1. Viennale, 2. Salzburg Festival (Salzburger Festspiele), 3. Castle Grafenegg Music Festival, 4. Danube Island Festival (Donauinselfest), 5. Vienna Festival Weeks (Wiener Festwochen), 6. Liszt Festival, 7. Summer Solstice (Sonnenwende), 8. Genuss Festival, 9. Long Night of the Stages, 10. Snowbombing Festival. Austrian festivals are among the most prominent in the world, drawing millions of tourists from all over the world each year. Whether you enjoy listening to classical music or jazz, sipping wine, or hitting the slopes, Austria has a festival for you. These 10 most popular festivals in Austria will leave you with a good impression that makes you want to visit Austria right now!
- Salzburg Festival (Salzburger Festspiele)
- Castle Grafenegg Music Festival
- Danube Island Festival (Donauinselfest)
- Vienna Festival Weeks (Wiener Festwochen)
- Liszt Festival
- Summer Solstice (Sonnenwende)
- Genuss Festival
- Long Night of the Stages
- Snowbombing Festival
Viennale ranks number 1 on our list, it is the most popular festival in Austria. The Viennale international film festival was founded to help Austria become a cultural superpower. This event attracts more than 90,000 guests each year. It was staged for the first time in 1960 to alleviate the stark realities of the Cold War. It has since evolved to be one of the oldest and most prestigious events in the German-speaking world. As a result, the crème de la crème of European cinema comes to Vienna each October to celebrate the year’s outstanding documentaries, short films, and experimental explorations into cinema.
These film luminaries take over the city’s historic center’s numerous old theatres for screenings, director discussions, and galas. Needless to say, this is an essential must-see for film fans in Austria.
Photo: Erste Bank Sponsoring
Salzburg Festival (Salzburger Festspiele)
The famed Salzburger Festspiele, a real festival of the arts, offers tourists a variety of cultural events. In the picturesque Baroque city of Salzburg, operatic operas, classical concerts, and theatrical productions collide. The festival has become one of Austria’s biggest cultural highlights, as well as one of the most popular Austrian events on the calendar, due to its devotion to high-caliber performances.
Since its inception in 1920, the Salzburger Festspiele has gathered the world’s top performers to this picturesque Austrian city. The Vienna Philharmonic makes a much-anticipated appearance each year. Other famous performers have included Anna Netrebko, Ricardo Muti, and Edita Gruberova.
Photo: Opera Online
Castle Grafenegg Music Festival
Castle Grafenegg Music Festival welcomes listeners to a plethora of top-tier classical and jazz events held inside the magnificent grounds of the 13th-century Grafenegg Castle. The much-anticipated concert, curated by Austria’s greatest pianist, Rudolf Buchbinder, brings together international orchestras, soloists, and bright young musicians. Many consider it to be one of Europe’s most prominent orchestra festivals.
Photo: Planet Hugill
Danube Island Festival (Donauinselfest)
Ranking number 4 on our list of most popular festivals in Austria is Danube Island Festival (Donauinselfest). The three-day Danube Island Festival, known as ‘Donauinselfest’ by locals, has evolved to become one of Europe’s major open-air festivities, attracting millions of visitors each year. The best thing is that it is completely free to attend. With approximately 20 stages and various tented areas presenting worldwide performers performing rap, pop, rock, hip-hop, and folk events, the festival is a must-see for music fans.
Aside from a vibrant program of music, dance, and entertainment, the festival includes a park where guests may walk, swim, cycle, or otherwise enjoy the great outdoors. There are also several events and activities to keep children occupied.
Photo: Rad Season
Vienna Festival Weeks (Wiener Festwochen)
Vienna Festival Weeks, the greatest Austrian festival, is a six-week cultural celebration that takes over the capital for five or six weeks in May and June. The initial event in 1951 was an attempt to demonstrate Austria’s cultural predecessors in the aftermath of WWII. It is today an innovative, worldwide festival that incorporates dance, music, visual arts, workshops, theatrical performances, and other activities.
Because of the festival’s devotion to innovation, fresh representations of artistic pursuits are continually presented. This experimental mentality is what makes this one of the most intriguing yearly cultural events.
Time: May and June.
Photo: Winter Artservice
In the 1800s, composer Franz Liszt flipped the music world on its head. His avant-garde approach to piano music and avant-garde style of musical composition enthralled listeners all over the world. That is why, every June and October, the little community of Raiding in the Burgenland hosts the Liszt Festival to honor its hometown hero.
Visitors may enjoy a variety of gripping concerts at the town’s award-winning Liszt Center Raiding during the festival (Lisztzentrum Raiding). If visitors wish to learn more about the great pianist, conductor, composer, and music teacher, they may go to his birthplace, which is now a museum close to the performance venue.
Time: June and October.
Photo: Culture Guide
Summer Solstice (Sonnenwende)
There are numerous odd customs and festivals in Austria, but few are as intriguing as Sonnenwende. This cultural festival takes place in Lower Austria’s Wachau area to commemorate the longest day of the year. The UNESCO-listed Danube Valley serves as an exquisite background for this famous Austrian event.
The summer solstice is celebrated with artistic bonfires, spectacular fireworks displays, and thousands of floating lights that dance on the Danube River’s surface. Needless to say, there is a magical atmosphere in the air throughout this wonderful party. In fact, the performance is so spectacular that cruise ships frequently stop along the river so that guests may watch the show and soak in the ambiance.
Photo: The Travel Magazine
Over 200 exhibitors showcase the complete range of Austria’s regional cuisine at Genuss festival. Indeed, here is the ideal location to sample everything from Viennese wine and Salzburg Schnapps to regional cured meats, pastries, and jams from the country’s remote towns.
Photo: Culture Trip
Photo: Hotel Zipser
Long Night of the Stages
One of the most attractive and popular festivals in Austria is Long Night of the Stages. Long Night of the Stages is an arts marathon conducted in the scenic city of Linz, Upper Austria, with approximately 200 activities spread across roughly 30 locations. The festival’s purpose is to give accessible culture to everybody, including theatrical performances, dance events, art installations, participatory stagings, and much more.
There is also lots of entertainment for young theatergoers, such as music and dance performances, plays, and activities. Not only does the stage host all of the action, but you can also expect to see performances in public places such as bank foyers and even buses.
Snowbombing has grown from its humble beginnings in 2005 to become Europe’s largest snow and music festival. The famous festival, held every April in the stunning surroundings of the Mayrhofen ski resort in Tyrol, comprises live music concerts, boisterous DJ parties, and – the true star of the show – a snowpark where guests can enjoy snow games, cable car raves, chairlift speed-dating, and more.
Throughout the day, customers may enjoy traditional alpine cuisine made with organic and locally grown ingredients, as well as regional wines and beer, while resting in spas and rooftop jacuzzis.
Photo: The DJ Revolution
Photo: EDM Maniac