Austria

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Austria Guide: Spend Less, Do More

Welcome to Austria

Austria-Ischl-Ski-lift-winter-activityA visit to Austria, one of the winter sports capitals of Europe, will give you the opportunity to ski on stunning mountains, explore a beautiful pastoral countryside, discover world famous cities and walk in the footsteps of European history. Visitors have much to take in and luckily, there are many hotels for visitors to choose from in Austria. There are many luxury facilities throughout the country, and the larger cities tend to have accommodation in the three- to five-star range. Business travellers will find many facilities that cater to their needs.

Top Things about Austria

Austria-Bllooning-over-vinyards-Summer-ActivityIt may be difficult for some to narrow down the main attractions in a country that is so full of history. However, there are certain destinations that must be visited, such as the Alps. Many mountains of this famous European range are in Austria, with many different levels of elevation. This means that depending on what their hiking capacity, visitors can choose to go for a brief hike or an epic journey up a mountain.

There are many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Austria, including the Historic Centre of Vienna. In this part of the city, architecture from the Baroque era may be seen, including castles. Ornate gardens from the same era may also be found in the area. Vienna is also the location of the Ringstrasse, the historical circular street that has roots dating back to the 13th century.

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Austria is Schonbrunn Palace, which is a marvel of Rococo architecture. This was long the home of the Habsburg monarchs, and thus insight into the personal life of royalty may be gleaned here. This country holds many historical wonders.

Best Cities to Visit in Austria

Austria-Cousine-Stuffed-Potato-dumplingsVienna is the largest city in all of Austria, and it has the most hotels of any city in the country. Most of the country’s tourist attractions are housed in this city, including the aforementioned Historic Centre of Vienna. Austria is a country renowned for its musical history, and much of this history resides right in Vienna. The Konzerthaus, a musical hall that was built near the beginning of the 20th century, is evidence of this musical legacy. Concerts featuring classical music can be seen at this hall. For those visitors interested in other forms of art, the Museum Quarter of the city has a high concentration of galleries. There is also a high concentration of historical museums in this part of Vienna.

The next largest urban centre in the country, Graz, is just a fraction of the size of Vienna, but does have a selection of activities that may be appealing to many different types of travellers. Eggenberg Castle is the largest Baroque palace in this part of the country, and is home to a variety of historical material. There is even an archaeological museum in the castle, where the Cult Wagon of Strettweg, one of the most significant artefacts ever found from the ancient world, can be found. The bronze wagon is said to date all the way back to 600 B.C. Another popular museum in this city is the Kunsthaus Graz, which is a facility devoted to modern art forms. Those interested in film, photography, design and new media will find them all in the same museum here.

Events

The predominance of musical culture in Austria cannot be overstated, and as such, the country is home to several significant music festivals. The Salzburg Festival is an annual event that celebrates the best in classical music, as well as opera and drama, in the world. This event is world renowned, and continually plays host to the most accomplished composers and performers on earth.

The Innsbruck Summer Festival allows visitors to get a glimpse of the traditional culture of Austria, since the performances at this festival are grounded in history, and focus on some of the first recorded music ever produced in the country. Several less well-known music festivals may be attended in the country, such as the Haydn Festival and the Summer Festival at Lake Constance.

Local Cuisine and Beer

Austrians like to enjoy the good life. They spend a lot of time eating, drinking and having a good time with friends in a cosy environment and they are therefore very hospitable. There are many places where travellers can have a beer, especially as this part of the world is where beer reigns supreme. Gosser is one of the more popular breweries in the country, and they produce Gosser Dark, which is an ale produced with traditional methods. This is a dark beer with a sweet taste.

Popular ale in Austria is Hirter, which has been brewed since the mid 13th century. The identifying characteristic of this beer is that it is produced completely naturally, without the aid of pasteurization. The recipe for the brew has been guarded for generations. With this ale, the sweet taste that hits the tongue at first is soon replaced by an aftertaste with bitter notes. Any visitor who is looking to take a tour of an Austrian brewery should get in contact with the brewer.

Culture

In the country where Mozart composed and Strauss taught the world how to twirl, you will not have to search hard for culture as Austria proudly flaunts its heritage throughout its cities. Vienna, Austria's capital is considered one of the most beautiful and interesting cities in Europe, housing magnificent architecture in the form of bombastic Habsburg palaces and museums. Visiting Austria, a trip to Salzburg's baroque splendour is an absolute must. Walks through the Mirabell Gardens or a visit to the Old Town and Mozart's birthplace are just a few of the possibilities. One of the most popular attractions of Austria is the Hofburg Imperial Palace, which has housed the government of the country over seven centuries, and with its classical architecture a visit to it gives visitors a glimpse of European history. Architecture from across the centuries is evident in Austria.

There is also a thriving musical culture in the country, and the Viennese State Opera is a prime location for taking in the great European works of musical art. The grandiose 19th century architecture of the building makes the Viennese State Opera doubly interesting. The Viennese Boys’ Choir is also world-class and it has gained a reputation for performing the choral works of master composers.

The preceding is merely a selection of what is available to tourists. This is a culturally rich country with much to offer. If you are willing to dig a little deeper, you will find Roman archaeological sites and medieval festivals, sip cider in beautiful orchards, bathe in refreshing lakes, ride cows in pastoral meadows and be welcomed warmheartedly by the locals. 

Austria Hotels and Accommodation

The hotels in Austria tend to be in the upper range, with many of them offering a luxury stay to visitors. People taking a trip to this country can find hotels located close to where they are going, whether that is the business district, the landmarks, or the cultural events. Of course, there are quite a few things to see. Whether you choose an active holiday in the Alps or a trip full of city sophistication, Austria will not let you down. The selection of hotels in the country will not, either.

Getting around Austria

Driving in Austria is uncomplicated and gives you the freedom to explore the many magnificent sights the country has to offer.

Salzburg to Vienna: 2 h 51 min (295.2 km) via A1

Innsbruck to Salzburg: 2 h 2 min (186.7 km) via A8 and A12

Vienna to Innsbruck: 4 h 32 min (476.5 km) via A1

Top Scenic Roads in Austria

Recommended: The Grossglockner High Alpine Road.

Bruck im Salzburger Land to Heiligenblut in Carinthia: 1 h 58 min (131.2 km) via B108 and B107

Accommodation, driving and car rental

At Cheaperthanhotels and Cheaperthancars we have a wide range of car rental discounts at convenient locations and accommodation to meet all budgets and taste across Austria. We really do believe that the less you spend, the more you will have to do when you get there.

Your Cheaperthanhotels Team