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Everything you need to know about Easter travel in Austria

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Everything you need to know about Easter travel in Austria

Whether you're driving to the in-laws in Tyrol, taking the train, or flying to your family elsewhere, here's everything we know about travel to, from, or around Austria this Easter.

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Easter is a great time to travel in and around Austria, as the weather is usually mild, flowers are blooming, and there are many attractions. However, it may also be a busy time, so you can expect plenty of traffic on the Austrian highways.

The good news is that, unlike other European countries, strikes are not very common in Austria - and there are definitely no major strikes that affect travelling over the holidays.

However, there are still some things you should know before exploring Austria this Easter holiday.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How to maximise your annual leave in Austria in 2023

When are the holidays?

Christians celebrate several days of Easter, including Maundy Thursday (April 6th), Good Friday (April 7th), Easter Sunday (April 9th) and Easter Monday (April 10th).

However, only Sunday and Monday are official bank holidays in Austria. Some companies will give Friday off, and school is out for the entire week, but you can still expect stores and supermarkets to be open on Thursday and Friday.

Do not forget to prepare for Sunday and Monday, though, because on those days all supermarkets and stores are closed (with very few exceptions, such as markets located in train and metro stations) and on Saturday they also close earlier.

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Traffic situation

With the start of the vacations, there will be lively traffic on Saturday, April 1st, according to the Austrian Traffic Club ÖAMTC. The highest traffic volume on the main travel days of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. 

Expect traffic jams. Photo: Pixabay

As Good Friday is a public holiday in Germany, many drivers from Germany will be starting their journey to their Easter vacation in the afternoon and evening of Maundy Thursday and early on Good Friday, the club added. The longest delays on the return journey will occur on Easter Monday.

READ ALSO: Driving in Austria: The most common ‘excuses’ people give for not having a vignette

The ÖAMTC expects heavy traffic in the direction of southeastern and eastern Europe from the border crossing at Suben via the Innkreis (A8), West (A1), Außenring (A21) and Ost Autobahn (A4) to the border crossing at Nickelsdorf. In addition, time delays must also be expected at the Spielfeld (A9) and Karawankentunnel (A11) border crossings in Styria and Carinthia.

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Due to the vacation wave from Germany to Austria and Italy, there will be delays on the transit routes in Tyrol, Fernpassstrecke (B179), Inntal Autobahn (A12) and Brenner Autobahn (A13).

The skiing holidaymakers will cause temporary obstructions, especially in Tyrol. Traffic jams may occur on the Zillertal Road (B169) before the Brettfall Tunnel, on the Eiberg Road (173) and the Reschen Road (B180) near Ried in the Upper Inn Valley. In Salzburg and Styria, time may be lost in sections on the Ennstal Road (B320).

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about driving on the autobahn in Austria

Additionally, the local recreation areas will attract day-trippers in good weather (which is unlikely, see below). 

The lake regions, from Lake Constance to the Carinthian lakes, the Salzkammergut region and Lake Neusiedl, will be attractive destinations. From Vienna, many will make the short trip to Wachau. On the way to Salzburg's local mountain, the Gaisberg, or the Dobratsch in Carinthia, drivers can expect increased frequency on the roads.

Covid situation

The Covid-19 pandemic has subsided in most nations, including Austria. As a result, there are no restrictions on entering the country, and proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test is not necessary. 

As of March 1st, Vienna eliminated the FFP2 mask requirement for public transit, and masks will not be necessary during the spring and summer unless visiting a hospital or care facility or testing positive for Covid-19. 

READ ALSO: Everything that changes in Austria in April 2023

The mask mandate will be lifted in hospitals, nursing homes, and doctor's offices in May, with all other restrictions ending by July when the Covid Measures Act expires. Covid-19 will no longer be a notifiable disease, so positive cases will no longer be required to follow any specific protocol, although current restrictions vary depending on the province. 

Easter is coming up. Photo: Getty Images

Weather during the holidays

Austrian spring usually has mild temperatures from 10C to 20C, but this Easter holiday will have a cold front coming that will make things much cooler.

According to the country's meteorologic institute, on Good Friday, clouds will cover the sun in almost all of Austria, and it may rain or even snow in Vorarlberg and Tirol. In Vienna, temperatures should be between 0C and 11C, while in the central regions, they might reach below zero - with -5C expected in Styria.

READ ALSO: How to celebrate Easter like an Austrian

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On Saturday, there will be rain showers in most of Austria and even some snowfall spreading from the east. Early temperatures will be between 1C and 4C, while daytime highs may reach 3C to 11C - warmer in the west.

Easter Sunday will also have a similar standard, with dense clouds and some rain or snowfall. Over the day, some sun might peep from the clouds, but the tendency to shower remains high. Daytime highs might reach 7C to 14C. You can expect sun and clouds to alternate in Vienna, but a few rain showers will also pass through.

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