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Winter Travel in Austria

My wife and I are planning a trip to Vienna and Salzburg this December. Any tips on winter travel would be welcome. Also, is this not a good idea ?


Posted by
16165 posts

It is a very good time. Christmas Markets, beginning of the Winter Sports season. Winter travel is not any different than summer travel, except to being less crowded.

Posted by
932 posts

It’s a great idea if you’re interested in Christmas markets, as there will be markets in nearly every town. There are also lots of cultural opportunities in winter that may not be there in summer. However, if you’re interested in events such as opera or symphony, I would caution you to book your tickets as soon as possible. I will be in Vienna in late November, and had to go on a waiting list before I could obtain opera tickets, and I bought them in June.

One thing to consider about travel in the winter is that nightfall is early, and your opportunities to sightsee may be limited by that fact.

Posted by
5689 posts

We have done two December-January trips including the Germany/Austria area -- wonderful! (No snow in Salzburg either time, but we got to see some from the train windows.)

The usual advice -- dress in layers, carry gloves and hats to keep your extremities warm, wool socks, mufflers, shoes or boots with a good tread to avoid slipping. Wear your heavy coat onto planes and trains rather than trying to pack it. Don't be concerned about how you look, since in every picture you will be wearing the same big coat.

Consider spending New Year's Eve in Vienna -- there's waltzing in the streets near St. Stephans.
And Budapest is only a 2-3 hour train ride from Vienna. We spent most of a day relaxing in the outdoor thermal pools.

Posted by
4021 posts

I was in Vienna and Salzburg in January/2016. I will say its chilly and it can be very windy in Vienna. Layers. Bratislava is a nice day trip from Vienna, 1 hour by train. It was basically a blizzard the first day and a half we were in Salzburg. (and we're from Minnesota) We took a day trip to Munich because we thought there was more to do in Munich during a blizzard than Salzburg. We were correct and Munich did not get the snow that Salzburg did. Both cities were absolutely beautiful with all the snow. The snow, when they get it, tends to be slushier than what we are used to because its warmer--high 20s low 30s. Make sure to have waterproof footwear. When it was done snowing, it was absolutely beautiful. It also is not even close to as crowded in the winter as it is in the summer. We only had January for travel and had concerns about whether we'd have fun in Salzburg in the winter. We are happy we went although we hope to go back in the summer.