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.

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