How did I navigate the EU travel restrictions and successfully travel 7 European countries as an American traveler? Check out my travel tips and what I did to prepare for travel during Covid-19, and traveled safely during Covid-19, on my 2021 Europe solo travel to make your Europe 2022 trip planning easy.
AUSTRIA TRAVEL GUIDE
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TOP AUSTRIA SOLO TRAVEL ITINERARY
WILLKOMMEN IN ÖSTERREICH!
Austria – home to 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the historic city centers of Vienna, Graz and Salzburg, Austria is 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.
Austria 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.
LANGUAGES IN AUSTRIA
The official language is German.
How's Your German?
Need any easy way to brush up on your German for 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 Bolt, Uber, Carpoolworld, and other possible regional ridesharing services and apps (research in advance if they are in your destination area). There are also taxis and rental cars, of course.
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, Austria 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 Austrian 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.
- Compact heavy duty - 3 prong grounded safe Type E/F Plug adapter - Compatible in most of European countries such as
- Perfect for travelling and using with your iPhone charger, laptop charger, camera charger and other dual voltage chargers.
- Accepts plugs from all countries including USA, does not accept plugs from S. Africa
- Perfect for your travel needs: This is all you need to charge your cell phones, laptops, camera chargers, CPAP machine or anything else that is dual voltage Compatible.
- 2 in 1 Input: Accepts the standard N American 2 and/or 3 prong flat pin Plug (including polarized) - No Messy Universal Outlet
- Ultra Compact Size & Safe: only measures 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.75" & max load rating: 10-15A/250V, round pin thickness - 4.0 mm
- A Powerful Set of 12 Adapters - Our all-in-one international travel adapter set features 1 universal input socket that allows you to connect a plug from almost any country worldwide, including the 2-prong and 3-prong North American plugs.
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.
AUSTRIA TRAVEL BOOKING
AUSTRIA ECOTOURISM TIPS
There are ways to reduce your eco and carbon footprint through air travel, accommodations, tours, and activities in Austria. To help avoid greenwashing businesses, here are some eco-friendly or sustainable travel (also called responsible travel) tips and resources, you can use to book your travel.
ECO-FRIENDLY AIR TRAVEL
Skyscanner provides a ‘Greener flights’ filter highlighting flights that emit less CO2.
Purchase 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.
ECO-FRIENDLY GROUND TRANSPORTATION
When booking a rideshare in Austria, select the Bolt Green or Uber Green options instead of a traditional rideshare, or use Carpool Austria, to support the use of electric cars and carpooling for cleaner transportation in Austria.
Look for accommodations with the following self and third-party assessed certifications when you book:
Green Globe – Green Globe certifies hotels, resorts, conference centers, transportation, attractions, tour operators, and other tourism businesses globally on sustainable operations and management. Look for Austria and other European Green Global members.
Green Key Global is an internationally recognized environmental certification for the lodging and meetings industries, including hotels and hostels, campsites and holiday parks, restaurants and attractions in 65 countries. Search for Green Key awarded sites.
Living Building Challenge – if you want to stay in a true, sustainable building, find one certified by the Living Building Challenge. LBC’s certification directory shows all project types globally. Hopefully they will put in a filter soon to allow searching by hotels or hospitality type.
LEED Certified – the USGBC’s LEED Certified label on buildings, like many of the Marriott’s hotels, are those that have verifiably employed multiple and varying green building strategies to improve human and environmental health. Search the LEED directory for Austria certifications.
GSTC Certified – the Global Sustainable Tourism Council provides global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, as well as international accreditation for sustainable tourism Certification Bodies. Booking sites that offer GSTC certified sustainable are bookdifferent, EcoHotels, and Transat.
Another way to find an establishments implementing eco-friendly or sustainable practices, certified or not, is through Booking.com in which you’ll need to find and review each establishment’s ‘Sustainable Initiatives’ within the booking process. Starting 2022, however, you’ll be able to filter searches for accommodations with the Travel Sustainable badge. Finally!
MORE ECO-TRAVEL TIPS
AUSTRIA SAFETY TIPS
HOW TO TRAVEL AUSTRIA SAFELY
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.
AUSTRIA 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.
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.
AUSTRIA & EUROPE BLOG POSTS
(UPDATED 6/7/22) Using my Italy and Austria in 2 Weeks Solo Itinerary you’re now ready to plan 4 days in Vienna, right? Fabulous, because Vienna can easily be the highlight of your 2 weeks in Italy and Austria. Here’s my Vienna 4 day itinerary, with the Wachau Valley, perfect for over 50 single travel. It’s a perfect Vienna itinerary because it’s flexible enough to do in Vienna in 4 days, 3 days, or Vienna in 5 days.
(UPDATED 6/8/22) If you’re using my How to See Italy and Austria in 2 Weeks Solo and planned your one day in Innsbruck, let’s get you ready for the next leg of your Austria solo travel over 50 by learning how you can see the best of Salzburg in 2 days, even on a budget.
(UPDATED 6/7/22) Venture into Austria and find out how to spend the best 1 day in Innsbruck on a budget solo trip that’s full of amazing food and beer, outdoor activities, scenic Alps, history and beautiful architecture.