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What currency is used in Austria? All your travel money questions, answered

8th July 2024

Austria: it’s famous for classical music, culture-rich cities, incredible alpine regions and – let’s be real – The Sound of Music. There’s so much to see and do in this European marvel, but it can come at a significant price. We’ve answered all your currency questions and rounded up the best budget travel tips to keep your expenses in check.

Austria’s currency explained: from Schillings to Euros

Want to get some currency for your trip to Austria? You’re in luck because Austria’s currency is the Euro (EUR). It’s one of 20 EU countries that uses the Euro, so it’s particularly handy if you’re travelling around the continent. Austria was one of the first countries to officially adopt the Euro in 1999 and the first banknotes and coins were introduced into circulation in 2002. Prior to the Euro, they used Austrian schillings.

FYI: if you happen to have schillings lying around from travels way back when, they can’t be used to pay any more. However, you can exchange them for Euros at the Austrian National Bank (Oesterreichische Nationalbank).

If you’re travelling to Austria, you can get Euros before you leave at our Travel Money stores. There’s also the option to click and collect Euros or opt for same day delivery. Plus, the Euro is one of 10 currencies that you can load onto our Travel Money Oz Currency Pass. You can use it just like a regular bank card, but it allows you to lock in your exchange rate and avoid costly conversion fees that can really add up – especially if you’re doing a grand tour of Austria!

Is it expensive to travel in Austria?

Now you’ve got your Euros sorted, you might be wondering how far they’ll stretch on your Austrian holiday. Like a lot of countries in Europe, Austria ain’t cheap. But it’s certainly not the most expensive European country to travel to – it’s no Switzerland or Denmark.

To give you an indication, a cup of coffee in a cafe will set you back around €4 ($6.40 AUD) but could cost up to €6 ($9.60 AUD) in a tourist area. However, you can pick up a decent bottle of wine in the supermarket for €6, so it’s not all bad news.

In terms of accommodation costs, timing matters. It’s understandably expensive to stay around the Austrian Alps over the winter ski season and prices tend to be higher in popular cities like Vienna and Salzburg over summer. Accommodation prices in these cities can skyrocket even further over the Christmas market season – markets typically run from mid-November to the end of December.


For example, a 5-star hotel in the picturesque old town of Vienna, the Innere Stadt district, will cost you around $640 AUD a night in the summer season. However, it can go up to about $1300 AUD a night in December when the Christmas markets are in full swing. So, it’s certainly worth being smart about your travel dates, if you’re not set on soaking up the Christmas cheer.

It’s also important to note that in Austria, it’s usually not wise to wait for a last-minute deal on accommodation. Most of the city centres are pretty small, which means there isn’t an abundance of accommodation. Rooms fill up quickly, then prices rise, so book in advance where possible.

What are the best budget attractions in Austria?


Sightseeing can be costly in Austria, but there are ways to reign in your expenses. If you’re planning on hitting up multiple attractions in the major tourist hotspots, then a city pass is a good option to consider.

Take the Sazlburg Card – it gets you into major city tourist attractions and museums, free travel on most public transport, discounts for events and excursions and express entrance to some attractions. There are 24, 48 and 72 hour passes, so you can simply pay for the time you’re in the city.

While some tourist passes are a bit of a gimmick, if you do the sums on this one, it’s pretty good value for money. Here’s an example: prices for the Salzburg Card start from €28 for an adult for 24 hours. A return ticket on the famous Untersbergbahn – the cable car that takes you up Salzburg Mountain – is €32 per adult. A return trip on the Untersbergbahn is free with the Salzburg Card, so even with one attraction, you’re actually saving money.

Not keen on the cable car? Given that Mozart was born in Salzburg, it’s packed with Mozart-themed attractions to cater to classical music lovers. One of his former residences and his birthplace are now museums and admission to both is included with the Salzburg Card. Individually, they cost €13.50 each or €20 for a combo ticket. So, your pass is basically paid for by these two attractions alone.

Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Salzburg is where The Sound of Music was set, so it’s a must-visit for fans of the movie. Salzburg’s stunning Hellbrunn Palace was one of the filming locations and now houses the famous gazebo from “16 going on 17”. You’ll get one-time admission with the Salzburg Card or it costs €15 per adult.

Similarly, the Vienna City Card gets you free travel on public transport, plus discounts on attractions, restaurants and hotels. For a run down on the Vienna City Card and how to use it to get a discounted VIP experience, read our blog on affordable luxury travel.

Beyond tourist passes, there are plenty of other ways to save on attractions in Austria. Take the opera – it’s a classic Vienna experience, but tickets can cost hundreds of dollars. However, there are discounts to be had. For example, at the Wiener Staatsoper, the Vienna State Opera, there are 435 standing room tickets available for each performance. They go on sale at 10am on the day of the opera both online and at their general box office. Tickets start from just €13, which is perfect if you want the opera experience without the high price tag. It’s also handy if you haven’t booked tickets beforehand because some shows sell out months in advance. You can find all the details on the Wiener Staatsoper site. Other opera houses offer similar options, too.

