As across Austria, anywhere within the perimeter of a settlement has a default 50 kmh limit (just under 31 mph) , unless otherwise indicated. This perimeter is marked by the “Ortstafel” or city sign, and looks like this when you enter Vienna:
And this when you leave the city:
The 50 kmh limit is not always indicated on road signs when you enter the city or are in the city, as it’s the default limit.
What are the exceptions?
Limits that deviate from this standard are given using typical speed signs. This tells you that you are now entering a 30 kmh (just over 18 mph) limit:
This tells you that the 30 kmh zone now ends (which means you’re back in the 50 kmh zone unless another limit is given):
The 30 kmh restriction may also be painted in white on the road itself, as a helpful reminder.
A lot of areas, particularly, side streets in Vienna now have this lower speed limit and you can find yourself going from 30 to 50 to 30 to 50 if you cross the city perpendicular to the main roads.
You’ll also get higher limits – typically 70 kmh (just over 43 mph) or 80 kmh (just under 50 mph) – on some of the big roads and autobahns (motorways) that cross or skirt the city. Don’t forget you’ll need a toll sticker if you want to use your car on a motorway.
Motorway speed limits
For the record, the default speed limit for cars on roads outside settlements is 100 kmh, rising to 130 kmh on autobahns (motorways). Again, these defaults only apply if no other limit is indicated: when autobahns pass near or through cities, for example, they tend to feature speed restrictions.
Austria does not have the German system, where there is sometimes no speed limit on a stretch of autobahn. You’ll occasionally find the autobahn police sitting on the Austrian border to provide written reminders of this fact (in the form of speeding tickets).
For more detailed information on speed limits for cars, cars with trailers and other vehicles, see the Austrian government information page.