With castles and palaces, museums, historic cathedrals, renowned art and music communities and mountain resorts, Austria attracts a diverse group of tourists, travelers and visitors.

Landlocked in the heart of Central Europe, Austria is known as one of Europe's most wooded countries with mountainous terrain throughout. Austria’s weather reflects a moderate climate with cold but sunny winters. Summers are warm with occasional rain; temperatures are cooler in the high mountains of the Northern and Southern Limestone Alps and the central highlands.

Austrians are quite formal upon meeting new people, in both social and business settings. But social pleasantries and some small talk are appreciated. German is the official language.

Austria has a political history that can be traced to the Holy Roman Empire. The election of Joerg Haider's ultra-conservative party in 2000 alarmed much of Europe and, at least temporarily, raised Austria's visibility on the world stage due to Haider's vocal and extreme positions on immigration and fiscal policy.

Austria is easily accessible by air and train from several surrounding European countries. International airlines serve major airports in Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck, Linz and Salzburg. Austrian Airlines is the national carrier but most major international carriers also offer service. Public transportation is available in cities and includes a well-developed bus, rail and subway system in Vienna, and trams in Linz, Innsbruck and Salzburg.

Visitors will find a variety of hotel choices, particularly in the cities. Popular hotels fill during peak tourist season so it is recommended you make and confirm reservations well in advance. Dining options are also varied. Austria is known for world-class cuisine and the “café-society” style of relaxed time spent in coffee houses sampling outstanding pastries and deserts.

Tourists can enjoy visits to the historic castles, splendid museums, parks and city attractions. Music fills the fabric of modern Austrian life. In the countryside, hiking, skiing and outdoor activities are popular. Tours and visitor information is available in most major cities.

The communications infrastructure is well developed and all communications services (local and international phones, faxes, postal services, Internet cafes and business centers) are efficient and easily accessible.

Exchanging cash and travelers' checks is rarely a problem in Austria, but credit cards are not accepted everywhere.

Austria is a relatively secure travel destination, though travelers must take common sense security precautions when traveling. This is particularly true in larger cities such as Vienna, Innsbruck and Salzburg and on trains, where petty theft is common.





Local Etiquette Tips from our Partner

Don't leave the tip at the table. And other such local etiquettes to be aware of in Vienna

Top Local Phrases from our Partner

Learn how to pronounce thank you and other German phrases for your visit to Vienna.

Albania Andorra Austria
Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria
Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic
Denmark England Estonia
Finland France Germany
Gibraltar Greece Greenland
Hungary Iceland Ireland
Italy Latvia Liechtenstein
Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia
Malta Monaco Montenegro
Netherlands Northern Cyprus Northern Ireland
Norway Poland Portugal
Romania San Marino Scotland
Serbia Slovak Republic Slovenia
Spain Sweden Switzerland
Turkey United Kingdom Vatican City