The Best Time to Visit Vienna
Over the past weeks, I was mesmerized at how beautiful Austria’s capital is in springtime. In all honesty, I asked myself whether this is the best time to visit Vienna. It is a question difficult to answer objectively. Vienna’s climate is such that all four seasons are represented and each brings its own charm. I advise our personalized itineraries guests to pick their favorite season and come experience it here. However, I decided to attempt an impartial evaluation of the matter and below you’ll find several compelling reasons to why spring in Vienna – late March and April – is simply magical.
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Vienna Climate and Yearly Temperatures
Situated in central Europe, Vienna has an oceanic/humid climate with four seasons. This means summers are warm and humid (June) and the months of July and August can be extremely hot (above 38C). Winters are cold and dry with average temperatures at about 0C. Spring and autumn are variable with the months of November and March already/still quite cold and prone to snowfalls. Shoulder months are September and May with pleasant temperatures and many sunny days. Precipitations are moderate, but the region is quite windy throughout the year.
Below, the average monthly temperatures in Celsius (Fahrenheit), according to Wikipedia.
|January 1.2C (34.2F)||July 21.7C (71.1F)|
|February 2.9C (37.2F)||August 21.6C (70.9F)|
|March 6.4C (43.5F)||September 16.8C (62.2F)|
|April 11.5C (52.7F)||October 11.6C (52.9F)|
|May 16.5C (61.7F)||November 5.5C (41.9F)|
|June 19.1C (66.4F)||December 2.4C (36.3F)|
Springtime – the Best Time to Visit Vienna
Autumn is my favorite season, so if I am to be biased, I would wholeheartedly recommend the months of September or October for a visit. Our recommendations to fully enjoy Vienna in autumn are worth taking a look at. To be honest, though, September is still quite touristic, as are the months of May and June (the warm weather draws in all the shoulder season enthusiasts). October can already be cold and rainy, depending, and the shorter days do not appeal to everybody. I love Vienna in October, reading a book in one of my favorite coffee houses, but that’s just me. For reading recommendations, check out our list of best books set in/about Vienna. My Amazon Picks
I will purposely leave out the summer months, as it is my personal opinion that city escapes should not be attempted during the high holiday season. Vienna in July and August is as hot and deserted as any other European capital with only a handful of places to have an authentic experience. The months of November and December are filled with the magic of Christmas, so that’s when the city looks like a fairytale land. Definitely worthwhile to visit then and fight the cold and the crowds. Alternatively, January in Vienna is amazingly chilled and authentic, so consider that as an option, and February is ball season at its best.
But then, as soon as Carnival celebrations bring out colorful and flowery outfits, moods change and the city comes to life with the first rays of sun that warm its grounds. It’s still cold and days can be capriciously windy, but people know sunshine is right around the corner. Yellow blossoms and wood garlic in the Prater (and on restaurant menus) are the first signs that spring is upon us. Until Easter, there is a month or so of great weather, good cheer (to be cherished in otherwise grumpy Vienna), and an endless array of beauty, all to be enjoyed before the touristic season starts. Thus, objectively speaking, this is the best time to visit Vienna (mid-March and April). I’ll tell you a bit more below.
Springtime in Vienna – Nature in Bloom
As the internet gets loaded with pictures of cherry blossoms and articles on where to experience (read Instagram) them best, I look around Vienna and decide I’m not gonna write that article. Because a city in bloom is so much more than a list of places. It is the peaceful Tuesday afternoon in Central Park (Stadtpark)when everybody is out to enjoy the sunshine. I pick up the toddler from kindergarten and we stroll aimlessly, feeding the ducks and pigeons, smiling at people, conversing with strangers on a bench by the pond. Students have already spread their blankets on every patch of green grass, street musicians are at their best, ice cream parlors have open, and tourists forget their checklists to join in an authentic Viennese afternoon. The blossoms are there, beautiful as ever, but that’s just a sweet addition.
If you’re still up to make the most out of your stay in Vienna, we do recommend you consider purchasing the Vienna City Card. We have written a dedicated article explaining its advantages, and are still committed to help you make the most out of it. !!! FOR FREE !!! Check it out, and let’s meet in Stadtpark and plan your perfect stay in Vienna!
