We have returned to Europe for the summer. During the hiking season we went to Austria for sightseeing, hiking, climbing and cycling. As we took our camping gear and bicycles, costs remained moderate although Europe is generally expensive. So this was our budget for our individual travel to Austria:
18 June to 4 August 2008 = 48 days of individual travel in Austria
Total expenses for both of us in Austria: about 2000 EUR. Average expenses per day in Austria for both of us: about 41 EUR.
Accommodation (18 EUR, 39%)
Apart from a few nights staying with relatives and friends, we always stayed at camp sites in Austria, in order to keep the budget low. They were generally slightly more expensive in the mountains (and in cities), but those offered better facilities, too (drying room, lounge). The lake-side camp sites in Eastern Austria were often geared towards families with teenage kids and mobile homes. Still, accommodation accounted for the largest part of our Austria budget.
We brought our bicycles and only used the train for longer distances. When we went by train we usually used the special-offer tickets for local trains (slow, but cheap). The bicycle was particularly useful for local transport, especially for individual travel on a low budget. We used the bicycles to get to climbing areas or into town from the camp site, which often lie on the outskirts of cities.
Food (27%, or 13 EUR per day)
Most of the time we prepared our own food on the camping stove, but we often visited the Heurigen (local wine producer’s food court, often very cheap) and also sampled dozens of different Austrian pastry dishes.
Entrance fees (11%)
The many Austrian baroque churches are certainly stunning, but they are also quite expensive to visit, with tickets costing up to 15 EUR (see also our blog entry Klösterreich). So this is something to consider when planning the budget for Austria. In the province of Lower Austria we bought the Niederösterreich-Card, a combination ticket valid for one year and for several hundred attractions that (at 45 EUR) turned out cheaper than the full fee for about 5 or 6 sights.
We bought several guide books, hiking maps, and books on Austrian history.
Outside the cities, Internet cafes are rare and expensive. Occasionally we could use a free hotspot or a free but slow terminal in a tourist information centre. In more remote areas we were cut off from the Internet, but some camp sites offered pay-per-minute hotspots.