I’m cheap, I admit it. When I travel I always look for the free things to do in every city. It’s not that I don’t want to spend money, but why spend it if you don’t have to. Besides, you can always find something to do for free when you travel. Even in an expensive city like Vienna. Here are some of the free things to do in Vienna.
Free Things to Do In Vienna
There’s so much to do and see in Vienna, especially these top five things. And while most attractions, like Mozart’s House, charge for admission, there are quite a few free things to do in Vienna. So put away those dollars (or euros) and check out all the free things to do in Vienna.
Because some of these things might be boring for younger kids (even the most genteel or well-behaved children get antsy at operas even if the opera only cost 3 euro), these free activities in Vienna would be better for teenagers and adults.
Looking for things to do with kids in Vienna? Stay tuned for our post: Family Friendly Free Things to Do in Vienna.
1. Gardens at Schonbrunn Palace
Admission to Schonbrunn Palace (Schloss Schoenbrunn) requires a ticket but you can visit the gardens at Schonbrunn Palace for free. The Schonbrunn Palace and its gardens are one of our 5 things you must do when you visit Vienna.
Here’s how to skip the line when you visit Schonbrunn Palace.
It’s a great place for a walk, run, romantic stroll, or picnic. You’ll see gorgeous greenery, Roman ruins, fountains, and statues. If you walk to the Gloriette, you’ll be treated a great view of Vienna and the Schonbrunn Palace.
If you’re visiting Vienna and Schoenbrunn Palace in the summer, consider timing your visit to take advantage of the free concert performed by the Vienna Philharmonic at the Palace Gardens in Schonbrunn.
Pro-tip: You have to pay to enter the Maze & Labyrinth, Gloriette viewing terrace, Privy Garden, Orange Garden, and Children Museum.
Here are some recommended tours of Schonbrunn Palace Skip the line: Guided tour Schonbrunn Palace and Vienna Historical City Tour, Schonbrunn Palace Evening Concert, and Vienna Schonbrunner Gardens Mini-Train Tour.
Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47
1130 Wien, Austria
Schonbrunn Park opens at 6:30 am, closing time varies depending on the time of year
The Privy Garden/Orangery Garden is open from April 1 to November 3 at 9 am, closing times are 4 pm to 7 pm depending on time of year.
Schonbrunn Maze & Labyrinth/Gloriette Viewing Terrace are open from April 1 to November 3 at 9 am with closing hours of 4 pm to 7 pm depending on the time of year.
Don’t want to pay for the subway or tired from all your walking at Schoenbrunn Palace? You can borrow a bike from Citybike in Vienna for an hour for free.
Consider taking one of these bike tours:
3. St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom)
One of the most famous places in Vienna, St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom), is a gorgeous Gothic church and, at one point, was the tallest building in Europe. You can visit on your own for free. But there is a fee for tours of the Cathedral and catacombs.
Looking for a guided tour? Book on of these church tours Small-Group Underground Vienna Tour: St Michael’s Church Crypt and Michaelerplatz Excavation, Vivaldi Four Seasons Concert at St. Charles Church, or Mozart Requiem Concert at St. Charles Church.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
1010 Wien, Austria
43 1 515523054
Hours: Monday to Saturday 6 am to 10 pm, Sunday and holidays 7 am to 10 pm
Other churches that can be visited for free:
- Augustinian Church
- Church of the Nine Choirs of Angels (Kirche am Hof)
- Mary on the Strand (Maria am Gestade)
- St. Michael’s Church
- St. Peter’s Church
- Scottish Church (Schottenkirche)
4. Naschmarkt & Brunnenmarkt
Stroll through the shops at Vienna’s farmers’ markets, Naschmarkt and Brunnenmarkt. Both are open Monday through Saturday from 6 am to 7 pm (5 pm on Saturday).
Take a small-group food tour of Naschmarkt.
5. City Hall (Rathaus)
You can take a free guided tour of Vienna City Hall (Rathaus) every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1 pm. The tours are in German but free audio guides are available in English, French, Italian, and Spanish.
See Rathaus and more on a Vienna City Hop-on Hop-off Tour.
6. MUSA (Museum Start Gallery Artothek)
If you like contemporary art, plan a visit to the MUSA (Museum Start Gallery Artothek), has one of the largest collections of contemporary art in Austria. Admission is free.
