Is Austria expensive? If you’re thinking of planning a vacation to this wonderful country, then this has got to be a question on your mind! Austria is right in the heart of Europe. Its cities are oozing culture and sophistication, whereas its countryside is chock-full of breathtaking scenery.
It’s no secret that Europe isn’t the cheapest place to visit. And sadly, Austria’s alpine lakes, historical cities, and vast mountain ranges come at a price… According to Budgetyourtrip.com Austria ranks 17 out of the 45 European countries. YIKES! It is less expensive than say Switzerland, France, and Italy, but more expensive than Belgium, Portugal, and Croatia.
Luckily, Austria can be done on a reasonable budget, and the average solo traveler spends around 822 EUR (907 USD) a week, assuming double occupancy. But, keep reading if you want to shave those costs or get more of an idea of where this money goes. Our guide is going to look at the cost of accommodation, food, and activities, PLUS we’ll share some of our awesome money-saving tips. Read on, read on!
The average cost of a holiday in Austria
So, we’ve established that Austria isn’t the most expensive holiday destination in Europe, but it isn’t the cheapest either! The average cost of a single person, without flights and assuming double occupancy is 822 EUR a week, or 1,644 EUR a week for a couple. You should take these numbers with a pinch of salt, however, as they are averages. These numbers will fluctuate depending on how fancy your hotel is, your eating and drinking habits, any holiday shopping, and what activities you want to do! Plan your vacation wisely and your money could go a long way, but we’ll get into THAT later!
Here’s a summary of roughly how much you could be spending every day per person:
|Mid-range three-course meal for two||$55|
|Local beer 0.5-liter draught (restaurant)||$4.30|
|Coke 0.33 liter bottle (restaurant)||$2.88|
|Average hotel cost for two (one night)||$137|
|Sightseeing tickets and tours||$20|
|Average cost per day||$129|
Accommodation prices in Austria
Accommodation is always the most expensive thing on any trip (excluding flights), and in Austria, things are no different! What type of place you stay and actually where you stay will play a big role in your final costs! There are over 31,500 properties listed in Austria on Booking.com, and there’s everything from alpine hotels, to luxury lakeside spas, and inner-city hostels.
We love Austria since it is not all that expensive when it comes to accommodation! Sure, there are high-end places to stay, but even in the height of summer, you’ll find plenty of accommodation for under 50 USD! There is everything from campsites, to apartments, to budget hotel rooms, but, we DO urge you to read the reviews as cheaper is not always better. We’ve scoured the booking sites to find you properties that we think are absolute bargains and brilliant value for money!
- Schönbrunn (10): 2-Personen-Wohnung in Grünlage ($) – A budget apartment in Vienna, close to some of the city’s top attractions.
- Zedlacherhof ($) – Self-contained units in an alpine guest house in the Hohe Tauern Mountains. A great choice for skiers in the winter and hikers in the summer!
- La Perla Vintage Apartments ($$) – Spacious apartments in a historical building, close to the metro and Vienna’s popular sights.
Is Austria expensive to visit for foodies?
We personally think that Austria has got to be one of Europe’s top foodie destinations. Being at the crossroads of Europe, over time, Austria has incorporated many of our favorite dishes into their own cuisine (all with its own twist, of course!). Some things you’ll recognize on the menu from other countries are Apfelstrudel, Gulasch, and Palatchinken (crepes).
Okay, so Austria has great food, but is food there expensive? Well, we would have to say we don’t think so! The average traveler spends around 30 EUR (33 USD) a day on food, and a meal at an inexpensive restaurant comes in at around 12 EUR per person. That’s not too bad! Unsurprisingly, sit-down meals at higher-end restaurants are more expensive, but to really save your money, we recommend getting down and dirty with the country’s marvelous street food scene.
If you’re in Vienna, you’re in for a real treat as this city is full of takeaway food stands, with some smaller dishes coming in at under 5 EUR a pop! Naschmarkt in Vienna is great to visit as it has street food from all over the world. Some of our top Vienna/Austrian street foods to try are the Wurstel (or hot dog), the Doner kebap (kebab), and Schnitzelsemmel (possibly the best thing ever – a Schnitzel sandwich). For the sweet tooths reading this, Apfelstrudel and Weiner Buchtein (a sweet bun filled with jam, served with a vanilla sauce) can also be eaten on the go.
Is Austria expensive for skiing?
Skiing is one of Austria’s major attractions, and while we typically view skiing as a luxury sport, skiing in Austria may not be as expensive as you’d think. It’s definitely cheaper than skiing in Switzerland or France, but probably more expensive than lesser-known ski destinations like Bulgaria or even Italy. The ski season in Austria starts in December and lasts until late March, but the high season peaks during the holidays. To avoid peak season prices, it’s best to skip skiing in Austria from December 25th until January 2nd.
