After 2 years in Vienna, we give you our tips for activities and things to do during summer in Vienna
Visit Austria: our tips to prepare for your trip!
Aaah Austria! This country is very close to our hearts because we lived for 2 years in its beautiful capital, Vienna!
This city definitely charmed us and no doubt that our next trips to Austria will have the same effect! Here is an overview of this exciting country to prepare for your trip!
Introduction of Austria
Where is Austria?
Austria is a country in Central Europe, wedged between several countries: Italy, Switzerland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Slovenia.
Did you know that? Due to its geography, 2/3 of Austria is covered by the Alps! This is one of the major assets for tourism: snow sports in winter and hiking in summer!
This former empire is divided into 9 Bündeslander, that is to say, 9 federated states which have their own government and governor.
Weather in Austria
Being landlocked and mostly covered by mountains, Austria can be divided into 3 main climatic zones:
- the east, with a continental climate around Vienna (hot summers and cold winters);
- the west in Tyrol with a more alpine climate (high precipitation);
- between Innsbruck and Graz, via Salzburg, it is a transitional climate, temperate and humid.
As we mentioned in our article on Vienna, there is no good or bad season to travel in Austria. Of course, winter is completely magical and summer is good for hiking and various activities/sightseeing, but there is plenty to do all year round!
Getting to Austria
By train or bus
Coming by train or bus to Austria is probably the cheapest solution. On our side, we love to take the night train from Switzerland, Zurich more precisely. For a train trip from Paris, the tickets to go to Vienna start at 30 euros for a single seat (we don't recommend it for having tested it!). Add 30 euros for a bed in a compartment of 6; having a bed is the minimum to be comfortable on a night train, right ;)?
The bus is an alternative to the train, but you have to admit that it takes a bit longer if you leave from Paris. Count about 100 euros for a round-trip ticket and more than 20 hours of travel to Vienna.
Austria has several airports, the most important being Vienna (Flughafen Wien), followed by Salzburg (Salzburg Airport W. A. Mozart) and Innsbruck (Kranebitten Airport).
Cheap flight tickets to Austria can be found quite easily from most European cities. For example, it is possible to find return flights from Paris for less than 60 euros.
Find the best price for a flight to Austria
The more flexible you are on dates, the more likely you are to find a cheap flight. Ideally, try to book your tickets 2 to 3 months before departure.
Getting around Austria
If you are planning to visit one or more major cities in Austria, we recommend that you start from Vienna and take the train from the capital. This is the cheapest and fastest way!
To give you an example: a return flight from Paris to Vienna combined with a train ticket from Vienna to Salzburg will cost you much less than a return flight from Paris to Salzburg. You can find train tickets for 20 euros between Vienna and Salzburg (2 hours 30 minutes), or between Salzburg and Innsbruck (2 hours) on Trainline.
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What to do in Austria?
Austria is definitely a multi-faceted country: whether you like nature, art, music, or history, Austria is for you! We detail the main regions and cities of Austria with ideas for visits.
In our opinion, it would be a real shame to skip Vienna if you plan to travel to Austria. Straddling the Danube, the capital is full of historical and natural treasures, but also gourmet ones! After having lived there for 2 years, we have dedicated a series of articles to this city that means a lot to us. Don't miss its historical city center or Sissi's palace, Schönbrunn palace: you will discover small architectural jewels!
The city of Mozart offers a multitude of activities and visits for a few enchanting days through:
- the city's emblem, the Hohensalzburg fortress built 900 years ago;
- the Salzburg Cathedral where Mozart was baptized;
- the birthplace of this famous musician;
- the Getreidegasse, a small street in the old town where it is pleasant to stroll;
- Mirabell Palace and its beautiful gardens;
- Nockerln, the typical Salzburg dessert to be savoured without moderation!
A little less known than the two previous ones, the city of Innsbruck in Tyrol does not lack attractions! It is also called the capital of the Alps... The colorful facades of the baroque buildings along the Maria-Theresien-Strasse, the Little Golden Roof, and the Habsburg Imperial Palace are the must-sees of this charming historical city. From the medieval city center, it is easy to get some height and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains from the beautiful Bergisel ski jump.
In Tyrol more broadly, nature is in the spotlight with 5 nature parks and a national park that preserve the natural beauty of the Alps. Whether you are a hiker, a winter sports enthusiast, or simply a nature lover, Tyrol will never cease to amaze you!
The language of Austria
In Austria, German is the official language. The good news is that if you took German at school (Hochdeutsch), you will have no trouble making yourself understood.
However, be prepared to be a little surprised if you don't find exactly the terms you know. This is the case in Vienna, where certain expressions and formulations are derived from the city's dialect (Weanarisch), but also in Tyrol, which also has its own idiom! The Austrian accent can sometimes take many different forms, but pure Viennese is quite difficult to understand for someone who is not 100% German-speaking.
See you soon to read the rest of our adventures in Austria ;).
Austria: all our blog posts
Visit Vienna in 3 days: our itinerary to not miss anything of the city!
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When to visit the city of Vienna? A spring in Vienna
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Our 5 best restaurants in Vienna and our guide to traditional Austrian food
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The Vienna Ferris Wheel in the Prater Park
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What to do in Vienna in winter? Feel the magical atmosphere of Christmas!
Dress warmly and discover all the activities in Vienna between December and February: Christmas markets, mulled wine, and skating, all in a magical atmosphere!
When is the best time to visit Vienna? Our city’s guide regarding to the season
We often think it is better to visit Vienna in summer and winter, but spring and autumn are also good times to enjoy the capital!
Typical Austrian food and cuisine that we discovered in Vienna
A glimpse of the Austrian food and cuisine (schnitzel, semmel, potato, knödel, sachertorte...) in all it's lightness, of course.