Best student cities: Vienna
Austria has a convenient rail system that traverses the country and takes travellers to other large cities like Salzburg and Graz, both of which are popular student day trips. Salzburg is Mozart’s birthplace, a baroque-style city and a Unesco World Heritage site about 300km or two-and-a-half hours on train from Vienna, which also was the setting for scenes from the film The Sound of Music. Also about two-and-a-half hours on train from Vienna is Graz, another student-heavy metropolis and Unesco World Heritage site with a picturesque city centre. Innsbruck, the capital city of the Austrian state Tyrol, has hosted two Winter Olympic Games and maintains its standing as a top international winter sports centre. The train ride lasts about four hours, though, so many student skiers and boarders opt to make it a weekend trip. For jetting around Europe, Vienna is in an ideal location as it lies on the edge of Western Europe and the start of Eastern Europe, and many take weekends to hop over to cities like Prague, Krakow, Budapest and Ljubljana.
Travelling on a budget
With 50 bike stations, kilometres of well-maintained bike lanes and an easy-to-use bike sharing program CityBike Wien, Vienna is highly conducive to cycling. Students can register for the program online or at a CityBike terminal and pay with a debit or credit card. The subway, the U-Bahn, operates on a trust system, meaning there are no turnstiles for tickets. Instead, officers perform surprise ticket checks and levy fines for riders without the proper tickets. For transport around the city, the semester card grants unlimited access to the city’s U-Bahn, trams, buses and trains for about €130. The ÖBB, the Austrian railway, also offers a substantial 50% discount on train fares for students.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the location of Schnitzelwirt. This has been fixed.