Austria is a landlocked country three-quarters of which is mountainous. It is a beautiful country with spectacular landscapes of starkly contrasting features from rugged mountains to plains dotted with lakes. The Alps play an important part in the tourism of the country with skiing in the winter and climbing and hiking in the summer.
Vienna, the capital, Salzburg and Innsbruck are the most frequently visited cities in Austria. The architecture is stunning from the Hapsburg palaces of Vienna to the baroque churches of Salzburg.
An Austria holiday offers a wealth of natural beauty, charming historic towns, and a broad range of sporting and cultural activities.
Why Go To Austria?
An Austria holiday offers splendid alpine scenery, verdant pastures, beautiful towns and quaint villages. In winter Austria is a very popular skiing destination. The resorts are at a fairly low altitude, which are better for families with young children, and in recent seasons the snow conditions have been good. In summer the mountains are enjoyed by climbers, hikers and mountain bikers.
The cities contain numerous wonderful architectural riches, many of them reflecting the glorious days when the Hapsburgs controlled half of Europe. Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart, is surrounded by snow encrusted peaks and contains some wonderful examples of Baroque architecture.
Who Is Austria Popular With?
Austria is popular with those looking for an active holiday. With the promise of good snow, Austrian ski resorts attract many skiers and snow-boarders to their slopes. In summer the mountains attract large numbers of climbers, walkers and cyclists.
It is also popular as a destination for city breaks with people visiting Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck.
Those with an interest in botany enjoy the beauty of the alpine flora.
When To Go To Austria?
Austria is cold in winter with temperatures often below freezing. The skiing season lasts from late December until March.
In summer it can be fairly warm between twenty and thirty degrees. In July the alpine carpet of flowers are in full bloom.
Austria - The Place
Austria, in Central Europe, is a land of beautiful mountain vistas and stunning scenery. Much of the country is mountainous, attracting skiers and climbers from all over the world. There are many walking trails particularly through the Tyrolean area.
It is a land with many rivers, including the Danube with its romantic associations, and large numbers of lakes. Wherever you look, there are charming villages in picturesque surroundings.
If sightseeing opportunities are short, try at least to visit the cities of Vienna, Salzburg or Innsbruck. The splendour of the cathedrals and palaces will not disappoint.
An Austria holiday provides the beauty of nature at its best, wonderful cities and a wide range of leisure activities.
Known as the land of artists and scientists, Austria has a rich cultural heritage. It has made a great contribution to the culture of Europe. Many of the famous composers were Austrian including Mozart, Schubert, Haydn and Bruckner.
Sigmund Freud is another famous son along with Ludwig Wittgenstein and the artist Klimt.
Austria has a varied nightlife that caters for most tastes. Skiing resorts often have lively bars with dance floors for aprï¿½s ski entertainment. Nightlife in the larger cities provides restaurants, bars, discos and clubs with live music, as well as theatres and concert halls.
High-quality goods such as handbags, glassware, chinaware and winter sports equipment represent the cream of specialist items found in Austria. With a long chain of grandiose malls Austria offers a shoppers paradise to visitors from all over the world. Austrian handicrafts are applauded worldwide for their beauty and quality. Austrian handicrafts include petit-point needlework, hand knitting, loden-cloth (boiled wool) coats and jackets. Tyrolean hats, hand-painted porcelain, wood carvings and dolls are frequent souvenirs.
Traditionally renowned for its hearty fare, Austrian cuisine can be surprisingly delicate with Italian influences in the south and Hungarian to the north. Typical Austrian dishes include Wiener schnitzel, spicy sausages, macaroni and mushroom dishes. Other popular dishes are pork medallions in garlic, rosti potatoes and omelettes. Eating in the sophisticated city restaurants or the more traditional Gasthaus (a homely inn), you can expect nothing less than excellent, seasonal ingredients, often organic and locally sourced.
Local Austria Customs
Austrians are a formal people and should be greeted with a handshake. Never call an Austrian by name unless invited to do so. Titles are very important as they show respect.
Tipping at the rate of ten percent is expected in restaurants.