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Heading to Austria? This stunning country has a wealth of culture and natural beauty that will appeal to every type of traveler, whether you’re planning a trip to one of its renowned ski resorts or elegant cities. Keep reading to find out what to wear in Austria!
What to Wear in Austria
Written By: Alison O’Neill
The home of Mozart, Freud, the Von Trapp family, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and many famous others, Austria is also the birthplace of the sewing machine, PEZ candy, and Red Bull (who knew?)
As a rule, Austrians, like many of their European neighbors, dress in a sophisticated, fairly conservative way, and overly revealing clothing is generally frowned upon.
When preparing for your trip, pack classic pieces in neutral shades that you can easily mix and match, and add some color and style with accessories or one or two stand-out items.
Pack like a pro with our Signature Packing Lists!
The items I suggest in this post are geared towards a trip to one of Austria’s cities, such as Vienna, Salzburg, or Innsbruck, as opposed to a ski vacation. You can also use it if you plan to discover Lake Constance. Having said that, you’ll probably want to engage in some sort of outdoor activity if you’ll be in Austria for an extended amount of time, whether that’s hiking or watersports, so pack accordingly.
For any trip to Austria, regardless of season, the number one item I’d prioritize is a good pair of shoes/boots. Even if you’re not planning on going hiking during your visit, you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking as you take in the sights on a city vacation.
Ideally you should bring along a pair that are well broken-in (getting blisters can ruin an otherwise perfect day, trust me).
What to Wear in Austria: Spring
Austria in early spring can be decidedly chilly, with snow potentially still in the forecast. If you’re traveling at this time of year, you’d be wise to bring extra layers and sturdy, waterproof footwear.
Later on in the season is an ideal time to visit as you’ll likely encounter pleasantly warm, sunny weather, although be prepared for the occasional shower and gray, overcast day.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for spring travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer a Summer Dress for Spring
- How to Pack for Europe in Spring
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
Austria Packing List: Spring
For a typical springtime visit to Austria, I’d recommend bringing lots of layers, as you can never be fully sure how the weather will progress when you set out in the morning.
Find out why thermals are a must for traveling light (and staying warm) in cold weather!
A discreet but roomy backpack is ideal for a day of sightseeing, allowing you to safely stash away whatever provisions you’ll need. If you can, always bring along a small, foldable umbrella and never take it for granted that a seemingly sunny day will stay that way!
My favorite form of outerwear for spring is a light trench coat—it’s a timeless piece that’s comfortable, practical, and sophisticated, and looks good thrown over jeans or a dress. A hat is another finishing touch that will add a bit of elegance to your look.
Read this post on how to choose the best travel coat!
In terms of footwear, I love the look of a sleek (preferably waterproof) Chelsea boot year-round—they’re comfortable but always look on-trend and go well with both dresses and jeans. A chic ballet flat in a neutral shade like blush or black is another footwear option that’s perfect for spring.
These are the most cute and comfortable ballet flats for travel!
What to Wear in Austria: Summer
Summertime in Austria is typically warm and occasionally even hot, but always bear in mind that torrential thunderstorms can come out of nowhere. Bring along that umbrella or a jacket with a hood if you’re planning on being out for the day.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for summer travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Summer
- Top Summer Dresses Perfect for Europe
- Lightweight Jackets for Easy Layers
- Best Walking Shoes for Europe’s Cobblestone Streets
Austria Packing List: Summer
Summer can be a season for skimpy dressing, but be reasonably modest in your attire—no tiny jean cut-offs or cleavage-baring shirts, for example.
For added versatility, these are popular convertible travel dress styles!
And save the flip-flops for another destination (or the hostel shower) as they are generally not seen as appropriate footwear in Europe. A chic pair of comfortable sandals or a stylish pair of sneakers are two ideal footwear options.
These are the cutest and most comfortable ballet flats for travel!
I love packing a maxi dress or two for a summer vacation—they’re stylish and comfortable while also being light and easy to pack. I’d also bring along a light jacket or cardigan, as summer evenings in Austria (especially if you’re by the water) can be a bit chilly.
Check out the convertible wrap dress you can wear everywhere!
Basics such as tees and jeans are versatile pieces that you’ll wear a lot during your trip, and if you want to bring along shorts, go for a modest, stylish pair as opposed to jean cut-offs.
