Worst time to visit Vienna, Austria? Summer time, of course
Worst time to visit Vienna, Austria? Summer time really could not be more miserable
Now, before you start reading this piece, don’t get me wrong. As a city, I love Vienna. But, as my first full Viennese summer is now coming to an end, I have already decided I won’t be spending another summer in the city. Not with it really being the worst time to be in Vienna.
That’s because I am currently sitting at my desk in Vienna in my underwear.
Luckily I am working from home today as current temperatures on August 1st, 2017 are already at 87°F (30.5°C), I’m sweating like crazy and it’s not even 10.30 am. With the projected high temperature today going to be 97°F (36.1°C), it is going to be one miserable day.
So when is the worst time to visit Vienna, Austria? Just about any time in the summer — from early June until the beginning of September. And especially now. (Unless, of course, you crave intense heat and you will love Vienna then).
Is it just the weather that makes the summer not such a great time to visit Vienna?
No, it really isn’t. It’s just one of a few things that make June, July and August the worst months to visit Vienna if you like any kind of comfort at all.
Why is the heat so bad in Vienna?
Most places in Vienna do not have air conditioning. So, on days where the temperature gauge is over 90 °F (32.2°C) there are few places to go where you can cool off.
Cafes and restaurants simply open up their doors and windows and serve people outside on the patio. Shops often keep their doors open as well, with only the larger ones having any air conditioning at all.
And, as Austrian air conditioning is poor compared to the United States, or where I just spent 14 years of my life, Bangkok, Thailand, even if a place has air-con you will still spend most of your time feeling sweaty, sticky and just plain miserable.
Even traveling on the U-bahn, Vienna’s underground train system becomes a chore, as air conditioning on most of their trains is not very good. And don’t even get me started on the U-6 line. The trains on that line are so old, their air conditioning rarely works at all.
So hot is Vienna in the summer, I often spend all day at home in front of a fan (because most Viennese apartments don’t have air conditioning either), and only venture out in the evenings when it is finally beginning to cool down.
Vienna’s Summer crowds
Of course, if Vienna’s intense summer heat wasn’t incomfortable enough, you will also have to contend with the crowds. Vienna is one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations, so every museum is crowded (especially because they are one of the few places in town with decent air conditioning), and so are all the other tourist attractions as well.
The price of Vienna hotels in the Summer
As everyone wants to come to Vienna in the Summer, or at least that is when they have holidays from work, the average cost of a Vienna hotel goes through the roof in the Summer months.
If you want to pay 20 to 50 percent more than you would pay at most other times of the year then, by all means, come to Vienna in the Summer months.
When is the best time to visit Vienna?
So, if the Summer time is the worst time to visit Vienna, when is the best?
April, May and the first week or so in June are usually lovely temperature-wise, as are September and most of October. If you don’t mind colder temperatures, and I certainly don’t as I love Vienna in the winter, then much of November can be nice as well.
On top of that, there are far less people in the city in April, May, September, October and November, so it’s much more pleasant to head to the Kunsthistorisches Museum or the Museums Quartier. And, if you stay at a hotel in the city, your daily room rate will be less too.
If you want to visit Vienna at a truly magical time of year, December is lovely as Christmas markets sprout up all over the city and there really is a feeling of excitement in the air.
In other words, come to Vienna at any time except during the summer months as, if you do, chances are you will never come back. And that would be a shame.
And, now I’ve complained about Vienna in the summer, do watch the video from the Vienna Tourist Board below as it will show you why Vienna is such an incredible city, why people love it so much and why you should visit.
Just maybe in the cooler months?