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Meet Austria

The unique guide

Strap yourselves in because we're about to embark on a little tour of Austria! First off, you gotta know that Austria is like the fancy neighbour who's always got their act together. Located in the centre of Europe, it shares borders with a tonne of other cool countries like Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. But Austria isn't just about strutting its stuff on the world stage – it's also got a ton of personality. Vienna, the nation's capital, is the grand dame of European cities; it exudes elegance and sophistication while always being up for a good time. And Austria sure knows how to have a good time. From the Vienna Opera Ball to the Salzburg Festival, there's always some kind of fancy shindig happening. But don't be fooled by all that fancy things; Austria also understands how to let its hair down. Its ski resorts in the Austrian Alps are legendary, and you haven't lived until you've tried an Austrian schnitzel or a slice of Sacher Torte (trust us on this one). Not to mention Austria's rich cultural heritage. You can tell this city's music scene is top-notch because Mozart, Schubert, and Strauss were all born here. And if you enjoy art, Vienna's museums and galleries will provide plenty of inspiration. But in all honesty, Austria's most appealing feature is how stunningly beautiful it is. The historical city of Salzburg resembles something out of a fairy tale, and the Danube River valley is a picture-perfect setting.

Waltz Through Time

So, way back when, Austria was just a bunch of prehistoric tribes living it up in the Alps. But, things started to become interesting in the first century AD when the Romans made their presence known and annexed the area to their empire. When the Middle Ages arrived, the Habsburg dynasty was in charge. These men were virtually the Kardashians of their era; they were wealthy, strong, and involved in every aspect of society. They even possessed a huge palace that was so big it had its own zoo. Talk about living in style. Austria developed into a significant power in Europe throughout the Habsburg era, with a vast and extensive domain. But, the Habsburgs were also avid patrons of the arts, so it wasn't all conquest and plunder. They funded musicians like Mozart and Beethoven and constructed some incredibly opulent structures that are still surviving today. When Austria-Hungary was founded in the 19th century, things started to get a little crazy. It was like a weird relationship status on Facebook – ‘it's complicated’. After World War I, tensions between the empire's numerous ethnic groups ultimately caused it to fall, but Austria emerged from the ashes to become the nation we know and love today. So there you have it: a brief summary of Austrian history. Austria has experienced everything, from mighty empires to primordial tribes to contemporary democracies. Not to mention the beer, strudel, and schnitzel, all of which have been there for generations and are still popular today.

Small Country, Big Scenery

magine a big plate of schnitzel. That's kind of what Austria looks like on a map. It is tucked away in the centre of Europe, surrounded by a tonne of other cool nations like Italy, Germany, and the Czech Republic. The Eastern Mountains, however, are what really set Austria apart. With peaks so high you'll think you're on top of the world, these bad boys rule the western and southern regions of the nation. And Austria is essentially your Mecca if you enjoy skiing or snowboarding. But it's not all about the mountains – Austria also has the Danube River flowing through it, like a really long snake. Some of Austria's coolest cities, including Vienna and Linz, are located along the river, which is extremely vital for transportation. Not to mention the lakes. Austria has so many stunning lakes that it seems like they were making up for being a landlocked country. These lakes are very ethereal and ideal for sailing, swimming, or simply gazing at while enjoying a glass of wine.

