Visiting mountain huts is an integral part of the hiking experience in Austria.
Luckily, most of the pandemic measures are no longer in place in 2022. As of March 24, 2022:
- You no longer need to bring a sleeping bag. A sleeping bag liner is sufficient once again like this ultra lightweight silk liner or this Cocoon Cotton TravelSheet.
- You no longer need to bring a pillow. A pillowcase is sufficient. Note: most sleeping bag liners have a built in pillowcase.
- You no longer need to show proof of low epidemiological risk in the mountain huts (3G): proof of vaccination, a valid negative test, or medical proof of recovery – valid for 6 months. However, you do need to show 3G in order to enter Austria.
- Overnight mountain hut reservations are no longer mandatory. However, we highly recommend making reservations, because space is limited.
Important. These measures may change at any time. Please confirm the current rules with the huts you’re staying in, prior to your trip.
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Austrian Mountain Huts: What You Need to Know
- Mountain Huts in Austria typically open from mid/late June until mid/late September. Some huts stay open until early October.
- Bring cash. While some huts accept credit cards, most do not.
- Overnight guests need to bring a sleeping bag liner and waterproof indoor slippers. We always bring Crocs.
- Familiarize yourself with hut etiquette. Learn more in our guide to hut to hut hiking in Austria.
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When to Visit Austrian Mountain Huts
Mountain Huts (Hütten) usually open up for the summer season in mid/late June. And, they typically close in mid/late September. Some huts may stay open until early/mid October.
Mountain huts publish their opening dates on their websites. If the dates are not published, you can email the hut directly.
Austrian Mountain Hut Food & Drinks
Whether you’re a day hiker, or a multi-day hiker, eating and drinking in an Austrian mountain hut is part of the experience of hiking in Austria. Remember to bring sufficient cash, as credit cards are not always accepted.
Here are the standard dishes you’ll likely encounter.
Note: While most huts are vegetarian-friendly, only a few are vegan-friendly.
- Kaspressknödelsuppe: cheese dumpling soup. One or two large flat-pressed dumplings, made with bread, eggs, and cheese, are served in a clear broth soup.
- Frittatensuppe: Sliced pancake soup
- Grießnockerlsuppe: Semolina Dumpling Soup
- Leberknödelsuppe: Liver dumpling soup
- Nudelsuppe: noodle soup
- Tiroler Speckknödelsuppe: tyrolean bacon dumpling soup
- Gemüsesuppe: vegetable soup
- Gerstensuppe: barley soup
- Linsensuppe: lentil soup
- Gulaschsuppe: goulash soup
Hauptspeisen: Main dishes (with meat)
- Tiroler Gröstl: pan-fried potatoes combined with beef or pork (or both), onions, and butter. A fried egg is served on top.
- Wiener Schnitzel: Thin, breaded and pan fried cutlets of veal. Often, huts only serve Schnitzel vom Schwein (pork), Schnitzel von der Pute (turkey), or Schnitzel vom Huhn (chicken). Schnitzel is typically served with a side of potato or mixed salad.
- Gulasch: beef goulash
- Schweinsbraten mit Kraut und Knödel: roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut (cabbage)
- Geselchtes mit Kraut und Knödel: cured meat with dumplings and sauerkraut (cabbage)
- Blunzengröstl: blood sausage mixed with onions and potatoes
- Zwiebelrostbraten: roast beef with onions, topped with gravy
- Faschierte Laibchen mit Kartoffelpüree: minced meat patties served with mashed potatoes
- Grammelknödel: greaves dumplings
- Fleischknödel: meat dumplings
- Hühnergeschnetzeltes mit Reis: chicken stripes in a rich, creamy sauce, served with rice.
- Rindsrouladen: beef roulade
- Brettljause: meat and cheese board, with spreads and toppings
- Wurstsalat: salad made of strips of sausage, onions, gherkins, and oil and vinegar dressing
- Bratwurst: fried sausage (pork)
Vegetarische Gerichte: Vegetarian main dishes
- Käsespätzle: soft egg noodles sautéed with a variety of pungent mountain cheeses and garnished with fried onions and chive.
- Eiernockerl: egg dumplings usually served with green salad
- Geröstete Knödel mit Ei: dumpling with eggs
- Eierschwammerl Gulasch: mushroom goulash
- Kaiserschmarrn: Shredded Pancakes topped with powder sugar and rum-soaked raisins. Traditionally, it’s served with a side of plum sauce. However, it’s common to eat Kaiserschmarrn with a “Preiselbeeren” (cranberry) or an “Apfel” (apple) sauce.
