Vienna in July sees the locals waving bye bye as you enter the city. The school holidays have started and the weather is warm and sunny (usually), so many Viennese disappear on holiday or out to weekend homes in the country.
Top activities in July 2022
Most of Vienna’s main attractions stay open through the summer, though the opera houses, for example, normally take a break for all of July and August.
So what seasonal festivals and activities might you enjoy in July 2022, in addition to the usual palaces, museums, and other attractions?
Visit the Rathausplatz
The open-air Rathaus Film Festival typically starts early in July (exact 2022 dates TBA). Each evening, sit back and enjoy opera, ballet, classical music or a more popular musical genre on the giant screen.
But there’s much more to this event than a bit of audiovisual entertainment. Gastro booths line the Rathausplatz square, selling food, drinks, and snacks from all over the world.
So you might watch Sheryl Crow’s performance at New York’s Capitol Theatre and then go for an American sirloin steak afterwards.
Other film festivals
Various other open-air cinematic festivals run in July, as well, should the Rathaus version get too busy for you. For example:
And if you like your films short, then try the dotdotdot film festival: also open-air and a very inclusive experience (generally starts late July). For example, you normally choose your own entrance fee.
Get your music groove on
The July music does not stop at the Rathausplatz. For example:
- The Vienna Jazz Festival, Jazzfest Wien, is no local gathering of performers but a significant event on the international jazz calendar (June 23rd to July 17th in 2022)
- Jazz gives way to pop later in the month at Popfest Wien (2022 dates TBA) on Karlsplatz and at Arena Wien, a music festival with dozens of live performances on various stages. The event normally showcases regional and national talents…from established musicians to relative newcomers
- The Afrika Tage African festival normally starts up mid-July (2022 dates TBA). Music forms the centrepiece of the occasion, with national and international performers. Enjoy plenty of African cuisine, too, as well as a bazaar and various info stands from NGOs working in and with the continent
- The open-air classical music Amadeus Festival Vienna took place for the first time in July 2021 in the historical grounds of the former Semmelweis Women’s Clinic. It looks set to repeat in 2022 (dates TBA)
Go for a drink
All that music might make you thirsty. As it happens, Vienna rolls out extra drinking water stations in summer, as well as misting stations for cooling off.
But if you fancy something with a little more pep…
The Ottakringer brewery’s Beer Festival usually opens from early July (2022 dates TBA). “Beer culture” here mainly involves drinking the stuff, whether Ottakringer’s own fine wares or those of the guest breweries that appear most years. But there’s usually music, too. And food.
The MuseumsQuartier also becomes a summer hotspot in July, thanks to the unique courtyard furniture, open-air bars and other entertainments.
Enjoy the water
If it gets hot in July (and it usually does), then there’s plenty of water in Vienna (cough…the Danube…cough).
- The city has numerous public swimming facilities, including well over a dozen which are outdoor pools or recreational water areas
- The Danube and associated waterways have riverside walks, cafés and restaurants dotted along their banks. Even beaches, watersports and swimming areas in some places.
Look particularly for the Old Danube (Alte Donau) recreation area and the Danube Island (Donauinsel). The Old Danube also hosts a Lichterfest at the end of July (2022 dates TBA), where lighted boats spread across the water beneath a professional firework display.
Enjoy the woods
If it all gets a little too hot, there’s always the option of enjoying the leafy shade in Vienna’s wooded areas. For example:
- The Vienna Woods (Wienerwald) rolls across the northwest of the city, crisscrossed by hiking paths and forest roads. Consider routes 1 to 4A on the city’s walking route suggestions
- The Lainzer Tiergarten (Lainz Game Reserve) has deer, wild boar and more, but also the Hermesvilla, a 19th-century summerhouse for Empress Elisabeth
- Schönbrunn Palace has a surrounding park and gardens which includes a decent amount of woodland and tree-lined avenues for those seeking shade
Enjoy the streets
Don’t assume it’s only the obvious street cafés with their pavement seating. Many places have little gardens tucked around the back or in courtyards. For example, I was recently much taken by the courtyard ambience in the café at the Kunst Haus Wien (complete with Hundertwasser styling – see photo above).
July is also high season for Vienna’s many wine taverns (Heuriger). The D and 38 trams take you out to the main Heuriger territories in the low hills of Nussdorf and Grinzing, where spritzers made with homegrown wine are the order of the day.
Enjoy the art and music
A few exhibitions should keep you out of the sun for a few hours. It’s a little early for July 2022 schedules, but a couple of places already announced provisional programmes for the month. So you might enjoy, for example:
- Exhibitions at Belvedere on realist paintings (1850-1950), a look at Venice (mythical and historical representations in art), and the landscape paintings of Joseph Rebell
- An exhibition of street photography at the Wien Museum MUSA
I don’t normally highlight individual concerts (there are so many) but some of the big guns of (rock) music have provisional dates for Vienna in July 2022. These include Guns’n’Roses in the national football stadium on July 13th and all the following at the Stadthalle:
- Aerosmith (July 7th)
- Pearl Jam (July 20th)
- Celine Dion (July 2nd)
Don’t get those last two mixed up.
Enjoy a sword fight
Finally, for something a little different…the Montur und Pulverdampf festival (2022 dates TBA) is a weekend of medieval reenactments. Sword fights, cannon fire, historical music, fire shows, craft markets, and more. Get in for free if you wear a bit of medieval costume.