The capital of Austria is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, appreciated for its character, its charm, and its priceless culture. It’s also recognized as one of the smartest cities in the world. In this article, we are going to give you some tips to visit Vienna for free and have amazing experiences that will make you fall in love with the Imperial.
7 Best Free Things to Do in Vienna, Austria
Below are seven of the best free places to go and things to do in Austria. Start by grabbing a Vienna free walking tour guide and here we go:
Grab a (free) pass for the city’s museums
The MAK (Museum of Applied Arts) houses a multitude of fascinating curiosities related to the arts that will delight you as much as they will intrigue you.
Usually, there is an entrance fee, but if you go on a Tuesday night you can see all the exhibits for free.
Additionally, every first Sunday of the month, a series of museums across the city open for free, including the Vienna Museum Karlsplatz, the Römermuseum, the MAK, and the Otto Wagner Hofpavillon Hietzing.
Here are top tips to follow to have a swell moment in Vienna:
- the street Art Passage, which showcases the work of local and international artists, is located in the MuseumsQuartier and is always free;
- museums are also free on Austrian National Day, October 26.
Keep these in mind when visiting Vienna.
Attend an opera for free in Vienna
Catching a show at the Vienna State Opera is often on the bucket list for visitors to Austria. Unfortunately, tickets for these exceptional shows are rarely cheap, but you won’t be deprived of the opera.
Luckily, for less fortunate visitors, every summer you can watch performances for free outside the Opera House when they are shown on a large screen outside in front of which there are a few rows of chairs.
There are, however, a few drawbacks. The shows are only subtitled in German, and the projections depend, of course, on the weather conditions.
Peek inside the city’s secret buildings
The Open House Vienna, an annual event that takes place each year in the fall, allows the curious to access some of Vienna’s most unusual architectural gems, allowing tourists to explore the hidden gems of the city that are usually not accessible.
Buildings like the lavish Wohnen Mit Scharf with its pink hallways and the Microsoft headquarters are among those whose doors are open to the public on this occasion.
Visit Vienna’s famous landmarks on foot for free
There are probably a few “must-see” sites that you don’t want to miss (and surely photograph at the same time).
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is a Gothic building, known as the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, and it is one of Vienna’s most important landmarks, known throughout Austria as a heritage gem of the city.
You can walk around it from the outside and admire the colorful tiles reflecting the sun, but the entrance is also free (except for certain areas such as the bell tower, which will cost you a few euros to access).
From the cathedral, you can then head to several remarkable monuments easily (and in any order), including the Hofburg Palace (the largest palace in the city), the museum district, or the Saint-Charles church – Borromeo.
Have a good time in the beautiful city parks
From the meticulously manicured gravel paths of the former royal gardens of Schonbrunn and Belvedere Palace to the almost wild wooded areas of Vienna, the capital has some splendid outdoor spaces.
Strap on your hiking boots and head out to explore the town on foot, or settle into the grass for a picnic.
The best of summer for small budgets
The Danube, quite simply the longest river in Europe, which crosses Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary, offers its coolness to locals and visitors seeking to escape the scorching heat of summer.
Its shores are frequented by locals who drink beer and dive into the blue waters. Danube Island is a favorite spot for bathers and other swimmers.
You can even relax on a family beach or enjoy a climbing park – all of this is of course completely free.
Top tip: Get to Danube Island early enough to beat the crowds and secure a spot on one of the wooden piers.
Watch a movie for free under the stars in Vienna
During the summer, countless open-air cinemas are set up all over the city and you can see all kinds of films there.
Among the most popular is the Cinema On The Roof, which screens films above the city’s largest library, and the Music Film Festival, which transforms the town hall square into a huge outdoor cinema outdoors.
Do you want to visit Vienna while spending as little as possible? So follow the top 7 free tours provided in the article. These include museums to visit and activities to do in Vienna to enjoy the Austrian capital without breaking the bank.