Location: In Central Europe surrounded by Slovakia in the east, Hungary in the south east, Slovenia in the south, Italy in the south and south west, Switzerland in the west, Germany and Czech Republic in the north
Country Capital: Vienna
Best Time to Visit: March to October
How to Reach: By flights; by EuroCity and InterCity railways; by Euroline buses
International Airports: Vienna, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Graz, Linz, and Klagenfurt
Time Zone: CET (UTC + 1), CEST (UTC + 2)
ISD Code: 43
Austria is synonymous with heritage and exuberance. The land of Mozart, the sparkling must see Austria cities and the quiet suburbs, unveils the quintessential culture, tradition and natural flamboyance of the country. May it be the craggy terrains of the Alps or the imperious palaces, castles and heritage sites of Austrian cities, the country is known for its natural and architectural charisma. While in Austria, you can travel to the major cities of the country and explore its true ethnicity amidst the thriving urban culture. August architectures with Roman influences, beautiful countrysides and the other must see places in Austria, make it an excellent place for vacation getaway.
After you have traveled to the rugged terrains of the continent, swam in the blue fresh water of the Mediterranean sea and is over satisfied with the African wilderness or the verdure of the Amazon forests, travel to the iconic architectural edifices and the thrilling must see Austria sightseeings. Though the country is seemingly dotted with artistic marvels, yet you can also cherish the wondrous terrains and landscapes in the backdrop of the cities and the countrysides. A visit to the Heritage city of Salzburg will bring forth some of the appealing excellence of the architectures by the Romans. Start your journey with the Festung Hohensalzburg, the major landmark of the city. You can enjoy the traditional Mozart Geburtshaus site on a bright sunny morning and also don’t miss the most happening shopping market in Getreidegasse that houses narrow lanes and romantic courtyards. Other architectures in the city include the Princely Residence, the Salzburg Dom as well as the celebrated Festival district that consists of two major Festival Halls.
An exciting visit to Vienna, the capital of Austria, is mandatory for all tourists. As a first time visitor, the city will overtly welcome you to a new experience all together. The clean and empty streets of city with well planned baroque buildings situated on the sides, makes it ans excellent destination for those who need a break from the stressful metro life. The city is mostly prominent for Schloss Schonbrunn, which was initially the imperial summer residence that looks spectacular with beautiful gardens, Gloriette monuments, palm trees and Zoos. Other places in the city that include the Belvedere Palace and the eminent landmarks of the city like Gothic Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral), the Giant Ferris Wheel in the Prater, Vienna’s Old Recreational Park and the Spanish Riding School with their world-famous Lipizzaner horses, are also listed among the must see Austria places. The city is also dotted with various museums like Kunsthistorischen Museum, MuseumsQuartier, Museum Moderner Kunst, Architekturzentrum (Architectural Center) and Kunsthalle, which are some of the top rated cultural hubs of the city. While these two cities are major parts of Austria sightseeing, you can also taste the cultural nitty gritty of the country by visiting other cities like Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz and Graz, which are remarkable must see places in Austria. If you can already decide for a long holiday in the country, then do take out time to visit the Modern Architectures in Alps and Tirol. Don’t miss the stunning vistas of the Haus Hirt in the Alps ,which is noted for its impressive mix of 1929’s architecture and modern designs. If you are still not over with the thrill then visit every corner of the country and enjoy the vibrant city life and the exquisite graphics of Albertina and Kunsthaus, an unusual building constructed by Peter Cook and Colin Fourrnier.
When to GoWhatever the time of the year, Austria is always inviting. However the activities vary according to the climate. May to October is the best time for lake swimming, mountain biking and trekking. Most musical festivals like Mozart Ensemble, Haydn a la Carte, and Ars Antiqua Austria are held in spring and summer, while winter is the best time for skiing in the Alps.
