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Holidays in Austria

A Symphony of Culture, Nature, and Tradition

Nestled in the heart of Europe, Austria beckons with its enchanting landscapes, rich culture, and vibrant traditions. Vienna, the capital, is the beating heart of this nation of 9.1 million people, where imperial architecture intertwines with modern flair. The Austrian climate, marked by warm summers and snow-laden winters, offers year-round exploration. Whilst German is native to 98% of the population, English is widely spoken fluently, particularly within the tourism sector, and when it comes to spending, the Euro reigns supreme. 

Austria invites you to savour its cultural symphony, from opera seasons to idyllic outdoor festivals, promising an unforgettable experience.

Which is the Best Month to Visit Austria? 

If the mere thought of a city escape or an alpine retreat in Austria has ever danced through your thoughts, then consider this your official invitation to turn those dreams into reality. The enchanting landscapes of Austria beckon, offering diverse experiences that range from heart-pounding alpine hikes to serene dips in glacial lakes, from exhilarating ski slopes to the graceful waltz of Vienna's imperial ballrooms. Austria is a country that effortlessly weaves together the thrill of outdoor adventures, cultural richness, and architectural marvels, making it a must-visit destination for any travel lover.

But here's the catch – timing is everything! 

To make the most of your Austrian escapade, planning your visit around the seasons is crucial. Whether you're chasing the warmth of summer, the vibrant hues of autumn, or the winter wonderland that blankets the alpine landscape, Austria has a season for every soul. 

Let's break it down:

The best month to visit Austria for Snow: A Winter Wonderland Beckons!

For snow enthusiasts yearning for the quintessential winter experience, Austria is your snowy paradise from mid-November to the beginning of March. The winter season unveils a magical landscape adorned with crisp white snow, setting the stage for an unforgettable holiday. 

Skiing, Austria's national sport, takes centre stage during this period, with approximately 400 resorts offering pristine slopes. The ski season typically kicks off in early December, featuring big opening weekends, and extends until Easter, providing ample time for snow enthusiasts to indulge in their favourite winter sport.

Austria's unique charm extends beyond the slopes, offering an array of off-slope activities. From snowshoe hiking in the breathtaking Rauris Valley to enchanting horse-drawn sleigh rides in Kleinarl and Hinterglemm, there's something for every winter adventurer.

Embrace the magic of Christmas in Austria during the Advent period, marked by cherished traditions and romantic Christmas markets. Explore glistening lights, savour seasonal treats, and connect with locals while discovering handcrafted souvenirs.

Indulge in spa and wellness offerings, replete with natural hot springs and Alpine views, providing a perfect retreat after a day of winter exploration. Austria's winter isn't just a season; it's an invitation to a world of snow-covered enchantment, hospitality, and cherished memories. Prepare to be captivated by Austria's winter wonderland!

Skiing in Austria. Skiing and snow activities are Austria’s national sport and favoured pastime.

Best Month to Visit Austria for Ball Season: Dancing Through the "Fifth Season”

Prepare to step into the enchanting world of Austria's ball season, often hailed as the "fifth season," a magical period that spans from November to February. In a country that embraces life with all senses, these events are a testament to Austria's passion for celebration.

The Viennese Waltz: A Dance of Elegance and Tradition

No other country hosts balls as romantic and festive as Vienna. More than 400 balls grace the city every winter, attracting dance enthusiasts from around the globe. These events, steeped in 18th-century courtly customs, showcase a unique blend of ceremonial programs, dress codes, and the iconic exclamation, "Alles Walzer!". The Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Musikverein are transformed into stunning ballrooms, hosting the renowned Opera Ball and the Ball of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, respectively. These exquisite affairs celebrate both tradition and the artistic brilliance of the Vienna State Opera.

Highlighted Balls in the Season

Mark your calendar for the most anticipated balls of the season:

Physicians' Ball at Hofburg, Vienna (Saturday 25 January 2025): 
Experience glamour within the Imperial Palace, where opulence and tradition are a cornerstone of Vienna’s Ball Season.

