Austria, the country of the majestic Alps, home of the musical genius Mozart, opulent royals and a rich classical music scene have become a hallmark. Coming to this place, you not only feel the majestic natural beauty, classical architecture, rich music background, but also a very unique ancient beauty, you can only find in Austria. But currently, the COVID-19 epidemic is still a burning problem in the world. How can we travel to Austria safely? This article will provide more insights for those who love the ancient beauty of this country.
Covid Situation in Austria
Currently, the situation of the COVID-19 epidemic in Europe is on a downward trend compared to the beginning of the outbreak. Although the number of cases has also been reduced, we should not be subjective. The Austrian government has begun to announce the gradual opening of borders. The order to distance and lockdown will also be gradually removed from December 12, 2021. Tourists can already travel to Austria to relax and have fun but will have to follow strict disease prevention rules, as well as show proof and documents to prove their health to be considered for entry.
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Can I Travel to Austria?
To ensure the safety of the people, the Austrian government has requested the opening of accommodation and tourist services in each province according to the following timelines:
12/12: Tirol, Vorarlberg, Burgenland.
December 17: Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Lower Austria
December 20: Vienna
For Upper Austria, the lockdown will be removed from December 17. And the 2-G rule will be applied. The 2-G (Vaccination and recovered) rule was strictly applied in Austria during this time. Every time you go to any place, you will also need to show proof that you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have previously recovered. In addition, the government also requires people to wear FFP2 masks to prevent COVID-19 when going out.
Austria Entry Requirement - All about Austria Restrictions
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Visa is one of the necessary documents when you want to travel to Austria. During this time, several Austrian embassies and consulates are organizing the issuance of travel visas. Therefore, you will also need to check the information and prepare the paperwork to apply for a visa. Depending on your departure point, you can go to the Austrian embassy in your place of residence for advice on preparing your visa application.
The Austrian government announced that COVID tests including PCR and antigen tests are not counted as entry tests. People going to public places will need to wear FFP2 masks, especially places with enclosed spaces, to avoid infecting others.
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When you want to travel to Austria, you will need to have 2 vaccinations against COVID-19 that are valid 270 days from the start of the 2nd dose to ensure that your body has enough time to produce the vaccine. For those vaccinated, a single dose of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine will only be valid until January 3, 2022, and will need a booster shot to make sure you're fully vaccinated.
Children under 12 years old will be exempt from the entry rules. For minors between the ages of 12 and 15, the Austrian government is currently working on a solution and has not made a final decision.
Upon entry to Austria, travellers will need to present one of three documents: a negative PCR test, a certificate of vaccination, proof of past infection and recovery from illness.
You will need to present PCR test results that are not older than 72 hours and are issued by the competent health authority for children 12 years of age and older. Antigen tests will not be approved.
Austria recognizes vaccines such as BioNTech, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sinopharm and Sinovac. But for the case where you inject Covishield, Sinopharm and Sinovac, it is only approved for your entry. You will not be approved for any stay in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, cable cars, ski lifts, gyms, entertainment centres, cinemas or theatres, spas, hair salons.
You will also need to present this certificate if you have had a COVID-19 infection in the past. And this certificate will have to be translated into English or German.
If you are unable to present any of the documents mentioned above, you will have to take a PCR test within 24 hours of your arrival in Austria. Upon check-in, you will need to show proof of your complete vaccinations/certificate of recovery. You should make an electronic health declaration for faster customs clearance at the airport.
You will need to present your travel document before travelling if you are from a country that is not on the list of safe countries. You will then need to do a PCR test.
List of Safe Countries (No Quarantine Required)
If you come from or a citizen from one of those countries below, you will not have to serve a compulsory quarantine when you travel to Austria:
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
- Vatican City
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
Some Destinations have Additional Requirements
Some locations will have a few extra rules about COVID-19 prevention, so you will need to pay attention. With places where many people frequent or reside such as hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms, cinemas, theatres, flea markets, elevators, cable cars, spas, etc., there will be strict requirements to show proof of full vaccination/recovery. If there are accompanying subjects such as children under 12 years old, the children will be exempted.
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When you are in the cafeteria/restaurant/Café/in space, if the table has not been arranged, you will need to wear a mask. Restaurants/cafes/inns will strictly close at 11 pm every day. Bars and nightclubs will remain closed at this time. If you plan to go skiing in Austria, you may have to cancel your trip, as the ski resorts have not yet reopened.
