Austria is an excellent destination for taking a road trip, offering a range of scenic routes, charming towns, and breathtaking natural landscapes. From the alpine peaks of the Austrian Alps to the rolling hills of the Austrian countryside, there is a road trip to suit every taste and preference.
One of the standout features of Austria is its well-developed road network, making it easy to travel from one location to another and ensuring a smooth and comfortable driving experience. Along the way, you'll encounter picturesque villages, charming castles, and a range of historical and cultural attractions that will keep you entertained and engaged throughout your journey.
Austria is also home to some of Europe's most stunning natural landscapes, including the Austrian Alps, which offer a range of scenic drives and panoramic views. Whether you're driving along the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which winds its way through the heart of the Austrian Alps, or exploring the scenic routes of the Salzkammergut region, you'll be treated to breathtaking vistas and a true sense of being in the heart of nature.
In addition to its natural beauty, Austria is also renowned for its rich cultural heritage, with a range of museums, art galleries, and historical sites to explore along the way. Whether you're interested in exploring Austria's musical heritage, with visits to the homes of famous composers such as Mozart and Beethoven, or soaking up the vibrant cultural atmosphere of cities like Vienna and Salzburg, there is something for everyone in Austria.
In conclusion, Austria is a fantastic destination for taking a road trip, offering a range of scenic routes, charming towns, and breathtaking natural landscapes that are sure to leave a lasting impression. Whether you're an avid road tripper or just looking for a new travel experience, Austria is a destination that should be at the top of your list.
Vienna is one of the most visited European capitals; thus, it doesn’t come as a surprise that most tourists start their journey around Austria from there. A gateway between both parts of the continent in the past, Vienna is the best place to explore country’s musical heritage, interesting museums, and splendid monuments.
For those who quickly get tired of crowded city centres, Melk and Krems might become equally perfect retreats that are full of stunning architecture, including a number of churches, a Baroque monastery, and a Renaissance palace.
The northern part of the country is characterised by unique landscape, picturesque villages, and great dining places that will surprise even the most demanding gourmets. The blissful Bad Ischl offers travellers a wide range of health spas that just need to be included in your to-see list. However, the major highlight of this inconspicuous settlement is a gondola lift that runs to an alpine pasture allowing visitors to marvel at a breathtaking view of the Salzkammergut Mountains.
The birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg, is a top-rated option for all the avid fans of art and music. Whereas in Wels, you’ll have a unique opportunity to visit an old water tower and have some fun in the municipal zoo.
Innsbruck, located in the picturesque Inn Valley, is the jewel of Tyrol and Western Austria. Considered one of the most popular holiday options in the country, it has plenty to offer for all types of tourists. The majority of the architectural jewels are located in the Old Town. The city’s charm is hidden in the coble streets riddled with local restaurants and coffee shops that are hard to miss!
The southern part of the country is a treasure trove of natural and urban highlights. Lienz will welcome you with the beauty of the Dolomites and Bruck Castle dating back to the 13th century, Villach is well-known for its thermal springs and its vicinity to the spectacular Lake Faak, Klagenfurt has a dazzling Old Quarter full of fancy dining venues and a range of Renaissance buildings, and Graz is filled with the Baroque ambiance that can be felt in each corner of the city.
While traveling along the southern border, a fine choice will be the exploration of South Tyrol. With such settlements as Bruneck or Brixen, it will become an ideal retreat for those who seek idyllic views, green plateaus, and a variety of local food delicacies.
Recommended Road Trips in Austria
Austria offers a range of scenic and diverse road trips, each offering a unique experience for travelers. Here are three of the best road trips in Austria:
The Grossglockner High Alpine Road: This road trip takes you through the heart of the Austrian Alps, offering stunning views of the country's highest mountain, the Grossglockner, as well as breathtaking vistas of the surrounding alpine landscape.
The Salzkammergut region: This road trip takes you through the rolling hills and pristine lakes of the Salzkammergut region, offering a range of scenic drives and picturesque villages along the way.
The Wachau Valley: This road trip takes you along the banks of the Danube River, through the charming vineyards and medieval towns of the Wachau Valley. Along the way, you'll encounter historic castles, ancient monasteries, and a range of cultural and historical attractions that make this one of the most scenic and diverse road trips in Austria.