Opera Redoute at Opera House, Graz (Saturday 25 January 2025): 
Graz' Opera, one of Europe's most magnificent opera houses, hosts a grand ball featuring the Graz Philharmonic, ballet, and singers.

Coffee Maker Ball at Hofburg, Vienna (Friday 21 February 2025): 
With 6,000 guests, this popular ball is a carnival highlight, enticing coffee lovers with a must-visit coffee bar.

Vienna Opera Ball at State Opera, Vienna (Saturday 27 February 2025): 
The Vienna State Opera transforms into the world's most beautiful ballroom, captivating guests with a spectacular opening 'polonaise' dance and performances by renowned opera singers.

Edelweiss Ball at Stiegl-Brauwelt, Salzburg (Friday 31 January 2025): 
Hosted by the Salzburg "Edelweiss Club," this ball demands strict adherence to traditional Alpine attire, creating a rustic yet refined atmosphere.

The Vienna Opera Ball, at the State Opera, Austria.The stunning ballroom at the State Opera, for Vienna's Opera Ball.

The Best Month to Visit Austria for Food Festivals

May unveils a gastronomic spectacle in Vienna as the Genuss-Festival transforms Stadtpark into a culinary haven from 10th - 12th May 2024. Austria's largest culinary celebration, this event invites visitors to explore the diverse flavours of the country amidst the lush greenery and the iconic statue of Johann Strauss.

With free admission, the festival boasts 100 booths and experience stations where producers and artisans showcase their specialties. From Viennese snails to Alpine caviar and Tyrolean cheese, the festival mirrors Austria's rich culinary heritage. Chefs from across the country join the festivities, crafting dishes that highlight the best of Austrian cuisine.

Stadtpark, Vienna's oldest public park, dating back to 1860, provides a historic backdrop for this epicurean event. As the Vienna city walls made way for the Ringstrasse, the park emerged as a green oasis, offering the perfect setting for a culinary adventure.

Best Month to Visit Austria for Wine Tours: A Toast to Vienna's Vineyard Splendour

For wine enthusiasts, the best time to embark on an Austrian wine tour is during the wine harvest season, spanning from late August to early October. However, the allure of Viennese winemaking extends beyond the harvest, offering a unique experience throughout the year. As one of the world's few metropolises cultivating wine grapes within its city limits, Vienna beckons with approximately 700 hectares of vineyards, inviting exploration on foot amidst captivating cultural landscapes.

Spring and summer emerge as prime seasons, with lush vineyards inviting outdoor tastings and scenic vineyard walks. Vienna's proximity to renowned wine regions enhances its allure, offering a diverse range of experiences. Journey to Wachau Valley for high-quality white wines like Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, or explore Carnuntum for rich red varieties such as Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch. Venture south to the Thermenregion for aromatic light reds like the indigenous St. Laurent grape.

Whether strolling through Viennese vineyards or venturing to nearby regions, each sip reveals the unique character of Austria's wines, making any time of the year the perfect moment to savour the country's vinicultural treasures.

A taste of Austria's highlights in 60 seconds

Christmas Magic in Austria: A Winter Wonderland of Tradition and Delight

From mid-November to year's end, Austria dons its wintry cloak, transforming into a picturesque wonderland with twinkling lights and festive markets. The Advent season, cherished for its tranquillity, brings age-old traditions like baking, decorating, and carolling.

Vienna hosts over 20 Christmas markets, dating back to medieval times, offering seasonal delights against the grandeur of City Hall. Salzburg's market, nestled beneath Hohensalzburg fortress, enchants with choral performances and nativity displays. In Innsbruck, the Old Town Market, near the Golden Roof, exudes romance with its gleaming decorations and aromatic treats.

From Graz to Linz, Klagenfurt, and beyond, Austria's markets invite locals and visitors alike to indulge in regional delights and handcrafted treasures. Amidst snow-capped scenes, these markets evoke the true spirit of the season, promising magical moments and warm memories.

