AUSTRIA Travel Guide for 2024: Fall in Love with the Nature

Austria Travel Guide - osam tour

In this comprehensive Austria travel guide, we invite you to explore the enchanting wonders of Austria. From the imperial elegance of Vienna to the alpine splendor of the Austrian Alps, this diverse nation offers an array of experiences for every traveler. Unravel fast facts, discover the best time to visit, explore top attractions, relish culinary delights, and pick up unique souvenirs.

What to See and Do in Austria

Whether you’re an experienced traveler out to explore some of the most famous landmarks in Austria or someone setting foot here for the first time, there’s never a shortage of things to do or sights to see. Here are the best places to visit in Austria for first-timers.

  • Schönbrunn Palace: This palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once the summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs. It has 1,441 rooms and is surrounded by beautiful gardens.
Austria Schonbrunn Palace - osam tour
  • Hallstatt: A picturesque village located in the Salzkammergut region, Hallstatt is known for its beautiful lake and charming architecture. It is also home to the oldest salt mine in the world.
Austria Hallstatt - osam tour
  • Vienna: The capital city of Austria, Vienna is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture. Some of the must-visit attractions in Vienna include the Hofburg Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Albertina Museum, and the Vienna State Opera.
Vienna - osam tour
  • Innsbruck: Located in the heart of the Austrian Alps, Innsbruck is a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts. It is also home to the famous Golden Roof, a landmark that dates back to the 15th century.
Innsbruck - osam tour
  • Salzburg: The birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg is a charming city with a rich musical heritage. Some of the top attractions in Salzburg include the Hohensalzburg Fortress, Mirabell Palace, and the Salzburg Cathedral.
Salzburg - osam tour
  • Grossglockner High Alpine Road: This scenic road is one of the most beautiful drives in Europe. It offers stunning views of the Austrian Alps and is a popular destination for nature lovers.
Austria Grossglockner Road - osam tour
  • Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave: Located in the Tennengebirge Mountains, this ice cave is the largest in the world. It is open to visitors from May to October and offers a unique experience.
Austria Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave - osam tour

Fast Facts About Austria

  • Climate: Austria experiences a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Summers (June to August) are pleasantly warm, while winters (December to February) can be cold, especially in the Alpine regions.

  • Local Currency: The official currency of Austria is the Euro (EUR). ATMs are widely available, and credit cards are accepted in most establishments.

  • Power Voltage: Austria uses 230V, 50Hz electrical outlets. Bring a travel adapter if your devices use a different plug type.

  • Language: German is the official language of Austria. English is widely spoken in tourist areas, but it’s helpful to learn a few basic German phrases.

  • Religion: The majority of Austrians are Roman Catholic, but the country embraces religious freedom, and you can find diverse places of worship.

  • Safety: Austria is generally a safe destination. Petty theft can occur in tourist-heavy areas, so exercise caution with belongings.

  • Cultural Etiquette: Austrians appreciate politeness and punctuality. Greet with a handshake, and avoid discussing sensitive topics.

  • Tipping: Tipping is not mandatory, but rounding up the bill or leaving a 5-10% tip is customary in restaurants and for good service.

  • Public Transport: Austria has an efficient public transportation system, including trains and buses, making it easy to explore the country.

When to Visit Austria: Seasons and Festivals

Here’s a breakdown of the seasons and notable festivals to consider when you plan a trip to Austria.

  • Spring (April – May): This is a great time to visit Austria if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy mild weather. The average temperature during this time is around 11°C. You can also experience the beautiful spring festivities and flowers in Austria.

  • Summer (June – August): This is the peak tourist season in Austria, with warm and dry weather. The average temperature during this time is around 25°C. You can enjoy various festivals and events during this time, such as the Salzburger Festspiele, which takes place every July and August.

  • Autumn (September – October): This is another great time to visit Austria if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy mild weather. The average temperature during this time is around 15°C. You can also enjoy various cultural events and activities during this time, such as hiking, biking, or climbing.

  • Winter (November – March): This is the best time to visit Austria if you are a winter sports enthusiast. The country is known for its excellent ski resorts, such as St. Anton or Kitzbühel. The average temperature during this time is around 0°C. You can also enjoy various winter festivals and events, such as the Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert, Vienna Opera Ball, and Vienna Christmas Market.

How to Get Around Austria

Austria has a well-developed transportation system that makes it easy to get around the country. Here are the best ways to get around to consider when planning your Austria trip:

Train: Austria has an excellent rail network that connects all major cities and towns. The national rail operator, ÖBB, runs a comprehensive route network across the country. Their Railjet trains are the fastest for intercity routes – clean and quiet, with restaurant cars, free WiFi and power sockets. You can take bikes on trains, but bike storage spaces are limited on Railjet and InterCity trains so it pays to book a place in advance. Folding bikes are carried for free, but for regular cycles, you need a special ticket that costs 10% of the 2nd-class passenger fare. The cheapest fares are the advance-purchase Sparschiene tickets, which are valid only for a specified departure time.

Bus: Buses are another popular way to get around Austria. They cover most of the places you’ll want to get to beyond the tracks. With a bit of planning, you can explore the wild beauty of Austria by public transport at your own pace, without ever getting behind the wheel of a car. If you can’t get somewhere in Austria by train, the chances are you’ll be able to get there by bus, often with a scenic route.

Car: If you prefer to drive, renting a car is a great option. Austria has a well-maintained road network, and driving is generally easy and safe. However, keep in mind that parking can be difficult and expensive in cities, and some areas are restricted to residents only. Also, during winter, motorists must reckon with snow on the roads and passes at higher altitudes. Roads at altitudes of up to 1,700m (5,577 ft.) are kept open in winter, although they can be temporarily closed because of heavy snowfall or avalanche danger.

