Spring in Austria officially starts in March, but the weather can be unpredictable, with everything possible from blazing sunshine to snow and freezing cold weather until around the end of May.
In the west of Austria it is not very unusual to experience snow in April, while in the east of the country, sunshine is often interspersed with rain showers in spring.
Blossom and baby animals in Vienna and Lower Austria
The less mountainous eastern regions of Vienna and lower Austria are the first to enjoy the warm sunshine of spring.
The wine growing region of the Wachau in lower Austria is famous for its apricot blossoms.
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Each spring, some 100,000 apricot trees cover the Wachau in flowers. This phenomenon is particularly impressive across the stretch between Rossatz and Arnsdorf.
Meanwhile in Vienna, the city’s famous monuments are framed with blossoming magnolia and cherry trees, prompting a thousand instagram shots of the Stadtpark or the Votive Church. There is also the chance to experience cherry blossom worship in the city’s Japanese Setagaya Park.
Further afield it’s possible to wander around the Hirschstetten flower gardens, and experience spring in an English, Mexican or Indian garden, look at different vines, and see baby lambs at the nearby zoo. Farm animals can also be seen at the Cobenzl farm in the Vienna woods, and the Vienna Schönbrunn Zoo.
NOTE: Vienna and Lower Austria are due to enter a strict lockdown period between 1st April and 6th April, so check the regulations before you plan your visit.
Cycling and treetop hikes in Salzburg and waterfalls in Styria and Tyrol
In the Salzburg region, famous for its stunning lakes and mountains, try out the Salzkammergut cycle path. It runs past a total of 13 lakes. One 330km-long cycle path starting in Bad Ischgl takes in Traunsee, Attersee, Mondsee, Wolfgangsee, Hallstättersee and Ausseerland until returning to the starting point.
In Saalbach, near Salzburg, it is possible to see the much-photographed Austrian version of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge on the Baumzipfelweg treetop hiking trail.
If waterfalls are your passion, spring sees the winter snows melt and hundreds of stunning torrents begin to flow at various locations throughout Austria. Some highlights include the Wasserlochklamm gorge in Styria (which opens on 1st April), with its gorge and suspension bridge, and the Zillertal region of Tyrol.
Get ready to fill up on wild garlic, asparagus and ice cream
In Austria, spring means Spargelzeit (asparagus time) is here. Austrians enjoy feasting on the green or white varieties with hollandaise sauce, or heading into the woods, meadows and parks to pick wild garlic (Barlauch) to make into pesto, bread or anything else you fancy.
A sure sign of spring is when seasonal ice cream shops also start to open across Vienna, having been closed for the winter.
You know winter is over when queues start to form for the latest ice cream flavours instead of at the sausage or Glühweinstand.