In May of 2018, we were spending a couple of weeks in Europe for our 20th anniversary. While we were looking forward to spending a few days in Munich Germany, Prague in the Czech Republic, and Vienna in Austria. I am so excited to see this amazing and interesting place. As with the other cities, we have a few things planned but also wanted to mix in a few free things while in the area. Therefore I eagerly did some research and found quite a few free things. Thus I decided to share with all of you in case you are planning your own trip to Vienna. Here is the list of my top 7 free things we hope to do on our trip (in no particular order). I will also let you know which places we visited and share a little about our experience while visiting. One thing to note, the transportation is wonderful in Vienna.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom)
For those of you who may not know, Stephansdom is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, OP. Today, it is one of the most important Gothic structures in Austria.
We were happily able to see this gorgeous church. Both the inside and outside were impressive. I have to say I really loved the altar and the painting behind it. You also couldn’t miss the beautiful stained glass windows. It reminded me a lot of St. Patricks Cathederal in Manhattan. There was a service going on while we were there so we stayed around the corners mostly but enjoyed some time in this historic cathedral.
The Vienna Naschmarkt
On the Naschmarkt, a colorful crowd buys fruit, vegetables, and various delicacies from every country from dawn till dusk. Increasing numbers of trendy “in” places are also finding somewhere to set up in the more than 120 market stands and even offer free Wifi.
Sadly we didn’t have time to make it here which was disappointing. I love getting fresh fruit at farmers’ markets. Hopefully, we will be able to go next time. It sounds like a nice market.
The palace is one of Europe’s most beautiful Baroque complexes and has been in the possession of the Habsburgs since 1569. The wife of Emperor Ferdinand II, Eleonore von Gonzaga, had a pleasure palace built on the site in 1642 and called the property “Schönbrunn” for the first time. The palace and garden complex created from 1696 onwards following the siege of Vienna was completely redesigned under Maria Theresa after 1743. Today, due to its historical significance, unique layout, and magnificent furnishings, the palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site. While the palace is not free, the gardens are free of charge.
Sadly we weren’t able to see the inside of this palace (tickets were sold out the day we were planning on going) but it was still lovely walking around the beautiful gardens and taking in the atmosphere. Hopefully, we will get to go inside on a future visit. FYI, parking is pain here so plan on taking public transit.
Vienna City Hall – Rathaus
City Hall was built between 1872 and 1883 and is a building of superlatives: Around 30 million bricks and more than 40,000 cubic meters of natural stone were used. The Arkadenhof of City Hall is one of the biggest inner courtyards in Europe with an area of 2,804 m². The Festival Hall is 71 meters long, 20 meters wide, and 18.5 meters high. If the fire authorities were to allow it, 1,500 couples could dance the waltz here at the same time.
We were able to take of tour of this impressive building and I highly suggest it to anyone who is visiting the area. We learned so much history of the building as well as the city of Vienna. I actually got a little hurt while visiting. You can read more on my Rathaus City Hall post.
Cemetery of St. Marx
This cemetery, laid out in the 18th century, has preserved the appearance of the Biedermeier age and conveys a romantic mood. In 1791, W. A. Mozart was buried here in the Masonic style of the era in a grave without any markers; the tombstone dates from a later period. The cemetery was in use from 1784 to 1874 and has been preserved as a memorial.
The Kahlenberg lies in the Vienna Woods and is one of the most popular destinations for day trips from Vienna, offering a view over the entire city. Parts of Lower Austria can also be seen from Stefaniewarte at the peak. Next to Stefaniewarte is a 165-meter high steel tower that serves as the transmitter for the ORF, the Austrian Broadcast Corporation. Two terraces are located on the mountain: one at a small church called St. Josef and one at a restaurant built in the 1930s by architect Erich Boltenstern.
The most beautiful boulevard in the world is home not only to many of Vienna’s best-known sights, such as the Imperial Palace, the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Natural History Museum, the Vienna State Opera, and Parliament. Magnificent palaces, extensive parks, and important monuments also line the “display window” of the former Danube monarchy.
Hope you enjoyed some of these free things to do around the city of Vienna. If you have been there, please email and let me know what you have done for free, and I will add it to this post. In the meantime, happy travels.
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