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The best events and festivals in Austria in 2022
The pandemic continues to present challenges for Austria's event industry, but there are (tentative) plans for lots of events this year. Here are some of the ones worth adding to your calendar.
Published: 4 January 2022 16:34 CET
Updated: 15 January 2022 10:23 CET
Covid permitting, these events are worth pencilling in your calendar. Photo: WienTourismus/Christian Stemper
Here’s an overview of some of the top events taking place in Austria in 2022 – for tourists and residents. 
Please note: the details for these events were correct at the time of writing (January 4th 2022), but as the pandemic progresses there could be changes.
Hahnenkamm Race (January 17th-23rd), Tyrol
The Hahnenkamm is a world-famous downhill FIS Alpine Ski World Cup race that takes place every year in Kitzbühel in Tyrol. It has been running for 82 years.
Fans were not allowed to attend in 2021, and this year there are limits on the number of spectators, so there will be two downhill races – on Friday and Saturday – to ensure as many people as possible can see the highlight of the event.
In 2020, the Hahnenkamm Race attracted 50,000 spectators and in previous years celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bernie Ecclestone have been in attendance. More details about the event can be found here.
READ MORE: Vienna State Opera cancels all shows to January 6th due to Omicron
Mozart Week (January 27th – February 6th), Salzburg
Editor’s note: On January 13th the organisers announced the Mozart Week was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Salzburg is the home of Mozart, so it’s no surprise the city has organised a special musical celebration dedicated to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart every year since 1956.
Events are going ahead in line with Austria’s current Covid-19 measures, including 2G rules (proof of vaccination or recovery). However, organisers ask ticket holders to check the website shortly before the event in case there are any changes. The Mozart Week website can be found here.
David Hockney: INSIGHTS (February 10th – June 19th), Vienna
This exhibition and retrospective of the acclaimed British painter is much anticipated in Vienna and will take place at Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien. Highlights include works from the Tate’s Hockney collection in the UK. Find out more about tickets and opening times here.
Vinyl and Music Festival (March 5th – 6th), Vienna
This festival is a mixture of live music, record exchange, get-togethers and 150 exhibitors. Highlights include FM4 Morning Show host Stuart Freeman on the turntables and a performance by female alternative metal band, Hand of Juno.
The event takes place at the Ottakringer Brewery in Vienna and ticket prices start at €10. More details can be found here.
Snowbombing (April 4th – 9th), TYROL
Snowbombing is a winter sports and music festival in the resort town of Mayerhofen in Tyrol. It’s organised by British live event company Broadwick Live and attracts a high number of attendees from the UK every year. 
Confirmed acts in 2022 include Bicep and Fat Boy Slim and festival passes start at  £579 (including accommodation). Full event details can be found here.
In 2021, Snowbombing was cancelled due to the pandemic and nationwide lockdown. 
FOR MEMBERS: EXPLAINED: How to maximise your annual leave in Austria in 2022
Crossing Europe (April 27th – May 2nd), Upper Austria
Crossing Europe is a festival dedicated to independent film from across the continent. It takes place in Linz, which is the capital of Upper Austria and a UNESCO City of Media Arts.
Organisers are planning to hold the 2022 festival as a physical event with a small selection of films available to be streamed. Crossing Europe was cancelled in 2020 and took place in a smaller capacity last year. 
Tickets can be booked at the festival website.
Schönbrunn Easter Market (April 2nd – 19th), Vienna
Easter markets are held across Austria every year, including one of the most charming at Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace. Stalls at this family-friendly market sell arts, crafts and regional food, and photos can be taken with giant Easter eggs. It is expected that current 2G rules will apply to this event.
Design Month Graz (May 6th – June 12th), Styria
Graz is Austria’s UNESCO City of Design so this event (organised by Creative Industries Styria) is a cultural highlight for the city. The event programme includes exhibitions, lectures, workshops and presentations.
The topic for the 2022 Design Month is Green Transition. More information can be found here.
The Donauinselfest (June 24th to 26th), Vienna
This is Europe’s largest – and free – open-air music festival. It takes place on Danube Island (Donauinsel) in the Danube River in Vienna.
Performers at the festival are usually Austrian but there are also sometimes international acts in the line-up. In the past two years, Donauinselfest has gone ahead in a smaller capacity to comply with Covid-19 restrictions.
