Vienna, the Austrian capital, is filled with culture, modern art, and Imperial history, but seeing all this costs a pretty penny. With enough research, there are spots to take in Vienna’s glorious classical music, architecture, and Art Nouveau without spending all your money.
World nomads love Vienna for its accessible public transport, exciting music film festival, and the famous Vienna Opera. Fellow travelers add backpacking Vienna to their travel inspiration because Vienna offers plenty of day trips to nearby cities.
Whether you are backpacking Vienna, staying in Vienna hotels, or camping right outside of Vienna, there are plenty of ways to cut down your trip costs to visit Vienna on a budget.
7 Best Attractions When Visiting Vienna on a Budget
1. Take a Stroll Around The Ringstrasse
The Ringstrasse is a ring that runs through the city’s center of Vienna.
You can see many of Vienna’s most famous buildings and architecture by doing this walk. Buildings you will pass by include the Vienna State Opera, Imperial Palace, the Austrian Parliament, and Rathaus.
Also, in the winter, the Ringstrasse has Christmas markets with ice skating. Conversely, there are street food and drink stalls in the summer and free opera and musical performances.
2. Tour City Hall
City Hall offers free walking tours throughout the building every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1 pm.
This tour consists of the Council Chamber, the two Coat of Arms Halls, the Stone Halls, the Festival Hall, the Senate Chamber, the Grand Staircases, the Arcade Court, and a view up to the Rathausmann.
However, the tickets are impossible to reserve, and the tour guides speak in German.
3. Visit Parks
Burggarten, Stadtpark, Prater Park, and The Schonbrunn Palace gardens are all parks within Vienna that offer the calm and beauty of the outdoors as well as beautiful gardens.
Most of these parks are free, except the Schonbrunn Palace maze, which costs a couple of euros to enter.
Or, if you are a beach person, you can travel down to Danube Island, where there are beaches, boats, bikes, and cafes, with summer fun all around.
Danube Island is a relaxing location that people like to visit so they can rest amid their travels. Also, it’s the perfect place to have a picnic and enjoy the views.
You can also swim at some locations on Danube Island, which is another fun, free activity to do when you are on a budget.
4. Visit Free Museums
There are a few museums in Vienna that are entirely free.
First of all, if you are under the age of 19, you can visit certain museums for free, such as the Wien Museum, Museum of Military History, and Prater Museum. These three museums are also free for everyone on the first Sunday of the month (besides public holidays).
Other free museums are the Money Museum, the Snow Globe Museum, and the Peace Museum.
5. See The Best City Views
You can’t visit a new city and leave without taking in the views. Luckily, there are plenty of sights in Vienna that are super cheap or free.
For example, visiting St. Stephen’s Cathedral is a must because it has the best views of the city center. The cathedral itself is free to visit, but climbing the tower’s stairs to see the view costs 5 euros for adults and 2 euros for children.
You can also get a cocktail while taking in the scenery at the Sky Bar Restaurant that overlooks St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
Or, stop by Austria’s tallest building, Donauturum, which has a viewing platform that costs around 14 euros for one ticket. There is also a rotating restaurant at the top for a more expensive option.
Another tall building to see is the DC Tower, which you can view from the bottom and still be amazed by its astounding height.
6. Experience Affordable Entertainment
Everyone wants to experience music in Vienna, but Vienna’s operas can sell out months in advance, and it’s expensive to purchase tickets. The more affordable option is to buy standing room tickets for Staatsoper or the State Opera House.
Standing tickets for the Staatsoper’s ground floor go on sale 80 minutes before the performance and cost 3-4 euros. However, you can only buy a single ticket per person, and you must wait in line.
Likewise, by purchasing tickets online at Volksoper and Burgtheater, you can get a similar experience for a comparable price.
7. Take In Vienna’s Cafe Culture
Coffee is famous in Vienna because when the Turks tried to capture the city of Vienna in 1683, the Austrians chased them off and the Turks left behind bags of coffee beans, starting Vienna’s love for coffee. Thus, Vienna has multiple famous cafes, and some even offer free music performances.
