A month with pleasant weather before the crowds of summer arrive, May is an excellent time to visit Austria, whatever your interests. Attend a food festival in Vienna or a classical music concert in Salzburg; hike into the mountains from Hallstatt or take a motorbike road trip: it's all possible in May. Read on for more ideas for traveling to Austria this spring month.


May is the last month of spring in Austria. Earlier in the month, you might encounter milder temperatures, but by late May, you can expect warm and pleasant daytime temperatures of around 68°F (20°C) in lower-lying cities like Vienna. Temperatures are a bit cooler at altitude. Spring is usually quite dry, with just a chance of showers. 

Crowds & Costs

May is a shoulder season for travel to Austria before the summer rush starts later in June. If you can take time off work or school to travel in May, this is a great month to visit because the weather is generally pleasant, hiking and biking trails are open for business, and the summer crowds have yet to arrive. You may be able to find discounted airfare and accommodation this month, too. Although ski resort towns won't be full of snow sports enthusiasts now, many mountain towns also cater to hikers in the summer season, so you probably won't find them completely closed in May.

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Where to Go

Picture-perfect Hallstatt is a beautiful destination at any time of year, but by May, you can enjoy the Alpine lake-side town without the risk of fog obscuring your view. The town in the Salzkammergut region of lakes and mountains in western Austria will appeal to travelers with various interests. Browse the shops and cafés located in 16th-century architecture, take the funicular up to the Salzwelten salt mine, stroll along the Lake Hallstatt shore, or trek one of the many hiking trails into the mountains that start near the town.

If in western Austria, don't skip Salzburg. While every month is an excellent time to visit Mozart's hometown, May (though sometimes early June) offers the Whitsun Festival. This four-day event focuses on Baroque music and includes chamber concerts, opera, and even some ballet. Visit Salzburg's other attractions between concerts, including the historic Old Town, Fortress Hohensalzburg, Schloss Hellbrunn, and more. 

What to Do

Foodies⁠—or just anyone who enjoys a good meal⁠—won't want to miss Vienna this month. Head to the Stadtpark in the capital for the Vienna Culinary Festival, a three-day event early in the month. Take a picnic blanket and sample traditional and modern Austrian cuisine from local producers while sitting in the spring sunshine. Other unmissable food highlights in Vienna include eating sachertorte (chocolate sponge cake) and sipping on a frothy Viennese coffee in an old-fashioned coffee house.

More active travelers might want to take a motorcycle trip through the mountains when conditions are clear, and the roads are suitable for touring. While there are many routes, the 21-mile (34-km) journey in southern Austria between Innerkrems and Ebene Reichenau passes through the UNESCO-listed Nockberge Biosphere Reserve, leading you in and out of the forest along scenic mountain roads.

Events in May

May Day/Maypole Festivals, nationwide. Celebrate the return of spring with maypole dances, singing, and gathering wildflowers at the beginning of May. Some business closures on May 1.

Vienna Blues Spring, Vienna. One of the most prominent blues festivals in the world, the two-month Vienna Blues Spring starts in mid-late March and continues into May.

Vienna Festival of Arts and Music, Vienna. This festival celebrates creativity and innovation through theater, music, and dance through the visual arts from mid-May to mid-June. 

Whitsun Festival, Salzburg. This Baroque music concert series offers opera and musical performances in late May or early June.

More Helpful Information

Austria in April
Austria in June
Best Time of Year to Visit Austria
How Many Days to Spend in Austria