WiFi in Vienna. To all non-EU tourists: Let me share two tips of avoiding roaming charges in Vienna and rest of Austria.
If you are from a European Union country, you will pay NO roaming charges if you use your phone in EU countries like Austria from 15th June 2017. Since the EU banned telecoms operators from charging other EU operators for using their networks, EU mobile phone users will pay the same price as at home, without extra charges.
If you are, for example, from the United States or other non-EU countries, you will continue to pay roaming charges. Before you read one here is one tip upfront: To make cheap international calls, use free voice over IP (VoIP) services like Skype and Viber which are covered by data roaming.
Before one of my journeys to Wien I bought an international SIM card for my cell phone (voice and data). Expensive mistake. While I bought the SIM card for a reasonable price I used all the credits after one day of MODERATE usage. Consequently, the provider asked to top up my card. Grrhh.
Free Public WiFi In Vienna
WiFi in Vienna. While most hotels in Vienna offer good wiFi access wifi is also free in many cafés, restaurants and attractions. Over the years I have come to know my favourite Vienna wiFi hotspots with good internet speed. (Sadly, our paths don’t always cross, and I don’t always want to consume when sending a photo.)
If you get a friendly waiter he/she will help with passwords if your free wifi connection doesn’t come up automatically. To help you find a place offering free wiFi click for a Vienna map of free wiFi hotspots. If you have a wiFi hotspot finder on your smartphone, you will find them even more quickly. Just to confirm: there are no roaming charges. If you want to ensure a phone call in a quiet spot, get a cafe with a backroom, such as Cafe Museum. Alternatively, visit a quiet cafe such as Cafe Eiles.
Portable WiFi Hotspot: Review
WiFi in Vienna. Before my last Vienna trip I ordered a mobile wifi device. I love to check my emails (safely!) and use Facebook and Twitter while in the tramway, on the bus or in a hideaway place of my choice. Finding restaurants and top sights while moving around was also as easy. A portable wifi hotspot means you carry around your own hot spot, and pay a fixed price for unlimited usage where ever you are. The one I tested lets you connect up to 10 mobile devices for the same price, great value for money for groups and families.
WiFi in Vienna. As agreed, the wifi hotspot arrived at a private address. It came with one enormous button, a charger, three simple visual instructions along with my ID and password, and a return plastic envelope with stamp and address. I’d like to say I was smart enough to simply charge it before using it – I found out eventually. I kept the mobile hotspot together with my cell phone so I remembered to charge it when back home.
The best places where I checked emails, accessed Google Maps, Facebook and made calls on Viber: a bench in romantic Volksgarten, a quiet corner at Schulhof square, and at 60 meters from the ground in the viewing tower close to City Hall (photo). The most efficient places to do quick internet researches, email checks and upload photos on Facebook: a long tramway ride from Belvedere Palace to Schlickgasse (Sigmund Freud museum), a queue at my favourite bread shop, and waiting for a notoriously unreliable friend.
The internet speed (3G) was always great and never changed – unlike other providers this one never manipulated the browsing experience.
At certain free wifi hotspots, there was hardly any difference to my mobile internet hotspot. However, the mobile hotspot managed to outperform the WiFi network of a prestigious luxury hotel!
Fixed Fee Versus Roaming Charges
WiFi in Vienna. You can rent the mobile wifi device from for a fixed fee per day (from USD 15). If you have several mobile devices like smartphones, tablets or laptops you pay the same price. International carriers charge different fees for data roaming in Austria. Check back charges by your phone and data carrier and compare them with the fees for the mobile hotspot.
Note: I was invited by the provider to test the device. All opinions expressed and English language mistakes made are my own.