Much of the magic of Austria can be found by exploring the incredible landscapes that lie beyond the major cities – no admission fee required! Driving around the lake district, hiking in the Alps and strolling along the Danube will certainly fill your cup.

Once you head outside the major cities, there’s lots of outdoor activities to enjoy that won’t break the bank. Take the incredible Innsbruck, the gateway to the Nordkette mountain range. The two-time Winter Olympics host city has more than just snow sports on offer – it’s a popular hiking destination in summer and there’s culture aplenty in town, too. Plus, if you stay at one of the town’s partner establishments for two nights or more, you’ll get a free Welcome Card. The Welcome Card includes free public transport, free tours, discounts on events and attractions and more. Inclusions vary between summer and winter, but there’s plenty to do all year round.

How do you save money on transport in Austria?

One of the best ways to get around Austria is on the national rail network, ÖBB. With high-speed and express options on offer, it’s an efficient and cost-effective way to travel across the country. If you know your travel dates, you can save a significant amount of money by booking their ‘Sparschiene’ tickets in advance online. You could also book a ‘Nightjet’ overnight train, so you save on accommodation while getting to your next destination. The ‘Nightjet’ cabins are actually remarkably modern.

ÖBB tickets can be bought online or at ticket machines at the station. You can pay at machines using a bank card or our Currency Pass – just make sure you have your PIN at the ready, as you’ll need it at most machines.

If you’re heading on to some of the country’s stunning alpine regions, ÖBB has a bus offshoot called Postbus, that offers connections to more remote areas. Private rail operator WESTbahn also offers discounted train fares between some of the major cities. For more tips on travelling around the continent, see our guide to public transport in Europe.

With such gorgeous vistas at every turn, it’s worth taking in some of the sights of Austria on two wheels, too. Both foodies and nature-lovers will love a day trip to the Wachau, in the Danube Valley. You can catch a train from Vienna to Krems an der Donau in just over an hour, then rent a bike and cycle along the Danube River. This section of the Danube Cycle Path takes you past castles, orchards and vineyards on what must be one of the most scenic cycle routes in Europe. Bike rental is available in Krems from Nextbike – the first hour is free, then it’s just €1 per 30 minutes. The max charge is €15 per 24 hours, so don’t stress if you’re a slow rider!

Hiring a car is another great way to discover Austria’s picturesque villages, vast lake district and incredible alpine regions. However, just a heads up that car hire is not cheap. If a road trip is on your radar, be extra diligent with your research, compare companies and book far in advance.

When travelling within cities in Austria, public transport is your best bet. Vienna has the most expansive network with buses, trams, trains and the only subway system in the country. If you’ve got a Vienna City Card, your transport is already covered. Otherwise, you’ll need to get a ticket. Wiener Linien runs most of Vienna’s public transport, so you can visit their website for ticketing options. To give you an idea, a single ticket is €2.40 (around $3.90 AUD) or it’s €8 for a 24 hour pass.

Interestingly, Vienna’s public transport is basically run on an honesty system – there aren’t ticket barriers, but inspectors will check your tickets so you need to have one on you. Some tickets need to be validated before boarding, too. You can buy tickets at offices or machines at the station. Some machines don’t accept cash so a bank card or our Currency Pass is a great way to pay. FYI: there are ticket machines on trams, but they usually only accept coins.

Austria’s other major centres have plenty of public transport options, all with their own systems, so do your research in advance. Bike hire is also commonplace in many cities – Vienna, Salzburg and Graz all have bike share schemes. Of course, Austria’s cities are enjoyable to explore on foot, too, which won’t cost you a cent!

Austria’s currency: what tourists need to know before they go

Inspired to book an Austrian adventure? Here’s some top travel money tips from our team:


  • It’s good to have both cash and card for your travels to Austria. You can get Euros (EUR) before you go at our Travel Money stores. There’s also the option to click and collect currency or get same day delivery.
  • You can preload Euros onto our Travel Money Oz Currency Pass – it’s perfect for those day-to-day purchases on your trip. That way, you can lock in your exchange rate and avoid any conversion fees. Just make sure you always opt to pay in Euros when prompted.
  • While Austria doesn’t have the same tipping culture as, say, the USA, it’s customary to tip around 5-10% for good service. This includes service at restaurants, cafes and on tours. It’s also handy to have smaller denominations to tip porters, housekeeping staff and taxi drivers.
  • Our Holiday Budget Planner is handy if you want to get an idea of how much spending money you’ll need for your travels in Austria.


This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs. Travel Money Oz has sought to ensure that the information is true and correct at the time of publication (First Published July 8th, 2024). Prices, details and services are subject to change without notice, and Travel Money Oz accepts no responsibility or liability for any such changes, including any loss resulting from any action taken or reliance made by you on any information provided. You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate or is appropriate for you. We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog. Daily Cost: All prices are approximations. Your costs may differ depending on where you go, where you shop, and their individual factors. Daily Budget: Costs are estimated per person and do not include accommodation. Terms and conditions apply to Best Price Guarantee, Rate Guard and Cash Commitment. See for more details.
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