Dining in Vienna surprised me when we ate in five different restaurants and none accepted credit cards. My plan was to get through three days in Austria on the 20eur in bills and coins I had brought from California. I figured I would credit card my way through Austria, since the remainder of my trip is in countries not on the euro currency.
Cafe Raimann in Meidling 1120, Vienna’s home district of Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, seemed to me like it was probably a one-off outlier when the waitress said “cash only”. I had to leave Kelley at the table, while I walked down the street to a bank ATM for a cash withdrawal of 100eur to pay our 25eur lunch bill.
Prater in Leopoldstadt is the 2nd municipal district of Vienna with a 1020 address. Vienna is divided into 23 districts and the 4 number postal code pinpoints the municipal district.
Prater is a park area with an amusement park and Wiener Riesenrad, one of Vienna’s most famous tourist attractions.
Kolarik’s Luftburg beer garden has an interesting feature of a few tables offering a Budweiser tap on the table. Czech Budweiser is an entirely different and unrelated brew from the American version. Czech Republic is the only place worldwide that refused to sign over their historic rights to the beer name Budweiser. Around Europe, Budweiser from České Budějovice, CZ is marketed as ‘Original Budweiser’ and ‘Budvar’.
When it came time to pay the bar tab, those words came up again “Cash Only“.
Schweizerhaus Wien beer garden is one of the most popular places in Vienna and also in Prater close to Luftburg. This restaurant serves thousands of glasses of beer everyday in assembly line fashion. Check out this one minute YouTube video to see just how assembly line the process is for providing beer in a timely fashion when Schweizerhaus gets really busy. There were around 300 to 400 people in the beer garden during our visit. This 7-minute Schweizerhaus video (in German) gives the full experience for everything except the taste sensation.
I had to fork out another 35eur cash.
From where we sat outside in sidewalk patio seating surrounded by smokers, I watched the waitress standing inside the doorway of the restaurant smoking a cigarette. Austria has a high percentage of smokers.
Cash only. Another 20 eur.
At this point we started looking for restaurants with credit card signs on the door. I still had 30eur in my pocket.
I had come to the conclusion that cash is king in Vienna when it came time for our final meal in Vienna’s 15th municipal district 1150 Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus.
A late night pizza to sop up some of the beer in our bellies was just what we needed.
Pizzaria Mafiosi hit the spot with a 5eur mushroom and ham full-size pizza and 2eur bottles of beer.
We left Vienna for Czechia with 8eur in my pocket. In the past three days I have yet to dine at a Czech restaurant that does not accept credit cards.
Lonely Planet’s Vienna Eating Guide says, “Paying the Bill – Many places don’t accept credit cards”.
My experiences in three days of dining around Vienna attest to that fact.