Austria Travel Information
Austria is a small country, easy to get to know, delightful to see.
There is a spectacular scenery around every corner: Vineyards, ancient
castles and venerable abbeys overlooking the Danube, wooded hills rising
out of the lush farmland, lakes dotted with sailboats and ringed by soaring
mountains, Alpine peaks and their icy world of glaciers reaching for the sky.
The towns are as varied as the countryside around them: historic cities where
architectural masterpieces from three or four centuries face one another across
narrow Ianes or sweeping squares, market towns that have barely changed since
the Middle Ages, mountain villages with neat little houses and flowers
overflowing from wooden balconies.
Austria has more castles and palaces open to visitors than any comparable area
in Europe. Great museums and tiny country churches harbor the most
significant art treasures from many periods and styles. Guides will point out to
you the places where the Romans, Charlemagne, Emperor Maximillian, the Turks,
the Swedes in the Thirty Year's War, Empress Maria Theresa, Napoleon, Emperor
Franz Joseph or General Patton did this or that.
Cultural activity in Austria never ceases. The regular events are spectacular
enough: opera, concerts and theater, the performances of the Spanish Riding
School, Sunday mass sung by the Vienna Boys' Choir in Vienna, opera and
concert seasons in other Austrian cities, palace concerts and the Marionette
Theatre in Salzburg. The special events are renowned world-wide:
Year round- Salzburg- Mozart Serenades at the fortress
May-October-Eisenstadt- Haydn matinees
Early September-Linz- Ars Electronica
Mid June-Mid July-Graz-Styriarte
Mid June-Mid September-Vienna-Vienna Music Summer
Late June-early August-Innsbruck-Concerets at Ambras Palace
Early July-late August-Bad Ischl-Bad Ischl Operetta Weeks
Late July-late August-Salzburg-Salzburg Festival
July/August-Ossiach/Villach- Carinthian Summer
Mid-September-Eisenstadt-International Haydn Days
Mid-September-Linz-International Bruckner Festival
Austria has it-swimming, sailing, water skiing; skiing and snowboarding
year-round; horseback riding, tennis, golf; mountain climbing, white water
canoeing, glider flying, cycling; hunting and fishing, skeet shooting and
archery. Hundreds of miles of hiking paths, fitness trails all over. And saunas
and massage to loosen up after a vigorous day.
At pastry shops, in coffee houses, in beer gardens, in wine taverns. Savor the
superb Austrian food which makes every meal a pleasure in itself. And relax with
the friendly Austrians who genuinely like foreign visitors. Shop for outstanding
handcrafted items or native dresses, jackets and hats. Contact us again for help
in planning your trip and specific information!
Area: 32,376 square miles (almost exactly the size of Maine)
Capital: Vienna (pop. 1,600,000)
Major cities: Graz ( 240,000), Linz (190,100), Salzburg (144, 700), Innsbruck
German is spoken as a first language by 99% of the Austrian population. English
is by far the leading second language in the educational system and is, consequently,
understood widely and spoken by most people working in tourism-related
At a latitude of 47' North, the climate is moderate and generally agreeable.
Summer days can be hot, with temperature occasionally reaching 32'C / 89'F
and more, summer evenings are usually cool. Precipitation is quite evenly
distributed over the entire year, but May, September and the first half of
October tend to be the driest, April and November the wettest periods. From June
through August, rain usually comes in the form of thunder-storms ( a word of
caution for hikers and mountain climbers: above 6500 feet, storms may entail
heavy snowfalls even in summer). The winter snow cover lasts from late December
through March in the valleys, from November through May at above 6000 feet, and
becomes permanent above about 8500 feet.
The EURO is the official currency in Austria. Bills have face values of 5, 10,
20, 50 ,100 and 500, coins come in 1,2,5,10,20 and 50 Cents and in 1and 2 EURO.
In the cities banks are open generally from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to
3:00 pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, on Thursday from 8:00 am to 12:30
pm and 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Banks are closed Saturday and Sunday. Exchange
offices at airports and major city rail terminals are open seven days a week
from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, in Vienna to 10:00 pm, in resort areas a few hours each
day seven days a week.
Stores are generally open at 8:00 or 9:00 am and close at 6:00 pm, many with a
two-hour lunch break, Monday through Friday. In big cities some stores are open
until 7:00 pm or later. On Saturdays most stores stay open until 5:00 pm.
Austria Tours and Travel Pacakges