Here’s some travel advice to keep you informed and safe when it comes to travel to Austria… 

Crime
Austria has a low incidence of serious crime. However, petty crime, including bag snatching and pickpocketing, is increasing, particularly on public transport and in tourist areas. Travellers are frequently targeted at Vienna’s two largest train stations, the plaza around St Stephan’s Cathedral and the nearby shopping areas. 

Local Travel
Road conditions are generally good although roads in alpine areas can become hazardous during winter. Some mountain roads may be closed for extended periods. Headlights must be on at all times. You should carry snow chains if driving in winter. When out of the vehicle on the hard shoulder of any road, it is a requirement that you display a warning triangle and that the driver and all passengers wear warning vests. 

Airline Safety
Passengers on international flights to and from Australia are only allowed to carry a small amount of liquids (including aerosols and gels) in their carry-on baggage. You can find out more information at the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government website. Similar restrictions apply to flights in an increasing number of countries. Contact your airline for further information. 

If you have concerns about the safety standards of a particular airline or aircraft, we recommend you research the airline or aircraft through organisations such as Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government has published fact sheets on security for air travellers. When staff at Australia’s overseas missions are advised not to use particular airlines due to safety concerns, this will be included in the travel advisory. 

The European Union (EU) has published a list of airlines that are subject to operating bans or restrictions within the EU. The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through its foreign assessment program focuses on a country’s ability, not the individual airline, to adhere to international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance established by ICAO. 

Natural Disasters, Severe Weather and Climate
Avalanches and mudslides are a danger in some mountain areas. There have been a number of fatalities in recent years. If you are skiing or mountaineering you should monitor advice on weather and safety conditions. It is highly dangerous to move off marked slopes or trails. 

Wildlife Watching
Australians are advised to maintain a safe and legal distance when observing wildlife, including marine animals and birds. You should only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators and closely follow park regulations and wardens’ advice. 

Money and Valuables
Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas, such as credit cards, travellers’ cheques, cash, debit cards or cash cards Check with your bank whether your ATM card will work overseas. 

Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers’ cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home. 

While travelling, don’t carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves. 

As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering, including theft, lock your luggage. Information on luggage safety is available from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority. 

Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible. 

You are required to pay an additional fee to have a lost or stolen passport replaced. In some cases, the Government may also restrict the length of validity or type of replacement passports. 

For Parents
If you are planning on placing your children in schools or childcare facilities overseas we encourage you to research the standards of security, care and staff training within those establishments. You should exercise the same precautions you would take before placing children into schools or childcare facilities in Australia. 

Ideas on how to select childcare providers are available from the smartraveller Children’s Issues page, Child Wise and the National Childcare Accreditation Council. 

Local Laws
When you are in Austria, be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards, do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you but we can’t get you out of trouble or out of jail. 

Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help Australians in trouble overseas is available from the Consular Services Charter. 

Under Austrian law, you are required to carry identification documents at all times. 

It is illegal to preach in Austria unless you belong to a registered religious group and have a permit. 

Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia. 

Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 17 years imprisonment for Australians who engage in sexual activity with children under 16 while outside of Australia. 

Information for Dual Nationals
Austrian dual nationals may be required to complete national service obligations if they visit Austria. For further information, contact the Embassy or Consulate of Austria before you travel. 

Entry and Exit Requirements
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Austria for the most up to date information. 

Austria is a party to the Schengen Convention, along with 23 other European countries, which allows Australians to enter Austria without a visa in some circumstances. See our travel bulletin on the Schengen Convention for further information. 

If you are staying in Austria for more than three days you must register your place of residence with local authorities. 

People travelling directly to or from a country outside the European Union (EU) carrying 10,000 euros or more (or the equivalent amount in another currency) are required to declare the cash at the place of their arrival or departure from the EU. Under the legislation, the term “cash” includes cheques, travellers’ cheques and money orders. Travellers failing to declare the cash or providing incomplete or incorrect information will incur a fine. There is no requirement to declare cash for people travelling to or from another EU country. 

Health Issues
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you’ll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. 

Your doctor or travel clinic is the best source of information about preventive measures, immunisations (including booster doses of childhood vaccinations) and disease outbreaks overseas. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our ‘Travelling Well’ brochure also provides useful tips for travelling with medicines and staying healthy while overseas. 

Health facilities in Austria are of a similar standard to those in Australia and most doctors will speak English. Medical costs are usually much higher than in Australia. 

Travel in forested areas brings the risk of exposure to tick-borne encephalitis. Ticks are very common in country areas and are active from spring to autumn. 

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has confirmed cases of avian influenza in birds in a number of countries throughout the world. For a list of these countries, visit the OIE website. For information on our advice to Australians on how to reduce the risk of infection and on Australian Government precautions see our travel bulletin on avian influenza. 

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