Austria is located right in between Belgium, our country of origin, and Hungary, a country where we reside some of the time. So, we tend to pass through it quite often. A lot of time to explore the beautiful land by campervan then, right! That’s why we decided to created this guide to vanlife in Austria. We’ll give you some driving tips, tricks, and you’ll find some of our favourite camp places here!
Let’s dive in!
Before we take off!
Make sure to cover yourself with some decent vanlife health insurance before you leave!
Have you powered up your van with a solar-powered battery, so you can stay off-grid for longer without the urgent need for electricity? Also, a gravity water filter is a great addition for staying off-grid longer!
Did you get yourself a prepaid travel card in order to pay easily everywhere?
All right! You have all you need! Off we go then, into vanlife in Austria!
Driving in Austria
Driving in Austria isn’t all that different from driving in the rest of Europe.
We drive on the right side of the road, like the rest of mainland Europe.
On the Autobahn or highway, you’re typically allowed to drive up to 130 km/h.
In cities and villages, you’re allowed to drive 50 km/h.
If you get flashed, you’ll get a ticket, of course. We got one for driving too fast in a 50 km/h zone. I must have missed the sign and got a ticket for 50€.
Getting a vignette
In Austria, you have to get a vignette in order to drive the Autobahn or any of the S-roads.
The vignette has been a thing since 1997 and it’s still there.
You can get a vignette for 10 days (9,6€), 2 months (28,2€), or 1 year (93,8€). These prices are for cars or vehicles with weight up to 3,5 tons, like our van is. If your camper or van weighs more, you might have to pay more.
The vignette is available as a sticker or in a digital version.
If you decide to buy the vignette sticker in a gas station, don’t forget to stick it to your windshield. Just having the vignette, without having it on the windshield, can set you back 400€! And the Austrian vignette is really hard to remove! It’s super sticky.
The digital vignette can be bought online and is linked to your license plate. This method of purchasing the vignette is easy and straight forward. But, you have to do it over 2 weeks in advance and no longer than 11 months in advance. So, check the dates before assuming you won’t need a gas station!
It’s perfectly doable to cross through Austria without getting a vignette. Just make sure to avoid all motorways and S roads. Just take the scenic roads, take your time and enjoy the scenery!
Driving in wintertime
Wintertime in Austria can be tricky, especially in the Tirol area, which is absolutely stunning!
From the 1st of November until the 15th of April, you should get winter tyres.
The law actually says that you have to be prepared for winter road conditions. So, if you want to use roads when the weather turns bad, you must be ready.
If the roads and the weather are good, you won’t have any trouble driving with ordinary tyres.
Drinking and driving
You’re not allowed to drink and drive in Austria.
The alcohol limit for driving is 0,5 promille, which is quite strict in comparison with other countries in Europe.
Just don’t drink and drive, at all! 😉
Other things you should know about driving in Austria
When driving in Austria, you must:
- have a valid driving license
- not use your mobile phone while driving
- wear your seatbelt at all times
- have your passengers wear their seatbelts
- have a reflective jacket within reaching distance
Vanlife in Austria
So, let’s get to the specifics. Vanlife in Austria.
Here’s the information you are looking for!
We’ll give you some basic information about camping, wild camping and other options for spending the night in Austria. If you’re looking for some specific places and our favourite places in Austria, keep scrolling. We’ll share those at the bottom of the page.
Spoiler alert: most of our favourite places are free of charge. Plus, we love finding places with a great view and hiking trails for us and our hyper-active border collie Jack!
Wild camping in Austria for motorhomes
Wild camping in Austria is strictly forbidden.
Especially in high season, you could get a big fine when wild camping in popular places.
That being said, in low season or winter, you’re not very likely to run into trouble, but you might. We don’t want to encourage you to break the law.
Fines can vary from 5€ to 500€ if you get caught wild camping. If you’re in a nature reserve or a protected area, the fine can be really outrageous. So, be careful.
