Best places to exchange currency in Vienna

03.04.17
4 minute read
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Though settled in 500 BC, Vienna feels anything but ancient. It has become known for its start-up culture and is repeatedly cited as one of the best cities in the world to live in.

Vienna boasts culture in the form of opera houses, architectural beauty and classy cafes. Its shiny office buildings serve as the Eastern European headquarters for hundreds of international companies.

Whether relocating to Vienna or just visiting, it’ll be easy to break the bank here. Fine coffees and desserts, theater seats and tickets to Vienna's famous 19th century balls will all cost you. You'll want to indulge on these and save on financial transactions. Here’s our guide to the best places to exchange currency in Vienna.

Things to know before exchanging your money

Know the actual exchange rate

When checking exchange rates, take the time to understand the mid-market exchange rate. This is also known as the interbank rate and it’s the one you’ll find on google or Xe.com. The rates offered in currency exchange bureaus will be lower than mid-market, as they add in their commission. This doesn’t stop them from also charging an upfront service fee. To know how much you’re being charged in hidden fees, compare the tourist rate to the mid-market rate. You can check the live mid-market rate using an online currency converter.

Remember - exchange rates always change

Exchange rates fluctuate due to typically steady factors such as public debt and inflation. By keeping updated on international and local events while you’re in Vienna, you may be able to pick the best time to convert your money. Consider signing up for exchange rate notifications via our rate tracker tool.

Research your home bank’s partnerships before you leave

It’s worth checking whether your home bank has partnerships with any local banks in Vienna. If they do, you should be able to use their ATMs for a reduced or waived fee. Even if your bank holds no partnerships in Vienna, ATMs are still a good method of accessing your cash at a fairer rate than an in-person exchange shop. Be sure to use an ATM run by a known bank or trusted operator.

Always choose to be charged in the local currency

When using an ATM, remember this rule: always choose to be charged in the local currency. This will ensure your money is converted at a fairer rate than if you allowed the ATM’s bank to convert for you. If you allow the ATM to perform the conversion, they’ll usually also charge an extra fee for the service. The best way to proceed here, is to choose to be charged in EUR.

Avoid airport and hotel currency exchanges

At all costs, avoid coming out of the plane or train and going to the nearest money exchange bureau. You won't get a good rate and may pay extra transaction fees. If you prefer to change money at an in-person office, seek out a more centrally located bureau where competition drives a fairer deal. Alternatively, withdraw cash directly from a bank-operated ATM.

Spend your money before leaving

There’s much to see and do in Vienna. But it may be worth deciding just how much cake, entertainment, culture and traveling you want to experience before you hit the ATM. If you find yourself having to exchange euros back into your home currency, you’ll be suffering bad conversion rates and fees twice. Instead, budget well and spend your leftover change.

Where to exchange money in Vienna

If you wish to visit an in-person store to exchange money, be sure to check the rate and any fees they’re charging. Compare their offered rate to the mid-market rate to determine the fairest service. Here’s a list of some currency exchange bureaus operating in Vienna:

Currency Bureau Address Contact Information
The Change Group Neuer Markt 2, 1010 Wien, Austria +43 1 9610666
Interchange Austria Stephansplatz 9, 1010 Wien, Austria +43 1 5339622
Interchange Austria Vienna Airport Terminal 1, Vienna-Schwechat 1300 +43 1 7007 39535

The bottom line

While a currency exchange office can be convenient, you’ll not find the best exchange rates there, even if ‘zero commission’ is advertised. Opt instead to withdraw cash from a trusted ATM operator and choose to be charged in EUR. Each time you use an ATM you’ll be charged a fee, so plan ahead and make one or two larger withdrawals instead of numerous smaller transactions.

Better yet, if either you or a friend have access to a EUR bank account in Vienna, use TransferWise and make the transfer ahead of time. Not only does TransferWise use the real mid-market exchange rate to convert your money (which almost always beat the banks), but since your currency is received and sent via local banking systems in both your home country and Europe, all those nasty international bank fees magically disappear.

TransferWise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

Find out more