The common currency in Austria is the euro (€)
1 euro = 100 cents
There are banknotes of 5, 10, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euro plus coins worth 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 and 2 euros.
Please note that most supermarkets and smaller shops for security reasons don’t cash 200 and 500 euro notes! Please do not try to pay with 1, 2 or 5 cent coins in restaurants or bars, either!
In most shops you can also pay with credit card (mostly Visa, Eurocard and Mastercard, sometimes also American Express and Diners Club). But!!!
Paying by credit card is not yet as common in Austria as it is in other European countries. So before you stand at the pay-desk with a chocolate bar, two apples and a beer, better be sure to also have some cash in your pocket! Not all supermarkets accept (foreign) credit cards.
Opening a bank account
Opening a bank account isn't difficult, still there are a few things to pay attention to:
- Find the right bank: Conditions and prices for banking transactions vary a lot and it's worthwhile to invest a little time in comparing offers of different banks. Usually there are special offers for young people and students!
- Find out which documents are required:
- citizens of EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway: passport, residential registration form/card
- others: passport, residential registration form/card, residence permit/valid visa
- Find out about "extra features": bank card (to pay in shops, to withdraw money from cash machines), telebanking, services in foreign languages
ATMs / cash machines
You can find a cash machine in almost every place, even small villages usually have at least one. In Austria it is called "Bankomat". You can recognize it by a special sign: a green and blue B. Mostly they are located outside banks or post offices.
If you need to change money, you can do so in banks. In bigger cities, at border crossings and at Vienna International Airport there are also special exchange offices.
In any case you will have to pay charges which can be pretty high. To change money in banks usually is cheaper than in exchange offices (especially at the airport). If you own a bank card in your country, check with your local bank: It might be cheaper to just withdraw money from a cash machine in Austria.
Photos: Geld © Ruben Demus / youthmedia.eu; Geld 1 © Ruben Demus / youthmedia.eu, license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/deed.en; Logo Bankomat © PayLife Bank GmbH