Once one of the world’s most powerful empires, now one of Europe’s most powerful draw cards.

It’s not just Austria’s hills that are alive with the sound of music: the whole country hums with a harmony of history, culture and beauty. From Vienna’s grand palaces to Innsbruck’s ski runs and Salzburg’s manicured streets, Austria dishes up schnitzel with a side of pinch-yourself moments. This is the land of Klimt, of Mozart, of – dare we say it – Schwarzenegger himself. In fact, by the time you leave we can almost guarantee you’ll be saying ‘I’ll be back’ too.

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Travel lightly with Intrepid. We’ve offset the main sources of carbon emissions from this trip on your behalf, including transport, accommodation & waste. Read more

Articles on Austria

Austria travel highlights

Transport in Austria

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.

Depending on which trip you're on while in Austria, you may find yourself travelling by:

A cyclist in the Salzkammergut region of Austria

Bicycle

Whether you're exploring Vienna's palaces and museums, riding along the mighty Danube or conquering the Alps, cycling is an unbeatable way to experience Austria.

Austria holiday information

At a glance

Culture and customs

History and government

Eating and drinking

Geography and environment

Shopping

Festivals and events

Health and safety

Further reading

Austria travel FAQs

The best times to visit Vienna and Salzburg are late spring and early autumn (May, June, September). That said, there’s really no bad time to visit. Each season has its own charms and though mid–late summer (July, August) can see afternoon thunderstorms rolling in, there’s plenty of sunshine to be had.

The winter months are freezing and snowing, so this is a good time to visit the cities if you’re after a classic European Christmas atmosphere. January and February tend to be dark, quiet and cold.

If you’re looking to take a skiing holiday, the best months are February and March when snow is plentiful and the days are longer than in December or January.

Yes, Austria is safe to visit and the cities experience very low crime rates. The biggest risk to travellers probably comes from the mountainous areas, which can be dangerous for inexperienced skiers and hikers. Be sure to pack appropriate clothing, water and food, and tell someone what your plans are if you are heading into the hills.

Austria is a member of the Schengen Convention, which means that if you travel to an EU member country or countries, like Austria, for a total of less than 90 days, a visa is not required. Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, the UK and other member countries of the EU and Schengen area are included under this arrangement.

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your country of origin. Check the Essential Trip Information section of your tour itinerary for more information.

Most restaurants will include service charges and taxes in the bill. Rounding the amount up or adding 5–10 per cent to the bill is customary too, although it’s not compulsory.

Your local leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty on the first day of your trip. In a group tipping kitty, everybody contributes an equal amount at the start of the tour that your leader uses to tip drivers, local guides and hotel staff on your behalf. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent, which can be checked at any time.

Any money remaining at the end of the tour is returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassle of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip. Participation in this kitty is optional, and you are welcome to manage your own tipping separately if you prefer. Please note the tipping kitty excludes tips for your tour leader.

Internet access in Austria is generally very good. In both larger cities and small towns there will be wi-fi available at hotels, cafes, bars and in some public spaces.

Mobile/cell phone coverage is great in most parts of Austria although service may be limited in the more remote parts of the Alps. If you want to use your own SIM card, ensure global roaming is activated before you arrive and make sure you’re aware of any international roaming charges.

Flushable, Western-style toilets are the norm in Austria.

Austria’s unit of currency is the euro. Prices here are approximate and shown in US dollars for ease of comparison.

  • Single espresso = USD 3
  • A large beer in a bar = USD 4
  • A bottle of wine from a supermarket = USD 5
  • Traditional meal in a standard restaurant = USD 10–15
  • 24-hour travel card in Vienna = USD 9

Yes, it’s safe to drink the tap water in Austria unless otherwise marked. The water in the mountains is beautiful while Vienna has some of its tap water pumped in directly from the Alps. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water and fill a reusable bottle instead.

Credit cards are generally accepted all over Austria although some smaller shops and cafes may only accept cash. Always carry a small amount of euros to cover cash purchases, especially when visiting more rural areas.

ATMs are very common in Austria. It shouldn't be a problem finding one in most towns and cities.

Vienna averages a temperature of 14–24°C (57–75°C) in the summer and -2–3°C (28–37°F) in the winter. It has relatively low levels of precipitation, peaking at 60 mm (2.4 inches) in the middle of summer.

Temperatures are much colder in the mountainous regions, with an average temperature of 8–21°C (46–69°F) in the summer and -9–1°C (16–34°F) in the winter. This gets colder the higher you go. Precipitation is more abundant, typically falling as snow in the winter and thunderstorms in the summer. Austria’s highest mountain, Grossglockner, averages about 165 mm (6.5 inches) in summer and 145 mm (5.7 inches) in the winter.

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their tour. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

1 Jan – New Year’s Day

6 Jan – Epiphany

March/April – Easter Monday

1 May – Labour Day

May/June – Whit Monday

May/June – Corpus Christi

15 Aug – Assumption of Mary

26 Oct – National Day

1 Nov – All Saints’ Day

8 Dec – Immaculate Conception

25 Dec – Christmas Day

26 Dec – St Stephen’s Day

For a current list of public holidays in Austria, including the movable dates noted above, go to: 

timeanddate.com/holidays

Austria is a safe destination for LGBTQIA+ travellers. Austrians are generally open-minded and very tolerant, and there are protections in place against discrimination towards LGBT-identifying people while same-sex marriage was legalised in 2019.

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting Equaldex or ILGA before you travel.

If you are travelling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a passenger of the same gender as per your passport information. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. A single supplement is available on some tours for travellers who do not wish to share a room.

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Vienna is a relatively accessible city for travellers. Most U-Bahn stations have wheelchair access and ramps are common, though buses and trams won’t necessarily be wheelchair friendly. The Vienna Tourist Information has a comprehensive Accessible Vienna guide available for download.

Outside of Vienna, it can be difficult to get around thanks to cobblestone streets and old European buildings, even in the bigger cities like Salzburg and Innsbruck. As a general rule, knowing some common words in the local language, carrying a written itinerary with you and taking to the streets in a group, rather than solo, can help make your travel experience the best it can be.

Read more about Accessible Travel

This depends on the area you’re visiting and what time of year it is. Summertime in Vienna, for example, is perfect for light clothing while the winter requires a full winter wardrobe.

Weather in the mountains is often unpredictable and can change extremely quickly. It’s best to be prepared with layers including a waterproof jacket, waterproof shoes, a warm jumper and thermal layers if need be.

Responsible Travel

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Salzburg lit up at night in Austria

How we're giving back

In Austria, we stay in locally run accommodation including guesthouses, smaller-scale hotels and homestays in an effort to support the local economies. We also visit locally run restaurants and markets where travellers will have opportunities to support local businesses and purchase handicrafts created by local artisans.