A practical foreign exchange and currency guide on sending money and travel to Austria
What's in this Austria currency guide?
Small, landlocked Austria offers alpine scenery, world-class museums, cobbled quaintness, and Wiener schnitzel. Austria is content to bask in its good living and elegant, opulent past as the former head of one of Europe’s grandest empires. Austrians tend to be relaxed, gregarious people who love the outdoors as much as a good cup of coffee in a café.The capital city of Austria is Vienna has a population of around 1.7 million and is rich with swirling architecture and world-class museums; impressive Habsburg sights . Austria has a very high standard of living and is one of the richest countries in the world.
The majority of the population speak local Bavarian dialects of German as their native language, and Austrian German in its standard form is the country’s official language. Most Austrians speak basic English as it is taught in school. But that is not to say that you shouldn’t put in a little effort to learn some basic words in German, such as Thank You (Danke), Please (Bitte) or Hello (Hallo! / Grüss Gott).
Getting around Austria is not a problem as the local transport infrastructure is very good and inexpensive. Austrians really take their day of rest seriously and the majority of businesses are closed on Sundays. Austria is located in the Alps and is a largely mountainous country. For skiers Austria now represents better value for money than the French Alps, everything from basic holiday costs to lift pass, ski school, eating out and partying usually costs less. Austrians strictly observe traffic regulations which means no jaywalking even if there are no cars in sight. Follow the traffic regulations or you might end up paying a pretty hefty fine if a cop sees you.
Visa and MasterCard (EuroCard) are accepted a little more widely than American Express (Amex) and Diners Club, although a surprising number of shops and restaurants refuse to accept any credit cards at all. Upmarket shops, hotels and restaurants will accept cards, though. Train tickets can be bought by credit card in main stations. Credit cards allow you to get cash advances on ATMs and over-the-counter at most banks.
Flying within a country the size of Austria is rarely necessary. The main exception is to and from Innsbruck which is in the far west of Austria. Austrian Airlines (www.austrian.com) The national carrier offers several flights daily between Vienna and Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz and Salzburg.
Rail routes are often complemented by Postbus services, which really come into their own in the more inaccessible mountainous regions. Buses are fairly reliable, and usually depart from outside train stations. In remote regions plan a day or two ahead and travel on a weekday; services are reduced or nonexistent on Saturday, and often nonexistent on Sunday. Pay attention to timetables on school buses in remote regions.
Austria’s local transport infrastructure is excellent, inexpensive and safe.
Buses & Trams Bus services operate in most cities and are complemented by a few night-bus lines. Tram and bus services in most places run from about 5am to 11pm or midnight. You usually need to press the stop-request button, even in trams. Metro In Vienna, the metro runs all night on Friday and Saturday nights. From Sunday night to Thursday night it stops around midnight or 12.30am. No other towns have metro systems.
The Danube cycling trail is like a Holy Grail for cyclists, following the entire length of the river in Austria between the borders with Germany and Slovakia. The Tauern Radweg is a 310 km trail through the mountain landscapes of Hohe Tauern National Park.
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make a Transfer or Spend Euro.
The euro (ISO: EUR) is involved in slightly more than 30% of all foreign exchange deals, and as such, is the world’s second most traded currency, behind the US dollar.
The euro is the currency of the eurozone (officially called the ‘euro area’), which consists of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union, and is used by almost 350 million Europeans. It was introduced in January 1999.
Of all the thousands of exchange rates that exist in the world, the euro-to-US dollar exchange rate is the most actively traded, or most ‘liquid’.
Since its introduction, the euro’s lowest value against the dollar came in October 2000 when EUR/USD hit lows of 0.8231. The currency was strongest in July 2008, shortly before the worst stage of the 2007-2009 financial crisis, when EUR/USD reached 1.6038.
There are currently more than twenty nations and territories which peg their currencies to the euro, the largest of which is Denmark.
In September, Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrat Party narrowly won the German election. The longer negotiations and political uncertainty drag on, the greater downward pressure will be felt by the euro.
In addition should risk sentiment remain fragile, there could be continued demand for USD as a safe haven. Therefore, USD/EUR could gain higher.USD-EUR Outlook
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