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Austria - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Austria. Exercise normal security precautions.
Safety and security
Safety and security
2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games
The 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games will be held in Styria, Austria from March 14 to 25, 2017. The games are expected to attract a large influx of international visitors. Related events are likely to draw large crowds, which may cause traffic and pedestrian congestion and could result in transportation delays. If you are planning to attend any of the events related to the games, expect enhanced security measures, be aware of your surroundings and do not leave belongings unattended.
The crime rate in Austria is low; however, petty crime (such as pickpocketing and bag snatching) occurs frequently, particularly in Vienna. Pickpockets are active in pedestrian shopping areas, restaurants, cafés, hotel lobbies and train stations, aboard public transportation and at tourist attractions. International night trains travelling to and from Austria are often targeted by thieves. Exercise caution around city parks and subway stations after dark.
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time and could target areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers, such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels, schools, places of worship and airports and other transportation hubs. Exercise caution if attending sporting events, religious holiday celebrations and other public festivities. Remain vigilant at all times, monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.
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.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
Towns and ski resorts may be snowed in and roads made impassable after heavy snowfalls. There is a risk of avalanches, especially following heavy snowfalls, and some have resulted in deaths.
If you intend to do mountaineering or skiing:
- never practice these activities alone;
- 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;
- advise 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;
- sign up for the Registration of Canadians abroad service; and
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes or ski slopes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes.
Do not venture off established trails, especially in early or late winter. Austrian authorities warn skiers to stay on marked slopes. Consult Natural disasters & climate for more information.
General safety information
Exercise normal safety precautions. Ensure your personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents are secure at all times, especially on public transportation.
There has been a significant increase in the number of migrants and refugees entering Europe. Some countries have already experienced disruptions to transportation services, including at ferry ports and railway stations, and have seen major delays at border crossings. The situation also heightens the potential for demonstrations that could turn violent without warning, particularly at railway stations and other transportation hubs. If you are travelling in the region, monitor local news and follow the advice of local authorities, and contact your transport carrier to determine whether the situation could disrupt your travel.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Austrian authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with Embassy of the Republic of Austria or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
Austria is a Schengen area country. Upon arrival, Canadians are required to present a passport that must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of expected departure from the Schengen area. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Temporary border controls
The Austrian government has introduced temporary internal border controls at some border crossings. Canadians may be required to pass through immigration controls when entering Austria, even if arriving from a Schengen area member state.
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
* The 90-day period begins upon initial entry into any country of the Schengen area. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country within any 180-day period.
Canadians do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area for stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any country within the Schengen area. If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for longer than the 90 days in any 180-day period, you must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa prior to travel. For more information, see Schengen area.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
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Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Tick-borne encephalitis is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It is spread to humans by the bite of an infected tick. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks (e.g., those participating in outdoor activities in wooded areas) while travelling in regions with risk of tick-borne encephalitis.
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.
* 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.
There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
The standard of health care is high, and excellent medical care is widely available.
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.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Canada and Austria are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (Council of Europe). 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 Austrian authorities.
You are required to carry your passport at all times. Keep a photocopy of your passport in case of loss or seizure.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Austria. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you an Austrian citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present an Austrian passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect a jail sentence and a heavy fine.
An international driving permit is recommended and may be requested by local authorities if the Canadian driver’s licence is issued in French.
You must be 18 years old to drive in Austria.
Penalties for drinking and driving are strict. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05 percent. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines, and your driver’s licence may be confiscated immediately.
The use of a cellular telephone while driving is prohibited, unless it is fitted with a hands-free device.
Turning right on a red light is not permitted. A blinking green light is equivalent to an amber light in Canada: it does not mean that you have the right-of-way to advance.
Winter tires are mandatory. All vehicles must have a first-aid kit and a warning triangle, as well as high visibility vests (to be carried in the passenger compartment, not the trunk) for the driver and any passenger who leaves the vehicle in case of breakdown.
Highway travel requires the purchase of an autobahn vignette or toll sticker, which must be affixed to the car’s windshield. These stickers can be purchased 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 must be paid on the spot.
Additional information regarding road safety can be found on the European Commission’s Transport website.
The currency is the euro (EUR).
Traveller’s cheques and credit cards are widely accepted at main hotels, shops and restaurants. Smaller establishments may only accept cash. Automated banking machines are widely available.
When crossing one of the external border control points of the European Union (EU), you must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit if you have at least €10,000, or the equivalent in other currencies. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets. This does not apply if you are travelling within the EU or are in transit to a non-EU country. For more information on the EU legislation and links to EU country sites, visit the European Commission’s cash controls.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Avalanches present a risk and have resulted in fatalities during winter. The alpine areas of Vorarlberg, Tyrol, Styria and Salzburg have been affected. Consult the Austrian National Tourist Office for information on weather and safety conditions. Avalanche information can also be obtained by calling +43 (1) 512 508 8022 55 or by visiting European Avalanche Warning Services or Lawinen info (available in German only). Advice should be followed carefully.
Heavy rains may occur in the spring and summer, sometimes resulting in flooding and mudslides.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
Vienna - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Canadian embassy in Vienna and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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