Walking Across Europe is superb so get on your walking boots to see the region at its very best and really get away from it all.
Austria is one of the oldest and most classic walking holiday places in Europe. Therefore, there is a well-established and well marked network of walking paths and trails. Whether you go on a guided or a self-guided walking holiday, Austria’s walking network will take you the most interesting and beautiful places.
Get close to the nature in Austria. It‘s a classic walking holiday destination in Europe. Almost every walker knows Austria from the Alps and other mountain ranges. However, Austria is a diverse country and also has some magnificent lower countryside which is excellent for gentler walking. So, it doesn’t matter what your level of walking is, you can grab the whole family with you, Austria will offer walking paths for everybody.
Austria is a year-round walking holiday destination. Generally speaking, the best time of year for a walking holiday in Austria is May to October, but there are of course regional differences.
Thanks to the Alps, Austria has three major weather systems. At the Northern slopes of the Alps and in the Danube valley there is Atlantic, maritime climate that influences the weather. The East of Austria, where the landscape is flat, has a continental climate with rain in the summer and cold dry air in the winter. The South slopes of the Alps are under the influence of the Mediterranean, with few clouds and warm air. It’s the most temperate region of Austria.
Like other members of the European Monetary Union (EMU), Austria’s currency is euro, which is divided into 100 cents. To get euros from ATMs in Austria won’t be a trouble. Even small villages have at least one machine that is accessible till midnight and some are 24 hours. Look for the sign with blue and green horizontal stripes. ATMs are linked up internationally, have English instructions and are usually limited to daily withdrawals of €400 with credit and debit cards.
Check with your home bank before travelling for charges for using an ATM in Austria. If you have Visa, EuroCard or MasterCard, you’ll have less problems with accepting it than American Express (Amex) and Diners Club. Although, a surprising number of shops and restaurants refuse to accept any credit cards at all. You can pay by credit card in upmarket shops, hotels and restaurants.
Also, train tickets can be bought by credit card in main stations. To exchange money into euros, apply to banks. Normally there is a minimum commission charge of €2 to €3.50, so try to exchange your money in large amounts to save on multiple charges. Whereas money-exchange offices called Wechselstuben work longer than banks, but commissions are higher.
If you wonder what is the official language spoken in Austria, it’s German (there is no Austrian language). German language in Austria is more or less the same as in Germany. Of course, there are some slight differences like accent or several words, but if you know German it won’t be a problem for you to travel through Austria. Think it this way: German language in Germany and Austria like English language in the Great Britain and the USA.
By the way, the level of education in Austria is very high, so there is a great possibility that locals know English very well. Especially, you don’t need to worry about language barrier in tourism services. Staff in hotels, stores, restaurants and other places used to dealing with foreign tourists speak English fluently. Nevertheless, like everyone in their native country, the Austrians appreciate it if you make an attempt to speak in their native language. So, grab at least the following words of politeness and step on the beautiful land of waltz: Guten Tag (good day), Danke (thank you), Auf Wiedersehen (goodbye).