We have 10 insider tips for free activities in the Austrian capital for you.
Fancy some action but don’t feel like spending money? Then you are exactly right here! We have ten free activities in Vienna for you here – from a relaxing walk to an action-packed workshop.
1. Walk through the Vienna Prater
Located in the heart of Vienna and visible from afar thanks to its famous Ferris wheel, the Vienna Prater has always been the ultimate entertainment center of Austria’s capital. The area offers both a quiet avenue lined with chestnut trees, which is a wonderful place to go for a walk, as well as the Prater center itself, where street artists cavort between shooting galleries, the rides of the Liliputbahn and culinary temples such as the Schweizerhaus and Make visitors laugh and be amazed. And if you have a few euros to spare, you’ll quickly find your favorites among the numerous roller coasters and other attractions.
2. Browsing through the libraries in Vienna
Attention bookworms – you will find what you are looking for here! Anyone who has gotten sore feet from walking around Vienna and visiting its sights can spend a leisurely day browsing in Vienna’s extensive libraries for a change. In a total of 39 branches, the largest of which is near the Vienna Westbahnhof and equipped with more than 400,000 books, newspapers as well as video and audio media, everyone is guaranteed to find what they are looking for. In addition, the Vienna libraries regularly offer events such as exhibitions, film screenings or readings, and the building alone is worth seeing for the main library.
3. Goes out at night for free
Fancy a real party in the evening? Vienna is a regular venue for free music events, like band competitions where you can listen to the coolest newcomers, or CD launches where local and international artists present their latest works. In terms of genres, the events here range from soft to heavy, catering to every taste. Just find out what’s on offer on the days you’re in Vienna on the various event pages.
4. Walk through the many gardens of Vienna
If you really want to relax from the hustle and bustle of the big city, you should go to one of the many Viennese gardens. An absolute insider tip is the Kurpark Oberlaa. Founded in 1974 as part of the second Vienna International Garden Show (WIG 74), the area offers a total of 860,000 m² of green areas, lake areas and adventure areas with highlights such as a Japanese garden, a flower labyrinth or a baroque fountain garden. But you can also find beautiful gardens in the middle of the city center, such as the one at Schönbrunn Palace, which impresses with its symmetrical hedges and rose gardens and in places allows a unique view of the palace and the whole of Vienna. For a short rest in between, the Burggarten near the Hofburg and the Palmenhaus are also recommended.
5. Try the Naschmarkt
The Naschmarkt is an absolute must-do in Vienna with its many stalls, the famous Saturday flea market and exotic restaurants. Stroll through the market and try the many delicacies that are constantly on offer, let yourself be seduced by the many scents of spices and marvel at the variety of colors of the fruit and vegetable variety at the market. If you still have a few euros left, grab your favorite snacks and have a picnic in one of the many parks.
6. Visit a museum for free (first Sunday of the month)
Vienna is not only known for its wonderful palaces and parks, but also for its numerous museums – some of which can be visited completely free of charge on the first Sunday of every month (unless they generally grant free admission). So if the weather doesn’t play along or the culture lover in you cries out, it doesn’t matter whether you’re interested in clocks, Roman times in Vienna, Austro-Hungarian militaria, Vienna’s former royal house of the Habsburgs or the life of their composer Haydn – there is definitely more than enough to experience and discover!
7. Picnic on the Danube Island (or off to the festival in June)
The green island just outside the center is a nice place to relax in summer. Vienna’s personal little natural paradise in the middle of the Danube offers everything an excursion heart desires, from green meadows for walking to beaches for splashing around to barbecue areas for a chilled afternoon. At the end of June it then turns into one of the biggest festivals in the world, the Danube Island Festival. Spread over about 15 stages with artists from all genres, everything from local newcomers to the really big stars is regularly present – for example, Sunrise Avenue, Wolfgang Ambros, HIM, Rea Garvey, the Simple Minds have played there in recent years or even Madonna. But that’s not all: In addition to the music acts, numerous other large and small attractions await the guests, such as air shows, competitions or sports events.
8. Devote yourself completely to art
Surrender to art! Vienna offers an endless framework for art from all genres. So if you’re into poetry slams and readings, head to the Literaturhaus Wien. Events, lectures and workshops on the subject of writing and poetry take place there all year round. And true to the motto art for everyone, free workshops for young and old on the topics of dance, music, theatre, storytelling, KunstMobil and CrossOver are held regularly in the KunstSozialRaum Brunnenpassage. The aim of the projects is to bring professional artists together with people from different backgrounds in order to create art together and bring it to the stage.
9. Free sightseeing by bike
In Vienna, many of the magnificent buildings are particularly exciting to look at, so if you want to save some money, you don’t necessarily have to go into every building, or you can content yourself with the foyer. Just grab one of the city bikes, where the first hour is completely free. One euro will be deducted from you when you register, but it will be credited back to you as soon as you exceed the free hour. Simply drive along the Ringstrasse and see many of the top sights such as the City Hall, the Parliament, the Imperial Palace, the State Opera and much more up close. By the way, you can enter St. Stephen’s Cathedral completely free of charge, unless you want to take part in a guided tour where you can also see the parts of the cathedral that are not freely accessible.
10. Summer Cinema Vienna
What began a few years ago as an apparent one-off event has now become a tradition: the Viennese summer cinemas. At numerous locations in Vienna and the surrounding area – such as the Rathausplatz (summer cinema Rathausplatz) or in the Augarten (cinema like never before) – in July and August huge screens show everything from the coolest blockbusters of the year to interesting art film projects – and the whole thing open- air and free for everyone. Reservations are not necessary, but you should be quick to get one of the limited seats. But even if you have to be satisfied with a seat on the floor, the fresh-air summer cinema is always an experience.