Austria at a Glance
The hills are alive with … dramatic villages, sparkling rivers, energetic cities, impressive castles, charming vineyards … and of course music!
A landlocked country in the centre of Europe, Austria is bordered to the north by Germany and the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Italy and Slovenia to the south and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The astonishingly beautiful Austrian Alps are the backdrop for the majority of the country. Its cities blend medieval architecture and spirited youthfulness. Austria is considered one of the wealthiest countries in the World, yet it is remarkably accessible for the average traveller and incredibly warm & welcoming.
Austria is home to countless cities, towns and villages, each one with its own unique appeal. Of all the places you should visit, these are five of the best:
- Hallstatt: Austria’s oldest village, with a culture dating back to 8th century BC. The village can only be reached via ferry.
- Salzburg: The birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and home to the largest intact fortress in Central Europe.
- Vienna: The capital of Austria, Vienna’s history dates back to the first post-Christian century, when the Romans established the military camp Vindobona.
- Innsbruck: The capital of the Austrian Alps, Innsbruck shines with stunning, incomparable natural beauty.
- Graz: Second largest city in Austria, Graz is vibrant & lively. Its surroundings are a mix of vineyards, mountains, forested hills and thermal springs.
Austria Essential Facts
- Capital: Vienna.
- Driver’s License: An International Driving Permit is required along with a Driver’s License from your home country.
- Entry Requirements: A valid passport.
- GMT Time: +1hr. Daylight savings time is applied.
- Languages: German is the official language.
- National Airlines: Austrian Airlines.
- Population: Approximately 8 million.
- Electricity: 220V, 50HZ
- Departure Tax: No departure tax to be paid locally at the airport.
- Taxes: The Value Added Tax on most goods and services is 20%. Refunds can be requested when you spend a set amount, in the same store on the same day and if you are not a resident of the European Union. You must get a Retail Export Form from the store, have customs stamp your form upon your departure and then mail it in for your refund once you are home.
- Tipping: You will find many restaurants include a service charge and tax in their bill. In addition to this it is customary to round up when paying, to the nearest 5 or 10 (if your bill was 17.50, you would pay 20). Taxi drivers customarily receive 10% of the metered charge. Porters & bellhops are tipped 1€ (Euro) per bag, while chambermaids receive 2€ (Euro) per day.
- Climate: Austria has three distinct climatic areas. The East has low precipitation, hot summers and moderately cold winters. The Alpine Region has short summers and long winters. The remainder of the country in the west is influenced by an Atlantic climate, in the south-east it is influenced by a continental climate.
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