Austria


A Visitor’s Guide To Austria

Austria was historically one of the most important countries in Central Europe, reaching the height of its influence in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and has a shared heritage and culture with its near neighbor Germany. One of the most distinctive aspects of the terrain of the country is that it is particularly mountainous, and particularly during the winter it is one of the most popular destinations for outdoor activities in the world. Austria is also famous for being one of the most culturally active countries in the world, with a heritage of classical composers such as Mozart and Haydn, with Vienna being at the heart of the country’s cultural activities.

The US Government considers Austria to be one of the safest countries in the world to visit, but also warns visitors that those engaging in winter sports on the slopes of Austria’s mountains that avalanches can happen, and that it is wise to carry the relevant safety equipment.

Top Sight To See In Austria

Salzburg – Often featured among the lists of the world’s most beautiful cities, Salzburg’s old center has remarkable buildings and charming streets, along with some stunning palaces and the historic homes of the city’s most famous son, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The Historic Center Of Vienna – It would be possible to spend weeks exploring the city center of Vienna with its variety of palaces and churches, and exploring the banks of the Danube, while the city is also home to over 200 traditional balls that are held in the palaces around the city every year.

St Anton – This small village nestled among the high slopes of the Alps is a fairly quiet place for much of the year, but during the ski season it becomes a bustling area with easy access to some of the best slopes in the country, along with a thriving night life.

Grossglockner High Alpine Road – One of the most famous roads in the world, this superb stretch of tarmac offers visitors spectacular scenery and remarkable climbs and descents, and was built in the 1930s during a period of economic stagnation providing over three thousand jobs.

The Semmering Railway – With fourteen tunnels and sixteen aqueducts the route of the railway takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in Southern Austria, and is still in use today, over a century and a half after the route was first built.

Innsbruck – At the heart of the winter sports industry in Austria, the skyline of Innsbruck includes the wonderful Bergiselschanze ski jump facility, while also being home to some beautiful old buildings and the Imperial Hofburg palace.

Zell Am See – A popular area for hiking and mountain biking in the summer and skiing and snowboarding in the winter, Zell am See is a town which is located within a horseshoe of three large mountains and lies on the shores of the beautiful Zell Lake.

Schonbrunn Palace – This majestic palace is one of the greatest attractions in Vienna, with a grand main building with over thousand four hundred rooms with the accumulated art and furniture of centuries of royalty, and it is surrounded by stunning gardens and decorative buildings.

Stift Melk Abbey – Founded in the eleventh century there has been an abbey in Melk for over nine hundred years, but the abbey at Melk today is a beautiful Baroque building dating from the early eighteenth century and is elaborately decorated throughout, and is famous for its excellent library.

Thermenland – Located in south east Austria this area is particularly noted for its geothermal activity which means that many people come to the area for the thermal springs and the range of spas, while it is also home to the Riegersburg Castle which is perched on top of a hill.

Where To Stay In Austria

Vienna

Austria Trend Hotel Park Royal Palace – Providing guests with grand and spacious accommodation, visitors can enjoy all the sights of the city from this convenient location, and use facilities including a fitness center, sauna and the pleasant terrace area.

Hotel Atlanta – The spacious rooms in this hotel are traditionally decorated in an Austrian style, with a lively location near the city center and gives guests facilities such as a television and wi-fi internet at a competitive price.

Innsbruck

Grand Hotel Europa – A comfortable and stylish place to stay at the heart of this old city, visitors have access to the fine sauna and fitness center, and have spacious rooms that are opulently appointed with large luxury bathrooms.

Austria Classic Hotel Innsbruck Garni – Just a short distance outside the city center, this hotel is a great choice for those exploring the city on a budget, while still offering comfortable rooms, modern bathrooms and a downstairs bar.

Salzburg

NH Salzburg-City – A lovely place for a refined break in the city, this hotel offers visitors luxurious comfortable rooms with large classy bathrooms, while still being within easy reach of the main sights of Salzburg.

Meininger Hotel Salzburg City Center – This hotel gives visitors a good balance between comfort and cost, with modern rooms and a location that is within walking distance of the main attractions of the city.

St Anton

Hotel Nassereinerhof – An ideal base from which to explore the area both in summer and winter, this hotel offers visitors spacious rooms with access to a games room and a sauna, which is perfect place to relax after a day on the slopes.

Pension Elisabeth – For visitors who are looking for a competitively priced place to stay with easy access to the slopes, this hotel offers comfortable rooms at a good price, while being within walking distance from the center of the village.

Austrian Cuisine

Austrian cuisine makes the most of the ingredients that are produced within the country, and there is a significant emphasis on meat in many of the meals that are produced, with sausage being common. Tafelspitz is a particularly popular and common dish in the country, and is beef that is boiled in a broth, and then served with apple sauce and horseradish sauce. The country is also famous for its wonderful desserts, with Apfelstrudel being one of the most famous, which is made by combining apples with cinnamon and raisins, and then baking it in pastry. The country also produces some of the best chocolate in the world, with excellent hot chocolate and also the wonderful chocolate tart known as Sachertorte.

Currency And Visa

The local currency in Austria is the Euro, which is shared with many other countries in Europe, and exchanges at around 1.37 US dollars per Euro. Those traveling to Austria do not need to arrange a visa in advance for shorter trips, and as it is a country which is signed up to the Schengen Agreement it is possible to stay in all of these countries for up to a total of ninety days, although it is worth checking your itinerary in advance if you will be visiting many different countries in Europe over a period of over three months

Further Reading

One of the most popular areas of Austria for tourists is South Tyrol, and this article is a nice look at the area and includes some spectacular photography of the area. This article looks at some of the best mountain destinations in Europe, with the Austrian Alps earning a spot among the top places to visit for mountain scenery.