Vienna on a Budget: 10 Money-Saving Travel Tips

Vienna on a Budget: 10 Money-Saving Travel Tips

Are you trying to plan a trip to Vienna on a budget? It can seem like an impossible feat considering how expensive one of Europe’s biggest capital cities can get. But thanks to these Vienna budget travel tips, you can save on transportation, food, and more!

Some of these links are affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure!

How much does it cost to visit Vienna?

According to BudgetYourTrip, you should expect to spend an average of $162 per person per day on a trip to Vienna. I would say that is pretty accurate, but there are definitely ways to create an effective Vienna trip budget.

First, you must start by recognizing that Vienna is just expensive. It’s unfortunate because you may have to be pickier with the foods you try or attractions you visit. While planning your Vienna trip budget, make a list of non-negotiable things to do. Start making your list by referencing my guide to the best things to do in Vienna in 3 days.

Everyone’s non-negotiables may be a little different because we all like to travel for different reasons. If you’re a foodie, you may have some restaurants you’re dying to visit and don’t mind spending on. If you love history, those museum visits and walking tours are your top priority.

The idea is to begin balancing the must-dos with the areas in which we can cut costs.

Continue reading for Vienna budget travel tips!

Saving on Transportation in Vienna

If you’re visiting Vienna on a budget, you might be able to start saving money from booking flights.

Fly into Bratislava

This cheap flight hack won’t work for everyone, but it is an alternative that may save you money. Bratislava, Slovakia is just one hour away from Vienna by train or bus.

Train and bus tickets cost €20 per person. So, if you can find way cheaper flights into Bratislava than Vienna airport that create a big enough difference, it may be more worth it to fly into Bratislava and take public transport into Vienna.

You could also maximize your travel experiences by spending one day in Bratislava!

Take advantage of public transportation

You could try to save money in Vienna by walking, but the city is absolutely huge, and you’ll likely feel extremely tired (unless you have a lot of time in Vienna, so you can spread out your days with lots of walking with some relaxing days.)

Vienna has one of the best public transportation systems in Europe, and with modest metro and tram pass prices, it is actually one of the best ways to satisfy both your need for comfort and savings.

I suggest buying one of the multi-day metro passes. For example, three days of unlimited metro and tram rides cost €17.10. Check out all the ticket prices.

Pro Tip: Maximize your time savings by picking a hotel that is close to a metro line that you would be using frequently. For us, that metro line was the U1, so we got a hotel only a 5-minute walk away to save time – and our feet!

Saving on Food in Vienna

Save on meals at kiosks or local markets

Sit-down restaurants just all tend to be expensive – there’s not really any way to get around it. I’m pretty sure we spent about €30 per person per meal when we ate at a sit-down restaurant.

Of course, we also want to balance our savings with having those once-in-a-lifetime experiences, so if you don’t order extras like dessert, then you won’t necessarily reach that amount.

You can, however, save a lot on meals by eating at more quick service-style locations. Viennese sausage stands are a traditional food experience and a fairly cheap lunch!

There are also local markets, like Gleis Garten or Naschmarkt. Here, there is a mix of food stands/sit-down restaurants and market stalls, so some places will be pricier, whereas others will be more takeaway cheap eats.

Know the Tipping Situation

In Vienna, know that it is customary to tip at restaurants if you have received good service. This can be anything from rounding up the bill to 10%, but usually no more. Don’t spend more than you need to by not knowing how to tip!

Bring Cash

Bringing cash might not actually save you money in Vienna, but it will save you stress. I was surprised to see that so many places were cash only – and frustrated because I had no cash!

Saving on Accommodation in Vienna

Stay in neighborhoods other than the city center

The best way to do Vienna on a budget in terms of accommodation is to find a strategically located hotel away from the center but close to the metro. That’s what I found in The Social Hub.

Paired with a Genius discount from, I did 3 nights for €250. It’s not necessarily cheap, but for being close to the city center and close to the metro that could get me there in 5 minutes, it wasn’t bad at all.

Consider hostels

Hostels may not be everyone’s favorite, but they do provide cheap accommodation. And Vienna, being a major European city, is home to a lot of them.

If you don’t care to share a dorm room with someone, then you could look into hostels like Wombat’s City Hostel, which also offers private rooms (this one, for example, is €77 per night). Just do some research to compare because sometimes private rooms will be super cheap, while other times they will cost just as much as a hotel room.

Saving on Things to Do in Vienna

The biggest budget-buster is Vienna attractions. All the individual entrance fees and experiences add up, which can really stress your tight budget. Here are ways to save and things to consider.

Calculate the value of the Vienna Card

One of the biggest challenges I had planning a trip to Vienna on a budget was understanding if the Vienna City Card could save me money. I came to the conclusion that it couldn’t, just because the discounts would not be enough to offset what I would have been spending anyway.

The card has a different price depending on the number of days you want to use it. One plus is that it includes public transportation. All the other advantages – the discounts on attractions, hotels, and restaurants – could potentially result in savings, but there are some things to consider.

Firstly, the discounts on the most exciting Vienna attractions are really small – like 1 or 2 euros off of a 20 euro entrance ticket. Secondly, even though the dining and hotel discounts are attractive, they can also be constrictive and cause you to miss out on a better deal or force you to put certain places into your itinerary that you wouldn’t necessarily have done.

I think for a tourist card to really deliver value, it should be obvious, and to me, the value was not obvious here. In fact, I read a different blog post by someone who used the card and did all the calculations against what they would have paid normally, and they saved just over one euro.

So, I think that it is not worth spending the money on the card and likely more flexible for your budget to just select a few activities that fit into your trip.

Don’t miss out on free attractions

Even though many of Vienna’s biggest attractions are paid, there are lots of free things to do in Vienna to make your trip just as enjoyable!

Vienna is home to so many churches, like St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Votivkirche, that are free to visit, as well as parks and markets like Am Hof and Freyung.

The Palace of Justice and Palais Daun-Kinsky are also beautiful buildings you can enter for free.

Plus, on the first Sunday of every month, many Vienna museums are free to visit!

Join free walking tours

You don’t necessarily have to go inside every Vienna attraction, like the Opera House or Hofburg Palace, to enjoy them.

Getting together with a local guide who can give you insights into the city on a free walking tour is a totally enriching and fun activity!

Here are some free Vienna walking tours to join:

The SGTD Take

So, is it possible to visit Vienna on a budget? Absolutely! Is it just as enjoyable? You can make it so.

It is a game of picking and choosing between your needs and wants. But, overall, the goal is to still have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of a trip to Vienna and just smartly cut costs where it won’t have much of an impact on those memories.

These budget travel tips are designed to help you save money smartly, not restrict you from having an amazing time!

What’s worrying you about a Vienna budget? Let me know in the comments!

Save these Vienna budget travel tips on Pinterest!

Safe travels,



Michela is a travel writer and photographer living in northern Italy. She is passionate about helping people make the most of their travels by sharing advice gained from her personal experiences, off-the-beaten-path destinations and time-saving quick itineraries. Browse her top articles or have her help you plan your itinerary to your dream destination!

Find me on: Web | Instagram

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for Something?