Traveling to Austria
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IDP is essential when driving abroad
International Driving Permit (IDP), regulated by the United Nations, certifies that you are the holder of a valid driver's license in your country of origin.
Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world.
How to get your IDP
Fill in the forms
Have your driver’s license and delivery address handy
Verify your ID
Upload pictures of your driver's license
Wait for confirmation and you’re ready to go!
Do I Need an International Driver’s License in Austria?
Yes. You do need an International Driving Licence in Austria. Whenever you hit the road with your car, always bring your IDP. You can get your International Drivers Permit/License through our International Drivers Association website page.
You don't need to go on a driving test because you will also use your license when going to a foreign country. If you take an IDP that lasts for 3 years, the same process would be when you go to Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, the United Kingdom, Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Turkey.
Rental companies will most likely ask for your IDP if you are a foreign driver no matter if you are from European countries. But, there's a huge chance you won't need it if you are one of the EEA countries which makes it easier for car rental companies. You won't need to pay vignette if you drive on side motorways but they have some great highways with low road traffic. So International Driving Licence is highly recommended if you plan to rent a motor vehicle.
With a milestone of 46 million visitors recorded in 2019, Austria has always been famous for skiing options for all levels on snow-sure pistes, unrivaled après-ski, hospitality, and off-the-slope activities. But not just this, tourists are also drawn to this country because of its castles, palaces, and buildings, among other architectural works.
Austria offers a wide diversity of sights and activities and is a brilliant destination for outdoor life enthusiasts. It’s no wonder this country is the 12th most visited country in the world.
Since the 1600s and holding a major role of cultural importance in Austria, the Schonbrunn Palace is a colossal 1441 room structure and complex that is the main tourist attraction in Vienna. The palace itself is an immense building and designed in a Baroque style with a symmetrical main building with hundreds of windows and statues on the rooftop.
Inside the palace are an assortment of rooms all fully furnished and decorated in the original style – You can enjoy a tour through the rooms and admire the sumptuous furnishings and see how Austrian royalty lived.
Tourists are mostly at peak in July and August. Also, avoid visiting it during the Christmas Holidays. The best season to visit the Schonbrunn Palace is January and February since it sees the lowest number of visitors.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
One of Vienna, Austria’s most culturally significant landmarks is the St. Stephen’s Cathedral. It is the only main Roman Catholic church in the city. It is also one of Austria’s most popular attractions. Its 137-meter-high spire and the richly decorated roof is the city's most important Gothic edifice and represents eight centuries of architectural history.
The cathedral was near-complete destruction during WWII. It’s reconstruction from 1948 until 1962 proved to be a tremendous communal effort involving the whole of Austria, demonstrating the nation's eagerness to restore this former symbol of the country's illustrious past. It’s also an important heritage site and is respected across Austria and indeed throughout the world.
It is best to visit this cathedral from April to May and September to October as tourists in this season are most likely not at their peak.
Spanish Riding School
The amazing Spanish Riding School was established after Emperor Maximilian II had the famous Lipizzaner horses introduced to his courtesans in 1562. At present, it is now one of the leading riding schools in the world. It thrills the audience with its fabulous displays of equestrian skills.
Tickets to these popular performances sell out quickly. So make sure to book a ticket in advance before going there. It is advised to purchase a package bundle that includes a behind-the-scenes tour and the chance to visit the stables, along with a morning training session. They take a break in summer and do a minimal show. The best season to visit is also from April to May and September to October.
The Upper Belvedere palace is home to most of the permanent Belvedere art collections and exhibitions. It has two splendid Baroque buildings: the Lower (Unteres) Belvedere and the Upper (Oberes) Belvedere. Highlights of the Upper Palace include the Ground Floor Hall with its statues and the Ceremonial Staircase with its rich stucco relief and frescoes.
