ATMs are widely available. Maestro direct debit and Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted in most hotels and in midrange restaurants. Expect to pay cash elsewhere. Travellers cheques are not accepted.
Bankomaten are extremely common everywhere and accessible till midnight; some are 24 hours. Most accept at the very least Maestro debit cards and Visa and MasterCard credit cards. There are English instructions and daily withdrawal limits of €400 with credit and debit cards. Check with your home bank before travelling for charges for using a Bankomat; there’s usually no commission to pay at the Austrian end.
Like other members of the European Monetary Union (EMU), Austria’s currency is the euro, which is divided into 100 cents. There are coins for one, two, five, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and for €1 and €2. Notes come in denominations of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500.
The ubiquity of ATMs means you don’t need to carry large amounts of cash or use money-changing facilities. It is, however, worth keeping a small amount in a safe place for emergencies. Western Union (www.westernunion.com) money offices are available in larger towns for emergency transfers.
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.
For lost or stolen credit cards:
For current exchange rates see www.xe.com.
- Hotels One or two euros per suitcase for porters and for valet parking in top-end hotels. Leaving loose change for cleaners is appreciated.
- Restaurants Tip about 10% (unless service is abominable). Round up the bill, state the amount as you hand the bill back or leave tip in the bill folder when you leave.
- Bars About 5% at the bar and 10% at a table.
- Taxis About 10%.