February is winter in Austria, with snow in the mountains and the cities. Skiers and snowboarders of all levels can find an experience to suit them somewhere in the Austrian Alps, while travelers interested in culture, art, and history won't be short of choices in cities such as Vienna and Salzburg. Here are some more ideas for where to go and what to do in Austria in February.


February is mid-winter in Austria. As a landlocked country in Central Europe, winters are cold and snowy but not usually extreme. The Alps cover part of Austria, but the whole country is not mountainous—the north and the east are quite low-lying. Towns and ski resorts at higher altitudes tend to be colder and windier than lower-lying cities. Snow may be on the ground in lower-lying cities such as Vienna and Salzburg in February, and nighttime temperatures may dip below 32°F (0°C), but daytime temperatures are usually a bit warmer. 

Crowds & Costs

Many travelers come to Austria in February to ski, so expect high prices and full hotels in ski resort areas. You'll need to book accommodation in advance; this is peak season in the Alps. However, beyond the mountains, you won't find too many other visitors throughout Austria this month. If you're planning on traveling to the cities, you may be able to get a good deal on accommodation. Some smaller towns, such as those in the Salzkammergut lake district, effectively shut up shop for winter, though.

It's also important to know that if you're planning on attending one of Vienna's famous balls (the most popular of which are on in January and February), you'll need to secure your ticket months in advance. Vienna's balls are a fixture of the local social and entertainment calendar, and the most popular balls sell out quickly. Most tickets go on sale in the autumn before the event, but tickets for the very popular Vienna Opera Ball go on sale a full 12 months in advance.

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Where to Go

One of Austria's most famous sons, Mozart, was born on January 27. The week-long Mozart Festival is held in Salzburg in late January and early February, and lovers of classical music, theater, and culture will want to attend. The city of Salzburg, with views of the Eastern Alps, is a fantastic place to visit at any time of year, but it really shines during this festival. Enjoy a concert or two, then check out other attractions such as the Salzburg Fortress, Mozart's Residence, and Hellbrunn Castle

Further east, the capital city of Vienna is a must-visit for anyone interested in history, architecture, and European art. February is a good time to visit because it's relatively quiet, and you can shelter from cold weather in cafés and museums. Spot masterpieces by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and other fabulous Austrian artists at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Belvedere Gallery, the Hundertwasser House, and elsewhere.

What to Do

Whether you're a beginner skier/snowboarder wanting to take lessons or an advanced athlete wanting to get off-piste, you can do it in Austria. Near Vienna, Zauberg Semmering is best suited to beginners and intermediate skiers/snowboarders. For more challenging runs, head deeper into the Eastern Alps. Innsbruck is a handy jumping-off point with a cable car that takes skiers right from the city into the mountains. Ski areas near Innsbruck include Mayrhofen, Zillertal, Kitzbühel, and Hafelekar-Rinne, one of the steepest ski runs in Europe.

Vienna's famous ball season runs through winter, with the most popular balls held in January and February. These formal dances are held in incredible palaces, concert halls, theaters, and other public spaces and give a glimpse into traditional Viennese culture. It helps if you can waltz, but it's not strictly necessary if you get a ticket that allows you to sit at a table (not all do, however, so specify if this is what you want). Dancers usually stick to their social group, and formal attire is required. 

Events in February

Mozart Week, Salzburg. This week-long classical music festival in late January and early February celebrates Austrian musician and composer Mozart in a series of concerts in Salzburg.

Vienna Opera BallVienna. Among Vienna's many fabulous balls, the Vienna Opera Ball is one of the most popular and is held at the end of Shrovetide/before Lent.

More Helpful Information

Austria in January
Austria in March
Best Time of Year to Visit Austria
How Many Days to Spend in Austria