Austria has some stunning lakes, so bring a swimsuit if you plan on going for a dip!
Here are the 23 best one-piece swimsuits of the season!
What to Wear in Austria: Autumn
Early autumn is a great time to visit Austria: the heat and crowds of summer have died down, but it’s pleasantly warm and most attractions will still be open.
Temperatures in early autumn tend to be mild and sunny, but you’ll want to pack extra layers for those chilly mornings and evenings. If you’re planning a visit towards the later end of autumn, be prepared for cold, gray days and the odd shower.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for autumn travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer Clothes
- Use a Summer Dress to Pack Light in Fall
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
Austria Packing List: Autumn
A trench coat is a perfect option for autumn as well as spring. It’ll keep the chill at bay while not being too heavy. Another option would be a lightweight bomber or army-style jacket in a khaki shade—perfect for tossing over a cute dress or jeans.
When it comes to jeans, I love a crisp black pair—they’re a little more elevated than a basic blue denim, but are just as comfortable. You obviously don’t have to dress up when visiting a museum or palace, but it’s nice to make a bit more of an effort when your surroundings are so stunning, and black jeans are perfect for that.
These are the best travel leggings for women, as voted by our readers!
Other touches such as a hat and scarf are great ways to complete your look and add some color and texture.
What to Wear in Austria: Winter
An Austrian winter is Christmas-card perfect: think gently falling snow, twinkling lights, and festive, old-world markets. The downside is that it can be very cold, so be prepared.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for winter travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Winter
- How to Pack for Cold Weather
- How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather (without the bulk)
- The Best Travel Shoes for Winter
Austria Packing List: Winter
A padded, puffer-style jacket with good insulation is ideal for a winter trip; black or another neutral color like cream or navy would be a safe bet for a classic look.
Find out the most stylish and practical options for down jackets!
A pair of low-heeled, waterproof boots will be your friend in snowy, occasionally icy walking conditions. As I mentioned above, the Chelsea boot is one of my favorite styles, but I’m also a fan of a knee-high or over-the-knee look; not only do they look great, but they keep your legs nice and toasty too!
Check out the best waterproof boots for winter travel!
You’ll obviously want to bring along a warm hat, scarf, and gloves for a winter trip to Austria, and I’d also suggest long-sleeved tees and maybe a turtleneck for added warmth.
Read this post on fashionable winter accessories for women!
I’d also bring along a nice dress in case you’re planning on going to a classical music concert or having dinner at a high-end restaurant.
German is the official language of Austria and its currency is the Euro, and while the country bears some similarities to its neighbor Germany, it has a unique culture all its own. Once the center of the mighty Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed after World War I, Austria is rich in history and culture, and boasts magnificent palaces and museums.
It borders 8 countries: Germany, Italy, Hungary, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Liechtenstein, and you’ll find that different regions of Austria share cultural characteristics with their bordering neighbors. For example, there’s a distinctive Italian vibe going on in the region near the Austria-Italy border.
Austria is, generally speaking, a clean, safe, efficiently-run country, and an ideal place to visit as a solo female traveler. Austrian locals tend to be polite and respectful and English is widely, and often fluently, spoken.
When buying souvenirs, steer clear of touristy (and pricy) hotspots and consider heading to a local supermarket instead. They’ll have delicious chocolate, sweets, and more at much more reasonable prices.
Another thing to note: Like several other countries in Europe, many Austrian shops may be closed on Sundays, or have very limited opening hours—make sure you plan accordingly!
What are your tips on what to wear in Austria? Share in the comments!
Please note: Most of Europe’s budget airlines have this carryon bag allowance: 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. Always check your airline’s individual baggage rules and regulations in advance.
For more tips, please read these Europe packing lists:
Suggested travel resources:
- Lonely Planet Europe on a Shoestring
- Lonely Planet Austria
- Travel Shoes for Europe
- The Best Carry-on Suitcases for Europe
Please read our Ultimate Packing List for Europe featuring stylish outfits and travel tips for 9 countries.
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Author Bio: Ali O’Neill is an Irish-born, Canadian-bred writer who recently moved from Vancouver to Dublin. Passionate about travel, books, fashion, and beauty, she writes about her interests at Alison Genevieve. You can follow her adventures on Instagram.