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Austria

Continent: Europe

Ideal Duration: 10 - 14 days

Best Time: June-August, September and October Read More

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Budget: Expensive

"The Land of Music and Arts"

Austria Tourism

Basking in the glory of natural beauty, Austria is one of the most prominent attractions of central Europe. Rooted in its deep imperial culture, the country offers much more beyond the scenic beauty including neo-classical architecture, the craze for music, popular cafes, and the thrill of sports like skiing. From the rustic backdrops to colourful mismatched houses, Austria is a place to relax, savour and appreciate the culture of the country of many years of making.

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Best time to visit Austria

June-August, September and October is the best time to visit Austria

June-August, September and October is the best time to visit Austria. Austrian summers are comfortably warm and not too prickly hot. It’s a good time for having a good time outdoors. The streets are filled with travellers from all over the world during these months, and hence, accommodation costs are higher. There’s a rush of tourists in all famous places. The average temperature in June-August remains 25°C (77°F). August is the best month of swimming, biking and hiking, which also sees around 7-8 days of rainfall, which, however, won’t be a barrier for you in your exploration. To experience the best of Austria’s wine culture, September should be your travel time. The average temperature is 21°C (70°F), and there’s a bit of scanty rainfall for a few days. October is the start of autumn, and the parks look magnificent with the golden and bronze hues of the falling leaves. The average temperature during this month is 15°C (59°F), and it is undoubtedly the most beautiful month for visiting Austria.

Regions in Austria

Nestled in Central Europe, Austria touches boundary with eight countries including Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west, Slovakia and Hungary to the east and Slovenia and Italy to the south. With The Alps covering the 3/4 of the country, Austria is adorned with an assortment of landscape spread across a comparatively small area of size. From lush meadows, softly rising and falling farmland and drop-dead gorgeous alpine valley to massive glaciers, forested foothills, river gorges, plains, vineyards and along with semi- desiccated steppes, the country will mesmerise its visitors with its irresistible beauty.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Old world charm. Elegant architecture. Food. Cleanliness and Hygiene. Scenic Beauty.

What's Not So Great?

Racial discrimination at some places.

For Whom?

Nature lovers. Those who seek serenity. Elegant architecture. Music and Art lover. Adventure Buffs. Great food.

Read More on Austria

Currency of Austria

Euro is the official currency of Austria and the only one that is accepted. The currency notes are available in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500. The main cities such as Vienna and Salzburg accept almost all the major credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, although they are not very widely used. The smaller hotels, however, prefer the bills paid in cash.

Exchanging Money in Austria

There are many ways of getting currency exchanged in Austria. At the airport, all banks, savings banks, and exchange counters as well as at railway stations exchange foreign currency at the official exchange rates. 
Currency can be exchanged at the currency exchange booths and hotels; however, they have several hidden fees, and rates are quite high, although they promise no commission.
Another alternative is post office where commission rates are not so high, but exchange rates are less flattering. In Austria, ATMs are called Bankomats and are available throughout the country, especially in the major cities and towns. They accept all of the major bank cards. They charge transaction fee higher as compared than at home, but Cirrus and Plus exchange rates are excellent.

Nightlife in Austria

Austria is known for its everlasting culture of music, literature and the arts, which is also a huge part of their daily life. The nightlife in the country is quite flexible differing from city to city offering from trendy club lounges and dance locales to mellow taverns and beer gardens. One can find dingy small bars, cabaret, opera, theatre and many nightclubs in Vienna. One of the favorite pastimes of locals to spend their evening Summers is at beer gardens found all across the country.

Shopping in Austria

Austria is mainly known for its high-quality products such as winter sports equipment, handbags, glassware, and chinaware. In larger cities like Vienna, one will find plenty of options from high-end designer boutiques and huge stores including mall culture to flea markets and local artisansÕ labels. Innsbruck is renowned for its glittering crystals. For souvenirs, one can go for quality craft and art pieces. Stores and shops in Austria are usually open from Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm including one to two hours of lunch break in small towns. As for Saturday, timings may vary but in general remains as 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. However, the timing for big stores and shops in tourist places are Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm and during Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Festivals of Austria

Festivals in Austria are all about celebrating music, arts and season of the country. The Vienna International Festival (mid-May to mid-June) is one of the most celebrated festivals in entire Europe where plays and concerts form a major attraction. The Salzburg International Festival, Fasching (Carnival), Christmas, St. Nicholas Day and Midsummer NightÍs celebration are other important festivals one must look out for.

History of Austria

Austria has been the land with several rulers changing the seat of power from time to time. Beginning with the first human settlement in the Danube Valley, many have followed including Celts, Illyrians, Romans and Bavarians, and then the noble Babenberg and the Habsburg dynasties. However, the noble Habsburg family was perhaps the most prominent one, which ruled the country for long six centuries. They expanded their holding all across Europe by 16th century through marriages as well as military conquests. 