The palace attracts many tourists from Friday to Saturday, so it is best to visit on a weekday. The tourists usually flock around 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, so it is advised to visit the palace at 10:00 AM. The crowd doesn’t relent during public holidays, summer holidays, school holidays, Christmas, and Easter.
It is a must to visit Hofburg when you explore Austria. It was originally a fortified castle that dates back to the 13th century. Inside, the Imperial Silver Collection, Sisi Museum, and the Imperial Apartments told a wealth of rich culture and history waiting to be explored.
It is best to visit the Hofburg Palace from April to May and September to October. Tourists are likely to be lesser in the said months compared to the other months.
If you love heights, then you should not miss out on Vienna’s skyline landmark. The Wiener Reisenrad is one of the earliest Ferris wheels ever built. The nearly 65 m (212 ft) tall Ferris wheel opened in 1897 in celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef I. Enjoy the breathtaking and stunning views over Vienna’s UNESCO-listed historic center.
Though the wheel is open all year round, except for a few days in January, it’s best enjoyed during pleasant weather outside of the peak tourist season, which is summer. Apart from riding the Wheel, visitors can explore the nearby wax museum, art installations, delightful street food stalls, and soak in the calmness of Prater Park.
Visiting Austria without skiing is a big no-no. Austria is widely recognized as one of the world’s best snow-sure skiing destinations. The famed resort town of Kitzbühel spoils snow lovers with its 170 kilometers of skiable pistes and slopes dotted with little mountain huts. This ski-place is one of the most sought out skiing resorts in Australia.
Most Important Driving Rules
If you are planning to visit and explore Austria, you need to obtain an International Driving Permit. You will not be able to legally drive if you don’t have one. Unless you are from a European Union country, you don’t need an International Driving license.
Aside from obtaining an International driver’s license, you also need to follow road rules and regulations to avoid possible troubles along your trip. There may be some road signs that might be unfamiliar to you, that’s why you have to be careful while driving.
Always Bring Your International Driving Permit
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is required. Checkpoints in Austrian roads are unpredictable.
If you are a European Union (EU) citizen, then there is no need for you to obtain an international driving license in Austria. Austrian authorities do acknowledge driving licenses from EU citizens.
Don’t Forget to Carry Required Documents
Besides your International Drivers License, remember to bring your local driver’s license, passport, and other important documents. You might be questioned by Austrian authorities and they might look for the mentioned documents.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Drinking and driving are prohibited, like in the most countries in the world. It is one of the causes of severe accidents happening in Austrian roads. The maximum blood alcohol level to drive in Austria is 0.05%. In addition, new drivers who have had a license for less than two years are subject to a lower limit of 0.01%. Exceeding these limits can get you fined and a possible license denial.
Every road has its speed limit. Authorities are very strict when it comes to over speeding. It is because this is also one of the reasons where severe accidents occur in the road. Violating the indicated speed limit in Austrian roads can get you fined starting from €30 and a possible license denial.
Road signs have a purpose why they are there. It is to help and guide you in your trip while driving. You have to strictly obey them. Austrians are well-disciplined when they are driving. Thus, you also have to do your part and obey road signs to prevent accidents from happening.
Do Not Use Your Phone While Driving
Using your phone while driving can get your attention away from the road, and that is very dangerous. You can use your phone for navigation purposes if it is equipped with a hands-free system. If you really need to attend to your phone, slowly pull in the sidelines and turn on your hazard lights before using your phone.
Do Not Run a Red Light
It is never okay to run a red light. No matter how impatient you are or how you really want to cross the road, do not run a red light. It can lead to severe accidents, not just to you but also to other drivers on the road. Violating this would get you fined starting from €70.
Always wear your seatbelt
As Austria is very strict when it comes to wearing seatbelts, you would pay a hefty fine or even lose your license if you are caught not wearing one. If the car is moving, the driver and all passengers in the vehicle must wear seat belts. Passengers in the backseat are also required to wear their seatbelts.
Do I need an International Driving Permit?
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