Home to Mozart and Strauss, the floating opera in Bregenz and the cultural heavyweight of Vienna, Austria offers more than just pure snow and mountain freshness...and a certain nun-based musical.
Spend your time in Vienna, the capital of culture, fine food, art and music. In the winter, head to Salzburg for the Christmas markets or Graz for an unusual design-focused weekend break and Bregenz for its floating opera festival.
Combine Vienna with a trip to Salzburg, the salt mines of Hallstatt and the Salzkammergut and then head into the mountains for an outdoor escape. Austria excels in fine spas and adventure sports - so combine a little of each.
Immerse yourself in Vienna, then travel by train to Salzburg, Bregenz, Graz and Innsbruck. Fit in the UNESCO acclaimed Salzkammergut and take the time to explore the fresh and great outdoors nearby.
What is it like to travel in Austria?
Right in the heart of Europe, Austria sparkles with mountain villages and rugged alpine terrain. Its capital, Vienna, deservedly grabs the headlines but other main cities such as Salzburg, Innsbruck and Bregenz each add their dollop of seasoning to the country's rich cultural mix.
Austria's a country for pushing your pulse to the limit with daring outdoor feats, a place for soaking in the refined art and music of a bygone age and for exploring the dark chapters of the past amid the modern energy of a flourishing democracy.
Austrians may despair at the legacy, but it's hard to avoid humming the fact that
The hills are alive with the sound of music...La, la, la, la!
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The best way to make a trip happen is just to book a ticket and let the adrenaline make everything else fall into place.
However, there are some key things to check out first. ALWAYS check out the health and safety advice for the region you're travelling to and make sure you're up to date with any recommended vaccinations and healthcare procedures. After that, it's up to you whether or not you book accommodation now or figure it out when you get there - or whether you'd prefer to let someone else take care of all the logistics for you through an individually designed tour.
For my general recommendations on equipment, tour operators and more, visit the Travel Resources page. For tips specific to Austria, read on below.
As ever, with any advice you find on the web, this is meant for help and guidance only. Always check with your own doctor, embassy, lawyer and spouse before making any irreversible plans...