It’s not a bad time to visit Vienna. March has a chance of decent spring weather but it’s not peak tourist season, so you miss the crowds that swarm across parts of the city in high summer.
On the other hand, as with February, it’s relatively quiet in terms of major events. Unless Easter happens to fall in March…
Top activities in March 2021
So what little treats does March offer you that other months might not have?
(Note that all the below assumes normality has returned to the world. Ongoing public health regulations may change matters, lead to postponements etc. so check with official sites.)
Visit an Easter market
(Eggs at the Freyung Easter market)
The Easter markets open around two weeks before the Easter weekend. So with Easter Sunday on April 4th in 2021, my guess is the markets will open (if allowed) around March 20th.
Take the opportunity to browse for handicrafts and gifts, but also to sample traditional (and unusual) Austrian fare at the many stalls selling food and drink.
For more seasonal entertainment, read the guide to Easter in Vienna.
Buy some vinyl, art…or food
March hosts one or two weekend festivals, as Vienna slowly emerges from its winter sleep. For example:
A taste of retro
The Vinyl & Music festival (March 6th and 7th) is a market, fair, exhibition, and gig rolled into one.
Held in a working brewery, it harks back to the days when music was “real” and not this manufactured nonsense the kids listen to these days. Why, I remember when all you needed was a washboard and a…sorry, pass me my slippers.
Actually, the festival combines a retro feel with contemporary dynamism. “Authentic” is the word I’d use.
And if that’s not enough music for you, then the Vienna Blues Spring starts up toward the end of the month (2021 dates TBA), with a host of national and international bands, singers, and musicians from the genre.
A taste of the city
If you like a decent loaf in your life, then the Brotfestival (2021 dates TBA) is a one-day celebration of the baker’s skills. Bakeries from across Vienna, Austria, and beyond collect to showcase their wares and talents.
Film and photo
Put a little Gallic je ne sais quoi into your life at the French film festival (2021 dates TBA), which features contributions from all over the francophone world.
If you prefer your pictures still, then Foto Wien (cancelled for 2021 and moved to March 9th to 27th in 2022) celebrates the medium of photography for two weeks with a whole slew of events, exhibitions, and activities.
Art and design
The Art Vienna fair returns in 2021 (March 12th to 14th). This 3-day contemporary art fair gathers together numerous art galleries and usually features works of international and regional importance, as well as giving a platform to up and coming artists.
Provisionally planned for early March (February 27th – March 7th) is also the WIKAM (the Vienna International Art and Antiques Fair), held in two rather lovely buildings: Palais Ferstel and Palais Niederösterreich.
And the Fesch’Markt event folk have slipped extra spring dates for Vienna into their 2021 itinerary: this showcase for local artists and designers runs from March 26th to 28th.
Enjoy the spring flowers
It’s all a little dependent on the weather, obviously, but March sees the emergence of the green shoots of spring, with tulips, daffodils, snowdrops, and other flowers perhaps optimistically forcing their way up through the soil.
The municipal gardens department does an excellent job of filling Vienna’s many parks (and roadsides) with spring colour. A couple of tips, if the climate allows:
- The Lainzer Tiergarten is a managed nature protection area with free-roaming deer and wild boar, paths through the woodland, playing areas for kids, and places to eat
- The Vienna woods (Wienerwald) cover the hilly west of the city, with numerous walking trails and restaurants dotted throughout
Major art exhibitions
There are always plenty of art and other exhibitions going on at any one time. In March 2021, you might consider, for example:
- The MAK always has promising design and architecture exhibitions: the Adolf Loos exhibition, for example, runs to March 14th
- Dive into the world of the Aztecs at the Weltmuseum, with exhibits drawn from prestigious museums in Mexico and elsewhere
- Travel with Jewish refugees to 1930s and 1940s China and discover their (often moving) stories at the Little Vienna in Shanghai exhibition
- A rare opportunity to experience Warhol in Vienna: the Andy Warhol Exhibits and Defrosting the Icebox exhibitions at the MUMOK museum run until March 7th
Take your last chance
March is the final full month of the Viennese ball season (though few balls are expected to take place in 2021). And probably your last opportunity to indulge in some winter sports until the end of the year:
- The skating season at the open-air rink at the Eislaufverein ends March 7th in 2021)
- The skiing season continues. Vienna’s “local” Alpine ski resort at Semmering may still be open and is suited to a day trip out to the slopes
Treat yourself to a spa day
Finally, with the weather still liable to turn chilly at times, you can always dip into a thermal pool.
The Vienna spa complex (Therme Wien) has various indoor and outdoor pools, a well as the usual array of spa offerings: from Swedish massages to Austrian pastries.