Christmas market at Residenz Square in Salzburg.One of Salzburg's famed Christmas markets at Residenz Square.

Bad Ischl Salzkammergut 2024: Celebrating European Cultural Capital

Bad Ischl Salzkammergut earns the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture for 2024, alongside Tartu in Estonia and Bodø in Norway. During 2024, the region, with 22 towns in the picturesque Salzkammergut lake district, will showcase its rich cultural diversity under the theme "Culture is the new salt." But it doesn’t end there. 

Visitors will experience a vibrant array of events, exhibitions, performances, and discussions through the following four program lines:

•    Power and Tradition

•    Culture in Motion

•    Sharing Salzkammergut - The Art of Travelling

•    Globalokal - Building the New

The region's history, rooted in salt mining, waterways, and forests, forms the foundation of its unique cultural heritage. From the majestic Lake Hallstatt to the enchanting Kaiservilla in Bad Ischl, each location tells a story of resilience, creativity, and community spirit.

Bad Ischl Salzkammergut, the European Capital of Culture, beckons visitors to celebrate art, heritage, and cultural exchange. It's a prime opportunity to explore the renowned lake district, cherished by Austrians for generations, including Emperor Franz Joseph. Accessible by train from Vienna and Salzburg, this picturesque region promises an enriching experience for all who venture there.

Bad Ischl: the Salzkammergut's capital and a key place for the European Capital of Culture 2024's festivities. Austria.Bad Ischl: the Salzkammergut's capital and a key place for the European Capital of Culture's 2024 festivities.

Experience 'The Sound of Music' in Salzburg

Salzburg reigns as the ultimate "Sound of Music" destination, where the iconic film's magic comes alive. Once home to the real-life Trapp family and the backdrop for the movie's timeless scenes, the city invites visitors to follow in the footsteps of Maria von Trapp and Julie Andrews.

Each year, around 300,000 people flock to Salzburg to explore landmarks associated with the von Trapp family and the beloved film. Julie Andrews' portrayal of Maria captivated audiences worldwide upon the movie's release in 1965, immortalising the von Trapp story. The film's enchanting melodies continue to resonate globally.

Take a Sound of Music Tour to discover original filming locations in various ways: by bus, foot, bicycle, or even rickshaw. Whichever option you choose, it promises a truly unforgettable experience immersed in the timeless charm of "The Sound of Music."

60th Anniversary of Sound of Music

2025 will mark the 60th year anniversary of Sound of Music. Keep an eye on our travel agent blogs and the Salzburg Tourist Board website for details as they emerge.

The famous pavillion from the Sound of Music, Schlosspark, Salzburg.The famous Sound of Music gazebo, Schloss Hellbrunn.

Destination Highlights


Innsbruck, dubbed the Capital of the Alps, offers a blend of imperial elegance and stunning Gothic and Baroque architecture in its Old Town. Within minutes, you can transition from strolling its historic streets to ascending to 2,000 metres via a city centre cable car. The city's breathtaking mountain backdrop greets visitors warmly, with a cosy atmosphere that quickly feels like home. Innsbruck's compact layout invites exploration on foot or by bike, while its Southern-influenced charm adds to its appeal. For skiing enthusiasts, the city is encircled by 13 resorts boasting groomed slopes from October to May, including the vast Stubai glacier, the lofty Kühtai, and the Olympic venues Axamer Lizum and Patscherkofel—all conveniently accessible via a complimentary ski bus service.
Innsbruck Mariahilf in winter. Austria holidays.
The colourful houses of Innsbruck's Mariahilf in winter.
Enjoy a stroll through Mirabell Garden for your own Sound of Music moment, Salzburg Austria Holidays.
Enjoy a stroll through the beautiful Mirabell Gardens.


