Hey...There is no "Austria" in the country line up.
I just got here from Salzburg <yesterday. In Salzburg, you get off the train and there is an office that finds you a cheap hotel right in front of you. They found me a pension that cost me 19 euro a night!!! Unheard of! I was pretty chuffed by this. So I stupidly just expected that kind of thing to go on in Vienna as well. I did no research!
So I get off the train, and there is nothing. I go and look around and there is the Wombat hostel right out front. But I hate going to the first place I see and especially one that everyone goes to. I found another place where the price was 45€ but I thought I could do better.So I went and asked if there was a tourist office.
Yes, in the middle of town, nowhere near a subway stop, and hidden by a bunch of tall buildings (though to be fair, once you can actually see the office. The word Tourist is in eight foot tall letters. Sort of like an accusation)
So I go in, after taking an hour to find this stupid place, and their best deal was the place that cost 45€ ceptin' they get it for 43€ I spent an hour and one bus ticket and a locker, to save myself 2 bucks.
FORGET IT!!! I say. And tramp off looking elsewhere.
I did, in the next half hour, find a place for 37€ but by then, I knew that I had made no savings as time is money.
Anyway. Don't look for a tourist info place in the Westbahnhof of Vienna. There ain't one.
Vienna has more than one big train station, so it makes no sense to place the main tourist office in only one of them. They did what makes the most sense, place it in the inner city.
To add to it: In general the tourist information offices in big cities are quite useless in finding you cheap accomodation. Vienna is no worse than Amsterdam or Paris in this regard. It is for these cities that search engines (like the Accomodation link on TP or hostelworld) are the most useful.
The final problem Vienna has is that rents and property prices are very high for this region, they are more similar to Paris or London than to the rest of Austria. For this reason Vienna doesn't have many hostels, budget hotels and cheap pensions to begin with. AFAIK the cheapest place to stay in Vienna is one of the camping sites, the going rate was something like 16 EUR per night for a single person in a small tent.
I guess. And thanks for the response. Salzburg did a fantastic job. There apparently was a tourist office in the westbahnhof that closed for lack of use...which surprises the hell out of me. Seems it would be getting lots of travellers.
Now, in Bratislava, they are REALLY limited in places to stay! Criminy. though I did find a place.
I have never been to a major European city that did not have a "Hotel" kiosk in the train stations - no matter that that city has multiple stations. Go back to the station, and look.
Daawgn, this is exactly my point. I DID look. And look hard. I found nothing. There is none there to find. The only one is in the centre. I agree that this is ridiculous.