My Frugal Trip to Vienna, Day 1, My First Impressions

Right after we landed in Vienna
So I'll have to keep this post short, as you'll see why in a bit. But I didn't want to be remiss on sharing my first impressions with you from my trip to Vienna.

Number one, why it's so short? Well, I had my flight at 11 am this morning, which meant that in order to get to the airport on time, I'd have to take the bus at 5:45 am from my house. I have a really, really, really hard time getting up in the morning, often sleeping through alarm clocks and not even realizing it. I didn't want to take a chance that I'd miss my flight, so instead I stayed up the entire night.

Yes, I ended up sleeping a little bit on the bus to the city, and more on the train to the airport (but I slept too deeply that I missed my stop and had to turn around and take the train back, and fortunately I gave myself extra time), then a little bit while waiting for my flight, and then some more on my flight. I had a row to myself but the chairs were uncomfortable when I tried lying down on all three, so instead I just slept sitting up, but not sure how long. Either way, I'm running on fumes now.

However, I had a great first few hours here, acclimating to the city, figuring things out, and settling in to my hostel, so I wanted to share about that.

Passport control. I was expecting something like temperature checks like I heard many airports had because of coronavirus, but literally nothing. Just stamped me and had me go on my way, no questions even.
Number one, I was very torn about what I should do when it comes to getting phone service for while traveling. I use my phone for navigation and figuring out what to do, and on my trip to the US and England I didn't get myself a phone line, but I got an important divorce related phone call that I ended up answering and I ended up paying ridiculous roaming charges when I got home. So on my trip to Bulgaria, I decided to pay for a monthly roaming plan through my local cell phone service, which costs roughly $50 for the month. That was expensive, but still less than the fees I got charged for using my phone overseas without a plan.

I was so unsure if that's what I wanted to do, that I ended up procrastinating and doing nothing, and ended up coming to Vienna without a cell phone plan, figuring that I'd just get myself a local prepaid SIM card.

But then when I looked into that at the airport, it cost 39 euros for a 5 gb of data plan, and 49 euros for a 10 gb of data plan. Those were nearly as much as getting service from my standard provider would cost, and as soon as I arrived in Vienna I got an SMS telling me that I could sign up for a roaming plan from abroad, so I knew that that was an option, and it would enable me to get the phone calls from people who were trying to reach me. I non wholeheartedly decided to go for the 5 gb of data plan, but then they told me there's an extra 20 euro tax for foreigners to get SIM card, and that clinched it. I might as well just get the service from my usual providers.

Only I tried to use the link to the website that came in their SMS to me, but it didn't work. And when I tried to call them (the SMS said the call to them from abroad would be free) they said that their service was down and to call them back in an hour.

The airport train with Wifi
In that time, I used the airport WiFi to figure out how to get to my hostel by public transportation, and took it there. The entire way, I had WiFi. The train from the airport to the city had WiFi. The train stations had WiFi. And even walking through Vienna, I got internet service from this "Free Vienna WiFi" that's all over the city. And then the hostel I'm staying at has WiFi too. I am pretty much convinced that there's no point even getting a cell phone plan because I can do everything via the free WiFi everywhere here! I seriously can't remember another place with as much free WiFi as I've seen on my first day here. Though I'll update you on the rest of the trip if the WiFi stays this accessible everywhere I go.

So that's the first thing I wanted to write about.

The underground, which sadly, didn't have wifi
Second is public transportation.

From the airport to the city proper cost 4.5 Euro via the airport train. I printed a ticket but no one even came to check to see if I paid, though I did hear that inspectors do come around to check.

Then for the public transportation within the city, when I was trying to look for where to get tickets, I was told to download this app called WeinMobil that lets you buy tickets via the app using your credit card or paypal once you sign up.

It is so convenient, and dare I say, cheap! I think fares are as cheap as if not cheaper than how much they cost where I live.

So here's the options:
You can get a single trip, for 2.40 Euros, for one direction of travel without interruption. Totally not worth this unless you are doing extremely minimal travel and only are there one day. A day ticket, from the chosen day until 1 am the following day costs 5.80 Euros, or a 24 hour ticket costs 8. I had heard that you can get an 8 day ticket, but the 8 days don't have to be consecutive, but that wasn't available via the app.
I toyed between the 72 hour ticket and the weekly one, but then I looked and saw that they are identical in price, both 17.10 Euros, which is ridiculously cheap for a week of unlimited public transportation, which is why I got the weekly pass instead of the 72 hour one. One thing to note, the weekly one starts Monday and ends 9 am the following Monday, so if you're coming to Vienna on a Friday or Saturday, its probably more worth it to get the 72 hour pass, even though they're the same price.
And just for the sake of sharing it all, even though its not relevant for me, there's a monthly ticket for 51 Euros.

I didn't do much other than making my way to the hostel, settling in, going grocery shopping at the Penny Markt next door, where I spent 28 Euros and got a bunch of stuff to cook with and eat- salmon (but honestly, I think it was chum salmon, because it was cheap and didn't have the same coloring as standard salmon), frozen spinach, spring onions, mushrooms, orange juice, almond milk, tea, sugar, vanilla puddings, blueberries, applesauce, oil, salt, and polenta. I cooked up some fish with spinach, mushrooms, and spring onions, and served it over polenta, and had a good meal (because all I had since I left my house this morning was pomelos and peanuts) and have enough for leftovers tomorrow (plus all the stuff I didn't even eat yet). I was told Vienna is very pricey, but all I can say is, so far I'm not seeing it.

And now, I am definitely heading to sleep.

And oh boy, this definitely wasn't as short as I thought it would be!

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Hi there, Welcome in my City! Frugal Tipps: "Faiteiler" (Fridges with free "resued"Food: We have a community Here you can get food supermarktes otherwise would trough away. If you write me an E-Mail, I can send you more connections. Free culture (Jazz, Music, German Literature): Don't go to "Donauturm" If you want to see Vienna from above. In this bar you have a free ride in the 57th floor - the prices are ok- I drank a coffee for 3,5 Euro and enjoyed the adventure "looking down". If you want to visit a market, go to "Brunnenmarkt" or "Victor Adler Markt": They are cheaper and you can see "International Vienna". If you spent time in the city and want a break, enter the university (near Rathaus and Burgtheater. You can have a rest, use the toilet and have a look in the young and not so young students. Interested in Archtecture? If you go by U4 and U6, you can see the former "Stadtbahn". And you can visit a lot of Buildings like the "Otto Wagner Spital", a hospital he planned for patients with Mental health issues: "For the poorest the most beautiful surrounding"... I love this city with it's social Tradition <3

    1. How absolutely helpful of you, Sibylle!

    2. And If you want to see a "zoo" you don't have to visit Schönbrunn. You can take a free walk there and then go zo "Lainzer Tiergarten" I's beautiful (and free).

  2. There's another fish my sister gets in Austria that's like salmon, also pink, but not salmon - a type of trout, I think. You might have gotten that instead.

    the smoked version is almost identical in color and flavor to lox.

  3. Be safe and have fun and as always thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh, I fotgot a link (just in case xou want to have a look down in Vienna an surrounding:

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