If you are seeking to see stunning scenery and like being in the outdoors Austria will appeal to you. There are backpacking and amazing gap year travel ideas all year round, from skiing / snowboarding in the Alps during winter to going walking and trekking in the warmer months.
Find inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to go travelling, backpacking or take a gap year in Austria.
Get information, ideas and inspiration for travelling to Austria:
Austria is a year round destination but it really depends on your interests as to which time of the year you visit. Winter is a popular time due to the amount of winter sports available like skiing but there are also options all year round. During summer (June to September) you will be able to experience the true nature of the country and it is also more pleasant when sightseeing.
Austria might look small on a map but there are so many unique and different places to see, these are places we recommend adding to your Austria travel itinerary:
Austria appeals for so many places to see and things to keep you busy. Top recommendations include exploring Vienna, going skiing or snowboarding and seeing the Alps. To anyone that’s never been before, keen for adventure and willing to take on a challenge and swap the beaches for the beautiful mountains, you’ll love Austria! Getting around Austria is very easy, there is a modern transport system connecting the whole country. You might want to go skiing, explore the Alps or go in search of history and tradition by exploring cities, villages and towns.
If you love the the great outdoors, Austria is one of the best places to visit no matter what the season. There are options for your gap year during winter, summer and all year round where you will get to experience the highlights of this extremely friendly country. Austria is an amazing destination for people of all interests, which in turn makes it one of our most underrated choices.
When you say to people you are going to Austria, sometimes they immediately ask ‘why are you going there?’ as they think there’s nothing to do. But they’re wrong. There is so much to do in Austria all year ‘round! In winter, you can go skiing - people come from all over the world to ski the Austrian Alps. And in the summer there is the option to go hiking, cycling, and also sightseeing.
Below, Alice Scott shares her experience of travelling in Austria and gives you some suggestions for things you can get up to...
Most people go skiing or snowboarding, but some go snowshoeing and sightseeing. So even if you don’t like the cold and snow, there’s still something for you in the winter there.
I have lived in Austria in the winter, and it is as magical as you think. I was there for five months as a seasonaire, and every day I woke up to snow on the mountains. Yes it got cold and at times walking to work across an icy beginner’s slope wasn’t exactly my idea of fun, but it was so worth it when I would look around me and all I saw were the majestic mountains and snow-covered forests. It truly was magical.
The apres ski is fantastic too, there’s a great atmosphere and you’ll have the time of your life in the winter.
I have spent many summer holidays in Austria, and I even lived there for two months after spending the winter in another Austrian resort as a seasonaire.
Granted, there isn’t as much to do in the summer and the apres ski scene is nowhere to be found, but it’s still just as great during the summer. My favourite thing about summer in Austria is the hiking, and getting to see the beauty of the mountains in a different way to what you’d see them in the winter. No snow, just lush green grass and trees. The smell of pine whilst walking in the forests is my one of my favourite things.
And at the end of summer, the cows come down from the high pastures in the mountains, called the Almabtrieb. It is an annual event in the alpine regions of Europe and has now become a major tourist attraction as a public festival.
View our guide to taking a gap year in Europe.