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AUSTRIA TRAVEL GUIDE
Hello, my name is Gwen, and here is my Austria travel guide for solo travel over 40, including budget, safety/female and eco-travel tips, photographs and interesting posts for your Austria travel planning.
WILLKOMMEN IN ÖSTERREICH!
Austria – the central European country where 62% is covered by the Austrian Alps full of Alpine villages and downhill skiing; centuries of Imperial history; castles and palaces; Mozart, Haydn and Strauss; Sigmund Freud; and, of course, the Porsche and Volkswagen (yeah, bus!). The capital, Vienna, rests on the Danube River, which runs for 1770 miles through 10 countries. The country is famous for its opera, stunning baroque architecture and tasty strudel. Don’t forget to try the Viennese coffee on a lazy afternoon or go running through the scenic landscape singing, “The hills are alive with the sound of music!” Ok, maybe not, but the country will make you want to. Yes, it’s that beautiful.
Get a Jump on Austria Travel Deals!
Explore attractions, airline, and transportation options now to get the best deals and fun in Austria.
LANGUAGES IN AUSTRIA
The official language is German.
How's Your German?
Brush up on your German before your trip to Austria.
Modern Austria, from the word “Austro”, is primarily a Western culture that is the German-speaking land of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire ruled by the Habsburg family from the 16th to the early 20th century (ending with World War I). A visit to Austria can provide visits to many of the former palaces and summer homes once inhabited by the Habsburgs, whose lineage also extends to many other European countries’ royal families.
POPULAR AUSTRIAN ACTIVITIES
You cannot go wrong visiting the vast number of Habspurg palaces and castles, such as the Hofburg and Schönbrunn palaces (too many to list them all here), along with visiting the Spanish Riding School, Melk Abbey, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, or the art museums galore. If you wish to be outside, why not try wine tasting, skiing in the Alps, hiking, or being on the water, such as at Hallstatt?
Austria uses the Euro (€). Exchange rates are usually favorable for Europeans but could fluctuate in the other direction.
Austria has all modern forms of transportation, including Uber (research in advance if they are in your destination area), although taxi service is said to cost the same. So, getting around, and booking transportation in advance, is no problem.
TIPPING IN AUSTRIA
Traveling in a new country is easier when you know the country’s tipping etiquette in advance as each country has its own rules. That said, country rules and norms can shift, so here is an international tipping resource for over 70 countries to use as a general guideline that I have found is constantly updated.
What’s not on there is how to tip a concierge, beauty salons or spas, travel or tour guides, etc. For these extras, it is acceptable to tip 10% at minimum. Remember, tipping is for good service only.
Additionally, you should always tip in the local currency (if tipping in cash), and do not be offended if your tip is refused as it may not be the norm. I feel it’s always better to offer a tip for good service than not, unless I know it will be considered offensive, like in Japan.
A key activity to do in your early planning stage is to know, at minimum, the national holidays. I so suggest also looking into the local holidays. It’s a complete bummer to spend time and money to take the holiday of your lifetime and when you show up at one of your key attractions, it’s closed due to a holiday. It’s also not fun trying to travel and have a hard time accessing travel or other essential resources when no one is around because, yes, it’s a local holiday. So take just a few moments to look at Austria’s holidays.
AUSTRIA ELECTRONIC ESSENTIALS
Besides money, required ID and your ticket, Australia voltage is 230V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz so bring Types C and F adapters (I recommend bringing 2!) for Austrian sockets and research if your electronics require a voltage converter, if not already included in the adapter; or, you can bring electronics already adapted for Australian outlets or wait to purchase them there (I recommend just bringing the adapter with converter). Remember, most smart phones, tablets and laptops don’t require a converter, but double-check your device(s) before you leave home. If you are going to another country other than Austria, you can check the global adapters list to make sure you’re prepared. I have also provided suggested adapters below for your convenience!
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TRAVEL DOCUMENTS FOR AUSTRIA
From the U.S., you will need a valid passport. No visa is required if your stay is under 90 days within each 180-day period. Make sure your passport expiration date is greater than 6 months from your return to the U.S. The U.S. State Department always has their link up to date with pertinent information when traveling to to Austria. It is advised to always check there during your planning stage and again before you leave. If you are not from the U.S., please check your government’s website.