Regardless of which road trip you choose, you're sure to experience the best of what Austria has to offer, from its breathtaking natural landscapes to its rich cultural heritage. So pack your bags and hit the road for an unforgettable adventure in Austria.
Generally, being a motorist in Austria gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility in terms of your destination choices. Driving around the top tourist attractions at your own pace is a major advantage, especially that Austria enjoys well-maintained roads and great infrastructure regardless of whether you choose to move along the main motorways or travel off the beaten track.
When travelling to Austria in the summer season, it is highly recommended to choose a rental vehicle that is equipped with air conditioning. For those who are into more fancy cars, you can also opt for a shiny convertible.
Roads in Austria are flat as a table and driving along the motorways will be extremely pleasant. The only things that can stop you from full exploration of the country are toll sections. In order to cover that issue, it’s enough to buy a motorway tax sticker that you can obtain at one of the gas stations or at the border crossing. There exist also motorway sections that apply additional charges. These are paid in special booths that are located along the motorway.
In order to drive on the Austrian roads freely, you need to possess your ID or passport, driver’s licence, liability insurance, registration document with vehicle technical inspection certificate, and the European Health Insurance Card.
Drinking and driving in Austria is heavily panelised, and the alcohol limit per 100 ml of blood is 50 mg. What’s more, you shouldn’t be talking on the phone while driving the vehicle. Don’t worry, the use of hands-free devices is fully accepted.
There is a wide range of on the spot fines that you can get if you don’t observe the traffic rules in Austria. If you don’t have enough money to pay when you’re stopped by police officers, you’ll be taken to a bank or a cash dispenser to withdraw the appropriate amount of money. Austria has also introduced a special system of the so-called “yellow cards”. If you get three of those, you will be banned to move around the country for a period of three months.
It may come as a surprise that Austria is one of the countries with the highest speed limit not only in Europe, but also worldwide. You are allowed to drive at a speed of 130 km/h on motorways. When it comes to driving in built-up areas and rural areas, you should observe the limits of 50 km/h and 100 km/h respectively. So if you want to spare yourself additional costs, it’s best to drive below the designated limits.
The obligatory items that you need to have in your car include a reflective vest, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and a warning triangle.
When road-tripping in Austria, it's important to be aware of the following:
Road conditions and safety: Austrian roads are generally well-maintained and safe, but be aware of potential hazards such as sharp turns, steep inclines, and narrow roads in mountainous areas. It's also a good idea to familiarize yourself with local road signs and rules of the road before setting out on your journey.
Speed limits and traffic: Speed limits in Austria vary depending on the type of road and the area you're driving in. Be aware of posted speed limits, and remember that fines for speeding can be steep. Also, be prepared for heavy traffic in cities and tourist areas, and be patient and courteous when driving.
Tolls: Some roads in Austria, including many of the country's major highways, require payment of a toll. Be sure to check before setting out on your journey and have sufficient funds or a valid credit card to pay the tolls.
Parking: Parking can be challenging in cities and tourist areas in Austria, so be prepared to park in designated areas and pay for parking where required.
Car rental and insurance: If you're renting a car for your road trip in Austria, be sure to read the rental agreement carefully and familiarize yourself with the car's features and operation. Additionally, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage, including liability and collision coverage, in case of an accident.
By being aware of these factors, you can ensure a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable road trip in Austria.
The best time for taking a road trip in Austria depends on your preferences and the type of experience you're looking for. Here are a few general guidelines:
Summer (June to August): Summer is the peak tourist season in Austria, with warm temperatures and long days that make it ideal for exploring the country's many outdoor attractions. However, it can also be crowded and expensive during this time.
Spring (March to May): Spring is a great time for road trips in Austria, with mild temperatures, blooming flowers, and fewer crowds.
Autumn (September to November): Autumn is also a good time for road trips in Austria, with mild temperatures, stunning autumn foliage, and fewer crowds in many tourist destinations.
Winter (December to February): Winter can be a magical time for road trips in Austria, especially if you're looking to experience the country's world-famous ski resorts and snow-covered landscapes. However, it can also be very cold and wet in some areas, and some roads may be closed due to snow and ice.
Regardless of the time of year, it's always a good idea to check the local weather forecast and road conditions before setting out on your road trip. Additionally, be prepared for changing weather conditions, especially in the mountains, and always carry adequate supplies and safety equipment.