Lying smack bang in the middle of the Alps is the country most people will know because of yodeling: Austria. When you visit Austria, you will be amazed by the mountainous terrain and cool cities.
Austria is a country of contrasts. The capital Vienna is busy, cosmopolitan and modern. The mountains of Tyrol are populated by small villages, one more charming than the other.
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For a mountainous country, Austria has a very good network of trains which allows you to travel throughout the country by rail. You can view a map of the Austrian rail network right here.
The main rail network is run by the national rail company of Austria ÖBB. They run most long distance lines and several commuter trains. They are not the only company running trains in the country so sometimes shopping around might be worth your while.
If you are used to traveling by train in Germany, then you’ll find the system in Austria is comparable. However, the tickets in Austria are a bit more expensive.
Austria has a rather interesting mixed between historical and new railway stations. Vienne hauptbahnhof (central station) is a rather modern building which doubles as a shopping center. You can get some good food and even buy some clothes before you jump on the train to your next stop.
Austria has a few airports spread out around the country. When you visit Austria and plan on traveling by plane, it pays to pick out the right airport as choosing the wrong airport might lead to a long bus or train journey right after.
The main airport is in Vienna. If you fly in from another continent, chances are that you fly into this airport. Right across the border is Bratislava airport. This airport is used by many low-cost carriers. Be aware that Bratislava is close to Vienna, but it takes 1-3 hours to get to the Austrian capital from the airport depending on your mode of transport.
The other airports of note are in Salzburg, Innsbruck and Graz. But these are regional airports. If you need to be in these cities or close by, you might want to pick your flight carefully.
If you need to go to Salzburg, you can also choose to fly into Munich airport and take a train from there. It takes a few hours, but it does broaden your options.
Driving in Austria can be a challenge if you are going to go in winter. Be sure to follow local laws and regulations.
Since I don’t drive, I’ll point you to the official Austria tourist information website. They can tell you what to look out for.
As for local public transport I can tell you that especially in the cities the network is excellent. Especially for getting around Vienna I would recommend you don’t bring your own car but take the subway or trams that are excellent and quick.
Local traffic in the cities can be a bit crazy so you might want to ‘be a tourist’ and wait for a green light when crossing the road.