Cities in AUSTRIA


Geography and Landscape


Austria (officially: Republik Österreich) is a federal republic and is located in the center of Europe. Austria is about twice the size of the Netherlands. It has land borders with Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west, Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the north. A quarter of the surface of Austria is low and hilly. The rest belongs to the middle and high mountains. The highest peaks reach a height of almost 4000 meters. The highest mountain is the Grossglockner, almost 3800 meters. Much of the country is occupied by the Eastern Alps.

Austria Satellite photo:NASAPhoto:Public domain


To the east the mountains descend to the hilly country of the Vienna Woods and to the lowlands. The Alpine foreland runs from the northern edge of the Alps to the capital Vienna. It is an area with ridges, forests, meadows and wide valleys. Eastern Austria consists of plains and hills. Under the influence of the weather and the flora and fauna, the Alps are eroding and a landscape with high peaks and deep valleys is created. Snow avalanches are a recurring phenomenon every year and cost a lot of victims. In the winter and in the spring when the snow starts to melt, the chance of snow avalanches is greatest.

Grossglockner, AustriaPhoto:Michieliosios CCAttribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made

Glaciers are slow-flowing ice and snow rivers. The speed at which glaciers can move in the Alps is 30 to 150 meters per year. Austria has about 2000 Alpine glaciers. Austria's main river, the Danube, flows on Austrian soil for about 350 kilometers.

Austria has about 90 lakes. The Traun basin in particular is rich in lakes, including the Attersee, Austria's largest Alpine lake.

Climate and Weather

Köppen climate tyypes of AustriaPhoto:Adam Peterson CCAttribution-Share Alike 4.0 International no changes made

Above 1500 meters the high mountain climate prevails. Characteristic are the large temperature differences between day and night, summer and winter and north and south slopes. Due to the thin air, the temperature rises rapidly during the day.

At night, however, the temperature drops again very quickly. Above 1800 meters, the average temperature in summer does not exceed 10 °C. The snow line starts at 2800 meters. The difference between the north slope and the south slope can be tens of degrees. The hills and the low plains form the transition to a continental climate. The south tends more towards a Mediterranean climate with beautiful summers and relatively little rain. The west has a climate with a lot of rain. The average rainfall is 620 mm per year.

Especially in spring the foehn blows, a warm dry fall wind that mainly blows in the northern alpine valleys. The temperature can then rise between 10 and 15 °C in a few hours. As a result, the hair dryer often causes great avalanche danger, especially in winter.

Plants and Animals


Alpine meadows AustriaPhoto:R SiebenCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unportedno changes made

Austria is one of the most forested countries in Europe with 38% forest. The vegetation of the mountain slopes differs due to the temperature differences. Up to 800 meters many fields and meadows. Above the 800 meters deciduous trees and a little higher many coniferous forests. The tree line is reached after 1800 meters. The alpine meadows (Matten) start above it. In winter, the meadows are covered with snow, but in spring a very varied vegetation with bright colors appears.

Edelweiss, AustriaPhoto:Böhringer Friedrich CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic no changes made

You may encounter edelweiss, anemone, violet, wormwood, sea rose, fire lily and snow rose. Grass stops growing above 2,200 meters. Only some moss and succulents grow on the bare rocks. Above 2800 meters, the area of perpetual snow, one finds rocks without vegetation.


Red deer AustriaPhoto:Ewald Gabardi CCAttribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made

The animal world is in many respects in line with that of Southern Germany and Switzerland. Deer, roe deer, wild boars, foxes, badgers and squirrels live in the Austrian forests. Now and then a brown bear can be seen. Lynx and wildcat were brought into Austrian nature by humans.

Alpine Marmot, AustriaPhoto:Zairon Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no chnages made

Alpine marmots (Murmeltier), snow hares, ibex and chamois live in the high mountains. The mockingbird, capercaillie and various species of woodpeckers and tits live in mixed forests. Swift and rock swallow nest in the rocks and around and above the tree line we find the raven, the eagle owl, the golden eagle and the bearded vulture, the largest bird of prey in Europe.

