AustriaOfficial Name: Republic of Austria
Must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen area.
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Not required for stays under 90 days within each 180 day period
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
0 Min/10,000 Euro Max
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
0 Min/10,000 Euro Max
Embassies and Consulates
1090 Vienna, Austria
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(43)(1) 313 39
Fax: +(43)(1) 512 58 35
1010 Vienna, Austria
Telephone: +(43)(1) 313-397-535
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(43) (1) 31-339
Fax: +(43)(1) 512-58-35
Austria is a highly developed, stable democracy with a modern economy. Tourism is an important pillar of the Austrian economy and facilities are widely available. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Austria for additional information on U.S.-Austria relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
U.S. citizens entering Austria for tourism or on business trips for a period of up to three months do not need a visa. Anyone intending to stay longer than 90 days or who wishes to be gainfully employed in Austria must obtain the appropriate visa issued by the Austrian Embassy in the United States. Visit the Embassy of Austria website for the most current visa information. More information is available on the GOA official information website on migration to Austria.
Students attending or hoping to attend a college/university in Austria (regardless of whether the intended period of stay is less than or more than six months) consult with the Austrian Embassy/Consulate before going to Austria. Information for students is available from the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD).
Austria is a party to the Schengen Borders Agreement. This means U.S. citizens traveling for tourism or business can apply to enter the Schengen area without a visa for up to 90 days within each 180 day period. Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended date of departure from the Schengen area. We recommend that your passport be valid for at least six months whenever you travel abroad to avoid unintended travel disruptions. For further details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen Fact Sheet.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Austria.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Safety and Security
Austria remains largely free of terrorist incidents; however, like other countries in the Schengen area, Austria’s open borders with its Western European neighbors allow the possibility of terrorist groups entering and exiting the country with anonymity. U.S. citizens are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.
Austrian intelligence experts have registered increased radicalization of immigrant Muslim individuals and of small conspiratorial groups, as well as intensified use of the Internet as a propaganda and communications platform.
Every year, a number of avalanche deaths occur in Austria's alpine regions. Many occur when skiers/snowboarders stray from designated ski slopes. Leaving designated slopes to ski off designated paths may pose serious risks and may delay rescue attempts in case of emergency. Skiers and snowboarders should monitor weather and terrain conditions, and use available avalanche rescue equipment. Avalanche beepers (transceivers) are the most common rescue devices and, when properly used, provide the fastest way of locating an avalanche victim, usually enabling authorities to begin rescue operations within minutes. Climbing, hill walking and mountaineering involve a level of risk with a danger of personal injury or death. While the number of people requiring rescue in Austria remains steady each year, there has been a marked increase in air evacuations since July, 2013. Alpine rescuers are increasingly concerned about the growing number of people participating in mountaineering activities without proper preparation and planning; people participating in these activities should closely monitor weather and terrain conditions and contact local tourism offices or mountain guide associations for information on trails that are tailored to individual skill levels. Also, it is recommended to buy special leisure insurance. More information, including safety tips, is available on the Austrian Alpine Club website. To call for emergency, dial 144” (Austrian Red Cross) or the European emergency number “112.”
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Austria on Twitter and visit the Embassy’s website
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and check for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: Austria has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe, and violent crime is rare. However, crimes involving theft of personal property do occur. As such, most crimes involving U.S. citizens are crimes of opportunity involving theft of personal belongings. Travelers are also targets of pickpockets who operate where tourists tend to gather. Some of the spots where such crimes are most frequently reported include Vienna’s two largest train stations, the plaza around St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the nearby pedestrian shopping areas (in Vienna’s First District).
The U.S. Embassy receives reports of theft and pick pocketing on public transportation lines, especially on those lines coming into and out from the city center. Secure your personal belongings and always take precautions while on public transportation and in public places such as cafes and tourist areas.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, but by buying them, you may also be breaking local law.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
Specific information on the Austrian crime victim compensation program can be found on the U.S. Embassy’s website.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Austria is “133.”
Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Austria, you are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. Persons violating Austrian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Austria are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. If you break local laws in Austria, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted in the United States for engaging in sexual conduct with children or for using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country regardless of the legality of these activities under that country’s laws. Counterfeit and pirated goods are illegal in the United States and if you purchase them in a foreign country, you may be breaking local law as well.
Arrest Notifications: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in that country, others may not. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: We are not aware of any special currency or customs circumstances for this country.
If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in Austria. The LGBT community is well-developed in all larger cities, such as Vienna, Graz, Linz, Innsbruck, and Salzburg, and the LGBT organizations generally operate freely. While there is some societal prejudice against LGBT persons, especially outside of Vienna, and other major Austrian cities, the country has become more liberal with laws and social opinion concerning sexual orientation and gender identity. Antidiscrimination laws also apply to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons and civil partnerships of same-sex couples are legal under a law, which became effective January 1, 2010, but are not equivalent to marriage. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Austria, you may review the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013. For further information on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Austria, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from in the United States. Austrian federal law mandates access to public buildings for persons with physical disabilities; as a result, accessibility has substantially improved in recent years. While many stores and restaurants in Austria still lack ramp or elevator access, most tourist attractions are accessible. A comprehensive assessment of public buildings, including tourist sites, restaurants, cafes, and hotels in Vienna, is available at the Vienna Tourist Information website. For information regarding accessibility in other regions of Austria, please visit the Austrian national Council of Disabled Persons website, which dedicates an entire section to this topic.
Streetcars: Vienna’s streetcar fleet has been phasing in newer trains that are easily accessible for those who use wheelchairs. Approximately one-third of the fleet has been upgraded, although older trains with stair-like entrances are still quite common. Pedestrians need to be aware that streetcars operated on the Vienna circular ‘Ring’ road run counter-traffic.
