The best time to visit Austria depends on whether you’re aiming for urban or rural parts. Most of the mountain resorts, for example, have two distinct tourist seasons, one for winter sports enthusiasts, the other for summer hikers. In between times, you may find 12 many of the tourist facilities closed. More urban centres, however, act as year-round tourist destinations, with the number of visitors swelling during peak holidays and annual festivals – Vienna pulls in crowds over Christmas, New Year and, of course, Fasching (the ball season), while the Salzburg Festival ensures a steady stream of well-heeled visitors in July and August.

For the best of the warm weather, plan to go between April and October – Austrian summers, in particular, are reliably warm, but not overpoweringly so. If you’re skiing, you can pretty much guarantee a good covering of snow from November onwards to April. Away from the ski resorts, winter travel can’t really be recommended, since the weather can be pretty wet and miserable. Weather conditions vary only slightly across the country, with the alpine regions decidedly cooler, the lowland regions in the north and east enduring more continental conditions of colder winters and hotter summers, and the southeast of the country enjoying longer, warmer, almost Mediterranean summers. Be aware that whatever the season, if you’re at a high altitude, the weather can change quickly and dramatically.The possibility of a thundery shower exists at any time of the year.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Austria features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The surprising history of sex in Central Europe

The surprising history of sex in Central Europe

So what is it that draws us to Vienna? The waltzes? The white horses? The cakes? Let’s be honest, it’s the sex. Sex, that is, in the best possible taste:…

30 Nov 2016 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
Austria's KäseStrasse: the hike that's a cheese-lover's dream

Austria's KäseStrasse: the hike that's a cheese-lover's dream

Despite the name, Bregenzerwald’s KäseStrasse (Cheese Street) in Austria’s Vorarlberg region is not a marked route along a specific road. Instead it deno…

02 Nov 2015 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
On the trail of Klimt in Vienna: the art tour of a lifetime

On the trail of Klimt in Vienna: the art tour of a lifetime

Known for its lavish balls and even more lavish cakes, Vienna is overflowing with art. If there’s one image that encapsulates the city, it’s of an elegant…

21 Oct 2015 • Alice Park insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month