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.
(Unless, of course, Easter happens to fall in March. Like in 2024.)
Easter notwithstanding, the month’s also relatively quiet in terms of major events.
- See also:
Top activities in March 2024
So what little treats can you expect apart from the usual museums, concerts, tours, and similar?
(The Jewish Museum main location)
Vienna always has plenty of art and other exhibitions going on at any one time, and many delights will likely come your way in March 2024. It’s a little early for full schedules, but you can already expect these highlights:
- The Kunsthistorisches Museum has provisional plans for an exhibition beginning toward the end of the month on Renaissance art in Augsburg and elsewhere (think Holbein, Dürer and similar)
- Lower Belvedere reveals the creative genius of one of the female artists of the Wiener Moderne: Broncia Koller-Pinell in dialogue with works by her contemporaries
- The Albertina Modern celebrates the Beauty of Diversity in contemporary and modern art
- Travel all the way back to the first decade of the 21st century as the Wien Museum MUSA showcases contemporary art of the noughties (until March 17th)
- The MAK turns its largest exhibition hall over to contemporary textile and ceramic art
- The Wien Museum main location launches its post-renovation exhibition schedule with a look at the work of the mightily-named Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, Baroque architect supreme
- Explore the topic of Frieden (peace) at the Jewish Museum. I hope the concept will be less rare by the time we reach early 2024
Visit an Easter market
(Eggs at the Freyung Easter market)
The Easter markets open around two weeks before the holiday weekend. So with Easter Sunday on March 31st in 2024, expect to see stalls heaving with art, crafts and other wares across the second half of the month.
Take the opportunity to browse for handicrafts and gifts but also to sample traditional (and unusual) Austrian fare at the many booths selling food and drink.
If you’re pressed for time, then the market in the forecourt of Schönbrunn Palace is perhaps the best. But the Am Hof and Freyung markets are more central.
For more seasonal entertainment, read the guide to Easter in Vienna.
Vinyl, film, and canvas
March typically hosts one or two weekend festivals as Vienna slowly emerges from its winter sleep. For example:
A taste of music
The Ottakringer Vinyl & Music festival (2024 dates TBA) 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 two further options:
- The Vienna Blues Spring usually starts up toward the end of the month (2024 dates TBA), with a host of national and international bands, singers, and musicians from the genre.
- …and the International Accordion Festival typically fills most of March (2024 dates TBA)
View animated films showcased through the Tricky Women/Tricky Realities festival (2024 dates TBA).
Art and design
March seems to ignite the art and design fair world into action. For example:
- The WIKAM or Vienna International Art and Antiques Fair has a spring edition (March 2nd to 10th) that takes place in the rather lovely Palais Ferstel.
- The Edelstoff spring design market normally occupies an early March weekend (2024 dates TBA).
- And the SPARK Art Fair Vienna also hits town (expected for March 2024 but I’ve no specific dates yet).
Enjoy spring flowers and produce
(A meadow in one of Vienna’s parks)
You might drop into the mit alles culinary festival that filled an end-of-March slot in 2023 (2024 dates TBA though).
It’s all a little dependent on the weather, obviously, but this month should see the emergence of the green shoots of spring, with tulips, daffodils, 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:
- Try the sculpted gardens at the Schönbrunn and Belvedere palaces
- 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
- The city-run Hirschstetten nursery and botanical gardens remain a well-kept secret and the outdoor areas usually open from mid-March
- The Prater is famous for its entertainment complex, but go beyond that to find a huge park area full of woods, meadows, and water features
Take your last chance
(Vienna city centre in winter. Or maybe not)
March is the final full month of the Viennese ball season.
And March is probably your last opportunity to indulge in some winter sports until, well, next winter:
- The Wiener Eistraum open-air ice skating experience generally runs until early March (2024 dates TBA). And the skating season at the open-air rink at the Eislaufverein usually continues into the first part of the month (precise dates also TBA)
- 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, as well as the usual array of spa offerings: from Swedish massages to Austrian pastries.