Alpine Salamander AustriaPhoto:Björn S Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic no changes made

Different species of lizards, frogs and toads live near pools and swamps. The alpine salamander is also a familiar sight. The nature reserve Neusiedlersee is world famous; this large and very shallow freshwater lake with very variable water levels is important because of its enormous bird life. Stork, spoonbill, purple heron and little egret breed here.


Pre-history and early history

Venus of WillendorfPhoto:MatthiasKabel CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made

The first traces left by humans date from about 20,000 years ago. Some petroglyphs and figurines, e.g. the Venus of Willendorf, testify to their presence. They lived in caves and mud huts and lived off hunting and some ranching. From 1000 BC. Illyrians and Celts settled in present-day Austria, the Illyrian-Celtic period. Important in that period was the emergence of the Hallstatt culture that worked iron for the first time. In the first century BC. the area was subdued by the Romans, who thereby extended their northern border to the Danube. They divided the area into three provinces, built roads, and established border posts and trade settlements. One of those genealogies was called Vindobona, the current capital of Vienna. After the fifth century, the Western Roman Empire fell and Huns, East Goths, Longobards and other Germanic tribes invaded the country. Christianization also got off to a good start and the diocese of Salzburg was made archdiocese in 798.

Franks and Babenbergers

Charlemagne, AustriaPhoto:Beckstet CCAttribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made

Under Charlemagne, Austria became part of the Frankish Empire and in 791 the Ostmark (the Vienna region) was founded. In the ninth century the Hungarians invaded Austria, but were again defeated in 955 by Otto I. In 996 the name Ostarrichi first appeared in an imperial charter. This name applied to the area around St. Pölten. The area was dominated by the Babenberg family around that time. The Babenbergers continued to expand their area, as far as Vienna. The last Babenberger was killed in 1246.

The Habsburgers come into the picture

Tombstone Rudolf I of Habsburg, AustriaPhoto:Linsengericht CCAttribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made

Until 1272 there was a fight for the succession of the Babenbergers. In 1273 Rudolf I of Habsburg was appointed German king by the royal princes. Rudolf defeated Ottokar II of Bohemia in 1278 and with his possession this was the beginning of the Habsburg "Hausmacht" which meant increasing own possessions apart from German kingship. In 1373 Tyrol fell to Habsburg. Divisions, brother disputes, rebellious peasants and the plague weakened the Habsburg dynasty from within. Since 1438, the year in which Albrecht V was elected king of the Holy Roman Empire, the uninterrupted Habsburg succession began until 1806. Albrecht's successor, Friedrich III, became the first Austrian Emperor of the German Empire. Frederik's son Maximilian married Mary of Burgundy and thus laid the foundation for the heyday of the Habsburg House. Maximilian's son Philip the Fair married Joan of Aragon in 1496 and their grandson Charles the V ruled the Netherlands, Spain, the German Empire and the Austrian hereditary lands in 1519.

Sarcophagus of Ferdinand I of AustriaPhoto:Jebulon in the public domain

Ferdinand I succeeded Charles V as German emperor in 1556. In Spain, Charles' son Philip II came to power and the Habsburg Empire was split into a Spanish and an Austrian part. In the 16th century, the wars against the Turks and the Reformation are also central. The Turks besieged Vienna in 1529, but the city held out. The Reformation has also caused great unrest since 1520. Lutherans and Anabaptists gained support in all social classes. However, the Catholic faith prevailed and those who did not want to return to the "true" faith were forced to leave the country. Under Leopold I (1657-1705) the Turks marched back to Vienna in 1683. This time, too, the Austrians held out despite great odds.

Under Maria Theresa (1740-1780) and Joseph II (1780-1790), the powerful empire of the Habsburgs stabilized. It was not a real national state but a motley collection of peoples. Joseph II ruled as an absolute monarch who also tried to reform the Catholic Church according to his own ideas. Non-Catholics were also granted freedom of religion and all civil rights. As a result, the influence of the church on public life decreased among the intellectuals as well as among the workers. In Napoleonic times, Austria lost several areas to France. Napoleon then no longer recognized the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. That was the reason that Emperor Francis II (1792-1835) called himself Francis I, emperor of his own hereditary lands.