Buses: Public buses in Vienna are equipped with a “kneeling” capability, to permit easier passenger boarding. The center of each bus has generous space and is equipped with tether lines.
Subway stations: All subway stations in Austria have elevator access, although not at every entrance. Stations are also equipped with a ridged/raised surface to help guide sight-impaired passengers from the entrance to the platform.
Crosswalks: Motorists in Vienna are quite observant of local law and usually yield to pedestrians waiting to cross in designated “zebra” crosswalks. Major intersections also offer an audible cue for the sight-impaired to cross.
Guide dogs: Austria is a very dog-friendly country and dogs are welcome in almost every venue, including taxis, public transportation, stores, and most restaurants. In addition, guide dogs are also permitted in normally restricted venues, such as major tourist attractions.
There are an adequate number of hospitals available in Austria. Local hospitals will not settle their accounts directly with American insurance companies. You must pay the bill to the local hospital and later claim a refund from the insurance carrier in the United States. Medicare payments are not available outside the United States.
The Austrian Medicine Import Act generally prohibits the import of prescription drugs into Austria, with two exceptions:
Travelers residing outside the European Union are allowed to carry with them (as part of their personal luggage) drugs and medicines, but only a quantity the individual requires during the course of the stay; and travelers may receive drugs and medicines for their personal use by mail while staying in Austria. The quantity is limited to the length of their stay in Austria and must never exceed three packages. We recommend you have either a prescription or written statement from your personal physician that you are under a doctor’s care and that the medicine is necessary for your physical well-being while traveling.
Public health in Austria is excellent. Community sanitation in Vienna meets or exceeds that of most U.S. cities. Disease incidence and type are similar to the rest of Europe and the United States. At the present time, air pollution is not a major health problem in Vienna.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Austria, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.
Road conditions in Austria are generally excellent. During the winter, however, roads in alpine areas may become dangerous due to snowfall, ice, or avalanches. Some mountain roads may be closed for extended periods and tire chains are often required. Be extra careful during the heavily traveled vacation periods (i.e., December-February, Easter, and July-August). Be alert when you drive through autobahn construction zones, particularly on the A-1 East/West Autobahn. Reduced lanes and two-way traffic in these zones have resulted in several deadly accidents in recent years. Traffic information and road conditions are broadcast on the English-language channel, fm4, located between 91 and 105 FM depending on the locale.
A U.S. driver’s license alone is not sufficient to drive in Austria. You must also get an international driver’s permit (obtainable in the United States from the American Automobile Association and the American Automobile Touring Alliance) or by an official translation of the U.S. driver’s license, which can be obtained at one of the Austrian automobile clubs, OEAMTC or ARBOE. This arrangement is only acceptable for the first six months of driving in Austria, after which all drivers must obtain an Austrian license.
Austria requires all vehicles using the autobahn to display an “Autobahn Vignette” highway-tax sticker on the inside of the vehicle’s windshield. The sticker may be purchased at border crossings, gas stations in Austria, and small “Tabak” shops located in Austrian towns. The fine for failing to display a valid autobahn vignette on the windshield of your car is EUR 120 (approx. $150), if paid in cash and “on the spot.” For more information, please see the ASFINAG road operator website.
Austrian autobahns have a maximum speed limit of 130 km/hr (81/mil/h), although drivers often drive much faster and pass aggressively. The use of hand-held cell phones while driving is prohibited. Turning right on red is also prohibited throughout Austria. The legal limit for blood alcohol content in Austria is .05 percent and penalties for driving under the influence tend to be stricter than in many U.S. states.
It is mandatory for cars on Austrian motorways and highways to leave an emergency corridor, even when no emergency vehicle is approaching. When traffic stops, create an emergency corridor in between the far-left lane and all others to the right; vehicles should also be using the shoulder. Failure to comply carries a fine of EURO 2,180 (approx. $2,700)
Between November 1 and April 15, the use of winter tires is mandated by law. All-season tires comply if they carry the “MS” mark and have at least 4mm of tread. In addition, local police may require snow chains in heavy snow. Failure to comply with the law results in a substantial fine and the suspension of the cited vehicle's use. Insurance is deemed void if a vehicle which is involved in an accident between November 1 and April 15 is not fitted with winter tires.
Tourists driving rented vehicles must ensure that the vehicle is equipped with the proper tires and pay close attention to the provisions of their rental contract. Many contracts prohibit drivers from taking rented vehicles into eastern European countries. Drivers attempting to enter countries listed as “prohibited” on the car rental contract may be arrested, fined, and/or charged with attempted auto theft. Austrian police are authorized to hold the rented vehicle for the car rental company.
Emergency roadside help and information may be reached by dialing 123 or 120 for vehicle assistance and towing services (Austrian automobile clubs), 122 for the fire department, 133 for police, and 144 for ambulance. The European emergency line is 112.
New traffic regulations that took effect in Austria in April 2013 made it illegal for cyclists to use a handheld mobile phone while riding, with lawbreakers liable to a fine of EURO 50 (approx. $60). As with rules applicable to drivers of motor vehicles, bike riders will be allowed to use a phone via a hands-free kit.
Austrian Federal Railroads (Österreichische Bundesbahnen) offer excellent railroad service to all major towns of the country and also direct connections with all major cities in Europe. Trains are well maintained and fares are reasonable. There is also an extensive network of bus lines operated by the Austrian Postal Service (Österreichische Post). All major cities also offer excellent public transportation services. For more information, please visit the transportation/rail website.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit the website of the country’s national tourist office (Österreich Werbung) and national authority responsible for road safety (Kuratorium für Verkehrssicherheit).
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Austria’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Austria’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.