Officially the Republic of Austria, it’s a land-locked country in Central Europe. Diverse to the core, culturally rich and truly majestic, Austria is a country that effortlessly transitions between upscale cities and lush green landscapes. One moment you are meandering through mountain valleys and the next, bustling around imperial Vienna, the capital city. Travel across country to discover deep valleys, stunning mountains and endless meadows or head to the heart of Austria’s contemporary urban culture in the cities of Salzburg, Innsbruck or Graz.
AUSTRIA TOP 5 THINGS TO DO
Ski in Arlberg
Arlberg is a mountain range between Vorarlberg and Tyrol in Austria and it’s home to some of the most famous ski resorts in the world. Ski Arlberg is the largest connected ski resort in Austria and legendary among skiers. In the heart of the Alps, this Austrian resort boasts history, huge terrain and amazing lifts. The slopes for skiing, snowboarding and free-riding stretch from St. Anton am Arlberg in Tyrol, to St. Christoph and Stuben in Vorarlberg and further on to Zürs, Lech and Schröcken and all the way to Warth.
St Stephen’s Cathedral
Looming high over the Austrian capital, St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the symbol of Vienna. Construction commenced in the 12th century. Today, it is one of the most important Gothic structures in Austria. This magnificent cathedral is known for its intricately tiled roof and its nearly 500-foot-tall South Tower.
Innsbruck is the capital city of Tyrol and the fifth-largest city in Austria. This colorful city nestled in the Austrian Alps is a winter sports paradise. Innsbruck is also known for its Imperial and modern architecture. The Nordkette funicular was designed by architect Zaha Hadid and climbs up to 2,256m from the city center for skiing in winter and hiking in warmer months.
Visit the world’s largest ice caves in Werfen, Austria and explore an amazing underground world of natural ice formations. The Eisriesenwelt is a natural limestone and ice cave about 40 km south of Salzburg. The cave sits in the Tennengebirge section of the Alps inside the Hochkogel mountain. Join about 200,000 tourists a year and pay a visit.
Fashionable winter resort, Kitzbühel, is a small Alpine town east of Innsbruck, in the western Austrian province of Tyrol. It’s known around the world for its downhill ski race, the Hahnenkamm, which is considered the toughest in the world. Upscale shops and cafes line the streets of its medieval center. Museum Kitzbühel shares the history of the town and the area’s winter sports, with paintings by local artist Alfons Walde.
Read more: Top 10 things to do on a trip to Austria
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AUSTRIA TOP 3 FESTIVALS
The Vienna International Film Festival, or Viennale, is a film festival taking place every October since 1960 in Vienna, Austria. Traditional cinema venues are Gartenbaukino, Urania, Metro-Kino, Filmmuseum and Stadtkino. Join 75,000 other movie enthusiasts and attend the Viennale.
The Wiener Festwochen is a cultural festival in Vienna that takes place every year for five or six weeks in May and June. The Wiener Festwochen was established in 1951, emerging as a “
Danube Island Festival
Danube Island Festival takes place in the heart of Vienna, Austria. The Donauinselfest (German for Danube Island Festival) is a free open-air music festival taking place annually and hosted by SPÖ Wien. With over 3 million visitors in 3 days, it’s the biggest open-air music festival in Europe.
Language: Austria has four official languages: German, Slovenian, Hungarian and Austrian. Many people in Austria are fluent in English too.
Visa: Visiting Austria will usually require a valid passport and visa for anyone that is not from the European Union. Use these free online visa checker and calculator tools so you know if a visa for Austria is required (which will depend on the country you are from) and if so, how long it will take to process your visa and the cost.
Electricity: In Austria the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. You can use your electric appliances in Austria, if the standard voltage in your country is between 220 – 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa). Buy a Universal Travel Adapter so you don’t need to keep buying new adapters for each new country you visit.
Lonely Planet Austria: Check price on Amazon
WHAT TO EAT IN AUSTRIA
Some of the most delicious, traditional dishes that you must try when in Austria are listed below. Don’t drool!
Wiener Schnitzel: This is a must-try dish which is meat that is thinly sliced, originally veal, and is coated in breadcrumbs before frying. The “real” Wiener Schnitzel is made from veal and served with parsley potatoes or potato & cucumber salad.
Apfelstrudel: Apple strudel is a traditional Viennese strudel, a popular pastry in Austria, Northern Italy and in many other countries in Europe that once belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Tafelspitz: The National Dish of Austria! Tafelspitz is boiled veal or beef in broth, served with a mix of minced apples and horseradish. It is a classic dish of the Viennese cuisine and popular in all of Austria and the neighboring German state of Bavaria.
