Ten fun things to do in Austria in September

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Ten fun things to do in Austria in September
Photo: Wildschönau Tourismus

As we approach the first weekend of September, it may feel like summer is already drawing to a close. But September traditionally has lots going on in Austria and this year is no exception.


Stave off those post-holiday blues by popping along to some of these fun events in Austria next month.

Ars Electronica Festival
Visit Ars Electronica festival, the festival organised by the forward thinking Ars Electronica Center in Linz. This year the festival is taking place between September 8-12th, where innovative technology, art, music, and all things digital will be on show at venues throughout the city. The theme this year is ‘RADICAL ATOMS - and the alchemists of our time’. Watch their festival trailer below:

Celebrate 100 years of the Naschmarkt
The Naschmarkt is celebrating its 100th birthday in 2016 with a big party on September 2nd and 3rd. Head down to the Schleifmühlbrücke bridge where there will be a colourful program ranging from music to food providing entertainment. On Saturday the popular weekly fleamarket will also be there as well as around 120 market stands offering food, spices, and plenty more.

Sing and drink like an Austrian at Wiener Wiesn-Fest
This knees-up celebration of all things Viennese is back for the sixth time from September 22nd until October 9th. The Wiener Wiesn-Fest will pitch its tents at the Kaiserwiese in the Prater where Austrian beer, local food, and all sorts of music and traditional outfits will make for a great atmosphere. Visitors can choose from three festival tents with a varied program of music and on September 30 the fourth annual Rosa Wiener Wiesn-Fest will be held in the Wojnar Tent for the gay and lesbian community.

Watch the Almabtrieb

Photo: Wildschönau Tourismus
Join in the festive cattle drives (Almabtrieb) taking place in Tyrol at the end of the summer. This is when farmers and cowherds decorate hundreds of cows before driving them back home to the farm for the winter. The festival at Auffach is taking place on September 17th from 10am and "Hoamfahrerfestl" in Oberau at 11am. There are further festivals on September 24th from 1pm in Thierbach and 3pm in Niederau.

Traditional culture in Steiermark
From September 16th until 18th, Graz will host its annual celebration of traditional Austrian culture at Aufsteirern - the Styrian People’s Culture Festival. On the Friday there will be a fashion show of traditional clothes (dirndls and lederhosen) and on Saturday afternoon expect traditional Austrian folk music - but with some Latin American influence.

Get dressed up at Eggenburg’s Mediaeval festival

Photo: Eggenburg Mittelalterfest
Just an hour’s train ride from Vienna, the walled town of Eggenburg turns into a mediaeval village on September 12th and 13th. Expect to see monks, knights, and lords and ladies walking around drinking mead from giant hollowed out tusks. A whole weekend of events are scheduled, including mediaeval wrestling, jousting matches, and archery. Start preparing your costumes now!

Last weekend of the Rathaus Music Film Festival
This weekend is your last chance to watch operas and classical music films on a giant screen free of charge in front of the picturesque Rathaus. This event is held throughout the summer every year and is a popular spot among locals and tourists alike. Dozens of stalls offer a variety of food, snacks and drinks. On Friday they will be showing Mozart’s Idomeneo but on Saturday there will be a street parade instead of a film screening.

Lantern model of Vienna's Opera House. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Chinese Lantern Festival LUMO
Making its Central European debut, the traditional Chinese lantern festival highlights music, dance, costumes and the amazing art of the illuminated lantern, opening September 1st on Vienna's Donau Insel. 

This festival, organized for the first time in Central Europe, showcases the special artistry of nearly sixty artists and performers, who combine dance, stunning acrobatics, music, lavish costumes and with a highlight of beautifully illuminated lanterns dozens of metres long and several metres high.

Inside the Votivkirche in September. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Sistine Chapel art in the Votivkirche

Starting 1st September, and going until 2nd December, the full-scale art exhibition gets you up close and personal with detailed reproductions of frescoes created by one of the 16th century's most amazing artists, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni.

The Votivkirche, a fabulous Gothic confection built in 1856 to celebrate the failure of a Hungarian assassin to murder Emperor Franz Joseph, is the more than appropriate setting for the art, with its soaring ceiling and beautiful stained glass windows.


Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Follow the Wine Trail in the Genussmeile
Several kilometres of tents make this probably the longest wine bar in the world.  Spanning four days on two weekends, this event is a great way to hike through vineyards, and try out new wines from the dozens of vintners and specialist winemakers, offering a huge range of choices.  Out tip: take a train to Bad Vöslau, then walk back along the wine trail to Baden to catch the train back to Vienna.  Don't worry if you can't walk it all -- the organizers have organized shuttles at critical points.  The event is on September 3rd-4th, then again on September 10th-11th.  Highly recommended.  We'll be there on the second Sunday -- prosit!



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