We’ve long been wondering about visiting Vienna in Austria. It conjures up images of palaces, museums and romantic old world Europe. But, we’ve held back on visiting because in general we are budget conscious travellers. We like to really enjoy a place when we go there, so wondered if Vienna is worth visiting on a budget? In our experience, it is in fact possible to visit Vienna without spending an over the top amount of money. Here are our top tips for visiting Vienna on a budget.
Is Vienna worth visiting on a budget?
It is possible to visit Vienna on a budget. However, whether it is worth visiting on a budget, depends on a few factors. Firstly on the comfort level you’re looking for. Secondly on how much you’d like to do in Vienna and which tourist attractions you would like to visit. And finally, whether Vienna is worth visiting on a budget will depend on how small your budget is.
If you know you’re the type of person who will want to really see Vienna and go to all the main attractions, you will need a budget to match this. However, if you’re willing to be a little thrifty and not go to all the attractions, then we would recommend visiting Vienna even on a budget. Equally, if you are hoping to stay in a plush hotel in the centre, this is not realistic with a small budget. To get by in Vienna for less, you will need to accept accommodation a little out of the city centre.
For young backpackers visiting Europe on a very tight budget, we would probably recommend skipping Vienna. Of course, it depends what you want from your visit. If you’re willing to sacrifice going out to pay for museum and concert tickets and this interests you, then Vienna may be the perfect city for you. But, if you want to party and be able to afford to let your hair down, there are many other cities in Europe that would suit you better. Belgrade is one that we love for example.
However, we think Vienna is a great destination for couples or friends, with a reasonable budget to enjoy what the city has to offer.
Is Vienna expensive? How much do you need to visit Vienna for a weekend?
To give you an idea of costs, in Vienna, most museums cost around 15 to 20 Euros. Budget hostels cost around 30 to 40 Euros per night in a dorm room, whilst a budget hotel will cost between 75 and 100 Euros per night.
A mid range meal in Vienna will cost between 12 and 20 Euros. A small glass of wine around 4 Euros and a pint of beer between 4.20 and 5.10 Euros.
Here are some approximate budgets for 2 nights and 3 days in Vienna:
The cheapest weekend in Vienna possible – backpacker (for one person)
– 60 euros accommodation (assumes staying in a hostel dorm)
– 90 euros for 3 days for food and drink (one main meal per day, 2 beers and supermarket snacks)
– No tourist attractions and no public transport
Total: 150 Euros
A budget weekend in Vienna (for two people)
– Accommodation 175 Euros (assumes a private room in a hostel or basic hotel)
– Food and drink 300 Euros (2 meals per day and 4 beers each)
– 2 tourist attractions and 1 concert 100 Euros
– No public transport
Total: 575 Euros for 2 (280 approx per person)
Is the Vienna pass worth getting?
If you’re visiting Vienna on a budget, you might be considering whether it’s worth getting the Vienna pass.
The Vienna pass is a card that you can purchase in advance which gives access to the majority of the main attractions and access to public transport.
You can purchase it for one, two, three or six days. One day will cost around $90 (£75) whereas two is $130 (£108).
We think that a two or three day Vienna pass is worth the money if you would like to visit a lot of attractions. Most museums and attractions in Vienna cost around $20/$30. Therefore if you plan to visit at least three and use some public transport, you’ll probably break even. If you visit more than three, it’s definitely worth buying the card.
For us, we don’t think it’s worth buying the card for just one day. Unless you plan to visit museums from dusk to dawn. If you do go for this, be sure to check the museum opening times. A couple close on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Purchase the Vienna pass here at Get Your Guide where you can find more detailed information on the perks of the pass.
Here are our tips for visiting Vienna on a budget
Take advantage of museum discounts
The museums in Vienna cost on average around 15 to 20 Euros. But there are ways to get small discounts.
There are a few ways to get discounts at Museums in Vienna. Firstly, students always receive discounts at Museums here. In some museums, the Museum Quartier (MQ) Leopold Museum for example, also offer discounts to anyone under 27.
The other option to receive a small discount is to buy multiple entries to museums. You can visit two or three in the MQ area for a slightly decreased entrance fee than paying for individual entry.
As noted above, the Vienna pass can also be of benefit for museum visits.
Book a hostel or budget apartment hotel
Unless you’re willing to spend around 150 to 200 Euros per night, you will need to find accommodation slightly outside the centre of Vienna.
