Austria, one of the wealthiest countries in the world is a mountainous country in central Europe with a high standard of living. It is one of the top holiday destinations in Europe both in winter and summer. The historical capital, Vienna has Europe’s second longest river, the Danube River flowing through. German is its widely spoken official language, although Croatian, Hungarian and Slovene are also official languages. Majority of its 8.7 million people are Christians.
Austria is famous for many things including a chocolate cake Sachertorte, and for many notable people such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, musical composers: Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss.
Although Austria has airports that offer domestic flights to major cities, travelling by road is best. Bus and rail transport is safe and inexpensive. Mountain biking is also a fun way to get around and explore the country.
If visiting Austria in December, a visit to the Vienna Weihnachtsmarkt, a Christmas market where you can get souvenirs is recommended. Due to its mountainous terrain, Austria is a popular choice for skiers and hikers. In the western part of the country, the weather is not extreme, and the winters are mild and summers, warm. Summers in the eastern parts are longer and hot. Lightweight clothing is recommended in summer, however, summer evenings can be cool, and sweaters are recommended. Heavyweight clothing is ideal for winter.
Some of the places to visit in Austria are:
- The Sisi Museum, showcasing items that belonged to the famous Empress Elisabeth
- Vienna's Imperial Hofburg Palace, located in the centre of Vienna, it is the official residence of the president
- Salzburg Altstadt, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site features historical buildings and castles and a museum in honour of music composer, Mozart
- The Hofkirche, houses the tomb of Maximillian I, and other pieces of German sculpture
- The Spanish Riding School, a riding school for Lipizzan horses where you can watch the animals perform
- The Baroque Schönbrunn Palace, which features many attractions such as gardens, a zoo, a museum, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Klosterneuburg Abbey, where Leopold III is buried
- The Eisriesenwelt, the largest ice caves in the world.