It’s May, hooray! And everything that rhymes puts the ‘hip’ in hipster… and hippopotamus, this month. Or so we’ve heard. Anyway, people, Spring has sprung, the sun is shining and life is good!
This time of year you can literally feel the city waking up from its winter slumber. There are open air happenings going on left and right, festivals to visit and so much more.
Here are our 14 tips on how to make the most out of May, and life, in Vienna.
It’s Schanigarten season
Have you noticed the fresh change in Vienna happening these days? Little tables are popping up on sidewalks and parking spaces like mushrooms after rain. May marks the beginning of Schanigarten (al fresco dining) season, with the cafés, restaurants and bars spilling out onto the street, and crowds of people doing so as well. Join in on this atmosphere at least once this month, and get started with summer.
Travel around the world in the space of a festival
When: SAT, May 21, 2pm–11pm
Where: Hof des Alten AKH, Alserstraße, 1090
Hands down, the colourful Südwind Straßenfest is one of my absolute favourite happenings in Vienna: learning about the great variety of cultures by munching away on food from different countries, getting a little tipsy with Colombian cocktails or Ethiopian coconut schnapps, dancing to live music from all over the world, or by admiring exotic handicraft is really all we could ask and wish for in a festival.
Plus: If you are interested in finding out how you can support a good cause or get active in social projects yourself, you can find plenty of information about different NGOs, or you can participate in one of the workshops surrounding the party. Find more info and the festival program, here.
Open your mind with this new version of an old culture festival
When: FRI, May 12 – SUN, June 18
Where: Check out the different locations on the Wiener Festwochen website
Everything has changed about this old veteran of festivals – the creative and curative team behind it, the program’s contents – absolutely everything. It’s been completely reborn, and we’re very excited.
As always, during the Wiener Festwochen you can experience some of the finest international and local contemporary art from the living artists of today, while you can also see some brilliant remakes of old classics. Whether you’re into opera, theatre, pop music, sumo wrestling (ok, we admit, this may not be in the program), we bet you’ll find something at the Wiener Festwochen. And this year especially, we recommend you dig deeper into the festival’s month-long program and really study it, as it has loads of avantgarde stuff, and never has it been so diverse in its offerings. Stay tuned to Vienna Würstelstand as we’ll be picking the must-sees out of it for you in the coming month.
The party along the canal
When: THU–SUN, May 25–28
Where: We’ll give you one guess… along the Donaukanal! From Spittelau to Franzensbrücke to be more exact.
We recommend you take the name of this open air festival literally (Donaukanaltreiben translates to “floating along the Danube canal”) and let yourself float along the Donaukanal, experiencing the different class-act music concerts, crowds and other sights (like street artists and people having sex in the bushes) as you go along. And should your feet get tired from all the dancing and jumping in front of the stages, you can always relax on a short boat trip by jumping on the Wiener Bootstaxi (Viennese boat taxi) – honestly, how cool is that?! Find more details, here.
Here’s a taste of what bands will be on offer this year
Tip: We recommend you bringing your own drinks, as the lines at the bars along the Donaukanal can get as long as… a really long line.
What rhymes with ‘stuff your nose with a red kidney bean’? That’s right, SPRING CLEAN!
Wooly socks? Thick coats? Heavy boots? Ha, we won’t be needing you anytime soon. By now, you know me and my ritual of re-organising my wardrobe’s contents at the beginning of every winter and summer season. The trick is not to get too enthusiastic too soon in the year, but now the time has come to pack away those winter clothes and bring out your shortest shorts, most colourful muscle shirts (muscles not required) and oversized summer hats – summer is on its way!
Tip: Rather than throwing out old clothes, you can do one of the three following things:
+ donate them
+ swap them at one of the city’s clothes swap markets
+ sell them at one of the funky fleamarkets going on around Vienna nearly every weekend
(For info on where to find the flea markets and clothes swap markets required for the last two solutions, keep an eye on Vienna Würstelstand’s weekend what to do guide, released every Thursday afternoon!)
Wine swilling festival with green and jolly atmosphere – tallyho!
Genuss Festival 2016
When: FRI–SUN, May 5–7
Where: Stadtpark, 1030
Our palates are ready to dance with joy as this festival dedicated to the thing we love most – food – approaches! Located in the green, beautiful setting of Stadtpark, more than 180 regional artisan food producers and farmers will present their goods from stands scattered around the park. Amongst the tasty tidbits will be cheese, fish, meat-products, bread, and so much good wine, that this festival will have the perfect ending of you taking a wine-induced nap under a tree. For the first time, South Tyrol is going to be part of the festival and we can’t wait to try some of the fine wines and Schlutzkrapfen (a filled pasta, like a Tyrolean tortellini) coming out of the region.
Time to do the Heurigen-hop – the wine taverns are open for business!
The beloved Heurigen (wine taverns), in and around Vienna, will be opening their doors for the first time this season during May. Imagine the following: a balmy breeze rustling the leaves on the trees of the garden you are sitting in, a glass of wine in hand, deep-fried Emmentaler, or a Jause (cheese and deli meat) plate in front of you, and the wine-induced laughter and chatter of your friends. Now add a bunch of loud, old Viennese drunks to the picture and taa daa! – Heurigen feeling! Love it.
