Austria Travel Guide: Tips On Documents, Places, Food & Stay
Enchanting Austria is a country with soaring Alps, flawless meadows, thriving grasslands, imperial palaces, majestic castles and royal horse-drawn carriages. So dreamlike, isn’t it? Well, the country has each and every element to intoxicate your senses and if you are willing to know more about Austria, here is our Austria travel guide to help you.
Austria Travel Guide
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Best Time To Visit Austria
Austria is one of the most picturesque destinations in the world. The country observes diverse climatic conditions with significant differences in the temperatures during summer, winter, spring and autumn seasons. However, the best time to visit Austria is either in spring (April-May) or in fall (September-October). Austria tourism is quite different in each season so, the best time to visit Austria would also largely depend on what exactly you want to do. If you wish to explore the cultural and architectural heritage of Austria amidst light rainfall and sunshine, June to September is a great time to visit the country. Adventure seekers looking out to try their hands at various thrilling winter sports should visit Austria between November and March. April to November is a good time to enjoy different festivals. To understand better, let’s check out an overview of different seasons of Austria.
The summer season starts in the month of June and extends till August. The weather is warm with clear skies, lots of sunshine and breezy evenings. It is a great time for hiking, cycling and sightseeing as the views throughout the country is simply fascinating. Tourists can explore the royal palace of Vienna, hang out in the local cafes and bars or enjoy the popular Italian ice-cream in delicious flavours along Rotemturmstrabe Street in Vienna. It is also a great time to enjoy festival like the Vienna Festival, Salzburg Festival and the Rainbow Parade. In view of the fact that it is a peak season in Austria, it is advisable to plan in advance and book flight tickets and accommodations as the prices tend to shoot up.
Austria Travel Guide Tip: Carry light cotton clothes, hats, and sunscreen and keep yourself hydrated.
Fall in Austria starts in September and lasts till October. The weather is extremely pleasant and the country looks spectacular with a golden and red tinge all over the mountains. This season is certainly for the adventure junkies as the weather is perfect for treks, cycling and boating. The Vienna Fashion Week also happens around this time and since the peak season is over, it is a great time to relax and chill.
Austria Travel Guide Tip: Be sure to carry light jackets and sweaters.
The winter season begins in November and extends till about March. The weather is extremely cold with temperatures ranging between -1 and -5 degrees Celsius. This season is undoubtedly the best time to go for skiing and snow based activities. Being the time for Christmas, the country looks like a fairytale with snow filled streets, festivities, illuminated avenues, Christmas decorations and buzzing shopping malls. This is the best time to visit Austria for all budget travellers as the accommodation prices and flight fares are very low.
Austria Travel Guide Tip: Be sure to dress in layers and do carry snow boots.
The spring season begins in April and extends till May. The weather is mostly clear with occasional showers particularly in April. Since it is the transition time from winter to summer, it is ideal to go on hikes. The heat is not sweltering and it is pleasant all along. This time is great for picnics and wine tours. Hofburg, the epitome of Austrian culture is one of the most loved places to visit around this time.
Austria Travel Guide Tip: Carry umbrellas, raincoats and light winter garments.
So, choose what you like and start planning your Austrian holiday!
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Travel Documents For Austria
Travellers require the following documents for their Austria trip:
- A valid passport that is issued in the last 10 years and should be valid for at least three months after the date of departure.
- A Schengen Tourist Visa is required.
- A return flight ticket is a must.
- Adequate funds to support your stay in Austria.
- A copy of hotel booking confirmation receipt is required.
- Travel insurance for safe travel.
Where To Stay In Austria
Choosing where to stay in a holiday can be really daunting, but not in Austria. From stylish hotels to rustic country houses and from inexpensive budget hotels to home stays, Austria offers best of accommodation options to all its visitors.
- If five star properties and super luxury services is what you are looking for then, Ritz Carlton (Vienna), Hotel Goldener Hirsch (Salzburg), Vienna Marriott Hotel and aDLERS Hotel (Insbruck) are the best options.
- If you want to unwind and refresh yourself, spa accommodations are idyllic as they give additional benefits of high altitudes and fresh air. Rogner Bad Blumau and Hotel Krone in Au are the finest spa hotels in Austria.
- If historic and majestic fortresses, lakeside mansions and ornate palaces attract you then Schonbrunn Palace (Vienna) and Hotel Schloss Duernstein are perfect choices.
- If staying in farms is your style then you are definitely in for a treat because Austria has multitude of farms that welcomes guests with open arms. Most of these farms are barrier free and allow feeding chickens and milking of cows.
- Travellers on a budget can choose to stay in one star hotels, self-catering apartments, home stays and hostels.
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Travelling Within Austria
Getting around Austria is fairly easy and hassle free. Let’s look at all options.
- By Air: Most of Austria’s major cities including Salzburg, Innsbruck, Linz, Graz and Klagenfurt and Vienna have their own international airports. Austrian Airlines, the national carrier of the country serves all the above cities and also connects Austria with other international destinations. There are a number of low cost carriers such as FlyNiki, Ryanair and German Wings.