Austrian Empire

Franz Joseph I , AustriaPhoto:Dguendel Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Internationalno changes made

In 1809 Napoleon suffered several defeats, but proved too powerful. He took Vienna and forced Austria to become his ally. This lasted until 1813 when Napoleon suffered a major defeat at Leipzig. At the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Europe was again divided by Austria (led by Metternich), England, France, Russia and Prussia.

Austria took control of Central Europe and much of Italy. In 1848, a time of liberal and national revolutions all over Europe, the weak Ferdinand I (1835-1848) was deposed in favor of Emperor Franz Joseph I, who would rule the empire until 1916. The government under Franz Joseph I was corrupt and uncontrolled. All parts of the empire were controlled very centrally. The church reform of the German emperor Joseph II was also abolished. In 1859 Italian nationalists managed to break free from Austria and in 1866 after a defeat in the war against Prussia (led by Bismarck), Austria's role in German politics was also played out. Because of the defeat against Prussia, Austria again focused on its eastern neighbors. In 1867 the Austro-Hungarian double monarchy was established. Hungary remained sovereign but united with Austria. Franz Joseph I therefore became Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary. The first general election (male only) took place in 1907.

Car in which Franz Ferdinand was shot, after which World War I broke outPhoto: Alexf Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unportedno changes made

The First World War broke out following the 1914 assassination in Sarajevo of Franz Joseph I's intended successor, Franz Ferdinand. During the war, in 1916, Franz Joseph I died. His successor, Charles I, would be the last to take the Habsburg throne. He wanted to end the war in 1917, but he couldn't. After the lost war, Austria was dissolved.


Schuschnigg. AustriaPhoto: unkown CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 Internationalno changes made

Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Yugoslavia became independent. Romania and Italy also collected some leftovers. On Nov. the first Austrian Republic was proclaimed, but Austria was at that time a small, poor country with only seven million inhabitants instead of fifty million. The population wanted to join Germany, but the Allies prevented this in the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler, born in Austria and in power in Germany since 1933, was keen to incorporate Austria (Anschluss). With the help of Mussolini (Italy) they avoided being caught by the Germans. The socialists fiercely opposed this and were imprisoned or murdered. Austrian Nazis seized power in 1934, but failed. Chancellor Dollfuss was killed and succeeded by Kurt Schuschnigg (1897-1977). This lost the support of Italy in 1936 because Mussolini and Hitler became more aligned. In early March 1938, Schuschnigg was put under heavy pressure by Hitler to take the Nazi Seyss-Inquart into the government. Convinced of impending doom, Schuschnigg unsuccessfully sought support from France and England.

World war II and afthermath

Kurt Waldheim, AustriaPhoto:Basch, Fritz CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Netherlandsno changes made

On March 12, 1938, Hitlers' troops entered Austria and Seyss-Inquart became Reich Stadtholder of Austria, which was henceforth called Ostmark. Thus Austria became involved in the Second World War.

Thousands of Austrians disappeared in camps and prisons. Half of the Jewish population fled, the other half died in World War II. The economic revival at the beginning of the Second World War was short-lived. Hundreds of thousands of men were enlisted and many died. After the war, Austria was occupied by the Russians, French, English and Americans. Vienna was divided into five sectors (one for each of the occupiers, one common). Heavy reparations and free deliveries to Russia paralyzed the economy completely. On May 15, 1955, Austria became an independent and free country again. Due to, among other things, the Marshall aid, expansion of electricity works and industries, growth of trade and tourism, Austria slowly recovered. Chancellor Kreisky (1970-1982) also put Austria back on the international political map. In 1986, Kurt Waldheim, controversial about his war history, became Federal President. Despite great pressure from the United States and Jewish organizations in particular to resign, Waldheim stayed on until 1992.

Austria joins EU

Schuessel, austriaPhoto: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported no changes made

After a referendum, Austria joined the European Union on January 1, 1995. On April 16, 1996, the Austrian state abolished a 1919 law prohibiting members of the Habsburg royal family from entering the country until they renounced their claims to the throne. On April 8, 1999, Jörg Haider, the highly controversial leader of the equally controversial far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), was re-elected governor of Carinthia. On February 1, 2000, the ÖVP and the FPÖ concluded a coalition agreement. After the swearing-in on February 4, foreign sanctions will be launched. For example, the countries of the European Union keep bilateral contacts with Austria to a minimum. On February 28, Haider resigns as party leader of the FPÖ. However, he continues to aspire to the chancellery.

