Predominantly the land of upland areas and perfect high mountains, Austria will pull you towards yourself. Here visitors are drawn for the pretty scenic beauty. There are marvelous cities like Vienna (Wien) and the place of birth of Mozart which is Salzburg. Glide through the lovely Austria with us and find yourself amidst a fairytale kind of place!
The minute you reach Austria, you will feel that you have been transported
to a fairytale land. Austria is such kind of magical place that you would want to break into a song with all music and no lyrics. The breathtaking beauty of Austria would make you want to rest in its abode forever. This is Europe’s smallest country wherein 60 % of its territory is occupied by Eastern Alps and the remaining 40 % is covered by woodlands and forests that is located along the banks of the Danube River that flows from west to east for almost 350 kilometers. Tourist season in this lovely country is both in summers and winters, as this country has a temperate continental climate.
Austria is a Federal republic that bestows a history to be relived. In Pre- Roman times the present day Austria was run by many tribes including the Celtic tribes. The area was later invaded by Bavarians and Slavic Avars after Roman Empire fell. As a result to its defeat to World War 1 the modern republic of Austria came into being in 1918.
The Austrians are friendly bunch of people. They like to spend time with their friends and family, eating, drinking and merry making and enjoying good life. There are rural and urban differences in the country that you find while moving towards the west, the more rural you go the more socially conservative people you meet.
WHAT TO SEE
Schonbrunn Palace is one of the major tourist attractions in Vienna. This was built between 1696 and 1712 at the request of Emperor Leopold I and turned into the imperial summer palace by Maria Theresa. It houses 1441 rooms. Lots of attractions are offered here like the Privy Garden, the oldest zoo in the world, a maze and labyrinth, and a marble summerhouse situated on top of a 60 meter high hill.
This place is truly a paradise. It is surrounded by snowcapped mountains; Innsbruck makes you feel quite insignificant in the midst of nature’s striking Alpine mountain range. The area readily offers both pristine landscapes and a sophisticated urban center. Altstadt is the medieval town of Innsbruck, draws you in with its unique architecture and many shops. While you are strolling the streets of the Altstadt you can visit one of its famous landmarks, the Golden Roof. This house was constructed for the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, and it was decorated with thousands of gilded copper tiles that create the appearance of pure gold.
Grossglockner Alpine Road
Grossglockner Alpine Road is a panoramic road which takes you up to the Kaiser Franz Josefs Hohe Visitor Center. From there, you get the unobstructed view of Austria’s highest mountain, the Grossglockner. The Grossglockner Alpine Road is a toll road, but the fabulous high alpine scenery more than makes up for the expenses. The road is normally open from the beginning of May to the end of October.
This magnificent Salzburg castle is one of largest and most well-preserved medieval castles in Europe. Strategically located at the top of Festungsberg Mountain, the mighty fortress towers over the city of Salzburg, breathing life into its magnificent skyline. This castle houses the “Salzburg Bull”, an organ with more than two hundred pipes. A truly stunning piece of medieval architecture, representative of the heart of Salzburg, Hohensalzburg Castle is one of the top tourist attractions in Austria.
Two time home to the Winter Olympics, Seefeld is an important cross-country skiing center with terrain that is compatible for beginner and intermediate skiers. Located on a spectacular nature reserve, it is the perfect spot, not only for cold-weather sports, but for warm-weather strolls and hiking. Offering the most luxuriously upscale accommodation, Seefeld is your relaxing resort getaway.
Hofburg Imperial Palace
Located in Vienna, the Hofburg Imperial Palace serves as the official residence of the President of Austria. It was the Habsburg’s principal winter residence, while Schonbrunn Palace (also located in Vienna) was their preferred summer residence. From 1438 to 1583 and from 1612 to 1806, it was the seat of the kings and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, thereafter the seat of the Emperor of Austria until 1918.
Vienna State Opera
The Vienna State Opera is a spectacular architectural structure in the middle of Austria’s capital and happens to be quite possibly the most renowned opera house of all times. The orchestra is renowned as one of the top in the world. Wherein famous operas and ballets from the history are performed in both classical and modern versions for viewers to choose from.
Melk Abbey is one of the most famous monasteries in the world. Situated high up on cliff, overlooking the calming waters of the Danube River, rests the peaceful Benedictine abbey. Previously the castle of Leopold II, the structure was given to the monks, who transformed it into a place of tranquility and learning in 1089. The impressive spiritual center has become one of the greatest examples of Baroque architecture and the flourishing musical and liberal arts of its time.
St Anton am Arlberg
Another famous ski resort area worth visiting in Austria is called St Anton am Arlberg. Located in Tyrol, this village offers serious, legendary ski terrain for those who are seeking a challenge. Often attracting adventurous youths, St Anton is notorious for living up to the saying “work hard, play hard”. The vast landscape welcomes its loyal winter crowd, as well as its summer mountaineers, who come to trek the landscape each year. If you are looking for a good time, St Anton is the place to be.
WHAT TO SHOP
Shopping streets and pedestrian zones offer luxury goods and good values – at jeweler’s shops as well as antique stores, art stores, and fashion designer boutiques. Between flagship stores and shopping palaces, you can discover many things here. Arguable the best designer shopping outlet for Vienna is at Parndorf. It is a 45 min drive from the city center, and houses 130 designer brand stores from Armani, Burberry, Calvin Klein and Desigual to Hugo Boss, Michael Kors, Swarovski and Timberland. Discounts are up to 70 per cent, with additional discounts during winter and summer sales. When shopping for Austrian brands, go for Wolford and Palmers (lingerie), and homeware brands Riedel (glasses), Berndorf (cutlery) and the German brands Fissler and WMF (bakeware and knives).
HOW TO REACH
The Austrian airline ‘Austrian’ also offers several direct flights a day to the capital city and many tourists use the non-stop offers of international airlines to come to Vienna. One can book tickets online and secure a low-cost red ticket with Austrian.
Austrian Federal Railways (OBB) offer a well developed railway network and modern trains that carry you to Vienna in safety and comfort. There are very frequent trains for all neighboring regions and countries. Night trains and quicker Euro-City trains arrive from virtually every city in Central Europe. High-speed ICE, RailJet, and Pendilino trains arrive from places like Munich, Budapest, Zurich, and Prague.
There is a slew of international bus services coming into Vienna daily.