- By Train: Train travel is one of the best and the most efficient ways to explore Austria. The OBB (Osterreichische Bandesbahnen) is the chief operator along with a handful of private operators. The OBB also provides schedules, prices and tickets in their website. Rail passes prove to be very useful to travel across the country. There are Eurail passes that lets you to visit several countries with a single pass. There are also city specific passes that allow travelling around the entire city.
Austria Travel Guide Tip: Smoking is not allowed in trains.
- By Car: Austria is a car-loving nation and boasts of having an excellent network of roads. Driving gives you the much needed freedom to travel at your own convenience and it is fun too. Cars can be rented from many international car rental agencies like Hertz, Avis, Europcar and Auto Europe. In order to rent a car you need a valid driver’s license for at least a year.
Austria Travel Guide Tip: Drinking and driving is strictly prohibited.
- By Bus: Buses are a great way to reach distant and remote places that can’t be reached by trains. Most bus departures also coincide with train arrivals and tickets can be bought onboard.
- By Taxi: Taxis are ample and frequent shuttles and app taxis are available at major tourist spots and airports. Uber, Kiwi Taxi and Hoppo are some of the most popular taxi service providers.
Places To Visit In Austria
Vienna, the capital city of Austria is a city of grand palaces, museums, culture and grandeur. It is a cultural retreat for fine arts and music and is very popular for diverse architectural styles preserved throughout the city. The city is quite lively and forever buzzing with excitement and numerous street theatres, ballets, music concerts and opera shows make it further more vibrant and dynamic. Do visit the awe-inspiring Schonbrunn Palace and enjoy the beauty of its elegant halls and flawlessly landscaped gardens. Take a walk down the city’s gorgeous Ringstrasse Boulevard to witness majestic buildings like the Hofburg Imperial Palace and many beautiful parks. Prater Amusement Park is a must-visit attraction for fun lovers as it includes the Giant Ferris Wheel along with many thrilling rides. Vienna is also very famous for its coffee culture so do not forget to sip the well-known Viennese coffee at one of the many cafes. The amazing combination of fast-paced contemporary living and composed historical architecture makes Vienna a brilliant city and one of the best places to visit in Austria.
Popular for being the birth place of the genius composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the place where the world famous movie, Sound of Music was shot, Salzburg is a charming town that looks more like a fairy tale. Do visit Hohensalzburg Castle, the city’s main attraction and get a chance to admire the largest intact fortress in Central Europe. The stunning old town of Aldsten with many ornate buildings has earned the honour of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is certainly a must visit place. Enjoy playful activities with gigantic chimps and rhinos at the Salzburg Zoo. The city also brims with excellent galleries, museums, an assortment of restaurants and a diverse miscellany of shopping opportunities. So basically, Salzburg is a city of dreams with a mix of a little bit of everything. Hence, all you need to do is get set to have a roaring time in Salzburg!
Nestled in the Austrian Alps, Innsbruck is a colourful city where the mighty mountains meet the valleys and the city unites with nature. It is internationally branded for its winter sports and is perfect for those who love to hit the slopes. The city’s ski resorts are world famous and attract visitors from all over the world. Enjoy a relaxed walk through the old town or ride cable cars to the mountain peaks, climb the Town Tower for incredible views or try your hands at bungee jumping at Europa Bridge- you are bound to have a rocking time here. With a good mix of historic architecture, cathedrals, museums, restaurants, trendy hip bars and a thriving nightlife, Innsbruck is certainly hitting the spot. It is undoubtedly one of Austria’s most loved cities and welcomes tourists who are keen to explore, discover and learn!
Things To Do In Austria
Visit Schonbrunn Palace
The Schonbrunn Palace is one of the most fantastic things to do in Vienna. It was once the summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs but today, this ornate palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most interesting historical monuments in Austria. Forty of the palace’s 1441 rooms are open to the public including the Royal Apartments, Great Gallery, the Million Room and the Hall of Mirrors. The vast palace gardens are also not to be missed with an impressive palm house made from iron and glass, a hedge maze and a labyrinth. If you are fond of music and culture, do not miss to attend the live concert in the Schonbrunn Palace Orangery to admire the famous works by Mozart and Strauss.
Austrian Travel Guide Tip: Photography is strictly prohibited inside the palace.
Hike And Explore Eisriesenwelt
Eisriesenwelt literally means ‘World of the Ice Giants’ in German and is the biggest ice cave in the world. These caves stretch for more than 40 kilometres and encompasses sculptural ice formations and frozen waterfalls. Tourists are led through the interiors of the caves by guided tour only. There is a spectacular 1775 metre high wall of ice and the great Ice Palace which are absolutely a visual treat. The entire tour takes about 1 and a half hours but the journey to the cave’s entrance takes additional time. Get ready to enjoy the most exhilarating sites in your Austrian holiday.
Austria Travel Guide Tip: Be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes and warm clothes.
