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Six of the best things to do in spring in Vienna

Austria's capital is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but even more once it comes alive after the long winter months

Cherry blossoms seen against a blue sky in spring in the Austrian capital of Vienna. Photo by Matias Tapia on Unsplash
Cherry blossoms seen against a blue sky in spring in the Austrian capital of Vienna. Photo by Matias Tapia on Unsplash

Spring in Vienna will start on March 20th, and even though the weather can vary tremendously (with April famously being a “stubborn” month), Austrians look forward to the sun and milder temperatures after months of short and cold winter days.

The city springs back to life, with more people on the streets, occupying park benches, the outdoor seating areas of bars and restaurants being fully used again and ice cream shops reopening. 

The city blooms with colour again, be it on the cherry blossom trees, the tiny Frühblüher, or the carefully planted tulips. There is much to do (and much to make up for after winter hibernation) over spring. 

READ MORE: What are the best things to do in spring in Austria?

Here are some of the best things to do in spring in Vienna.

Enjoy the flowers

Vienna goes all-in when it comes to its flora in springtime. There are many places where you can enjoy the sight of dozens of magnolia and cherry trees and planted roses and tulips. 

Schönbrunn Palace gardens are certainly among the best places to visit during spring. The well-cared-for imperial gardens carry all sorts of colours and shapes. The magnolia trees and blooming ivy are some of the main attractions. 

All city parks are good choices for those looking for that Instagrammable pic. The Stadtpark has beautiful cherry blossoms that look stunning with the park’s elegant settings. The Augarten also has plenty of beautiful trees, as well as lovely spots for picnics.

During spring, a trendy place is the Setagayapark, where cherry blossoms and magnolia trees bloom over Japanese-style ponds. Unfortunately, the site is not so big, and it can get very crowded during weekends.

Another popular setting for those who like to see the blooming trees – and take that Instagram pic – is the Sigmund-Freud-Park, where a pink magnolia tree makes the perfect frame for the gothic Votivkirche.

Is springtime Vienna's most beautiful season? Image: Amanda Previdelli

Flowers blooming in the Austrian springtime. Image: Amanda Previdelli

It’s hard not to find beautiful spots. Still, other areas with the much sought-after blooming trees include, but are not limited to, Burggarten, Türkenschanzpark, Karlsplatz, the streets of the 13th district, and in all honesty, perhaps the small park just around the corner of your apartment.

In the 4.5 kilometres Prater-Hauptallee, you can see thousands of blooming chestnut trees – and drop by Vienna’s Prater amusement park for a ride or two. Another famous street filled with blooms is Hainburger Weg, where cherry trees from each side of the pedestrian path touch and hide the skies.

And the prominent flower garden Hirschstetten in the 22nd district is open again for spring, with more than 69,000 spring flowers, a new 3,000 sq metre green area (with seating options) and 15 Japanese cherry trees. 

READ MORE: Spring weather arrives in Austria for the weekend

Ice cream shops and outdoor areas

You know spring has arrived when you start seeing long lines outside of ice cream shops in Vienna. 

Don’t try to fight it; just go for it. Buy a take away ice cream cone or sit down in one of the beautiful parlours for ice cream-shaped like pasta (yes, that’s a thing), and try some delicious vegan options out there too.

And speaking of sitting down… Austria’s outdoor sitting and eating areas, including the famous Schanigärten, are back too. While winter brought Austrian life to indoor places, the summer sun (even on colder days) invites residents outside for a meal, or a Spritzer. 

Try all the wine!

Spring is also the time when some of Austria’s major wine festivals take place. From April to June, the new wines are celebrated. In addition, people can visit wine cellars, participate in hikes through Vienna’s wine regions, and enjoy the season in one of the great Heurigers surrounding the capital.

Though the traditional Weinwandertag, the official hiking day(s), only takes place in September, the paths and beautiful hiking trails are open and blooming in spring.

READ MORE: How to buy wine in an Austrian supermarket

Vienna City Marathon

The city’s annual marathon takes place in late April, and hundreds of people, from professionals to occasional joggers, participate.

If the winter months have left you in less than fit, there’s also the possibility of running half a marathon.

On Saturday (this year, April 23rd), there is also a 10k and a mile run (2k), as well as children’s and inclusion runs. 

