• June to August – Summer
• September to October – Autumn
• November to March – Winter
• April to May – Spring
Between April and May or September and October, the weather is excellent for outdoor activities and the crowds are sparser.
High Tourist Season in Austria from June to August offers excellent weather and sunny days but prices will be higher.
Winter months November to March make up low season and many small towns close for winter however there are a lot of cultural activities in Vienna. December to March is peak Ski Season in the Ski Resorts.
WHAT TO PACK
As you plan what to wear in Europe, keep in mind that the trick is to pack and wear layers. We suggest layering like this: tank top or t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, jersey and then jacket. Always pack something to protect yourself against rain showers. Alpine wear will be needed in the Ski Resorts in winter.
Legal opening times for retail outlets are: Monday to Friday 5am - 9pm, Saturday until 6pm. The actual shop opening hours vary, but most are open from 9am to 6pm (grocery stores from 8am) and on Saturdays until 1pm or 5pm. Tourist locations are subject to special regulations, allowing longer opening hours.
Austria is a member of the European Union with the Euro being the official currency.
Currency: Euro (EUR). EUR1 = 100 Cents.
Credit Cards are widely accepted and ATM’s are very prevalent.
• Water taps in Austria deliver healthy, crystal clear, odourless drinking water.
TIPPING / PORTERAGE
• Hotels One or two euros per suitcase for porters and for valet parking in top-end hotels. Leaving loose change for cleaners is appreciated.
• Restaurants Tip about 10% (unless service is abominable). Round up the bill, state the amount as you hand the bill back or leave tip in the bill folder when you leave.
• Bars About 5% at the bar and 10% at a table.
• Taxis About 10%.
• Learn a few words of the local language so you know what’s considered polite in terms of eating, greeting and local values.
• Appropriate behaviours by travellers helps ensure local communities continue to be hospital and friendly.
• Respect other people’s cultures and avoid imposing your beliefs.
• Adhere to the hotel’s water or energy conservation policies.
• Buy locally made crafts and support local skills. Buy them preferably from the craftsman himself to ensure your money goes to the artist and not the middle man.
• German is the official language. English is widely spoken.
• South African passport holders require a Schengen Visa.
• Austria is on Central European time. They are 1 hour behind S.A during their winter months (November to March) and are on the same time as S.A during their summer months (last Sunday in March to the Last Saturday in October)
• For Austria there are two associated plug types, types C and F. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type F is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side.
• Austria operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
WHAT THINGS COST
• Inexpensive restaurant meal : Euro 8 to Euro 13
• Meal for 2 people Mid-range Restaurant, 3 Course : Euro 35 to Euro 70
• McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal): Euro 6 to Euro 8
• Domestic Beer (0.5 Lt Draught) : Euro 3.30 to Euro 4
• Imported Beer (0.33 Lit Bottle) : Euro 3 to Euro 4
• Cappuccino (Regular) : Euro 2.50 to Euro 3.50
• Coke/Pepsi (0.33 Lt Bottle) : Euro 2 to Euro 3
• Water (0.33 Lt Bottle) : Euro 1 to Euro 2.50
• A lot of public restrooms will charge you a small fee to use them, so just keep some change on hand to pay the fee.
• Lock valuables away while travelling and always be vigilant of your belongings. Never leave them unattended.
• Always be aware of pick pockets irrespective of where you are in the world.