To save money, opt for a ski holiday at the beginning and end of the ski season, in early December or late March. This will be a little risky for snow conditions, but sadly, sometimes our wallet has the final say! Another good tip for saving money is to avoid the more popular ski resorts that can be found in the Tyrol, Salzburg, and Vorarlberg areas. Styria, Carinthia, and the Kitzbuhel Alps tend to have better value resorts, but you may want to compare prices.
Kirchberg is a small and affordable ski resort in the Kitzbuhel Alps. It has budget-friendly options like pizzas for 7 EUR and some bars do specials where a beer can be as cheap as 2 EUR! Kirchberg is in a great location, with ski-lift and piste links to the Kitzbuhel, its pricier (and more popular) neighbor. A six-day ski lift pass in Kirchberg will set you back 170 – 196 EUR, whereas a six-day ski lift pass in Kitzbuhel comes in at between 213 – 266 EUR! The choice is obvious!
Choosing your activities wisely
Whether you visit in summer or winter, there are a lot of things to do in Austria. You could opt to spend your holiday living it up in one of Austria’s cosmopolitan cities, exploring museums, drinking coffee, and admiring the impressive architecture. Or, you could choose to go rogue and hike along pristine mountain ranges, swim in alpine lakes, and cycle through ancient forests.
Whatever you decide, most activities come with a price tag, and what you choose could make or break your budget! If you want to ski, there’s equipment rental, lift passes and travel to and from the ski resort. For summer hiking, you’ll want to think about things like canoe rental, lunches, and transport to and from your hiking destination. Most museums and exhibitions in Austria aren’t free either, so you’ll need to think about that too! Thankfully, there are a lot of free things to do in Austria, and, with some careful planning, even those pricier activities could be made more budget-friendly.
One of our favorite ways to bring those activity costs down is to balance out the pricier things with some free activities! For instance, you could visit a couple of museums, but also do a DIY walking tour of some of the country’s most beautiful buildings. Parks are usually free and are a great place to spend a sunny afternoon (Vienna alone has over 2,000 parks). If there are some things you simply don’t want to miss out on, like hiking, then be smart about it and bring a packed lunch rather than eating out at a touristy restaurant!
Drinking in Austria on a budget
Having a drink (or three) is a great way to unwind and relax on vacation, and, when in Austria, a cheeky pint of beer here and there is all part of the course. Austria has a big beer-drinking culture and there are over 300 breweries in the country and around 1,000 types of beer! Sitting out in a summer beer garden with a cold one sounds like heaven to us, but just how expensive is it to drink in Austria?
In a restaurant, a local beer on tap will set you back around 3.90 EUR for a 500ml glass and imported beer costs around 4 EUR for a 330ml bottle. This is still really reasonable, but if you want to save on costs even further, then it’s much cheaper to buy your beer from the grocery store. It costs just over 1 EUR for a 500ml bottle of local beer and around 1.58 EUR for a 330ml bottle of imported beer. Best of all, drinking in public isn’t illegal in Austria, so you can even grab a couple of bottles from your local store and go and drink them in the park!
Is Austria expensive to visit?
We’ve already said that aside from accommodation, flights will probably be your biggest expense. If you’re in Europe then lucky you, there are loads of budget airlines and you can fly into Austria for pretty cheap! If you wanna save even more money (and you have the time) then you could get the bus (Flixbus and Megabus are both good options), although to be honest, the discomfort and long travel times aren’t always worth the good prices.
For those of you traveling from further away, a good way to save money on flights is to book early and choose your travel time wisely. The peak season in Austria is over summer (June to August) and over the holidays (late December to early January). This makes spring and fall the cheapest times to fly.
Austria on a budget: Our top money-saving tips
We bet Austria is looking pretty good right about now, eh? It’s a great country to visit, even if you’re on a budget, and generally, it is cheaper than some of its western neighbors. However, this doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind and go crazy. It’s still possible to rack up a hefty bill, and that’s why we recommend following our money-saving tips! Here they are:
- Travel during the low season – Avoiding the peak season is always a good idea. You’ll save on flights and accommodation, plus there’ll be fewer crowds. For skiing, the low season is in early December and late March, otherwise, the shoulder seasons of spring and fall are a good choice!
- Research your ski resorts – Don’t go with the first ski resort you find. Often, like in the case of the Kitzbuhel Alps, you’ll find a cheap and affordable ski resort, (e.g. Kirchberger) close to a glitzier and more expensive resort (e.g. Kitzbuhel). If you take your time to do a bit of research, you could save yourself some big bucks!
- Book early – Booking early is always a good practice when it comes to going on vacation. Best-case scenario you’ll save some money, worst-case scenario, you won’t! Usually though, early birds get the best prices on flights and accommodation.
- Enjoy the street food – You may not wanna snack on street food everyday but eating a meal on the go here and there will save you a lot overall.
- Balance out your activities – It’s not always in our budget to do something super fun every day. Luckily, there is lots to do in Austria that won’t break the bank! If you mix in some free activities like DIY walking tours or chilling in the park, then Austria isn’t that expensive to visit. You just need to be smart about it.