Safety and security
Crime remains relatively low in Austria but you should take sensible precautions.
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
Be particularly aware of petty theft at Vienna´s largest train stations, Westbahnhof, and Hauptbahnhof. There have also been several recent reports of thefts on the trains between Vienna and Prague/Budapest.
Reporting a crime
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Austria, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy if you need help.
If your passport is lost or stolen, you should contact the Embassy as soon as possible and report the loss or theft to the nearest police station or Magistrat. You will need to submit a copy of your police statement when you’re applying for a new passport or if you’re making a claim on your insurance.
In some cases, you may be able to use this statement instead of a passport, but you should check with the airline before going to the airport. If your airline won’t accept the statement, the Embassy may issue you with an Emergency Travel Certificate, valid for one journey from Austria to Ireland, or a Temporary Passport, valid for a restricted period of time.
Walking and Cycling
Please observe traffic lights when walking in Austrian towns and cities, particularly Vienna. On the spot fines are administered for crossing the road at a red light.
It is important to observe the rules of the road when cycling. On the spot fines are administered for cycling in pedestrian areas. It addition, cyclists in Vienna are subject to random breath testing. Failing a test may result in a fine, imprisonment, or both.
The rules of the road are more complex in Austria than those in Ireland, especially for caravan and motor home owners so if you’re planning on driving, remember:
- Bring your full Irish driving license and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
- Using your headlights is mandatory in poor visibility and recommended at all other times.
- Carry a high-visibility vest and a hazard warning triangle in the car.
- Motorists in Austria must form an emergency corridor as soon as traffic ceases to progress and congestion is imminent on motorways or dual carriageways and highways, regardless of whether emergency vehicles are already in the vicinity or not.
- Road conditions are generally good although roads in alpine areas can become hazardous during winter and some mountain roads may be closed for extended period.
Using the motorway
If you’re planning to use motorways and ‘S’ roads in Austria, you risk heavy, on-the-spot fines if you don’t display a Motorway Vignette on your vehicle. You can buy these Motorway Vignettes at all major border crossings into Austria and at larger petrol stations.
The legal drink driving limit in Austria is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The limit is 10 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood for coach/HGV drivers and those who have had a licence for less than two years. Penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol are severe.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Fri, 06 May 2016 12:42:22 BST