11 Free and Cheap Date Ideas to Try in Vienna

Man and woman on a date
Man and woman on a date | © Vienna Tourist Board
Culture Trip

Austria’s capital, Vienna, could easily rival Paris or Venice as the most romantic city in Europe; its charming atmosphere provides an excellent setting for love to blossom. Here are a few inexpensive date ideas if you want to shoot for total perfection on a shoestring.

Walking by the Danube Canal

Who could resist being seduced by the beautiful flowing waters of the River Danube? The banks along the canal have, in recent years, become a popular stomping ground for Vienna’s young people, who tend to sit in the sunshine with a few cans of beer and watch the sunset. Bring your date along and indulge in some canal-side cuddling.

A couple sit by the Danube Canal

Go Hiking Around the Vineyards

A couple enjoy a glass of wine

Go to the MAK on a Tuesday Evening

If your date is an artsy type, take them along to the Museum of Applied Arts (more commonly known as the MAK) on a Tuesday evening, when entry is free of charge. There is a variety of fascinating permanent exhibitions that are sure to spark up some conversation, and the building itself is a romantic, low-lit setting, perfect for a date.

The Museum of Applied Arts at night

1. Have a Picnic in the Augarten

A picnic is never a bad option for dates in the summertime. There are plenty of beautiful parks to explore around Vienna and the Augarten is one of the city’s most picturesque and oldest, located in the trendy second district. The park was designed in a French baroque style and boasts impressive flower beds and long lines of maple, chestnut, lime and ash trees along the borders. Visit in the evening for a sunset tryst.

2. Christmas Markets

Market

Snow-speckled Vienna is a beautiful sight and exploring the cosy Christmas markets is sure to ignite some romance. Browse the stalls and be sure to treat your date to a mug of hot Glühwein (mulled wine) afterwards – it’s usually inexpensive, at around €3–4. The most picturesque and traditional market is at Freyung.

Christmas market | © Vienna Tourist Board

3. Wander Around the Naschmarkt

Market

Amble along Vienna’s 16th-century market and sample some authentic Austrian and Turkish cuisine, which is sometimes offered up free of charge as tasters. The market is a melting pot of culture and cuisine, meaning that you’re not likely to be short of things to chat about. If you’ve got the cash to spare, head to one of the market’s many restaurants to relax with a glass of wine and watch the sunset.

A couple browsing the fruit section of the Naschmarkt | © Vienna Tourist Board

4. Explore the New Donau

Particular sections of the New Danube (or Neue Donau as it’s known in German) feel as if they are miles out of the city, with stretches of seemingly undisturbed grassy patches and plenty of secluded spots for smooching among the foliage. Settle down with a blanket and a picnic on a hot summer’s day, take a boat out or go for a dip in the water if you’re feeling particularly brave.

Boats on the Danube | © Vienna Tourism Board

5. Hang out in the MuseumsQuartier

The courtyard of the MuseumsQuartier is a great place to hang out during summer evenings – there is always a buzzing atmosphere and usually, something interesting (and free) going on. The huge range of cultural sites in this area means you shouldn’t be short of things to talk about, but there are plenty of trendy bars to get a drink if the conversation does run dry.

Cycle Around the City Sites

Renting a bike is free of charge for the first couple of hours, and cheap as chips (€3–4) thereafter. Vienna is ideal for exploring by bike, with wide cycle lanes in the city centre and plenty of leafy routes to explore along the River Danube.

Couple on a cycle date in Vienna

6. Watch a Free Gig

Opera House

Watching a gig is an ideal date if you’re feeling a bit nervous, giving you the option to have some quiet time and watch the music if things get a little awkward. Free gigs take place every week at B72, one of the city’s most popular venues for indie rock, showcasing many new and exciting bands. Alternatively, you could try a free outdoor screening of ballet or opera outside the State Opera House.

Open Air Cinema in the Summer

Vienna is a paradise for film lovers in the summer, with lots of open-air cinemas opening up in the city’s squares. Why not catch a rom-com and bring along a bottle wine?

landscape with balloons floating in the air

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