The parliamentary elections in November 2002 yielded a monstrous victory for the conservative Christian Democrats of the People's Party (OVP). Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel's party won 42.27% of the vote, making it the largest election victory in Austria since 1945. The Freedom Party FPO, the controversial right-wing coalition partner of the OVP in the previous government, only received 10.16% of the vote. That is slightly more than a third of the percentage in the 1999 elections. The Social Democratic SPO obtained 36.9% of the vote and the Greens 8.96%.

21th century

Heinz Fischer, AustriaPhoto: GuentherZ Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported no changes made

SPÖ socialist Heinz Fischer became the new president of Austria in April 2004. Fischer defeated his conservative challenger and Secretary of State Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

Fischer was the first socialist head of state in eighteen years. The policy of the previous coalition is broadly continued; the Schüssel II government is implementing a package of reforms that should improve the functioning of the labor and capital markets. The government is committed to savings in the public administration (target 10,000 fewer civil servants in 2006). The pension reforms started in 2004 and will gradually bring about a radical change in the pension system until 2028 (see also 3.5). The first phase of the reforms in the tax system was introduced on January 1, 2004, the second phase on January 1, 2005. With a reduction in corporate tax from 34 to 25% by 2005, the Schüssel government is seeking to improve Austria's position as a business location improve. The reforms of the health care system have been introduced in 2005. As a result of these reforms, the federal states, among others, are forced to make more efficient use of their hospitals. In addition, the government is pursuing reforms in the armed forces (roughly speaking: halving, target year 2010). Alfred Gusenbauer has been Chancellor since 2007 in a grand coalition of Social Democrats and Conservatives. The Conservatives leave the coalition in July 2008, necessitating early elections. In September, the Social Democrats will come out of the elections as the largest party, but with a considerable loss. The extreme right gets almost 30% of the votes.

Sebastian Kurz, AustriaPhoto: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made

In October 2008, Haider is killed in a car accident. In December 2008, the Social Democrats and Conservatives form a new coalition. In early 2009, Werner Faymann becomes the leader of the Social Democrats the new Chancellor. In April 2010 Fischer is re-elected as president. During the parliamentary elections in September 2013, the governing coalition remains in power. In 2014, Russia scrapped the construction of the South Stream oil route that would partially pass through Austria as a result of the European sanctions due to the annexation of Crimea. In 2015 and 2016 there is a lot of battle in Austria about the migration crisis. In February 2016, Austria limited the influx after registering 90,000 asylum seekers in 2015. President Faymman unexpectedly resigns in May 2016. He is succeeded by the independent green candidate Alexander van der Bellen, who narrowly beats the extreme right-wing candidate Norbert Hofer. In the elections at the end of 2017, the OVP, led by Sebastian Kurz, wins. He became chancellor in December 2017 with the support of the far right. This coalition collapsed in 2019 due to scandals surrounding the Freedom Party. In January 2020, People's Party leader Sebastian Kurz will form a coalition government with the Green Party after the September elections.


Population density AustriaPhoto:NerdyMaps CCAttribution-Share Alike 4.0 International no changes made

The Austrian people originated from many ethnic groups: Illyrians, Celts, Germans, Slavs, Hungarians and others.Austria has 8,754,413 inhabitants in 2017 and a population density of approximately 104 inhabitants per km2. Most (60%) of Austrians live in the big cities. In the capital Vienna with 1.9 million inhabitants, even more than 20% of the total population lives. The cities of Graz, Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck have more than 100,000 inhabitants. Rural depopulation is proceeding at a rapid pace. Young people in particular are moving to the big cities because of industrial development and tourism. A job is easier to find there than in the countryside. The current population growth is mainly caused by a positive migration surplus and only secondarily by a birth surplus. Population growth was 0.47% in 2017. The average life expectancy in 2017 was 81.6 years, men 78.9 and women 84.4 years.


German language mapPhoto:Shibo77Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unportedno changes made

The population is 97% German-speaking. There are a number of small population groups that speak a different language. Hungarians (6% of the inhabitants of that country) live in some parts of Burgenland. A small Czech and Slovak minority (7000) lives in Vienna. Two small ethnic minorities live in Carinthia and Burgenland, 19,000 Slovenes in Southern Carinthia and 26,000 Croats in Burgenland.