Best Time To Travel to Austria
If you are planning to travel to Austria from the UK, then the springtime from April to May will be the best time for you to enjoy your trip. This time, the temperature is changing and gradually turning to summer. Light rain may also occur during April. You will need to bring a raincoat and umbrella to avoid getting wet. Around April and May, there are fewer tourists, so this time you will have a lot of discount deals on services in Austria.
If you are a lover of skiing, you can go in winter from November to March. The cost of accommodation at that time will be extremely low. You can also go in this season to experience the Christmas time here and participate in the winter festivals of the locals.
The most beautiful time in Austria is from September to October because this is autumn in Austria. At this time, Austria is covered with yellow and red colour of the leaves, the mountains begin to turn orange-red, combined with the cool weather, extremely suitable for climbing enthusiasts.
It's summer in Austria from June to August. This time, you can immerse yourself in water activities to dispel the heat of the brilliant summer. Because of that, this is the peak tourist season in Austria, so tourists are extremely crowded, prices for services are very high, and it is difficult to book a place.
Austria Transportation Tips
When you travel to Austria, you will find a very diverse and safe transport network. With affordable prices, using public transport is very popular in Austria. In Austria, there are many types of public transport for you to choose from such as bus, train, tram, bicycle, car share. Depending on the distance and preferences, you can choose 1 of these 3 means of transport to comfortably travel in Austria.
With the subway network running almost 24 hours a day, you won't need to worry too much about missing trains. Each train will be about 15 - 30 minutes apart. You can download the OBB SCOTTY app to defer train times, fares and the route the train will visit. Every single ticket will cost €2.4. Therefore, you can choose the type of ticket by week, month and year to reduce the fare.
The bus system in Austria is also very rich and fast. There are flights within the country and within the Armory region with other countries. You can download the Postbus app to check the running time, where the bus will go, and the fare for that leg.
You can also use a taxi to get to your desired destination more quickly. However, getting a taxi can be charged an additional €2.8 and the fare will be calculated on your distance. You should pay 10% of tips and you can pay by cash or credit card.
10 Best Places To Visit in Austria
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If you are a lover of royal history and want to learn about the lives of members of the royal family through the ages, then this is the place you will love to visit - Schonbrunn Palace. This is the main residence where members of the Austrian Imperial family rest and stay during the summer in Hietzing, Vienna. The palace was built in Rococo style and has 1441 rooms. Over 300 years of reign with many royal dynasties, the palace has been remodelled according to the views, preferences and aspirations of the reigning kings.
Vienna State Opera
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This is an opera house based in Vienna. This place was started construction in 1861, and completed in 1869 according to the plan of August Sicard von Sicarsburg and Eduard van der Null. At this time, the theatre was called the Opera House of the Court of Vienna under the witness of the Austrian Imperial family. Then, in 1921, the theatre was renamed the Vienna State Opera. Coming to the theatre, you will witness classical architecture with melodious music. During the festive season, the theatre is used to host the Vienna Opera Ball festival.
For more information, you can check the opera concert, time schedule and ticket fare right here.
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If you are looking for an affordable dining paradise, then this is the place you need to go when you travel to Austria. Naschmarkt is the most famous market in Vienna, about 1.5 km long. In the past, the market was famous for the exchange and sale of milk bottles. From 1793 on, all fruits and vegetables were sold here. You can buy fresh ingredients, herbs, cheese, bread, meat and seafood. In addition to the stores that sell cooking ingredients, there are also ready-to-eat stores that sell clothing and accessories. The market is very busy and has many items to meet shopping needs at cheap prices.
Spanish Riding School
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This is one of the world-famous racecourses and riding schools based in Vienna, Austria. The school specializes in preserving classic riding attire, training and taming the Lipizzaner breed. In addition, the school also has concerts in Hofburg that attract a lot of tourists. Every year, this place gathers racers and top horses touring periodically.
Imperial Treasury Vienna
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The Austrian Imperial Treasury at the Hofburg Palace is located in Vienna, Austria. It houses a treasured collection dating back more than a thousand years of history. The entrance to the treasury at Schweizerhof - the oldest part of the palace built in the Renaissance style. It contains 21 rooms with rare treasure collections kept by the Habsburg Empire over the centuries. Treasurys are divided into two categories: secular collections and ecclesiastical collections.
