8 Intriguing free things to do near Vienna Train Station

Vienna’s main train station, known locally as Wien Hauptbahnhof, is one of the busiest trains in Austria and serves as the primary entry point into the capital for both commuters and tourists. Vienna is fairly compact when it comes to its cultural and historical offerings, so it’s a reasonably convenient city to travel through. 

If you’re planning a quick day trip or just want to sightsee on a travel day, you’ll want to put together an itinerary with nearby activities and luggage storage near Vienna Train Station. Within a short distance of the station, you’ll find some of the best museums, landmarks, and attractions. While you might not get the full Vienna experience in a single day, you’ll be able to get a sense of the palace and visit a few of its best sights. 

Even better, many of the best attractions in Vienna are completely free. With countless palaces, historical buildings, gardens, and public parks, Vienna does as good a job as any European city at making its history and culture accessible and affordable for all. 

Here are the best free things to do near Vienna Train Station:  

Visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral 

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

Known to locals as Stephansdom, this gothic cathedral has centuries of history as the preferred church of the Habsburg dynasty, and its impressive design is fitting for a royal place of worship. Its most notable architectural feature is its distinctive tiled roof, which boasts a rainbow of colors that make the cathedral light up. You can appreciate the facade from the street or visit the interior to admire the ornate carvings on the altar. You can also tour the lower levels, including the catacombs, but you’ll have to pay for a guided tour. 

Cool off in the Danube

If you’re visiting during the summer, you’ll enjoy Vienna’s sunny and warm weather, but this can make for a sweaty sightseeing adventure. The Danube River snakes its way through Vienna’s city center, offering an excellent place for riverside strolls and even swimming. There are a few of the best spots near the city center, but the ones near the Donauinsel and Alte Donau are ideal for taking a casual dip or having a picnic on the lawns overlooking the water. 

Spend a few hours at the MQ (MuseumsQuartier)

One of the central tourist destinations in Vienna is its impressive museum district.

The MuseumsQuartier (MQ) is an open-air complex of gardens, courtyards, cafés, and bars that all complement the number of museum sites. Admission to the MQ facilities will require a ticket, but walking the gorgeous, tranquil grounds is free. 

Throughout the year, the MQ Art Box hosts art exhibitions that can be viewed from the outside. These skew towards contemporary and modern art installations and multi-media projects and are ideal for enjoying more youthful art to break up all the ornate and classical art that make up Vienna’s cultural landscape. If you’re not married to the strict budget, you can always head into one of MQ’s many museums.

Garden-hop through Schönbrunn Palace and Belvedere Palace

Schönbrunn Palace and Belvedere Palace

Schönbrunn Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a premier tourist destination. It showcases Vienna’s opulent past as the capital of the Habsburg Dynasty’s Austrian Empire. While the palace (along with its neighbor Belvedere Palace) charges for entry, you can tour its stunning Baroque gardens for free. You’ll enjoy amazing views of the rest of Vienna, and the well-manicured greenery is as impressive as any garden in Europe. 

Get your steps in at the Stadtpark

Get your steps in at the Stadtpark

Vienna’s best attribute is its expansive and well-maintained public parks, in fact, half of Vienna’s cityscape is covered in leafy green spaces like the massive Stadtpark. You’ll find open lawns, beautiful gardens, Swan-filled lakes, and miles of walking paths for enjoying the outdoors and being active. Stadtpark is easy to reach from the rest of the city, with its own stop on the U4 Metro. 

Take the Beethoven Walk

In case you haven’t heard, Austria has probably the best musical heritage of any country in Europe, at least when it comes to the classics. Ludwig van Beethoven spent much of his career working in Vienna, where he wrote all of his classics. You can put together your own Beethoven walking tour using a mobile app and special glasses, exploring the streets and sites where he lived and worked. You can find the information in Albertinaplatz, where you’ll be given a set of glasses and information for the tour. It’s one of the more inventive ways to take a walking tour, and well worth it for history and music buffs. 

Check out the Lipizzan horses

Dozens of horse-drawn carriages clack their way throughout Vienna, giving tours to travelers. These are pulled by a unique breed of horses favored by the Habsburgs called Lipizzans. The Spanish Riding School in Vienna is one of the most well-respected equestrian institutions in Europe, and you can visit it to admire these majestic Lipizzan horses and see how they are trained.  

If you’re in Vienna during the holidays, hit the Christmas markets!


If you’ve ever been to a ‘Christkindlmarkt,’ you’ll know it’s deeply embedded in German and Austrian culture. This is undoubtedly the case in Vienna, which takes these charming Christmas markets to a whole new level. Rathausplatz and the Christmas Market on Stephansplatz are the two most popular, but there are others held in almost every neighborhood. 

Take in a free flick at the Kaleidoscope Cinema 

The historic open-air theater in Karlsplatz shows free movies every night of the week during the summer months. You can cap off a wonderful day of sightseeing by taking in a flick in a fun setting completely free of charge. Movies start at 9 pm; you just have to show up in time to grab a seat. Don’t worry; the subtitles will be in English. 


If you’re just getting into town and want to sightsee, heading to your hotel or accommodations to drop the bags off can eat up most of the day. If you want to sightsee on travel days, you’ll want to find a secure (but centrally located) place to keep the bags. Bounce luggage storage service is the best option in Vienna for exactly this scenario.

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