Austria is a landlocked country located in Central Europe. There are over 8.5 million people living in Austria. It is neighbors with Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy and Switzerland. The vast majority of the landscape in Austria is covered by the Alps, which explains why the country experiences mostly alpine climate. There are about 21 million tourists that travel to Austria on an annual basis. Hence, tourism and leisure industry forms an important part of the country’s economy.
There are 9 federal states that comprise Austria’s parliamentary representative democratic government. Vienna is the capital and largest city in Austria with a population of over 1.7 million. Austria is one of the richest countries in the world (12 wherein its residents enjoy a high quality of living. The country also ranks 24 when it comes to the Human Development Index.
A highly developed industry is the main source of income in the country. Next to that, international tourism has also had major contributions to the economy of Austria.
Official Language: Austrian German is the official language in Austria.
WiFi Availability: Wireless internet connection is easily accessible and with great speed in Vienna, Austria. In fact, the download speed of the WiFi in the airport is 27 Mbps while the upload speed is 42 Mbps.
Airport/s: Vienna International Airport in Austria’s capital is the main international airport for travel to Austria.
Visa Required: US citizens do not need a visa to travel to Austria for tourist or business reasons for a maximum of 90 days’ stay. However, a passport must be valid for up to 3 months after your last day of stay in Austria. Several other countries also get this same visa exempt privilege for travel to Austria including citizens from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Venezuela, Vatican, and many more. There are also other specified nationalities that require a visa prior to travel to Austria.
International Driver’s License Accepted? When driving in Austria, carry both your international and domestic driver’s license.
Driving: The people of Austria drive on the right side of the road.
Crime: The crime rate in Austria is very low. If there are any criminal activities, then this typically happens in the metropolitan areas.
Electrical Adapters: Austria uses the same electrical voltage as Germany, which is 230 volts and 50 Hertz. They also use C and F plug types. Bring an adapter if you are using a different electrical voltage type from your home country.
Trivia: The Austrian Alps make up over 62% of the total land area of Austria.
The cuisine in Austria combines the native influence and that of the former Austro-
Hungarian Empire. The dishes served in Austria also vary largely based on the region where it is served from. Regional cuisine holds a lot of influence over the national cuisine of Austria.
Meat is an integral part of the Austrian cuisine. Their most commonly used types of meats include chicken, beef, pork and geese. The famous Wiener Schnitzel from Austria is made of veal. Special types of cuts of meat are prepared for by Austrian butchers to create a variety of dishes. These cuts include Tafelspitz from beef, Fledermaus from pork, among others. Austria is also known for their sausages and the most popular ones include the following: Frankfurter, Debreziner, Grune Wurstl, Burenwurst, and Krainer Wurst.
Travel to Austria: Top Attractions
Schonbrunn Palace – This palace once served as an imperial summer residence. Today, this over 1,400room Baroque palace in Vienna is an important architectural, historical and cultural attraction in the country.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral – This Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Vienna is located within the historical center of Vienna. It features both Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles. The cathedral was designed by architect Anton Pilgram.
Museumsquartier – This 60,000 square meter land area is located within Vienna. It is identified as the largest cultural area in the world. It is open to the public and where major art and cultural exhibits take place at various times of the year.
Belvedere – This historic building complex is located in Vienna. It is made up of two Baroque palaces: the Palace Stables and Orangery.
Where I’ve Been to in Austria
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Austria
- Historic Center of Vienna
- Palace and Gardens of Schonbrunn
- Prehistoric Pine Dwellings Around the Alps
Other Resources on Travel to Austria
- The Best Hotels & Hostels for Every Budgetin Vienna
- The Wine Bends: A Detour in the Austrian Countryside
- Vienna Travel: A Beginner’s Guide