Salzburg, a city of timeless charm, seamlessly blends history and modernity. From Mozart's birthplace to the iconic scenes of "The Sound of Music," its UNESCO-listed baroque architecture and stunning landscape create a captivating backdrop. The globally acclaimed Salzburg Festival and the festive charm of Christmastime enhance its allure, ensuring a memorable experience throughout the year. With a bustling calendar of events, from cultural highlights to family-friendly attractions, Salzburg caters to all. Whether wandering its historic streets or exploring its vibrant modern scene, there's something for every visitor. Tranquil outdoor retreats offer respite, while its reputation as a trade show hub adds to its international appeal. Salzburg invites you to embark on a journey tailored to your desires, promising an unforgettable adventure in every corner. 

Arlberg Region

The Arlberg region, though its name may mislead, is a haven nestled between Tyrol and Vorarlberg. Its villages—St. Anton am Arlberg, St. Christoph, Stuben, Zürs, and Lech—blend tradition with innovation, fostering a love for the outdoors. Renowned as the birthplace of modern skiing, the Arlberg boasts Austria's largest interconnected ski area, with over nine metres of annual snowfall. Winter activities abound, from pristine slopes to scenic hiking trails, toboggan runs, and more. In summer, verdant valleys and rugged peaks beckon hikers, bikers, and climbers, offering tranquility amidst nature's splendour. With summer cable cars granting easy access to elevated vistas, the Arlberg promises unforgettable adventures for all who seek its embrace.

Admiring the view from the ski lifts at St Anton, Arlberg, Austria.
Admiring the view from the ski lifts at St Anton, Arlberg.
Stand up paddle boarding and water sports at Wolfgangsee, Austria.
Idyllic holiday spots abound at Wolfgangsee

Wolfgangsee im Salzkammergut

Nestled in Austria's Salzkammergut region, Wolfgangsee stands out among 76 lakes, surrounded by picturesque villages like St. Gilgen, St. Wolfgang, and Strobl. This region, rich in tradition and innovation, is defined by its salt mines and stunning landscapes.

Visitors encounter a blend of old-world charm and vibrant culture along Wolfgangsee's shores, with activities ranging from leisurely lake cruises to thrilling winter sports. Whether cooling off in summer, admiring autumn's colours, or revelling in winter festivities, Wolfgangsee offers year-round enchantment in its ever-changing beauty.

Want more travel tips and Austria holiday ideas?  

Learn from our travel experts' own experiences:

Highlights along the Danube

A river cruise is a lovely way to experience Austria's scenery and charm. Travel expert Sarah Knoll shares her highlights. 

River Cruising Austria

A Foodie's Delight

Austria travel specialist Allen Suss shares his favourite delicacies. Discover what you simply must try!

Food Lovers

The Magic of Vienna

Visiting Vienna for the first time? See these quick tips and advice from Austria travel expert David Wright. 

Visiting Vienna

Best Christmas Markets

Tick the European Christmas markets off your bucket list with our go-to guide on Christmas markets in Austria.

Christmas Markets

For more information on travelling in Austria, connect with one of our travel specialists below. 

Austria Tourism Verified Specialist

Connect with an Austria expert Travel Agent today!

Looking for the perfect Austria holiday itinerary? All our featured travel advisors are certified Holidays in Austria Specialists, so you can rest easy knowing you're in good hands with a travel expert by your side. 

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Photos with thanks to the Austrian National Tourist Office:  
Heiligenblut (Header Image) © Nationalpark Hohe Tauern Kärnten / Klaus Dapra, Map of Austria © OW / Nicole-Weber, Snow Shoeing © Zell am See-Kaprun Tourismus, Vienna Opera Ball © OW / Andreas Tischler, Christmas Market Salzburg © Tourismus Salzburg /  Guenter Breitegger, Bad Ischl - Salzkammergut  © OW / Lisa Eiersebner, Sound of Music Pavilion © Schlossverwaltung Hellbrunn,/ Foto Sulzer, Innsbruck Mariahilf © Innsbruck Tourismus / Christof Lackner, Mirabell Gardens © OW / Daniel Ordelt, St Anton © Turismusverband St. Anton am Arlberg / Patrick Bätz, Lake Wolfgangsee © WTG.