Austria shares its border with Hungary and Slovakia in the East, Switzerland and Liechtenstein in the West, Germany and Czech Republic in the North and Italy and Slovenia in the South. Located in Central Europe, Austria has a total area of approx 83 square kilometres. Austria is a landlocked country with no coastline but features a vast mountain range – The Alps. The Alps stretch from Austria to another seven countries from East to West and from North to South. All these countries namely Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Liechtenstein, France, Italy and Monaco are therefore known as Alpine Countries.
Vienna is the capital city of Austria and is located in the East of the country. Vienna is 110 kilometres from the border of the Czech Republic, 56 kilometres far from the border of Slovakia and 61 kilometres from the border of Hungary in the East.
It is quite convenient to reach Austria either by train or by flight from the UK as Vienna is just 1237 kilometres from London. To reach Austria in the quickest possible time is to take a flight. The average time taken to reach the most popular tourist spots of Austria is around two hours from most of the major airports of the UK. The major train and plane destinations in Austria are:
- Hohenems (Vorarlberg)
- Lienz (Tyrol)
To visit any of these major tourist spots from London by train is very comfortable and easy. A lot of options are available to suit the budget of every individual. The train journey may take around 20+ hours including the waiting period for connecting trains. From London St Pancras, take the Eurostar train to Paris Gare Du Nord, then make your way to Gare Lyon where you can catch a connecting train to Vienna (about 12-13 hours)
The major holiday activities apart from skiing are sight-seeing, hiking, sports, cable train rides and shopping. Alpbach, Saalbach, Hinterglemm, St. Anton, Solden, Kitzbuhel, Ischgl, Obergurgi Mayrhofen, Soll and Innsbruck are the places where skiers and snowboarders can have a heavenly time, honing their skills.
Innsbruck has hosted two Winter Olympics – 1964 and 1976. It also hosted the first Winter Youth Olympics held in 2012 and is a major tourist spot with its marvellous buildings, museums, churches, parks and gardens, cultural events and sports. Innsbruck is located in the west of the country.
Salzburg: Another great city of Austria, famous for the beautiful Mirabell Gardens and the palace had been the home of the world famous musician Mozart. It is near Germany and it takes only two hours to reach Salzburg from Munich by train. It is the capital of the Salzburg state and is located in western Austria. Don’t forget there is the “Sound of Music” experience available here too.
Graz: The capital of the federal states of Styria, it is a place for scholars. Famous for having six universities and nearly 50,000 students, it is known as a student city. After Vienna, Graz is the second largest city in Austria and is famous for special cuisine, architecture and education. The nearest border is that of Slovenia, nearly 50 kilometres away. Graz is located in the south eastern part of Austria.
Austrian cuisine is greatly influenced by Italian, German, Hungarian and Balkan cooking. Austrian cuisine caters to the taste of different nations and is much appreciated by people coming here from all over the world. Austrian Beer, Wine, Soft drinks, hot chocolate and coffee are famous for their variety and taste. Sacher, Cafe Central, Tichy, Kaffeehaus, Landtmann, Demel, Grinzing & Heurigen, Figlmuller, Honig, Hawelka are the top ten restaurants for the visitors in Vienna and the world famous ice creams of Vienna are available in all of them.
If you are looking for some nightlife then the American Bar, Flex, Passage, Heaven Vienna are the top four night clubs in Vienna and there are plenty of quieter bars to be found for a more relaxed evening.