Austria – the most detailed information about the country with photos. Attractions, cities of Austria, climate, geography, population and culture.
Austria is a country in central Europe. It is one of the most prosperous and peaceful countries of the European Union, which is landlocked, and borders with Switzerland and Lichtenstein in the west, Germany and the Czech Republic in the north, Slovakia and Hungary in the east, Slovenia and Italy in the south. Austria is a federal parliamentary republic, which consists of 9 federal states. The official language is German. The majority of the population is Catholic.
Austria is the heart of the once powerful Habsburg Empire, which occupied a huge part of Europe and subjugated most of the neighboring countries, it is one of the cultural centers of the European continent and a haven of Western musical tradition. It is a country of stunning nature, from the snow-capped and forested majestic Alps to the graceful Danube and the ice caves of the Eisrizenwelt. Austria attracts with its rich cultural heritage, the majestic architecture of Vienna and Salzburg, stunning natural landscapes and a calm, friendly atmosphere.
Useful information about Austria
- Official language is German.
- Currency is the euro.
- Visa – Schengen.
- The standard of living is very high.
- Population – more than 8.8 million people.
- Area – 83 879 square meters.
- Capital city – Vienna.
- Time zone +1. Relative to Moscow time -1 in summer and -2 in winter.
- Form of government is federal parliamentary republic.
- More than 70% of the population are Catholics.
- The electricity grid has a voltage of 220 to 230 V, 50 Hz.
- It’s good manners to leave a tip of 5-10% of the amount, provided, of course, that you liked everything.
- Austria is one of the safest countries in the world with a very low crime rate.
- ATMs in Austria are called Bankomat. They are widespread and you can withdraw money even in small villages. Almost all stores and restaurants accept bank cards.
Geography and nature
Austria is a mountainous country that is landlocked. Mountains occupy more than 70% of the territory, and 2/3 is located at an altitude of more than 500 meters above sea level. More than half of the country is covered by forests. The foothills are covered with deciduous forests (beech and oak), while the mountains are dominated by conifers (spruce, fir, larch, cedar). Above there are alpine meadows and glaciers. Austria’s highest peak is Mount Grossglockner (3,798 m).
Forest in the Austrian Alps
Austria can be roughly divided into three geographical areas: most of the Eastern Alps, another part is the foothills, the Bohemian Forest (Boehmerwald) and the Danube Valley and, finally, the smallest part – the Vienna Basin (part of the Central Danube Plain). The animal life is typical of Central Europe. Although Austria has preserved more wildlife and natural habitats. There are: red deer, elk, roe deer, brown bear, wild boar, mountain eagle, chamois, wood grouse, grouse.
The largest river in Austria is the Danube. The far west belongs to the Rhine valley. Other major rivers are the Inn, the Enns, the Drava and the Morava. In the mountains there are many mountain rivers with fast flowing and clear water. There are more than half a thousand lakes scattered across the country. The largest of them: Utter, Traun, Lake Constance and Neusiedler See.
The climate is temperate, transitional to continental and strongly influenced by the altitudinal zonality. Summers are warm and sunny in the plains and foothills, and cooler and rainy in the mountains. Winter also has differences. The mountains are usually quite cold and have a lot of snow, the plains have mild winters and low sub-zero temperatures.
Winter in the Alps.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Austria to explore its cultural and historical heritage is in June and September. It’s usually warm and dry during this period. For skiing, the best time to visit is from November to March.
In ancient times, the territory of Austria was inhabited by Celtic tribes. The Celtic kingdom of Noricum was conquered by the Romans and turned into a Roman province. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Austria was conquered by the Franks. In 803 the Austrian Brand was formed, which became the Eastern Brand at the end of the 10th century.
The name of the country Osterreich is translated from Old German as “Eastern State. “Austria,” on the other hand, has been used to name the country’s territory since the 10th century.
In the Middle Ages Austria, Styria, Carinthia and Tyrol were independent states. In 1156 Austria became an independent duchy, ruled by the Babenberg dynasty. In 1276 they were succeeded by the Habsburgs, who ruled the country until World War I, under whose rule the state reached its greatest prosperity.
In the 15th century the power of the Habsburgs in Europe began to grow rapidly. From 1438 onward, the dukes of Austria became Holy Roman Emperors almost permanently. In 1526 Bohemia and Croatia became part of the Austrian Duchy, in 1687 Hungary became part of the state as a result of the Union, and at the end of the 18th century Galicia, Lesser Poland and South Mazovia were annexed. The Habsburg state at that time was one of the most powerful states in Europe.
