I must have been around 12-13 years old when I saw ‘Sound of Music’ for the first time. Maybe that is why I associate music to Austria. Yes, music is an integral part of Austria. But it is so much more than that. Austria is full of quaint villages, baroque architecture, Alps perfect for skiing, numerous palaces, lots of chocolate cake and so much more. On this page, you can find some quick Austria travel tips.
Austria Travel Tips:
Visa required for Indians: Austria is part of the Schengen zone and hence Indians require a Schengen tourist visa to go here.
Languages spoken here: German is the official language and in addition, Austrian German, Hungarian and Slovenian are also spoken here. Hallo, Danke, Guten Morgan, Wie geht es dir are Hello, Thank you, Good morning, How are you in German Capital: Vienna
Location: Central Europe. Neighbours are Czech Republic, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Slovakia and Hungary.
Electrical Travel Adapter specifications: 230 volts and 50 Hz. They use C and F plug types in Austria.
IDP required for Indians? If you are planning to drive in Austria, then it is recommended that you have an IDP and your local license.
SIM Cards: Most cards you buy in other countries in the Schengen zone will work without additional data or roaming charges.
WIFI connectivity: The cities are well-equipped with Wifi and you can find free Wifi in many areas in Vienna and Salzburg.
Safety in Austria: I have been twice to Austria as a solo female traveller and it is definitely quite safe as long as you keep your wits around you.
Where to go in Austria
Some of the suggested places to go in Austria are:
Vienna: Let us start with the capital and go explore the music scene of the city and have some delicious apple strudels.
Salzburg: From there, head to the beautiful city Of Salzburg near the German border with the views of the Alps.
Innsbruck: In the mood for some winter sports? Then head to the city of Innsbruck in the Tyrol region.
Zell Am See: Trails and Lifts from this town on Lake Zell takes us up to the Schmittenhöhe mountain for some skiing.
Bad Gastein: Next, head to the spa and Ski town with many hotels built on its steep slopes.
Hallstatt: Many people have seen pictures of this gorgeous village in Austria and wondered when we could go there.
Linz: As a European city of culture, Linz is definitely something to put on your list.
Graz: Last on the list is the city of Graz known for its medieval old town.
When to go to Austria
May-September is when the climate is more moderate and you have more fun stuff to do in Austria. If you are looking for a winter holiday, then the recommended time is between December and February.
How to get to Austria
By Air: From India, you can fly to Vienna international airport from most of the metropolitan cities. Additionally, you can fly to Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz from other cities in Europe.
By Rail: Austria has an extensive railway system and is operated by Austrian Federal Railways. I recently took a train from Salzburg to Ljubljana and it was definitely one scenic train ride.
By Road: Flixbus regularly operates to major cities in Austria from other cities in Europe.
Driving in Austria
You drive on the right side of the road in Austria. Also, you need a sticker to drive in Austria and it costs around 8-10 Euros. Recommended to carry an IDP.
Public Transportation in Austria
Vienna has a train, subway, tram and a bus system. Since they are mostly operated by the same operator, you can use the same ticket to get anywhere in Vienna using any of these modes of transport. You can either hail a taxi from a taxi stand or book an Uber.
In Salzburg, I walked extensively but used the bus services to get to Hallstatt from Salzburg. It costs approximately 13 Euros for a trip from Salzburg to Hallstatt one way and you can buy the ticket from the bus driver while boarding the bus. There is no subway in Salzburg and you can always ask your hotel to hail you a cab like I did.
Where to stay in Austria
Find some recommendations on where to stay in Austria.
What to eat in Austria
There are lots of options for vegetarians in Austria. I have had different varieties of vegetarian food in Austria. Due to its close proximity to Italy and Germany, the cuisine is quite similar. There is an abundance of both Italian and German dishes. In addition, you can find many Falafel shops around Vienna. Coffee is a must when you go to Austria and it is recommended that you have an Eiskaffee when you are there. I loved eating the Sacher Torte, a special type of chocolate cake found in Austria. Apple Strudel is also another must-have when you are in Austria. Kaiserschmarnn or shredded pancake with apple sauce is something I tried out in Hallstatt and it was quite delicious. You can also find a wide array of Knodel, which is basically a dumpling filled with either savoury or sweet fillings. If you love egg like me, then don’t forget to try out the Spatzle or the egg noodles.
What to shop in Austria?
I usually do not shop much on my trips and buy only fridge magnets. I travel light and end up buying gifts only at the last stop. But a reader requested that I add this information and so I have sourced an article on what to shop in Austria. I did buy Mozart balls (we did have a good laugh about this when I got back) in Salzburg, a Lederhosen for my nephew from Hallstatt and a snow globe. I contemplated buying a Sacher Torte for my family back in India from the Sacher hotel in Salzburg but I still had more than 3 weeks left on the road and I decided against it.
There are numerous things to do in Austria. But some of the recommended things to do in Austria below:
Things to Do in Austria
Fall in love with the architecture of Vienna. If Prague is full of colourful buildings, then Vienna is the more subdued version with lots of cream and white buildings. Visit the many palaces around the area.
Visit the birthplace of Mozart.
Take a 'Sound of Music' tour in Salzburg
Go see a musical opera for 4 euros at the Vienna State Opera house.
Visit the quaint village of Hallstatt.
Go skiing in the Austrian Alps.
Spend a relaxing day in one of the many magical resort ski towns around Salzburg.
So hope you found my tips for Austria helpful.
This post originally appeared here.