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Austria is summer and winter paradise

Austria is a year-round tourist destination, equally popular in the summer as in the winter time. It offers the finest ski resorts in Europe, stunning mountain ranges and green valleys, scenic cities, and plenty of outdoor activity options. The visiting tourists are drawn by both the divine natural treasures and the architectural jewels dotting the landscape of most Austrian cities.

Don’t be discouraged by the country’s small size. Austria will welcome you with many holiday opportunities and tourist destinations. A full immersion in the treasures of this green land will be most comfortable in your own vehicle.

However, those who would like to hire a car have a number of opportunities to do so in all major Austrian cities and at international airports. Thanks to a wide variety of rental vehicles and insurance options, your holidays will be peaceful and full of positive experiences.

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Austrian diversity

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.

Austria/Vienna/Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash
Austria/Tyrol/Innsbruck/Photo by Ferdinand Stöhr on Unsplash
Austria/Upper Austria/Hallstatt/Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash
Austria/Vienna/Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

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 Baroque ambience that can be felt in each corner of the city.

While travelling 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.

Roads, documents, and traffic rules 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.

Austria/Tyrol/St. Sigmund im Sellrain/Photo by Paul Gilmore on Unsplash

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.

Speed limits in Austria

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.

Austria/Vienna/Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

Austria: car equipment

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.

Austria/Tyrol/Neustift im Stubaital/Photo by Tako van Midwoud on Unsplash

Facts for safer driving in Austria

drink drive limit
max speed urban
31 mph
max speed rural
62 mph
max speed highway
81 mph
headlights at daytime
fire extinguisher
seat belts
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