Guidebook Updates for Austria

When we learn of critical changes to the information in our guidebooks on Austria, we post them here. (Note that our Rick Steves Vienna, Salzburg & Tirol guidebook also covers the Bavarian Alps, Dolomites, and Bratislava — if you're traveling to those regions as well, be sure to check our guidebook updates for Germany, Italy, and Slovakia.) Of course, it's still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally. Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you're set for a great trip!

Across Austria

For books printed before June 2023, the following may apply:

  • At the end of 2019, Austria became one of the last countries in Europe to ban smoking in bars and restaurants.


For books printed before January 2023, the following may apply:

  • At Ehrenberg Castle a new, second incline elevator takes visitors from the suspension bridge station up to the Schlosskopf ruins.
  • The local bus that runs between the train station and Ehrenberg Castle is now #120.
  • Hotel Wolke 7 has closed.
  • Ausserfern Bauernladen is at Untermarkt 9, not Obermarkt 3.

For books printed before February 2021, the following may also apply:

  • You can now skip the steep climb to the Ehrenberg Castle ruins by taking the "Ehrenberg Liner" elevator from the visitor center up to the suspension bridge, where you can continue on the footpath to the ruins.
  • The Füssen–Reutte bus is now #100 (not #74).

Salzburg & Berchtesgaden

For books printed before January 2023, the following may also apply:

  • The Makartsteg bridge has been renamed "Marko-Feingold-Steg."
  • The best phone number for the daily walking tour that meets at Salzburg's tourist information office is +43 664 340 1757.
  • A'Velo bike rental has moved to the Old Town side of the Staatsbrücke (Salzburg's main bridge) and now closes Nov–March.
  • The tourist information office across from the train station in Berchtesgaden has closed.
  • At the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the audioguides are gone, but free 30-minute tours are given at 9:30 and 19:00, starting at the fortress's info point. A new "Panorama Ticket" budget option allows entry only into the Panorama exhibit on the fortress itself, and tower view (€11 by funicular, €8.50 by foot; only available May–Sept 8:30–10:00 and 18:00–20:00).
  • Admission to the cathedral is now €5. Cathedral tours are offered in English daily at 14:00 for €5 and organ concerts are daily at noon for €6; these tickets include admission to the church — so if you're going to visit the church anyway, they are basically free.
  • Haus Ballwein, on Moosstrasse, has closed (Pension Ballwein, however is still in operation).


  • The Wien Museum Karlsplatz has reopened after a three-year renovation, nearly doubling its previous size. It's now open Tue–Fri 9:00–18:00 and Sat–Sun from 10:00 (closed Mon). It's free to see the permanent exhibition "Vienna. My History"; special exhibits range from €8 to €12. Admission to all exhibits is free on the first Sunday of each month.

For books printed before June 2023, the following may also apply:

  • The Academy of Fine Arts Painting Gallery has moved back to its permanent location across from Schillerpark at Schillerplatz 3. It no longer displays a permanent collection, but instead now rotates temporary exhibits — comprising its works by the masters and modern art — to highlight contemporary themes.
  • The Vienna Pass is now much less likely to be a worthwhile buy (especially for youth and seniors over 65, who get sightseeing discounts without it), as is the Vienna Card.
  • Several collections associated with the Kunsthistorisches Museum have changed names: The Imperial Furniture Collection is now the Vienna Furniture Museum, the Arms and Armor Collection is now the Imperial Armory, and the Ancient Musical Instruments Collection is now the Collection of Historic Musical Instruments.
  • At the Kunsthistorisches Museum, some entrances have shuffled around: Saal VII is the new entrance for the Italian/Spanish/French Gallery, and Saal I is the entrance for special exhibits.
  • St. Stephen's Cathedral has a newly restored organ, and a new phone number: +43 1 515 523 054.
  • Guided tours of the Vienna State Opera can now be booked online, which we recommend — spots can indeed sell out. If you haven't booked ahead, it's wise to show up at the tour entrance 30 minutes in advance. And the opera house has a new phone number: +43 1 514 444 2250.
  • The Sigmund Freud Museum has reopened after an extensive renovation.
  • Two spots we'd recommended for kids, Bogi Park and the Dianabad water park, have closed.
  • A new Vienna–Paris night train now runs three times a week (14 hours; keep in mind that flying may be cheaper).
  • Westbahn private trains don't currently serve the Hauptbahnhof — just Wien Westbahnhof and Wien Hütteldorf.

For books printed before February 2020, the following may also apply:

  • Soho Kantine is now Bistro ReFresh. It is open Mon–Fri 9:00–16:00, closed Sat–Sun, +43 664 885 23260.