So, June in Vienna, the month where the weather sheds its capricious nature to bring us sun and frolics. A time for wandering through the historical centre without the burden of jackets and umbrellas (hopefully), all while the Viennese are still at work.
Top activities in June 2024
Enjoy the June exhibitions
(The Albertina counts as a top address for special exhibitions, with a Roy Lichtenstein retrospective a highlight for June 2024)
Enjoy such delights as…
- The Kunsthistorisches Museum has the wonderful prospect of a summer exhibition covering Renaissance art from Augsburg and the north: Hans Holbein the Elder, Albrecht Dürer and similar
- And another obvious top option is the Roy Lichtenstein retrospective at the Albertina. The museum also has solo exhibitions for Eva Beresin and Franz Grabmayr, and they invite us to dive into the staged large-format photographic works of Gregory Crewdson
- Catch the We❤ exhibition with modern and contemporary highlights from the prestigious Heidi Horten exhibition
- You have just a couple of days to enjoy the Roberto Matta exhibition at the Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien, which runs until June 2nd
- Lower Belvedere introduces us to the art of Broncia Koller-Pinell and her contemporaries around the time of the Wiener Moderne, has the last two days (until June 2nd) of an exhibition of modernist Ukrainian art, and the start of a retrospective for Hannah Höch (from June 21st)
- Upper Belvedere gives us a closer look at 18th-century paintings by the influential Franz Anton Maulbertsch
- The Beauty of Diversity at the Albertina Modern does what it says on the label: inviting us to enjoy works from across the full range of art and artists
- The Leopold Museum offers up another highlights exhibition, this time drawing on six art collections developed under the auspices of the Vienna Insurance Group. And we discover the New Objectivity movement from early 20th-century Germany
- Explore the designs and influence of the Auböck workshop at the MAK
- The Kunst Haus Wien continues its inaugural exhibition post-renovation: Into the Woods (contemporary art by various artists around the subject of woodland ecosystems)
- FOTO ARSENAL WIEN has solo photo exhibitions for Beate Gutschöw and Laure Winants to a close (until June 23rd)
- The Wien Museum brings us Secessionist art from Vienna, Munich and Berlin, while the MUSA location focuses on the life and works of Austrian photographer Elfriede Mejchar
- The concept of caring, as practiced by Jewish individuals and organisations in Vienna, receives museal treatment at the Jewish Museum, who also examine the life and etchings of Emil Singer and (from June 6th along with the Wien Museum) look at Nazi thefts and later restitution
- Shifting to music…the life and works of Anton Bruckner get the exhibition treatment at the National Library
- Another biographical exhibition fills the upper level of the Literature Museum with poet Friederike Mayröcker as its subject
- The Smart World exhibition at the Technisches Museum continues in June, showing how smart technology is changing our lives and raising important issues related to the spread of AI
- Discover the remarkable world of the Arctic at the Naturhistorisches Museum and learn how that fragile environment is changing thanks to human intervention and the climate emergency
- Staying with the world of animals, the Weltmuseum reveals the role of camels and domestic camelids in human history and culture. They also bring us indigenous Amazonian art and produce a glossary of materials in exhibition form
See the exhibition listings for more options as I hear of them.
(The administrative home of this major festival)
The giant Wiener Festwochen multidisciplinary arts festival extends into June (May 17th to June 23rd) with visual art, dance, music and much more.
The WAMP design market showcases the delights produced by numerous independent artists and designers (June 15th).
We normally have Foto Wien in June, though the event is biannual (with the next one in 2025). It celebrates the medium of photography for a whole month with a huge number of events, exhibitions, and activities.
And Karlstag took place in June in 2023 (2024 dates TBA), celebrating life in and around the central Karlsplatz square with special tours of the many surrounding art and cultural institutions, live music, a kids festival and similar.
Vienna Pride & parade
(The national parliament joins in)
Perhaps the most colourful street parade of the year takes place this month on June 8th. The huge parade should attract some 300,000 participants and forms the climax of the long Vienna Pride festival, which runs from May 25th to June 9th.
The festival has numerous events, but also look out for special LGBTQIA+ activities at many Viennese attractions, particularly the art museums.
