Austria is famous for its castles, palaces and buildings, among other architectural works. It is also known for its rolling hills, skiing, Christmas markets, and The Sound of Music. And while the country does have all of this, it also offers so much more.
For music lovers, it`s the home of Mozart. For foodies, it`s home to the Wienerschnitzel. For outdoor lovers, you can paraglide, raft, and hike. No matter what your love is, Austria likely has something just for you.
One of Europe`s smallest countries, Austria is predominantly a nation of rugged areas and high mountains, with the Eastern Alps occupying a good 60 percent of its territory. The River Danube flows for about 217 miles from west to east through the northern part of the country, adding to its appeal as a tourist destination. There are so many quaint medieval towns built with timber and set in the showdown of soaring mountaintops such as Bad Ischl, Dürnstein, Alpbach, Hallstatt, Zell am See, and the entire Upper Austria Area. You will also find plenty of must-see cities that you won`t want to miss out on: Salzburg, Innsbruck and the beautiful capital city, Vienna.
The ski area of Austria, located anywhere in the alps, is a true bucket list experience for any skier. One of the most beautiful places in the world to do that is in St. Anton, it does have a reputation for attracting the more avid skiier. If you want somewhere a little easier check out Alpbach or Saalbach. Another great place is Innsbruck! You`ll find well-groomed slopes in Austria open from November to April for you to enjoy.
East Austria is a hidden gem and also where the fertile wine country is located. It offers a different landscape than the rest of the country.
Austria is located in a temperate climatic zone, influenced by the Atlantic climate and offers four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. The temperatures do vary greatly depending on your location; there are three quite different climatic regions: East, Alpine Region, and Remainder of the country. The best time to visit Austria depends on what you want to see and do and whether you`re aiming for urban or rural parts of the country. Most of the mountain resorts, for example, have two distinct tourist seasons, one for winter sports enthusiasts, and the other for summer hikers. In between times, you may find many of these areas tourist facilities closed. More of the urban areas, however, offer year-round activity. The country really does have something for everyone, but it is important to find out what each season brings to better determine what the best time is for you to visit. After all, this question will determine what you get to see when you`re here, and how much you`d be spending. For more information, check out: Best Time to Visit Austria.
We recommend 7-10 days based on what you want to see and do. We offer flexible vacation packages so you can select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities. We suggest a minimum of 3 nights in larger cities.
Getting to and getting around Austria is easy and part of the overall positive experience thanks to a safe and first-rate infrastructure that includes Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), and an excellent inner roadway system.
Trains: Austria boasts a wide train network with more than 3,700 miles of railways within the country. Travelers can not only explore the main cities, but off-the-beaten track areas of the country for a true local, regional experience. ÖBB Railjets departs from the Vienna Airport for Salzburg twice hourly during the day and offers hourly connections to Innsbruck. At least every two hours, trains from Vienna`s airport depart for St. Anton and Bregenz, Austria`s westernmost provincial capital. For those travelers looking to head south, hourly connections during the day leave from Vienna Airport to Graz in three hours, with one change at Vienna`s main train station, and with a direct connection available once a day.
By Car: Travelers that like to explore by car as an alternative to the rails will find that Austria has outstanding motorways and signage. Important to note is that a Highway Toll Sticker (Vignette) must be displayed on the inside windshield of cars on Austria`s motorways and expressways. The toll sticker is available for periods of 10 days, two months and up, and can be obtained from car rental agencies and gas stations in Austria.
Auto Europe offers reasonable rates and convenient pick-up locations throughout Austria for those looking to discover Austria by car. Travelers can pick one or more of suggested mini-drives from the Austrian National Tourist Office that take in the country`s well-known sights and special surprises along the way. The first drive begins in Bregenz and the last ends in Vienna. Destinations on the drives can include Lech, Innsbruck, Zell am See, Villach/Velden, Graz, Hallstatt, Salzburg and the Wachau Valley.
The currency of Austira is the Euro. US dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for euros upon arrival. Currency exchange desks can be found at the airport and many locations throughout the major cities. For more detailed information, consult our guide by clicking here Tipping in Austria.
The official language of Austria is Austrian German though you might run into locals speaking Alemmanic or Austro-Bavarian depending on the location. English may be spoken at your hotel and in the tourist areas, but not everywhere. We suggest you get a good English-German guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.