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Austria travel guide - Ταξιδιωτικός οδηγός για την Αυστρία

Travel guide for Austria

Small in size but not in what it can offer you. Few countries combine different environments and landscapes so effectively. One day you can be on the peak of the Alps and the next gazing at imperial Vienna. Whether you like Alpic scenery or an elegant lifestyle combined with good food, in Austria you can have both. In our travel guide below you will find whatever you need for your first visit to Austria.

General information

  • You can travel in Austria, with your ID if you are European. More information for the necessary travel documents, depending on your nationality and destination can be found here.
  • The currency voltage in Austria is 220-230V and the frequency is 50Hz. Socket type C/F.
  • The currency in Austria is the Euro €. In order to be updated on the latest currency changes check: XE Currency Converter
  • As far as religion goes most of the population are Catholic Christians.
  • Free roaming is applied for Europeans, so you can use your mobile data. Student packages have to be monitored. For non-eu citizens check here.
  • In Salsburg one of the most important music composers was born, Mozart.
  • The population of Austria is around 8,8 million inhabitants according to the latest survey.

Budget

Although Austria isn’t one of the cheapest destinations, there are suitable packages for every budget. As we have mentioned before accommodation is subjective to the needs of every traveller, and the prices are the following:

Low budget: The cheapest place to stay, as everywhere else, is in a hostel or a dormitory where prices start at 10€-25€.

Mid budget: Private rooms in a hotel or apartments for rent on the airbnb platform are on average 35€-55€ per night with the price rising if you want breakfast or half board included.

High budget: Luxury accommodation in a 4 or 5 star hotel can start at 65€, but may exceed 500€.

The cheapest accommodation is further away from the city center, the sights and the city rhythms and you will  need transportation. In this situation it is better to spend a little more money for accommodation and stay within walking distance of the places that interest you  since you will be spending that extra money on transportation anyway, as well as wasting precious  time.

Traditional Food

Wiener Schnitzel: Viennese Schnitzel! This is the most well known dish in Vienna and is made from beef scallop, breaded and fried in hot oil and butter

Knödel: Knodel have many versions and are made of various starchy materials. There are Knodel made of potatoes, bread, dough and semolina. Plain or with fillings, boiled or fried, it is a favourite accompaniment for the Austrians.

Tafelspitz: Boiled beef served in fillets with apple and horseradish sauce. It is often called a national dish and traditionally it is served on Sundays.

Apfelstrudel: The favourite dessert of Austrians. Likewise, Strudel can be found in many versions: sweet, less sweet, salty, with cheese. History has it that the oldest Strudel recipe dates back to 1696, from a manuscript in the Library of Vienna.

Bread: White or rye sourdough bread are the common staples of every bakery from the tiniest village to the cities. Almost every village has its own bakery which, beyond the common staples, offers a range of more unusual versions, some sweeter, some saltier.

Sachertorte: Classical Viennese chocolate cake. Characteristics are the apricot jam and hard icing.

Transportation

In Austria the transportation network is pretty advanced and there are various ways of getting around from one area to another. Below we enlist various options, leaving the final choice to the preferences of each traveller.

Bus: The bus network is very economical and widespread. There are various companies like the Flix bus which are one of the most economical. Enjoy a trip on a bus from which you can take in the scenery around, and the beautiful landscapes if you are in the countryside.

Train: Trains are the most common means of public transport in Austria. They are new and comfortable and connect all the big cities, as well as the smaller ones. Furthermore, they have cheap tickets for international transports beyond domestic routes.

Car: You can rent a car and tour around Austria independently enjoying all the sights and landscape routes, without following any particular program or participating in a package tour. After all, a lot of places worth visiting are only accessible by car or on foot. You can buy a map from one of the gas stations along the way. However, as you can use free roaming in Austria, you should be fine using your GPS. Prices start at 30€ per day for a car which obviously isn’t the most economical way of getting around unless you are a company of people.

Availability and prices of the biggest car rental companies can be found here.

Airplane: You will miss the beautiful scenery along the way, but you will get to your destination faster. There are a lot of offers and cheap flights which tempt you to book a ticket and it might be the best option if you are pressed for time. Prices for domestic routes can start from as low as 10€, but bear in mind you will pay extra for anything beyond hand luggage, as with Ryan Air for example.

Public Means of Transport: The prices differ from town to town but on average a simple ticket costs 2.30€. Extra opportunities for cheaper transportation exist for example in the Vienna metro where you can buy a weekly ticket at the price of 17€.

What to Do

Skiing & Snowboarding

No one goes to the Alps without trying one or the other. Selected destinations with resorts for these sports are Innsbruck, Isgl, Salzburg etc. The price of renting equipment is around 50€.

Cycling

Austria is known for its beautiful cycling lanes alongside its river banks. Although Austria is a country with many mountains, the cycling lanes are flat with a few slopes and are suitable for both experienced cyclists as well as beginners. The most well known cycling lane is the Danube lane from Passau, Germany which reaches Vienna, and attracts cyclists from all over the world every summer.There are additional, popular lanes along the river Ivv which passes through three countries (Switzerland, Austria and Germany), the river Mol and the river Mur.

Μusic

Many visitors travel to Austria to experience the musical heritage. Classical and Jazz music concerts at regular prices can be found both in Vienna and Salzburg, as well as in the rest of the country. Many festivals with all kinds of music also take place in many areas with the most popular being the Avant-Garde Salzburg Festival.

Hiking

It is quite safe to go hiking in the Austrian Alps without a guide as there is a large network of marked paths as well as hiking shelters. However, each year there are a few fatal accidents due to carelessness on behalf of the hikers. It would be better not to take initiatives, not to side track the marked paths and not to attempt climbing in bad weather conditions or without the necessary equipment. The effort is worth it and the scenery is magical, far from a common mountain landscape.