With French revolution in late 18th century, people thrived for independence, which resulted in fall of Holy Roman Empire but the Habsburgs were able to hold their flag high. A dual monarchy of Austro-Hungary in 1867 shared by Habsburgs and Hungarian government was the beginning of their diminishing powers, which finally came to an end with WWI. With WWII came the rule of Hitler over Austria oppressing the Jewish community of the country. Austria finally got its independence in 1944, formally established in 1955 and became part of European Union in 1995. 

Hygiene in Austria

Austria, in general, is a very clean country with proper measures taken to maintain hygiene. Even tap water is safe to consume. Hospitals and dispensaries are present all across the country but are a bit expensive.

Customs of Austria

Austria is a country of rich culture and traditions. The people here tend to be quite formal in their demeanor in both business and social setting. Shaking hands is the established form of greeting and use the title and last name while referring someone especially during a business communication or on their first meeting. Punctuality, particularly when you have an appointment with a local, is essential for people of Austria and so apologise if you are running late. There is no particular dress code for visitors or even locals, however, make sure to dress up properly for some occasions such as theatre, operas or concerts. Make sure to greet people saying Guten Tag (good day) while entering restaurant or shop and with Auf Wiedersehen (goodbye) while leaving. Tipping is usually practiced and is customary in hotels even though service charges are included in the bills. Normally, the tip is given to the hotel concierge only for special services, and employees are tipped in family run establishments. In restaurants, tipping is not mandatory although appreciated, as 10% has already been included in the prices.

Tips for visiting Austria

1. Be prepared for weather change any moment while in Austria. As a precaution, carry a warm sweater and raincoat.
2. If you are traveling countryside make sure to carry warm clothes and full pants in case one is planning a hike. 
3. If you have booked a ticket for opera, theater, concert or have a reservation of some fine-dine, make sure to dress up properly. 
4. Do not be offended if you get a grumble in return of a simple question from Viennese on occasions; it is one of their pastimes known as raunzen. 
5. Although Austrians are known for their honesty and fair deal, still be cautious with your purses and wallets in crowded spaces and while walking through the empty streets. 
6. A special Vienna Card offers discounts at more than 200 attractions in the city including at theaters, shops, caf's and restaurants. The pass also provides limited travel on the U-Bahn, bus and tram networks (including night buses) for 72 hours. One can buy the passes from tourist information offices, hotels or the information counters. For further information login at www.wienkarte.at 7. Do not walk on bike lanes as it is considered impolite and some cyclist ride quite fast.

Culture of Austria

Austria is a country with a significant history of music, arts and architecture, which has over the years, became a prominent part of its culture. With its streets buzzing with music and variety of architecture styles gracing their presence in the country, it has also become one of its major centres of attraction. 

At present, the majority of the population of Austria follow to Roman Catholic faith followed by the minority of Protestants.
German is the official language of the country with its various regional dialects being part of communication. These dialects mark a lot of distinction in their pronunciation from standard German language i.e. Hochdeutsch. There are also minorities speaking Croatian and Slovene in the Burgenland and southern Carinthia respectively. English is also widely spoken and understood in the country hence wonÕt be facing much problems there. Common words and phrases one should know before visiting the city are:

Please -  Bitte (pronounced as bitter)
Thank you - Danke (like anchor with a d in front)
Hello (formal) - Gr٤gott (groose-got)
Hello (informal) - Servus (sair-vuss)
Goodbye (formal) - Auf Wiedersehen (owf-vee-duh-zane)
Goodbye (informal) - TschŸss (chuce; Austrogerman) or Baba (bah-bah; Viennese) or Pfirte (p-fear-tay and leave no gap between the p and f; provinces) or Ciao (quite acceptable)

Food of Austria

The food in Austria is usually quite delicious and unique with a tradition of being stodgy and filling variety. The popular basics include vela, sausage, pork, eggs, potatoes, and bread. People of Austria take food seriously, and almost every village owns a bakery of their own presenting a great variety of freshly baked products and savory rolls from 6:00 am onwards. Meat with dumplings is their typical meal along with broth-based soups, cheese spread and stewed and breaded meats while their breakfast includes rolls, cheese, cold cuts, and coffee. Confectionary is a real weakness for people throughout Austria and is renowned worldwide. Austrian pies and pastries are must try usually gracing the windows of bakeries adorned with most elaborated icings. Gourmet culture is taken to a new level in the country especially in Vienna, where coffee and cake is the much-loved combination.

Stay options in Austria

Hotels in Austria are easily available even in smaller cities, but sometimes they are much more expensive than at the major cities. Luxury and deluxe hotels are more common in cities like Innsbruck and Salzburg whereas there are plenty other options around Austria for budget and economical stay. The country houses around 500 campsites, which can be hired without much formality. For private camping sites, however, one need to get the permission of landowner, police and municipal council. Contact Austrian National Tourist Office for detailed information. There are also youth hostels throughout Austria with easy accessibility for anyone carrying a membership card of the International Youth Hostel Association. It is recommended to make the bookings in advance, especially during peak season. One will also find as many as 29,000 farmhouses (as well as pensions and inns) with around 300,000 beds offering accommodation. Mountain cabins, holiday apartments, chalets and ski lodges are also available for rent throughout Austria.

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