When in Austria, you’ll notice that the Austrians themselves love to camp out with their car, campervan, or RV. You’ll see them camping out in unofficial places quite often. I’d say, If you see a local camping out, chances are good that it’s tolerated in that area.
Camper places in Austria
Austria has quite a few nice camper places.
A lot of them are free of charge. Others are cheap. And some are expensive.
Some places have a fee during high season, but are free of charge during the low season.
If you’re trying to find camper places in Google, these words are the ones you want to use:
- Wohnmobil Stellplatz
- Motorhome Parkplatz
Then, for the German speaking countries, there’s also an app called: Stellplatz. They also have a website where you can find more places to stay.
Campings in Austria
Austria is equipped with countless campsites.
A great place to find campings is the ACSI app and the ACSI books if you don’t want to use up your precious mobile internet!
If you’re a fan of spending time camping, and you’re traveling off-season, the ACSI camping card is a great way to save money on accommodation.
We have the ACSI camping card each year, just as a backup. We don’t use it much, but sometimes, a camping is a great place to be, take a shower or power up your battery. It’s cheap enough to have it for a year, even if you only use it a few times. If you use it often, it’s definitely a great choice.
Rest assured, the first few months into vanlife, you will be more inclined to spend a night at a campsite every now and then!
There’s actually an ACSI guide for vanlifers and RV travelers. This guide has information about camper places and campings as well.
The concept and the idea is simple.
You get a one-year pass in order to spend the night at farms.
The Austrian Bauernleben pass costs 39,9€ and its valid from 31 March until 31 March the next year.
There are over 500 farms and other places where you can freely spend the night with your self-sufficient camper or van.
Getting the necessities
We all need certain things, no matter how off-grid we want to be, hope to be, or try to be.
If your setup resembles ours, you have a British Berkefeld water filter that allows you to get water pretty much anywhere? You might also have an Ecoflow Battery with a solar panel and a self-built composting toilet to make sure you never have to dump black water.
Getting fuel in Austria
You will be able to find fuel stations all over Austria. Prices are similar to surrounding countries, so there’s not much use in waiting or saving up.
We do recommend getting off the highway to get fuel. Prices on the highway and near it, are pretty steep, compared to smaller towns and villages.
Getting LPG in Austria
LPG is also easy to get around Austria. The price for LPG in Austria is quite average, compared to neighboring countries.
You can get LPG at a regular gas station. (Not every fuel station has LPG) You need an Acme Dish adapter.
The most common adaptor is also called the Italy nipple for LPG. We recommend getting the LPG nipple set to be covered everywhere around Europe.
Getting water in Austria
Water is pretty widely available in Austria. We’ve gotten most of our water in Austria for free. Most camper places have a tap, but some of the camper places have a paying system for getting water and electricity.
Tap water is safe to drink. It actually tastes pretty good too!
We usually fill up our tank. Then, we fill up a few extra jerrycans for longer off grid time. We also fill up our Berkey water filter which offer us great tasting drinking water for a few days!
Getting electricity in Austria
Usually, electricity is a paid feature in camper places. If you go to a regular camping, electricity is usually included.
We love it when we find a camper place which has free electricity, especially when our Ecoflow Delta is running out of juice and we’ve been missing out on the sun for a few days.
Bringing your dog to Austria
Any vanlife trip to Austria is better when your dog can come along.
These are the things you have to take into consideration when you bring your dog into Austria.
Your dog must have:
- European pet passport
- Valid microchip
- Rabies vaccination ( 3-year validity)
Austria does not have any special rules or requirements.
No dog breeds are banned, so, no matter the breed of your dogs, you can bring them to Austria.
Our favourite camp places for vanlife in Austria
I’m pretty sure that this list will only get longer the longer we’re on the road. We’re passing through Austria frequently and we plan on discovering new places on each trip.
So far, these are our top camping places in Austria.
Click the listings to discover more about the places.
We’ll give you more information about the location, the facilities, hiking possibilities, and more!