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 2021
Aside from the usual palaces, museums, and other such hotspots, just what can you do in this merry month?
(I’m assuming we’re past Covid-related issues by June 2021. If not, take all the below as theoretical and check locally.)
Enjoy the music
(Vienna’s churches often host concerts and events)
Vienna is a city of music, with more orchestras and daily 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 (2021 dates TBA) is a three-day festival held on the Danube featuring around 13 stages and 600 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 (June 23rd to July 11th) attracts some of the very best performers from around the world. The list of alumni reads like a who’s who of jazz history.
- Music also features strongly at the Südwind Straßenfest (2021 dates TBA), 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
- The renowned Wiener Symphoniker Orchestra gives a free open-air concert at the Museumsquartier (June 25th)
- Another free open-air concert provisionally slated for June at the time of writing (the 18th) is the world-famous summer night concert from the Wiener Philharmoniker in the glorious landscaped grounds of Schönbrunn Palace
Enjoy the rides
(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.
The Prater area also has the giant Ferris wheel, Madame Tussaud, the Planetarium, and much more to offer. Not to mention a feast of restaurants.
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).
Can I particularly recommend the Volksgarten park in the city centre, to one side of the Hofburg complex? This is like walking into a living French impressionist painting…full of points of different colours thanks to the hundreds of rose varieties within.
Enjoy the films
The prestigious international Vienna Shorts Festival showcases short-form cinema, films and documentaries (2021 dates TBA).
Enjoy the art
With June 2021 still some time away, I have few specific exhibition recommendations yet. A lot of museums need to rework their timetable following the closures of mid-2020. But these provisional options look very good:
- The Munch exhibition (ends June 20th) at the Albertina, featuring dozens of his works as well as those of major modern and contemporary artists inspired by him
- The Women Artists of the Wiener Werkstätte at the MAK Museum, which throws a deserved light on the women who made significant contributions to the development of Viennese arts and crafts in those heady years of the early 20th century
June also hosts the spring/summer edition of Fesch’Markt Vienna (dates TBA), which showcases the delights produced by numerous independent artists and designers.
Enjoy the streets
By now, 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.
You have two top options here:
- Enjoy continental street-side coffee culture, debating Proust and Kafka (or the coming football season) among the bustle of city life. Or…
- 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, with their in-house wines and buffets bursting with local fare
And, of course, perhaps the most colourful street parade of the year takes place in June with the Rainbow Parade, the climax of the two-week Vienna Pride festival (June 7-20 with the parade on the 19th).
Finally, since we’re talking parades (this is a bit of a leap, but I didn’t know where to fit in this event): the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum hosts a 3-day festival showcasing military old timers. Auf Rädern und Ketten (2021 dates TBA) has trucks, tanks, and more.