- Marillenknödel: apricot-filled dumplings
- Germknödel: fluffy yeast dough dumpling filled with spiced plum jam and served with melted butter and a mix of poppy seeds and sugar on top
- Apfelstrudel: apple strudel
- Topfenstrudel: cream cheese strudel
- Palatschinken: Austrian pancakes – usually filled with jam
- Mohnnudeln: thick noodles of a potato dough topped with ground poppy seeds and sugar
- Buchteln: oven-baked yeast dumplings, often filled with jam
- Salzburger Nockerl: sweet soufflé
- Wasser: water
- Soda: sparkling water
- Mineralwasser: mineral water (sparking, mild, or still)
- Leitungswasser: tap water
- Apfelsaft: apple juice
- Apfelsaft gespritzt: apple juice mixed with mineral water (very refreshing)
- Johannisbeersaft gespritzt: black currant juice mixed with sparkling water
- Marillensaft / Pfirsichsaft / Erdbeersaft: apricot juice / peach juice / strawberry juice
- Soda Zitrone: sparkling water with lemon juice
- Almdudler: carbonated lemonade drink flavored with natural alpine herbs.
- Tee: tea (Kräuter: herbs, Pfefferminze: peppermint, Schwarztee: black tea, Früchtetee: fruit tea,…)
- Bier: beer
- Helles Bier: Lager
- Weizenbier/Weißbier: wheat beer
- Weisswein: white wine
- Rotwein: red wine
- G´Spritzter weiß (Weißer Spritzer): White wine wine mixed with sparkling water
- G´Spritzter rot (Roter Spritzer): Red wine wine mixed with sparkling water
- Kaiserspritzer: white wine, soda mixed with elderberry juice
- Almdudler weiß: white wine mixed with Almdudler (lemonade)
- Almdudler rot: red wine mixed with Almdudler (lemonade)
- Dreiermischung rot / weiß: usually a mixture out of wine (red or white), water and Almdudler
- Schnaps: distilled spirit. Huts usually have a collection of different flavored Schnaps: Zwetschken Schnaps (plum), Nuss Schnaps (nut), Enzianschnaps (gentian flower), Zirbenschnaps (stone pine), Marillenschnaps (apricot), Williams-Birne “Willi” (pear)
- Jagatee: black tea with rum
Day Hikes to Austrian Mountain Huts
The Austrian Alps are studded with mountain refuges. You don’t have to embark on a hut-to-hut hike to experience the charm and atmosphere of a Hütte. Here are some day hikes that lead to mountain huts in Austria.
Styria Mountain Hut Hikes
- Giglachseehütte and Ignaz-Mattis-Hütte: Ursprungalm to Giglach Lakes, Schladminger Tauern. Learn more: Schladming Hiking Guide.
- Dachstein Südwandhütte: 5 Huts Trail, Dachstein
Tirol Mountain Hut Hikes
Vorarlberg Mountain Hut Hikes
- Douglashütte and Totalhütte: Lünersee, Rätikon Alps
- Freiburger Hütte: Lake Formarinsee to Lake Spullersee, Lechquellen Mountains
- Göppinger Hütte: Oberlech – Göppinger Hütte Hike, Lechquellen Mountains
- Stuttgarter Hütte: Rüfikopf – Stuttgarter Hütte Hike, Lechtal Alps
- Ravensburger Hütte: Spuller Schafberg Peak Hike, Lechquellen Mountains
- Wiesbadener Hütte: Hohes Rad Circuit Trail, Silvretta Alps
Hut to Hut Hiking Trails in the Austrian Alps
Multi-day hiking in Austria requires planning. We recommend following an established hiking trail and booking mountain huts in advance. Read our guide to hut to hut hiking in Austria for more pertinent information.
Multi-Day Hut Hikes
- Trekking Austria: Best Treks and Long Distance Trails
- Karwendel High Trail, Tirol
- Schladminger Tauern High Trail, Styria
- Venediger High Trail, Osttirol
- Montafon Hüttenrunde, Vorarlberg
- Rätikon High Trail, Vorarlberg
- Berlin High Trail, Tirol
- Eagle Walk, Tirol
- Emperor’s Crown (Kaiserkrone) Trail, Tirol
- Hochschwab Summit, Styria
- Ötschergräben Gorge, Lower Austria
- Hesshütte in Gesäuse National Park, Styria
If you need support booking huts, you can work with a self-guided hiking company like Alpenventures UNGUIDED. These companies make reservations on your behalf and provide additional support so that your hiking trip is seamless.
