Listen for the music of the great classical composers. Seek out grand capitals and wide boulevards. Travel through fairytale landscapes and come across glorious castles. You are in Austria, a country that brings together a distinct culture with a diverse landscape.
Europe’s mighty mountain range. Many of the Austrian people’s favorite activities have developed because of these mountains that cross the country including skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and hiking. The plentiful lakes, glaciers and rare flowers that lie on and around the mountains make for amazing vistas and one reason why tourism flourishes.
Lying in the midst of two mountain chains, the view from the city is impeccable. This lively and colorful city has a little something for everyone, from historic art and architecture to high-end and boutique shopping opportunities. Innsbruck has been host of the Olympic winter games twice, in 1964 and 1976, making it a major winter sports center with plenty of year round outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy.
Austria’s great capital is famous for its regal history and rich culture. The city is alive with activity, and there is so much to do! There is always an opera or classical music concert to attend, an art exhibition to browse, and another street to wander. No matter what you prefer, you’ll have to find the time to join the locals at one of its amazing coffee shops to sip their acclaimed coffee and sample the delightful local wines.
The landscape is dotted with castles perched in the hills, allowing them to be seen from miles away. These white or light-colored stone castles look like something out of a fairytale. You are sure to be awed by these majestic structures with speared towers and tall-notched walls built in forests on top of the highest hills. As you travel through Austria, you find an abundance of castles to admire.
Apple strudel is a popular pastry in Austria. This sweet, layered pastry filled with apple goodness is sure to delight your taste buds. However, strudel can be more than a sweet treat, it can also be savory. It originated as an easy yet satisfying meal made by the poor. The oldest known strudel recipe was written in 1696 and was a milk-cream strudel. The Viennese have taken strudel and made it famous.
Just outside of Vienna, on the banks of the Danube River, lies a yellow-hued architectural beauty that has been a religious and political center in the region since Roman times. The building has an impressive two-story library with a colorful frescoed ceiling and boasts many amazing views of the river. Even today, the abbey is a center of learning and culture and is still one of the most incredible sights along the Danube.
The Habsburg Empire began with Count Rudolf of Habsburg who moved the family’s rule from their ancestral Switzerland to what is now Austria in 1282. The Habsburg kings and queens made Austria the center of a multi-nation empire that spread through central Europe. They ruled Austria for centuries, all the way up to 1918. Their immense power and wealth earned them the title of one of Europe’s greatest royal families.
Classical Music Greats:
Austria is a country where classical music lovers flock from all over the world. They come to attend its music festivals and walk in the footsteps of the world’s greatest composers including Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Liszt, J. Strauss, Mahler, and Bruckner. You can hear their masterpieces resonating in the music halls daily and visit the places they worked and lived all throughout this amazing country.
If you are venturing out on your own, I suggest public transportation. Trains in Austria are timely and quite reliable, as is the bus system.
Our local guides love their countries. Be sure to take advantage of your time with them and ask a lot of questions about local life.
I love Vienna. This is a city of classical music and grand palaces. Enjoy the cafés and parks. Savor the chance to slow down a bit and relax at a café or stoll through one of its famous parks like the Stadtpark.