Enjoy music, films & festivals
(Vienna’s churches often host concerts and events)
Vienna is, of course, a city of music, with more orchestras and concerts than Emperor Franz Joseph had titles (and he had a lot of titles). Even so, June offers up a few particularly excellent opportunities…
- The Donauinselfest (June 21st to 23rd) is a three-day festival held on the Danube that features multiple stages and hundreds of hours of music from rock to rap and all things in-between. And it’s free, too
- If jazz is more your thing, then the Vienna Jazz Festival (future dates TBA) attracts some of the very best performers from around the world. The list of alumni reads like a who’s who of jazz history
- A notable free open-air concert is the world-famous summer night concert (provisionally June 7th) from the Wiener Philharmoniker in the glorious landscaped grounds of Schönbrunn Palace. I’ve written about my experience at a past event.
- The Wiener Symphoniker also give a free open-air concert out in a meadow of the Prater park area (June 28th)
- The open-air classical music AMADEUS Festival Vienna takes place in the historical grounds of the former Semmelweis Women’s Clinic. The 2024 edition runs from June 27th to June 30th
- Music also features strongly during the Long Night of the Churches (June 7th). Numerous Christian institutions open their doors to visitors with an evening of events ranging from organ recitals to rooftop tours
- Another event with plenty of music is the Südwind Straßenfest (June 29th and 30th), which celebrates the work of NGOs, with food stands, a fair-trade market, and the chance to learn about the work done by dozens of charities
- On the film front, Kino am Dach usually takes place across June with open-air movie showings on the roof of Vienna’s main city library. Expect many days to feature an English-language movie with German subtitles
- The prestigious Vienna Shorts Festival (until June 2nd) tackles the short form version of movie-making, covering numerous genres and featuring some high-quality competitions, too
- And the Rathausplatz Film Festival begins on June 29th with its free and open-air showings of concerts on the big screen. Opera and classical music, but also other genres and global stars feature. And it all comes with a huge international food court
Enjoy sport, fun, food & drink
(One of the Prater rides)
Although the Prater outdoor entertainment complex opens all year round, many of the rides close for winter. But the summer season sees the roller coasters and other funfair attractions start up in earnest again.
A couple of food and street festivals or markets should make an appearance this month. For example:
- The Jewish Street Festival (2024 dates TBA) celebrates the diversity of Jewish life with live music, various stalls and kosher food
- The Veganmania spring event pitches up in front of the MuseumsQuartier (May 30th to June 2nd)
- …and on the beer front, we have the start of the summer-long Ottakringer Bierfest (usually end of June but TBA) and the four-day open-air Vienna Beer Festival (provisionally June 6th to 9th), where brewers big and small come together in the very centre of Vienna
Enjoy the flowers
I talk about this for May, but June is another good month to take in the displays of flowering shrubs and other delights that grace Vienna’s parks and gardens (and roadsides).
(A good time to visit the rose garden)
Can I particularly recommend the Volksgarten park in the city centre, to one side of the Hofburg complex? Imagine walking into a living French impressionist painting…full of points of different colours thanks to the hundreds of rose varieties within.
And a more secretive option is the Hirschstetten Botanical Gardens (much loved by locals and rarely discovered by visitors).
Enjoy the streets and river banks
(The Bootshaus, one of many restaurants, bars etc. with open-air areas)
By June, many of the cafés, famous coffee houses, bars and similar establishments have put out their chairs, tables and sunshades so you can enjoy coffee and cake (or beer and Schnitzel) in the June sun.
Top options here:
- Enjoy continental street-side coffee culture, debating Proust and Kafka (or the coming football season) among the bustle of city life
- Take the D tram out to Nussdorf or the 38 tram to Grinzing (both leave from, for example, Schottentor station in the centre). Then walk up to the Heuriger (wine taverns) in the leafy suburbs and rolling hills, with their in-house wines and buffets bursting with local fare
- Another option for a Heuriger visit is Neustift am Walde, reachable on the 35A bus
- Drop down to the Danube canal with its open-air bars and restaurants and Summerstage (ditto but along with a programme of events like live music, outdoor art exhibition, boules etc.)
- Visit the huge Alte Donau lake, which has various lakeside cafés and restaurants, such as the popular Bootshaus pictured above