In Vienna, you can’t really escape the change of the seasons. There are certain things that signal that winter is coming.
Here are 24 things that make you realise that summer has left Vienna, and autumn is here:
1. The number one small talk topic changes as suddenly as the seasons from how it’s too hot, to how cold it is
Viennese people love to nörgeln (complain). A lot. It’s a popular sport. They would win the f*** out of an olympic contest in complaining.
2. The colours of the clothes seen in the streets switch back to being mostly monochrome
After a few months of bright and colourful outfits on the streets, the people of Vienna tend to switch back to all shades of grey, brown, black and beige as soon as the temperatures drop beneath 20°C. Maybe to match the expressions of their faces.
3. The Stadtpark transforms into thousands of colours
Monet would have had a field day with it. Starting in September, the leaves on the city’s trees change colour, and nowhere is this more apparent, and truly beautiful, than in Stadtpark. You’ll see colours you didn’t even know existed.
4. Scarves and hats repopulate the heads and necks of the 7th district… ok, who are we kidding, they never left.
5. Vienna’s beautiful buildings become visible again
As soon as the leaves fall, you suddenly notice how certain buildings in this city are very beautiful and have been hiding behind walls of trees during summer. Be sure to look up!
6. The bike lanes finally belong to the die-hard, pro bikers, again
The waves of hobby bikers and tourists on bikes finally decline and the roads are free and ready to be seized by the die hard cyclists again (we can see the content and cheeky grin on their faces from here).
7. The locals outnumber the tourists again
People are finally back from vacations, repopulating the streets and outnumbering the tourists… until Christmas, anyway.
8. You can’t find a decent parking spot, anymore
With locals coming back to the city, all the good parking spots are vaporising and you find yourself cruising around blocks for what feels like hours. Well, might be a good chance to finally realise that you actually don’t need a car in Vienna. Who knows.
9. Getting dressed in the morning becomes a very stressful task
Jacket? Shorts? What do you want from me weather!???
10. None of your friends want to go out anymore
Everyone around you feels like taking long bubble baths and cuddling in a blanket on the couch. Well, if it involves a glass of wine, we’re in. Fortunately, that only lasts a few weeks until everyone finally accepted that summer won’t be back for another seven months and adapt.
11. That damn Vienna Mozart hurricane wind gets annoying again
Vienna’s a very windy city. And while this can save you when temperatures are up around 35°C, it can get damn annoying when it drops to 15–20°C, as the wind makes it feel more like 10°C. And yes, we have dubbed it the ‘Mozart hurricane’ (It’s going to catch on… we’re sure of it).
12. Maroni and hot potato stands start popping up
A charming sight as the days get colder.
13. The U6 stops smelling of sweat, making way for the smell of Döner to return
Ah, the lovely variety of U6 odours. They too, change with the seasons.
14. You actually find empty treadmills at the gym again
Than again, who cares, as we also stop going.
15. You almost break out crying when you see the ice cream parlours close
The saddest moment of the year is when your local ice cream shop finally closes for winter, and sticks a notice in the window: “We’ll be back in March.” (whimper)
16. You’re only meeting friends in Schanigarten with heaters or blankets
The few who are not yet ready to let summer go (we know, it’s hard) still insist on sitting outside in the Scahnigarten of cafes and restaurants, yet only the ones with blankets and heaters.
17. Pumpkins & pumpkin seed oil is everywhere!
Every Austrian restaurant’s menu becomes pumpkin-centric (pumpkin Schnitzel, pumpkin Spritzer… ok, maybe we’re exaggerating) and the supermarkets and markets have piles of pumpkins! And the pumpkin dealers of Styria are rejoicing as litres of pumpkin seed oil is poured onto salads and anything else a creative chef can think to put it on. So that’s another thing you see – rich Styrians driving around in their Porsches paid for with pumpkins.
18. Signs like this can be seen on every bar and restaurant window
Ah, the sweet and sour delight of Sturm. The semi-fermented, alcoholic grape juice, made from the first grapes of the wine harvest season, is a tradition that has played out for many years in Austria’s wine taverns. And at this time of year, every bar, cafe and restaurant is selling it.
19. Running or biking along the Donaukanal is possible again
During summer, we just couldn’t resist the temptation 10 minutes into our run to not stop and grab a beer at one of the bars… oh yeah, and there’s less people.
20. The sun lies to you
No matter how bright and bountiful the sunshine streaming into your apartment window is in the morning, don’t believe it – it’s a trap! Put on a jacket before you go out there!
21. The low murmur of voices at the restaurant below your apartment has gone
The silence… it’s deafening.
22. An increase of romance and kissing is happening on the Prater Hauptallee boulevard
We’re even kissing strangers on the boulevard as it transforms into these hyper romantic colours of autumn.
23. Your vacation envy vanishes as your Instagram feed goes from being full of bikini and beach photos to being full of the Ringstraße in autumn colours
24. The meadows of the Prater park go from being favourite hang out spots, to dog poo mine fields
A little bit of advice: assume that under every pile of autumn leaves is some dog sh**, waiting to be stepped in.