Money, banks and ATMs in Vienna (and Austria)
Knowing details about money, banks and ATMs in Vienna is essential to make your trip pleasant and stress free. Here is some basic info about this topic.
Money in Vienna
Vienna, as you know, is in Austria, which is part of the European Union and Euro zone, so official currency is Euro (€). You should always pay attention when paying bills if you are coming from non-Euro countries and mind the exchange rate. (you can check it here: www.xe.com). Euro is slightly more valued than US dollar and currently fares at 1 € = 1.13 $US. Difference between Euro and US Dollar is mostly between 10 and 20% in favor of Euro.
Euro is the only currency accepted if you are paying cash and there are usually no exception to this rule. If you are planning to bring large amounts of cash of your own currency with you (which we never recommend for any destination), you might lose a lot during exchange, as exchange offices at the airport or in hotels will rip you off with unfavorable rates. If you cannot escape bringing cash, exchange it in any bank downtown that offers favorable rates.
Cards, banks and ATMs
We highly recommend using credit cards to pay any expense during your stay in Vienna. You will certainly need some cash in Euros during your visit for some minor expenses, such as buying an ice cream while walking or purchasing some small souvenir on the street. For this purpose, you should withdraw small amount as needed from local ATM machines.
There are ATMs and banks on every corner and cash withdrawals are in Euros with a fee. Major banks don’t charge ATM fees to foreigners, but privately-operated ATMs may sometimes charge high fees (Example: Euronet ATMs). However, machine should warn you about the charge, so you have a choice to cancel the transaction before committing to it.
Major credit cards are accepted almost everywhere, but please do check card charges from your bank in foreign countries before the trip.
Top banks in Vienna (and Austria) are Erste Group Bank, Raiffeisen and UniCredit, based on size, capital and number of branches and ATMs. Other than these three, there are hundreds of banks in Vienna (and Austria) to choose from.
Money transfers in Vienna
In case of emergency and other reasons, you can use money transfer services in Vienna, such as Western Union and MoneyGram. These are traditional money transfer services that are available almost everywhere in the world. We also recommend to try and use new services, such as Transferwise, which makes transfer faster, cheaper and more secure.