Free Things To Do in Vienna
Journal Entry 13
YES, Vienna is an expensive city … from public transportation to coffee and beer, prices are not exactly adequate for the budget traveller. Despite all of this, it surely doesn’t mean that broke backpackers like us can’t visit and enjoy the beauty of the Austrian capital. To help you keep your budget as low as possible, here are some cheap and free things to do in Vienna!
A Free Walking Tour
There’s no better way to start your adventure other than having a knowledgeable (and funny!) guide walking you around the main sights of the city. We would recommend booking this for your first day of the trip for the simple reason that it’d make anyone appreciate the city much more in the following days. Like for example, at one of the most central places of the city lies a monument against war and racism. Besides the deep meaning of each piece, underneath the same monuments lie hundreds of bodies who were killed by a bomb attack in 1945. Did you know that? We didn’t – and it’s a pity to just pass from there without at least appreciating the story behind it!
Don’t be fooled into the idea that tours are for the older generation or that they’re boring. They’re really not, especially these tours! To be honest with you, the age of those participating in the free walking tour is rather low – mostly backpackers and budget travellers. Also, the fully licensed guides are always young and charismatic characters which make it even more fun in our opinion.
We booked our tour just a day in advance, with Good Vienna Tours and we highly recommend it. Of course, although it’s ‘free’, everyone contributes to a small tip at the end of the tour. You can pay as you wish though, as much as you can afford – there’ll be no judgement from anyone, trust us!
Do Not Buy Water!
Jokes apart, really, don’t buy bottled water in Vienna. Not just because it’s expensive, but the tap water is of better quality than the bottled water from restaurants and supermarkets.
Over 95% of water around the city comes from two pipelines directly from the Alps. The water has no measurable pesticide residues and is low in nitrogen. You just open the tap and drink. Also, don’t be ashamed to ask for tap water when sitting at a bar or restaurants. It’s what locals do anyways!
If you’re willing to put in some hours of work for a particular period of time (it could be just a week), it could spare you the expenses of both food and accommodation. At the moment, we are helping out a family in Vienna in return for those, and in all honesty, for much more! The experience is amazing because it enables us to get so close to the real local life, something that a classical tourist can rarely absorb.
Rent A Bike For €1
Vienna is turning out into a very bike-friendly city! Citybike Wien is a public bike rental service that allows everyone to move around by bike in Vienna at low cost.
So, this is how it works:
You’ll have to open an account and register, and the one-time fee will cost you €1.
Every time you go to unlock a bike, the very first hour is always free. Should you return the bike before the 1-hour mark, wait for more than 15 minutes and unlock it again, you’ll have another free hour to enjoy. Ain’t that a good deal?
Going in for a longer ride will not be an expensive activity, trust us! Have a look at their fees right here.
Unfortunately, cheap eats in Vienna are not that of a common feat!
Also, being two people or more makes much more economical sense to rent an apartment instead of staying in a hotel or hostel. For the same price (or sometimes even less), you’ll enjoy the luxury of total privacy and you’ll be able to prepare home-cooked meals instead of being forced to dine out for every meal of the day. Storming supermarkets is definitely our go-to for a super cheap-eat in any city!
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One minute we’re grocery shopping, the other I’m in the cart 🛒 – One hack to backpacking is definitely storming supermarkets 👌 A night out in Austria can be quite heavy on one’s pocket, especially for people like us who come from a generally cheaper country and are living constantly on a budget. To give you some idea, an average price of a beer 🍺 from a bar would be around €4.50. Going out to bars is definitely fun, but on the other hand we must keep in mind that we are not on holiday. We’re living the standard life, just away from home. Would we be drinking from bars every night if we were back in Malta? 🇲🇹 We always find the cheapest deals in supermarkets – if it’s beer, ice cream and meals whenever we have the luxury of a kitchen. Food costs are definitely one of the main expenses while travelling – So, we’re going to ask you … have you got any other money saving tips? #austria#travelaustria#contentcreation#backpackinglife#church#europe#traveleurope#europetravel#couple#couplegoals#travelcouple#coupletravel#travelcouples#travelcouplegoals#cart#travelporn#groceryshopping#couple#wonderlust#travelblogger#travelbloggers#tblogger#travelbloggerlife#mentalhealth#travel#whatawonderfulworld#backpackers#backpacker#backpackinggirls
As with most cities around the world, the closer you get to the centre, the higher the prices will be. However, we came across a neighbourhood not far from the city centre where some restaurants actually offer good to moderate prices. One of the restaurants – Der Wiener Deewan – is operated on a ‘Pay as you wish’ motto, where customers are free to go in and eat from the tasty Pakistani buffet and in return, they can pay either what is affordable to them or else what they feel the meal was really worth.
Pardon us! The correct term would be Viennese Coffeehouses. These places are a world of their own, holding traditions coming from a very long time ago. Some of such coffeehouses aren’t only fancy, but rather pricey as well! It’s definitely a great experience if you’d like to treat yourself, as you’d be living a very important part of the Viennese lifestyle.
One of the great feats of these coffeehouses is that time is like non-existent inside the shops – and this counts to all cafeterias in Vienna, not just the fancy ones. This could be a beautiful setting to maybe catch up on some work while enjoying the Viennese life just passing by, as you’re allowed to stay there for as long as the whole day, even by just buying one cup of coffee!
Get Lost Around The City
Vienna is just beautiful!
The centre is indeed expensive, however strolling around it on foot won’t cost you a penny. Have a look at the astonishing St. Stephens’ Cathedral, where you can also enter the first stage of its interior for free!
Another place we highly recommend is Prater – an amusement park that’s open 24/7. It has no entrance fee and it’s HUGE! There are so many old-time amusements one may think of … including a landmark giant wheel dating from 1897. Specifically, our host took us to one hell of a beer place which we personally found pretty special – Schweizerhaus. It’s pretty much always busy but their beer is of another level. Our absolute favourite was their dark beer … do us a favour and just try it – it’s as sweet as any beer could get!
Our last piece of advice is going to be about museums in Vienna. The city has a beautiful history decorating it, all evident in the various museums scattered around it. Entrance fees are not the cheapest. HOWEVER, should you be lucky enough to be there on the first Sunday of the month – many of these world-known sights open their doors for absolutely FREE!
Who said that there are no free things to do in Vienna?!