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Eight ways to save money living in Vienna

From cut price summer camps for school age children to swimming pools and opera tickets for just a couple of euros, find out how you can save money in Vienna while enjoying all the Austrian capital has to offer.

Swimming in the Danube river is free!  (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)
Swimming in the Danube river is free!  (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)

Vienna’s restaurants, cafes, swimming pools, sports venues, music venues and events are opening up soon after a long closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. You can already visit its museums and world famous art galleries.

But how can you enjoy the best the city has to offer on a budget?

Public transport for just one euro a day

One thing you don’t have to worry about in Vienna is spending a lot of money on public transport.

With the yearly Wiener Linien Jahreskarte, transport all over the city costs just €1 per day. 

READ MORE: 365 Ticket: Everything you need to know about Vienna’s cheap annual metro pass

Cheap child care

Summer holidays are coming up, but you don’t need to shell out a fortune to keep your school aged children entertained or to send them to a summer camp.

The City of Vienna summer camps are ridiculously good value at just €50 a week, including lunch and snacks, dropping to €25 a week for siblings. The camps, located at various locations across the city, offer a range of activities and outings with themes such as nature, cultural experiences, creativity, science and technology.

The most popular even offer swimming courses .

Entrance to the Albertina Modern art museum is included in the Bundes Museencard (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Culture on a shoestring 

If you are living on a very low income but love culture, the Hunger auf Kunst und Kultur initiative means you can get free access to museums, art exhibitions, theatre and music performances. The card can also be used in Styria, Burgenland, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Tyrol, Vorarlberg and Lower Austria as well as Vienna.

If you do not meet the strict requirements for the card, there is a chance to visit many federal museums in Austria with the Bundes Museencard, currently offered for €19 instead of €59. This includes a single visit to the Albertina, Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Belvedere, Vienna’s Imperial Treasury, the Welt Museum, MAK or Museum of Applied Arts, the Mumok modern art museum, the Theatre museum, the Austrian National Library and the Imperial Wagenburg museum in Vienna.

It also includes a visit to Ambras Castle in Innsbruck. It also includes family favourites the Technisches Museum and the Natural History museum.

Mexican citizens can also currently visit the Aztec exhibition at the Welt Museum free of charge. 

Hunt out cheap food options

If your food delivery habit has got out of control during lockdown, the app ‘Too Good To Go’ can help you save money. It means restaurants, bakeries and delicatessens do not have to throw out unused (but perfectly good) food at the end of the day, but can offer it at a huge discount to paying customers, meaning you can save money and cut down on food waste. 

No need for a posh gym

Join a running, yoga or hiking group. Under the new rules when lockdown ends on 19th May, up to 10 people from different households can meet. There is no need to join an expensive gym for exercise classes, Vienna has hundreds of free exercise groups where people can motivate each other to burn off those corona calories.

Groups such as Open Yoga Vienna offer free yoga outside, or YouTube video workouts when the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor fun. Join Meetup to find more like-minded exercise nuts.

In addition, there are green outdoor workout gyms all over the city, with those along the Danube Canal and the Prater giving the perfect opportunity to flex your pecs in the sun. 

Get your biked tuned up for the summer – for free! (Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)

Free bike tune-ups

Does your bike need a service? The Green Party in Vienna organises popup bike repairs all over the city.

Go to the Grüne Radrettung Facebook page to find out more. It’s also possible to hire a bike in Vienna for just one euro an hour from the city’s bike rental service

Swim for cheap – or even for free

Swimming in Vienna’s many public pools is very cheap, and will soon be possible again from May 19th. Marvel at the glass roof of Vienna’s oldest swimming pool Jörgerbad or enjoy views across the city from Krapfenwaldbad, set in the Vienna Woods. Swimming is free for infants (children aged under seven), while children aged between seven and 14 pay just one euro for a swim.

Even adults pay only three euros for a dip. If you don’t even want to pay that much, swimming in the Danube (Donau) is free, the water quality is good and there are lots of great places to sunbathe along the river.

You can watch a performance at Vienna’s State Opera house for just a couple of euros (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Enjoy world-class opera performances for a couple of euros

Famously, standing tickets at Vienna’s State Opera House allow even those on the tightest budgets to enjoy the city’s world famous opera performances for just €2 to €10 per ticket.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic the standing area has temporarily been converted into a seating area, while the prices remain the same, meaning you can watch the performances at rock bottom prices while seated in relative comfort.

You must register first here before booking your tickets, and there are testing and mask requirements in place.

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Cost of living: Austria’s postal service announces prices increases

Prices in Austria continue to rise and, this time, mailing letters and parcels will become more expensive. Here is what you need to know.

Cost of living: Austria's postal service announces prices increases

Austria’s postal service Post said business is “difficult” due to “inflation and uncertainty in the energy market”, stating that the package volume has decreased while their operation costs went up.

The state company’s answer to the challenging scenario is to increase parcel prices, and the changes will be valid starting in October.

Starting on October 1st, prices for posting S letters will go up from €0.85 to €1, M letters from €1.35 to €1.40, S packages from €2.75 to €3 and M packages from €4.30 to €4.50.

READ ALSO: Cost of living: Why are petrol prices in Austria still so high?

“The first six months of 2022 posed major challenges for companies, especially in Europe”, Post said, stating that the “COVID-19 pandemic, its countermeasures and the resulting delays in the global value chain were the starting point for what is now a worldwide inflationary trend.”

“The war in Ukraine has exacerbated the price increases for important raw materials and energy sources. These conditions will continue in the second half of the year. There is also a risk that the energy market will remain difficult to predict and gas supplies in parts of Europe will not be secure.”

Rising inflation and staff shortages

Inflation has been rising in Austria, reaching 9.2% in July, with essential items becoming increasingly more expensive.

READ ALSO: Inflation at 9.2% in July: How to beat rising prices in Austria

So far, the wave of inflation has affected chiefly energy and food prices but has now also arrived in the gastronomy sector, with increasing costs in bars and restaurants across the country.

However, as fuel and energy prices soar, people in Austria will see increases in all sectors, including postage services.

Another major challenge in the Austrian economy is labour shortage – and Post is now having difficulty finding new employees, especially drivers and workers for its distribution centres.

READ ALSO: Five of the biggest challenges facing Austria right now

“We have virtually full employment”, Post CEO Georg Pölzl told the daily Der Standard. He said that the company could immediately hire 1,000 people – if they were able to find the workers.