During the Napoleonic wars, the Austrian Archdukes lost the title of Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, but acquired the title of Emperor of Austria. In 1815 the German Union was created, and the Austrian emperors became its presidents. Around this period Lombardy and Veneto were annexed to the empire. In 1859, after the Austro-Italian-French war, the Italian territories were lost, and in 1866 the German Union ceased to exist. Since 1867 the empire became known as Austria-Hungary.
Autumn in the Alps.
After World War I Austria-Hungary ceased to exist. Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia left the empire. Austria became a republic. In 1938 the country’s territory was annexed by Nazi Germany. Austria was liberated in April 1945. Since October 1955 the law of permanent neutrality is in force. Austria has been a member of the European Union since 1995.
Austria is divided into nine federal states. Vienna is the capital city.
The federal states of Austria:
- Burgenland – administrative center the city of Eisenstadt.
- Carinthia – administrative center – the city of Klagenfurt.
- Lower Austria – the administrative center – the city of St. Pölten.
- Upper Austria – the administrative center of Linz.
- Salzburg – the administrative center – the city of Salzburg.
- Styria – the administrative center – the city of Graz.
- Tirol – the administrative center – the city of Innsbruck.
- Vorarlberg – administrative center – the city of Bregenz
- capital city of Vienna.
Austrians take formalities and etiquette seriously, they are friendly, quite open and very respectful of tradition. Do not compare them to the Germans or consider their language purely German. Austrians are a separate nation with its own dialect. The vast majority of people in Austria are Catholic. Religion and tradition play a large role in the life of an Austrian. Most major church holidays are weekends. Austrians adore titles and are very proud of them. In a business letter, they are sure to indicate their degree, starting with a master’s degree. There is also such a mark in the Austrian passport.
Some rules of etiquette in Austria:
- When greeting you should say “Grüß Gott” and when saying goodbye “Wiedersehen” (“Auf” is usually omitted).
- Do not raise your voice or shout in public – this could be interpreted as aggression.
- You should always use Sie when talking to older people or strangers.
- When getting to know each other, Austrians shake hands and look each other in the eye. Lack of eye contact may be interpreted as condescension.
There are six international airports in Austria. The largest is located in Vienna. Others are located in Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz and Salzburg. The most affordable and easy way to travel around the country is by train. Austria has a dense network of railroads, which also includes high-speed trains. By train you can reach Austria from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Slovakia and Switzerland. Bus service within the country is not very common. Basically, buses are used to travel between small towns and remote villages.
Autobahn in Austria
Austria has excellent highways, for movement on which you need to buy a vignette. You can buy a vignette at petrol stations or “Kantor” points.
- The A8 freeway from Munich to Salzburg.
- The A93 freeway from Rosenheim through Kufstein to Innsbruck and Tyrol.
- E43 (A96) from Leutkirch via Wangen to Bregenz and Vorarlberg.
- E56 from Regensburg via Passau to Linz.
- Freeway A23 (E55) via Tarvisio to Villach.
- Freeway A22 (E45) via Brenner to Innsbruck.
- E652 in Fillach.
- E57 via Spilfeld in Graz.
Cities in Austria
Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria with a population of almost 2 million people. It is the heart of the country and one of the cultural and economic centers of Europe. Vienna is famous for its theater, music and museums. Mozart and Strauss were created here, talented architects turned Vienna into a pearl of European continent and the Habsburgs gathered the richest collections of art and culture. The historic center of Austria’s capital is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Salzburg is one of the most beautiful cities in Austria. Its old town is a gem of Baroque. Also the historic center of Salzburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here the genius Mozart was born, and the mighty castle Hohensalzburg is the largest fully intact medieval fortress in Central Europe.
Halstatt, a tiny village lost in the Alps, has long been one of Austria’s symbols and most popular destinations. It is a small settlement in a picturesque natural area on the shores of a lake with beautiful houses and stunning scenery.
Other interesting cities in Austria:
– Tyrol’s capital, known as the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, historic buildings, a charming old town and sports facilities.
- Graz is the capital of Styria and the second largest city in Austria. Known for its universities and the old town. – The third largest city in the country and the capital of the federal state of Upper Austria. Located near the border with the Czech Republic and is famous for its ancient streets and architecture.
- Fillach is the second largest city in Carinthia, which is located on the border with Italy. It has a rich history and is known for cultural events.
- Bregenz is a small town and the capital of Vorarlberg. It is located in a picturesque area on the shores of Lake Constance.
- St. Pölten is the capital of Lower Austria and one of the oldest cities in the country.
