Austria Currency Exchange Guide

Austria, a gem nestled in the heart of Europe, beckons you to experience its breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and storied history. As you traverse the majestic Alpine peaks, immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene of Vienna and explore charming medieval towns, you’ll quickly realize that Austria is more than just a destination; it’s a symphony of unforgettable moments. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a history enthusiast, or simply longing for a taste of world-renowned cuisine, Austria offers an unparalleled experience that will leave you yearning for more. 

General Austrian Currency Information

What is the currency of Austria?

The official currency of Austria is the Euro (EUR).

What do Austrian euro banknotes & coins look like?

Portuguese euro notes

As a member of the Eurozone, Austria utilises the Europa series of banknotes. This series was introduced in phases over several years, with the €5, €10, €20, and €50 notes released between 2013 and 2017 and the €100 and €200 notes joining on May 28, 2019. Named after Europa, a Greek mythology figure present in two security elements on the banknotes, this series celebrates Europe’s rich cultural heritage. Europa’s image, symbolising the continent’s unity and human touch, was sourced from a vase housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Portuguese euro coins

Austrian euro coins also feature intriguing designs. The two-euro coin bears the image of Bertha von Suttner, a fervent advocate for peace. The one-euro coin highlights Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the musical prodigy born in Salzburg, Austria. In tribute to Vienna’s vibrant cultural history, iconic structures like St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Belvedere Palace, and the Secession Building adorn the 10, 20, and 50-cent coins. Lastly, the smallest denominations— one, two, and five cents— showcase the stunning Alpine flowers Edelweiss, Alpine Primrose, and Gentian, adding a touch of nature to Austria’s euro coins.

Economy

Austria’s thriving social market economy, ranked among the top 14 richest nations globally in terms of GDP per capita, has evolved significantly over the years. With a shift from nationalised industries in the 1980s to a more privatised landscape, Austria now boasts a robust and diverse economic structure. Strong labour movements contribute to a stable workforce, while its highly developed industrial sector coexists harmoniously with flourishing international tourism.

Impressively, Austria has maintained an average GDP growth that ranks 13th among OECD countries from 1992 to 2017. Furthermore, in 2023, the nation reached a remarkable $56,802 nominal GDP per capita, securing its position as the 12th highest worldwide. This economic powerhouse continues to prosper, driven by its 1.37% above-average population growth, ensuring a bright future for all who call Austria home.

Brief currency history

Austria’s captivating currency history takes us on a journey back to 794 AD, when the Carolingian coin reform brought forth new units of account, including the schilling. Initially a mere coin of account, it later transformed into an actual coin gracing many European countries. Before the modern Austrian schilling, intriguing currencies such as the florin, Austro-Hungarian gulden, krone, and Austrian crown played their part. Medieval Austria even witnessed the existence of short and long schilling coins and the Austrian groschen—a silver coin with its own unique value.

The first Austrian schilling made its grand debut on March 1, 1925, after being established by the Schilling Act on December 20, 1924. Alas, it was short-lived, as Germany’s annexation of Austria in 1938 led to its abolishment. However, the resilient schilling made a triumphant return after World War II on November 30, 1945, thanks to the Allied Military. This time, the Nationalbank joined in, issuing schilling notes in 1945 and minting the first coins in 1946.

In 1947, a second “schilling” law introduced new banknotes, and the currency found stability in the 1950s, with the schilling forming a strong bond with the U.S. dollar. After the Bretton Woods system crumbled in 1971, the schilling explored a relationship with a basket of currencies before settling down with the German mark in 1976.

Finally, the euro took centre stage as the official currency in Austria in 1999, with euro coins and notes making their appearance in 2002. Though old schilling-denominated coins and notes have exited the limelight, they will forever hold a place at any branch of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank, where they can be exchanged for euros indefinitely.

Taking Travel Money to Austria

Austria Travel Banner

What currency should I take to Austria?

If you’re travelling to Austria, you’ll need to exchange your Australian dollar (AUD) for Euro (Euro). Get information on how to exchange your AUD to EUR.

Is it better to convert currency in Australia or Austria?

While both countries offer competitive exchange rates, converting currency in Australia may be more convenient for most travellers. Not only will you have travel funds on hand prior to your departure, but you can also budget your travel funds more effectively.

How much money can I take to Austria?

In Austria, there’s no set limit on how much you can take with you. However, it’s important to keep in mind that if you’re carrying €10,000 or more in cash or its equivalent in another currency, you’ll need to declare it at Customs when entering or leaving the European Union. It may seem like a hassle, but it’s a legal obligation, so make sure to follow the rules. Otherwise, enjoy your trip to Austria and all the fun adventures that await you.

Where to convert currency?

In search of a reliable and skilled currency exchange service? Look no further than Crown Currency Exchange. With two decades of expertise under our belt, we’re a well-known foreign exchange company offering exceptional exchange rates at our 50 locations throughout Australia. And the best part? We don’t believe in hidden fees or commissions, ensuring a smooth and transparent experience for all our customers.

Is tipping customary in Austria? How much is expected?

Tipping in Austria is a customary practice that shows appreciation for exceptional service. While not strictly mandatory, it’s always a thoughtful gesture to tip those who have provided you with great service throughout your stay. Here’s a quick guide to tipping in various settings across Austria, complete with scenarios to help you make the best decision.

Restaurants: When dining in Austrian restaurants, consider tipping around 10-15% of your bill. The exact tip amount may vary depending on the venue, occasion, and size of your order. Remember, those servers often share their tips with kitchen staff, so it’s courteous to tip them slightly more than bartenders. For instance, if you’re celebrating a special event and the waiter goes above and beyond to ensure an unforgettable evening, it’s appropriate to tip generously.

