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Vienna in May: Travel Tips & Things to Do [2023]

Vienna in May is a symphony of blossoming gardens, sunlit cobblestone streets, and alfresco dining. Spring’s warmth breathes life into the city’s rich history and vibrant culture, while art, music, and culinary delights create an enchanting atmosphere perfect for leisurely exploration and unforgettable experiences in the Austrian capital. Below, we have compiled some practical information for you as well as the best things to do in Vienna in May.

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Vienna Weather in May

In May, Vienna’s weather blossoms into mild and pleasant conditions, ideal for exploring the city’s wonders. Daytime temperatures typically range from 16°C to 22°C (61°F to 72°F), while evenings are cooler, averaging around 9°C to 12°C (48°F to 54°F).

With occasional light showers, the city’s vibrant greenery and colorful blooms flourish, creating a picturesque backdrop for outdoor activities.

What to Wear in Vienna in May

When visiting Vienna in May, it’s best to opt for versatile clothing that accommodates the mild daytime temperatures and cooler evenings. Layering is key; think lightweight shirts, cardigans, or sweaters, and a waterproof yet breathable jacket for the occasional rain shower.

Comfortable walking shoes are a must for exploring the city’s cobblestone streets, while a stylish scarf and a sunhat can serve as fashionable and functional accessories. Lastly, pack a few dressier items for special outings or cultural events, ensuring you are ready to experience Vienna in style.

Practical Information for Visiting Vienna in May

May is a good month to explore Vienna. All tourist attractions have reopened after the winter season.

The only drawback is the few public holidays you may encounter. Ascension Day, Whitsun, and Whit Monday are bank holidays meaning that you should expect all shops, most businesses, and many restaurants to be closed.

Apart from that, milder temperatures and longer days make May the perfect month to explore Vienna.

Where to Stay in Vienna in May

Hostel: Wombats Naschmarkt, a popular hostel in Vienna, within walking distance of the city center

Budget Economy: B&B Hotel Wien-Meidling, a great budget option close to Wien-Meidling station

Budget Plus: Motel One Wien Hauptbahnhof, an unpretentious choice within 2 minutes of Vienna Central Station

Mid-range: Mercure Secession Vienna, a reasonably-priced 4-star hotel in the city center

Splurge: Hotel Sans Souci Wien, one of the city’s most prestigious hotels, the glamorous Sans Souci features trendy rooms and deluxe furnishings

Best Things to Do in Vienna in May

Below, find a selection of the best things to do in Vienna in May. Pick one or two and combine them with dozens of other fun things to do in Vienna.

Explore the City on a Walking Tour

Vienna is a great city to explore on foot when it is just starting to get warm – there is so much to see! If you like, you could give our self-guided Vienna walking tour a try or check out one of these popular guided walking tours of Vienna:

Ottakringer May Festival

Each year, Ottakringer Brewery hosts Maifest to celebrate the arrival of spring and officially open the beer season. The brewery’s courtyard is transformed into a family-friendly space, featuring a variety of Ottakringer beers, an extensive culinary selection, including food trucks and OFYR BBQ, and the special brew “Ottakringer Maibock.”

The event offers free admission and a diverse program, including live music, a pub quiz, a cabaret, and children’s activities like workshops, face painting, and a bouncy castle. You can also enjoy urban gardening with Ackerhelden, a beer garden, and Bierspritzer tasting during this multi-day celebration.

Check out their website for the full program.

Vienna Festival

The Vienna Festival is an annual celebration of music, theatre, and dance that takes place in various venues throughout the city. It’s a great opportunity to experience Vienna’s cultural scene, with performances by both local and international artists.

Prices and ticket availability vary depending on the event, so be sure to check the festival website for more information.

Genuss Festival Vienna

The Genussfestival Vienna is a culinary event that takes place every year in Stadtpark. The festival showcases local and regional food and drink products, with tastings, workshops, and demonstrations. Entry to the event is free, but food and drink purchases require a fee.

Check out their official website for a map and more information on exhibitors.

