Austria travel advice

Latest updates: Laws and culture – added information on drones

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Risk level

Austria - Take normal security precautions

Take normal security precautions in Austria

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Safety and security

Heightened threat of terrorism

Following recent terrorist attacks in Europe and the Middle East, the Austrian Interior Ministry raised the national terrorism threat level to 4, “high”, on a 5-step scale. Due to the raised threat level, the police and military will increase their presence in public places and outside public buildings, including Jewish institutions.

If you are in Austria:

  • be aware of your surroundings
  • follow the instructions of local authorities
  • expect heightened security measures and an increased police and military presence

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. On November 2, 2020, a terrorist attack was carried out in Vienna and caused several casualties. Terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities and further attacks are likely.

Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly vigilant if attending sporting events and during religious holidays and other public celebrations, as terrorists have used such occasions to mount attacks.

Crime

Petty crime (such as pickpocketing and bag snatching) can occur, particularly in tourist areas. Be particularly careful at night.

Thieves are active in crowded public areas such as:

  • pedestrian shopping areas
  • restaurants and cafés
  • hotel lobbies
  • train stations
  • public transportation
  • tourist attractions

Thieves often target international night trains travelling to and from Austria.

Ensure your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.

Fraud

ATM fraud occurs, particularly in Vienna. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
  • use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements

Overseas fraud

Demonstrations

Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Mountain activities

If you intend to do mountaineering or skiing:

  • never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you are properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
  • know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
  • obtain detailed information on trekking routes or ski slopes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes, particularly in early or late winter

Road safety

Road conditions are generally good.

Mountain roads are often narrow and covered with snow and ice during winter. Roads may close due to avalanches. Carry tire chains in the car if you intend to use mountain roads.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Austrian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Schengen area

Austria is a Schengen area country. Canadian citizens do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area. However, visa-free travel only applies to stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country.

If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for a longer period of time, you will need a visa. You must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa(s) prior to travel.

Useful links

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave the Schengen area.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: not required for stays up 90 days
Work visa: required
Student visa: required

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

Tick-borne encephalitis

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a risk in some areas of this destination. It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or occasionally when unpasteurized milk products are consumed.

Travellers to areas where TBE is found may be at higher risk  during April to November, and the risk is highest for people who hike or camp in forested areas.

Protect yourself from tick bites. The vaccine is not available in Canada. It may be available in the destination you are travelling to.

Hepatitis B

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Influenza

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Rabies

In this destination, rabies may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. 

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife. 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Medical services and facilities

Healthcare is excellent. Service is available throughout the country.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Transfer to a Canadian prison

Canada and Austria are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Austria to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Austria authorities.

This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.

Identification checks

You must carry identification, such as your passport, at all times. Keep a photocopy or digital copy of your passport in a secure location in case of loss or seizure.

It is illegal to cover your face in public places in Austria. Failure to comply can lead to heavy fines.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect a jail sentence and a heavy fine.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Dual citizenship

Austria legally recognizes dual citizenship in certain cases.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Austria, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you’re there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

Canadians with dual citizenship or who are eligible for Austrian citizenship may be subject to compulsory military service and other aspects of Austrian law.

Useful links

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Austria.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Austria, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Austrian court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Austria to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

Useful links

Driving

You should carry an international driving permit or a German translation of your driver’s licence. If you are in Austria for more than 12 months, you must obtain an Austrian licence.

You must be 18 years old to drive in Austria.

Penalties for drinking and driving are severe. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05 percent. If convicted, you can expect heavy fines, and local authorities can confiscate your driver’s licence on the spot

The use of a cellular telephone while driving is prohibited, unless it is fitted with a hands-free device.

You cannot turn right on a red light. A blinking green light is equivalent to an amber light in Canada: it doesn’t mean that you have the right-of-way to advance.

Winter tires are mandatory from November 1 to April 15.

All vehicles must have the following in case of a breakdown:

  • a first-aid kit
  • a warning triangle
  • high visibility vests (to be carried in the passenger compartment, not the trunk) for the driver and any passenger who leaves the vehicle

Highway travel requires that you purchase an autobahn vignette (similar to a toll) sticker. You must affix the sticker to the car’s windshield. You can purchase a vignette at all major border crossings, major gas stations and small tabak (tobacco) shops located throughout Austria. Failure to comply can result in heavy fines that you must pay on the spot.

Useful links

Drones

Austrian and EU laws regulate recreational and commercial drone operation. Certain areas are restricted or off-limits for personal drones.

You must register as a drone operator with the Austrian authorities. Depending on the size of your drone and the intended use, you may also need to take a proof of competency exam.

If you don’t comply, you may be fined and your drone confiscated.

Useful links

Money

The currency of Austria is the euro (EUR).

Credit cards are widely accepted at main hotels, shops and restaurants. Smaller establishments may only accept cash.

If you are carrying €10,000 or more, or the equivalent in other currencies, you must make a declaration to customs when you enter or leave the European Union. It includes sums in:

  • banknotes and coins
  • bearer negotiable instruments such as cheques, travellers’ cheques, promissory notes and money orders
  • bonds, shares
  • gold coins with a gold content of at least 90 %
  • gold bars, nuggets or clumps with a gold content of at least 99.5 %
  • any other convertible asset

This does not apply if you are travelling within the European Union or in transit to a non-EU country.

EU cash controls - European Commission

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Natural disasters and climate

Avalanches

There is a risk of avalanches, especially following heavy snowfalls, and some have resulted in deaths.

Be particularly careful in the alpine areas of Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol and Vorarlberg.

Always carefully follow the advice of local authorities.

Avalanche forecasting and warnings - European Avalanche Warning Services (EAWS)

Seasonal risks

Heavy rains may occur in the spring and summer, sometimes resulting in flooding and mudslides.

In winter, heavy snowfalls may occur in towns and ski resorts. They may also make roads made impassable.

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 112 for general emergency assistance, or:

  • 144 for ambulance
  • 133 for police
  • 122 for firefighters

Consular assistance

Vienna - Embassy of Canada
Street AddressLaurenzerberg 2, A-1010, Vienna, AustriaTelephone43 (1) 531-38-3000Fax43 (1) 531-38-3910Emailvienncs@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-AustriaFacebookEmbassy of Canada to AustriaTwitter@CanAmbAustriaAppointment Book your appointment online

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Vienna and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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