Getting around Austria

Air

There are flights around Austria. Vienna is connected to Graz, Klagenfurt, Linz and Salzburg by Austrian Airlines (www.aua.com).

Side of road
Right
Road quality

Austria has an excellent network of roads.

Car hire

There are car hire firms with offices in most cities, as well as at airports and major railway stations.

Regulations

Tolls must be paid on all Austrian motorways and 'S' roads. Tourists can purchase either 10-day, two-month or one-year discs which are available at all major border crossings, newsagents, petrol stations, automobile clubs, ÖAMTC and ARBÖ, and at post offices. Cars must be driven with lights throughout the year. Seat belts must be worn and children under the age of 12 and under 150cm (4ft 11in) tall may not sit in the front seat unless a special child's seat has been fitted. All cars must have a first-aid kit and a warning triangle. All motorists must also carry high-visibility waistcoats and wear them whenever outside their vehicle on an Austrian roads. Both driver and passenger on a motorcycle must wear helmets, and the vehicle must have lights on at all times. Speed limits are 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas, 100kph (62mph) outside built-up areas and 130kph (81mph) on motorways. The minimum legal age for driving is 18.

Documentation

National driving licences issued by EU countries, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are accepted, and enable holders to drive in Austria for up to one year. UK licences without a photo must be accompanied by some form of photo ID such as a passport. Car registration papers issued in the UK are also valid in Austria. A Green Card is recommended.

Getting around towns and cities

Vienna has an extensive system of metro, bus, light rail and tramway services. Most routes have a flat fare, and there are pre-purchase multi-journey tickets and passes. The Vienna Card (www.wienkarte.at) entitles visitors to 72 hours of unlimited travel by underground, bus and tram within four days. It also entitles the holder to reductions at several museums and other tourist attractions in the city, as well as shops, cafes and wine taverns. The classic way to travel round the capital is by horse-drawn carriage (Fiaker); fares should be agreed in advance.

There are bus systems in all the other main towns, and also tramways in Linz, Innsbruck and Graz, and trolleybuses in Linz, Innsbruck and Salzburg.

Rail

Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB) (Austrian Federal Railways) (tel: (1) 930 000; www.oebb.at) runs an efficient internal service, with 5,700km (3,540 miles) of track throughout Austria. There is a frequent intercity service from Vienna to Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz and Klagenfurt, and regular motorrail services through the Tauern Tunnel. For bookings from the UK, contact Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) (tel: 0870 243 5363, in the UK only; www.bahn.co.uk); or Rail Europe (tel: 0844 848 4064, in the UK; www.raileurope.co.uk). Tickets can be obtained from any station ticket office (Reisebüro am Bahnhof) or from most Austrian travel agents.

Discount fares: Throughout Austria, up to two children under six years who are accompanied or require no seat travel free and a third child qualifies for a 50% discount. Children aged six to 15 pay half fare.

Rail passes

Vorteilscard: offers a 45% discount on rail travel within a one-year period. This ID card can be purchased at all Austrian railway stations.

InterRail One-Country Pass: offers travel for three, four, six or eight days in one month within Austria. Travel is not allowed in the passenger's country of residence. Travellers under 26 years receive a reduction. Children's tickets are reduced by about 50%. Supplements are required for some high-speed services, seat reservations and couchettes. Discounts are offered on Eurostar and some ferry routes. Available from Rail Europe (tel: 0844 848 4064, in the UK; www.raileurope.co.uk/inter-rail).

Eurail: offers unlimited second-class travel for non-EU nationals in 23 European countries. The Eurail Global Pass offers travel for 15 or 21 days, one, two or three months, as well as 10 days travel within two months or 15 days travel within two months; the Eurail Global Pass Youth ticket provides discounts for those under 26. The Eurail Select Pass is valid in three, four or five bordering countries and allows five to 15 travel days within a two-month period. The Eurail Regional Pass allows four to 10 travel days in a two-month period in two or three neighbouring countries. Since 2013 Eurail (www.eurail.com) passes can be used on Westbahn services, and on the high speed rail line between Salzburg and Vienna. Eurail passes that include Austria are also valid for use in Liechtenstein.

By water

A number of operators run cruises along the Danube, and from Switzerland (Bregenz) across Lake Constance. On some cruises, a passport is needed; they last from one to eight days depending on the itinerary. These services run between spring and autumn.

Ferries: There are regular passenger boat services from mid-May to mid-September along the Danube and on Austria's lakes. The Danube steamer services are run by DDSG Blue Danube Schiffahrt (tel: (1) 588 800; www.ddsg-blue-danube.at) and private companies.

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