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Best Time to Visit Austria

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When to Go?

The best time to visit Austria on a Danube River cruise is during the shoulder season, either March-May or September-November, when the weather is warm but not too hot and there is noticeably less tourist crowding in the major cities. 
Summer can also be a great time to visit if you don’t mind the hotter weather and crowds. Unless you are an avid skier, then we recommend avoiding the frigid winter months in Austria.  

At a Glance:

Peak season (June-August): Warmest weather, but also most crowded 
Shoulder seasons (Spring and Fall): Fewer hours of daylight, cooler temperatures, and less crowded tourist areas.
Ski season (December, January, and February): Very limited selection of cruises but ideal for winter sports.
Church of St. Francis of Assissi in Vienna
Church of St. Francis of Assissi in Vienna


March through May marks the beginning of cruising season on the Danube River. Travelers in Austria during the spring will have the chance to take walking city tours, nature hikes, wine tastings, and concerts. 

However, it’s worth noting that due to higher levels of rainfall and snow melting, some rivers will have higher water levels. The flooding might make 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 motor coaches to transport travelers through their itinerary.
Visit the ornately decorated Melk Abbey
Visit the ornately decorated Melk Abbey


If you’re planning on cruising the Danube River through Austria in June, July, and August, know that it tends to get hot and crowded during this time of year in central Europe. The weather reaches the highest temperatures of the year along with the most hours of daylight. 

This is a great time of the year to hike as the temperatures are 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.
Rathaus in Vienna
Rathaus in Vienna


Austria from September to early November is great for visiting, as there is little rainfall and the water levels are generally navigable. Warm temperatures during the daytime and little rainfall make autumn a very comfortable season. Activities and attractions available during this season are largely the same as the summer.

Enjoy stunning views of the Austrian countryside
Enjoy stunning views of the Austrian countryside


There are very few Danube River cruises during the month of December and no cruises between January and February. The vibrant Christmas markets are the main attractions during the month of December, featuring traditional hot food and drinks, handmade souvenirs, and cultural celebrations everywhere. 

Balls are also in season during winter time for those who are interested in arts. Visitors hoping to ski can enjoy the sport until March in Austria, yet the best snow is typically during January and February.

Get in touch with our travel experts to design the best experience cruising the Danube River!

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