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How much Euros should we exchange for 5 day visit to Vienna and Salzburg

Friends :
Can you guide us on how many Euros should we exchange ? And best places to do get this to avoid high ATM fees if possible

Thx

Posted by
2712 posts

Europe is moving quickly to a near cashless society. We traveled to Spain in September and used contactless credit cards for everything, even the little ‘mom and pop” places. We have leftover Euros we carry, but we used nearly zero. For you, use your debit card at the first bank linked ATM you see, maybe get 50 Euro. Avoid Travelex and many others you’ll see that are not bank associated. Do not use the currency exchange booths at the airport. Be sure your bank knows you are traveling so the debit card will work.

Posted by
8815 posts

Very little. Always exchange at actual bank ATMS.

As noted Europe is moving and has moved to going cashless.

In November of 2022 I was in London. Only time I used cash was to drop a pound into museum collection boxes. Otherwise used my tap debit card for meals, snacks, coffee, gifts, and pints.

Posted by
2777 posts

When I was in Salzburg last Sept., a few places were cash only. So, I would definitely have some “just in case.” I order money from my bank (Wells Fargo) if I don’t have any local currency. I prefer not to worry about finding an ATM and if it will eat my card.

Posted by
2860 posts

In June after the RS Berlin, Prague & Vienna tour, I stayed in Vienna 4 nights solo before going to Salzburg for 3 nights. I think I used less than €50 that week. Most was for snacks and gelato. Everything else was paid by contactless credit card/Apple Wallet or I had bought most passes & ticket beforehand.
I had leftover euro from last September’s trip plus my German neighbor had leftover Euro to sell. But in Prague I used the ATM to get Czech koruna (CZK).
EDIT: if I had not had leftover €, I would have bought some from BAC. The fee is not high albeit higher than an ATM. But since I travel solo, I’d rather have € with me than stand in front of an ATM machine. Do what you are most comfortable with.

If you haven’t done so, download the WienMobil app so you can buy a transit pass. In Salzburg you can buy the Salzburg Card for free entry to many museums and transport. Buy from the website with you arrive in Salzburg: https://www.salzburg.info/en/hotels-offers/salzburg-card

Posted by
273 posts

Make sure you have a no fee for international use credit card and, as others have said, be ready to "tap it" almost everywhere. Also, try to find out if any event or venue you plan to visit is cash only and include that in your planning.

Posted by
9429 posts

When you get money from an ATM (you don’t “exchange” money), don’t accept their offer to convert it for you. Let your bank do it, less expensive.

Posted by
8594 posts

If you were going to visit any big city in the US, how much cash would you want to have in your pocket? It's the same basic question. If you need more during your trip, just stop at another ATM. High ATM fees aren't worth worrying about in the big picture.

Posted by
75 posts

Thank you all -- excellent tips.

In summary -- yes, will carry two credit cards (capital one visa and citi visa) - both confirmed zero exchange fees.
I remember using citi visa in Istanbul in February and the rate was current.

Stan - you are right on the mark - >>High ATM fees aren't worth worrying about in the big picture.<<
good reminder not to sweat the small stuff. We spend way more on the overall vacation.

Posted by
2712 posts

Do not use a credit card to obtain cash. You’ll be paying cash advance fees. Only use a debit card.

Posted by
5450 posts

Only use the ATMs inside of actual banks. Bank Austria, Erste Bank, BAWAG and Raifeissen are the main banks here. Do not use the Euronet ATMs or ATMs in hotel lobbies as these tend to charge service fees.

Posted by
18550 posts

Both the bank ATMs and the Commercial ATMS (Euronet, etc.) are safe to use. Only use the ATMs inside of actual banks if you want to avoid additional fees. Do not use the Euronet ATMs or ATMs in hotel lobbies unless the situation is such that you need the cash for something or if the $3 to $5 fee doesn't bother you.

Personally I would have 20 to 30 euro in my pocket. Doesn't hurt to have it and might come in handy for tipping a guide or showing appreciation or for the occasional transaction that requires cash. Best if in smaller bills too. But I would probably wait until I walked past a Bank ATM to get it.