Visiting mountain huts is an integral part of the hiking experience in Austria.
In this guide to Austrian Hütten, you’ll learn about what food and drinks are typically served in huts. Most refuges do not have English menus, which is why we provided a translation for the most common beverages and dishes.
We’ve also listed out our favorite day hikes to huts as well as hut-to-hut hiking trails.
Finally, we’ve explained how to make overnight reservations for mountain huts in Austria.
For more hiking tips, follow us on Instagram @moonhoneytravelers
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 like this ultra lightweight silk liner, or this Cocoon Cotton TravelSheet as well as indoor slippers. We always bring Crocs.
- Familiarize yourself with hut etiquette. Learn more in our guide to hut to hut hiking in Austria.
- Hiking Guidebooks: Trekking in the Stubai Alps, Walking in Austria, Trekking in Austria’s Hohe Tauern, and Karnischer Höhenweg
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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 if the weather is stable.
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 and 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. Don’t assume that there will be an English menu.
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.
Salzburg Mountain Hut Hikes
- Visit Tappenkarseehütte in the Radstädter Tauern along this Lake Tappenkarsee Hike.
- Visit Erichhütte in the Hochkönig Mountains along the Mühlbach High Trail or the Taghaube Peak Hike.
- Visit Hofpürglhütte in the Dachstein Mountains along the Hofpürgl Hut to Sulzenalm Circuit Hike.
Styria Mountain Hut Hikes
- Visit the Giglachseehütte and Ignaz-Mattis-Hütte in the Schladminger Tauern along the Ursprungalm to Giglach Lake hike. Learn more: Schladming Hiking Guide.
- Visit the Dachstein Südwandhütte in the Dachstein Mountains along the 5 Huts Trail.
Tirol Mountain Hut Hikes
- Visit the famous Olpererhütte in the Zillertal Alps along the Olpererhütte Circuit Trail.
- Visit the lakeside Coburger Hütte in the Mieming Chain in the Lake Drachensee Hike.
Vorarlberg Mountain Hut Hikes
- Visit Douglashütte and Totalhütte in the Rätikon Alps when hiking around Lünersee.
- Visit Freiburger Hütte in the Lechquellen Mountains along the Lake Formarinsee to Lake Spullersee hike.
- Visit Göppinger Hütte in the Lechquellen Mountains along the Oberlech – Göppinger Hütte Hike.
- Visit Stuttgarter Hütte in the Lechtal Alps along the Rüfikopf – Stuttgarter Hütte Hike.
- Visit Ravensburger Hütte in the Lechquellen Mountains along the Spuller Schafberg Peak Hike.
- Visit Wiesbadener Hütte in the Silvretta Alps along the Hohes Rad Circuit Trail.
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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Austria Trip Planning Essentials
When to Visit Austria
Summer and early Fall are our favorite seasons in Austria.
Getting around Austria
Austria has an excellent public transit system. We’ve used it extensively to travel throughout the country. We highly recommend using transit if you’re visiting cities (Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz, etc…), and/or doing hut-to-hut hikes.
Some areas like Mayrhofen, Schladming and Lech am Arlberg have wonderful seasonal transit systems in place (e.g. summer hiking buses). However, if you’re not visiting during the high season, bus frequencies are significantly reduced and it’s far easier to get around with your own vehicle.
If you’re planning on visiting multiple destinations across Austria, we recommend renting a car.
Use these road trip itineraries for trip planning inspiration:
- 2 Week Austria Road Trip – starting in Vienna
- 1 Week Austria Road Trip – starting in Salzburg or Munich
- 10-Day Bavarian Alps & Tyrolean Alps Road Trip – starting in Munich
We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
If you’re driving into Austria from a neighboring country, don’t forget to purchase a vignette at/near the border.
Hiking in Austria
Where to Hike in Austria
Read Austrian Alps Hiking Destinations for an overview of where to hike in Austria, with tips on specific trails and where to stay. Also check out Best Day Hikes in Austria and these region-specific hiking guides:
- Salzburg Hiking Guide
- Filzmoos, Salzburg Hiking Guide
- Schladming, Styria Hiking Guide
- Lech am Arlberg, Vorarlberg Hiking Guide
- Vorarlberg Hiking Guide
- Vienna Mountains Hiking Guide
Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria
Austria is a premier hut-to-hut and long-distance hiking destination. The quality of the mountain huts are superb. We particularly love the high-alpine trails, which are called Höhenwege in German. We’ve summarized our favorite multi-day hikes in Trekking Austria. If you’re new to hut hiking, read this in-depth guide to Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria.
- Trekking Pack: Osprey Kyte 36 – women / Osprey Kestrel 38 -men
- Day Pack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Grade B/C high-cut hiking boots: Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (Kati’s Boots), Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (Sabrina’s Boots), Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (men’s equivalent)
- CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
- Backpack Camera Clip: Peak Design Camera Clip
What to See & Do in Austria
- Visit a gorge like the Liechtenstein Gorge in Salzburg.
- Bathe in the thermal pools of an Austrian Therme like Aqua Dome in Tirol
- Stay in a thermal spa hotel like Rogner Bad Blumau in Styria, EurothermenResort Bad Ischl in Upper Austria, or the Aqua Dome Hotel in Tirol.
- Hike to a mountain lake like Lake Tappenkarsee in Salzburg or Lake Drachensee in Tirol.
- Go Wine Tasting in South Styria.
- Marvel at the culture, music, and architecture of Vienna.
- Eat heartwarming mountain food in an Almhütte at Grosser Ahornboden in Tirol or Ursprungalm in Styria.
- Drive the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Hohe Tauern National Park.
- Visit the castles, monasteries, and wine taverns of the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.