Best Apps to Have in Vienna
I hate to admit it, but it’s the age of technology. The days of traveling somewhere with nothing but a paper map are over for most people. There are just some phone apps that have made life so much easier in Vienna. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, they can help you save time and energy so you can spend less time figuring things out and more time soaking in the beautiful city of Wien. Check out these apps here and let me know what you think!
An example of what the ÖBB app tells you for directions. You can click on any of the route options to get more details, like what the intermediate stops are on the metro and exactly where you need to walk!
1) ÖBB Scotty
I would be lost without this app, wandering through the streets being like, “Enschuldigung … where am I?” While I do pride myself on becoming less dependent on technology or at least figuring out how to get somewhere before I leave so I don’t have to keep checking my phone, there’s no doubt that this app will save you a bunch of time and effort. Just type in your location (or default it to show your current location), type where you want to go, and the app will bring up several routes for you to choose from and tell you how long each route takes. It shows various means of transports, like which U-Bahn (metro) lines to take, trams, buses, S-Bahns, etc. You can also customize it. For example, if you don’t like taking buses, you can de-select “Bus” from the options list. Make sure you select what time you’re going because transport doesn’t run 24/7. So in conclusion, this is my number one app for Vienna and I recommend it to tourists and locals alike.
Very similar to ÖBB Scotty. A lot of my friends use this app instead of Scotty– I guess it just kind of depends which one you were introduced to first! Again, just put in your location and destination and the app shows you the way!
3) Wiener Linien
Very helpful app that lets you buy and store tickets through your mobile device. If you have the Jahreskarte (year transportation pass) but forget your wallet, you can always just bring it up on the app! One time I was on the U-Bahn and I forgot to buy a ticket and I thought to myself “I have a feeling I’m going to get checked today,” so I bought a day pass right then and there on the app and I kid you not on the ride back home a man walked up and down the train checking for tickets. Phew!
Super helpful, especially if you’re taking a trip to another country where you won’t have data all the time. Unless you have a fancy-shmancy international phone plan, you may only be able to use your phone while you have Wifi. With this app, you can download a city map while on wifi and then use it while you’re offline. The map knows your location (even on airplane mode!) so you can navigate the city with ease.
Hehe, I am a sucker for Foodora. It’s similar to apps like Uber Eats, Zoomer, Eat Street, Post Mates, Seamless, and the list goes on. It’s available in 10 countries, but not in the U.S, so I had never used it until I got to Vienna. Basically, you type in what type of food you want and you can get delivery from all over the city. One time my host mom was gone for a couple of weeks and she came back to the apartment and greeted me, “how have things been here??” and then she saw like twelve Foodora bags on the floor and was like “Oh, I see.”
… I love it. Sign up for their emails and receive coupons and such from delicious places around you. Also use my link to get $5 off your first order: https://bnc.lt/YR5e/Ozs3NY8AQD
If you haven’t used Yelp or Foursquare before… what are you doing with your life?
But in all honestly, they’re both great crowdsourcing apps to find the best places for whatever you’re looking for–be it thai food, yoga studios, breweries, etc. I often use it when my friends and I need brunch or dinner ASAP and don’t know where to go. We look up where has the best reviews and then sort it by price.
I put them in the same section because, I don’t fully understand what sets them apart from each other and I think they both help you accomplish the same task.
1) Google Translate
I’m sure you’ve heard of Google Translate. Not only can you speak or type in words and have them translated to another language, they also have a camera application where you run your camera over a word and it translates. It’s not very helpful for translating things like documents but it definitely is helpful for menus at restaurants.
If you haven’t used Duolingo before, you should. They have fun little games that help you speak, write, and read in the language of your choosing. I especially like their “chat” feature, where you have a conversation with a robot in that language, as it helps you practice developing your own responses in real-life scenarios.
3) Der Die Das
This is more helpful if you plan on spending a long time in Vienna and want to devote yourself to learning the language. In German, you have three “articles,” der (for masculine words), die (for feminine words), and das (for neutral words). With this app, you just type in the noun and it shows you which article goes with it. This was helpful for me to use in my German course.
Honestly, I’m so glad I found this app! You essentially create your own postcards using photos you took. You choose your photo, type your message, and send it off for as little as $1.99! While I certainly prefer hand-written messages, Postagram just really takes the hassle off of figuring out foreign mail systems and schlepping on over to the post office, as everything is done online. With it, you don’t have to figure out what postage to use, where the post office is, or how long it will take. Postagram prints in the U.S, so it was great that my postcards could get to my friends and family a few days after I sent them as opposed to the two and half weeks it usually took with regular snail mail.
Type in your city and this app will show you what to see and do, and where to eat, party, and shop! It’ll give you a brief history of neighborhoods and sites so you’re not going in blind. Helpful for tourists and locals alike!
3) Shopikon Vienna
You can select a category (Books & Music, Clothing, Food, etc.) and/or a neighborhood and Shopikon will show you where to go!
As was mentioned in my other post about making friends abroad, Meet-Up is a great app to use to meet other people in your area with similar interests. If you’re a tourist and only in town for a bit, you may be lucky and be there at the right time for a meet-up like a hike or a wine-night! Great way to meet other internationals while also seeing the city.
5) Currency Converter
I like to use this to see how much money I’m spending in USD. You can easily see how Euros (or any other currency) compare to the currency of your home country and when you’re looking at prices just type in the amount and the app will convert it. It works offline too!
Another website that I haven’t tried personally but have been checking out longingly is Daily Deal.
It’s basically like Groupon but for Austria. They have some awesome sightseeing packages, restaurant experiences, etc. I’m hoping to buy something from there pretty soon.
These are personally the apps that have helped me the most in my experience so far. Know of something else that should be on the list? Let me know!