Austria Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Austria
How safe is Austria?
Threat level: Low
COVID-19 Situation in Austria
COVID-19 measures are in place in Austria to tackle the spread of coronavirus in the country.
See our healthcare section for advice on preventive measures.
Security in Austria
On the 11th of November 2020, a terrorist attack in Vienna occurred near the city's synagogue in which four people died and 15 people were injured. The attack took place across a number of locations as the gunman roamed the city. The gunman was shot by police nine minutes after starting his attack.
Travellers to Austria should maintain a high level of vigilance due to the ongoing threat to tourists throughout the western world. The risk of terror attacks in Austria is on par with similar countries. The biggest cause for concern in relation to the terror threat in Austria is mainly the risk that revolves around the ongoing immigration crisis. This has affected countries like Germany and Hungary.
Austria is generally a safe country and has a high amount of tourists all year round. Crime is relatively low but sensible precautions should always be taken to ensure a risk-free trip.
Intelligent Protection International Limited provides its clients with Bodyguard Services in Austria. If you are interested in these security services, please see our webpage: Bodyguard Services in Austria.
Increasing numbers of migrants from such places as Syria are still making the journey to the European Union to seek asylum, travelling across either the Mediterranean Sea or through Southeast Europe. This has not affected Austria as much as it has affected some other countries, but it still represents a security risk nevertheless.
Immigration controls are temporarily in operation with Germany, Hungary, Italy and Slovenia and can often be overcrowded with asylum seekers. It is best not to cross via these borders if you are planning to visit other countries, as the crisis represents a current security risk.
In Austria, the risk of crime is generally quite low, however small time crime syndicates do exist in Austria. Therefore, the necessary precaution should be taken in order to avoid becoming a victim of theft and assault. It is further advised that you do not leave any valuables unattended. Be most cautious when around major public transport locations, such as train stations and city centre parks after dark.
Pick pockets do operate in Austria, as with most European countries, especially in the major cities where tourists can be targeted for passports and money, safeguard your valuables against pick pockets at all times.
Austria's International Relations
Austria is a member of the European Union and has strong diplomatic relations with most European countries. Austria continues to emphasize its mandatory role and the country plays as an East-West connection and as a moderator between industrialized and developing countries.
Travelling around Austria
Driving regulations for tourists in Austria are very strict, so it is best to check if you can use your countries driving licence with the nearest Austrian embassy before travel. You must be 18 or over to drive a private vehicle in Austria. The photocard UK licence is accepted. Austrian law states that all vehicles must be adapted to winter road conditions between the 1st of November and 15th of April.
When travelling by car in the EU, British nationals don’t need an International Driving Permit (IDP) but a motor insurance green card from their car insurer is required to drive a UK-registered car in the EU.
Public transport is generally safe in Austria. It is also an efficient mean of travelling long distances in Austria but be aware that if you do not buy a ticket in advance, you may have to pay a high on the spot fine.
Commercial Travel Risk Services
Intelligent Protection International Limited provides companies and organisations with Commercial Travel Risk Services designed to mitigate risks of staff when they travel for business. If you are interested in these services, please see: Commercial Travel Risk Services.
Emergency services in Austria
Police emergency: 133
Fire emergency: 122
Medical emergency: 144
Time now in Vienna:
Consular information for Austria
U.S. Embassy Vienna
Telephone: +43 1 313 390
British Embassy Vienna
Telephone: +43 1 716 130
Visa requirements for Austria
British citizens do not require a visa to enter Austria for a stay of less than 90 days but you must hold a valid British passport. As the UK is no longer part of the EU, British nationals can travel without a visa to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. However, to stay longer than 90 days in Austria whether for work, study, business travel or any other reasons, a visa will be required. Please note that visits to other Schengen countries within the previous 180 days will be cumulative and will count towards the 90-day limit.
U.S. citizens that are either tourists or on a business trip do not need an entry permit (visa) to stay in Austria for a period of up to three months. However, please note that a passport must be valid 3 months after the last day of stay in Austria. Or, as the Schengen states, your U.S. passport must be valid for a period of at least 6 months (3 months under the visa waiver program + 3 months) and you are not allowed to take up any employment there.
Health Care and Immunisations
COVID-19 cases have been reported in Austria. There is no vaccination against the disease, to avoid contracting the disease self-isolate, wear a face-mask in public, maintain social distancing, avoid unnecessary travel and gatherings. If you are coughing and have fever, it is required to quarantine yourself for 14 days and only call emergency services if you have severe respiratory issues.
It is advised that visitors to Austria are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is recommended that most travellers get a Tetanus vaccination. You may also want to consider vaccinations for Tick-borne Encephalitis. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of infected ticks. Travellers are at increased risk of exposure during outdoor activities in areas of vegetation (gardens, parks, forest fringes and meadows typically below 1,500 metres). Ticks are most active between spring and autumn. All travellers when undertaking outdoor activities, should check their skin regularly for ticks and remove them as soon as possible with a recommended technique. Travellers should not eat or drink unpasteurised milk products.
When travelling to Austria, it is advised to obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you are an EU citizen, but take into account that for some medical assistance, you may still have to pay. It is therefore recommended to obtain comprehensive travel insurance to be fully covered.
If you are a British citizen, your UK EHIC card remains valid when travelling to an EU country until it expires, providing access to state-provided healthcare. After that, British citizens must apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will cover them for state-provided healthcare in the EU but not in countries part of the European Economic Area (EEA) (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland). Nevertheless, you will be required to show proof on arrival that you have travel insurance for your trip.