Springtime in Vienna – Outside Seating
While for the average person it is still too cold to sit outside, in Vienna it becomes a must. Restaurants and coffee houses put up tables right on the walkways (called Schanigartens) and provide blankets to keep you warm and comfortable in the fresh breeze. Spring temperatures in Vienna ca oscillate anywhere between 5 and 20 degrees Celsius, thus dressing up in the morning becomes quite a challenge and it’s why layers are very useful.
Unless you’re a pro at being a Viennese, sitting outside for an entire meal might be too much, but there’s nothing like a warm cup of coffee sipped in the crisp, sunny Viennese air while people watching or reading. If you decided to believe me that early spring is the best time to go to Vienna, trust me on this one too. My Amazon Picks
Springtime in Vienna – Parks and Gardens
I have exhaustively covered the city’s parks and gardens in our three days in Vienna itinerary, but I have to stress again how important they are for the Viennese. From having brunch in the closest neighborhood green to chasing the sunshine in the Prater, there is no limit to making the most out of it.
If you want to just get a quick feel for Vienna’s parks and be on your way, most popular locations around the Ringstrasse (main boulevard) are the Sigmund Freud Park in front of Votive Church and the Burggarten next to the Hofburg. While these parks are mildly overcrowded, my favorite place to enjoy Vienna’s spring climate is the Volksgarten. I come here with a book as often as I can, and I always feel like I have it all for myself – the city, the green chairs, the flowers. Try it out!
Whether visitor or resident, one should definitely consider paying the Prater a visit in April. This is not only the best time to visit Vienna, but also the ideal time to enjoy the Green Prater and pick your own stock of the famous wood garlic. Beyond the famous amusement park, also worth a visit, the area covering six million square meters of lawns and woods has earned its spot among the ten best city parks in the world. Luckily for you (and your kids!) there’s a small train ride that takes you through the Green Prater, which is highly enjoyable. Do not miss a walk along the 4,5 km long Prater Hauptalle, followed by a chocolate making workshop at the Chocolate Museum or an afternoon tea at Cafe Little Britain nearby!
Springtime in Vienna – Outdoor Performances and Themed Walking Tours
Vienna’s cultural climate would, of course, not stay behind the changes in temperatures and moods. Novel art exhibitions and performances are announced on billboards all over town, and the early highlight of the upcoming outdoors season is the installation of a giant screen outside the Vienna State Opera. Performances can be watched for free here until the end of the season in June.
Around this time last year, I myself discovered Secret Vienna Tours and since then I am positively infatuated with the great work they do, bringing to light various facets of this amazing city. The center is not too crowded, the weather is neither cold nor hot, the perfect time to explore off the beaten path!
if you are not one to join a tour, I am regularly publishing on our Instagram account half-day authentic neighborhood walks itineraries in Vienna! Take your pick!
It is during these neighborhood walks that I come across charming corners in bloom, fresh produce markets, new cozy coffee houses, and amazing pieces of street art, all celebrating the beauty of life and spring in such an amazing city. To give you a taste for it, here are my most recent shots!
Springtime in Vienna – Easter Markets
Although not as glamorous as their Christmas counterparts, themed Easter markets are one of the highlights of Vienna in spring (details here). The most famous one is right in front of the Schonbrunn Palace, while my personal favorite is the Old Viennese Easter Market on Freyung. This year we’ll check out the one Am Hof, a 40 km drive from Vienna. Make sure to follow our social media channels for updates on how that went!
As I am writing this piece, so many more locations and activities come to mind! We should definitely take the toddler out to the Turkenschantzpark, we should not miss the beautiful wild lilac blooms in St Marx cemetery, we should go hike the Kahlenberg, we should drive along the Wachau valley in bloom. I’m in love with Vienna in spring, even more so as I sit down to write about it. I have given it my best shot to be objective in assessing whether this is the best time to visit, but beyond these lines lies a love story that’s more than 10 springs old. All I can say is that right here you have the reason I decided to offer personalized itineraries in Vienna, so drop us a line before your visit and we’ll make sure your stay is truly memorable! In every season!