Edelstoff Design Market

Looking for a unique souvenir? Check out the Edelstoff design market for slow fashion, accessories, art, and more. With more than 160 Austrian and international exhibitors, there is guaranteed to be something for everyone.

You can also watch select artists as they work or relax in the lounge area. Naturally, there is plenty of food to choose from as well. Check out their website for the full program and tickets.

Festival of Joy

Fest der Freude is an annual commemorative event held every May 8th in Vienna, marking the liberation from Nazi rule and the unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht. Organized by the Mauthausen Committee Austria (MKÖ), this event takes place at Vienna’s Heldenplatz and is streamed online with English subtitles, making it accessible for international tourists.

The festival promotes the theme of civil courage and features speeches from contemporary witnesses, sharing powerful stories of heroism and resilience.

Alongside its historical significance, Fest der Freude offers a diverse music program, showcasing performances by renowned international artists and orchestras.

The event concludes with a stirring rendition of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” Hosted by a prominent figure from the arts, Fest der Freude provides a unique opportunity for tourists to experience a blend of history, reflection, and cultural celebration in the heart of Vienna.

For this year’s full program, please check out the event website.

Wean Hean

Wean Hean is an enthralling music festival held in Vienna during spring, showcasing the city’s abundant musical legacy and a variety of contemporary talents.

The festival presents a distinctive fusion of time-honored Viennese music and modern sounds, featuring performances by renowned artists and up-and-coming stars. From classical tunes and jazz to pop and electronic rhythms, there’s something to satisfy every music enthusiast.

Taking place at multiple venues throughout Vienna, Wean Hean welcomes both locals and tourists to dive into the city’s lively music scene and uncover the harmonious bond between heritage and innovation that characterizes Vienna’s singular musical persona.

Check out the official website for more information.

European Street Food Festival

The European Street Food Festival is an unparalleled event that invites guests to indulge in international culinary delights, emphasizing quality and freshness in its offerings. Since its launch in November 2015, the festival has toured throughout Austria, welcoming over 2.5 million enthusiastic visitors.

The European Street Food Festival celebrates “Taste from around the world,” featuring dozens of food stands, exhibitors, chefs, trailers, and trucks offering a diverse array of culinary delights.

Visitors can explore stand after stand, sampling small bites, exotic recipes, and local favorites, with offerings ranging from appetizers, soups, and snacks to main courses and desserts, complemented by a wide variety of beverages.

Check out their website for all details.

Art Austria

The Art Austria Art Fair is an annual event held in Vienna, Austria, showcasing contemporary art from a wide range of international artists. The event aims to promote the work of emerging and established artists, as well as connect them with collectors, curators, and art enthusiasts.

Art Austria features a diverse range of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, installations, and photography.

The event is held in the Leopold Museum at MuseumsQuartier and is open to the public with admission tickets available on the event website or at the door.

Art Austria also includes talks, workshops, and panel discussions with artists and art experts, providing visitors with a unique and engaging art experience.

Vienna Gin Festival

The Vienna Gin Festival is an annual event that celebrates gin and the craft of gin-making. The festival takes place at Semperdepot and is open to the public with admission tickets available on the event website or at the door. The event features a variety of gin tastings from local and international distilleries, as well as workshops and talks on gin production and mixology.

The festival also offers a range of culinary delights, including food and gin pairings. With live music, DJs, and a buzzing atmosphere, the Vienna Gin Festival is a must-visit event for gin enthusiasts and those looking to learn more about this popular spirit.

Burgenland Kultinarium

The Burgenland Kultinarium is an annual culinary event that celebrates the food, wine, and culture of the Burgenland region of Austria. The event takes place at Am Hof in the historic center of Vienna and features a variety of food and drink tastings, workshops, and demonstrations.

Visitors can taste traditional dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, as well as meet and learn from local farmers, winegrowers, and chefs. The event also includes live music, cultural performances, and other entertainment.

Entrance to the festival is free, providing a unique opportunity to experience the flavors and traditions of Burgenland in the heart of Vienna.

Check out their website for the full program.

Salam Orient Festival

Salam Orient is an annual spring festival in Vienna that celebrates the vibrant arts and culture of the Middle East, North Africa, and Arabic-influenced regions worldwide.

