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Austria has both. The stunningly beautiful Alpine scenery, attracting nature lovers and sports enthusiasts from all over the world, and vivid towns and cities bursting with cultural happenings and a majestic historical background reflected in sophisticated architecture and stylish restaurants and bars. Not to mention Sacher Cake and the world’s favorite musical, The Sound of Music…

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Why visit

From mountain peaks to savage lakes

The Alps are among the most stunning areas in Europe, and in Austria they really are spectactular – the mountainous landscape features numerous high peaks, deep valleys, rivers and over 9000 lakes. Charming alpine towns, such as Innsbruck, which is often referred to as the capital of the Alps, invite you to discover their architecture and other hidden gems of the area. Breathtakingly beautiful in all seasons, the Alps are a haven for wildlife lovers, hikers, winter sports enthusiasts, photographers and artists, and anyone who appreciates great hospitality, good food and the outdoor life. There is so much to experience that many visitors return over and over again.

Europe's longest river, the Danube

The “Blue Danube” as described in the famous waltz, enters Austria from Germany to the north. Then it meanders along below the Alps and on to the Pannonian Plain, until it leaves the country in Slovakia to the east. The Danube is an important cruise river; many tourists from all over the world annually cross the meanders from Linz to Vienna and around the Melk Abbey or from Vienna to Bratislava.

Musical capital of the world

Did you know that Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss and many other famous composers all come from Austria? From opera and classical concerts to musicals and modern rock (think of Falco, another famous Austrian), Austria is the cradle of some of the best music the world has ever heard. In 2015, it hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, after Conchita Wurst won the competition in 2014, with her song Rise Like a Phoenix.

The world-famous cake - Sachertorte

The Original Sachertorte has been the most famous cake in the world since 1832, and the original recipe remains a well-kept secret of the Sacher Hotel. The basis of the entire confection is a chocolate cake, thinly coated by hand with best-quality apricot jam. The Hotel Sacher is a grand old property in Vienna’s first district. The ground-floor café has marble-topped tables and red upholstery and the waiting staff are attired in black with white aprons. There’s a conservatory that faces the street, and in the summer time, it’s transformed into open-air seating. The neighborhood is amazing; the Hotel is right across the street from the Opera House. The Hotel opened in 1875; Grace Kelly stayed here, as did John F. Kennedy and Rudolph Nureyev.


Places to see

Vienna – Imperial Nostalgia

Vienna is the capital of Austria and its largest city. A romantic place, full of imperial nostalgia, opera houses and exquisite cakes, will overwhelm you with a fusion of architectural styles, from High Baroque through the monumental imperial projects of the late 19th century, to the decorative Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) style of the early 20th. The most important sights are concentrated in the Innere Stadt and along the Ringstrasse, including Wiener Rathaus, the Spanish Riding School, Graben District, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Belvedere Complex, Hofburg Imperial Palace and Schonbrunn Palace. It is also a city of elegant waltzes and Johann Strauss; more than 200 balls are held in Vienna every year. A real cultural gem, don’t you think?

Salzburg – The Sound of Music

With its hill-topped 900-year-old medieval fortress, picturesque Altstadt old town and breath-taking Alpine scenery, Salzburg will enchant you in every season of the year. For those seeking to relive scenes from the 1965 movie “The Sound of Music”, the must-see attractions include the 17th-century Baroque Mirabell Palace and Gardens, the gazebo in the Schloss Hellbrunn’s gardens and the actual von Trapp family home, which is now a hotel. Mozart aficionados can visit his birthplace, as well as a reconstruction of his home, complete with period instruments, portraits and musical scores.

Innsbruck – A Sight to Behold

Innsbruck is an all-season tourist destination. It is known for its winter sports, having hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976. But this Tyrolean city offers more than just great skiing. It has a number of cathedrals, such as Hofkirche, which houses the tomb of Emperor Maximilian I; the Schloss Ambras, which has a collection of paintings and armor; and the Bell Museum, a nod to 400 years of bell-making. Wattens with Swarovski Crystal Worlds is located nearby. It is considered one of Austria’s most popular attractions and has enchanted millions of visitors since 1995.

Zell am See

Zell am See is famous for its stunning mountain views and crystal-clear lakes. Having both the lake and mountains on your doorstep means there’s plenty to do. Governed by French troops back in the early 19th century, Zell am See has hosted several international skiing competitions. Off the ski slopes, one of its most famous attractions is the Romanesque St. Hippolyte’s Church, with an elevated walkway that dates back to the early 16th century. Zell am See is also a good starting point for the Grossglockner Alpine Road, a panoramic road with picture-perfect alpine scenery.

Danube Highlights

On the Danube you can find the city of your dreams. Or maybe two.


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