From September to November Vienna's numerous parks, gardens and tree-lined boulevards turn into a riot of colors! It's that time of the year when coffeehouses or "Kaffeehäuser" are the perfect places to seek refuge from the (sometimes rainy and windy) autumn weather.
In Autumn the cultural offerings also come alive as the city's world-renowned concert halls and theaters host numerous of performances.
From strolling through colorful parks and visiting some of Vienna's many autumn festivals to having some delicious cake in a coffe house, these are our favorite things to do in autumn:
Visit one of Vienna's fall festivals
Kürbisfest beim Franzlbauer | www.franzlbauer.at
Vienna comes alive with a vibrant cultural scene during the autumn season. The city hosts a variety of fall festivals that celebrate art, innovation, creativity and of course the colorful season of autumn. Here are some of the most notable events in Vienna:
(for more events & their dates follow us on Instgram to see our weekly and monthly previews)
Vienna Wine Hiking Day (Wiener Weinwandertag): In September, Vienna's vineyards open their doors to the public for the annual Wine Hiking Day. Visitors can embark on guided hikes through the vineyards and sample local wines in a picturesque setting. It's an excellent opportunity to taste Vienna's wines and explore the city's wine culture.
Open House Vienna: In September, the city's most iconic and historic buildings open their doors to the public. This event provides a rare opportunity to explore Vienna's architectural treasures, many of which are otherwise inaccessible to the general public.
Harvest Festival (Erntedankfest): The yearly Harvest Thanksgiving Festival takes place in the Augarten in September. Agricultural and forestry enterprises from all regions of Austria present the local cultural and culinary diversity. A varied program for the whole family, delicious regional delicacies, and musical entertainment are guaranteed.
Vienna Design Week: If you have an appreciation for design and innovation, Vienna Design Week in late September and early October is a must-visit. The festival showcases contemporary design, art, and architecture through exhibitions, workshops, and installations. It's a platform for emerging designers and a source of inspiration for those interested in the intersection of design and culture.
Waldviertelpur at Rathausplatz: Once a year at the end of September, people from the Waldviertel in northwestern Lower Austria make their way into Vienna to show the many merits of their region. About 100 exhibitors present the culinary delights, music, customs and handicrafts of the Waldviertel and provide holiday tips in front of Vienna's city hall.
Kaiser Wiesn: If you are into beer, pretzels and Austrian folk music dress up in your "Lederhosn" and "Dirndl" and come to Austria’s biggest Oktoberfest. The Kaiser Wiesn takes place from September to October in the Wiener Prater.
Autumn Festival (Herbstfest) Schloss Hof: The Herbstfest at Schloss Hof is a wondeful 2 day autumn festival that is held in the beginning of October in the picturesque setting of a historic Baroque palace located in Lower Austria. The fields and gardens surrounding the palace are decorated with a colorful variety of pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and colors. Beyond the pumpkin-centric attractions there are also local craftsmen and artists that offer visitors a chance to explore unique handcrafted goods and souvenirs.
Pumpkin Festival (Kürbisfest) am Himmel: This cute pumpkin festival takes place yearly on the weekend before Halloween. Located at "Am Himmel" in the 19th district, you have an amazig view above the city. As the name suggests, the festival is all about pumpkins. You'll find a variety of pumpkin dishes, from traditional Austrian pumpkin soup to more creative creations like pumpkin seed pesto or pumpkin desserts. Its also possible to carve your own pumpkin while listen to Austrian live music.
Pumpkin Festival (Kürbisfest) Franzlbauer: This pumpkin festival is located near Vienna in Klosterneuburg and takes place until Oct 31st. From 9am to 7pm theres a "Kürbisschau" (pumpkin show) where you can see 400 different types of pumpkins. But they're not just there to look at: you can also find pumpkin delicacies, Halloween carving, hay hopping in the barn and even pumpkin drinks.
Pumpkin Ranch in Asperhofen: The pumpkin ranch is located in Lower Austria and their pumpkin festival takes place from September until October 31st. Whether unusual or classic varieties, processed or raw - you'll find all kind of pumpkins on the wooden shelves every day from 9 am to 7 pm (Tuesdays, from 2:30 pm.)
Viennale - Vienna International Film Festival: Held in late October to early November, Viennale is Austria's most prominent film festival. It brings together international and Austrian filmmakers, actors, and film enthusiasts to showcase a diverse selection of cutting-edge films. It's a fantastic opportunity to explore the world of cinema and experience innovative storytelling on the big screen.
Attend a musical, play or concert
Rainy, windy or foggy autumn weather? Perfect for a culture day! Vienna is one of Europe’s classical music capitals, having been home to Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Mahler, Strauss, and Beethoven. Nowadays Vienna's theaters offer entertainment to suit every taste, from contemporary to classical spoken theater. Of course there are also a lot of concerts and other events that take place in Vienna's event locations like Stadthalle, Gasometer, MetaStadt, Marx Halle and more. Here's a list of some classic theatres and opera houses:
Head over to this article for more things to do on a rainy (autumn) day.
