AUSTRIA

Glorious Alpine scenery, monumental Habsburg architecture, and the world’s favourite musical – Austria’s tourist industry certainly plays up to the clichés. However, it’s not all bewigged Mozart ensembles and schnitzel; modern Austria boasts some of Europe’s most varied museums and contemporary architecture not to mention attractive and sophisticated cities whose bars, cafés and clubs combine contemporary cool with elegant tradition.

R Travels is an established ground handler in Austria, contributing our optimum expertise, with a rare touch of personalized concern, to deliver and ensure a complete and delighted clientele, who will carry back with them an authentic and rich experience of their visit. As of now, being a fully-fledged DMC we are specialized to handle FIT’S, Groups and Incentives. Our concentrated goal is to pursue innovation and adapt to changes by constantly increasing our services, based on a pro-active approach to the requirements of our valued customers. To provide leisure and travel related service through superior and professional accessibility and to diversify the range of products and quality. Our team will be committed to provide our customers with a personalized and reliable service and will work closely with each other in order to maintain our corporate identity as a professional organization. To build upon our position as a market leader in the Tourism & Hospitality Industry and provide a reliable, quality service that will make us different from other companies.


Capital: Vienna
Airport : Vienna International Airport(VIE)
Country Code: 43
Credit Cards: All major credit cards accepted in tourist areas: American Express, Visa, Master Card and Diners Club
Currency: Schilling
Departure Tax: Approximately €45
Drives on the: Right
Electricity: 230 V
Ethnic Groups: 81% Austrian; 2.7% German; 2.2% Turks
Location: Central Europe
Official Language(s): German
Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestant
Time Zone: CLT (UTC -4 and -6)
Tipping: Tipping is expected but servers are not dependent on tips, so 5 - 10% is acceptable for a major meal.


The best time to visit Austria depends on whether you’re aiming for urban or rural parts. Most of the mountain resorts, for example, have two distinct tourist seasons, one for winter sports enthusiasts, the other for summer hikers. In between times, you may find 12 many of the tourist facilities closed. More urban centres, however, act as year-round tourist destinations, with the number of visitors swelling during peak holidays and annual festivals – Vienna pulls in crowds over Christmas, New Year and, of course, Fasching (the ball season), while the Salzburg Festival ensures a steady stream of well-heeled visitors in July and August.

For the best of the warm weather, plan to go between April and October – Austrian summers, in particular, are reliably warm, but not overpoweringly so. If you’re skiing, you can pretty much guarantee a good covering of snow from November onwards to April. Away from the ski resorts, winter travel can’t really be recommended, since the weather can be pretty wet and miserable. Weather conditions vary only slightly across the country, with the alpine regions decidedly cooler, the lowland regions in the north and east enduring more continental conditions of colder winters and hotter summers, and the southeast of the country enjoying longer, warmer, almost Mediterranean summers. Be aware that whatever the season, if you’re at a high altitude, the weather can change quickly and dramatically.The possibility of a thundery shower exists at any time of the year.

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Austria, one of Europe's most popular holiday destinations, attracts tourists year-round with places to visit in both summer and winter. In fact, with some of Europe's finest skiing, winter is almost as busy as summer in the spectacular mountain regions. Visitors are drawn as much for the scenic beauty of this Alpine republic's provinces as they are for splendid cities like Vienna (Wien), the historic capital, and beautiful Salzburg, birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. One of Europe's smallest countries, Austria is predominantly a nation of upland areas and high mountains, with the Eastern Alps occupying a good 60 percent of its territory. The River Danube flows for about 350 kilometers from west to east through the northern part of the country, adding to its allure as a tourist destination. Find the best sightseeing opportunities and things to do with this list of the top-rated tourist attractions in Austria:

The Vienna Hofburg: Austria's Imperial Palace
The spectacular Hofburg Palace in Vienna was for centuries the seat of Austria's monarchy, the powerful Habsburgs. Now the President conducts state business in the same rooms that once belonged to Emperor Joseph II. Nearly every Austrian ruler since 1275 ordered additions or alterations, resulting in many different architectural influences, including Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Classicism. Together with its squares and gardens, the entire Hofburg complex occupies 59 acres encompassing 19 courtyards and 2,600 rooms. Highlights of a visit include the Imperial Silver Collection and an array of dining services giving a taste of the lavish imperial banquets that once took place here; the Sisi Museum, focusing on the life and times of Empress Elisabeth; and the Imperial Apartments, a series of 19 rooms once occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife.

