OVERVIEW OF AUSTRIA
Austria, the home of sausages, the Sound of Music, and seriously creepy puppets, is nestled right there in the middle of Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. Clearly, it likes to be the center of attention. But take one look at Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a native Salzburgian (?) and you would’ve already known that. *hair flip*
Austria’s main cities are Vienna (the capital, locally known as Wien), Salzburg (the capital of Sound of Music worship), Innsbruck, and Hallstatt (that sexy, water-adjacent fairy tale village you keep seeing on Pinterest).
AUSTRIA TRAVEL BASICS
CURRENCY | Euros (Check out xe.com for the most up-to-date currency conversion–they have a mobile app too!)
TIME ZONE | GMT+1, The entire country of Austria is six hours ahead of the Eastern time zone.
VISA / PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS | If you’re planning to spend less than 90 days in Austria/the Schengen area, you can get by using just your U.S. passport–no Visa required. (Except for all those sausages you’re planning on buying, ba-dum-tshh!) However, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date you leave the Schengen area.
LANGUAGE(S) SPOKEN | German is the primary language spoken in Austria.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO LOOK OUT FOR? | As with almost all of Europe, pick-pockets are probably your biggest safety concern though I’ve personally never seen anything in Austria that would warrant mentioning. However, do look out for terrifying marionettes–they’ll sneak up on you so hard.
Regardless of what I’ve experienced, always be on guard, travel smart, and think about picking up travel insurance before you go.
WHERE TO STAY IN AUSTRIA
Why not start by reading some hotel reviews on Tripadvisor?
- Hotel reviews for Vienna
- Hotel reviews for Salzburg
- Hotel reviews for Innsbruck
- Hotel reviews for Hallstatt
Then when you’re ready, book your hotel room on Booking.com (my go-to booking site, I mean, it’s right there in the name…).
- Book a hotel room in Vienna
- Book a hotel room in Salzburg
- Book a hotel room in Innsbruck
- Book a hotel room in Hallstatt
- Or just use this handy widget ⇣⇣⇣
Additionally, there’s always Airbnb and I can help you save $40 on your first Airbnb stay. Just click here to activate the no-strings discount and shop away!
AUSTRIA TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
European plug adapter | If you plan on plugging anything in while you’re in Austria, you’ll need one (or, let’s be real, several) of these.
Austria guidebook | My choices would be:
German language book | I love these pocket-sized language guides and I have quite the collection going. They’re great for learning the basics but my favorite part is the menu guide–decode what it is you’re eating!
The Sound of Music | If you’re headed to Salzburg, you must absolutely catch up on all things Sound of Music. And if your husband’s not into it, just tell him it’s a WWII film. I mean, there are evil Nazis.
Salzburg Card | One thing that helped me save so much time and money during my time in Salzburg was picking up a Salzburg Card. It gets you admission into all the top tourist sites at a discount, in addition to free travel on public transportation. Like, why wouldn’t you get it? The same thing exists in Vienna as well.
MY POSTS ON AUSTRIA
I had been trying to squeeze a visit to Salzburg into my Munich trips for years and finally got around to it! Every Oktoberfester needs a break and Salzburg, Austria makes the PERFECT day trip! This post is all about how to pull it off yourself.
It includes info on what there is to do in Salzburg, the top sights, my experience with the Salzburg Card, some optional tours you can take while you’re there, and how to get there and back from Munich, Germany.
Since I haven’t been to Vienna myself, I interviewed a friend on his first impressions of the city. Check out his experience for a little taste of what to expect in Vienna, Austria!
But first, Pin me ⇣