The budget hostels, apartments and hotels tend not to be in the city centre. However, that’s not to say that to stay in budget accommodation you have to stay in a bad area. I’m fact, many of the areas where you might find more budget accommodation are lovely neighborhoods with a lot to offer in their own right.
We recommend Josefstadt, Neubau or Leopoldstadt as great areas to find budget hostels and hotels. Be weary of anyone offering cheap accommodation in central Vienna, there are some apartments in the centre that have fake reviews – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
We’ve written about the best budget hostels in Vienna here.
Pick accommodation with good communal space or perks
Whilst the accommodation is not cheap in Vienna, there are some budget options. To stick to a budget in Vienna, we recommend choosing your accommodation wisely.
Look out for places that offer breakfast or coffee included. Or, apartments and hostels that have communal kitchens or somewhere to cook. Many hostels in Vienna have bars, some with happy hour too!
Explore the public spaces that are free to enter
Vienna has quite a lot of green space. There are many parks, such as Volksgarten that are very popular. These are especially great places to visit in the summer, but still delightful for a walk in the winter with a coffee in your hand.
The other open areas that are free to explore is the canal side. Here you can walk right along the canal and spend a few hours exploring. A great jogging or walking route.
One of the favourite spaces that we enjoyed was Vienna University. You can explore this historic building at your leisure. Plus, it’s quite cool to see where Sigmund Freud studied.
Buy from bakeries like Stück and Anker
Coffee, cake and pastry can be expensive if you visit the cafes in Vienna. Many of them are beautiful, so we recommend doing this at least once. But, to stick to a budget, we would suggest buying from some of the bakery chains.
You can find these everywhere in Vienna. Anker and Stück are both very popular. Here croissant and pastry will cost less than 4 Euros. You might pay 3 times that in a cafe.
We also noticed that supermarkets are very reasonable in Vienna. Baguettes, pastry, cheese and even beer and wine are inexpensive. You could easily make up a picnic to enjoy in the park for under 5 Euros.
Explore the city on foot
Public transport in Vienna is not over the top expensive. But, a couple of Euros each day on trams or metro trains will add up over a weekend.
If you’re on a very strict budget, we recommend walking as much as possible. It can seem that distances are quite far, especially as budget accommodation is hard to find in the centre. But, Vienna is a stunning city to explore on foot. It is very friendly for pedestrians, with safe footpaths and crossings. Walking also gives you a chance to find new and unexpected places!
Stick to beer halls and Beisls not fancy bars
Vienna has some plush bars. Fancy wine bars and fancy cocktail bars. But if you’re on a budget, these are best avoided.
Instead, head to one of the beer halls or the beisls that can be found in the city. These are small and rustic eateries that sell beer. Although they’re found in quite touristic areas, prices do tend to be reasonable.
Find lunch deals in restaurants
We discovered a few ways to eat cheaply but well in Vienna.
Some restaurants will offer a lunch menu Monday to Friday, this can be a discounted menu with a few dishes on offer. A good example was in Seven Stern Braü, which offered a discounted lunch menu.
The other thing to be aware of when eating out in Vienna is that portions are very big. You could easily order a Schntizel and share it between two people for example.
Explore the edgier districts
The inner city around the Museums and Palaces is naturally going to be the most expensive area for everything.
For a different experience, head to donaukanal. This is an edgier district of Vienna where you can find fun and cheaper bars. In the Summer, this is the best area to spend time with a few beers chilling by the river.
Buy cheaper tickets for events in e advance or on the day
Chances are if you’re visiting Vienna, you may want to visit the Opera House or see a classical concert. There are always concerts in Vienna that you can grab tickets for.
If you want to go the Opera House, there are two ways to do this on a budget. You can either book a cheaper ticket (around $25) in advance. These tend to be on the Balcony with some restrictions on viewing the stage. We did this and felt that it was worth the money just to experience going into the famous Vienna Opera House.
The other option is to buy a standing ticket on the day. These tickets can be very cheap, $10 approximately. Again, they will be on upper balconies and you will have to stand. But if you want to visit the opera house on a budget this is a good way to do it.
Alternatively, you can attend a concert in one of the Churches or Palaces. These can be booked easily in advance for around $25-30.
Most of our planning is done using other blogs, but you can’t beat a guide book at the bottom of your case. Find yours on Amazon here and get the travelling started!
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