Free Hugs

The smile on people’s faces is like a fuel for my soul. Becoming a ‘free hugger’ made me be sure that being the reason people smile is one of my goals in life.

It started on an ordinary sunny day while I was walking down a street in Paris and I saw this couple, a man and a woman, both holding up a sign which said ‘FREE HUGS’. I walked towards them, they hugged me, we all smiled and laughed. Without exchanging one single word, we managed to experience a unique form of joy.
As I left them behind after getting my ‘free hug’, I felt it! I had to become a ‘free hugger’ myself!
And I knew it! Spreading joy and happiness was so easy – it only takes a ‘hug’!

Inspired by the event, I started researching about ‘free hugs’ online and found out that the ‘free hugs campaign’ is a real life story of Juan Mann, a man whose sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives. (more information under

Back in Vienna, it took me some time to figure out how to start it off. Tired of planning, I simply took two cardboards, colored them up with the words ‘FREE HUGS’ in capital letters, invited some friends to join me for the first attempt in the streets of Vienna, and well, we couldn’t have made a better job! I started in the summer 2013 and since then, I’ve hit the town with the ‘free hugs campaign’ a couple of times.

Visit the website of the ‘Free Hugs Vienna’ to see full albums, agenda of events as as well as further information about the ‘Free Hugs Campaign’.

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