Often called the Land of Music, Austria is proud of its rich cultural past, including its association with some of the true ‘greats’ in classical music – and of course its location as home to The Sound of Music’s Von Trapp family. If you’re a keen skier, you’ll also know that the Austria’s Alps are home to some fantastic ski resorts.
Located at the very heart of Europe, Austria borders on Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Switzerland, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia and Lichtenstein.
Austria is a Federal Republic and the Head of State is the Federal President.
It is a country steeped in culture, with Austrian music admired all over the world. Science too is an area of high renown and stunning architecture adds to the mix. Visitors love the ‘fairy tale’ buildings of Salzburg, local dishes such as the famous Wiener Schnitzel (veal-based breaded cutlet), a warming Schnapps drink, and even a little known ‘cider route’ that is home to Europe’s largest continuous area of pear orchards. If you like beer, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are plenty of breweries, including one in a monastery (Schlägel Abbey).
Expect to see cultural festivals taking place in many Austrian cities, including Salzburg, Wien, Bregenz, Ossiach, Graz and Linz. Many of these celebrate the country’s impressive list of composers, including Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, the Elder and Younger Strausses, Beethoven, Mahler and Lehar. The Vienna Choir Boys and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra are world-renowned. Wien has two famous opera houses, the Volksoper and the Vienna State Opera. In addition the summer festivals in Wien, Salzburg, and Bregenz are popular musical events.
At a glance facts
- Official language: German
- Population: 8,751,820 (2018)
- International dialling code: +43
- Time: Central European Time (UCT/GMT +1)
Europe, Member of the EU