Goulash: A simple, hearty dish served as a soup or stew made of meat, paprika and spices. Sometimes noodles or dumplings are added. Goulash comes from Hungary where it is called Gulyas.
Wiener Wurstel: Also called Viennese sausages, this is typical street food in Vienna and sold on wurstelstands to tourists and locals alike. These delicious sausages are served with mustard usually in a crisp bread bun.
WHERE TO STAY IN AUSTRIA
Austria is a reasonably affordable place to visit. Finding excellent accommodation in Austria is super easy because there’s so many options whatever your budget.
Hostels and dormitories make travel to Austria affordable for backpackers and any travelers on a shoe-string budget. Whether you’re a backpacker, flash-packer or a luxury vacationer, Austria will not disappoint you. A basic hotel room in Austria can cost less than 100 euros.
If you’re looking for accommodation that includes luxury amenities and comforts then there will be endless options to choose from in the big cities and popular tourist hotspots like Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck or Graz. Whatever month you choose to visit Austria it’s always wise to book your accommodation in advance. Don’t wait until you arrive to see what’s available or you may be disappointed to find that all the best places to stay have already been snapped up. Austria is an extremely popular year-round destination with business travelers and tourists alike.
Jetset Bunny recommends using Booking.com for the best accommodation deals in Austria. However, if you are backpacking in Austria or traveling on a tight budget then Hostel World is another great option. Staying in hostels makes travel in Europe very affordable and is also a great way to meet new travel buddies where ever you go.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
BEST TIME TO VISIT AUSTRIA
The best time to visit Austria is between April and October, that is if you enjoy reasonably warm or at least mild weather. If you want a hot holiday vacation then aim to visit Austria between June and September, even then good weather can’t be guaranteed. For skiing, go between November and March.
AUSTRIA TRAVEL BUDGET
Austria is generally an affordable destination for travelers on all budgets. The cost of your trip to Austria really depends on the level of comfort you want. If you are backpacking and planning on staying in dormitories, hostels and eating fast food then budget between 50 to 100 euros per day. If you prefer to stay in 3-4 star hotel rooms and eat in mid-range restaurants you could spend anywhere between 100 to 200 euros per day. If you want to enjoy luxury 4-5 star accommodation and gourmet restaurants then budget at least 200 to 500+ euros per day.
IS AUSTRIA SAFE FOR FEMALE TRAVELERS?
Safety does not need to be a huge concern for women travelers in Austria which is considered a generally very safe country to visit. As with any country you visit, always be extra careful when walking alone or at night. Some parts of Austria aren’t as safe as other areas so do your research before you go and avoid these places. Based on many years of travel in Europe I would never leave home without insurance and recommend checking out the travel insurance plan that World Nomads can offer you a few weeks before your Austria trip.
AUSTRIA VISA CHECKER
AUSTRIA FLIGHT DEALS
AUSTRIA TOURS & ACTIVITIES
AUSTRIA PACKING TIPS
Packing for a trip to Austria, like most other places in Europe, is a breeze. You really don’t need as much travel gear as you may think for a trip to Austria and it’s always best to travel light whenever possible.
That said, the gear you do bring on your trip should be the very best option available for you and that doesn’t always mean the most expensive. Jetset Bunnies around the globe are always discovering the latest and the greatest in travel gear for women and this is where we share our awesome finds with you.
If you’re visiting Austria during the warmer months it will be much easier to travel light. Pack mainly lightweight and breathable clothing but still be prepared for cold mornings and evenings depending on the month you visit. You’ll need to wrap up warm between November and February. So pack a warm sweater, waterproof coat, gloves, scarves and a wooly hat if you’re traveling during winter.
Other essential items to pack for a trip to Austria include, most importantly, a good quality travel backpack. Choose the brand carefully and make sure you find the right size backpack for your torso. Believe me, doing this will make all the difference and prevent major backache. Read our related blog post with advice on how to choose the best backpacks for women travelers. Smaller items to pack include a padlock, sleep sheet and a money belt to keep important documents close to you.
So if you’ve found your travel inspiration, figured out the practicalities and got the travel gear it’s time to stuff it all in a bag and go right? Well, no, hold your horses, you see there’s an art to packing which we have (almost) perfected. Hop to our Travel Packing Tips for all of the latest on this topic.