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.
- 2023 dates: April 15-16
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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 (partly as a reaction to the pandemic); 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.
The event features a host of cycling-related stands covering, for example, technology, gear, and fashion. Tourism gets a look in, too, with exhibitors from bike-friendly destinations in Austria and abroad.
Cycling enthusiasts packed the square 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 scheduled programme typically includes the usual bike tricks, competitions and opportunities to catch up on all matters bike-related.
Recent years have regularly featured, for example, Dirt Battle Vienna (which combines high jumps with acrobatics) and a huge bike parade, which attracts thousands of participants.
Unlike most Vienna events, the festival’s not usually swimming in food outlets, but you can certainly grab a burger or similar at street food stands.
Check the official website for the latest information.
2023 dates and tickets
The 2023 festival is planned for the weekend of April 15th and 16th. You do not need a ticket: entry to the event area is free.
How to get to the bike festival
Subway: The Rathaus station on the U2 line is on the opposite side of the town hall, so just go round to reach the Rathausplatz square.
Trams: Take lines 1, D or 71 to Rathausplatz / Burgtheater. This stop is more or less the entrance to the festival. Line 2 also drops you nearby at its Rathaus or Parlament stops.
Address: Rathausplatz, 1010 Vienna