Vienna

The largest city and the capital of Austria. Imperial with its many palaces,the admiral church of St. Stephan,(where Mozart’s funeral was held), the amazing Christmas atmosphere and market and the delicious food. Impossible not to visit.

Capital of Austria,Vienna

For available offers on accommodation check here.

Hallstatt

Hallstatt is a village in Austria, built on a steep lake shore with the same name. It is a popular tourist destination due to its unique landscape, which combines the historical architecture with the picturesque settlement, the lake and the high mountains which surround it as well as the rich prehistoric, archaeological and cultural sites of the area and the option for sports activities. Suitable for anyone who wants relaxation, tranquility and contact with nature.

Hallstatt, the beautiful village in Austria.

For accommodation availability look here.

Salzburg

The historic center of the city is a world heritage site of Unesco. Salzburg attracts a lot of tourists as it is the birthplace of the music composer Mozart, and one can see his house there which has been turned into a museum. Enjoy the winter landscape.

Packing Tips & When to Go

In Austria there are two tourist seasons: one from May till September and the other around Christmas and New Year celebrations. The advantages of visiting during the summer period are obviously the good weather, the Alps devoid of snow and full of vegetation, and the long lasting day. Also, during the summer season many festivals are held.

If you attempt outdoor activities during the summer season you will need:

Cotton clothes: Although their summers are quite cool and breezy it would be a good idea to wear cotton or linen clothes to avoid sweating.

Walking or hiking shoes: For those with a more adventurous spirit who want to go trekking up the mountains.

Sunscreen: The sun can burn your skin as much in the mountains as by the sea or in the cities, so lather it on while on holiday.

During winter it is cold and dull and the thin layers of snow transform Austrian cities and landscapes into magical spectacles. December also gives you the opportunity to browse the Christmas markets which will remain unforgettable.

If you are planning to go hiking in winter you will need the correct equipment and shoes as well as really warm clothes. If you are trying out a winter sport you can hire out the equipment from the mountain sports center.

Useful Words

The official language is Austrian (Standard) German which has some lexical differences with German, several of which have to do with the kitchen or the house.

Practically everyone speaks English. Only the elderly you might encounter in some villages might not speak English. Whoever speaks German will of course have no problem communicating.

Words

YesJaGoodnightGute Nacht
NoNeinGoodnightAuf Wiedersehen
HelloHalloI’m sorryEntschuldigung
Good morningGuten MorgenThank youDanke
Good EveningGuten TagPleaseBitte
How are you?Wie geht es Ihnen?

Useful Sites & Apps

Nowadays, before or during travelling we always have some useful websites and apps which guide us towards the destinations we want according to our budgets. We have chosen certain websites and apps which have helped us a lot, or have been recommended a lot and have high grades. Apart from the really well known ones there are also a lot of lesser known ones which can assist you just as well. We offer you our proposals below:

Booking.com

With a plethora of choices, traveller grades, and a lot of offers for those who have booked many destinations, promo codes for you and your friends, discounts and many other advantages. Start booking to discover all the available options and offers. Prices and available rooms can be found here.

Air Bnb

With over one million properties all around the world, and always increasing, ideal for a low budget stay even in expensive areas. Furthermore, because you stay in people’s villas, houses or flats you are made to feel more at home by the host of each destination and the homely surroundings. Find available rooms here.

Hotels.com

Registering here is free and easy. Every hotel on this platform will grant a free tenth night, so if you stay for ten nights the tenth night is free. 

Trip Advisor

This is a very well known website for travellers with a lot of information. It is the largest travelling platform in the world where you can view thousands of reviews, opinions and recommendations as to where and how to travel, even for the most demanding traveller. Look, compare and then visit.

Omio.com

Whatever you need is a click away. Find the best offers from the best companies for trains, buses, planes and ships. Travel to Canada, the USA and Europe. We use it often when we are already abroad and want to visit a neighbouring country. Check available routes here.

Kiwi.com

The first website which every traveller always checks with. Direct, fast pricing and comparing of air tickets throughout the world. We love the filter “Towards any destination” which presents to us, in order of pricing, all the flights available to our chosen destination. The best solution for a last minute trip.

GetYourGuide

A site which all adventurous travellers love as well as those who wish to visit museums and concerts. All the available activities and tours around the world gathered in a concise list. Read the reviews from each traveller well before booking your activities in order to avoid any misunderstandings with the organisers of each activity as to the days and times. We have tried it many times in America, Asia and Africa without any problems.

Discover Cars

For car rentals at the lowest prices. Car service in over 150 countries, with many offers and support in over 12 languages and with any special requirements.

Hotel Tonight

Here you will find last minute discounts on vacancies from hotels. This is an amazingly simple app and it doesn’t take long to book a room.You may search in each town for sights and maps. Furthermore, you can check the reviews and photos of other travellers in order to be sure about the reliability of each hotel. It also has a 24/7 customer service. If you’re stuck somewhere and you need a room desperately, this is the perfect app for you.

City Maps 2Go

Maps for travelling, hiking, mountain cycling and many other activities. A necessary app for every adventure, activity or touring abroad. You may only download one map per country, whereas it was possible to download two in the past. For an additional map you need to pay. Alternatively, as soon as you have looked at the information on a map you can delete it and then download a new one. 

You can mark all the places of interest on the map you have downloaded. Whether they are sights, shops, or restaurants you can use the directions guide to get there. The great advantage to this app is that you don’t need to have internet connection although it might get stuck a few times. Nevertheless, it is quite a reliable and useful app.

iVisa.com

More information for the necessary travel documents, depending on your nationality and destination can be found here.

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