Coming to this place, you will be overwhelmed with antiques worth millions of euros with delicate designs and luxurious patterns. There are also captions and audio tracks explaining the history of the item, its era and users, and its use in royal and religious ceremonies.
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Do you love the vast forests with wild animals? Want to immerse yourself in nature? This is where you should go. Lainzer Tiergarten is a wildlife sanctuary about 24.50 km southwest of Vienna. 80% of the area of this reserve is covered by green forest. It is very beautiful and brings a sense of relaxation to visitors. You can come here to participate in outdoor activities, immerse yourself in nature and relax in a quiet forest space.
You can check the official website for opening time and ticket fare for your upcoming visit.
Column of Pest (Column of The Trinity)
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The Plague Pillar, also known as the Holy Trinity Column, is located on Graben Street in the inner city of Vienna. After 1679, this column was erected after the plague pandemic to commemorate the victims who died during the pandemic with a Baroque style of construction. The pillar is both a witness of history and a classic work of creative art, helping generations to know one of the dark times in human history and appreciate their health and everyone in this complicated time of the epidemic.
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Also known as the Austrian Postal Savings Bank Building. This is a famous construction project supervised and designed by architect Otto Wagner. The building is considered an important work in the Art Nouveau branch. The building was started construction from 1904 to 1906 with reinforced concrete material. And officially inaugurated in 1906. This is also the headquarters of the bank Osterreichische Postsparkasse. This place is open to tourists with free admission. However, due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, this place is temporarily closed.
Prater, with the full name Wurstelprater, is a huge public park in Leopoldstadt, Vienna. This park is located on a corner of the Wiener Prater and has a very large Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel. Admission is free, but you'll need to spend money on food, fun activities, and festivals.
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You should withdraw cash so you can spend comfortably because it's a bit difficult to use credit cards here. You can eat at the food stalls, buy tickets to concerts and fun activities. Each game area will cost about €5 - €7. The ticket price for the Ferris wheel is €12/person. October will be a very busy festival season, so you can watch this time because this place is very brightly decorated. The park will close at 11.30 pm so you can relax and enjoy the fun activities.
The zoo was inaugurated in the park of Schonbrunn palace in the 13th district of Hietzing, Vienna in 1752. Today, it is the world's oldest zoo that is still in operation and open to tourists. From 2020, zoologist Stephan Hering - Hagenbeck has been appointed director of the zoo. Since 2006, Schonbrunn Zoo has attracted more than two million tourists.
It will introduce about 8,000 animals from 700 species on an area of 17 hectares. Schonbrunn Zoo has also been named the best zoo in Europe five times in a row. It is very suitable for children and families to visit, as there are many outdoor programs and games organized for parents to participate with their children. Coming to this place, you will experience a beautiful, clean, green and diverse natural environment. For ticket fare, it would cost €22/person for adults, €11 for adolescents and disable persons, free of charge for children under 6 years old.
You can check the time schedule and opening time here.
Covid-19 Austria Travel Advice
What Should I Do if I Caught COVID-19 in Austria?
When you find yourself with symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat, diarrhea, body aches, diarrhea, you should isolate yourself first. You will then need to phone the Austrian health advice line - the hotline number is 1450. There is always a consultant online to listen and advise you on what to do next. You should reduce contact with other people, do not go to crowded places, avoid using public transport, and thoroughly self-isolate at your place of residence.
Do I Have to Pay for the Test?
When you call the 1450 hotline, medical professionals will analyze the situation and if you are a suspected case, they will ask you to take a test to ensure your health. When they order the test kit for you, you will not need to pay. This will apply to both Austrian citizens and tourists.
If My Test Result is Positive, What Should I Do?
If your initial test result was positive, you will need to do a PCR test to see what your real situation is. If you test positive, you will need to be isolated until you receive your PCR results. Then, if the PCR result is negative, your quarantine period will end. If you test positive, you will need to self-isolate and take care of your health to recover quickly.
You should only stay at your accommodation, do not go to public destinations, do not use the public transportation or visit others. If your symptom changed negatively, please contact the health hotline at 1450.