Bars and Cafes: In Austrian bars and cafes, feel free to round up the bill to the next significant amount or leave a small tip each time you order a drink. If you find yourself in an upscale cocktail bar where mixology is an art form, or if a talented barista crafts your cappuccino to perfection, consider leaving a larger tip to show your appreciation.

Housekeeping: Hotel housekeepers and maids work tirelessly to keep your room clean and comfortable. A daily tip of around €5-10 is a common way to express gratitude for excellent service. For example, if the housekeeping staff goes the extra mile to accommodate special requests or ensure your room is immaculate, a tip would be a kind gesture.

Taxis: For taxi rides, simply round up to the nearest euro or tip up to 10% of the final fare for exceptional service. If the driver helps you with your luggage or provides valuable local insights during your journey, don’t hesitate to tip a bit more.

Salon: If you’re thrilled with your new hairstyle, show your appreciation by tipping your stylist 10% of the final bill. A great tip is warranted when your hairdresser goes out of their way to accommodate your preferences or offers expert advice to help you achieve the perfect look.

Spas: At spas, a service charge may already be included in the price. However, if the staff goes above and beyond your expectations, feel free to leave an additional tip of up to 5%. For instance, if your massage therapist tailors the treatment to your specific needs or provides helpful aftercare advice, a tip would be a thoughtful way to show your gratitude.

What is ATM access like in Austria?

If you’re looking for easy access to cash in Austria, you’ll be glad to know that ATMs are almost everywhere you turn, especially in bigger cities like Vienna and Salzburg. Whether withdrawing from a foreign bank account or using a debit card, having your pin number is all you need to get started. And if you’re worried about being able to use your international cards at local retailers, rest assured that it’s not a problem.

What should you budget per day?

Budget

Travelling to Austria on a budget doesn’t have to mean sacrificing all of the fun activities or experiences. You can easily enjoy your trip while sticking to a daily budget of €63-86 (AUD $104-141). Opt for a hostel dorm instead of a hotel, and cook your own meals instead of eating out at restaurants. With this budget, you can visit a few museums, take a free walking tour, and get around using public transportation. If you’re planning on indulging in some drinks during your trip, make sure to add an extra €5-10 (AUD $8-16) to your daily budget to cover the cost.

Moderate

If you’re looking to stretch your funds while still experiencing all the wonderful things the country has to offer, a moderate budget of around €155-180 (AUD $255-296) per day should do the trick. With this budget, you can opt for an Airbnb or private hostel room while still having the flexibility to eat out for some of your meals and enjoy a few drinks at the bar. Plus, you’ll be able to afford more museum and palace visits, take a day trip to nearby Bratislava, and even snag the occasional taxi ride to make getting around a bit easier. 

Luxury

For a truly indulgent experience, you’ll need around €340 (AUD $559) per day. With this amount, you can indulge in all the finer things that Austria has to offer. Stay in a luxurious hotel, dine out for all meals, savour drinks at the bar to your heart’s desire, and even have a private guided tour of some of Austria’s most iconic spots. You can also rent a car or take taxis for comfortable transportation and visit more palaces or attend the opera. However, the beauty of this luxury budget is that the sky is the limit, so you can add on more magic and extravagance to make your Austrian getaway even more memorable.

Currency details

Currency:

Euro

Currency code:

EUR

Currency symbol:

Central bank:

Oesterreichische Nationalbank

Nickname:

None

Currency sub-unit:

Cent = 1/100

Bank notes:

€5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, €500

Coins:

1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1, €2

Must-dos while you are in Austria

Schonbrunn Palace

Visit Schonbrunn Palace

Schonbrunn Palace is a great place to start your Austrian adventure. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once the summer residence of Austria’s royal family, but now attracts millions of visitors every year. The stunning palace’s lavish rooms, landscaped gardens, and zoo are worth exploring for a day. We recommend taking one of the palace’s guided tours to learn about the history and culture of Austria.

Classical Concert 

Attend a Classical Concert 

Austria has been home to some of the world’s greatest classical composers, such as Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss. What better way to honour the country’s musical heritage than to attend a classical concert? You can attend performances at the Vienna State Opera or the Musikverein Concert Hall. Most concerts offer a pre-concert talk and a glass of wine, so you can get into the spirit of the music too.

Traditional Austrian Cuisine

Try Traditional Austrian Cuisine 

Austria is home to some of the most famous dishes in the world, including Wiener Schnitzel and Apfelstrudel. Food is an essential part of the country’s culture. We recommend trying traditional dishes at local taverns like Plachutta Wollzeile or Griechenbeisl in Vienna. Don’t leave Austria without trying a glass of its famous wine; Grüner Veltliner is a favourite amongst locals and tourists alike.

Train ride austria

Take a Scenic Train Ride 

Austria’s stunning natural beauty can be fully appreciated through its extensive train network. One of the most scenic routes is the Salzburg-Tyrol Railway, which passes through snow-capped peaks, turquoise lakes and charming villages. The Semmering Railway is another option that takes you through the picturesque region of Semmering.

Skiing in Austria

Go Skiing

Austria is a winter wonderland, and skiing is one of the best ways to explore its snowy landscapes. There are many ski resorts throughout the country that cater to all levels of skiers, from beginner to expert. The Arlberg region is Austria’s largest ski area and is home to resorts like St. Anton and Lech-Zürs. Other popular ski destinations include Kitzbühel and Innsbruck.

Other helpful guides & resources on travel in Austria

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