Where to Stay in Austria: Accommodation Tips

Austria has a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. Here are some tips to help you choose the right accommodation for your Austria trip:

  • Hotels: Austria has a variety of hotels to suit every budget and preference. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly options, you can find a hotel that meets your needs. Some of the top hotels in Austria include Hotel Innsbruck and Hotel Kaiserhof Wien. You can use booking websites to find suitable hotels in Austria:, Expedia,
  • Hostels: Hostels are a great option for budget-conscious travelers. Austria has many hostels that offer affordable accommodation in central locations. Some of the top hostels in Austria: Wombat’s City Hostel Vienna and MEININGER Hotel Salzburg City Center. One of the best booking websites for hostels in Austria is Hostelworld.
  • Apartments: If you’re looking for a more independent option, apartments are a great choice. Austria has many apartments available for short-term rental, and they offer more space and privacy than a hotel room. One of the best booking websites for apartments in Austria is Airbnb.
  • Bed and Breakfasts: Bed and breakfasts are a great way to experience local culture and hospitality. Austria has many bed and breakfasts that offer comfortable accommodation and a homey atmosphere. Some of the top bed and breakfasts in Austria include Pension Suzanne and Pension Mozart.
  • Alpine Retreats: If you’re looking for a unique experience, consider staying at an Alpine retreat or in traditional Alpine huts (called “Berghütten“) during your Austria travel adventure. These retreats are located in the mountains and offer stunning views and a peaceful atmosphere. Some of the top Alpine retreats in Austria include Naturhotel Chesa Valisa and Comodo.

Austria Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Here are some practical money-saving tips to help you make the most of your budget during your Austria travel adventure:

  • Travel during the off-season: Traveling during the off-season (spring and fall) can save you a lot of money on flights, accommodation, and attractions. You can also avoid the crowds and enjoy a more authentic experience.

  • Use public transportation: Austria has an excellent public transportation system that is affordable and efficient. You can save money by using buses and trains instead of taxis or rental cars.

  • Eat like a local: Eating at local restaurants and cafes can save you money and give you a taste of authentic Austrian cuisine. You can also save money by shopping at local markets and cooking your own meals.

  • Take advantage of free attractions: Austria has many free attractions, including museums, parks, and festivals. Some of the museums that offer free admission include the Museum der Moderne Salzburg and the Wien Museum.

  • Book in advance: Booking your flights, accommodation, and attractions in advance can save you money and ensure that you get the best deals.

What Food to Try in Austria: Traditional Cuisine

Austria has a rich culinary heritage with many traditional dishes that are worth trying. Here’s a Austria travel guide to the culinary delights and traditional dishes you must try during your visit:

  • Wiener Schnitzel: This is a thin, breaded and fried veal cutlet that is a staple of Austrian cuisine. It is usually served with a lemon wedge, boiled potatoes with parsley, french fries or Austrian potato salad.

  • Brettljause: This is a large wooden plate board with Austrian charcuterie meats and cheeses, ideal for sharing with a large group. Cold hams, different types of cheeses, green vegetables and pickles are the main ingredients of Brettljause.

  • Gröstl: This is a dish from the state of Tyrol which consists of fried potatoes, onion, meat (often bacon) and usually a fried egg on top. It is often served straight to the table from a small pan.

  • Klöße Dumplings: These are quite simply potatoes with dried bread shaped with eggs, pork loin, parsley and onion. Klöße is somewhat of a national dish of Austria with many variations depending on region. The round dumplings are usually served in beef soup or with sauerkraut.

  • Sachertorte: This is a famous chocolate cake that was invented in Vienna. It consists of two layers of dense chocolate cake with a thin layer of apricot jam in the middle, and is covered in a smooth chocolate glaze.

  • Apfelstrudel: This is a traditional Austrian dessert made with thinly sliced apples, raisins, cinnamon, and sugar, all wrapped in a flaky pastry dough. It is usually served warm with a dollop of whipped cream.

  • Goulash: This is a hearty stew made with beef, onions, and paprika. It is usually served with bread or dumplings. A must-try meal during your Austria trip.

If you’re looking for more affordable options, consider visiting local markets and trying street food. Some popular street food options include Käsekrainer (a cheese-filled sausage), Leberkäse (a type of meatloaf), and Langos (a deep-fried dough topped with garlic, sour cream, and cheese).

What to Bring from Austria: Souvenir Ideas

Bringing home a piece of Austria is a wonderful way to cherish your Austria travel memories:

  • Snow Globe: Snow globes were invented in Austria, and they make for a great souvenir. You can find snow globes in many souvenir shops, but we recommend that you head over to the Snow Globe Museum where you can even see how they are made.

  • Mozart Balls: These are small Austrian sweets made from pistachio marzipan and nougat, encased in dark chocolate. They have been made by hand by Fürst family since 1890.

  • Zotter Chocolate: Zotter is a chocolate manufacturer in Styria and well known for their inventive creations. Their full range is available at their flagship store in Styria, but selected creations are available in supermarkets such as Spar.

  • Manner Wafers: These are thin, crispy wafers filled with hazelnut cream. They are a popular snack in Austria and make for a great souvenir.

  • Austrian Wine: Austria is known for its excellent wines, especially white wines. You can find many different varieties of Austrian wine in supermarkets and wine shops.

  • Alpine Herbs: Austria is home to many different types of alpine herbs, which are used in teas, soaps, and other products. You can find many different types of alpine herbs in health food stores and specialty shops.

  • Dirndl and Lederhosen: Dirndl and Lederhosen are traditional Austrian clothing items that make for a great souvenir. You can find them in many different styles and colors in clothing stores and souvenir shops.

Additionally, check out our article about the best winter holiday destinations in 2024.

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