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.

Reutte

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

  • The Salzburg Museum is closed until at least 2026 while the New Residenz, which houses it, undergoes renovation.
  • The Panorama Museum is closed as the city relocates it to its new home in the southern wing of the Orangerie of Mirabell Palace, where it should reopen in 2025.
  • The tourist information office on Mozartplatz is now open 9:00–18:00 year-round (i.e. no longer stays open late in summer), as is the office at the train station.
  • St. Peter's Cemetery now closes at 19:00 in summer (not 20:00), and St. Peter's Church now closes at 20:00 year-round.
  • Prices for bus tickets within Salzburg have gotten slightly more expensive: A one-hour ticket (Stundenkarte) is now €2.40, a 24-hour ticket (Tageskarte) €4.70, and a weekly pass (Wochenkarte) €21.
  • A day pass (Tageskarte) that gets you to Berchtesgaden (on bus #840) and covers all buses in the Berchtesgaden region — except bus #849 to the Eagle's Nest — now costs €13.20 (not €11). The last bus #840 from Berchtesgaden to Salzburg now leaves at 19:15, not 18:15 (always confirm locally).
  • Eagle's Nest Historical Tours now offer only private tours (€330 for up to six people). For groups of six this is a good deal for their thoughtful tours; for groups of four we'd recommend considering it — but with fewer people most travelers will find the per-person price too high, especially as it does not include the €32 bus ride up to the Eagle's Nest. (The Eagle's Nest chalet itself does not charge admission.) Consider, too, that visiting on your own gives you more flexibility with timing (buses to Obersalzberg run about hourly, and buses between Obersalzberg and the Eagle's Nest run every 25 minutes).
    Before booking any tour in the Berchtesgaden region, be sure you're aware of what it does (and doesn't) include:
    • Discover Eagle's Nest three-hour tour (€60) does include the €32 bus ride up to the chalet from Obersalzberg (not all the way from Salzburg) — which means you're paying €28 for a historical talk about the Eagle's Nest chalet; this tour does not take you through the bunkers in Obersalzberg.
    • Panorama Tours' Eagle's Nest tour (€90) leaves from Salzburg and also includes the €32 bus ride all the way to the chalet, but less substantial historical background than offered by either of the outfits listed above. Since a day pass that gets you from Salzburg to Obersalzberg and back is just €13.20, that means you'd be paying about €45 for a relatively short history talk. Panorama's Bavarian Mountains tour drives through the region, and stops in the town of Berchtesgaden, but does not visit the Eagle's Nest or Obersalzberg.
    • Bob's Special Tours' Bavarian Mountain Tour visits the Eagle's Nest and Obersalzberg on its whole day tour (€140), and includes these stops as an option on its half-day tour (€70), but these prices do not include the €32 bus ride up to the chalet.
  • The Obersalzberg Documentation Center (above Berchtesgaden) has reopened.
  • Current prices for Sound of Music tours: €65 with Bob's Special Tours provided you show a Rick Steves book (or a student ID or are under 22; otherwise €70 and €50 for kids under 7), €60 with Panorama Tours (but 10 percent discount for Rick Steves readers who book in person or over the phone and pay in cash), and €43 with Fräulein Maria's Bicycle Tours privided you show a Rick Steves book (otherwise €45; kids' prices remain €25/20 depending on age).
  • Hotel pickup for morning Sound of Music tours with Bob's Special Tours begins at 8:30; for afternoon tours, arrive at their office at Rudolfskai 38 by 13:45.
  • Hohensalzburg Fortress's museums now close at 19:00 in summer (not 20:00).
  • The free concerts held in Mirabell Gardens on now begin at 20:00 on Wednesday evenings (not 20:30; Sunday morning performances still begin at 10:30).
  • Mirabell Palace is now open on Saturdays (generally 8:00–18:00, same as weekdays), but closed on Sundays.
  • All four of the private local guides recommended in our guidebooks now charge at least 10 percent more than the prices currently listed in our books (and several substantially more than that).
  • Tours of the New Residenz's glockenspiel bell tower may not be running during your visit (and the glockenspiel may take a break from chiming while the New Residenz is under renovation).
  • Tours of the cathedral now cost €9.
  • The Cathedral Excavations Museum is, at least for the time being, effectively closed to most visitors (now open just one day a month and only by prior reservation).
  • The Norge Exquisit launderette in the New Town (at the corner of Paris-Londron-Strasse and Wolf-Dietrich-Strasse) is now closed on Saturdays as well as Sundays.
  • We no longer recommend Hotel Jedermann.

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).

 

Vienna

  • 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.