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Best Time to Visit Austria

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The best time to visit Austria on a Danube River cruise is during the shoulder season months of late spring or early autumn when the weather is warm and there is noticeably less tourist crowding in the major cities. Summer can also be a great time to visit Austria if you prefer hotter weather and don’t mind dealing with the crowds. Unless you are an avid skier, then we recommend avoiding the frigid winter months in Austria. 

At a Glance:
High season (June-August): Warmest weather, but also more crowded 
Shoulder seasons (Spring and Fall): Fewer hours of daylight, but more comfortable, cooler temperatures and less crowded tourist areas.

Ski season (December, January, and February): A very limited selection of cruises but ideal for winter sports. 

March, April, and May/ Good Season

The spring season in central Europe, from March through May, marks the beginning of the cruise season on the Danube River. Travelers through Austria during the spring season will have the chance to take walking city tours, nature hikes, wine tastings, and attend concerts. However, it’s worth noting that due to the higher levels of rainfall and snowmelt during this time of year, some rivers may flood. This makes it impossible for cruise ships to navigate under some of the lower bridges and through locks along the Danube. If this happens, the operator will dock the riverboat until water levels go down and use luxury motorcoaches to transport travelers through their itinerary. 

June, July, and August/ High Season
If you’re planning a Danube River cruise through Austria in the summer months of June-August, keep in mind that it tends to get hot and crowded during this time of the year in central Europe. The weather reaches the highest temperatures of the year and the days enjoy the longest hours of daylight. This is a great time of the year to hike as the temperatures are generally at their warmest. It’s a good idea to pack a small jacket and a raincoat to keep you comfortable in any weather, as it may occasionally get a little chilly, with a chance of rain. Activities such as city tours, concerts, and wine tastings are the most popular attractions during this time of the year in Austria.

September October and November/ Good Season

Another great time of year to travel through Austria is during the fall season from September-early November, as there is little rainfall and the water levels are generally navigable. Warm temperatures during the daytime with little rainfall make autumn a very comfortable season to travel through Austria. The activities and attractions during this season are largely the same as the summer. 
December, January, and February. 

There are very few Danube River cruises during the month of December and no cruises during the months of January or February. The vibrant Christmas markets are the major tourist attraction during the month of December, featuring traditional hot food, drinks, handmade souvenirs, and cultural celebrations around every corner. Ball’s are also in season during the wintertime for those who are interested in arts. For those hoping to ski, the skiing season starts in December, but the best snow is typical during the months of January and February with the season in full swing until March.

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An autumn view across the Vltava river to old town Prague


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