Over two weeks, the festival showcases a diverse program of music, literature, art, and dance at various venues across the city, offering a unique blend of traditional and contemporary performances, as well as opportunities for social and political critique.

In addition to the musical lineup, Salam Orient features visual arts exhibits, literature events, and interactive workshops. The festival center at Spektakel Wien serves as a cozy and entertaining hub where visitors can enjoy jam sessions, DJ sets, and delicious food.

With its commitment to showcasing the diverse culture and creativity of the Middle East and the Arabic world, Salam Orient offers a dynamic and engaging experience that captivates visitors year after year.

Check out their website for this year’s program.

Vienna Citrus Days

The Vienna Citrus Days, or Wiener Zitrustage, is an annual event held at Schönbrunn Palace, celebrating the city’s citrus fruits.

Visitors can expect to see and learn about different varieties of citrus fruits, and there are activities such as guided tours, lectures, and exhibitions about the history, biology, and cultural significance of these fruits. Unfortunately, most of the program is in German only.

Entrance at the door is 8 EUR and visitors can purchase citrus products such as marmalades and oils from vendors. Overall, the Vienna Citrus Days offer a unique cultural experience to visitors interested in the history and flavors of Vienna’s citrus fruits.

For more information, head over to the official website.

Steffl Kirtag

While Vienna is without a doubt a bustling city (and not only by Austrian definition), many events taking place during the year are deeply steeped in tradition. One such event is the Kirtag, often reminiscent of a parish fair.

Known as the Steffl Kirtag, this event takes its name from the affectionate nickname the Viennese have for Stephansdom Cathedral, “Steffl.” The Kirtag resembles a festive market, offering arts and crafts, food, drink, a carousel, and an atmosphere of joy and celebration.

Stalls typically sell items such as jewelry, decorative art, handicrafts, jams, honey, pastries, chocolate-covered fruit, lollipops, sausages, and candied nuts. Visitors can indulge in a wide array of traditional Viennese and Austrian cuisine, accompanied by local wine or beer.

Brass bands usually provide a musical backdrop, and each day concludes with the traditional bell ringing, signaling the end of beer service. The cathedral itself also plays a special role in the Kirtag, hosting services, performances, and exclusive guided tours during the event.

Held annually, the Steffl Kirtag is a must-visit event for anyone wanting to experience Vienna’s local charm. Like most open-air markets and fairs, there is no entrance fee to access the event area.

Take a Stroll through the Parks

Vienna is a city that loves its parks, and May is a great time to explore the city’s green spaces. The parks are bursting into bloom, with cherry blossoms and tulips adding a splash of color to the city.

One of the top parks to visit in May is the Stadtpark, which is home to a range of statues and monuments, as well as a beautiful pond and a range of walking trails. The park is also home to a number of outdoor cafes and restaurants, making it the perfect spot to relax and soak up the atmosphere of the city.

Explore the Naschmarkt

The Naschmarkt is Vienna’s largest and most famous food market, with a range of stalls selling everything from fresh produce to exotic spices and street food. In May, the market is bursting with spring produce, and visitors can enjoy the seasonal specialties and soak up the lively atmosphere.

A great way to explore the market is by joining one of the very popular tours, detailing a bit about the market´s history and showing you its most interesting corners.

Visit the Prater Amusement Park

The Prater Amusement Park is one of Vienna’s most popular attractions, with a range of thrilling rides, games, and entertainment options. In May, the park is less crowded than in peak season, and visitors can enjoy the spring weather while riding the famous Ferris wheel or trying their luck at the games.

Vienna Jewish Film Festival

The Jewish Film Festival Vienna 2023 embraces the theme “Lost & Found,” exploring the concept of identity and belonging through an exceptional lineup of films. The festival delves into the stories of those who have been lost, those searching for their roots, and the rediscovery of connections to Jewish heritage.

Usually taking place between April and May, the festival showcases diverse films, including documentaries, feature films, and short films that reflect on the complexities of identity, migration, and assimilation. 

