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Picture a perfect scenery. There is a chance some of you visualized rolling hills, somewhat similar to the one Julie Andrews runs down in Sound of Music. In most parts of Austria, this is the sight that awaits you. Remarkable Alpine scenery, dotted with majestic Habsburg structures. But don’t be mistaken – Austria is not just all about Sound of Music and medieval glory – the country has held its own during Europe’s growth into modernism. You will be able to find plenty of modern art museums, sophisticated bars, and stunning contemporary architecture as well.
In order to get the most out of your visit to Austria, it is imperative that you find out when to visit Austria. After all, the weather in the country can be rather varied, depending on when you’re visiting, and the kind of activities you can partake in would differ. Read on to find out what the best time to visit Austria is!
- Best Time to Visit Austria: April – May, September – October
- High Tourist Season: June – August
- Low Season: November – March
- Ski Season: mid–December – March
- All Seasons: April – May (spring), June – August (summer), September – October (fall), November – March (winter)
- The best time to visit Austria is during the shoulder months, in spring, between April – May, and in fall, between September – October. The weather is excellent for outdoor activities, and the crowd is sparser.
- The high tourist season between June – August sees excellent weather and sunny days. However, the prices of travel and accommodation would be higher, and expect a tourist rush in all popular destinations.
- The low season is between November – March, when many of the smaller towns close down for winter. There are a lot of cultural activities in Vienna in this season.
- Peak ski season is between December – March.
Austria is a country where there is something for everyone, from the hardcore foodies and gourmands among us who can partake in tasting the schnitzels and Austrian dumplings, to the architecture enthusiasts who can marvel at the cathedrals and churches with their intricate designs that go back centuries. Austria can even be a journey in and of itself, with its carved valleys, and railways that seem like they unzip the alps themselves.
As with any other destination, when to visit Austria may be critical. After all, this question will determine what you get to see when you’re here, and how much you’d be spending. The best time to visit Austria is during the shoulder months between April – May and September – October. While there is a tendency for summer to get crowded, the shoulder months offer you a chance to explore Austria in an almost pristine state.
1. April to May – Spring / Good Season
The temperatures are changing, and transitioning into the summer time. Hiking enthusiasts will find that the hike does get chilly after a point. The lakes too find themselves to be on the colder side. Daytime temperatures are good, rain may be present particularly during April. This weather is definitely conducive to fewer crowds, allowing accommodations to be available easier. Make sure you carry rain–proof clothing and an umbrella if you’re traveling in April, as there is a chance that the weather in Austria will get wet during this period.
- Avg. Temperature: 58 – 65° F / 9 – 15° C (in Vienna)
- Rainfall: 40 –118 mm
- Season: Spring
- Highlights: This may be a good season to explore the Hofburg area. This area is the epitome of Austrian culture. Once a palatial home, the Hofburg area is now home to a historical and cultural heritage. The gates date back to 1533, the base itself dates back to 1233 AD, and from these dates alone, one can see why this site would be steeped in history and cultural heritage. You will also get the most out of Vienna during these months, as the crowds will be much lower, and since the tourist season is just beginning, you would be able to get good discounts.
2. June to August – Summer / High Season
Summer in Austria can be quite the affair, particularly in Salzburg area, around July, owing to the local festivities of the Salsburg festival. The peak of this high season in particular is from July to August. This is when the heat can be felt particularly along the lakeside areas. Overall, the crowds may increase particularly in comparison to the previous season. Expect prices to go up– they might even double in Vienna. Since the crowds would be high, it would do you good to book well in advance.
- Avg. Temperature: 74 – 76° F / 18 – 19° C (in Vienna)
- Rainfall: 88 – 107 mm
- Season: Summer
- Highlights: The summer months may be a good time to visit the Zell am See. Zell am see often steals the heart of its tourists with sapphire blue lake, Zeller See and its centre court. What may also catch your eye, is the Hohe Tauern and its peaks that seem kissed by the snow (don’t worry– the trek will still be warm enough, and the sight of the snow pretty rewarding). The mountains may also be a good place to explore skiing options particularly in the winter months. This is the season of the unmissable Salzburg Festival, Vienna Festival, and the Rainbow Parade!
3. September to October – Fall / Good Season
Fall is incredibly beautiful in Austria, especially since the golden and red hues take over the landscape, turning the mountains into a fiery destination for adventurers. The weather will be extremely pleasant, even though it will get chilly towards the end of the season. Since the peak season is over, you don’t have to expect too many tourists, either.
- Avg. Temperature: 57 – 79° F / 10 – 15° C (in Vienna)
- Rainfall: 44 – 64 mm
- Season: Fall
- Highlights: This is the season for adventurers who want to get the most out of the country– cycle along the Danube, on a tour of Tyrol, or relax on a trek through the North Austrian Lakes. There are some excellent walking trips in Trins as well. If you’re in Vienna, you might be able to catch the Vienna Fashion Week in September, or the unique Long Night of the Museums in October.
4. November to March – Winter / Low Season
While winter seasons in most countries signals lower crowds and an off–season vibe, winter months in Austria can be quite unique. While the crowds are for the most part, lower and the prices as well much lower, Christmas in Vienna brings a yuletide vibe that cannot be missed. The cost of accommodation would be incredibly low, but expect a lot of snow, and closures in smaller towns and villages.
This is when to visit Austria if you want to take full advantage of the lower costs.
- Temperature: 44 – 53° F / -1 – 5° C (in Vienna)
- Rainfall: 29 – 99 mm
- Season: Winter
- Highlights: Without a doubt, this season is the best time to go skiing in the Austrian Alps. The erstwhile sleepy village of St Anton has now evolved into a skiing capital, from its humble roots as a cattle village. The resorts here may date back to 1901, but don’t let that fool you, as they have everything a modern–day ski professional would aspire. St. Anton is our first recommendation but other places such as Alpbach, Kitzbühel, Saalbach, and Sölden are also pretty great.