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.
Top activities in March 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 arts, 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.
For more seasonal entertainment, read the guide to Easter in Vienna.
(The Jewish Museum main location)
Vienna always has plenty of art and other exhibitions going on at any one time, and many delights will come your way in March 2024. You can already expect these highlights:
- The Albertina welcomes spring with a real treat: a large retrospective for Roy Lichtenstein (provisional start is March 8th). The Joel Sternfeld photo exhibition continues, as does the special exhibition for Katharina Grosse.
- The Kunsthistorisches Museum has plans for an exhibition beginning toward the end of the month on Renaissance art in Augsburg and the North (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 (from March 15th). They also present modern art from the Ukraine of the early 20th century
- The Boeckl – Kokoschka exhibition at the Albertina Modern draws to a close (on until March 17th), but the museum continues to celebrate the Beauty of Diversity in contemporary and modern art
- Belvedere 21 has the final days of a comprehensive retrospective for avant garde artist Renate Bertlmann (until March 3rd)
- The Heidi Horten collection brings out more of its modern and contemporary art highlights in the We❤ exhibition
- 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)
- Or travel back to post-WWII and the rebuilding of Vienna and the wider country, as seen through the lens of photographer Yoichi Okamoto in the National Library’s state hall (until March 3rd)
- Staying with photography, we have the final days of solo exhibitions for Karolina Wojtas and Laia Abril at FOTO ARSENAL WIEN (until March 10th)
- 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. Two further exhibitions there include the art and life of Emil Singer and explorations of the concept of caring
- We leave the creative world for the cold (but sadly not cold enough these days) climes of the Arctic: the special exhibition at the Naturhistorisches Museum
- And the Technisches Museum opens our eyes to AI, introducing its applications but also the associated social issues in the Smart World exhibition
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 (March 2nd and 3rd) 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.
This year sees the festival add the Wiener Instrumente Salon, with various instrument makers collecting to showcase their skills and products.
And if that’s not enough music for you, then two further options:
- The Vienna Blues Spring starts up March 20th 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 (March 6th to 10th).
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 (March 15th to 17th).
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 (until the 3rd in 2024). And the skating season at the open-air rink at the Eislaufverein usually continues into the first part of the month (precise dates 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
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.
Enjoy the spring flowers
(A meadow in one of Vienna’s parks)
It’s all a little dependent on the weather, obviously, but March 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:
- 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