Destination: Austria

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WHY TO VISIT AUSTRIA

A popular destination for its culture, Austria is, however, a country with wonderfully well preserved natural resources. Its central European position makes it a destination as easy to reach as it is fascinating.

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The capital, Vienna, possesses a distinctive identity, characterised by its rich architecture and famous river, the Danube. Visit the old town centre, the Saint Etienne Cathedral, the Donaupark, the pedestrian road of Kärtner Strasse, the Imperial Palace, the Historical Museum of Beaux-Arts and the Opera House to name just a few. A sampling of the Viennese cafés should not be forgotten together with a meander around the town cemeteries with their tombs of famous people.

Salzburg too has many treasures of its own; baroque churches, squares, fountains and various places dedicated to Mozart who was born in this town. If you get the opportunity do not miss the International Festival, from July to August, which is a great celebration of music.

Take the panoramic route of the Grossglockner where you will discover awe-inspiring landscapes including the summit for which the route is named together with the Pasterze glacier.

The Tyrol is another jewel of this country with its green valleys and scattered doll-like villages, its emerald lakes surrounded by majestic summits and its winter sports resorts highly appreciated by ski enthusiasts.

Source: http://www.thebesttimetovisit.com/

WHAT TO SEE IN AUSTRIA

Top destinations in Austria are:

  • Vienna
  • Salzburg
  • Innsbruck
  • Graz
  • Linz
  • Hallstatt
  • Klagenfurt
  • St. Johann im Pongau
  • Kitzbühel
  • Bregenz
  • Seefeld in Torol
  • Zell am See

WHEN TO GO TO AUSTRIA

Weather in Austria

The best period to visit Austria is from April to September.

The best time to visit Austria depends on whether you’re aiming for urban or rural parts. Most of the mountain resorts, for example, have two distinct tourist seasons, one for winter sports enthusiasts, the other for summer hikers. In between times, you may find 12 many of the tourist facilities closed. More urban centres, however, act as year-round tourist destinations, with the number of visitors swelling during peak holidays and annual festivals – Vienna pulls in crowds over Christmas, New Year and, of course, Fasching (the ball season), while the Salzburg Festival ensures a steady stream of well-heeled visitors in July and August.

For the best of the warm weather, plan to go between April and October – Austrian summers, in particular, are reliably warm, but not overpoweringly so. If you’re skiing, you can pretty much guarantee a good covering of snow from November onwards to April. Away from the ski resorts, winter travel can’t really be recommended, since the weather can be pretty wet and miserable. Weather conditions vary only slightly across the country, with the alpine regions decidedly cooler, the lowland regions in the north and east enduring more continental conditions of colder winters and hotter summers, and the southeast of the country enjoying longer, warmer, almost Mediterranean summers. Be aware that whatever the season, if you’re at a high altitude, the weather can change quickly and dramatically. The possibility of a thundery shower exists at any time of the year.

Source: http://www.roughguides.com/

Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Austria

January/February

Perchtenlaufen. Winter processions in Alpine regions.

Fasnacht . (January–February) carnival season in western Austria with balls and parades.

Mozartwoche (Mozart Week). (late-January) Salzburg a week of daily performances of Mozart and his contemporaries’ music.

Vienna Ball Season. (January–mid-February) 2,000 hours of dancing with the Wiener Opernball as the top ball.

April

Osterfestspiele Salzburg. Salzburg Easter Music Festival.

OsterKlang Wien. Vienna Easter Music Festival.

May/June

Vienna Festival. (mid-May mid–June) an arts and music festival

Whitsun Festival. (June) Salzburg,  a series of Baroque music concerts;

July/August

Salzburger Festspiele (Salzburg Summer Festival). (late-July to August) one of the most important opera and classical music festivals. http://www.salzburgerfestspiele.at/

September

St. Rupert’s Fair. (Sept. 21–25:) Salzburg – Ruperti-Kirtag, traditional festival, procession, fireworks.

October

lmabtrieb processions. (early October – various weekends) Alpine regions Cows come down from the mountains dressed in their finery.

Salzburg Kulturtage. (mid-October) A series of affordable concerts.

November/December

St. Martin’s Day (Nov. 11) Children go door to door for goodies, like trick-or-treating.

Christmas markets (late November–December)

St. Nikolaus Day. (Dec. 6) Parades, children set a boot outside the house and receive presents.

Neujahrskonzert. (Dec. 31) The Wiener Philharmoniker (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) plays what is probably the World′s most famous and most widely followed annual concert.

HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH AUSTRIA

For travelling around internally you have several options available to you that you can choose from according to your budget or requirements. These include internal flights, comfortable and frequent trains, the bus for short distances, tramways in the towns, boats on the Danube and not forgetting the bicycles available for rental that you can use on the numerous cycle paths that can be found throughout the country.

by plane, the main airports are:

by train

by car

GENERAL INFORMATION ON AUSTRIA

health tips & vaccination: none

local currency: European euro

local time zone: GMT+1 (+2)

electricity: type C and type F (230 V – 50 Hz)

mobile phone operators:

WHAT TO DO IN AUSTRIA

typical food in Austria

  • Wiener Schnitzel: a traditional dish, breadcrumbed and fried veal escalope;
  • Tafelspitz: boiled beef topside in broth, typically served with horseradish;
  • Tiroler Speckknödel: fried bacon and bread dumpling;
  • Palatschinken: thin crêpe-like pancakes with savoury or sweet fillings;
  • Liptauer: a paprika-infused creamy spread made from sheep’s milk cheese;
  • Salzburger Nockerln: a baked vanilla soufflé designed to resemble Austria’s snow-capped peaks;
  • Sacher Torte: a dense chocolate cake with a layer of apricot preserve, served with a compulsory dollop of whipped cream;
  • Apfelstrudel: a dessert consisting of delicate layers of crisp pastry with an apple and raisin filling;
  • Stroh: spiced rum available in several variants, ranging from 40% to a whopping 80% alcohol;
  • Glühwein: a warming mix of hot red wine blended with sugar, orange, lemon, cloves and cinnamon stick;
  • Obstler: fruit schnapps, usually very strong and relatively cheap;
  • Wiener Mélange: a small espresso served with steamed milk and topped with froth;

souvenirs from Austria

  • Augarten porcelains
  • Lobmeyr glassware
  • Freywillie jewellery creations
  • Sachertorte chocolate cake
  • Salzburg’s Mozartkugeln, chocolate bon-bons
  • Manner Schnitten, the Neapolitan hazelnut wafers
  • white and red wines
  • typical Austrian preserves

SIMPLE DICTIONARY

Hello: Hallo

Goodbye: Auf Wiedersehen

How are you?: Wie geht es Ihnen?

Thank you: Danke

What is your name?: Wie heissen sie?

How much is it?: Wie viel kostet es?

Sorry: Entschuldigung

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