Full details of the 2022 event are yet to be announced, but organisers are hoping to return to a full schedule and capacity this year. The official festival website can be found here.
Nova Rock (June 9th to 12th), Burgenland
The annual Burgenland rock music festival is back in 2022 after being cancelled in 2021 due to (yes, you guessed it) the pandemic. Tickets holders were able to transfer their festival pass to the 2022 event. 
The line-up for this year’s festival features Muse and Foo Fighters, but with the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 it’s probably too early to say for sure whether the event will actually go ahead.  Find out more about Nova Rock here.
Mid Europe Music Festival (July 12th to 17th), Styria
Mid Europe is a music festival for wind and brass instruments that takes place in Schladming in Styria. The event is known for fostering a love of music and culture where musicians play out of choice, as opposed to being paid to perform.
Every year 35 orchestras from 15 countries descend on Schladming with events (24 in-door and 15 open-air) taking place across the Schladming-Dachstein region. Music genres include traditional Bohemian, classical, swing and ska. Event details can be found here.
FM4 Frequency Festival (August 18th – 20th), Lower Austria
FM4 is one of Austria’s national radio stations popular with the country’s young and multicultural population. The annual Frequency Festival is a showcase of the music played on FM4.
Like most large events in 2021, Frequency Festival was cancelled last year but organisers are hoping to return to their St. Pölten location later this year. Details about FM4 Frequency Festival can be found here.
FOR MEMBERS: Everything that changes about life in Austria in January 2022
Salzburg Summer Festival (July 15th – August 31st), Salzburg
The Salzburg Summer Festival offers a programme of opera, drama and concert performances and takes place across several weeks during the peak summer season.
It’s an important event on the city’s cultural calendar and serves as a celebration of Salzburg’s history. The full programme can be found here.
Wiener Bierfest (September 15th to 18th), Vienna
For beer lovers, this is a key event to add to the calendar for 2022. Previous events have seen around 40 breweries in attendance, as well as stalls selling regional food and live music to set the scene. 
The free-to-attend event was cancelled for the past two years, but the Vienna Beer Festival is hoping to return in September 2022. The official website can be found here.
Viennale (October 20th to November 1st), Vienna
The Vienna International Film Festival (Viennale) is an annual event that has taken place in cinemas across Austria’s capital city every October since 1960. 
In non-pandemic times the festival attracts around 75,000 people from around the world. Information about the 2021 event can be found here.
READ MORE: Where to find the latest Covid-19 information for your region of Austria
Vienna Residence Orchestra (throughout November), Vienna
The Vienna Residence Orchestra is considered as one of the best orchestras in the city and promises to take attendees on a journey back to Imperial Vienna. Examples from the programme include music by Mozart and Strauss.
The concerts take place at Auersperg Palace. Further details can be found at the website.
Christmas markets (throughout December), nationwide
Christmas markets are a big part of Austrian culture. However, they were cancelled in 2020. Only a few events took place in 2021 after a steep rise in Covid-19 cases in November.
In 2022, it can be expected that Christmas markets will return, but we will have to wait until nearer the time to know more.
Hayley Maguire
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One day in Vienna: How to spend 24 hours in the Austrian capital
Vienna is undoubtedly one of the best and most beautiful cities in the world. If you only have 24 hours to spare, here's what not to miss.
Published: 12 May 2022 14:53 CEST
Vienna is by far the most visited Austrian city. Data from Statistics Austria shows that the capital received more than 17 million tourist overnight stays a year – at least in a pre-pandemic year.
Austria’s second most visited city is Salzburg, with more than three million tourist overnight stays in 2019.
With a long history and the beautiful buildings and constructions that only a city which was the capital of an empire for hundreds of years can have, Vienna – Wien, to the locals – is definitely worth the visit.
READ ALSO: Austria: Six German expressions to entice your Wanderlust
Also, definitely worth an extended visit. But as weekend train rides become more common in Europe and low-cost flights make it possible for quick holidays across the continent, many visitors only have a few hours to spend in this historical town.
While it might seem impossible to see all, there is to see in Vienna in only 24 hours (and it is!), The Local has asked for the help of Robert Eichhorn, a Vienna-accredited tourist guide and a born and raised Viennese with an eye for the unique parts of town.
