Comprehensive Guide How to save money in Austria
1. Make lunch your main meal
Most restaurants offer cheap set menus around noon. The cheapest are usually Chinese ones, but if you are more into eating Austrian (which I would recommend), you should find set menus at lunchtime almost anywhere.
2. Look for a discount.
It is worth looking into what kind of supermarkets there are in Austria. The cheapest ones are Hofer (Austria′s Aldi) and Zielpunkt. For fresh food (bread, spreads, cold cuts, freshly cut cheese, fruit and vegetables), I recommend Spar or Billa. Almost anything else is cheaper at Hofer, but usually of comparable quality.
3. Compare organised trips and tours
In many touristy places, sightseeing companies offer organised excursions: The Tyrolian Alps, the “Three Lakes Tour” of the Salzkammergut, Vienna city walks, Sound-of-Music-tours in Salzburg. Use public transport. This will also expose you to “real” people and not only fellow tourists that share a bus with you. If you opt for an organised trip,compare the different companies that do them – you might even be able to haggle for group discounts.
To stay cheaply, try to find hostels. There are different categories, some of them are private, some of them are acknowledged by international hostelling associations.Ask at the local tourist information centre if such facilities exist. In my own experience, camping lots are usually clean in Austria – note that wild camping on public land is not permitted. Booking you hotel online and well ahead of your travel time will also maximize your chances of getting a bargain. I stayed in Couchsurfing during my time in Vienna.
Another big one in the travel budget. Hitchhiking is the cheapest mean to get around. Commercial and official means of transport, it is worth looking into special offers of the “ÖBB” (Austrian Federal Railroads). If you are under 26, you are eligible for a young person′s card that costs about 20 Euros and cuts all fares by something around 50 percent. On the weekends, there are often special deals available for certain parts of the rail network – check on the ÖBB website. Transportation from and to Airports can be easily done using public means of transport – at all international airports of Austria.
Since the majority of Austria-visitors pay significant shares of their attention to Vienna and Salzburg, you should consider to buy combination tickets for the major attractions.
7. Free Concerts
You can also take advantage of the many free concerts that are offered in Vienna and other places on a daily basis. Students of music performance often give concerts free of charge, and a standing ticket at the National Opera costs as little as 5 Euros. Most theatres sell left-over tickets 30 minutes before the beginning to students at very reasonable fares. There is no need at all to spend a lot of money on tacky concerts if there are good ones for free. To find out about them, check a daily paper or specifically ask the tourist information centre about non-touristy concerts.
8. Think about low season and avoid crowds
A very general piece of advice: Avoid the crowds! Nothing pushes prices as much as thousands of tourists keen on spending money. In Austria, the second-best attraction of a certain kind is often a lot less touristy and still worth a visit. Especially during the main season.
9. Food and drink for the really budget
The cheapest meals you can probably get in Austria is offered by the “Mensa” the university canteens.I heard its very bad but super cheap.
10. The cheapest beer
Sold in cans by Hofer supermarkets. It is significantly cheaper than bottled water and insignificantly tastier. Note that it is perfectly legal to drink in almost all public places in Austria. ( red color for beer lovers)