So if you’re worried about roaming charges or using up your bandwidth, a free Wi-Fi hotspot would come in useful. Fortunately, Vienna is a wired-up town, with plenty of public and private access points.
- Wide availability of public hotspots
- City-sponsored public Wi-Fi has around 400 access points
- Freenet service covers hundreds of locations, too
- See also: Top visitor questions
How to find a Wi-Fi hotspot
OK, the first thing you need to know is Wi-Fi is generally called WLAN here in Austria. So look for Gratis WLAN (“free Wi-Fi”) in museums and other public locations.
In fact, if you search for WiFi in Vienna, you’ll likely discover the Wirtschaftsförderungsinstitut der Wirtschaftskammer, which is a business education and advice facility run by the local Chamber of Commerce.
Anyway, enough of that.
Wi-Fi / WLAN access points are everywhere. Here are your main options, in addition to anything offered by your accommodation. Note that most will obviously require you to agree with terms and conditions before connecting. And you may have restrictions on both speed, availability, and access to particular websites and online services.
Wien.at public WLAN
The city of Vienna provides hotspots for public use at around 400 locations around town. Here’s their map, which also includes the locations of many non-municipal hotspots, too:
Accessing the public WiFi brings up a useful page with local and tourist information. This includes an obvious option to access the Internet.
Many hotels, restaurants, bars, shopping centers, etc. work with the Freewave network, providing free Wi-Fi for their customers. At the time of writing, Freewave manage around 800 hotspots in Austria, with the majority in Vienna. You can view a full list and map here.
According to that map, there are well over 100 such hotspots in the first district alone (the historical centre of the city), including many of the more well-known coffee houses like Café Central.
If you pop in for a beefburger or coffee (most McDonalds have a McCafe section with surprisingly good coffee and cake), nearly every McDonalds in Austria has free Wi-Fi. Find one of their restaurants here.
Major stations and some trains
The Austrian Federal Railways’ Railjet train services have onboard Wi-Fi. See here for details. Obviously, you can’t expect perfect connectivity all the time (we have lots of mountains and tunnels in Austria).
Several rail and subway stations in Vienna also have public Wi-Fi hotspots, including (I believe) Bahnhof Meidling, Westbahnhof, Hauptbahnhof, Erdberg, Karlsplatz, Stephansplatz, Landstraße / Wien Mitte, and Praterstern. Look for the Wi-Fi symbol on the map found under the Journey or Route tab at the Wiener Linien website.