Must See Places in Austria
When planning a trip to Europe, be sure to stop in its mountainous cultural crossroads, Austria. Once part of the Holy Roman Empire and then ruled by the Habsburgs as Austria-Hungary, it has been central to trade and military action since being conquered by Rome in 15 BC. The country is defined by the Alps, giving it some of the most inviting ski slopes and breathtaking terrain on the continent. Between its natural splendor and large cosmopolitan cities, the options for tourists are virtually limitless – but here are five must see places in Austria:
- ViennaThe capital of Austria, Vienna is a city of 2.4 million spread across the banks of the Danube River. Brimming with cultural attractions, it is the city fin which most Austrian vacations begin. Once the home to composer Franz Schubert, Vienna has a reputation for hosting some of Europe’s finest orchestral and operatic productions – particularly at the Burgtheater and Volkstheater Wien. If you are more interested in history and architecture, stop at the former Habsburg palace of Schonbrunn or one of the many ornate cathedrals (Ruprectskirche and Karlskirche are highly regarded).
- InnsbruckThis picturesque city at the bottom of the Inn Valley is a winter sports hub. Host of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics, sports enthusiasts often spend time at the Bergiselschanze, a remnant of the ski jump from the Games. Many visitors enjoy walking the cobblestone streets of Aldstadt, the older part of town. Most stop to see the Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof), Emperor Maximilian I’s box for watching parades and trials in the square below and then head over to Ambras Castle, built by Maximilian’s grandson, Ferdinand II.
- SalzburgCulture lovers may want to make Salzburg their only destination. The city is set high in the Alps on the border with Germany and is known as the birthplace of the brilliant composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. His home is a popular spot for tourists, though it can get crowded. Younger generations may identify it as the home of the von Trapp family from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical The Sound of Music, but it is revered for more than that: the Altstadt district is considered one of the best-maintained examples of baroque architecture in Europe. If you are in the mood to continue your tour of Austrian castles, visit the Schloss Hellbrun and see its elegant octagonal music room.
- Zell am SeeMaybe, instead of spending your vacation in a bustling metropolis, you would rather enjoy some relaxation in a quiet resort town. If so, then Zell am See is for you. High in the Alps between the Saalach and Salzach Rivers, this town of 10,000 sits on the edge of Lake Zell. Those in search of a little seclusion will enjoy a stay at the Grand Hotel Zell am See, which spreads out on a private peninsula jutting into the lake and gives guests spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Much like larger cities, it has a quaint Altstadt with several older buildings, but the crown jewel is St. Hippolyte’s Church – it houses the oldest known architectural remnants in the region.
- GrazAustria’s second-largest city, Graz is often forgotten by tourists. Known as more of an educational center, it has six universities – students make up one-sixth of the population! Located in the southeastern corner of the country blends Austro-German influence with those of more Slavic nations to the east, giving it an interesting mix of cuisines. Tourists often enjoy the magnificent Schloss Eggenberg, another of Austria’s elegant castles, before finding a nice restaurant for dinner and enjoying an evening cruise on the Mur River.
Transportation to and in Austria
Austrian cities are connected by direct international flights from all corners of the globe. Vienna the country capital is the primary international hub of Austria. Other Austrian cities that are intentionally connected include Salzburg, Innsbruck, Linz, Graz, and Klagenfurt. Austria in Central Europe is conveniently accessible by railways. Express trains serving international routes are identified by EC while those plying on domestic routes are symbolized by IC. Trains connecting Austria to Germany are represented by ICE, and those plying between France and Austria carry the symbol of TGV. Vienna serves as the main railway hub of Central Europe. The other Austrian cities connected to European destinations include Innsbruck to Munich in Germany, Verona in Italy, and Zurich in Switzerland; Graz to Budapest in Hungary and Ljubljana in Slovenia; Salzburg to Munich; Klagenfurt to Ljubljana and Venice; and Linz to Prague in Czech Republic and Regensburg in Germany. Bus travel is another comfortable means of traveling to and within Austria. Euroline buses pass through Vienna, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Klagenfurt, Linz, and Graz.