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Austria

Destination Guide

Whether it’s snow-capped mountains or culture-packed cities, Austria appeals to all travellers whatever the season. For music lovers, there is Mozart. For foodies there are schnitzels and incredible cakes. For adventure seekers, there are winter sports and summer hikes. In Vienna it has one of Europe’s most charming capital cities and Salzburg is possibly one of the most underrated ‘second cities’ we have visited too. It really is one of our favourite European destinations.

Feeling inspired? No trip to Austria is complete without visiting Vienna – the capital is a truly beautiful city and with so much to see and do it is a great destination for a long weekend. We also found that it was surprisingly good for vegan and vegetarian travellers unlike parts of nearby Germany and Italy.

Things to See and Do in Austria

Explore the maginificent Schönbrunn Palace
Immerse yourself in the coffee and cake culture
Visit the Prater, a fairground in Vienna's city centre
Try the famous Wienerschnitzel at Figlmüller
Explore the wonderful Naschmarkt in Vienna
Do a tour of locations from the Sound of Music in Salzburg
Go skiing in one of Austria's wonderful alpine resorts
Visit the wonderful Albertina Museum in Vienna
Austria Pratter

The Prater

Austria Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace

What to Expect in Austria

Currency – Euro.

Best time to visit – Vienna is at its nicest in the spring so the best time to visit is between April and June. If you’re feeling festive, Vienna also has a number of excellent Christmas markets in late November and Decemer. The ski season in Austria runs from the end of December until the end of April.

Accommodation – There are loads of options for places to stay in Vienna from fantastic luxury hotels to budget-friendly options in the city centre. On our last trip we stayed at the Holiday Inn, Vienna City which was reasonably priced and offered everything you need for a short city break. Accommodation can be pretty expensive in Vienna so make sure you shop around for the best deal.

Food – If there is one thing to look forward to in Austria – it’s the food. From Schnitzel to Strudel to Sachertorte – you are in for a treat. We also found that Vienna was surprising good for vegetarian and vegan travellers and we managed to have a completely vegan trip to Austria’s capital last year.

Transport – Public transport is great in Austria and very easy to navigate. You can take a train directly from Vienna airport into the city centre although our hotel also offered a cheap taxi transfer. If you are planning a trip out to Schönbrunn Palace then take the U4 underground line from the city centre.

Austria - Palmenhaus

How much will it cost me – Austria can be pricey when compared with other options in Europe but it is well worth a visit. A three night stay at the 4* Holiday Inn, Vienna City starts at €400 (staying in March 2021 – prices accurate as of April 2020). A pint of beer costs roughly €4 and a meal for two around €50-€60 depending on the restaurant.

Clock Out Check In’s Top Tips

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Visit Schönbrunn Palace in spring Schönbrunn Palace is one of Vienna's top attractions and it is beautiful all year round. To get the most of your visit, go in spring when the wonderful gardens are in full bloom. You can spend hours wandering around the grounds so check out Landtmann’s Jausen-Station while you are there. It is a wonderful cafe tucked away in the palace grounds.
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Take time to visit the Albertina Museum There is so much culture in Vienna that it can be difficult to know where to start. If you plan one museum visit during your long weekend, make sure it is the Albertina Museum. It has a wonderful variety of art on offer with pieces by artists ranging from Monet and Degas to Gauguin.
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Don't forget Salzburg While so many of Austria's visitors will visit Vienna or go skiing in the Alps, Austria's second city, Salzburg is equally stunning and well worth a visit especially for any Sound of Music fans out there. Many of the film's iconic scenes were filmed in and around the city. Take a tour of Salzburg and see how many you can spot.
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Don't queue for Sachertorte As you head into the city centre in Vienna, you will probably see a large queue outside the Hotel Sacher. Sachertorte is one of Austria's most famous exports and was invented in that very hotel. However, today it is more of a tourist trap than a luxury experience. The Sachertorte was average and it really was not worth the queue. There are so many wonderful coffee houses in Vienna so pick one without a queue but equally as opulent like Cafe Gloriette.

The streets of Vienna are paved with culture, the streets of other cities with asphalt.

Karl Kraus

Ready to start planning?

If all this talk of coffee and culture has fueled your wanderlust, it’s time to start planning your trip to Austria. We loved our last trip to Vienna and can’t wait to go back to one of Europe’s most underrated destinations. Check out the rest of our Austria posts for more ideas for your next trip.

  • Travelling as a vegan used to be really difficult but with each year it is getting easier as more restaurants open. So how vegan friendly is Vienna?

  • Holiday Inn, Vienna City is perfectly located to explore this beautiful city. Find out why this budget hotel could be the best option for your long weekend.

  • Vicky recently visited Vienna with one of her oldest friends. With no boys in sight and a whole weekend to explore, what were their top 5 things to do?

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Alex is a solicitor at an international law firm based in London. He has always loved travelling and loves to eat like a local. His favourite destination is Peru where he spent a month travelling in 2009 with World Challenge.

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