Stroll through the colorful parks & gardens
Nearly 50% of Vienna's innertown is "green" (or in autumn "colorful"). All parks, gardens and recreational areas in Vienna are open to the public and they are the perfect spots for your autumn pictures! (tipp: visit them shorty before the sun goes down to catch a beautiful golden light!)
Here's a list of parks & gardens in Vienna that all transform into enchanting canvases of red, orange, and gold during autumn:
Here you can read more about Vienna's pars & gardens.
Have some coffee and cake in a coffee house
A cozy spot during a rainy or windy autumn day: A coffehouse. The tradition of Viennese coffeehouse culture is characterised by a very special atmosphere. People gathered in cafes to chat, eat, read, work, play, gamble and discuss. You feel at home in a coffee house as you step inside: Typical elements are small marble-topped tables on which the coffee is served, Thonet chairs, alcoves, newspaper tables, interior design details in the style of Historicism and mirrors reflecting the mood. More than 300 years later the Kaffeehaus is still an institution.
If you want to learn more about coffee our experience "Wiener Melange - Coffee house Classics" may interest you.
Watch a movie in a cinema
Metro Kinokulturhaus | ©Rubert Steiner
The classic autumn weather program - cinema! Vienna has a lot of cinemas which show Original Version Films with or without subtitles! Many movie theatres specialise entirely in English-language films - just look out for the abbreviations "OV", "OmU" or "OmdU" in the movie programs. There is an extensive array of locations that cater to a diverse range of preferences, offering everything from timeless classics to the latest blockbusters, as well as art-house films. In short, there is a cinema to suit every individual's taste.
These are our favourite cinemas that offer english movies:
Go for a hike at Kahlenberg
Kahlenberg | @arminhdo
For panoramic views of the city and the Danube River framed by autumn leaves, hike up to the Kahlenberg. This hill in the Vienna Woods is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
The starting point and the end of the hike is the last stop of tram line D (Nußdorf). From there the path is 11 kilometres long and the hiking time is approximately 3 and a half to 4 hours. On the way you'll pass Cafés, Restaurants and Heuriger in Wildgrubgasse, Kahlenberger Straße and Nußdorf where you can try Viennese wines and delicacies. You’ll really start to love this trail when you begin to catch the mesmerizing views over the city especially in autumn when the leaves turn colorful.
Visit Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery)
With its three million "inhabitants" Vienna's Central cemetery is one of the biggest and most impressive cemeteries in Europe. Its vast expanse allows for long, peaceful walks amidst the final resting places of countless Viennese critizens including Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Strauss II, and Franz Schubert. In autumn, the atmosphere is particularly beautiful as the trees don their autumnal colors, creating a tranquil backdrop for reflection. You might also see some animals like squirrels, deers or foxes that hide between the craves or run along the colorful alleys.
If you want to learn more about this interesting place book our Central Cemetery Tour.
Celebrate Halloween on October 31st
Halloween has steadily gained popularity in Vienna in recent years, although it has not historically been a traditional Austrian holiday. However, the city's embrace of this fun and spooky celebration has resulted in a unique fusion of Halloween customs, Austrian traditions, and a modern festive spirit. These are the scariest places in the city where you can celebrate Halloween:
Visit the Torture Museum: This small exhibition shows various, mainly mediaeval methods of torture.
Visit the Narrenturm: The Narrenturm no longer functions as a mental institution but houses a spooky Federal Pathologic-Anatomical Museum.
Halloween at the Circus & Clownmuseum: A clown and magic show await you in the museum's theater. Afterwards you can stroll through the museum.
Halloween at Prater: The perfect place for a spooky night out. Some terrifying adrenalin attractions are the Jack the Reaper House, Carn Evil Fun House – Horrorclown-VR, Geisterschloss or Black Mamba, Tornado, and Magic Rotor. At the club Pratersauna you can dance the whole night.
Schweizerhaus at Prater: At this Viennese Restaurant you'll get traditional food while listening to live music.
Party Locations: Flex, Arena Wien, Volksgarten, O-Klub, Viper Room, WUK, Fluc, Chelsea,...
Go on a (night) tour through the Central Cemetery
Take an evening stroll through the city
Autumn is a wonderful season for evening strolls and to take the best pictures! As the sun sets earlier in the day and Vienna's elegant streetlights come to life, the city's imperial architecture takes on an enchanting quality. The iconic Ringstrasse, which encircles the old town, becomes even more captivating in the soft glow of the evening.
Vienna in autumn is a time when the city seems to slow down just a bit, allowing locals and visitors alike to savor the beauty and culture it has to offer. With its stunning colorful parks, rich cultural scene and warm, inviting atmosphere, Vienna is a truly magical destination during this season!
To-Dos in Autumn
6 mins reading time
Oct 20, 2023
You may also like
Enjoy a delicious dinner at these unique places on a warm summer evening!