For many, spring is the most beautiful season in Vienna. When the trees and flowers start blooming, thanks to the many parks, you can literally smell the spring in the streets. In spring the coffee houses start opening their terraces again. People sit outside in the Naschmarkt again after work and the Wurstelprater too gets back into full swing.
If you decide to learn German in Vienna in the spring, you can look at the attention-grabbing fashion show of the Life Ball on the Vienna Town Hall square in May. The Life Ball is, after the Opera Ball, Vienna’s biggest social highlight, and every year attracts international stars like Elton John to the Austrian capital. Tickets for the Life Ball are dear and must be reserved well in advance. The net proceeds benefit AIDS sufferers. But the fashion show in the Town Hall square is free. Anyone who wants to can watch it.
In summer Vienna is sometimes like a southern metropolis. It is hot, people lie in the parks, on the lawns of the countless free swimming pools, by the old Danube or on Danube Island. Some free swimming pools are located on the city’s hills and lure visitors also because of the breathtaking view of Vienna. The range of possible leisure and watersport activities is enormous. You can sail, dive, waterski, and much more. In the evening you can visit a “Schanigarten” or a “Heuriger”. A Schanigarten is the terrace of a guesthouse, often located in the rear courtyard. A “Heuriger” is a restaurant with a big and beautiful garden for guests, which is only open in the warmer months. In a Heuriger, fresh wine is on offer. Viennese cuisine is also available.
But Vienna is attractive in summer also for its many cultural events and festivals. On the Danube Island there is Europe’s biggest open-air festival. Over three days there are concerts by international and local musicians. entry is free.
Autumn temperatures are variable. Sometimes summer weather holds sway into October. Sometimes it gets cold as soon as September. Autumn is a good season for extended visits to coffee houses. In no other city are there so many beautiful classic coffee houses on one spot as in Vienna. But in Autumn Vienna also spoils its residents and visitors with a whole lot of culture. On the Austrian national holiday, the 26 October, entry to many museums is free. In November, the city of Vienna gives away books on the Town Hall square. reading is a good way of improving your knowledge of German.
An absolute highlight of Autumn is the international film festival, the Viennale, in October. If you want to, you can go to the cinema until late at night. The earliest cinema events take place in morning, the last after midnight. Films from all over the world are shown. Many screenings are world premieres, and so every year at the Viennale there are numerous international guests.
Although winter is the coldest season, it is in winter that Vienna has the most to offer. Apart from the gigantic range of cultural attractions that Vienna offers all year round, in the cold season an enormous range of leisure activities awaits all those who wish to learn German here. At the beginning of Advent, the countless Christmas markets open. The best are to be found on the Town Hall square on the Ringstrasse, on the Spittelberg behind the museum quarter, and by the Schönbrunn castle in the 13th community district of Vienna. They provide a romantic mood and offer, as well as Christmas decorations and small Christmas gifts, good punch and Glühwein. Some tourists even travel to Vienna just for the Christmas markets.
January in Vienna is the season for balls. Beautiful big balls such as the Viennese Coffee Roasters’ Ball take place in the Vienna Imperial Palace. But the most famous ball of all is the Vienna Opera Ball in the Vienna State Opera, opposite the DeutschAkademie. It is regarded as the ball of all balls, and takes place every year on the last Thursday of Carnival. It is opened every year with the words “Alles Walzer bitte!”-Nothing but waltzes please!
Another winter highlight is provided by the ice-skating rinks in Vienna. One of the most impressive skating rinks is on the Vienna Town Hall square and is opened in January: the “Wiener Eistraum” (Viennese Ice Dream). One of the oldest and most legendary skating rinks is in Hernals, the 17th community district of Vienna. Here you can ice-skate over the rooves of Vienna and try your hand at waltzing on ice. Vienna has a long ice-skating tradition: artificial ice was invented in Vienna.