Getting around Austria

Air

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

All the major car hire companies are represented in Austria, with offices in most cities, as well as at airports and main 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, but not compulsory if travelling from another EU country.

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 48 or 72 hours of unlimited travel by underground, bus and tram. 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: +43 51717; www.oebb.at) runs an efficient internal service. There is a frequent intercity service from Vienna to Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz and Klagenfurt. 

Rail passes

Vorteilscard: offers a 45-50% discount on rail travel within a one-year period. This ID card can be purchased at all Austrian railway stations. The Vorteilscard Family allows four children under 15 to travel free when accompanied by a card-holding adult.

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 under 12 travel free when accompanied by an adult using an Adult Pass. Supplements are required for some high-speed services, seat reservations and couchettes. Available from Voyages-sncf.com (tel: +44 844 848 5848, in the UK; www.voyages-sncf.com).

Eurail Austria Pass: offers travel for three, four, five or eight days in one month within Austria. Available to non-EU nationals from Eurail (www.eurail.com).

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 services are run by DDSG Blue Danube Schiffahrt (www.ddsg-blue-danube.at) and private companies.

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