Our thoughts on Austria having visited in 2016-17 and again in 2022.
Strengths: Austria combines the beauty of snow capped mountain peaks in the west with the historic architecture and style of Vienna and Graz in the east. Austria is on your way to or from eastern Europe and northern Italy. The roads are generally good but not up to German standards which is evident as you cross the frontier. Loved the food with the exception of the heavy breads, the beer and wine makes for easy drinking. The stellplatz’ in both Vienna and Graz were excellent at €25. No it’s not cheap but big cities rarely are.
Weaknesses: We found the tolls a little intimidating and expensive. The Austrian’s use a vignette system for their tollways. The cost is the same for a day or a month so unless your planning at least a week in Austria, it’s expensive. For our visit to Salzburg in 2016 we travelled in by bus from Germany rather than pay for a vignette for the tollways. Generally speaking Austria is slightly more expensive than its northern neighbour. Entry fees into whatever and overnight parking fees are more expensive in particular. Stellplatz are less common and we often found a campsite was the only option.
Opportunities: There are cycle paths everywhere but it’s a hilly place. We noticed eBikes are very popular. Catch a gondola to a mountain top and you feel like your on top of the world. Plan on at least a couple of days in Vienna, the palaces, museums and galleries will keep you busy for at least that long. Order the potato salad with your schnitzel and follow up with best strudel you’ve ever had.
Threats: During our tour through Austria in 2022 we found the diesel particularly expensive. The Austrian Police are a humourless bunch, we were pulled over at a heavy vehicle inspection station and kept for two hours. I left with the distinct impression they look at foreigners as a revenue raising opportunity.