Tip: Whatever you do, don’t order beer in a Heurigen – it’s considered a faux-pas. If they have beer on the menu, written also in Japanese and Russian, you know you’ve landed in a more touristy place – back away as slowly, but as quickly as you can!
We highly recommend… heading to the Stammersdorf Heurigen street, Stammersdorfer Kellergasse. Meanwhile, check out our guide of the best Heurigen in Stammersdorf, here.
Lined with small family-owned Heurigen, and cute dwarf houses, here you can sit with a view over the vineyards, away from the tourist chaos while catching the Mailüfterl (Viennese May breeze). For more information on Heurigen opening times, see here.
How to get there? While it seems far out, it’s easy to get to Stammersdorf. Catch the U6 to Floridsdorf and from there jump on the tram 31. It’s a short walk from the end station. To find out how to get there from your place, check out the Wiener Linien website, here.
A festival for the DIY-ers and makers of the city
Maker Faire Vienna 2017
When: SAT–SUN, May 20–21
Where: METAStadt, Dr-Otto-Neurath-Gasse 3, 1220
They are calling it the biggest show (and tell) on earth, and while we like the play on words, let’s look at what this actually mean. This is a festival for all those cobblers, tinkerers, makers, and pretty much all creative. Jam-packed with exhibitions on things like virtual reality to upcycling and sustainable living hacks, to the newest in IT fashionables and wearables, robots, drones and the list goes on. Just think – if you’re the kind of person who likes to create and invent, this is a fair that will fill you with inspiration.
A spot of light running
When: SAT, May 13
Where: Donaupark, 1220
Just picture it – a crowd of runners moving through the city all lit up in different colours of neon lights: this is what the Lightrun is all about. Lighting up the night sky with colour and lights. They say it’s quite a thrill to be part of the spectacle as you run while light installations are made by pros. Sounds like a curious thing to check out if you’re into running or unique experiences. Or glow sticks. Find more details, here.
When: FRI–SAT, May 26–27
Meals that can be held in two hands and gets sauce smeared all of your face has been turning people on since the dawn of time, but recently, the trend of things like burgers and burritos is big at the moment. Pulled pork, vegetarian, classic beef and chicken – all the kinds of burgers you can think of will be there to be tried, in a very messy manner. It’s going to happen at the end of the month, but the venue is still to be defined. Keep your eye out for details, here.
A festival about living the good life (we mean, morally good)
BIORAMA Fair Fair
When: FRI–SUN, May 19–21
Where: CREAU, U2 Stadion, 1020 (by the exit)
The very funky crowd from the organic lifestyle magazine BIORAMA is hosting a fair all about sustainable, fair trade, eco-friendly and organic living at the horse stables turned event venue, CREAU this month. If you’re looking to do more good for the world and live consciously, this fair will offer up a bunch of people with advise on how to do it. Also, there will be Eco-friendly fashion and design, sustainable products and organic street food. If the sun’s out, there’s no place you’d rather be. Believe us! Find more info here.
A festival dedicated to the skinless sausage of the Balkans
Cevapcici Open Air Festival Wien
When: SUN, May 28, 11am
Where: Donaupark, 1220
Sun, some flat bread with some cevapcici and a side of onions – heaven! Not to mention the beer. For the first time in Vienna, we are very excited to announce there will be a festival dedicated solely to the Balkan beauty – the cevapcici. The heavenly smells of these little sausages on the grill will be wafting over the green expanse of the Donaupark.
The legendary Swing a ding ding party
Swing it! @ Rote Bar
When: SAT, May 6
Where: Rote Bar, Neustiftgasse 1, 1070
If you’re a lover of electro swing and dancing, this truly is a party not to be missed. The legendary party Swing it! that happens in the characterful bar of the Rote Bar is happening again this month and they’ve got some big names on board. Expect plenty of leg kicks and people being slid under legs. Check out more details, here, and get swingin’.
All hail the mighty Gulasch
Gulasch Festival 2017
When: SAT, May 27
Where: Donaupark, 1220
The steam hot meaty broth of Gulasch will be celebrated this month, alongwith the long history Hungarians and Austrians share together. The 2 cultures came together because of an empire, however, it was the Gulasch that really bonded them most historians say (we tods’ just made that up). There will be cold beer, traditional music, and yep, you guessed it, lots of Gulasch to enjoy at this open air festival.
SUPPing up the canal
Stand Up Paddling Tour am Wiener Kanal
When: SAT, May 13, 10am
Where: Stand Up Paddling Center Vienna, Moissigasse 21, 1220
Participation: from 10€, get your tickets here
It may still be a little fresh out but the SUPPers of the city, cant wait any longer. SUP stands for stand up paddling and the trend started a couple of years back. Starting in May there will be regular SUP tours up and down the Vienna Donaukanal – a damn unique experience, indeed.