While Vienna is not a cheap city, it is not impossible to find moderately priced restaurants, retail stores, and hotels in the hauptstadt of all things Habsburg. With a little exploration, you can find real deals that won't break your budget.
Expect to Spend: Vienna
Hotel prices generally run between €45 and €70 a night at the cheapo places and between €75 and €149 at swankier spots. Click around our Vienna listings page and find some great deals.
You cannot visit Vienna without a carefree conversation over a cup of Mélange mit Schlagobers (milky coffee with whipped cream) and Apfelstrudel at a Kaffeehaus. The better cafés still retain a turn-of-the-century charm in decor and tradition. Said coffeehouses often charge as much as €10 for a coffee and a slice of cake. Keep in mind that the Viennese café is designed for lingering. You will not be hurried out of the door.
The best meal deals can be found at the various Mensas around town. They are usually open for lunch between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mensa meals cost between €3.50 and €6. Students can often get a reduction. Or head to a Würstelstand, a lunch-time stand up snack bar, and dine on a sausage for €2 or less.
When it comes to dinner, menus range in price between €17 and €25. At cheaper restaurants, main dishes go for €7. Vienna has a unique local cuisine, inflected by a wide range of influences. Soups contain lovely Central European surprises like semolina, liver and pancake slices. And of course, there is the famously scrumptuous Wiener schnitzel, a breaded and fried veal cutlet.
A glass of beer at a local tavern, or Beisl, will range in price from €3.50. At the grocery store, a similar volume of beer will set you back just €.70. Vienna is also known for its Heuringen, or new wine bars. Oompah bands and cheap food at many Heurigen bars in Vienna's Grinzing district make for a wonderfully schmaltzy, fun atmosphere. A glass of the local wine is usually cheaper than coffee at the swankier coffeehouses, running between €2.50 and €6. After an evening at a Heurigen, make sure you drink plenty of water before bed. New wines can produce evil hangovers.
The grocery store, of course, is the cheapest place to buy food. A grocery store is a great place to stock up on snacks and drinks to enjoy while walking around town. Grocery stores in Vienna also sell full meals, perfect for enjoying on a picturesque square or leafy park.