Austria Traveler Information – Travel Advice
Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our Austria Traveler Information guide.
At AardvarkCompare we can’t recommend travel insurance enough. Whether you are just traveling a few hundred miles from home to see family, or traveling to the other side of the world, travel insurance should be considered an essential part of your holiday packing. The hope is that you won’t have to use your travel insurance, and that you’ll have a fun and enjoyable trip. The following Austria Traveler Information should help you make the most of your trip to Austria.
Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.
PASSPORT VALIDITY: 6 months beyond planned date of departure from from the Schengen area
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES: One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED: Not required for stays under 90 days within each 180 day period
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: 10,000 Euro maximum
Embassies and Consulates
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Austria for information on U.S.-Austria relations.
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements
- Passports should be valid for at least six months beyond your stay.
- You may enter Austria for up to 90 days for tourist and business purposes without a visa.
- Prospective residents or anyone intending to stay longer than 90 days must obtain the appropriate visa. Visit the Embassy of Austria’s website for the most current visa information or the Government of Austria’s website on migration. Austria collects the fingerprints of all U.S. visa applicants.
- Students and prospective students should visit the Study in Austria webpage for the most current information on student visa requirements. Fulbright students and scholars with questions should contact their respective program officer. Additional information for students is available here.
- No vaccinations are required for travel to Austria.
See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for information on vaccines required or recommended for Austria.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Austria.
Safety and Security
Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations. Austria’s open borders with members of the Schengen zone allow the possibility of individual terrorists entering/exiting the country undetected.
In response to sharply-increased migration, some Schengen area governments, including Austria, have temporarily imposed border controls where none previously existed. These controls can cause considerable delays at both train and vehicle crossings.
U.S. citizens are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.
Protests and Demonstrations: All of the major cities in Austria have occasional protests and demonstrations which cause occasional disruption to the local travel routes (i.e. street closures and public transit detours). Normally these protests are non-violent in nature. However, U.S. Government personnel in Austria have been instructed to avoid areas where demonstrations and protests are occurring.
- Avoid the areas of demonstrations.
- Exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.
- Monitor local media for updates.
- Keep a low profile.
- Follow the instructions of local government officials.
Crime: Austria has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe, and violent crime is rare. Crimes of opportunity involving theft of personal property do occur. These crimes are most frequently reported in tourist areas, to include the plaza around St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the nearby pedestrian shopping areas in Vienna’s First District.
- Beware of pickpockets on public transportation, trains, and train stations. Transport coming into and out of the city center and on trains that run between Vienna and Budapest, Prague, and Rome are high-risk.
- Do not leave bags unattended.
- Be alert to criminal schemes in public places such as cafes and tourist areas.
- Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. It is illegal to bring bootlegged items back into the United States, and you may be breaking local law.
Victims of Crime:
U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy.
Report crimes to the local police by dialing 133, and contact the U.S. Embassy at +43-(0)1-313-390.
Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- Help you find appropriate medical care
- Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- Explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- Provide a list of local attorneys
- Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
- Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- Replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
- You can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Austria. If you break local laws in Austria, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Austria. The LGBTI community is well-developed in all larger cities, such as Vienna, Graz, Linz, Innsbruck, and Salzburg. LGBTI organizations generally operate freely. While there is some societal prejudice against LGBTI persons, Austria has become more liberal with laws and social opinion concerning sexual orientation and gender identity. Anti-discrimination laws also apply to LGBTI persons. Homosexual couples are permitted to marry or a legally recognized civil union, at their option.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. Accessibility and accommodation may be very different than what one finds in the United States. Austrian federal law mandates access to public buildings for persons with physical disabilities, so accessibility has greatly improved. While many stores and restaurants in Austria still lack ramp or elevator access, most tourist attractions are accessible. A comprehensive assessment of public buildings, including tourist sites, restaurants, cafes, and hotels in Vienna, is available at the Vienna Tourist Information website. Click here for information regarding accessibility in other regions of Austria.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for women travelers.
Local hospitals will not settle accounts directly with American insurance companies. You must pay the bill to the local hospital and later claim a refund from the insurance carrier in the United States. The Austrian Medicine Import Act generally prohibits the import of prescription drugs into Austria, with two exceptions: 1) Non- European Union residents are allowed medicines as part of their personal luggage, but only the quantity required during the course of the stay, 2) Travelers may receive medicines by mail for personal use while staying in Austria. However, the quantity is limited to the length of their stay in Austria and cannot exceed three packages.
- Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
- Obtain supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
- We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that Medicare does not apply overseas.
- Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
- Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Tick-borne encephalitis is common and there is a non-USDA-approved vaccination available. People hiking or spending considerable time in the forests should take precautions.
Further health information:
Travel and Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions in Austria are generally excellent. During the winter, roads in alpine areas may become dangerous due to snowfall, ice, or avalanches. Some mountain roads may be closed for extended periods, and tire chains are often required.
Be alert when you drive through autobahn construction zones, particularly on the A-1 East/West Autobahn. Reduced lanes and two-way traffic in these zones have resulted in several deadly accidents in recent years. Traffic information and road conditions are broadcast on the English-language channel located between 91-105 FM depending on the locale. Emergency roadside help and information may be reached by dialing 123 or 120 for vehicle assistance and towing services (Austrian automobile clubs), 122 for the fire department, 133 for police, and 144 for ambulance. The European emergency line is 112.
Please see Austria’s travel webpage for detailed information related to driving. Below are key laws to consider:
- Penalties for driving under the influence tend to be stricter than in many U.S. states.
- Display an “autobahn vignette” highway-tax sticker on the inside of the vehicle’s windshield. The fine for failing to display a valid sticker is EUR 120 ($150 USD), paid in cash “on the spot.”
- The maximum speed limit is 130 km/hr (81mph) on the Austrian autobahns.
- It is prohibited to use a hand-held cell phone while driving.
- It is prohibited to turn right on red.
- It is mandatory for cars on Austrian motorways to leave an emergency corridor, even when no emergency vehicle is approaching. When traffic stops, create an emergency corridor in between the far-left lane and all others to the right.
- You will be substantially fined for failure to use winter tires on your vehicle between November 1 and April 15. Your car insurance is void if you are in an accident and you do not have winter tires.
- You must equip your rental car with the proper tires and pay close attention to the provisions of the rental contract. You will be arrested, fined, and/or charged with attempted auto theft if you attempt to enter countries listed as “prohibited” on the car rental contract.
- A U.S. driver’s license alone is not sufficient to drive in Austria. A U.S. driver’s license must be accompanied by an international driving permit or by an official translation of the U.S. driver’s license, which can be obtained at one of the Austrian automobile clubs (ÖAMTC or ARBÖ). This arrangement is only acceptable for the first six months of driving in Austria, after which all drivers must obtain an Austrian license.
Austrian Federal Railways (Österreichische Bundesbahnen) offer excellent railroad service to all major towns and all major cities in Europe. There is also an extensive network of Österreichische Post bus lines. All major cities offer excellent public transportation services. Click here for Vienna’s public transportation website.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Austria’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Austria’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
For additional travel information
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
International Parental Child Abduction
Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Austria. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.”
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