If you only have 24 hours in Vienna, arriving around 2 pm on a Saturday and leaving at around the same time on a Sunday, here are a few things you could do to make the most of the city.
Vienna’s St. Stephen Cathedral, in the first district (Photo by Dan V on Unsplash)
Start out with the first district
The Austrian capital is divided into 23 districts. The first is the central, where many historical sightings and political buildings are located. The remaining districts spiral from that, with 21 and 22 located just across the Danube river.
READ ALSO: IN PICTURES: The Vienna coffee shop where phone-less visitors get a discount
In the first district, you will find many of the most impressive places.
“Even for those who are not church fans, a visit to St. Stephen’s Cathedral should not be missed”, Eichhorn says.
The landmark stands for centuries in the heart of the city. It offers not only a postcard picture (literally) and a beautiful interior but also amazing views, as our tour guide explains that it is possible to reach the top of the big spire (343 steps by foot) or the smaller taller (by elevator) to enjoy the city from above.
If you enjoy the religious history, it is also possible to, from St. Stephen’s, reach Ruprechtskirche, one of the oldest churches in Vienna. “From there, it’s just a stone’s throw to the City Temple of the Viennese Jewish Community in Sitenstättengasse and the Ankeruhr at Hoher Markt”, describes Eichhorn.
READ ALSO: Six of the best things to do in spring in Vienna
Heading East from Ankeruhr, you will reach one of Vienna’s beautiful city parks. Actually, the city park: Stadtpark, the 19th-century park with a lake and a river. This is a fantastic starting point to Vienna’s incredible Ring Road.
“The Ringstrasse was built in the second half of the 19th century, and there are numerous buildings important for the city”, Eichhorn explains. Walking from the Stadtpark, with a short detour to visit the beautiful Karlskirche, it is possible to follow the road and see some of the main attractions, including the Vienna State Opera, Burggarten, the Hofburg, the Museumsplatz, the Parliament and Vienna’s City Hall (Rathaus), all the way to the beautiful Votivkirche.
“I would recommend taking a break in the coffee house in the Burggarten Palm House”, our tour guide notes.
“The historic ambience makes it a great place to relax”, he adds.
READ ALSO: The best spots to recharge on the weekend in Vienna
For the evening attractions
Truth be told, the Ringstrasse and its beautiful buildings also shine with the facade lights, and a walk around the first district could seem totally different depending on the time of the day – or the season in the year.
But if you want to have “old-school Viennese”, as the born-and-raised Eichhorn says, then a trip to a Heurigen would be suitable. Those are the typical and traditional Viennese wine taverns.
“They are located on the city’s outskirts but can be reached by public transport well”.
READ ALSO: Six tourist scams to be aware of in Austria
A less rustic option, but central, is the so-called (even by locals!) Bermuda Triangle, an area in the first district with plenty of pubs and bars.
“Or maybe end the day with a concert?” suggests Eichhorn. “Vienna has an incredible amount of music events to offer, from classical to modern music”.
The next morning
As you prepare to enjoy your final hours in the beautiful city, how about heading to a genuinely imperial and impressive palace?
The beautiful Schönbrunn Palace, in Vienna, viewed from the Gloriette, accessible from the palace gardens (Copyright: Schloss Schönbrunn Kultur-und Betriebsges mbH, Severin Wurnig)
It only takes about 30 minutes with the metro from the first district to Schönbrunn Palace. “It is the summer residence of the Habsburgs, the imperial family. An impressive palace and a beautiful garden complex”, Eichhorn explains.
Schönbrunn is really a crown jewel, and no visit to Vienna would be complete without going there. The palace gardens also house a modern zoo worth visiting – but could be cutting it close with the time, according to Eichhorn.
READ ALSO: REVEALED: EU plans digital-only Schengen visa application process
There might be still just enough time for a traditional Austrian meal as you head out your way: try the schnitzel and potato salad if you eat meat. For vegetarians, the Käsespätzle is a very typical one (especially in the Austrian mountains).
Unfortunately, there aren’t many vegan choices for traditional meals, but more and more restaurants offer vegan options.
Vienna also houses several beer gardens, where you can eat and drink local foods and beers just before taking your train back home.
Amanda Previdelli
One day in Vienna: How to spend 24 hours in the Austrian capital
EXPLAINED: Everything you need to know about retiring in Austria
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