Salzburg CathedralPhoto:Cherubino CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International no changes made

More than 78% of the population is Roman Catholic, about 5% is Protestant (mainly Lutheran) and about 8.6% is unchurched. The Roman Catholic Church is divided into two ecclesiastical provinces: the Archdiocese of Salzburg with four dioceses and the Archdiocese ofViennawith three dioceses. In 1925, the Lutherans and Reformed joined together to form the Evangelische Kirche Augsburgischen und Helvetischen Bekenntnisses in Oesterreich, headed by a bishop. The new Protestant Law of 1961 gave the Evangelische Kirche full autonomy and the guarantee of financial support from the state. The Old Catholics also have a bishop in Vienna. The Jewish community, still 180,000 souls in 1938, lives mainly in Vienna and has shrunk to about 10,000. Among the migrants, of course, many Muslims and members of Eastern European Orthodox churches.


State Structure

Parliament building AustriaPhoto:Dennis Jarvis CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic no changes made

The constitution is based on the constitution of 1920/1929, which came into effect again after the Second World War. Austria's sovereignty and independence are guaranteed in the State Treaty of 1955. According to the constitution, Austria is a federal republic, a federation of nine federal states, the Bundesländer. The Federal Republic is headed by the Federal President, directly elected for a term of six years and eligible for re-election once. The federal government consists of a chancellor, a vice chancellor and ministers. They are appointed by the Federal President and are answerable to the National Council. The national parliament consists of two chambers: the Nationalrat (183 members), the main legislative body. They are elected every four years by universal suffrage by residents aged 19 and over. The Bundesrat (64 members) is elected by the parliaments (Landtage) of the federal states. Each Bundesland has its own parliament, the Landtag. Executive power is exercised by the Landesregierungen. The Landesregierungen consist of a Landeshauptmann, a deputy and a number of Landräte, chosen by the Landtag and responsible to it. Vienna is one of the nine federal states and the city council acts here as Landtag; the Landesregierung is called Stadtsenat in Vienna. The constitution provides for the possibility of a referendum. Citizens can submit bills through the so-called Volksbegehren.

The nine federal states are subdivided into 99 districts and those in 2553 municipalities. For the current political situation see chapter history.


Main building of the University of Vienna in AustriaPhoto:Bwag Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International no changes made

From the fourth year, Austrian children are allowed to go to the kindergarten, the Kindergarten. From the age of six, children are of compulsory school age and then go to the Volksschule. After the Volksschule you can choose from three directions. General development schools directly preparing for university education. A four-year Hauptschule that links up with secondary and higher professional education. There are also possibilities to follow lower vocational education.



Faculty of Economics in Vienna, AustriaPhoto:Franciszek Vetulani CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International no changes made

Looking at the gross national product (GNP), the level of unemployment and the distribution of the labor force, Austria is one of the most prosperous countries in Europe. Since the 1960s, the Austrian economy has been characterized by a high growth rate and low unemployment. The state played an important part in economic life. Since late 1987, the government has been privatizing part of the state-owned companies. By selling shares, the aim is to eventually place at most 49% of the shares in these companies in private ownership. Consultation between the social partners has created a stable social and economic climate. Economic growth was 3% in 2017. The GDP per capita was $50,000 in 2017. The share of the various sectors in GNP in 2017 was: primary sector (agriculture and forestry) 1.3%, secondary sector (industry, mining, energy) 28.4 and tertiary sector (trade, traffic, government and service sector ) 70.3%.

Recently, government policy has focused on deeper privatization and reform, which has resulted in, among other things, greater labor market flexibility, far-reaching pension reforms launched and new technologies being adopted - a substantial addition to increased export activities.

Agriculture, livestock, forestry and fishing

Cows for milk production in AustriaPhoto:Thomas QuineCreative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic no changes made

About 20% of the total area is arable land, 28% pasture land and 38% forest (Austria is one of the most forested countries in Europe). The main agricultural areas are in the north and northeast of the country, the somewhat lower and flatter areas. The agricultural yield provides for about 90% of its own needs. In recent years, the number of people working in agriculture and forestry has fallen sharply. The number of companies also fell sharply. Many traditional small farms can only survive because of the additional income from tourism.

