Citizens of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand need only a valid passport to enter Austria. No visa is required.
Allow plenty of time before your trip to apply for a passport; processing normally takes 3 weeks but can take longer during busy periods (especially spring). And keep in mind that if you need a passport in a hurry, you'll pay a higher processing fee.
For residents of Australia -- You can pick up an application from your local post office or any branch of Passports Australia, but you must schedule an interview at the passport office to present your application materials. Call the Australian Passport Information Service at tel. 131-232, or visit the government website at www.passports.gov.au.
For residents of Canada -- Passport applications are available at travel agencies throughout Canada or from the central Passport Office, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, ON K1A 0G3 (tel. 800/567-6868; www.ppt.gc.ca).
For residents of Ireland -- You can apply for a 10-year passport at the Passport Office, Setanta Centre, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 (tel. 01/671-1633; www.irlgov.ie). Those under age 18 and over 65 must apply for a 12€ ($19) 3-year passport. You can also apply at 1A South Mall, Cork (tel. 021/494-4700) or at most main post offices.
For residents of New Zealand -- You can pick up a passport application at any New Zealand Passports Office or download it from the website. Contact the Passport Office (tel. 0800/225-050 in New Zealand or 04/474-8100; www.passports.govt.nz).
For residents of the United Kingdom -- To pick up an application for a standard 10-year passport (5-year passport for children under 16), visit your nearest passport office, major post office, or travel agency, or contact the United Kingdom Passport Service (tel. 0870/521-0410; www.ukpa.gov.uk).
For residents of the United States -- Whether you're applying in person or by mail, you can download passport applications from the U.S. State Department website at http://travel.state.gov. To find your regional passport office, either check the U.S. State Department website or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free number (tel. 877/487-2778) for automated information.
Visitors who live outside Austria in general are not liable for duty on personal articles brought into the country temporarily for their own use, depending on the purpose and circumstances of each trip. Customs officials have great leeway. Travelers 17 years of age and older may carry up to 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, or 250 grams of tobacco; 1 liter of distilled liquor; and 2 liters of wine or 3 liters of beer duty-free.
U.S. Citizens -- Returning U.S. citizens who have been away for 48 hours or more are allowed to bring back, once every 30 days, $800 worth of merchandise duty-free. You'll pay a flat rate of 10% duty on the next $1,000 worth of purchases. Be sure to have your receipts handy. On gifts, the duty-free limit is $200. For more specific guidance, write to the Customs & Border Protection (CBP) (tel. 877/287-8667; www.cbp.gov), and request the free pamphlet "Know Before You Go." You can also download the pamphlet from the Internet at www.cbp.gov.
British Citizens -- United Kingdom citizens can buy wine, spirits, or cigarettes in an ordinary shop in Austria and bring home almost as much as they like. But if you buy goods in a duty-free shop, the old rules still apply -- the allowance is 200 cigarettes and 2 liters of table wine, plus 1 liter of spirits or 2 liters of fortified wine. If you're returning home from a non-European Union country, the same allowances apply, and you must declare any goods in excess of these allowances. British Customs tends to be strict and complicated. For details, get in touch with H.M. Revenue Customs (tel. 0845/010-9000; www.hmrc.gov.uk).
Canadian Citizens -- For a clear summary of Canadian rules, write for the booklet "I Declare," issued by Canada Border Services Agency (tel. 800/461-9999 in Canada, or 204/983-3500; www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca). Canada allows its citizens a C$750 exemption, and you're allowed to bring back, duty-free, 200 cigarettes, 200 grams of tobacco, 1.5 liters of liquor, and 50 cigars. In addition, you may mail gifts to Canada from abroad at the rate of C$60 a day, provided they are unsolicited and aren't alcohol or tobacco (write on the package: "Unsolicited gift, under $60 value"). Before departure from Canada, declare all valuables on the Y-38 Form, including serial numbers of, for example, expensive foreign cameras that you already own. Note: The C$750 exemption can be used only once a year and only after an absence of 7 days.
Australian Citizens -- The duty-free allowance in Australia is A$900 or, for those under age 18, A$450. Personal property mailed back from Austria should be marked "Australian goods returned" to avoid duties. Upon returning to Australia, citizens can bring in 250 cigarettes or 250 grams of loose tobacco, and 2.25 liters of alcohol. If you're returning with valuable goods you already own, such as foreign-made cameras, you should file Form B263. A brochure, available from Australian consulates or Customs offices, is "Know Before You Go." For more information, contact Australian Customs Services, GPO Box 8, Sydney NSW 2001 (tel. 1300/363-263 in Australia; www.customs.gov.au).
New Zealand Citizens -- The duty-free allowance for New Zealand is NZ$700. Citizens over 17 years of age can bring in 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, or 250 grams of tobacco (or a mixture of all three if their combined weight doesn't exceed 250 grams), plus 4.5 liters of wine and beer or 1.125 liters of liquor. New Zealand currency does not carry import or export restrictions. Fill out a certificate of export, listing the valuables you are taking out of the country; that way, you can bring them back without paying duty. Most questions are answered in a free pamphlet available at New Zealand consulates and Customs offices, "New Zealand Customs Guide for Travellers, Notice no. 4." For more information, contact New Zealand Customs Services (tel. 0800/428-786 or 04/473-786; www.customs.govt.nz).