Austrian Mountain Hut Overnight Reservations
There is no uniform system for booking mountain huts in Austria. Some huts can be booked online, while others are best booked over email, or by phone.
Though it’s no longer mandatory to make reservations in advance, it’s imperative. Space is limited and hikers book huts months in advance to secure a bed/mattress.
Regardless of how you book (online, phone, email), you’ll pay for your stay and everything you consume in person. Each hut manages their own finances/payments. Most Austrian mountain huts are still cash only, though some do accept credit cards. We always recommend having enough cash for the duration of your trip, because credit card payment is never a guarantee.
Many huts in Austria, managed by the Austrian Alpine Club (ÖAV) and the German Alpine Club (DAV), can be reserved online using the Alpsonline.org platform.
To find out if a mountain hut is on Alpsonline, just google “Alpsonline” along with the name of the hut. Alternatively, you can usually navigate to the specific Alpsonline hut page from the website of a mountain hut.
Note: you don’t need to be a member of the Austrian Alpine Club to use Alpsonline. Anyone can use the platform.
Find the Mountain Hut Page on the Alpsonline Reservation Platform
When you navigate to the specific hut reservation page on Alpsonline.org (e.g. Pfeishütte), select your date of arrival. Here, you’ll see the exact availability for any given date. In the top right corner, you can change the language to French, Italian, or English.
Step 1 (Accommodation). After selecting the date, you’ll be directed to the reservation form, where you can fill out number of nights (usually just one), number of beds, group name, etc…
Step 2 (Identification). Next, select Guest (no login) if you’ve never reserved a hut before on Alpsonline.
Step 3 (User Information). After filling out your personal data (name, address, phone number, email), make sure to select “Save my personal data for future reservations,” before continuing to the next step.
If you selected “Save my personal data for future reservations,” the next step will prompt you to create a username (your email) and password.
Now that you’re a user, you can make reservations for huts more efficiently. You won’t have to fill out your personal data each time you make a reservation.
Continue to Step 4 (Summary), where you can review your reservation once more, before making your reservation.
You’ll receive an email confirming your reservation. If you need to cancel your reservation, go to this email and click “diesen Link” in the sentence: “Falls Sie die Reservierung ändern oder stornieren möchten, benutzen Sie diesen Link oder loggen Sie sich im Hüttenreservierungssystem ein.“
Email / Phone Reservations
However, not all Austrian huts are on that platform. If you can’t reserve a hut online, you can either email, or call the hut directly.
When reaching out to a hut directly, make sure to inform them of the following:
- Reservation Name
- How many beds you want to reserve. You can usually choose between reserving places in the Matratzenlager (dormitory), Mehrbettzimmer (rooms with multiple beds), or Zweitbettzimmer (room with 2 beds).
- Date of Arrival
- Number of nights you wish to stay
- Alpine Club Membership: Are you a member of an Alpine Club?
- Half-Board or À la carte. When you make a reservation, the hut manager (or the online form) will ask you if you want Halbpension (half-board: breakfast and dinner). Depending on the hut, you may want to opt for half board, or you may want to order À la carte. Some huts only offer half-board.
- Dietary Restrictions. When you make a reservation, it’s important to communicate any dietary restrictions you have. In Austrian huts, there will always be a vegetarian option. However, it’s rare to find vegan or gluten-free meals on a menu. In most cases, Austrian mountain huts will be able to accommodate you, with enough notice.
If you can’t make a reservation by email, you can call the hut directly. To make international calls, we recommend using Skype. You can purchase Skype credits and then make international calls until your credit runs out.
Cancelling Mountain Hut Reservations
If your hiking plans have changed, make sure to cancel your hut reservations.
If you don’t cancel your reservation in advance, huts reserve the right to charge you. When booking huts online (Alpsonline), the cancellation policy will be clearly stated.
- Some huts are dog-friendly, but not all. If you want to stay overnight in a hut with your dog, check the hut’s website, or contact them directly to see if dogs are allowed.
- Some huts in popular regions require a deposit for reservations.
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Learn more about hiking in Austria:
- Best Day Hikes in Austria
- Austrian Alps Hiking Destinations
- Trekking Austria: Best Treks and Long Distance Trails
- Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria: Essential Tips
Plan your trip to Austria:
- Austria Travel Guide
- Vienna City Guide
- Best Places to Stay in Austria in Summer
- Autumn in Austria: Top Destinations