In addition to the cultivation of potatoes, corn, grains and sugar beets, fruit and wine grape cultivation is important. The sunny, warm slopes of the low mountain range are very suitable for wine growing. The high mountains are characterized by livestock and agriculture. Livestock farming is mainly carried out on difficult-to-reach alpine pastures (pastures), for the benefit of the dairy industry. In the summer the cattle stay on the alpine pastures and in the autumn they are brought to the villages, a very extensive form of livestock farming.

Forestry provides wood for fuel and the wood processing industry. Three million hectares of the Austrian surface is intended for forestry. About 12,000 m3 of wood is produced per year.

Industry and mining

Industrial area near Linz in AustriaPhoto:Manfred Wemer(WMAT)CCAttribution-Share Alike 4.0 Internationalno changes made

After World War II, the basic industries destroyed during that war were taken over by the government. Investments in new manufacturing methods resulted in a rapidly expanding industry. Important industries are the iron and steel industry, which are concentrated at Linz and Donawitz-Eisenerz. The competitive position has been affected in recent years by cheaper producing countries. Other important industries are iron and metal processing industry, paper industry, electrical industry, textile industry, chemical industry, glass and ceramic industry, food and stimulants industry, machine industry, leather processing and wood processing industry. Industry accounts for more than a third of GDP and a third of employment.

The Alps in Austria are rich in minerals, especially iron ore. Carinthia, Styria and Tyrol provide magnesite, sulfur, zinc and graphite. Copper ore is extracted at Salzburg, and bauxite to the east. In Carinthia lead, rock salt and gypsum, in the south and southeast lignite. Petroleum and natural gas are mined at Zistersdorf, but stocks are modest. Mining has been largely nationalized since 1946 and has always occupied an important place in the economy as an industry, but its significance continues to diminish.

Energy supply

Hydroelectric power plant AustriaPhoto:AlterrapowerCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0no changes made

The energy supply is based on coal, petroleum, natural gas and hydropower. Most of the 1000 power plants are hydroelectric and provide cheap and clean electricity. Glockner-Kaprun power stations are famous. Nevertheless, a large part of the total energy requirement still has to be imported, mostly from the former Soviet Union.


Export AustriaPhoto:Celinaqi CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International no changes made

The share of trade has remained fairly constant over the last twenty years. Major exports are iron and steel, clothing, textile products, machinery, electrical energy, timber, livestock and paper; mainly machines and tools, vehicles, foodstuffs, mineral fuels, semi-finished products and raw materials are imported.

Although Austria has close relations with the EC countries, the country is a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), due to the politically neutral nature of this organization. The main trading partners are Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, France, England, the United States and the Netherlands. Transit traffic through Austria is of great importance to the country and plays an indispensable role in the ever-growing trade between Eastern and Western Europe.


Autobahn in AustriaPhoto:NewsflashCreative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Austriano changes made

Austria has an excellent rail and road network as well as one of the most important waterways in Europe, the Danube. Inland navigation on the Danube has increased significantly after the creation of the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal in the 1980s. The Austrian railways (5745 km Bundesbahn) are state-owned. Due to the slowing down of road freight transport, rail transport will become increasingly important. The total length of the road network is over 9,950 km, of which nearly 1,600 km are Autobahn. The main airport is the one near Vienna (Schwechat); there are smaller international airports at Linz, Salzburg, Graz, Klagenfurt and Innsbruck. The national airline company is Austrian Airlines. The Adria-Vienna pipeline supplies crude oil. Large natural gas pipelines also run through the country, from Eastern Europe to Italy and to Western Europe.

Holidays and Sightseeing

Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, AustriaPhoto:Liybov Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Austria no changes made

Vienna is an unparalleled tourist metropolis. In the city center is the Hofburg with the Spanish Riding School and the famous St. Stephen's Cathedral. On the Ringstrasse that runs around the city center we find the Karlskirche, the most beautiful church in Vienna, historical theaters and many museums, including Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien, Museum Moderne Kunst, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Naturhistorisches Museum and the Uhrenmuseum with more than 3000 pendulum clocks, pendulums and pocket watches. Schönbrunn Palace, the "Versailles" of Austria, is a big crowd puller. Often visited is the Prater, a permanent fair with the world famous Ferris wheel.

