Vienna on a budget: 12 travel hacks to save on your trip

Published by: BouncePosted Updated
Vienna on a budget

Although you couldn't exactly call Vienna a hidden gem — after all, the Austrian capital is indisputably one of the major European cities — it often flies under the radar with those visiting Europe from overseas. These days, it's often forgotten that Vienna was once the capital city of a huge multi-national empire and that the city had a massive impact on 19th and 20th-century history, which is reflected in the incredible museums and gorgeous architecture of modern-day Vienna. Exploring the city center, or Wien Mitte, is like taking a trip back in time to the glory days of the Habsburg Empire, and as well as being one of the major cities of Europe, Vienna is easily one of the most beautiful.

What it is not, though, is particularly cheap. Saving money isn't always easy in Vienna, and there's so much to see and do here that it is easy to get carried away and burn through your travel budget quickly. However, it is possible to save money even in a city as expensive as this one.

Leave your bags behind at an affordable Bounce luggage storage facility in Vienna and try some of these money-saving tips. Because the only thing better than a great vacation in a foreign country is a great vacation that comes in under budget.

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Affordable hotels in Vienna

Cheap places to stay in Vienna

Good and cheap places to stay in Vienna can seem like they are in short supply, especially in the busier summer season. However, this is a big city, and that means lots of competition for hotel rooms.

Plus, there's always the option of a short-term rental apartment like an Airbnb. Choosing an apartment with a full kitchen lets you grocery shop and cook your own meals, which is a great way to save money and live like a local while doing it.

As with all European cities, you'll pay more to stay near the city center of Vienna. Staying further out and relying on Vienna's excellent public transportation is a great money-saving idea, and city passes are available, which include public transportation and will also save you money on Vienna's top attractions as well as its public transport network.

Joyn Vienna

Located just a hop, skip, and jump from Wien Hauptbahnhof, the city's main train station, this hotel couldn't be easier to reach. And with the train station right there, you'll have easy access to Vienna's incredible public transport system, making it simple to get just about anywhere in this lovely city.

But it's not just the location that makes this a top choice for budget travelers. Branding itself as 'serviced living,' the rooms here are more like apartments, with a dining area and a fully equipped kitchenette with microwave, dishwasher, and utensils included. That makes the apartments ideal for cooking your own meals, a great money-saving tactic in European cities where eating out can often be enormously costly.

A Smart+ room offers a kitchenette and 29 m² of living space and costs €135 in the middle of August. Given the central location and the use of a kitchenette, that's a great bargain in a city where the average hotel room can cost €150 a night.

Budget-friendly accommodation in Vienna

Hotel Beethoven

You wouldn't normally expect a four-star hotel to appear on a list of money-saving tips like this one. But Vienna's Hotel Beethoven gives you the chance to enjoy Wien Mitte in luxurious surroundings even on a budget. True to its name, this hotel regularly hosts classical music concerts for guests to enjoy, and since it is just a few steps from Theater an der Wien and Vienna's biggest market, the Naschmarkt, this is a great option if you want to be in the heart of everything at a relatively low price. Easily one of the best neighborhoods in Vienna to stay, it's an excellent option for budget travelers.

Even in the height of summer, a double room here costs only €152, which represents a great bargain given how central and how charming it is.

Ruby Sofie Hotel

If you're a fan of nightlife, this hotel operates one of the trendiest bars in the area, with vintage record players and brightly colored furniture making it a popular place until the small hours of the morning. With that in mind, it's probably a good thing the rooms are very well soundproofed so you can get a good night's sleep.

This is a hotel very much geared toward the young and trendy, with free guitars available to play in the lobby and a meditation room on the fifth floor. Located in a popular district close to the iconic Hundertwasserhouse, Ruby Sofie is only a 20-minute walk from Stephansplatz and is well-served by public transport. They also rent out e-scooters to make it easy to get around the city.

Museum of Military History in Vienna

Cheap things to do in Vienna

Take the Beethoven Walk

Vienna is well known as one of the most musical cities on the planet, and many of the most important figures in the history of European classical music lived and worked right here. Visit the city's main tourist information point, and you can set out on this entertaining historical walk that will take you through Vienna using an app and a pair of special glasses. The walk will take you to sites that Beethoven knew during his time in Vienna, and you'll get a deeper understanding of the life of this famous composer. You will need to leave a deposit for the glasses, but keep them safe, and you'll get a refund at the end of your walk. Easily one of the best free walking tours in Vienna, this is one you shouldn't miss.

Museum of Military History

It's often forgotten in the English-speaking world these days, but Vienna was the home of a huge empire that dominated Europe for centuries. The Austrians didn't build that empire by being peaceful people. Vienna's Museum of Military History is one of the most fascinating in the city. After all, where else could you see the gun that started the First World War with your own eyes?

It's only seven euros for admission to this museum, and that includes an audio guide that will explain more about what you're seeing. And if that's too much for you, it's good to know that the museum offers free admission on the first Sunday of every month.

