A country known for its stunning mountainous landscapes, charming villages and magnificent architecture, Austria will welcome you with open arms and charm you with its culture. The local currency is the Euro (EUR) and there’s no doubt you’ll be spoilt for choice on where to spend it.
Art and music are the pulsating heart of this friendly country where The Sound of Music was filmed. As well as being a treat for your eyes and ears, your sense of smell and taste buds will be pampered in Austria, too – who can resist world-renowned Viennese cakes and pastries with a coffee?
Dining out in Austria
Austrian food is strongly influenced by countries including the Balkans, Germany, Hungary and Italy. The most popular dishes tend to be meat based, but Austria is best known for its cakes – some of the most popular include Apfelstrudel and Sachertorte, a decadent chocolate cake native to Vienna.
A three-course meal for two people in a mid-range restaurant will cost you £33-£54.
A visit to Austria wouldn’t be complete without trying Wienerschnitzel. This Viennese staple is a thin cut of veal dipped in beaten egg and breadcrumbs and fried. Also worth a try is Wiener Würstel – smoked Viennese sausages served with mustard – perfect washed down with beer.
Tafelspitz is a dish of boiled meat, usually veal, served with minced apples and horseradish – an unusual but tasty combination, this dish is a national treasure and has been cited as a favourite of royalty.
Austrian Goulash is an import from neighbouring Hungary and is a very popular dish in Austria. A rich, tasty beef stew made with onions, paprika and tomatoes, it’s often served with dumplings.
A main meal for one in an inexpensive restaurant will cost you between £7-£12.
The price of drinks
A 500ml bottle of local beer will cost you between £3-£3.60 and £2.70-£3.60 for imported versions.
A 750ml bottle of wine will cost you between £4.50 to £8 in a local supermarket. The star of the Austrian wine scene is Grüner Veltliner, a crisp, refreshing white with notes of grapefruit and white pepper. Austrian reds are well worth trying, too – lighter than most, look for Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt, two grape varieties that both produce juicy, easy-drinking wines.
If you enjoy spirits then try a post-meal shot of Schnapps, the national drink of Austria.
A 1.5-litre bottle of water will cost between 30p and 90p in a local supermarket.
Tap water is safe to drink in Austria and is among the best in the world.
Out and about
Start your trip to Austria with a visit to the beautiful capital city, Vienna. A city full of charms in every direction, you’ll savour the many sights including amazing architecture, baroque castles and gardens. Explore the 19th-century Ringstrasse, lined with amazing buildings, parks and monuments – a perfect place to stop for a coffee and cake. Try a 2.5-hour walking tour with a local guide taking you round the key sights, costing from around £15.
For history lovers, on the outskirts of Vienna you’ll find Austria’s most popular tourist attraction, Schönbrunn Palace. This cultural world heritage site dates back to the Middle Ages and offers visitors a chance to saviour the beautiful palace and its gorgeous gardens. Entrance costs from around £13 for the Imperial Tour.
For music lovers, be sure to book a visit to a Vienna Mozart concert at Musikverein from £45. You’ll be treated to a performance of Mozart’s classics in this historical venue by 30 musicians from top Viennese orchestras.
On the same music theme but with a nod to the nostalgic past, book a place on the Original Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg. This coach tour costs from £41 and you’ll enjoy stunning views of Mirabell Gardens, Lake Wolfgang and the Lake District. You’ll visit key filming locations such as Leopoldskron Castle and Nonnberg Abbey. For this tour, you’ll need to make your own way to Mirabellplatz in Salzburg to meet your guide.
How much spending money should I take to Austria?
You should budget for around £70 per person per day or £490 per week for a visit to Austria, to cover all food and excursions.
Tipping in Austria
Tipping is commonplace in Austria. In restaurants, a 12.5% service charge is usually already included in the bill, but it’s usual to round up the bill to the nearest euro even if a charge is included. In bars, round up to the nearest euro.
In hotels, service charges are generally included but for exceptional housekeeping, 1 euro per night is acceptable and for helpful concierge, a few euros’ tip will be appreciated.
In taxis, tip 10% of the total fare for good service or round up to the nearest euro.
*Prices correct at the time blog was published and are subject to availability. T&C’s apply.