Salzburg Altstadt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
As the residence of Prince Archbishops, Salzburg was a spiritual center from the earliest days of Christianity in Europe. The Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter, in the heart of the Altstadt (Old Town) was founded by St. Rupert in AD 690 and served as the residence of the Archbishops until the early 1100s. The Prince Archbishops employed some of the finest artists and architects of their times to build and decorate their churches, residences, and monasteries, and although these have been "updated" in the tastes of successive centuries, the medieval and Baroque buildings combine to form a beautiful old quarter to explore. Highlights are St. Peter's Abbey and its church, along with the beautiful cemetery and its catacombs (which you may recognize as a filming site for The Sound of Music). Nearby is the cathedral, and wandering among its colorful Baroque burgher houses, you'll find charming squares and attractions that include the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, now a museum. Above the beautiful spires and cupolas soars Salzburg's castle of Hohensalzburg, which you can reach by a funicular.

The Spanish Riding School, Vienna
The Spanish Riding School dates back to the time of Emperor Maximilian II, the man responsible for introducing the famous Lipizzaner horses into Austria in 1562. Today, it's one of the only places where the classical style of riding preferred by aristocracy is still practiced. Viewing the famous equestrian displays in the Baroque Winter Riding School - held here since the time of Charles VI - is a must when in Vienna. Built in 1735, the magnificent hall was designed for the nobility to demonstrate their riding skills. Tickets to watch these magnificent animals perform their ballet are highly sought after, so book online as far in advance as possible.

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
On Vienna's outskirts, the Baroque Schönbrunn Palace was completed in the early 1700s and was later converted into a summer residence by Empress Maria Theresa. Highlights of a tour through the 40 rooms of the palace that are open to the public are the Royal apartments; the Great Gallery, with its ornate ceiling paintings; the Million Room; Maria Theresa's salon, with its carved and gilded rosewood panels; and the Hall of Mirrors, with its gold Rococo-framed mirrors. Behind the 1,441-room palace stretch 500 acres of parks and gardens, also in the 18th-century Baroque style.

Hallstatt and the Dachstein Salzkammergut
Hallstatt, undoubtedly one of the most picturesque small towns in Austria, is a good place from which to explore the spectacular Dachstein Salzkammergut region, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The beautiful Baroque architecture testifies to Hallstatt's wealth, which is based on its long history of salt production from prehistoric times. You can visit the underground salt lake in the nearby Hörnerwerk cavern, or explore the Dachstein Caves, one of Europe's most impressive cavern networks, which are, in places, up to 1,174 meters deep. Highlights include the Giant Ice Cave, with its sub-zero summer temperatures and huge caverns with magnificent frozen waterfalls, and the Mammoth Cave, with its huge pipe-shaped galleries formed by an ancient underground river. Above ground, visitors can tackle the superb 5 Fingers viewing platform, an incredible metal structure hanging over a 400-meter sheer drop with excellent views of the surrounding Alps.

Skiing at Kitzbühel and Kitzbüheler Horn
One of the best places to ski in Austria, the famed resort town of Kitzbühel spoils snow lovers with its 170 kilometers of skiable pistes and slopes dotted with little mountain huts, where they can stop for traditional Alpine snacks and warming drinks. Although it's the site of the annual Hahnenkamm, the toughest of all downhill ski races, Kitzbühel has plenty of terrain for all skill levels in its three skiing areas, and the smallest of these, Bichlalm, is dedicated to freeriders. But Kitzbühel is not just for skiers. With its walls and frescoed houses, and snow-covered Alps for a backdrop, the town is as pretty as Alpine villages get.
The 1,998-meter Kitzbüheler Horn that delights skiers in the winter is a favorite for mountain hikers in the summer, and you can also reach the summit by cable car via the Pletzeralm. It's considered one of the finest summit views in the Tyrol: to the south from the Radstädter Tauern to the Ötztal Alps; to the north, the nearby Kaisergebirge; to the west, the Lechtal Alps; and to the east, the Hochkönig. To the south of the Kitzbüheler Horn rises the 1,772-meter-high Hornköpfli, also reached by cableway.

