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 2023
Enjoy the June exhibitions
(The Albertina counts as a top address for special exhibitions)
It’s still a little early for all of June 2023 highlights, but exhibitions already scheduled include:
- The final days of the Kiki Kogelnik exhibition at the Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien (until June 25th)
- And the last days of the Kunsthistorisches Museum’s Around the World in 80 coins exhibition (until June 23rd) and their major exhibition placing works by Georg Baselitz in dialogue with those of old masters (provisionally also until June 23rd)
- The Albertina offers up, for example, a smorgasbord of solo exhibitions: the photos of Valie Export (from June 23rd), Alex Katz (until June 4th), Georg Baselitz (from June 7th) and Ofer Lellouche (from June 29th). Oh, and Picasso in the early part of the month
- Picasso also pops up along the likes of Munch, Sisley, Magritte, Richter and Lassnig in the Leopold’s Amazing exhibition that draws on the Würth collection
- The Albertina Modern highlights the world of printed graphics from the late 1940s onwards. Think Warhol, Lichtenstein, and similar. And has a solo exhibition for Yoshitomo Nara
- The Theatermuseum’s celebration of popular music (in its widest historical sense) in Austria continues with the Austropop exhibition, but the musuem also presents costume design drawings by Monika von Zallinger
- An intriguing and eye-opening exploration of biomimetics (technology inspired by nature) awaits at the Technisches Museum
- The MAK highlights the metal art and design of the Hagenauer workshops (established 1898) and introduces us to the sculptures of Birke Gorm (until June 25th)
- The Literature Museum presents a homage to the great Ingeborg Bachmann, one of Austria’s greatest poets, dramatists, librettist, essayists,… (a very talented lady)
- A few intriguing exhibitions at the Weltmuseum, such as an innovative look at extinction narratives, a dive into modern Japanese calligraphy, a different perspective on science fiction(s), and a solo exhibition for Maximilian Prüfer
- Lower Belvedere offers a deep dive into the history of the Belvedere palaces and art institution as well as an exhibition (from June 22nd) featuring large-format paintings that normally don’t get the display space
- This month is your last chance to catch the 100 Misunderstandings exhibition at the Jewish Museum (until June 4th), but the same institution also examines the concept of Guilt in another exhibition and (from June 22nd) the role of skin colour in perceptions of and among Jews.
- Explore Vienna in the form of postcards at a special exhibition at the Wien Museum MUSA
- See the exhibition listings for more options as I hear of them
June also hosts the spring/summer edition of Fesch’Markt Vienna (June 2nd to 4th in 2023), which showcases the delights produced by numerous independent artists and designers. And a WAMP design market (with a similar scope) may take place mid-month.
We have Foto Wien (June 1st to 30th), too, which celebrates the medium of photography for the whole month with a whole slew of events, exhibitions, and activities.
The MuseumsQuartier normally holds its Sommerfest summer festival day in June as well (2023 dates TBA), with various activities, including live music, tours, general good vibes, and often free entrance to selected museums in the early evening.
Enjoy the parade(s)
Perhaps the most colourful street parade of the year traditionally takes place this month. The huge Rainbow Parade (June 17th with over 250,000 participants expected) forms the climax of the long Vienna Pride festival (June 1st to 18th).
The festival has numerous events, but also look out for special LGBTQIA+ activities at many Viennese attractions, particularly the art museums.
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 may have the 3-day Auf Rädern und Ketten (next dates TBA) military old timers festival. Slightly different vibe to the Rainbow Parade.
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 (scheduled for June 23rd to 25th) 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 (next 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 (planned for June 8th in 2023) from the Wiener Philharmoniker in the glorious landscaped grounds of Schönbrunn Palace. I’ve written about my experience at the last one.
- The Konzerthaus concert hall celebrates its 40th International Music Festival (May 29th to June 26th)
- Music also features strongly during the Long Night of the Churches (June 2nd). 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 3rd and 4th), 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 typically 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
- And the prestigious Vienna Shorts Festival (June 1st to 6th) tackles the short form version of movie-making, covering numerous genres and featuring some high-quality competitions, too
Enjoy the rides, 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 might make an appearance this month. For example (all 2023 dates TBA at the time of writing unless marked):
- The GENUSSWELTEN gourmet festival rolled into the MuseumsQuartier for the first time in June 2022 so may repeat
- The same might be said for the Bauermarkt unter Palmen, which brought small farmers and food start ups from around Vienna to the palm house of the Burggarten last June
- The Jewish Street Festival 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 (June 2nd to 4th)
- …and on the beer front, we have the start of the summer-long Ottakringer Bierfest (from June 29th) and the four-day open-air Vienna Beer Festival (June 1st to 4th), where brewers big and small come together in the very centre of Vienna
(And if you want to run off the accumulated calories, the ASICS Austrian Women’s Run is set for June 4th.)
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.
Four 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