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?
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 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 7th and 8th) 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 he 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.
Life in miniature
If you prefer your world considerably smaller, then GoModelling (2021 dates TBA) might be for you. Dozens of model retailers, model manufacturers, modelling clubs and individual enthusiasts present their wares and/or models inside Vienna’s Museum of Military History.
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 (March 10th to 28th) celebrates the medium of photography for two weeks with a whole slew of events, exhibitions, and activities.
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.
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 exhibitions going on at any one time. But in March 2021, you might consider:
- The MAK has a couple of promising design and architecture exhibitions: Adolf Loos (until March 14th) and Josef Hoffmann
- The Leopold Museum draws on the Bührle collection for a major exhibition with a strong focus on the likes of Manet, Degas, Renoir, Monet, van Gogh, and Cézanne
Both come with a small question mark given we’re all still rejigging schedules after the 2020 temporary closures of all museums. So watch this space.
Take your last chance
March is the final full month of the Viennese ball season. And probably your last opportunity to indulge in some winter sports until the end of the year:
- The Ice World outdoor skating extravaganza usually closes very early in the month (dates TBA but it was March 1st last year), as does the open-air rink at the Eislaufverein (dates TBA but March 8th last year). However…
- The skiing season continues. Vienna’s “local” Alpine ski resort at Semmering should 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.