Monastery of Melk, AustriaPhoto:Thomas Ledl CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International no changes made

In Lower Austria we find many monasteries, castles and palaces and idyllic towns such as Dürnstein, Lilienfeld and Retz. The Melk Monastery, one of the most beautiful baroque abbeys in Europe, is well known.

Burgenland, along the border with Hungary, is characterized by the many castles, wine growing and the steppe landscape around the nature reserve Neusiedler See, the largest steppe lake in Europe. Seaside resorts such as Rust and Padersdorf are located on the banks of Lake Neusiedl.
Many abbeys and castles in Steiermark. There are many hiking and biking trails for active holidaymakers. The capital, Graz, organizes numerous cultural events every year.

Schloss Eggenberg, AustriaPhoto:Kevinsmithnyc CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Austria no changes made

A tourist highlight is Schloss Eggenberg, a baroque castle with twenty splendid halls that have been converted into a museum. The castle also houses a hunting museum and a historical museum with finds from prehistory to Roman times, the most important object being the "Kultwagen" from the Hallstatt period.

Carinthia is the most popular holiday destination in Austria with, among other things, about 200 well-visited valley and mountain lakes. The Grossglockner-Hochalpenstrasse is a beautiful mountain road along glaciers and through the eternal snow. The capital Klagenfurt is known for its many historic buildings and various museums, including the Landesmuseum with mosaics, statues and grave fragments from Roman times. The Roman ruin Virunum is located on the Magdalensberg.

Upper Austria north of the Danube has a sloping, green landscape. South of the Danube are mountains, mountain lakes, extensive forests and rivers. North of the capital Linz is the Cistercian Abbey of Wilhering with one of the most beautiful Rococo churches in Austria. The Mauthausen concentration camp is open to the public and shows the atrocities of the Second World War. The largest alpine lake in Austria is the Attersee with an impressive nature. Bad Ischl is a well-known health resort.

Salzburg, AustriaPhoto:ASaber91 CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International no changes made

Salzburg is one of the cultural Baroque highlights of Europe. Attractions are the Dom and Domplatz, Mozart's house, the Cathedral Museum and the Spielzeugmuseum.The Salzburgerland, in the west of Austria, is characterized by high mountains, hills, spruce forests, and the "salty" past. An old salt mine still in operation is located in Bad Dürnberg. Very interesting near Werfen is the Eisriesenwelt, the largest ice cave in the world. North of Saalfelden is the Lamprechtshöhle with bizarre rock formations and underground waterfalls. The Krimmler waterfalls plunge 380 meters down.

Tyrol, AustriaPhoto:Bart Prins in the pubiic domain

The beautiful Tyrol with its impressive mountain landscape, forests and valleys and places such as Innsbruck, Kufstein and Kitzbühel has everything for a successful holiday. Innsbruck is the cultural capital of Tyrol with, among other things, the Spitalkirche from 1320. The most famous building is the Haus mit dem Goldenen Dachl, which is said to have been covered with 2680 gilded copper plates. The Hofkirche, built as a mausoleum for Emperor Maximilian, is located next to the Tyrolean Folk Museum. Dozens of alpine animals can be seen in the Alpenzoo. A favorite destination in Tyrol is the Zillertal with many hiking and skiing areas. The Heldenorgel was built in Kufstein, an open-air organ with 46 registers and 5000 pipes. The international jet set comes together in fashionable Kitzbühel. The highest located hotel retaurant in Austria can be reached with the Tiroler Zugspitzbahn and is located at an altitude of 2805 meters. In 1991, "Ötzi" was found in the Ötztal, a mummified hunter who had died 5300 years earlier. Scientists discovered in 2001 that the glacier man had been killed by an arrow.

Vorarlberg is the westernmost state in Austria. Vorarlberg is ideally suited for hiking and car trips. The capital Bregenz is known for its Festspiele which are held in July and August. Interesting is the Vorarlberger Landesmuseum where the history of Bregenz and Vorarlberg is told. A well-known tourist town is Schrunz.

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Last updated October 2021
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