhibitions:
- …the Natural History Museum’s Brazil exhibition (update: now extended to September 3rd)
- …the Weltmuseum’s Chaekgeori exhibition of works by contemporary Korean artists (until April 11th)
- the Furniture Museum’s look at 1950s and 1960s Amboss design in Finer Dining (until April 16th)
- The Leopold Museum begins its presentation of many excellent pieces from the prestigious Würth art collection, including works by Munch, Picasso, Lassnig, etc. (from April 5th)
- The Weltmuseum travels through time and contemporary art in two particular exhibitions: Science Fiction(s) and Beyond the Future (modern Japanese calligraphy)
- The Jewish Museum offers insight into misconceptions about Jews and explores issues of Guilt
- The Theatermuseum’s Austropop exhibition introduces us to popular music Austrian-style: everything from Mozart to Falco
- Discover a homage to Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann at the Literature Museum
- Learn how nature drives technological innovation in the lovely BioInspiration exhibition at the Technisches Museum
- And learn how we have managed nature in the architecture of parks and gardens in an exhibition at the National Library
- For more possibilities, consult the broader exhibition listings
Enjoy some food & drink
(Wine from the Steiermark)
Talking of Austrian cuisine, one of the country’s more Alpine provinces is the Steiermark. Each (normal) year, the region’s tourist folk, farmers, wine growers, and musicians turn up in Vienna for the Styrian Spring festival (March 30th to April 2nd).
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.
The first 2-day mit alles culinary festival took place last April, and plans to return March 31st and April 1st in 2023.
A two-day spring version of the Craft Bier Fest (April 14th to 15th) attracts dozens of breweries from around the country and abroad, who are all happy to provide a sample for you to taste in exchange for a coin or two.
And the Liquid Market cocktail folk take a side turn into aperitifs this spring with the Aperitivo Spring festival (April 25th and 26th).
Music, film & comics
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 continues throughout April and features performances from both local and international musicians…with a focus on (guess?) blues
- The Gemischter Satz festival at the Konzerthaus venue combines one of Vienna’s notable wine products with classical music and more (April 28th to 29th)
- 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
(The Reigen hosts most of the Vienna Blues Spring gigs)
On the movie front:
- The Jewish Film Festival (from April 19th) features works from around the world that address aspects of Jewish life in all its facets and contexts
- The Festival du Film Francophone (April 18th to 27th) does what it say on the label
On the comics front:
- Vienna COMIX (April 22nd and 23rd) is a fair and convention covering comics in their widest sense with, for example, cosplay and plenty of Star Wars, too
Enjoy the running (and cycling)
April hosts the weekend of the Vienna marathon (April 22nd and 23rd), an international event with added kudos: 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).
The month also wears a cycling helmet. The Argus Bike Festival (April 15th and 16th) is a lovely two-day event with information stands, bike-related exhibitors and lots of two-wheeled show action.
Enjoy the April sun
Unlike in March, you’re more likely 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
- The Stadtpark park in the centre, with its musician memorials (look for Strauss, in particular)
- The Prater park with its 11km hiking trail that starts and ends in an area rich with restaurants and entertainments
- 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. And it’s free
Go for an ice cream
If that sounds banal, it’s not meant to. 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 many remarkably high-quality ice cream parlours, so fill a cone or cup with your choice of 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.
Incidentally, the official European (and Austrian) ice cream flavour of the year for 2023 is apple strudel. Move over vanilla, your time has passed.