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.
Top April activities in 2023
So what might you do beyond the usual year-round delights that Vienna has to offer the enthusiastic visitor?
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.
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 normally Schönbrunn, the Freyung and Am Hof. All three are wonderful, but Schönbrunn has perhaps the most glorious setting because it’s in the courtyard of the huge Habsburg palace.
For another kind of open-air market featuring small-scale designers and producers, try WAMP (2023 dates TBA), which usually sets up store for an April weekend outside the MuseumsQuartier.
Exhibitions in April 2023
(The Albertina is always a good address for top exhibitions)
April 2022 had some astonishing exhibitions, so hopefully the 2023 programme will repeat that level of quality. So far, we have these particular highlights announced (it’s still early days yet):
- The Albertina offers up some cracking events, including a solo exhibition for Alex Katz, drawings from renaissance era Netherlands, and printed graphics across the centuries: from Dürer to Picasso
- The Albertina Modern also has an exhibition of printed graphics, but from post-1945. And a peek at progressive photo art around 1900
- Lower Belvedere has a Klimt exhibition with a focus on the works and 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
- Enjoy the MAK’s look at, for example, the creativity that emerged from the Fest tradition of celebrations, balls, parties, etc., or the crafted metal art of the Hagenauer Werkstätte
- Take advantage of the final days of several exhibitions:
- The Jewish Museum offers insight into misconceptions about Jews
- The coin gallery in the Kunsthistorisches Museum 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
- 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
- For more possibilities, consult the broader exhibition listings
Enjoy some food
(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 looks like it plans to return March 31st and April 1st in 2023 according to the Facebook page at the time of writing.
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 (2023 dates TBA but normally throughout April) 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 Salam Orient festival (2023 dates TBA) offers a blend of music and other artistic expressions of the Middle East and Arab regions
- 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 20th) features works from around the world that address aspects of Jewish life in all its facets and contexts
- The Festival du Film Francophone (2023 dates TBA) 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 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 typically 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 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.