10 free (or almost free) activities in Vienna

10 free (or almost free) activities in Vienna

Here are 10 free (or almost free) activities in Vienna. Vienna is one of the most popular European destinations and it ranks very high on the travel bucket list of many travelers. With so many attractions to see, it is certainly very easy to lose track of your budget and overspend. Some attractions are not cheap and when to put together, they can put a serious strain on your travel money allowance.

Fortunately, there are so many things to do in Vienna that are either free or very affordable, so you can enjoy staying in this wonderful city without breaking the bank. Here are recommendations for 10 free (or almost free) activities in Vienna.

1. Take a walk or have a picnic in Schönbrunn Palace gardens

Schönbrunn Palace is among the top five attractions in Vienna and visiting it is a must. The visit also costs money. But, behind the Palace, there is a vast and very well-maintained garden where you can spend hours walking, running, having a picnic, or just sitting on the bench and enjoying the greenery. The gardens are especially beautiful in spring and summer.

Private Vienna City Tour with Schonbrunn Palace Visit

2. Visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom)

Yes, a visit number one attraction in Vienna (and arguably in Austria) is free. Not many people know this as there are always groups of tourists entering the cathedral, but the entrance is free. If you want to have a guided tour, this will cost you, of course, and the larger the group, it’s cheaper per person. But, you can enter the cathedral on your own without a charge and enjoy this Gothic architectural masterpiece.

3. Take a free guided tour of Rathaus (Vienna City Hall)

Another spectacular building, built in Neo-Gothic style in the 19th century, features free guided tours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The tours are in German, but you will be probably able to get an audio guide (also for free) in English and other languages.

4. Visit Wien Museum MUSA (Contemporary art exhibitions)

MUSA Museum has one of the largest collections of contemporary art in Austria. Admission is free, but please pay attention to its relocation info due to renovation. It is provided in the link.

There are several other free museums in Vienna and if you happened to be there on 26 October (Austria National Day), when all the museums are free, so put it on your calendar!

5. Watch Vienna Opera performances for free

During the months of April, May, June, and September, the Vienna Opera broadcasts live many performances on the large screen in front of its entrance. Limited numbers of chairs are available, so you should plan ahead and reserve your seat. The list of operas and schedules can be found here. All performances are subtitled in German.

6. Watch movies in the open-air theater

You can watch free movies during summertime at the open-air Karlsplatz movie theater. Aptly named Cinema Under the Stars (Kino Unter Sternen), this free service is provided by the Austrian Film Museum. UPDATE: screenings of open-air cinemas have stopped. We will update you here when and if they resume.

7. Open Air Music Films Festival

Every summer there is an open-air screening of music events, opera, pop and rock concerts, jazz, and kids’ music. It s happening in front of Rathaus (Town Hall) during July and August and with a very diverse program. Admission is free and you can order food from food stalls.

Private Airport Transfer Vienna Airport to Vienna city center

8. Attend Danube Island Festival (Donauinselfest)

This spectacular music festival is happening last week in June and features a crazy number of musicians (1,500) and some sporting events. More info here.

9. Wander around Christmas markets

From mid-November until Christmas/end of the year, there are several Christmas markets around main city squares and churches. It is fun to wander around and look at the souvenirs and sweets for sale and maybe have a cup f mulled wine, that comes at a decent price of 3-4 Euro.

10. Take a tram around Ringstrasse (Ring Road) to see most of Vienna for a few Euros

You can just buy a daily ticket for Vienna Public transport and take trams around Vienna. The ticket cost is under six euros ($8) and this is more than an affordable way to see most of Vienna’s old town from a comfortable seat on a public tram. Here is the info:

Take tram 1 heading northwest from Schwedenplatz, and change to tram 2 at Stadiongasse/Parlament, Burgring, or Kärntner Ring-Oper to finish back at Schwedenplatz.


These are just the top 10 activities in Vienna for free (or for very few Euros). There are, of course, so many other things you can do in Vienna for virtually no cost and especially in summer. We will try and update this post whenever we discover something new and useful.

This post was originally published on our parent site, gotravelyourself.com.