Another month that feels like the young boy staring forlornly through the sweet shop window while December and August get to choose all the nice things. But November in Vienna has its own pleasures.
In particular, you get to enjoy the Christmas flair, but without quite so many crowds.
Activities for November 2022
Here are a few suggested activities and events specific to November.
Christmas markets and lights
Call me old fashioned, but the Christmas season seems like it really ought to happen in December. However, the preparations and celebrations start much earlier in Vienna.
The city tends to switch on the official Christmas lights sometime in the second half of November, though the date rarely gets confirmed too far in advance (they actually started from November 12th in 2021). And they’re lovely: very classy, especially the white chandelier-style displays in the very centre of town.
Although the genuine advent atmosphere does indeed come in December, it’s not a bad idea to pop into those markets before then.
The markets get busier close to Christmas, so a November visit means you have more space to enjoy the cooked and crafted delights (of which there are many).
By the way, the market on the Rathausplatz often has an attached outdoor ice skating experience should you wish to work off the calories. And the Eislaufverein offers another chance to skate the Bolero in the open air.
Top exhibitions in November 2022
(The gorgeous Kunsthistorisches Museum usually has a major exhibition in November)
November 2022 is still some way off as I write this, so some exhibition schedules have yet to be completed. Current plans do, however, already feature:
- The Idols and Rivals Old Masters exhibition at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, possibly featuring the likes of da Vinci, Michelangelo, Dürer, Tizian, Cellini, Rubens, etc.
- A Helmut Newton retrospective at the Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien
- Austria’s first big Jean-Michel Basquiat retrospective at the Albertina
- An exhibition at the Albertina Modern with a focus on (New York School) abstract expressionism from the second half of the 20th century (Pollock, Rothko, Mitchell and others)
- A George Nuku solo exhibition at the Weltmuseum
- The Grow exhibition at Lower Belvedere, which looks at the role of the tree in art history and its multilayered relationship with humanity and culture
- The big photo exhibition at the Kunst Haus Wien, which features Gregor Sailer’s almost surreal images of architecture at the margins
- The Natural History Museum’s special exhibition on Brazil
- November 13th sees several exhibitions end. So your last chance to see:
- The Jewish Museum’s Love me Kosher exhibition exploring love, sexuality and similar themes in Judaism
- A solo exhibition on the early 19th-century landscape artist, Josepf Rebell, at Lower Belvedere
- And the Francesco Clemente solo exhibition at the Albertina
Bonus: the Photo+Adventure fair and festival (provisionally November 12th and 13th in 2022) is big on travel photography, for example, which means lots of photo exhibitions from top photographers covering various locations and/or themes.
Find accommodation for November
(Service provided by booking.com*, who I am an affiliate of)
The Christmas markets include a great deal of unique craft items, and the theme of crafted beauty continues at other events:
- The Art&Antique fair at the Hofburg palace (provisionally November 10th to 14th) brings together numerous Austrian and international art dealers and galleries. A chance to view (and acquire) everything from the latest contemporary designs to works from antiquity
- Fesch means handsome or pretty in German, and the Fesch’Markt Wien (November 11th to 13th) at the city’s largest brewery showcases the creations of dozens of independent design talents across a host of categories: from food to fashion and furniture
(Ottakringer brewery, host of Fesch’Markt Wien)
- The Weihnachtsquartier (November 25th to 27th) opens its doors for three days of art and design from independents
- The “Presse”-SCHAU fair (November 4th to 6th) typically covers design and lifestyle themes including watches and jewelry, travel, mobility, crafts, and more
- Art at the Park (November 24th to 27th) is a high-quality art fair held on the premises of the luxury Park Hyatt Vienna
Music with a difference
Vienna is the home of classical music, with concerts everywhere. But among the pieces by Beethoven, Mozart and their ilk is a thriving modern and alternative scene.
- The Wien Modern festival (throughout November) highlights the work of contemporary composers and performers. Some of the world’s top orchestras participate.
- And the KlezMORE festival (2022 dates TBA) celebrates this traditional form of Jewish music with performances, readings, films, and more.
Finally…roast chestnuts and beer
As the temperatures fall so the Maronistands rise up like mushrooms, peppering the city with their little huts and heated ovens. This is your chance to travel back in time for some original fast food – roasted chestnuts.
And beer lovers should find their way to the Craft Beer Festival (autumn 2022 dates TBA), when dozens of breweries offer up their wares for the discerning consumer of the amber nectar.
Bon Appetit, as they don’t say in Vienna (try Mahlzeit or Guten Appetit).