As is true with all great travel destinations, there really isn't a bad time to travel to Austria, but there are some things that you will want to consider. Some seasons are better than others for certain activities, and if you want to avoid crowds, you will avoid the peak seasons. An Austria trip will be many different things to many different people, and often deciding when to take that Austria vacation can have a lot to do with things at home, like family member schedules and your ability to get off of work. All things considered, an Austria holiday will be unforgettable no matter when you go. It does help to think about a few things before you commit to that plane ticket, though.
Weather is a major concern when traveling anywhere, and since Austria has distinct seasons, it can have a lot to do with when you decide to go on your Austria vacation. Austria is a country where location has a lot to do with the overall climate. In the higher mountains to the west and southwest, you can expect snow to start falling in November, and it usually lasts until March or sometimes longer. This can make for some hairy driving conditions at high altitudes, and it certainly isn't the ideal time to be doing any Alps hiking. Interestingly enough, however, in south-cental Austria, cities like Klagenfurt enjoy relatively moderate winters due to the fact that this part of the country is set in a sort of bowl that cuts off some of the colder air from the north and attracts warmer air from the south. It's not going to be 80 degrees in the middle of winter in Klagenfurt, but you might be surprised at how comfortable and sunny it can be. In any event, it's predominantly cold in the winter months in Austria and warm in the summer ones.
When skiing is the aim of your Austria vacation, then December through March is the best time to book your trip. This is when you can expect the most snowfall and the best overall conditions. Of course, there are some glaciers in Austria that can be skied year round, but as far as the real ski season goes, places such as Innsbruck, Lech, and even Klagenfurt are prime for ski vacations between December and March. On the flip side of things, the summer months are ideal for kayaking, fishing, hiking, bicycling, golf, and a myriad of other fun outdoor activities. Touring Austria's cities is also best done in the warmer months, and as a result, Vienna, for example, experiences its high season between the months of April and October. These are ideal months to enjoy walking tours in the city, taking in such attractions along the way as Schonbrunn Palace and Hofburg Palace.
In Salzburg, the famous The Sound of Music tours are best enjoyed in the warmer months as well. During springtime in the Alps, alpine flowers are in full bloom, and the fresh, spring air is utterly rejuvenating. Even if you head to the Alps in the middle of summer, however, you will want to bring some fairly warm clothes, as it can get chilly at night from time to time. A light, waterproof jacket should do you well, as it will not only warm you up if it should get cold, but it will also keep you dry should it rain.
Avoiding the crowds is something that some travelers like to do, and unless you are heading to the Austria ski resorts, wintertime in Austria can be a good time for unfettered sightseeing. After all, plenty of attractions in Austria, such as Salzburg Dom and St Stephens Cathedral, are just as impressive in the winter as they are in the summer, especially when you don't have to share them with a whole bunch of people. Another good thing about visiting non-ski resort towns in Austria during the winter is that the hotel prices go down. While travel to Austria is not the most expensive thing on the planet, it can be nice to save some money on accommodations. Plus, you'll have more left over for dining out or enjoying extra tours.
There are just so many things to consider when it comes to an Austria trip. Perhaps there is a certain Austrian festival or event that you want to experience, or maybe you love skiing, while your friend or significant other prefers tennis. Sometimes compromises have to be made when arranging travel to Austria, but you can always come back again on another Austria trip if you missed something!