Palatial Perfection

There are castles and palaces in other countries as well, but let's face it—Austria has a stronghold on the ornate, opulent ones. Austria is home to plenty of castles and palaces, from the elaborate Schönbrunn Palace to the massive Hohensalzburg Fortress, to inspire even the most jaded traveller to gasp in astonishment. So why is Austria so fond of these extravagant structures? So, for starters, they were ruled for centuries by the Habsburgs. These people were all about the bling, and they weren't hesitant to blow their money on opulent castles and fortifications that would even make Marie Antoinette envious. But, it goes beyond the Habsburgs' obsession with dazzling objects. The abundance of castles in Austria was also influenced by its breathtaking natural surroundings. Austria has historically drawn affluent travellers and nobility seeking a respite from the bustle of city life with its snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, and rolling landscapes. And what better way to enjoy the scenery than from a lavish palace or castle? Of course, it wasn't just about aesthetics. A lot of these palaces and castles had significant uses, such as serving as administrative hubs or as hotspots for culture. Don't forget about the art, either. It was all about the bling during the Baroque and Rococo eras, and Austria's palaces and castles are no exception. With elaborate decorating, exquisite design, and a sense of grandeur that will make you feel like a king or queen, these constructions are a genuine feast for the eyes. In short, Austria's fondness for castles and palaces reflects the country's rich history, breathtaking natural beauty, and artistic flare. So grab your tiara and sceptre and get ready to explore Austria's enchanted realm of palaces and castles.

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Meet Austria

Austria is a multicultural nation with a deep cultural heritage. People from a variety of racial, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds live in Austria, and the nation proudly celebrates this diversity in many facets of daily life. Although German is the official language, many Austrians also speak local dialects or other languages like Turkish, Slovene, and Hungarian. Austria has a lengthy and intricate religious past. Roman Catholicism still makes up the majority of Austrians' religious affiliations today, although there are also sizable Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, and Muslim groups. Austria's significant spiritual and cultural legacy is reflected in its rich history of religious buildings, art, and music. The nation is home to some of the most beautiful religious structures in all of Europe, like the Salzburg Cathedral, the Melk Abbey, and St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna.

Did you know that some of history's finest composers hail from Austria? Mozart, Schubert, Haydn - these guys were like the rock stars of their day. And speaking of rock stars, did you know that Austria is also home to Red Bull? Indeed, the energising beverage that gives you wings originated in Austria. Check out the Formula Rossa roller coaster at the Red Bull Ring if you want a real dose of adrenaline. It's like being in a rocket ship!

But let's not overlook Austria's breathtaking scenery. With its imposing mountains, glistening lakes, and rolling hills, it's like a postcard coming to life. The best thing, though? You can actually go outside and enjoy it! There is no shortage of outdoor activities in Austria, including skiing, hiking, and cycling.

Austria is made up of 9 administrative regions:






Lower Austria


Upper Austria











Cultural Catch-Up

Austria is like a living history book, with a past that dates back to the Roman era. The nation is rich in culture and is a centre for classical music and fine arts, with influences ranging from Mozart to the Habsburgs. Where else can you find so many elaborate baroque structures that give you the impression that you are in a fairy tale? Austrian food is a delectable fusion of Italian, Hungarian, and German flavours. No matter if you're craving a sweet and flaky strudel or a meaty schnitzel, Austrian food will make your taste buds dance with delight. Austrians enjoy a good party, and there are many festivals and events to keep you engaged throughout the year. No matter what time of year you visit, you're guaranteed to find something to enjoy, from classical music concerts to traditional folk festivals and Christmas markets. Austria is the destination for winter sports enthusiasts. You can hit the slopes in style and enjoy the rush of skiing or snowboarding down the slopes thanks to the top-notch ski resorts tucked away in the gorgeous Alps.

Food, Glorious Food

Oh, Austrian cuisine - it's like a big hug in food form! It's hearty, flavorful, and perfect for those days when you just need a little comfort. Everyone can enjoy this delectable culinary heritage, whether they are a meat or a dessert nut. Austria has a thriving culinary culture that combines characteristics of Italian, Hungarian, and German cooking. Austria is renowned for its wine as well, especially for its white wines from the Wachau and Burgenland districts. Let’s start with the classic fare, such as Wiener Schnitzel, which will give your taste buds a crispy, golden cuddle. And Tafelspitz? It's like a huge, comfortable blanket of meaty goodness, ideal for curling up with on a chilly winter day. Don't even get me started on Apfelstrudel; it's like receiving a warm hug from your grandmother. There is a whole universe of sausages to discover in Austrian cuisine, from the traditional Frankfurter to the cheesy pleasure of Käsekrainer, so it's not just about the big guns. Not to mention the dumplings, which are like tiny pillows of doughy bliss and are ideal for soaking up all the delectable sauces and gravies. Also, Austrian desserts are like a symphony of sugar and spice, so if you have a sweet tooth, you're in luck. Linzer Torte is like a sweet and nutty hug, while Sachertorte is like a chocolatey love letter to your taste buds.

