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What's free in Austria?

Thought a vacation in Austria will cost you a fortune? Not necessarily - Austria’s cities offer numerous festivals, museums, galleries, sights and activities that are completely free of charge.

Courtyard of the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna © Hertha Hurnaus
Courtyard of the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna © Hertha Hurnaus
Old town of Salzburg in winter © Günter Breitegger
Old town of Salzburg in winter © Günter Breitegger
Kaiser Josef Market in Graz © Graz Tourismus - Harry Schiffer
Kaiser Josef Market in Graz © Graz Tourismus - Harry Schiffer
Imperial Church in Innsbruck © Innsbruck Tourismus
Imperial Church in Innsbruck © Innsbruck Tourismus
Panoramic view of Linz © Linz Tourismus / Johann Steininger
Panoramic view of Linz © Linz Tourismus / Johann Steininger

Things to do for free:

  • Entrance to most churches, markets, gardens, parks and galleries in Austria is free of charge. Roam Austria’s historic city centers and rural villages to discover great architecture, contemporary art, local traditions and history.

  • Numerous folkloristic festivals throughout the year are a great opportunity to discover long-held regional traditions. From traditional costumes, masks and music, you can discover Austrian culture and lifestyle first-hand at these events. Some of them are listed in the various regional sections on this website, but really, there are so many, that we cannot list them all here. Just ask upon your arrival what’s coming up next.

  • Up to the age of 6, children can use public transport for free. In many Austrian cities, up to 4 children up to the age of 15 travel for free when accompanied by an adult. Also, be sure to ask for reductions at many attractions, museums and events!

  • Save money and plastic by savoring the taste of Austria’s high quality drinking water. Austrians drink tap water, which is sourced for the most part directly from springs in the Alps. Even Austria’s bathing lakes have such good water quality that you can drink it!

  • Starting in late November, Christmas Markets in many cities and towns all over Austria get you into a festive and cheerful mood! In spring, Easter markets are held in Vienna, Salzburg and many other smaller towns.

  • The perfect way to usher in the New Year: Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck and many other major towns in Austria turn their old city centers into open-air ballrooms. On New Year's Eve watch the fireworks and waltz into the New Year!

  • In summer, watch for open-air concerts in the cities’ parks and public spaces. In Vienna, for example, there are public screenings of live opera performances on a screen outside of the Vienna State Opera, and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra holds a popular outdoor concert in the park of Schoenbrunn Palace every May. Also, Check out Vienna’s outdoor film festival in front of City Hall, which has complimentary seating and an outdoor food court where the city’s most popular restaurants offer up tasty bites.

  • Hiking and Walking: Explore the breathtaking landscape and stunning Alpine vistas with excellent hiking programs, such as Innsbruck’s free guided tours from June until October. It’s also a great way to meet locals and enjoy a longstanding Austrian tradition.

 

Budget tips:

  • Most major cities in Austria offer discount cards with attractive value-added opportunities. You can explore the splendor and cultural delights of the cities with significant discounts on public transport, sightseeing, shopping, dining, etc. in Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck and many other locations.

  • Many restaurants offer a “Mittags Menue,” a special lunch menu with three courses, which is usually a very good deal. Also, don’t be afraid to try local street food. From Kaesekrainer in Vienna to Bosner in Salzburg: there are many satisfying delicacies to try for a fraction of the price you’d pay in a restaurant.

  • Wine Taverns: A producer of world-class whites, such as Riesling and its very own Grüner Veltliner, Austria’s winemaking history spans millennia. The wine-growing regions of Vienna, the Wachau, and the Burgenland are perfect for gourmands on a budget; head for the local wine taverns (Buschenschank or Heuriger) to sample fantastic local wines, cuisine, and vineyard tours at great prices.