READ MORE: Travel: What are Austria’s current entry and Covid rules?

Is springtime Vienna's most beautiful season? Image: Amanda Previdelli

Is springtime Vienna’s most beautiful season? Image: Amanda Previdelli

Donaukanal and and Donauinsel

Spring is also the perfect time – not too crowded, not too hot – to enjoy walks and picnics all over the city, but especially on the Donaukanal, enjoying the sun, seeing all the graffiti, and taking pics by the river. 

The bars are open, and there are plenty of options around. You can ride along with a bike or go for a run with your dog, or you can walk further and spend a day in the Donauinsel, where blooms are also easy to find. 

Don’t be surprised if you see naked people around town. Of course, there are specific places for the freikorper kultur, but that won’t stop some of its main supporters. Sunbathing in parks and by the river – with or without tops – is also a very Austrian activity as temperatures rise. 

Easter markets

They are back! After two pandemic years, finally Easter markets are set to reopen (with 2G rules) in Vienna.

The markets traditionally open at the end of March and welcome the spring season with colourful eggs, arts and crafts, typical food and beverage, and many activities for children. 

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What are Austria’s current Covid rules?

Useful vocabulary

Frühling – Spring

Frühblüher – early bloomer

Frühlingsgefühle – the feeling of happiness with the upcoming spring

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How to dispose of unwanted furniture or whitegoods in Vienna legally

Got an unwanted mattress, fridge, or sofa? Here’s how you can legally get it off your hands in Vienna.

How to dispose of unwanted furniture or whitegoods in Vienna legally

If you find yourself with a large piece of furniture or big household appliance that has seen its prime and is not bound to the trashcan, then you might be wondering where to dispose of them – legally, that is.

Even if it is not uncommon to see furniture or appliances next to the big trashcans often placed near households and apartment complexes, it is illegal to leave them there.

Different cities have different methods – some will even pick up trash at specific times and places. To know how your city deals with bulky waste (Sperrmüll), you can google “Sperrmüll + the name of your city”.

READ ALSO: Why does Vienna’s waste department have a helicopter and a military plane?

Vienna has several waste collection points where you can leave bulky waste, electrical appliances, hazardous waste (in household quantities) and other old goods for no charge.

The use of the Wiener Mistplätze is subject to certain quantity limits and requirements, but they are to avoid industrial use. Therefore, most households will have no problem with the limitations.

Here you can find several collection points in Vienna.

It is worth pointing out that delivery to those sites can only be made by cars with Viennese license plates, on foot or by bicycle. Furthermore, no trailers or company cars are allowed to leave trash at these collection points.

What can you bring to the collection centres?

This is the place to bring large sheets of plastic foil, bulky or large metal parts and electrical appliances, for example.

Additionally, you can bring small amounts of bulky waste, wood, styrofoam, large cardboard boxes, green waste and used tires to any waste collection centres.

Depending on what you are disposing of, you might need to go to the Rinter centre, one of the larger ones.

READ ALSO: Hasta la mista, baby? How to vote for your favourite Vienna trash can joke

The centres also have a separate division where it is possible to donate old items still in good condition, the so-called 48er-Tandler-Box.

Tableware, small furniture, electrical appliances, clothes, toys and other items can be reused and bought at a low price at the 48er-Tandler reuse shop.

Most centres are open only from Monday to Friday during business hours, but others are also available on Saturdays.

What to do if I don’t have a car?

If you don’t need a car but still need to dispose of a large appliance, the Viennese solution varies.

Some will take public transport with a couple of friends trying to help them carry an old sofa via the u-bahn, although that can get a little tough at peak hour. 

Alternatively, you can borrow or rent a vehicle to try and save costs.

READ ALSO: The downsides of Vienna you should be aware of before moving there

But Vienna City also has a service that will pick up the trash for a low fee – even if it is located in the attic, a basement or a courtyard.

It’s the Entrümpelungsdienst und Sperrmüllabfuhr der MA 48. You can also ask for the “dump service” when the city of Vienna brings a trough (the smallest can fit 12 cubic meters).

Once you fill it up, they will remove it and take it to the appropriate place.

Costs will depend on the amount of trash, the size of the appliance, and where in the household it is located.