Holidays in Austria can generally be classified as one of three distinct types – snowsports, hiking or sightseeing – and when to go depends on which of these thrill-seeking activities you want to do.
In the Alps and over at the scenic lakes east of Salzburg, most visitors plan hiking trips between May and September to get the highest temperatures – peaking at 24°C in July and August. September can provide optimum conditions for both hiking and city sightseeing as it's warm, at around 19°C, but has comparatively low rainfall.
Austria's main cities, like Salzburg and Vienna, welcome visitors all year but are particularly popular at Christmas and New Year. If you visit before Lent, you'll also be introduced to the Austrian Fasching carnival season of fun costumes, ancient traditions and delicious food - well worth the visit.
As with any holiday, you should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover yourself and the family on your trip, and check with your doctor around six weeks in advance if any vaccinations are required.
It's also a good idea to apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK as this entitles you to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as Austrian nationals. It won't, however, cover you for medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment.
If you're planning a holiday in Austria specifically to take part in sports or watersports, you should make sure your insurance covers this. See our holiday extras page for more information and for the latest health and safety information visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/austria/health
British citizens don't need a visa for a holiday to Austria, but must have a valid passport. Carry your passport with you as may need it as proof of identity when making purchases by credit card. For the most up-to-date passport and visa info, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/austria/entry-requirements
The most commonly used airports in Austria are Innsbruck for the Alps, Salzburg for the lakes and Vienna for sightseeing around the capital. For the shortest transfers, stay at the lake resorts of Fuschl Am See or St Gilgen, only 30 minutes drive from Salzburg Airport. Most tour operators include transfers as part of a holiday package so getting to your resort is easy.
As Austria is an alpine country, roads in mountainous areas follow the valleys, so journeys can take a little longer - but bring your camera because the views are extremely picturesque.
The rail service is very good and a fast alternative to get between the large cities. For example, the OBB railjet will take you between Innsbruck and Salzburg in under two hours and from Salzburg to Vienna in less than 2.5 hours.
For budding Shaun Whites or Hannah Teters out there, Austria's western Tyrol region is a snow paradise to take the kids and makes for the ideal skiing spot.
But as well as the many resorts that have kid-friendly zones and lessons, the region also has loads of family attractions, such as the Hog Adventure Park, Horn Park Aerial Forest or Area 47 for canyoning and rafting.
Over in Vienna, families can visit the world's oldest zoo, Tiergarten Schönbrunn, and the oldest amusement park, Wurstelprater. And another world-beater, the Giant Ice Caves in Werfen – between Salzburg and Zell Am See – are the largest ice caves on the planet.
Connector type: Two-pin plug type F
Voltage Info: Voltage is 230 V and frequency is 50 Hz
In case of an emergency call:
General emergency: 112
Mountain rescue: 140
If you're a victim of crime or affected by a crisis overseas, or if something happens to a relative or partner contact the British Consulate in Vienna.
Address: Jauresgasse 12, 1030 Vienna
Phone (from within Austria): (43) (1) 716130
Phone (from the UK): 020 7008 1500
There are numerous public hospitals (krankenhauser) and private clinics across the major towns and cities of Austria. Here are some of the primary hospitals per region.
West - Tyrol region
Landeskrankenhaus Hall Address: Milser Str. 10, 6060 Hall in Tirol Phone: (43) 50 50430
North - Salzburg region
Federal Hospital of Salzburg Address: Müllner Hauptstraße 48, 5020 Salzburg Phone: (43) 57 2550
East - Vienna region
Vienna General Hospital Address: Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Wien Phone: (43) 1 404000