Marvel At The Sight Of Krimml Waterfalls
Located in the High Tauern National Park near the village Krimml, Krimml Waterfalls are the highest waterfall in Austria. The waterfall is a tiered waterfall and contains three significant drops. It has a total drop of 380 metres and the top of the falls is 1470 metres above sea level. There is a well-maintained path that travels to the upper section of the fall and offers superb panoramic views. The hike up to the waterfall begins in the Krimml village with quite a lot of picturesque sights along the way. The hike takes about 1.5 hours to reach at the top of the falls. Adjacent to the falls lays the WasserWunderWelt, an aquatic theme park where tourists can have some fun time.
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What To Eat In Austria
Austria is not only immensely beautiful and gorgeous; the country also cooks up flavoursome delicacies that tempt all its visitors. Be sure to indulge in the rich, buttery, meaty and luscious Austrian cuisine. Here is a list of some of the best Austrian delicacies you have to try.
- Start your Austrian food journey with Wiener Schnitzel, which is a yummy fried veal dish served with sour cream and fried potatoes.
- Do try Knodel or Austrian dumplings that can be sweet and savoury both. Potato dumplings and bread dumplings are the two most popular savoury dumplings. Sweet dumplings are generally filled with fruits.
- Tafelsplitz is a classic dish in which beef is boiled in a vegetable broth until it is tender and soft.
- Kasespatzle is a must have dish for all cheese lovers. Spatzle is a soft egg noodle that comes in different shapes and Kasespatzel comes with a munificent helping of cheese.
- Tiroler Grostl is basically a simple dish that is more of a comfort food. It comprises of pan-fried potatoes, chopped beef or pork along with lots of butter and onions.
- Other interesting delicacies include Vienna Sausage, Viennese Apfelstrudle, Potato Gulasch, Brettljause, Palatschinken and Buchteln.
- Apart from the above delicacies there are loads of restaurants serving Japanese, Chinese, American, Italian and Continental cuisines.
Feeling hungry already? Well, there is indeed a lot to relish when it comes to Austrian food. If you are eager to taste these scrumptious delicacies, simply pack your bags and come to Austria!
Nightlife In Austria
Along with incredible serenity and great skiing, Austria also has a buzzing and an inviting nightlife scenario. Austria’s nightlife is all about wining and dining, electrifying music and lots of dancing.
- Let’s start from the most happening city Vienna, which is forever rocking with world class DJs, lively discos and crazy parties. Whether you are looking for an extraordinary dinner or you wish to spend your night in a concert or you want to party all night, the city has it all! Titanic, Rhiz, U4, Skybar and Volksgarten Clubdisco are the best places to party in Vienna.
- Although Salzburg is popular for its palaces and castles, the city will flabbergast you with its perky parties and a vibrant nightlife. Most of the city’s nightlife is located along the river Salzach, making pub hopping super fun. The best places to enjoy nightlife in Salzburg are Cocktail Bar, Soda Club, Hamrock and The Cave Club.
- Innsbruck, the University City is known to show its true colours as soon as the sun sets down. All the party animals stroll through the Old Town as this place is full of cafes and pubs. Zappa Music Bar, Limerick Bill’s Irish Pub, Club Cubique and Tante Emma are some of the finest party places in Innsbruck.
So, with endless nightlife options, there will certainly not be a dull moment in Austria.
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Communications And Connectivity In Austria
Austria works on GSM network. In case you are planning to get your own mobile phone. The best option is to set your phone with a basic international calling data plan and modify it according to your requirements. Alternatively, getting a pre-paid local SIM card is a great option. SIM cards are widely available. You just need to make sure that your mobile phone is unlocked. Renting a mobile phone is also a good idea. Travellers can rent a phone from airports or car rental agencies. T-Mobile Austria, Mobilkom Austria and Orange Austria are the most popular telecom service providers in Austria.
Money In Austria
The authorized currency of Austria is Euro. Notes come in the denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. Although all major credit cards and debit cards like Visa and MasterCard are accepted in big hotels and restaurants, but not everywhere. Cash is still popular in Austria and cards might not be appreciated in small shops, cafes and grocery stores. ATMs or Bankomat, as they say in Austria are widespread. Currency can be easily exchanged in banks, airports and money exchangers.
Austria Travel Guide: Tips For Your Austria Tour
- Always keep your ID handy.
- Keep a digital copy of all your important documents in your mobile in case of an emergency.
- Although the national language is German, but English is also widely spoken.
- Sunday is considered as a rest day and hence, majority of shops are closed.
- Be sure to obey traffic rules or be prepared to pay a hefty fine.
- Tap water is extremely safe to drink.
- Voltage in Austria is 230 AC 50 Hz.
- Eating food and consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in underground trains.
- Austrians love to smoke and smoking is not prohibited in most restaurants.
- Any sum equal to or exceeding Euro 10,000 must be declared.
- In case of an emergency, dial 133 (Police) or 144 (Ambulance).
So, isn’t Austria a dream holiday destination? Well, it certainly is! And to help you plan a perfect Austrian vacation, here is our Austria travel guide. Happy travelling!
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