If you prefer your vehicles with four wheels, look away…the Argus Bike Festival weekend on the Rathausplatz in spring represents the unofficial opening of the bicycle season in Vienna.
- A feast of bicycling acrobatics, speed, and endurance in the show sections
- Dozens of exhibitors covering cycling trends, travel, equipment, etc.
- 2021 dates: May 30 (in considerably reduced form – provisionally just a flea market and bike parade)
- See also: Cycling in Vienna
The bike festival
You don’t have to be a bike fiend to appreciate the Argus Bike Festival (though it helps), as the show elements provide entertaining displays of two-wheeled dexterity that almost anyone can enjoy.
It’s hard not to be impressed by the twists, turns, spins and skills of the riders as they launch themselves off ramps and thumb their youthful noses at Mother Gravity.
It’s not all about the adrenaline though.
The rise of green politics in recent years has, for example, seen new cycle paths spring up all over Vienna and a distinct bicycle boom in the city; the festival celebrates and reflects the full diversity of cycling here.
Wander round and you’ll find young families driven by environmental concerns about motorised vehicles, road race pros, BMXers and everything in between – all contributing to a positive, friendly atmosphere.
There’s plenty of information to gather about cycle paths and bike matters. And the event features a host of cycling-related stands covering technology, gear, fashion and even tourism, with exhibitors from bike-friendly destinations in Austria and abroad.
The square was pretty packed with cycling enthusiasts when I visited on a Sunday morning – from young kids riding in their parents’ bike-mounted child transporters to senior cyclists wearing the latest Tour de France gear.
Photographers, in particular, will love the photo opportunities. The historic surrounds make a great backdrop for action shots of the BMXers and others in full flight (I mean that literally).
All in all the festival is not strictly intended as a tourist attraction. But if you are passing, pop in and marvel at the two-wheeled skills on show.
The programme typically includes the usual bike tricks, competitions and opportunities to catch up on all matters bike-related. Recent years have regularly featured:
- Dirt Battle Vienna, which combines high jumps with acrobatics
- The Vienna Jam BMX flatland contest
- The traditional huge bike parade, which usually attracts thousands of participants
- Street trial shows
Unlike most Vienna events, the festival’s not usually swimming in food outlets, but you can normally grab a burger or similar at several street food stands.
Check the official website for the latest information.
2021 dates and tickets
The bike festival should have run across the weekend of May 29th and May 30th, opening 9am to 6pm on both days. However, as in 2020, the event has fallen victim to issues around COVID. Hopefully, this will not be the case in 2022. Keep your fingers crossed.
(Though one silver lining of the pandemic seems to be increased bike use in the city.)
At the time of writing, the organisers still plan to hold a flea market on May 30th (9am to 5pm) along with the bike parade (midday to 2.30pm starting from the Burgtheater).
You do not need a ticket: entry is free.
How to get to the bike festival
Subway: Take the U2 line to Rathaus. This drops you on the opposite side of the town hall, so just go round to reach the Rathausplatz square.
Trams: Lines 1, D or 71 to Rathausplatz / Burgtheater. This stop is
Address: Rathausplatz, 1010 Vienna | Website