The Hofburg is the imperial palace in Vienna. A huge, luxurious building that has been the winter residence of the Habsburgs since the 13th century. Numerous reconstructions are reflected in its architecture, in which you can find elements from Gothic to Art Nouveau. The palace has over 2,000 rooms and several museums.
Schönbrunn is the summer residence of Empress Maria Theresa. A sumptuous 18th century Baroque palace with a beautiful garden. Located on the outskirts of Vienna and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna is one of the most important masterpieces of European Gothic architecture and one of the largest religious buildings in Austria. For a long time, the building of the cathedral with its tower was the highest structure in Europe.
The Hohensalzburg is a medieval fortress on the Festungsberg, the hallmark of Salzburg. It is the largest building of its kind in Europe that has been preserved in its original state.
Old Town in Innsbruck
The Old Town in Innsbruck is a medieval historical center with unique architecture, surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Alps.
Benedictine Abbey in Melk
Benedictine Abbey in Melk is one of the most famous monasteries in the world. Located on a rock overlooking the Danube. Within its walls are valuable artifacts and historical rarities.
Hohenwerfen is a mighty medieval castle located on a rocky ledge above the Salzach River. It was founded in the 11th century. It is located 40 km from Salzburg and is open to the public.
Hochosterwitz is a medieval castle east of St. Weith on a high rock. It is considered one of the most important monuments of the Middle Ages in Austria. The castle has been mentioned since the 9th century. Throughout its history, it has never been conquered.
Maria Sala Church
The Maria Sal Church is a medieval Gothic church above the Solfeld, which is one of the most popular places for pilgrims. It is distinguished by its twin towers and beautiful old tombstones.
The Eisrisenvelt is the largest network of ice caves in the world, located in the federal state of Salzburg. One of the most striking natural attractions in Austria.
The Grossglockner Alpine Route
The alpine road Grossglockner is one of the most beautiful mountain roads in Europe, built on the site of the ancient Roman road. It is 22 kilometers long and runs through the mountains at an altitude of over 2000 meters. The road consists of a long series of curves leading to the top of the tunnel at Hoktor. This path will offer magnificent views of the mountains and a stunning panorama of Austria’s highest peak, Mount Grossglockner.
St. Anton am Arlberg
St. Anton am Arlberg is a famous ski resort located in Tyrol. It is a legendary place for all ski lovers.
Hotels and guest houses can be found in almost every Austrian village. Most of them are much more expensive than in other European cities. Often there is a cleaning fee, so you need to look carefully at the terms of accommodation when booking. Accommodation in Vienna and Salzburg costs much more than a room in a picturesque Alpine hotel somewhere in the Austrian countryside. To check into any hotel, you must have an identity document.
A guesthouse in Austria
Austrian cuisine is delicious and exquisite. It absorbed the culinary traditions of Bavaria, Hungary, Serbia, Romania and Dalmatia. The real star of Austrian cuisine is desserts. Bread also plays a big role. Even the smallest Alpine village often has its own bakery.
Austria is a country in Central Europe. It has no access to the sea. Residents speak German. The official name of the country is the Republic of Austria, or Republik Ӧѕterreich. The country is a leader in the world in terms of GDP. It is an honorary member of the United Nations and the European Union. The country is divided into several federal states.
One of the most developed countries in Europe is Austria with dominant industrial-agrarian orientation of the economy. Thanks to the alpine ski resorts in the country tourism is excellent. The most popular regions are Bad Gastein, Ischgl, Mayrhofen and others.
Population 8 205 000 Country 83 858 square kilometers Territory 83 858 square kilometers Part of the world Central Europe Austria’s capital Vienna Money euro (EUR) Domain name zone .at Country phone code +43
Hotels in Austria
While in Vienna, tourists who prefer hotels with five stars can stay in the “Hotel ambassador” or “Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna. Both hotels are characterized by luxury apartments and a convenient location in the heart of this beautiful Austrian city. “Hotel Mailberger Hof”, “Hotel am Schuberting”, “Austria Trend Hotel Rathauspark” have fewer stars, but are no less comfortable and conveniently located.
Standing at a traffic light for 5 minutes is already considered a traffic jam.
Tyrol has five stars GrandHotelEuropa. With a choice of less expensive hotels in this city also is not a problem.
In Salzburg you can stay in the “City-Center Apartments”, “Bergland Hotel Stein. Rooms in hotels can be booked in advance, or pay for the required time on the spot.
Climate: temperate. Continental, cloudy. Cold winters with frequent rain and snow in the lowlands and mountains. Moderate summers with occasional showers.
