Austria has four distinct seasons, averaging 20 degrees in the summer and zero degrees in the winter. Hiking and walking can be enjoyed from April to October, or you can hit the slopes from December to March.
When to fly to Austria
Vienna is a year-round city, though tourism is most popular in the main holidays: Easter, Christmas and summertime. In the Alps, winter is obviously peak season for skiing, though the summer is popular with walkers, hikers and bikers. As it is a year-round destination, cheap flights to Austria may take a bit of searching. The best bet is to fly into Vienna or even find a cheap flight to Bratislava and take the bus from there (about a 90-minute journey).
Late autumn (from October through to the start of December) and late winter (Late January through to March or the start of Spring) is the least popular time to visit, because of the less appealing weather.
Getting around Austria
Domestic Austria flights are available from Austrian Airlines and Tyrolean Airways.
The train service is extremely efficient and the network is extensive. All trains are comfortable and fast and it is unlikely that you will not be able to find a service to your destination. In some parts of the Alps old steam trains are available for transport between resorts. This is a slower way of travelling, but the views are spectacular.
For short trips take the bus, called the Bundesbus.
In the Alps, travel up the mountains is by cable cars, gondolas and ski lifts. Many stay open in the summer for hikers.
Austria insider information
- Salzburg is a beautiful old, elegant city; which draws Mozart enthusiasts in hordes looking for buildings associated with the great composer. The yellow house at number nine, Geitregasse street in which Mozart was born is now preserved as a museum. Also open to the public is the house in which he lived between 1773-1780 at Makartplatz 8.
- Austria’s capital is also its cultural centre and the most popular city to visit for tourists. Vienna has an abundance of museums, galleries, theatres, churches, cafés, restaurants and hotels. If you don’t know where you want to start, an organised sightseeing tour from the tourist board will let you see some of the sights of the city and help you become orientated. There are a number of tours on offer: guided walking tours, sightseeing tours by bus, boat, or bicycle and, more unusually, tours by “Segway”, a motorised scooter on which you can stand.
- The town of Innsbruck in the Tyrol region of the country is located in the Inn valley, surrounded by mountains. To get up to the mountains, the quickest way is to the take the Hungerburg Bahn.
- Austria has several world-class ski resorts. One of the most famous is the fashionable Kitzbuhel, which has an extensive area of pistes, excellent (if expensive) après-ski facilities and great nightlife.
- Zell-am-See, located on a lake, has been inhabited since Roman times. Today it is a picturesque ski resort, popular with all ranges of skier during the winter. It’s in the summer, however, that you can really see the beauty of the town’s location. Due to its location close to the Grossglockner mountain, the highest in Austria, it is possible to ski even in the summer months. Sailing, swimming and sunbathing by the lake may be more appealing.