You can also visit these museums for free:
- District Museum Inner City (Bezirksmuseen)
- Georg Kargl Fine Arts
- Money Museum (Geldmuseum)
And on October 26 (Austrian National Holiday) you get free admission to most of the museums in Vienna.
7. Street Art Passage
Thanks to the Street Art Passage, you can view a changing display of a variety of art from street art to typography on the bridge from the Spittelberg to the MuseumsQuartier.
8. Vienna Opera
You can see a Vienna opera for free. Yep, totally free. During the months of April, May, June, and September select performances are shown on a giant screen outside the Vienna State Opera.
Only 180 chairs are set up so get there early! And performances are shown regardless of the weather. So prepare to bundle up or bring rain gear. Need a place to rest after a long night out at the opera? Check out our top 7 Vienna hotels.
Make your evening memorable with a gourmet dinner and concert at the Vienna Opera House. Or attend a Mozart concert where the performers are dressed in historical costumes.
Pro-tip: Couldn’t get a free ticket? Here’s how to get Vienna Opera tickets for 3 euro.
9. Cinema Under the Stars
Thanks to the Austrian Film Museum and Synema – Society for Film and Media, you can watch free movies every summer at Karlsplatz Vienna. Arrive early to get a seat.
And from May to September you can enjoy award-winning movies shown in various outdoor locations from Volxkino.
10. Music Film Festival
Every summer as part of the Music Film Festival you can watch nightly pre-recorded concerts on a large screen in the City Hall Square. Everything from the New York Metropolitan Opera, jazz performances, to Iggy Pop.
Admission is free and food available for purchase.
11. Danube Island Festival (Donauinselfest)
Think Coachella, Burning Man, and X Games rolled into one and you have the Danube Island Festival (Donauinselfest). But unlike those other events where you have to pay, the Donauinselfest is free.
The Donauinselfest is Europe’s largest open-air festival and held each year on the last weekend of June. This three-day event features live entertainment from 1,500 musicians and sporting events such as bike shows, climbing, and more.
12. Christmas Markets
You can shop till you drop from mid-November to Christmas at one of the many Christmas markets in Vienna.
Join a small-group for a Christmas market tour including Belvedere Palace Market.
13. Mozart’s Grave
I like going to cemeteries to see headstones, especially when they have intricate designs. Okay, visiting a cemetery isn’t that creepy. As long as you visit during the day…
You can visit the St. Marx Cemetery and stop by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s grave. If you’re looking for Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, or Strauss, you’ll have to visit the Central Cemetery.
14. University of Music and Performing Arts
You can watch free concerts and performances at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. Not all events are free so double check the calendar.
15. Vienna Concert Cafes
Many cafes in Vienna like the Cafe Schwarzenberg, Cafe Landtmann, and Cafe Homburg offer free piano concerts. While the music is free, the coffee and pastries are not.
You can save money when you visit Vienna with this list of free things to do in Vienna.
From the Gardens at Schonbrunn Palace, operas, movies to Donauinselfest (a three-day music festival), and the Christmas markets, there are lots of things to do in Vienna that won’t cost you any money. Be sure to print or bookmark this post.
Looking for more free things to do in Vienna? Stay tuned for Family Friendly Free Things to Do in Vienna.
Related Posts on Vienna
- Top 5 Things You Must Do When You Visit Vienna, Austria
- How to Get Vienna Opera Standing Room Tickets
- Top 7 Vienna Hotels
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Monday 26th of December 2016
Great list. Regarding the Donauinselfest, here are the key facts fpor 2017, because: No real summer feeling without Donauinselfest!
The 34th Donauinselfest, Europe´s biggest open-air festival with free admission, runs from 23 rd to 25 th of June 2017 at Vienna, Austria.
location: Danube Island – Vienna Austria, Nordbrücke to Reichsbrücke Organizer: SPÖ Wien www.wien.spoe.at WEB: https://donauinselfest.at FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Donauinselfest TWITTER: https://twitter.com/inselfest
Further informations about Vienna: http://www.wien.info First news regarding line-up, Rock The Island Contest and more, will be announced at 05th April 2017.