Medieval Burg Hochosterwitz
To the east of St. Veit, on a crag rising some 160-meters above the valley, sprawls the imposing Burg Hochosterwitz, Austria's most important medieval castle. After a turbulent history, the castle - first mentioned in 860 AD - was captured by the Khevenhüllers, and was enlarged in 1570 in the face of Turkish invaders. Never captured by a foe, the castle has remained in the Khevenhüller family since. The steep access road to the castle, the Burgweg, winds its way up through the 14 defensive gates to the beautiful arcaded courtyard where you'll find the little chapel with its wall and ceiling paintings from 1570 and the church at the southwestern end of the castle with its high altar dating from 1729.


Most annual Austria holidays center around the country’s long history in music. They generally celebrate a certain conductor or type of music, such as the Salzburg Festival (Salzburger Festpiele) or Schubertiade. These festivals are well-known and attract visitors from all over the world. For some festivals, it is necessary to book tickets to events or shows in advance. However, there are also plenty of local festivals which are well worth experiencing and don’t require any advanced planning to attend.

Schubertiade
This festival is dedicated to the music of Franz Schubert and is considered to be the most important Schubert music festival in the world. Dating back to 1976, the celebration takes place every year in Hohenems in April and October. A range of performances including orchestral concerts, piano recitals, and chamber concerts are to be enjoyed. The festival prides itself in keeping its venues intimate and small, adding to its popularity.

Glatt & Verkehrt Festival
Loosely translated, the festival name means ‘straight & backwards’. Established in 1997, Glatt showcases international artists who use humor and wit in their music. Hosted in the town of Krems, the festival usually holds 15 concerts during a one-month period between June and July. Many of the concerts and performances are free of charge.

Salzburg Festival
The most famous event in Austria, the Salzburger Festspiele (July to September) dates back to 1920. The festival includes both musical and dramatic performances, which are held throughout the Baroque city of Salzburg. It celebrates the life of Wolfgang Mozart, who was born in Salzburg, and the annual highlight is the production of Jedermann (Everyman).

Bregenz Festival
With a history over 60 years, the Bregenzer Festspiele is a spectacular, open-air operatic performance that takes place on a lake in the old town of Feldkirch. For four weeks in the summer (July to August), barges are set-up and the surrounding areas become a big outdoor stage. The festival attracts opera lovers from all over the world.

Musikfestival Grafenegg
This music festival which has only a relatively short history has grown increasingly popular each year since its beginnings in 2007. Taking place on the grounds of the beautiful Grafenegg Castle, in the open-air, the music program includes a wide array of classical music, such a symphonies, chamber music, and recitals. The festival usually is held from late August to early September.

Vienna Weihnachtsmarkt
If visiting Austria during November and December, an absolutely must-visit is the famous Weichnachtsmarket, or Christmas Market, in Vienna. Christmas in Austria is not as commercial at it is in the US, but families still enjoy typical Christmas eats and drinks, such as glühwein (hot wine) and lebkuchen (ginger bread). This is a great place to buy handicrafts and for kids or enjoy a traditional merry-go-round.


Tourist locations are subject to special regulations, allowing longer opening hours. Shops in stations and airports are open during travelling times (often until 11pm).

HIGH STREETS
Renowned high streets include:
in Vienna: Kärntner Straße, Mariahilfer Straße
in Graz: Herrengasse, Annenstraße
in Linz: Landstraße und Umgebung, Taubenmarkt
in Salzburg: Getreidegasse, Linzergasse
in Innsbruck: Maria-Theresien-Straße
in Klagenfurt: Alter Platz
in Bregenz: Kaiserstraße, Kornmarktplatz
in Eisenstadt: Hauptstraße
in St. Pölten: Kremser Gasse
The longest shopping streets

MARKETS
Take time for a trip to the markets: the colourful bounty and international flair of Vienna's Naschmarkt, the regional delicacies of the farmers' markets or the buzz of the ever increasing number of the flea markets and jumble sales - you can be sure to pick up a bargain! The Christmas Markets, open during advent, are especially beautiful with their stands filled with Christmas decorations, gingerbread and artwork.

