Useful information : When to go, Getting around...
When to go
Austria is a mountainous country with very distinct seasons. The winters are very cold and snowy and the ski resorts are packed from mid-December to late March. Winter is also a very busy season in terms of events. Don’t miss the Advent and Christmas markets that take place all over the country and kick off the year with the New Year’s concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
For those who are feel the cold, the mid seasons are a good idea as spring is mild and sunny and autumn cool and pleasant. These seasons are ideal to enjoy Vienna, down a pint at the Beer festival (Gauderfest) of Zella am Ziller in May, admire the flower-decked alpine meadows in June and in autumn, celebrate the grape harvest in Lower Austria and Burgenland.
Finally, the summers, which are mild, sometimes hot but also rainy, are also the favourite tourist season, both in the mountains and towns. Salzburg in late July is thronged with crowds for the International Festival of Classical Music.
Formalities and useful addresses
Official Austria Tourism Board – www.austria.info/uk
Money and budget
Banks are open Mon-Fri 8-12.30pm and 1.30-3pm (5.30pm on Thursdays).
Credit cards are widely accepted everywhere in the major cities: hotels, restaurants, shops, etc.
ATMs are very common, even in rural areas.
Health and safety
European Emergency Number – [TEL] 112
Police – [TEL] 133
Medical Emergencies – [TEL] 144
Current is 220V so American travellers will need an AC adapter.
January 6 – Epiphany
May 1 – Labour Day
October 26 – National Day
December 8 – Immaculate Conception Day
December 25, 26 and 31
Staying with the locals – Widely available, this option allows you to lodge for next-to-nothing and see how the Austrians really live on a daily basis.
Post offices are open Mon-Fri 8am-12pm and 2-6pm. In major cities, the main post office branches (and those in train stations) stay open at lunchtime.
Vienna International Airport – www.viennaairport.com