Travel Guide: Austria
Austria Travel Guide: General Travel Guide Information about Austria.
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Our Austria travel guide contains information and other interesting travel tidbits related to Austria – fantastic places in Austria as well as some of the famous landmarks and notable cities that you can visit or insinuate yourself or your business into. Our Austria travel guide will give you a general idea about Austria, if and when you decide to travel and explore this fascinating and laid-back country in Europe.
Our travel guide for Austria will assist you in getting a bird’s eye view of Austria’s geography, language, the places of interest, and things you can do in Austria, and most importantly, learn about travel safety tips. We do hope you will come back often to travel with us to other destinations around the world.
:: Introducing Austria ::
When people think of Austria, classical music, the Blue Danube and the Majestic Alps come to mind. Austria is one of the most charming countries to travel to in Europe. Travelers can easily see how the beauty of the land inspired the musical masterpieces of Mozart and Schubert. This little jewel of Europe has a vast cultural history, many historical buildings and breathtaking scenery. Austria is a juxtaposition of old elegance and new world sophistication.There are many things that a visitor can expect when traveling to Austria.
Our Austrian pocket travel guide will provide you with an overview of what the country is like. At the same time, you can learn the best places to go to and what points of interest you should see. From here, you can also learn about the different things you can do while in the country, and at the same time, learn useful safety travel tips. To help you get around, you can even learn a few German words and phrases to help you communicate with the locals. Our Austrian travel guide is split into sections and chapters to make it more convenient and easier to use. This way, you can easily find a particular section that you need as you travel around Austria.
The first stop of many travel itineraries in Austria is the beautiful city of Vienna. The city of Wien, the German name for Austria, boasts of a prestigious past, being the seat of power of the Habsburg Empire. As the nation’s capital city, Vienna is a bustling and highly cosmopolitan city that at the same time pays homage to its distinguished past. This can be seen in the grandeur of the Habsburg Palaces and Schönbrunn Palace or its many buildings and churches such as St. Charles’ Cathedral. Travelers can’t miss the Hofburg Palace, also known as the Imperial Palace.
No trip to Vienna is complete without making a stop at the Wiener Staatsoper, more popularly known as the famous Vienna Opera House. You can almost hear the strains of Strauss’ waltzes alongside the beats of modern hiphop music as you take a stroll along the modern yet cultural district of MuseumsQuartier. Travelers can also go to Haus der Musik, a museum showcasing the Austrian’s love for music. Art enthusiasts will love viewing the works of Rembrant, Rubens and Raphael at the Liechtenstein Museum, and at the same time be held in awe by the magnificent baroque architecture. Going to Vienna is like taking a step back in time, when elegance, granduer, romance, classical music and beauty reigned.
Travelers can also find much enjoyment in Salzburg. It is convenientl located so that tourists can make it as a stopover when traveling between Vienna and Munich. Made popular by Maria in The Sound of Music, tourists today can retrace the same steps the Von Trapp children and Maria took as they toured the city. Baroque architecture is set against the magnificent Alpine background. Travelers will be held in awe by the largest castle in Europe that is completely preserved, the Festung Hohensalzburg or the Hohensalzburg Fortress.
As the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the city celebrates its musical past with an annual festival call the Salzburger Festspiele. This is a five week musical and cultural extravaganza that has been exhibiting a number of plays, operas, films and other artistic performances since 1920. For those who want to relax, there are beer gardens to enjoy.
For those travelers who can’t stay put, Austria won’t disappoint. In fact, tourists may enjoy more by savoring the scenery while on foot or while riding a bike at a more leisurely pace. Hikers will be challenged at Innsbruck. Hiking around the country is a great way to truly get the pulse of a region, while at the same time enjoying the vast flora and fauna that litter the landscape.
As one of the top winter destinations of Europe, Austria boasts of impressive skiing options. There are a number of skiing resorts at Kitzbühel for those who wish to indulge during the winter holiday or once the temperatures start dropping on the Tyrol mountains. The Stubai Glacier is one of the most exciting skiing and snowboarding destinations in the region. After a day out skiing and enjoying other winter sports, travelers can relax at the many four and five star resorts in the area. These establishments have many top rated spas that can help the most active sportsman and the busiest of travelers unwind after a long day of enjoying the Alps. Use our Austria travel guide to help you determine the best places to see and the things you can do when you travel to this European gem.
Austria or Österreich literally means “The Eastern Empire”. Although it has one of the smaller land areas in Europe, it was once home to one of the most powerful and influential empires in history. It is located in Central Europe and is bordered by eight countries. Its northern neighbors are Germany and the Czech Republic, while to the west are Switzerland and Leichtenstein. Over on the eastern side are Slovakia and Hungary while down on the southern side are Italy and Slovenia. This landlocked nation has a total land area of just 83,855 square kilometers, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a wide array of enjoyable things to do. About two thirds of the country’s land area comprise the majestic Alps. This makes the typography of the nation quite diverse, with rolling hills, lush meadows and plains, green foothills and dense forests, glaciers, alpine valleys, river gorges and rich farmlands. In fact, Austria enjoys having one of the richest woodland regions in Europe.
It is home to 8.4 millions Austrians, a fourth of which have settled in Vienna mainly due to its typography, location and history. It is a culturally diverse country, with ethnic groups such as Roma, Slovaks, Burgenlandic Croatians, Slovenians, Hungarians and Czechs. Many travelers make the mistake of assuming that Austrians are very similar to its German neighbors, largely because of its proximity to each other. This could not be farther from the truth as Austrians like to distinguish themselves from others. However, many nationals often take pride in identifying themselves based on the region that they come from first and that they are Austrians second.
