Vienna: here’s how to visit the greenest city in Europe on a small budget

If you are planning a European city break this summer, the green and pleasant capital of Austria should be at the top of your list. Located in the east of Austria, Vienna is home to hundreds of cultural icons, and with almost 50% of the city made up of green space, there are also plenty of parks to relax in.

One of the largest cities on the continent, Vienna has no shortage of architectural gems and famous former residents. In fact, it seems that every famous European composer lived here at some point, including Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms and Mahler.

For all its history and beauty, Vienna is not the cheapest city in the world. In fact, Austria has been ranked the 18th most expensive country in the world by CEOWORLD magazine, and although it’s not as expensive as the famously expensive London, if you’re on a budget you might feel the pinch. .

But do not worry. With a bit of anticipation and the help of our guide, it’s more than possible Vienna on a budget.

How easy is it to get to Vienna?

Vienna is easily accessible by train from most European countries, making it an ideal place to visit if you want to travel sustainably and affordably.

From the UK, travelers can hop on the Eurostar in Brussels, before taking a connecting train to Frankfurt and then on to Vienna. If you leave early, you can easily get there in a day.

Alternatively, after arriving at Brussels in the afternoon, you can board the NightJet Sleeper train, which will take you to the capital during the night.

Where can I stay in Vienna?

There are cheap accommodation options in Vienna, if you look closely. If you’re feeling outdoors, there’s a campsite – Aktiv Camping Neue Donau – just outside town, and with prices from €36 for two adults per night, it won’t break the bank either .

Vienna also has very good hostels. From Vienna Boutique Hostel, which offers free Wi-Fi and rooms from €29.95 per night, to Hostel Ruthensteine ​​from €16.97 per night, which also has a large garden and of a musical space.

If you have a bigger budget and want to travel in a sustainable way, the Henriette City Hotel has won numerous awards for its eco-credentials and is certified by the European Ecolabel.

Cheap food in Vienna

Austria is well known for its meat dishes, including tafelspitz (boiled beef in broth) and Wiener Schnitzel. The latter is traditionally made from a piece of veal: the meat is pounded flat before being breaded and fried.

If you want to taste schnitzel, go to Schnitzelwirt. Popular with tourists and locals alike, the restaurant serves large portions at reasonable prices.

If you don’t eat meat, you’ll be happy to hear that the vegan movement is thriving in Vienna. For the best vegan ice cream in town, head to Veganista, which has stores popping up all over town. With flavors ranging from basil to maple and pecan, you’re bound to find one (or two, or three) you like.

Speaking of sweets, be sure to grab a slice of Vienna’s decadent sachertorte before you go. Consisting of a chocolate sponge cake covered with a dark chocolate ganache with a heart of apricot jam, this cake can be found throughout the city.

If you feel comfortable, head to Café Sacher or Café Demel – who even went to court to claim the right to use the phrase “original sachertorte”. Spoiler: Café Sacher won. Coffee from the Aida Café Konditorei chain is also a decent (and cheaper) alternative.

Visit the most beautiful green spaces in Vienna

One of the cheapest and most relaxing things you can do in Vienna is to visit some of its beautiful green spaces. Burggarten and Stadtpark are free to enter, and the former has a stunning palm grove, while music lovers can also pay their respects at the Mozart statue.

During the summer months, join the crowds of locals on the 21 km long Danube Island, a man-made island in central Vienna, which is also home to the world’s largest trampoline center and a huge water playground for kids.

There are also beaches and swimming spots here, making it a great place to soak up the Viennese sunshine.

The cheapest tourist attractions in Vienna

If you plan to visit many sights around the city, consider getting a Vienna Card. You can buy one for 1-3 days and it will give you unlimited access to public transport, as well as discounts on a huge range of museums, shops and restaurants. You can pick one up at the airport or online.

History buffs should visit the Sigmund Freud Museum to learn more about the hugely influential psychoanalyst, before strolling through the historic center of Vienna, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The city is also home to the world’s oldest zoo – founded in 1752 – and the Wiener Riesenrad, an iconic Ferris wheel built in 1897. The carousel sits at the entrance to the Prater amusement park and features in the classic film 1940, The Third Man.

And finally, if you want to celebrate Vienna’s green city credentials, be sure to visit its Green Museum. The fine arts museum, Kunst Haus Wien, organizes exhibitions focusing on art, ecology, sustainability and recycling, all in a unique and original building.

About John McTaggart

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