VACCINATIONS FOR AUSTRIA
There are normally no vaccinations required for Austria. The U.S. State Department always has their link up to date with pertinent information when traveling to to Austria. It is advised to always check there during your planning stage and again before you leave. If you are not from the U.S., please check your government’s website.
SAFETY / FEMALE TRAVEL TIPS
AUSTRIA TRAVEL SAFETY
There is nothing I can recall from Austria making it more of a “safety concern” than traveling in my own home country, so my standard tips for female and solo travelers are:
- always carry photo ID with you; if you don’t want your passport on you at all times, at least carry a copy of it.
- always be “street wise”.
- always be aware of your surroundings, especially if you feel the need to imbibe or feel the need to “let loose” – you’re on vacation so have fun!
- never leave your food or drink unattended.
- keep your belongs on your person, or at least in your view in close proximity, at all times.
- be open to meeting and talking with new people – that is where a lot of the travel experience lies – but be careful on how you divulge personal information.
- research places in advance, if possible, so you know what to expect (i.e., “have a familiar view” – I like to Google the street view of new addresses I’m going to first).
- if something, someone or someplace makes you feel uncomfortable, go with your gut – leave.
BUDGET TRAVEL TIPS
BEST TIME TO VISIT AUSTRIA
Austria can be pricey, especially if you want to do it right. However, that’s not to say you can’t find budget accommodations, try local foods, or hit some great site seeing and entertainment on a budget. This is a country I would a little planning on if you are on a budget. Like other countries in Europe, Austria’s high, tourist season, and most expensive time, is the summer (June to August) – expect crowds to be heavy and prices to go up! Crowds are not as heavy in the spring (April and May) and Fall (September to October), where prices are better than the summer season – make sure you keep an eye on the spring weather (see my piece). The least expensive time to go to Austria would be November to March. Keep in mind, however, if you are going to a ski or winter sport area – prices could be high and you may want to book in advance.
Get a Jump on Austria Travel Deals!
Explore hotel, hostel, and apartment options now to get the best deals in Austria.
SUSTAINABILITY / ECO TRAVEL TIPS
It is very easy to do your part for the planet and implement environmental sustainability into your travel. If you would like to learn more about how you can implement environmentally sustainable, or eco-friendly, travel measures into your travel, please see my 10 Easy Eco Travel Tips and suggested Eco Travel Resources.
Additionally, if you are flying to, or within, Austria consider purchasing carbon offsets through your airline or through a third party, like MyClimate.org, Carbonfund.org, or terrapass. Carbon offsetting allows you to buy a certificate to reduce carbon emissions, a major contributor to climate change, which in turn contribute community projects across countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. There are several ways to go about this to help reduce your impact to climate change through your travel. Check it out!
Austria is one of my favorite countries! I’ve been fortunate enough to have been to Salzburg, Hallstatt, Innsbruck, Vienna and the Wachau Valley. Each city is beautiful in their own right, and the landscapes are second to none, but the capital, Vienna, blows my mind. The architecture, culture, food, art, history, sense of safety, public transportation system… It’s no wonder Vienna has been ranked the #1 city in the world to live 10 years in a row as of 2019. All I have to say is that if you haven’t been to Austria, GO!
PICTURES OF AUSTRIA
AUSTRIA BLOG POSTS
From my How to See Italy and Austria in 2 Weeks Solo you’re now ready to plan the Vienna leg of your trip, yes? Fabulous, because Vienna can easily be the highlight of your 2 week trip. Here’s my Vienna 4 day itinerary (with the Wachau Valley) perfect for solotravel, budget or not.
If you’re using my “How to Spend 2 Weeks in Italy” and planned your 2 Days in Verona on a Budget. Now you’re ready to venture into Austria and find out how I saw the best of Innsbruck on budget in 1 day full of amazing food and beer, outdoor activities, scenic Alps, history and beautiful architecture.
You’re dying to go to Europe but are solo on a budget? It’s OK – you’re not alone. Budgets are important to a lot of us, but if planned wisely they don’t have to be something that holds