Is wild camping allowed in Austria?

No Tolerated! Yes

No, wild camping, also known as boondocking, dry camping, or dispersed camping, is officially not allowed in Austria. However, there are differences in the individual provinces and in some regions wild camping is tolerated. Bivouacking on private property is possible in many areas.

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Last researched: Winter 2021/2022

For wild camping, penalties between 5 € and 500 € can be imposed, and in some cases, your tent can even be confiscated. Depending on the federal state, the penalties for wild camping in nature reserves, national parks, and special protection areas are significantly higher and can be up to 14.500 €.

As in any country, some exceptions allow you to spend the night away from campsites. Under 'Tips and tricks for wild camping,' we have listed the regions in which wild camping is less strictly controlled and punished. Camping on private plots is permitted with the permission of the owner. In some regions, you may also spend the night at the roadside or on parking lots.

Bivouacking is accepted in most provinces, and the construction of an emergency bivouac is permitted throughout Austria.

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Tips and tricks for wild camping in Austria

Snow-capped peaks, blue skies, and wonderfully green alpine meadows - that is what Austria is known for. Whether you want to take a walk through the mountains, cool off in one of the lakes or go skiing, Austria has something for everyone. However, to enjoy your wild camping trip, you should pay attention to which federal state you are traveling in. We made you a list in which areas you are more likely to be tolerated, and which areas you should avoid for wild camping and free standing.

Burgenland
In Burgenland, camping with less than 10 people is permitted for a maximum of 3 nights. However, camping with a motorhome is not permitted and can be fined up to 3.600 €.

Upper Austria
Since an amendment to the Tourism Act of 01 July 2021, wild camping is not allowed in Upper Austria. Also, overnight stays in vehicles are no longer allowed, even if no camping behavior is displayed.

Salzburg and Vorarlberg
Whether, and to what extent, penalties are imposed for wild camping is determined by the mayor of the respective municipality. So you should ask the authorities if it is allowed or not.

Styria
According to the Styrian Law on the Freedom to Enter the Land in a Mountainous Area, and the Styrian Nature Conservation Act, wild camping and standing free for one night is not a problem. If you want to stay for more than one night, you need the permission of the authorities.

Carinthia
Wild camping and standing free is not permitted in Carinthia and is regulated in the Carinthian Nature Conservation Act (2002). "In the open countryside, it is forbidden to camp outside officially approved campsites, and other specially designed areas, in connection with residential buildings, such as front gardens, house, and orchards or to park caravans." In these areas, fines of up to 3.630 € are imminent.

Lower Austria
Wild camping is not permitted in Lower Austria. The Lower Austrian Nature Conservation Act states that "the parking of caravans, camper vans, or mobile homes in grassland outside of camping sites approved under the provisions of the Lower Austrian Camping Site Act 1999" is prohibited. Offenses will be fined up to 14.500 €.

Tyrol
Wild camping and standing free is regulated in the Tyrolean Camping Act (2001). "Camping outside campsites is prohibited." A violation of this law can be fined up to 220 €.

Vienna
Wild camping is prohibited throughout Vienna according to § 1 of the Camping Ordinance of 1985. This includes overnight stays in vehicles as well as camping.

By the way: According to a study by the ADAC, Austria ranks third among the cheapest camping countries in Europe. For example, two adults with one child pay an average of 34.31 € for an overnight stay on a campsite, including parking space and ancillary costs.

10 interesting, bizarre and funny facts about Austria

When you think of the green alpine pastures of Austria, you naturally think of grazing cows. But did you know that the Austrians do sports with cowpats? Or that it was legal for a long time to blow up a dead cow to get rid of it? We have compiled these and other facts for you here.

Fact #1 - Bloody Origin of the Flag
Duke Leopold is said to have taken off his clothes after a battle and waved them through the air. She was so saturated with blood that only a white stripe of his belt could be seen.

Fact #2 - Oldest Zoo
The zoo in Schönbrunn was founded in 1452 and is the oldest zoo in the world that is still open. It is home to over 717 different animal species and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Fact #3 - Spielberg's ancestors
Steven Spielberg is one of the biggest names in the film business, and his name comes from Austria. More precisely, from the city of Spielberg, where his ancestors lived before they emigrated to the USA.

Fact #4 - Back to the Future of Austria
Good news, the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation, and Technology declared in 2015 that no driving license is required for hoverboards. Now we only need hoverboards...

Fact #5 - Oldest newspaper
The oldest still appearing daily newspaper in the world comes from Austria. It is the Wiener Tageszeitung, which first appeared in 1703 as the Wiennerisches Diarium.

Fact #6 - Cow dung
Every year in Tyrol the Austrian championship in cow dung throwing takes place. The winner receives the "Goldene Kuhflade". By the way, it is forbidden to add cement to the cow feed, this is considered doping.

Fact #7 - Cow blasting
And another fact about cows. In Vorarlberg, it was legal until 2011 to blow up dead cows on a steep slope to dispose of them. Meanwhile, the country pays for disposal.

Fact #8 - Special place name
In Upper Austria, there is a small village Fucking. The place-name signs are so popular that they are now embedded in concrete and welded on. Also, a beer, more precisely a light beer, carries the place name: "Fucking Hell".

Fact #9 - Special streetcar
London is famous for its red double-decker buses. From 1913 to 1930, however, the Viennese were able to put them in the shade. At that time, three double-decker trams were on the move in the capital.

Fact #10 - Austria attacked itself
In 1778 the Austrian army attacked itself. During this action, they lost up to 10,000 soldiers according to estimates. How exactly this happened is controversial, but it was triggered by a few barrels of schnapps.

Everything you need to know for your trip

Equipment

  • Warning triangle Yes
  • Safety vest Yes
  • First aid kit Yes
  • Replacement lamp set No
  • Spare tyre / repair set No
  • Fire extinguisher No
  • Tow rope No
  • Tear rope for all trailers No

Driving

  • Do I need a vignette, or are there tolls? Yes
  • Right hand trafficTo avoid dazzling other road users, you need to readjust or mask your headlights if they have asymmetrical light and are right-hand drive
  • Is it compulsory to drive with lights on during the day? Yes

Information

  • Is the tap water potable? Yes
  • Socket type: C+F
  • Energency numbers: 112
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Official Languages: German
  • Country licence plate code: A

Average prices, in €

  • Price coffee rounded: 3.00
  • Price beer rounded: 4.25

Entry conditions for animals

  • You need a valid EU pet passport in which your animal is clearly identified (microchip or tattoo), as well as a rabies vaccination valid on entry. The rabies vaccination must be at least 21 days old, but not older than 6 months. Yes
  • If your entry is from a non-EU country with a reduced rabies status, you must have a rabies antibody test carried out approximately four weeks before you enter the country and have it entered on your EU pet passport. No
  • Your dog must be treated for tapeworms 24 to 120 hours before entry. No
  • In addition to a valid EU pet passport with all the required entries, you also need an official veterinary health certificate (max. 10 days old). No
  • The import of fighting dogs or breeds classified as dangerous is not permitted. No

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