POPULAR SOUVENIRS
Austrian artwork and handicraft is highly sought after. Choose from:
Traditional clothing and accessories (Trachten)
Loden textiles from Salzburg and Tyrol
Crochet from Vorarlberg
Ceramic and porcelain (Augarten handicraft in Vienna, Gmundner ceramics, pottery from Stoob/Burgenland)
Glass and crystal (e.g. Swarovski/Tyrol)
Wood carvings and much more.
Or take home a culinary souvenir - pumpkin seed oil and schilcher wine from Styria, genuine Salzburg Mozart Balls, world-famous Viennese Sachertorte (chocolate cake), Zauner stollen from Bad Ischl, fine wines from Burgenland and Lower Austria, or schnapps and brandy.

VALUE ADDED TAX - REIMBURSEMENT
Tourists resident outside the EU are entitled to reclaim the VAT on purchases over EUR 75. A form must be completed in the shop where the goods are purchased, the goods must be taken out of the EU within 3 months of the purchase date and they must be stamped by a customs officer upon leaving the EU.


The voucher with which VAT is refunded upon leaving the EU is available in all shops with the signs "Global Blue TAX FREE SHOPPING" or "Premier TAX FREE".

Food Due to the distances that the once great Habsburg Empire stretched, the cuisine of present-day Austria has been shaped by the countries and regions it once controlled. Each region within Austria has its own specialities that make Austrian cuisine a true melting pot of tastes and styles. The country is known for its Viennese cuisine, made famous by its pastries and desserts.

Popular dishes include:
Tafelspitz: This dish contains beef boiled in a broth and is considered Austria’s national dish. It is traditionally served with apples, horseradish and chives sauce.
Liptauer: This is a spicy cheese spread that is served over a slice of bread.
Selchfleisch: This dish contains meat that has been smoked then cooked and served with sauerkraut and dumplings.
Wiener Schnitzel: One of Austria’s most famous dishes, it is a speciality of Viennese cuisine. Wiener Schnitzel is a very thin, breaded escalope of veal that is then deep fried.
Erdapfel Salat: Austrian potato salad that is marinated in vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. It is a favourite side dish for Wiener Schnitzel.
Sachertorte: This is a chocolate cake filled with apricot jam that is traditionally served with whipped cream.
Apfelstrudel: In English, this is Apple Strudel. It contains layers of thin pastry with apple filling, cinnamon and raisins.

Drink
In Viennese cafes, coffee is very popular and served in a variety of ways. It is usually served with a glass of water. Viennese hot chocolate is very rich, served with heavy cream. Almdudler is an Austrian soft drink with a flavour that is based on mountain herbs. Almdudler is considered Austria’s national drink. Eastern Austria serves as the nation’s wine country producing notable wines like Riesling and Veltliner. Austria offers a variety of beers with breweries located around the country. Popular brands include Stiegl, Ottakringer and Egger Bier.

Things to know:
In restaurants, a 10-15% service charge is usually included, however a further 5% is often left.

Drinking age: 16 for beer and wine, 18 for spirits.


Suggested Itinerary

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Family Tour

More fun with your family at Austria

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Honeymoon

Planning a honeymoon in Austria

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Luxury Austria

Experience Luxury of Austria

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Best of Austria

Explore best of Austria

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City Tours

Short And sweet tour of Austrian Cities

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Styria

Styria also known as the "GREEN" heart of Austria

ABOUT DMC

R Travels is an established ground handler in Austria, contributing our optimum expertise, with a rare touch of personalized concern, to deliver and ensure a complete and delighted clientele, who will carry back with them an authentic and rich experience of their visit. As of now, being a fully-fledged DMC we are specialized to handle FIT’S, Groups and Incentives. Our concentrated goal is to pursue innovation and adapt to changes by constantly increasing our services, based on a pro-active approach to the requirements of our valued customers.

To provide leisure and travel related service through superior and professional accessibility and to diversify the range of products and quality. Our team will be committed to provide our customers with a personalized and reliable service and will work closely with each other in order to maintain our corporate identity as a professional organization.

To build upon our position as a market leader in the Tourism & Hospitality Industry and provide a reliable, quality service that will make us different from other companies.

Get in touch to start your project