Unlike many other film festivals in Vienna, the Jewish Film Festival almost exclusively showcases films in English and/or with English subtitles. Check out their official website for more information and tickets.

Vienna Blues Spring

Did you know that the world’s longest Blues festival takes place in Vienna? For two months you can enjoy numerous Blues performances, especially in the iconic location “Der Reigen”.

Come to watch local as well as international artists. Check out their website for the full program and tickets.

Parallel Editions

Opposed to the “mother” event, Parallel Vienna, Parallel Editions emphasizes a diverse range of art forms, including prints, multiples, compact sculptures, objects, larger sculptures, and artistic publications.

The event takes place at Neuer Kunstverein. Check out their website for more details and tickets.

WAMP International Design Fair

WAMP is a platform for designers and artists in fashion, accessories, jewelry, home decor, and photography to showcase their work to a wide audience. Taking place yearly in MuseumsQuartier, the event encourages a conscious shopping experience focused on handmade, unique pieces.

Entry to the event is free! For dates and details, check out their official website.

VieVinum

VieVinum, held at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, is a prestigious international wine festival that attracts wine enthusiasts, connoisseurs, and industry professionals from around the world. The event features over 500 exhibitors, offering an excellent opportunity to sample a diverse selection of Austrian wines and international varieties.

Visitors interested in wine culture will find this event particularly appealing, as it provides a unique chance to experience the rich wine traditions of Austria and connect with like-minded individuals in a magnificent historical setting.

Check out their official website for the full program.

Donaukanaltreiben

The Donaukanaltreiben is an annual urban festival held along the Danube channel in Vienna, transforming the riverside into a vibrant celebration of urban life. This popular event features live music from local bands, DJs, and other musicians on open-air stages, boat tours, flea markets, art and design markets, watersports, and various activities for kids.

Street food markets and numerous food and drink outlets along the riverbanks ensure that visitors can enjoy a diverse culinary experience as they soak up the local atmosphere and participate in Viennese urban culture.

The festival usually takes place across a single week and is open to the public, with free entry since it occurs along the public thoroughfares flanking the canal. In recent years, the focus has shifted mainly to music, with events spread across the entire summer.

The event locations typically stretch from Spittelau to Franzensbrücke along the central wharf. To stay updated on specific dates, locations, and activities, follow their Facebook page.

International Music Festival

The International Music Festival in Vienna is a prestigious event that brings together world-class musicians, composers, and performers to showcase their talent and explore the dynamic relationship between music, literature, and the performing arts.

Each edition of the festival features a central theme, often inspired by a renowned composer or a significant work that serves as a foundation for the entire program. The festival delves into the intricate connections between different art forms, celebrating the works of influential artists and the synergies they create across various disciplines.

As a platform for artistic expression and collaboration, the International Music Festival in Vienna promises a rich and diverse experience for all music and art lovers.

Check out the official website for the full program and tickets.

ethnocineca

The Ethnocineca International Documentary Film Festival Vienna is an annual event celebrating documentary and ethnographic filmmaking. Held at the Votiv Kino and Kino De France, the festival showcases a diverse range of short and feature-length films that explore socio-political issues, current events, and the tension between change and stagnation.

Attendees can enjoy an extensive program, including keynotes, masterclasses, panel discussions, and film talks while engaging with the experiences of transformation presented on the big screen.

Ideal for film enthusiasts and those interested in cultural and societal themes, this captivating event is a must-visit when in Vienna in May.

For this year’s program, please check out the official website.


Now, what do you think? What is your favorite time of the year to visit Vienna? What else is there to do in Vienna in May? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

About Jacky

Hello there, fellow globetrotters! I’m Jacky, a passionate travel blogger with an insatiable wanderlust. With several years of experience in online marketing, I leverage my expertise to ensure that you get the best travel advice, tailored for the digital age. My travels have taken me to over 30 countries, and I love sharing those experiences with readers like you. Besides traveling, my other loves are my beloved cats, architecture, art, science fiction, coffee, and all things cute. My travel tips have been featured on lonelyplanet.com and in the EasyJet Traveller magazine.

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