Hike to Kahlenburg

Located on the edge of the city, Kahlenburg is the tallest hill in Vienna and a popular place for both locals and visitors since it offers incredible views of the city. Easily reached by public transport, the hill provides a great way to escape the busyness of the city and get some exercise, and it won't cost you a thing.

Budget dining in Vienna

Cheap places to eat in Vienna

Esterhazykeller

Restaurants don't come much more central, historic, or traditionally Viennese than this. Operating since 1683 in a cellar in the heart of the city, this is a restaurant Joseph Haydn used to eat at, so you'll be partaking in the history of this city of music while you enjoy a traditional Austrian meal here.

Given the history and the central location, it's surprisingly cheap to eat here. The wiener schnitzel served with potatoes is only €15, and there's a hearty pork roast with sauerkraut for only €18. Although significantly more expensive than fast food, it's also a great choice for classic Viennese dishes in exceptional surroundings.

Der Wiener Deewan

This Pakistani restaurant close to the Sigmund Freud Museum is a great place to fill up and get a lot of bang for your buck thanks to its all-you-can-eat buffet. Even better, they operate on a pay-as-you-wish basis, making this possibly the best deal you'll find on food when visiting Vienna. Of course, while it's fine to take advantage of this budget-friendly restaurant to save money, don't think this means all the food on offer here is free stuff. As a general guide, the takeaway prices range from 5 to 7 euros, so you should spend at least that on a meal. But that's still an exceptional price to stuff yourself with delicious Pakistani recipes.

Kent

This well-known mini-chain is the perfect place for Turkish food when trying to save money in Vienna. There are tons of great dishes on offer here for both carnivores and vegetarians, with many meals costing between €11 and €13. If your hotel doesn't provide breakfast, this is also an excellent place to get that, and you can have a filling morning meal for around five euros, making it a great option for saving money in what is usually one of the more expensive European cities to visit.

Another option is to take advantage of the best street food in Vienna. Tracking down one of the city's popular food trucks can not only help you save money but will also make you feel like you're living like a local.

Affordable bars in Vienna

Cheap bars in Vienna

Club Loco

This raucous nightclub is possibly at its best on karaoke night, which takes place on Wednesdays. There's usually free admission and some truly awesome drink specials, with certain cocktails and long drinks as cheap as €0.50. Even if you don't make it to this lively bar for happy hour, the regular prices aren't bad at all, with glasses of wine and beer costing only three euros. It's an excellent place to get messy for cheap, and you'll have plenty of entertainment as you rub shoulders with locals and travelers alike.

Four Bells Irish Pub

All the major European cities seem to have at least one Irish bar that functions as party central for travelers, and in Vienna, that role is filled by Four Bells. With pints at five euros and cocktails starting at three euros, this is a cheap place to drink even if you don't manage to time your visit during happy hour. There is also a dartboard and a foosball table to entertain you and a decent and relatively affordable menu of classic pub food like nachos, wings, and burgers.

Bricks

Although not the cheapest bar in Vienna, Bricks is worth considering if you want to place to dance and if you can take advantage of the bar's happy hour. Every day from 8 PM to 10 PM, cocktails here cost €4.50, and strong drinks are half-price, down to six euros from the normal €12. So if you're looking to get twisted without spending a lot, this is an excellent option.

Budget tips for Vienna

Bonus budget tips for Vienna

  • Stay in touch with loved ones with a local SIM card. If your phone is unlocked, it's easy to pick up a short-term SIM card from any major Austrian cell phone provider, and many of them offer lots of data, so you can use apps like Whatsapp for making free phone calls. Additionally, Skype offers fantastic rates for travelers who want to call home when they visit Europe.
  • Visit the free attractions: Vienna has many free attractions that you can enjoy without spending a penny. Some of the popular free attractions include St. Stephen's Cathedral and Schönbrunn Palace Gardens.
  • Use public transportation: Vienna has an excellent public transportation system that includes buses, trams, and the metro. You can buy a Vienna Card that offers unlimited travel on public transportation and also discounts on various attractions.
  • Take advantage of free Wi-Fi: Many cafes and restaurants in Vienna offer free Wi-Fi. You can check your email or browse the internet for free while enjoying a cup of coffee.
  • Visit museums on discounted days: Many museums in Vienna offer discounted entry fees on certain days of the week or at certain times of the day. Do some research and plan your museum visits accordingly.
  • Take a free walking tour: Lots of companies in Vienna offer free walking tours. These tours are a great way to learn about the history and culture of the city without spending any money.
  • Buy souvenirs at local markets: Vienna has many local markets where you can find unique souvenirs at a reasonable price. Naschmarkt is a popular market that sells everything from food to antiques.
  • Drink tap water: Vienna has some of the cleanest tap water in the world. You can save money on bottled water by carrying a refillable water bottle with you.

Conclusion

As you can see from these helpful tips, there is no shortage of free things to do in Vienna. Leave your bags behind at a convenient luggage storage and take advantage of cheap accommodation and excellent public transport to see everything this incredible city has to offer. You'll soon find yourself planning your next visit.

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