Besides the incredible number of castles and museums Austria also has a number of unique attractions: Ankerur Musical clock situated in Vienna, the only in the world museum “Crystal worlds of Swarovski” – in Wotkins, the biggest national park in Europe – “Donau-Auen” and a lot of other places attractive for tourists.
In Baden town Schloss-Weikersdorf castle is wonderfully preserved. By the way, the largest European casino is located in Baden, which is located in the castle of the Congress.
Theresienbad – hot healing springs, which also boasts Baden.
In the Carnuntum, a famous historical park, you can admire not only the archaeological treasures, but also the magnificent scenery.
Terrain: In the west and south of the country are mountains (the Alps). Along the eastern and northern outskirts are mostly gentle.
In addition to sightseeing, Austria has a huge number of options for leisure activities. Visiting the Vienna Opera House; skiing, for people of different age categories; thermal springs, a great variety of shopping centers, as well as a wide range of nightclubs, the most famous of which are “B72”, “Q” and “Chelsea” – all this can offer Austria willing to visit it.
The variety of cafes, restaurants, taverns, and other establishments in Austria will surprise even the most demanding visitors with quality service, great music, and a varied menu, making for the best time spent relaxing after exhausting walks through the historical sites and museums.
Resources: Oil, coal, lignite, timber, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony, magnesite, tungsten, graphite, salt, hydropower.
In the Austrian capital of Vienna, tourists have a wide variety of museums to visit: the Belvedere Gallery, museums of modern art, ethnology, applied art, and natural history. The Baroque Museum of Salzburg is famous for its castles: Helbrunn and Hohensalzburg, and the Memorial Apartment of Mozart, also known as “The House of Figaro”.
In Linz, in addition to the Swarovski Crystal Worlds, you can see the castle Brooke, and in Graz – Kornberg Castle, Kunst House, as well as the Museum of Arms.
Innsburg is a museum-panorama of the Battle of Isel. Also Innsburg is famous for the Museum of Tyrolean Mountain Riflemen.
Austrian money: The Austrian currency has a similar fate. The Austrian schillings that had replaced the inflation-stricken kroner were replaced by the Reichsmarks after the Anschluss. Then the euro regained the status of national currency. The schillings did not disappear from Austria, becoming the country’s bargaining chip. With foreign currencies also no problem – at any bank you can exchange according to the rate established by the Vienna Stock Exchange.
The best resorts in Austria
The list of Austrian resorts starts with Baden, which is surrounded by the Vienna Woods, absorbing the unhurried, measured social life and attracting tourists since its inception. The most expensive resort in Austria is Ischgl, which attracts not only skiing, but also musical events. Austrian Kaprun – a kind of Mecca for connoisseurs of skiing. Schladming is also famous for its slalom and downhill skiing with excellent equipment.
The Austrians joke: “It only takes a couple of hours to get to the ski resorts or the sea.”
Lake water and mountain air are available to tourists in the Salzkammergut, and Klopainer See is ideal for thermal treatments. Galtur is ideal for lovers of quiet solitude and pristine untouched snow.
The country has almost all modes of transport, so there are no problems with movement in the country. The subway can be successfully used in Vienna and Zerfaus. In the cities of Salzburg, Graz, Innsburg and Vienna, you can move around by rail.
The Danube basin is adjoined by ports in Vienna, Enns, Linz and Krems. The streetcar and bus networks are well developed in Austria. Of course, a variety of cab services are at the service of visitors and residents.
In Austria, there are 55 airports, the largest of which are located in Graz, Vienna and Innsburg.
Standard of living
Austria has a very high standard of living, exceeding even that of the United States in terms of net income. More than 72 percent of the population between the ages of 15 and 64 are officially employed. Some 82 percent of Austrians have a university degree and the average life expectancy of the Austrian population is 81 years, which is significantly higher than in many other countries.
Austria’s beautiful climate, geographical position and economic strength make it one of the most attractive places in the world to live.
Austria’s beautiful cities
Speaking of Austria, of course, should mention a magnificent asset of the country – the city of Vienna, where the eyes are running from the presenting view of wealth, luxury palaces, squares, fountains, streets, shocking his elegance and the presence of a large number of historical monuments.
The cities Tirol, Salzburg, Baden, Linz, Innsbruck, Eisenstadt – with their numerous museums and galleries – are right behind Vienna in the must-see list. Graz is the second largest city in the country.
Traveling through Austria, it is worthwhile to visit each of these beautiful Austrian cities.