We would like to go to Austria in the off season so we're thinking either early November 2022 or mid-March 2023. We would probably fly into Vienna from the US and also visit Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck (traveling by train). Does anyone have any thoughts ? Would it be a good time to go? Thanks!
I'm not sure I would call mid-March off-season in Austria.
For a fall trip I’d check to see if any harvest festivals are still happening in early November although I suspect wine festivals happen earlier in the fall. The Christmas markets will probably start in late a November although I didn’t look up the 2022 dates. If you go in March you may be in time for the blossoming of the apricot trees in the Wachau Valley near Vienna although I suspect it’s about a month later. With so many walks, wineries, museums, stunning architecture, music events and wonderful food in this country you cannot go wrong with any time you pick.
The only areas of Austria that are a concern in the off-season are the ski areas.
But as you are planning to visit three/four major cities in Austria, this will not be an issue. The weather will be better in early November as you may catch the last waves of fall and some warmer days. Mid-March however, will likely be howling with winter and the likelihood of warm days at that point are slim.
I am curious why you are visiting Linz? I can think of better places to spend my time, honestly. What do you want to see in Innsbruck? I might suggest Graz instead of Linz or Innsbruck as it is more southern and has a milder climate - plus nice things to do in the area such as mighty fortresses, great wine, Zotter chocolate factory and the lovely Loipersdorf spa region.
I went late March one year and really missed the gardens in bloom. There were no leaves on the trees, and if the day was grey, it was gloomy. The weather alternated between winter and spring days. I promised myself I would come back for the gardens, and I did this past April/May.
March was too early for the Wachau Valley, as the boats were not on their regular schedule yet.
Now, the Xmas markets are spectacular, if you're interested, and having been canceled the last two years, there's going to be much excitement regarding their festivities.
Remember that the days are short, daylight about 8:00 am til 4:30 pm.
Have a safe trip!
Since weather is getting warmer every year, I think they might actually see some first flowers sprouting up. The best part of March is that except for spring break, the crowds have lessened and I find the people friendlier. I will say November might be too gloomy so I'd go end of March.
Thanks, All, for your replies! Emily, Linz appears to be on the train-line between Vienna and Salzburg so that's why we were considering it. I'll definitely look into Graz.
Carol - the train ride from Vienna to Salzburg is 2 hours 20 minutes so hardly a need to break it up in industrial Linz.
Pat - we had Christmas markets this past Christmas.
Heather - November will be less gloomy than mid-March I think. Great fall color on the trees.
Emily, just this past April, our hotel manager in Salzburg told us that the markets opened in 2021, but then shut down, due to COVID. So The markets in Vienna stayed open? Thx for the correction, and for all of your invaluable input here on the Forum!
Linz is underrated. It has a lot of museums, a lot of cultural locations, Austria's largest cathedral, etc.
Especially spectacular is the Ars Electronica Center:
March is definitely Shoulder Season, cool, but one of my favorite times in the region; November, also Shoulder Season.
You said early November so that might rule out the markets, I wouldn't count on them being open prior to 19 November.
I don't know how long your trip is, but consider an open jaw flight, then do: Arrive Munich (3N) to Innsbruck (2:45) (3N) to Salzburg (2:00) (3N) to Vienna (2:30) (4N) to Budapest (2:30) (4N) and depart.
I ran it in that direction to give you a better chance for open Christmas Markets in Vienna and Budapest.
I figure 16 to 18 nights at a minimum.