Austria is the birthplace for classical music, having the privilege of being the native country of Mozart and Strauss. Its capital, Vienna, keeps alive the spirit of the Imperial Empire, bursting of history and baroque architecture even to these days.
Whether you choose it for a city break in its famous cities, or to go skiing in the Alps, Austria has a lot to offer to its tourists. However, considering that it is such a historical and cultural gem, Austria is not a cheap destination. You will need to monitor closely your budget if you want to visit Austria and enjoy every single moment spent on the Austrian land. So, if you want to enjoy Austria on a budget, keep reading this article and find useful information for budget friendly travel.
Start With The Flight
There are several options which you can try if you want to fly to Vienna or Salzburg. For instance, you can try Easyjet and fly on a budget to this amazing country. Furthermore, you can choose Transavia which is a Dutch airline. With only forty euros per way, you can fly from Amsterdam to Vienna and save some money for other activities. The trick for flying to Austria on a budget is planning the trip in advance. You can book your flights with a minimum of two months in advance if you want to book your flights at a good price.
On the other hand, if you find convenient flights to Munich or Prague, you can choose those too. You will easily find budget buses to Austria. You will see that flying to Prague is significantly cheaper, and if you add the bus ticket cost you won’t reach the cost of a direct flight. However, Austria is not the type of country which you will visit only once. Therefore, you can try different flight combinations and choose the one which is cheaper.
Try Tourist Cards
City cards are extremely helpful when you visit Austria. When you have a regional card, you will have unlimited access to public transportation. Just thinking that Austria is really a place to visit, public transportation is extremely helpful and cost efficient.
For example, if you buy a tourist card in Salzburg or Innsbruck, you will have free access to museums or other attractions. If you are in Salzburg, you will have free access to the Fortress funicular or Salzach ship service. In addition, you will benefit from discounts to a variety of cultural activities like concerts or theater performances. In the case of Innsbruck tourist card, the benefits are the same. However, you should carefully plan your itinerary and take the time to visit the city’s attractions.
The Vienna tourist card is a bit different, but it still offers a wide range of advantages. It offers considerable discounts to more than 200 museums and attractions. What is more, you can use it to get discounts in shops, cafes, or restaurants, as well as the public transportation system. When you buy the card, you will receive a booklet with more than 200 discounts available in different locations. You might feel overwhelmed when you see the long list of places you can visit in Vienna. However, you should carefully analyze them and organize your itinerary to the tiniest detail.
Visit The Country By Train
One of the best transportation systems which give you the opportunity to see most of Austria is the train. You have a multitude of direct connections from Vienna to any touristic city from Austria. You will be able to travel through the breathtaking mountains and get impressed by the historic and picturesque towns and villages.
If you want to keep your budget under control while traveling through Austria by train, the best thing you can do is book your tickets in advance. Use the website of the Austrian Federal Railways and check the routes. It is one of the easiest websites to use and it allows you to book your tickets with weeks in advance.
When you book a train ticket in Austria, you need to know that the difference in price is made by the booking time. Therefore, the closer the date of the trip is when you book your ticket, the more expensive it will be. In addition, you should also take into consideration that the train tickets cannot be returned, exchanged, or refunded. Thus, you should plan your trips carefully and stick to your schedule no matter what.
Save Money At Museums And Galleries
When you go to Austria, you should spend at least one day in Vienna. With its great selection of museums and galleries, Vienna is the city which will leave you breathless. However, even though your curiosity is big, and you would want to visit all the possible museums and galleries, you should keep in mind that each entry will cost you money. For example, the majority of entry fees go around EUR 15, which is quite a lot for a tourist. Apart from the standard ticket price, you should also check the discount prices. For example, if you are a student or a senior, you will benefit from considerable discounts. Furthermore, if you have the Vienna tourist card, you can use it to obtain a discount to almost any museum in Vienna.
There are also museums or galleries which offer better prices for joint tickets. For example, you can save around EUR 6 if you buy a combined ticket for both the House of Music and Mozarthaus. You will get a similar advantage if you choose to visit the Leopold Museum and Kunsthistorisches Museum.
You should also pay attention to the museums’ schedules and announcements. For instance, there are days when certain museums offer generous discounts on entry fees. Take the example of the Wien Museum which offers free entry fees on the first Sunday of each month. The Museum of Applied Arts or the MUMOK museums have also a day during the week when they offer reduced prices. So, check their websites and plan your visits taking into consideration such offers.
Save Money With Cheap Hotels
Wouldn’t it be better to spend your money visiting museums and going to concerts or theaters in Austria, instead of paying high booking fees to hotels? Austria offers a variety of luxurious hotels which might tempt you to spend your money. Even if they fit your budget, it is always better to spend your night in a comfortable and cozy hotel and have enough money to enjoy the local food and buy some souvenirs back home.
In addition, the most popular accommodation option which you can try not only in Austria but also around the world is budget friendly lodging with Airbnb. All you have to do is enter their website, add your arrival and departure date, and the number of persons. You will receive various options in a medium budget. When you choose the accommodation option, you should also check the location’s surroundings. For instance, it is better to choose an option which is closer to the metro station or public transportation stations.
Be Mindful Spending Money On Food
Even though the Austrian food is heavy and consistent, the prices will surprise you for sure. Spending around EUR 30 on food every day might not seem a high budget for Austria. However, there are solutions you can try and save important amounts which you can use for other activities.
One option you can try is shopping for food from Austrian supermarkets. You will find several supermarkets like Billa, Lidl, or Penny where you can find plenty of options. Plus, considering that these are international chains, it will become very easy for you to find something to eat as, most probably, you also have these supermarkets at home. Even if you don’t stay in an apartment where you can use the kitchen, you can still buy cheese, sandwiches, granola bars, or fresh juice to keep you energetic throughout the day.
You can also try the snack bars or other inexpensive cafes where you can buy something to eat. For example, you can try the popular Austrian hot dogs available in the so-called “wurstelstands”. On the other hand, if you decide to stay in a hotel, you can choose one which has breakfast included in the room rate. Therefore, you will have a consistent breakfast which will give you enough energy to spend the rest of the day exploring the city’s treasures.
Try Low Cost Austrian Entertainment
Vienna is the city of music which makes it almost impossible to resist and not spend your money on a ticket at the opera or concert. However, such tickets can cost you up to EUR 150. But this doesn’t mean that you should spend your budget going to Opera House. You can buy standing tickets right before the performance’s start. For example, the State Opera House offers such tickets for just EUR 4.
Operngasse offers serious discounts for standing tickets, allowing you to buy one ticket per person. If you want to see the Lipizzaner horses in action, you cannot miss the Vienna’s Spanish Riding School. The tickets are quite expensive here too. You can make serious savings if you book standing room tickets or if you go early in the morning and watch the horses’ rehearsal.
Austria is the country which will never fail to surprise you. It always offers something new to visit and discover. Furthermore, considering that three quarters of its surface is covered by mountains, Austria offers incredible scenery which will mesmerize you from the first moments. But, Austria is not a cheap destination and you will discover it from your first visits. Follow the tips above and enjoy a nice journey to Austria without spending your savings entirely.
Author’s bio: Daniela McVicker is a freelance writer, blogger, and editor. She graduated from Durham University and has an MA in psychological science. Her passion is traveling and finding ways to enrich students’ learning experience.
Have you traveled through Austria on a budget and have other tips to save money? Let us know in a comment below.
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