Austrians like to take things easy and enjoy the finer things in life, enjoying a cuisine that is rich, fresh and flavorful. Travelers can feast on a gastronomic array of pork and veal dishes, sausages, cheese, potatos and bread. Travelers will savor the very popular Wiener Schnitzel, a breaded veal or pork dish that is fried in butter and best eaten with a plate of Spaetzle or noodles. Over at Salzburg, travelers shouldn’t miss trying the Salzburger Nockerl, three mounds of a merengue-like dessert meant to represent the three hills of Salzburg. Another confectionery delight is the Mozartkugeln, a rich dessert of hazelnuts dipped in chocolate, marzipan and nougat. Chocolate lovers will find satisfaction with a slice of Sachertorte, a divine chocolate cake with apricot jam filling topped with dark chocolate icing, which is simply delectable. For those looking for a lighter dessert, there is a Linzer Torte topped with a variety of fruit jams or perhaps an Apfelstrudel. Travelers to the country can also enjoy many of the outstanding Austrian beers which are full bodied and rich in flavor, such as Stiegl Bier, Zipfer Bier and Gösser Bier.
For those who want to unwind, there are many coffee houses around the city. These places have historically been homes to free thinkers, artists and many writers. It’s not difficult to imagine Mozart sitting at a café thinking up the various stanzas of his musical masterpieces or to imagine Freud observing people’s behavior over a cup of Kaisermelange. Travelers to Austria can best enjoy their Melange or Viennese coffee with a few pastries such s the Linzer Torte, but never with a hot meal. The idea is to take things slowly, order from the waiter or Herr Ober and savor the flavors of the coffee while reading, writing or talking with a few friends.
Austria is a predominantly Catholic country and the people are generally known to be hospitable, friendly, well mannered, educated and conservative. The people of Vienna are more cosmopolitan than those from the rural parts and tend to be less traditional. The people of the country also enjoy a high standard of living, a high literacy rate, with its economy strongly linked to its German neighbor. However, travelers will appreciate that this European country is less expensive to travel to as food, hotels and services tend to be more affordable compared to Paris and other popular destinations.
Austria draws heavily from its rich and powerful past, once being the seat of one of the largest empires in history, the Habsburg Austrian Empire. Today, Austria is a federation of nine federal states overseen by a democratic parliamentary government. These nine federal states are Vienna, Salzburg, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Vorarlberg, Burgenland, Carinthia, Styria and Tyrol. The seat of economic and political power is in Vienna.
Austria is a member of the European Union and just like its European neighbors, it enjoys a strong economy. For its currency, it uses the euro, just like most of Europe. Their economy is backed by a strong services sector, followed by an industrial labor force and a strong agricultural sector. Only less than six percent of the population falls below the poverty line with a strong unemployment rate of only 4 percent. Although Austria generally enjoys a low crime rate, tourists should still take ample precautions safeguarding their money and possessions and exercise common sense.
Austria is a top tourist destination, especially during the winter season from December to March, since many Europeans flock to the Alps to enjoy the skiing weather. The winters can get very cold at below 14 degrees F. From the months of November until March, travelers come in droves for the peak ski season in Western Austria.
During the summer, it is the Eastern half of the country that enjoys the influx of tourists. The temperatures are a temperate 77 degrees F between July and August but can go as high as 95 degrees F. Travelers to Austria can enjoy touring the many grand buildings and landmarks all over the country, from the onion domed churches to the magnificent castles while walking on cobblestone streets. The climate at Styria and Carinthia can be generally sunny and mild. The nation gets a lot of rainfall as well so it’s best to pack an umbrella.
Austrians take a laid back approach especially during the holiday season, so travelers must plan carefully. Many establishments close down during public holidays such as Christmas Day (December 25), Boxing Day, (December 26) New Years Day, (January 1) Good Friday and Easter Monday, All Saint’s Day (November 1), the Austrian National Holiday (October 26) and a number of religious holidays including Corpus Christi, Assumption Day, Ascension Day and the Epiphany.
Culturally, Austria has given much to the world. The lively waltzes by Johann Strauss II and the soul inspiring opuses of Mozart and the sonatas of Franz Joseph Haydn are without a doubt some of the most significant contributions of the country to the rest of the population. Today, visitors to Austria can enjoy performances by the Vienna Boy’s Choir or the many performances at the Wiener Staatsoper. Its artistic and musical past can be seen in the many musuems in Vienna, home to many masterpieces by some of the greatest artists of the world. Austria is also the birthplace of Sigmund Freud, one of the most influential figures in the study of psychology.
German is the official language in Austria. Many people also speak the Austro-Bavarian Dialect in many federal regions except over at Voralberg, as it is unofficially the second language. Over at Voralberg, Alemannic is spoken. German is the medium of instruction in schools and is used by the media. Travelers will do well to learn a few German phrases to help get around the country and to communicate with the locals. Enrolling in a German class may prove to be useful for those who wish to have an extended stay in Austria. Since Germany is also just over the border, learning a bit of German can prove to be truly useful. This is especially true for those who want to do business with Austrians and Germans or those who want to study in the region.
Our Travel Guide Austria is a pocket guidebook that will be helpful and even indispensable to tourists, as it provides a wealth of information about things to do and places to see. Let the Travel Guide Austria serve as your travel assistant and companion as you discover this European nation. Even the most sophisticated travelers will find that Austria is rich in history and culture, charming and talented people, beautiful architecture, masterful artworks, haunting melodies and is abundant in natural wonders. The cities are exciting, able to be modern and at the same time exuding an old world charm and timeless elegance.
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