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Beginner’s guide to Austria

Austria Travel Guides
AdventureAustria slider | AdventureAustria

Travel Guides

Austria

AdventureAustria is an independent English owned travel and events agency based in the Tyrolean town of Lienz in south Austria.

We’ve put together the following travel guides to help visitors get the most out of their holiday in Austria. Whether you are planning only to stay in Lienz or planning to venture on to other parts of Austria, you’ll be sure to find some useful information here.

AdventureAustria slider | AdventureAustria

AdventureAustria

Active Holidays in Austria

AdventureAustria
Gartengasse 4/5
9900, Lienz, Austria

+43 699 1731 7344
info@adventureaustria.com
Skype: Adventureaustria

Dear English speaking guests….if you are looking to find out more about Austria, then please read on for our useful introduction and guide to Austria.  If you’ve accidently Googled Austria instead of Australia, then please hit the back button – Austria is officially a kangaroo free zone!

 

Guide to Austria – a few facts

Firstly, a few facts and some information about the geography and history of Austria.

Austria lies in the heart of middle Europe and was first documented in the year 996.  The Habsburg era eventually made the country into an empire.  Emperor Franz I founded the empire of Austria in 1803.  Later in the year 1945, Austria declared its independence and became a standalone country as it is now known today.

More than 62% of the land surface in Austria is in the mountainous alpine region.  Austria consists of 9 federal states.  Austria has approximately 8, 4 million inhabitants.  Nearly 2 million alone live in Vienna which is the capital city of Austria.  Austria lies in the temperate zone in the transitional region of the Central European climate.  The four seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter) have typical seasonal temperatures and climatic character.

Belonging to the cultural heritage of Austria is the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the Spanish Riding School in Vienna with its famous Lipizzaner horses, the Salzburg Festival and the traditional Wiener Schnitzel.

How do you imagine the typical Austrian?  Perhaps you think that all Austrians can yodel?  And perhaps you also think that the typical fashion conscious Austrian man wears Lederhosen?  And all the ladies wear a Dirndl dress?  Well, that’s not entirely true.  But actually traditional costume in Austria is very important and is often worn throughout the year at many cultural events and traditional gatherings.

When is the best time to visit Austria?

No matter what season it is, taking a holiday in Austria is possible all year round and offers something for everyone.  

Walking in a winter wonderland… in winter the country is blanketed in snow.  The mountains are white, the snow glistens, and from Arlberg to Semmering there are numerous ski areas with perfectly groomed slopes and modern ski lifts.  Ice princesses can go ice-skating on the frozen lakes and ski tourers will appreciate the many unspoiled areas Austria has to offer.  If you prefer something less strenuous and cosier, there are a wide range of hiking trails in the idyllic countryside. Alternatively you may find the charm of small traditional villages, the hospitality of the Austrian people along with the mulled wine simply heart-warming!  Whoever comes to Austria at Christmas time can also expect to be enchanted by the Christmas festivities along with traditional and romantic Christmas markets.

Beginner's guide to Austria | AdventureAustria

After the cold winter, summer arrives and the sun invites you to holiday in Austria for all your senses: the high mountains, the clear fresh water and the scenic beauty of the countryside – all this makes your holiday unforgettable.  Hikers are fascinated by the mountains of the Tyrol and families love spending relaxing times at the numerous lakes in Carinthia. Alternatively culture vultures will want to visit Vienna, Salzburg or Innsbruck for an interesting city tour with sightseeing. Austria is simply unforgettable…plan your holiday today!

Top tourist attractions in Austria

A few things simply should not be missed when you visit Austria.  To give you a small taste, please find below a few of the tourist attraction highlights that should be seen during a visit to Austria.

 

1. The Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna

The imposing Schönbrunn Palace and park together with its history means that Schönbrunn is one of the most important cultural monuments in Austria.  A visit to Schönbrunn includes the impressive palace building itself, the park with its numerous architectural features, fountains and statues as well as the zoo (the oldest in the world.)  In 1996, Schönbrunn was included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO.  The Schönbrunn Palace is the biggest tourist attraction in Austria.

2. Minimundus in Carinthia

Why make a physical trip around the whole world when you can see the whole world in one day at the Minimundus experience at the Lake Wörthersee.  Minimundus is a miniature park near Klagenfurt in the province of Carinthia.  On grounds of 6, 5 acres, there are 140 miniature models of famous buildings from around the world on a scale of 1:25.  Since its opening in 1958, Minimundus has attracted more than 15 million visitors.  Original materials such as stone, marble and wood are used for the construction of most models.

3. Swarovski Crystal World in Wattens

It sparkles and it glitters…a very unique and eclectic art work collection made from crystals as well as a multimedia concept awaits visitors at the Crystal World.  This fantasy world offers 8,500 square meters of space and entertainment.  The company’s founder, Daniel Swarovski I original visualisation and ideas are consistently pursued and as a result, Swarovski now operates under the motto ‘The Art of Crystal Fiction’.

4. St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna

The St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a world-famous temple and cultural heritage, is one of the most famous Austrian landmarks.  Tourists are particularly impressed by its architecture and its beauty.  The Roman Catholic cathedral is 102.7 meters long, has four towers and 343 steps.  In the smaller north tower is the Pummerin, a 1951 cast iron bell weighing 21, 3 tonnes and about 3 meters in diameter. It is not only the largest bell in Austria, but also the second-largest free-swinging church bell in the world. Every weekday services are held between 7am to 10am.  In addition, walks and guided tours are also available.

5. Schönbrunn Zoo

The Tiergarten Schönbrunn (Schönbrunn Zoo) is located in the park of Schönbrunn Palace in the 13th district in Vienna.  Thanks to numerous innovations, renovations and extensions it has been one of the end of the 20th Century’s most modern and most popular zoos in the world.

6. Festung Hohensalzburg in Salzburg

The Hohensalzburg Fortress is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Austria.  A funicular railway runs from Salzburg to the main point of the fortress.  Tourists can then use an audio walking tour to explore the castle’s interior and associated history.

7. The Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Carinthia and Salzburg

The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is year after year, a popular destination for tourists and locals. The road leading to the National Park Hohe Tauern and the highest mountain in Austria, the Grossglockner is 48 km long and has 36 turns.  It covers an altitude difference of 2,504 meters.

8. The Golden Roof in Innsbruck

After all, all that glitters is gold… The Golden Roof is the landmark of the city of Innsbruck in Tyrol. From 1420 to 1460 the building with the golden roof was the residence of the Prince of the Tyrol. The roof is decorated with 2,657 gold plated roof tiles.

9. Ice Caves in Werfen

Eternal ice in the middle of Austria. The Ice Caves in Werfen in Salzburg are one of the largest ice caves in the world. The Ice Caves are open every day from May to October. A guided tour of the caves takes about 3 to 4 hours. Even during the summer months, temperatures barely rise above 0 degrees. Therefore warm clothes as well as sturdy shoes should be worn.

10. Krimml Waterfalls in Salzburg

The Krimml Waterfalls are the highest waterfalls in Europe and are located in Krimml in the Hohe Tauern National Park. Falling 380 meters in height, they are among the fifth highest waterfalls in the world. Thanks to a self-guided walking trail, you can experience the Krimml waterfalls up close and personal. The so-called Waterfall Trail is 4 km walking distance to see the main viewing points.