A fascinating city right in the heart of old Europe, there’s a rich tapestry of sights and sounds to discover on a city break to Vienna. The Austrian capital is a city where quintessential Continental culture meets with a rich history of classical music, art and the grandest of architecture that harks back to the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
You’ll find a modern cosmopolis amidst the spires, Baroque mansions and monuments; a place where restaurants, fashions and neighbourhoods are tinged with influences from near neighbours Germany, Slovakia and Hungary.
Located in the east of Austria on the Danube river, Vienna is consistently sought out by travellers throughout the year, with its varied but ultimately mild climate and the changing seasons bringing their own charms. But what kind of kit should you pack if you’re heading to Vienna this year?
A Viennese summer
Warm sunny weather begins to arrive in Vienna from May through to late September when you can expect to enjoy an average of eight hours of sunshine each day. This is the perfect time to visit and explore as the city comes alive with outdoor festivals and musical performances. There are showcases from the famous Lipizzaner stallions of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, open air cinema screenings, art expos and fireworks displays by the river throughout the summer months.
Average temperatures range from around 20˚C during the day in May to a pleasant 25˚C during the warmest month in July. This being central Europe, you can still expect rain throughout the summer with between 12 and 14 wet days per month. Prepare for changeable conditions, pack an umbrella alongside some sunscreen and you can happily wander around the characterful Viennese districts all the day long.
Winter temperatures in Vienna
Vienna begins to reflect its position near the Alps as temperatures fall from November to February, with a cold breeze blowing in from the river and the occasional snow fall. Locals still embrace the outdoors with ice skating at the rink outside Vienna Town Hall, cross country skiing trails in the centre of the city in Prater park and warming mugs of mulled wine at the traditional Advent markets.
January is the coldest month with temperatures as low as -3˚C and a low sunset early in the evening as Vienna has an average of two hours of sunlight on average each day. Most mornings will start with a crisp frost with temperatures rising to around 1 or 2 degrees during the day. Wrap up warm and tour the snow-tinged castles, churches and museums: this is when Vienna wears its beautiful chocolate-box image with the most pride.
Best time to visit
Spring and autumn see Vienna bathed in vibrant colours with mild temperatures or around 16˚C in April and as high as 21˚C in early September. September has only around ten rainy days in the month, making it the driest month of the year. Alongside pleasant weather, spring brings with it some of the most prestigious classical music festivals of the year with the world’s music elite performing in Vienna’s grandest halls.
Like a lot of popular European cities, summer brings the biggest crowds so the ‘shoulder’ seasons are a good time to circumnavigate this busy time and have some space to enjoy your stay in the city.