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 2023
(The Jewish Museum main location)
Vienna always has plenty of art and other exhibitions going on at any one time, and many delights are planned for March 2023. For example:
- Lower Belvedere has a Klimt exhibition exploring his artistic influences (in cooperation with Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum) as well as a comprehensive exhibition on Belvedere’s own history
- Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien has the largest solo exhibition to date for Kiki Kogelnik
- Both the Albertina and Albertina Modern showcase printed graphics with respective exhibitions: Dürer, Munch, Miró and Andy Warhol to Damien Hirst
- The Albertina Modern also highlights the progressive photographic art of Austria around 1900
- …and the Albertina offers up solo exhibitions for Picasso (from March 17th), Alex Katz (from March 7th) and Ruth Baumgarte (until March 5th), as well as a look at the golden age of drawing in the Netherlands in Bruegel and his Time
- The Kunsthistorisches Museum begins a major exhibition featuring the contemporary works of Georg Baselitz in dialogue with those of the old masters…with the naked form as a theme (from March 7th)
- The Kunsthistorisches Museum’s special coin exhibition also continues through March, as well as their fascinating look at a project from the 1880s that involved groundbreaking photographs of the imperial painting collection and a presentation of the world’s longest etching
- The Vienna Furniture Museum explores Amboss design and table culture
- The Weltmuseum continues to reveal the delights of Chaekgeori painting and offers up a challenging exhibition on Extinctions!?
- We have the final days of the Wien Museum MUSA’s look at the work of the Bauhaus-influenced designers Friedl Dicker and Franz Singer (until March 26th)
- …and we have the final days (until March 19th) of the Espresso at last exhibition at the Jewish Museum, which examines one of the key personalities and locations in Vienna’s coffee history. The same institution also presents, for example, the intriguing 100 Misunderstandings about and among Jews and begins a look (from March 28th) at aspects of Guilt
- The MAK celebrates the art of celebration with its THE FEST exhibition and the art of metal with the Hagenauer exhibition. Also catch a solo exhibition for the sculptor Birke Gorm and the enticing curiosity of an exhibition around the term “folds“
- The Kunst Haus Wien begins its Mining Photography exhibition, exploring the materials side of the photographer’s work in the context of environmental impacts (from March 9th)
- Discover popular music in Austria in its widest possible sense at the Theatermuseum’s Austropop exhibition
- The Natural History Museum celebrates the bicentennial of Brazil-Austria relations with a lovely special exhibition on the South American country
- …while the Technisches Museum demonstrates how nature influences design and technology in the fascinating BioInspiration exhibition
- Elsewhere, the Literature Museum continues its exhibition on Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann
- and the National Library’s look at the construction and architectural history of its remarkable Baroque state hall ends on March 5th
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 in early April in 2023, the last week of March will see stalls heaving with art, crafts and other wares.
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.
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 4th and 5th) 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, with a host of national and international bands, singers, and musicians from the genre.
View animated films showcased through the Tricky Women/Tricky Realities festival (March 8th to 12th).
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 4th to 12th) and takes place in the rather lovely Palais Ferstel.
- The Edelstoff spring design market (March 4th and 5th).
- And the SPARK Art Fair Vienna also hits town (March 24th to 26th).
Enjoy the spring flowers
(A meadow in one of Vienna’s parks)
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
- The city-run Hirschstetten nursery and botanical gardens remain a well-kept secret and usually open from the middle of 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 runs until March 5th. And the skating season at the open-air rink at the Eislaufverein usually continues into at least the first part of the month, depending on the weather
- 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.