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7 free things to do in Vienna, Austria

Vienna has been recently listed as one of the top places to visit in 2014 by the New York Times. My austrian friend Nadine is born and raised in the city of music and shares 7 free things to do in Vienna to experience the austrian capital on a shoestring!

This article is part of the free Backpacking in Europe Guide where you find more great information, resources and destination guides to plan & organize your trip to Europe!

1) Viennese Museums

Museum Wien
Leopold Museum

The cultural variety in Vienna can be overwhelming and might unnecessarily stress your budget. High costs are avoidable if you know which museum is free on which date. Certain museums like:

  • Geldmuseum
  • Kunsthalle Museumsquartier (pay as you wish on Sundays)
  • Bezirksmuseen
  • MUSA

…are always free for everybody.

Children and teenagers (up to the age of 19) enjoy free entrance to the following museums:

  • Albertina
  • MAK
  • mumok
  • Belvedere
  • Technisches Museum
  • Naturhistorisches Museum
  • Kunsthistorisches Museum
  • Lichtensteinmuseum

There are free entrances for everybody on the first Sunday of every month to the following museums:

  • Uhrenmuseum
  • Wienmuseum Hermesvilla
  • Haydnhaus
  • Wien Museum am Karlsplatz
  • Heeresgeschichtliches Museum
  • Römermuseum
  • Otto Wagner Pavillion


2) Vienna from above

Aussicht Wien Kahlenberg
Aussicht Wien Kahlenberg

The Kahlenberg with about 480m is the „Hausberg“ („local mountain“) of the Viennese people. Under good weather conditions you can not only see Austria’s capital from above, but also see until the Schneeberg-region and the small Karpaten.

Getting there is easy (Bus 38A) and – with a valid ticket for public transportation – even free.

Tip: pack some wine, food and a blanket and enjoy a picknick in the middle of the vineyards.

3) Summer Cinema at the Rathausplatz


There are events in front of the Viennese Civil hall all year round. Most of them are free of charge. A special highlight is the summer cinema which takes place at the end of June until the beginning of September.

At nightfall movies from the world of jazz, opera, ballet and music from around the world are displayed on a 300 square-meter screen.

Tip: Seats can’t be reserved, that’s why: first come, first served applies.

4) Stroll the gardens of Schönbrunn


The baroque castle Schönbrunn not only is a world heritage site, but also the most visited sight in Vienna. The habsburg castle is almost entirely in it’s original condition. You can stroll around in the beautiful garden, that used to be for the imperator’s family only.

Many runners use the gardens for their morning workouts. You will get a special view over Vienna and the castle Schönbrunn if you walk up to the Gloriette.

5) Use the free WIFI in Vienna

kostenloses WLAN
kostenloses WLAN

Nowadays obviously a lot of coffee places and bars offer free WIFI. But also the government of Vienna welcomes it’s guests with free WIFI on public places. Use this option to share your Vienna experiences & pictures with your friends!

You will find free WIFI for example here:

  • Rathausplatz
  • Donauinsel
  • Museumsquartier
  • Westbahnhof

Tip: Check this link for more free hotspots:

6) Free concerts


The „Donauinselfest“ is a free open air music festival with a long tradition. Every year since 1894, this three-day long party is visited by around 3 million people.

With 11 stages and over 600 hours of program it is the biggest open air festival in Europe.

Tip: You will find more Infos here:

7) Eat (almost) for free 😉

The „Wiener Deewan“ is the perfect choice for a backpacker. Not only do they offer an excellent Pakistani all-you-can-eat buffet (with vegetarian and vegan options), free WIFI and a cozy atmosphere, but the also have a pay-as-you-want-policy. Only the drinks have fixed prices (even though tap water is free – and has excellent drinking quality in Vienna).

Tip: You can find the „Wiener Deewan“ at Liechentsteinstraße 10, 1090 Vienna.

Accommodation, Transportation & Must Eat

The Wombat's City Hostel Vienna at the Naschmarkt is one of the most popular Hostels in the city. It offers dorms (from 15€) as well as private rooms (from 56€) and is perfectly located. Moreover it is one of the best rated options in Vienna.

Get in & around
Due to it‘s location Vienna is well connected within Europe – the airport is located outside the city limits and is connected to the SBahn and a fast connection with the CAT.
by plane – the airport (VIE) offers numerous connection with most european airlines and is the base of the Austrian flag-carrier Austrian Airlines.
by train – there are several stations, but all start with „Wien“ followed by the location (north, south, east, west, center) – depending on the destination/origin. Regular connections are available e.g. for numerous destinations in Germany, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava.
Must Eat
Of course you should go for the „Wiener Schnitzel“ – this and more typical austrian food can be found at the „Wienerwald“ which is a tourist chain but offers good prices.

Come prepared

I strongly recommend to get a good travel insurance as in almost every case your current health insurance won’t work abroad:

  • a good travel insurance is the one offered by Safety Wing
Schloss Belvedere
Schloss Belvedere

Do you know more free things to do in Vienna?

I love to hear them! Just share it below in the comment section – I will add the additional tips from time to time.

[author image=””]thenadwork is the adventure travel and lifestyle channel for people who want more from live. Nadine, born and raised in Vienna, has a passionate character and challenges herself and her audience to live a life outside their comfort zones. How far will you go?
Say also Hi on Facebook, Twitter and don't miss out to checkout her YouTube channel![/author]

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