Sixt has provided this guide to provide our customers with a bit of information about travelling in Austria. The guide is split into 4 parts and will give you some important tips to know before you start your trip.
Crime in Austria is generally quite low but petty crimes do occur so you should make sure that you take precautions against becoming a victim. Don’t leave any bags or valuables unattended. Be careful when you are in busy city centres, railway stations and airports as pick pockets can operate in those areas and take extra care when you are travelling through these areas at night. Make sure your valuables are safe as tourists can be targeted for money and passports particularly in busy city centres.
If your passport gets lost or stolen you should go to the British embassy straight away and report it to the nearest police station. You will need a copy of the police statement for when you apply for a new passport and if you are making a claim on your insurance.
If you are planning on going skiing in Austria and you want to check the weather and safety conditions before you travel, you can contact the Austrian Tourist Agency 0845 101 1818. Always listen to safety instructions that are given to you in case of avalanches as the risk could be high in some areas especially during times of heavy snow. You can find out about current weather conditions at local tourist offices. Avalanches most commonly occur during the spring season so be sure to take extra care if you are skiing around this time of year. Avalanche beepers are the most commonly used device that help to find avalanche victims so you should think about using them if you think you might be at risk. You can avalanche information by telephoning +43 512 581839. You can also find out more information by visiting the websites of the Tirol Avalanche Warning Service and the European Avalanche Warning Service.
If you are planning on driving in Austria you will need to make sure that you have your full UK driver’s licence, insurance documents and ownership documents on you at all times. You need to be at least 18 years old in order to drive in Austria.
In 2012 there were 522 road deaths in Austria which equates to 6.2 road deaths per 100,000 people. The UK average of road deaths in the same year was 2.8 per 100,000 people.
Drink driving limits in Austria mean that you are allowed 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. Don’t drink and drive as punishments are severe.
You need to have a high visibility warning vest with you and with if you get out of your car on the hard shoulder and in case of a breakdown. You must also have a first aid kit and a warning triangle with you inside the car.
The use of mobile phones whilst driving is not allowed unless you use a hands free system.
Motorists in Austria have to form an emergency corridor as soon as traffic ceases to move and there is congestion on motorways or dual carriageways and highways, even if the emergency services are not in place.
If you are travelling on Austrian motorways you will need to purchase a motorway sticker and place it on the inside of your windscreen before you enter the country. You will be able to buy this from all major border crossings and large petrol stations. Failure to do so will result in an on the spot fine.
For those that are using toll roads in Austria there is an electronic device called a GO-BOX which you can use that automatically deducts the toll money from your vehicle. These can be purchased from sales centres in Austria or online for a one off fee of €5.
All vehicle must be adapted for winter conditions between November and April and the use of winter tyres are necessary. Snow chains are only to be used in extreme conditions on certain roads and when it is covered by snow. Check before you use them.
If you need to contact the emergency services in Austria call 112.
You must carry your passport with you at all times in case you are stopped by the police. If you do not have it with you, it needs to be close by as you will have to access it within a reasonable time. You can also carry photocopies of your passport and keep the original in a safe place.
Drug laws are similar to the UK. If you caught possessing drugs you could be convicted and serve a prison sentence.
Make sure that you contact your GP at least 8 weeks before your trip in case you need any vaccinations or you need to take any precautionary measures.
You can find specific health care information by country on the National Travel Health Network and Centre website and lots of other useful information about healthcare abroad from NHS Choices.
Before you travel to Austria you should get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC isn’t a substitute for medical and travel insurance but it does entitle you to state provided health care should you require it. If you don’t have your EHIC or you happen to lose it then you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team on (+44 191 218 1999) to get a provisional replacement certificate. Make sure that you have the adequate health and travel insurance when you are abroad as the EHIC does not cover you against ongoing medical treatment, repatriation or non-urgent treatment.
If you need to call an ambulance during your stay in Austria then you can contact them on 112. You should also contact your insurance company if you are referred to a medical treatment facility whilst abroad.
If your visiting Austria for any times up to 3 months you need to make sure that your passport is valid for the period of your stay.
You won’t need a visa to enter Austria as long as you have a valid British passport.
If you are a single parent or you are travelling with a child who is not your own you will need documentary evidence of parental responsibility and a letter of consent. If you require more information about what is needed then you can visit the Austrian Embassy in London.
UK Emergency Travel Documents will be accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Austria.
* Please note: All content was correct at the time of publication.