From walks and hikes in the autumnal Vienna Woods, visits to wine taverns and music events, to a magical world of lights at the Vienna Christmas World on Rathausplatz – that's how diverse the city on the Danube can be in autumn and early winter. Exhibitions, festivals and Advent markets do what they know best to thrill bon vivants in Vienna.
September and October are high seasons for Viennese wine. The harvest is over, and the "Junge Wiener" of the current vintage is poured in the simple 'Buschenschanken' wine taverns of the wine-growing towns on the edge of the city, as is the "Wiener Gemischter Satz". This speciality, which was even awarded the DAC seal of quality in 2013, involves growing the grapes of at least three different white wine varieties and pressing them together. The delicious wines can normally be enjoyed in a wine tavern with hearty home-made food from the buffet. Just as hearty is the food at the Wiener Wiesn-Fest, which runs right next to the Giant Ferris Wheel (September/October) – with a beer tent and lively dance music.
Vienna's unique vineyards can be explored every year in the autumn on the wine hiking day – with lots of opportunities to sample good wines and enjoy the view of the city. Vienna’s 700 hectares of vineyards and 190 vintners in the areas around Kahlenberg, Nussberg, Bisamberg, and Mauer, where the Danube and the proximity of the Vienna Woods provide optimal climatic conditions, are unique among major cities. The Vienna Wine Hiking Day is held every year in the autumn. The wine landscape can be hiked through on three routes with a total length of 25 kilometres. At many points along the way, Viennese vintners offer tastings from cellar and kitchen.
Viennese and Austrian wine takes centre stage in an exclusive wine tasting session, for example at the seriously impressive cellars of Palais Coburg in the middle of the old town. Also worth checking out: the Sektkellerei Schlumberger, where a tour of the 300-year-old cellar reveals fascinating insights into the world of sparkling wine production in Austria. Or discover the sheer variety of spirits produced by the nation's distilleries, from classic dry gin to floral takes on the juniper-based classic and even a quirky beer gin.
At the Albertina, the focus has been on a comprehensive show of the work of Albrecht Dürer as well as the Austrian painters Maria Lassnig and Arnulf Rainer. The Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna focuses on the brilliant Renaissance artists Caravaggio and Bernini (from mid-October). The Leopold Museum presents Richard Gerstl from the end of September and German Expressionism from mid-November. At the Bank Austria Kunstforum, the focus is on the work of Pierre Bonnard in "The Color of Memory" ("Die Farbe der Erinnerung") (from mid-October). And the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art presents Otto Prutscher as "Universal designer of Vienna Modernism" ("Allgestalter der Wiener Moderne") from mid-November as well as "Thonet and modern furniture design" in "Bentwood, versatile" ("Bugholz, vielschichtig.") (from mid-December).
The Vienna Art Week in November turns Vienna into a magnet for art fans with exhibitions, presentations and studio visits. The domestic creative scene presents itself during Vienna Design Week and the Blickfang design fair.
Above all, autumn in Vienna is rich in festivals: Contemporary classical music in all its sophisticated facets can be heard during "Wien Modern". The Vienna Jazzfloor Festival declares November the "Month of Jazz & Blues", while Voice Mania offers outstanding vocal acrobatics. Shortly before Christmas, the classical concert "Christmas in Vienna" creates a romantic mood. At the end of October/beginning of November, Vienna's Viennale film festival is highly acclaimed by cinema-goers from around the world.
People who are drawn outdoors on sunny autumn days will find many promising spots on a walk in the Lainz Game Reserve or on one of the city hiking trails in the Vienna Woods on the edge of the city.
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