When to go

The weather in Austria is as unique as its inhabitants. Warm, sunny, and ready to party, summer is like that cool cousin that is always up for a good time. October can be cool and wet, but the foliage is stunning and there are lots of wine tastings to enjoy. It's like your aunt who can be a little unpredictable but always brings a delightful surprise to the family gathering. Winter is like that friend that always welcomes a snow day - chilly, snowy, and ideal for hitting the slopes or curling up with a hot chocolate. And spring might be chilly and rainy, but there are also sunny days and lovely blooms appearing all over the place. It's like that new friend who's a bit of a wildcard. In general, Austria's climate is as diverse and fascinating as its inhabitants. Hence, regardless of the weather, Austria has something to offer everyone, whether they enjoy the summer, winter, or simply enjoy gorgeous surroundings.

Tourist Season: June - August (Summer)
Best Weather: May (Spring) and September (Autumn)


Time-Zone: Central European Standard Time (CET)
Currency: Euro
Cost/Expense: $$$
Languages: German
Dates for your calendar
Jan - New Year’s Day, Epiphany
May - Labour Day, Ascension Day
Jun - Whit Monday, Corpus Christi Day (Day of Wreaths)
Oct - Austrian National Day
Nov - All Saints’ Day
Dec - Immaculate Conception, Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day

Languages 101

The majority of Austrians speak German, which is the country's official language. Nonetheless, the German spoken in Austria differs from the German spoken in Germany in a few specific ways, including vocabulary, pronunciation, and syntax. Slovenian, Croatian, and Hungarian are just a few of the regional tongues that Austria possesses that are officially recognised by the legislation. These languages are all spoken in regions close to the borders with Slovenia, Croatia, and Hungary, respectively. In the areas where they are spoken, these languages are used in official documents and on public signage. A lot of Austrians also speak English, particularly in popular tourist destinations and large cities. Many Austrians acquire English in school as a second language, and it's not unusual to hear English spoken at restaurants, stores, and hotels. Overall, Austria's linguistic diversity contributes to the country's rich cultural legacy and offers visitors the chance to learn about and appreciate many languages and dialects. Although it's usually beneficial to learn a few fundamental German words before travelling, you'll probably be able to speak in English as well.


Getting There

By Plane

With several large cities offering direct flights to Vienna, Salzburg, and other locations, Austria is well-connected to the rest of Europe. Many airlines offer flights to Austria from various European nations. Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Ryanair, EasyJet, and Wizz Air are a few of the well-known carriers. It can be worthwhile to see whether there are airports close by depending on where in Austria you're going. For instance, Salzburg has its own airport as well as close-by airports in Munich and Innsbruck that can be more practical or provide better deals.

By Train

The major cities and towns are all connected by an extensive rail network in Austria. The trains are often punctual, comfortable, and clean. There are several different kinds of trains available, including local, high-speed, and regional trains.

By Bus

For getting to smaller towns and villages that aren't connected by train, buses are an excellent option. With numerous companies providing services around the nation, the bus network is well-developed.

Getting Around

By Car

If driving is your preferred mode of transportation, Austria offers a strong road system with well-maintained highways and side roads. Due to tolls and parking taxes, driving in Austria can be costly, and some places might be off-limits or call for specialised permissions.

By Public Transport

Bus, tram, and underground systems are available in the majority of Austria's major cities at reasonable prices. These services are frequent and easy to use, and they are often the best method to get around a city.

On Foot

Austria has numerous charming footpaths and scenic routes, making it an excellent area for walking and trekking. A lot of the cities and towns are small enough to be explored on foot, so walking is an excellent means of transportation.

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