Overall, you’ll find that certain top-notch cafes are expensive, but others, like Fenster, are cheaper. Also, if you are looking for cheap cafes that offer music, check out Cafe Schwarzenberg, Cafe Weimar, and Cafe Pruckel.
The best part is that coffee shops do not hurry you along, so you could spend hours sitting in a cafe sipping on a warm drink while you take in the scenery.
Money-Saving Tips When Visiting Vienna
Purchase a Vienna Card
A Vienna Card is for public transportation and offers all public transport for free on the first day you purchase it. Thus, buying a card is beneficial if you are visiting many city attractions.
Another great thing about the Vienna Card is that it gives you access to Wien Hauptbahnhof, the central railway station in Vienna.
As far as money goes, for one day the card costs 17 euros, for two days it costs 25 euros, and three days costs 29 euros which is rather cheap. Additionally, you should notice that it provides discounts to 210 museums, shops, restaurants, and cafes.
You can purchase a Vienna Card at the airport, online, or at the Tourist Information Centre in Albertinaplatz.
Take the S-Bahn
To get to the city’s center from the Vienna airport, take the S-Bahn train instead of the city airport train because the S-Bahn costs 4.10 euros and is easily accessible.
Also, the S-Bahn train only takes 25 minutes to get to Wien Mitte station and has many stops along the way to the city center.
Another simple option for transportation in Vienna is the U-Bahn train.
- Save money by taking a boat to travel along the Danube. This option is a way to travel and get a boat ride for a small price.
- Start eating main meals at lunchtime. These are called mittagsmenü. They offer a 2-3 course meal for around 10 euros.
- Eat around Neubau, Josefstadt, or other student cities because they offer lower meal prices.
Should You Get Vienna PASS?
Vienna PASS offers up to 60 free entries to attractions in Vienna. Overall, you should purchase one if you want to spend a day or two visiting multiple museums, sights, and attractions throughout the city.
The pass includes sights such as the Imperial Treasury, the Leopold Museum, Schönbrunn Palace, Forchtenstein Castle, and much more.
Pricing for a pass is as follows:
- One pass for an adult for one day costs 85 euros, but there are often 10% discounts on the website. For a child, it is 42.50 euros for one day.
- For two days, for an adult, it costs 119 euros. For a child, it is 59.50 euros.
- For three days, an adult pass is 149 euros and 74.50 euros for a child.
- Lastly, there is an option to purchase a pass for six days, which costs an adult 189 euros. A 6-day pass for a child is 94.50.
Children’s passes are for those 6-18 years old.
If you are a passionate museum-goer, purchasing the pass would be worth it because museum entry fees add up quickly. If you plan to take on Vienna by eating out or just simply walking around, you may want to skip out on the pass.
However, the pass also includes a free guidebook that will guide you to the best attractions in Vienna without having to do a lot of research before traveling.
If this opportunity interests you, you can purchase the pass on its website and either download it digitally for free, pick it up at the PASS service center in Vienna for free, or pay a small fee for shipping.
There is plenty to do in Vienna on a budget, making it an amazing city if you don’t have much money.
Vienna has a great public transportation system that allows you to access many attractions without much of an extra cost. Also, central Vienna has cheap eats, beautiful parks, and free tours.
Visiting a foreign city on a budget can be overwhelming, but Vienna is diverse enough to offer cheap tickets and options for entertainment.
The cheapest way to experience Vienna is by searching for free things, like free entry or a free walking tour. These are some of the top tips when visiting Vienna on a budget.
Finally, the city is cost-friendly because everything is within walking distance due to the innovative and accessible transportation system. So, skip the travel insurance and make your friends wish they visited Vienna with you by following this guide.
Table of Contents
- 7 Best Attractions When Visiting Vienna on a Budget
- Money-Saving Tips When Visiting Vienna
- Should You Get Vienna PASS?