Austria is bordered by Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Liechtenstein, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Italy, and is not only famous for its fantastic skiing resorts but also the breath-taking scenery. It has magnificent mountains, and the Lake District isn’t just limited to skiing – it is also perfect for walking and climbing. The most popular tourist regions are Vorarlberg, Tirol, the Salzburg Province and Carinthia.
German is the official language, with standard German called Hochdeutsch. However, most areas speak in regional dialects. Croatian and Slovene-speaking minorities exist in the Burgenland and southern Carinthia, respectively.
The Austrian currency is the Euro (€), where one Euro is equal to 100 cents. The most common paper currency in Austria comes in denominations of €500, €200, €50, €20, €10 and €5. Coins appear in denominations of €2 and €1. Coins also come in 50 cents, 20 cents, 10 cents, 5 cents, 2 cents and 1 cent.
The climate in Austria is rather moderate for the continent. Their summers are warm, with cooler evenings, and the sun prevails in the winter, but with enough snow to make all kinds of mountain pursuits possible.
The main tourist areas are Vienna and Salzburg. Vienna, once the centre of Europe is a grand city with a pedestrianised centre, impressive buildings, elegant opera houses and impressive museums. Salzburg is Mozart’s home town and you will find his birthplace, former home and The Mozart Museum here. It is a pretty town on the Salzach river amongst the hills and boasts churches, fountains, medieval spires, classical music and an 11th century castle.
- The Blood alcohol limit in Austria is 80 mg.
- As with most European countries, you must drive on the right and overtake on the left.
- It is compulsory to carry a warning triangle, first aid kit and a fire extinguisher.
- A motorway tax disc must be displayed, and weekly or monthly versions are available.
- Both driver and passenger seatbelts are compulsory.
- As in the UK a 'pay and display' parking system operates in major towns, and the tickets can be purchased from tobacconists.
- Dipped headlights should be used in built-up areas at night.
- Motorists use headlight-flashing as a warning.
- Overtaking parked school buses displaying flashing red and yellow lights in prohibited.
- Using horns is restricted, depending on the road. This applies in many large towns, mostly at night and in Vienna at all times. Otherwise, road signs will instruct you.
The following motorways charge tolls: A10 Tauern motorway; A9 Pyhrn motorway; A13 Brenner motorway; S16 Arlberg Tunnel
Food and Drink
Traditional Austrian dishes are heavily influenced by southeast European cuisine, particularly Hungary, Serbia, Romania and Dalmatia. Some specialities include: Wiener Schnitzel - boiled beef; Tafelspitz - calf's liver with herbs in butter, and Goulash – a soup containing spiced beef, onion and potato, served with noodles.
Traditional Austrian desserts include: Kaiserschmarrn – cut up sugar pancakes with rasins, served with a plum sauce; Salzburger Nockerln – a sort of half meringue, half soufflé desert, usually big enough to share; Mehlspeisen – a generic term for cakes and puddings and Torte – of which there are 57 different varieties, usually consumed around 3pm to accompany coffee.
Austria has a wide range of night time activities to suit all tastes. From the glamorous opera houses and theatres to the ultra-modern bars and clubs, there is sure to be something to suit your tastes. Austria is also famous for its beautiful summer beer gardens, and the vineyard area near Vienna where visitors can taste the local wine.
Austria is well known for its exquisite handbags, glassware, chinaware, and winter sports gear. The 20% to 32% tax is included in the price. Shops are generally open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, with a one or two hour lunch break. Some shops have late night opening until 7.30pm on Thursdays.
Tourist InformationOfficial Austrian Tourist Office: www.austria-tourism.at
Additional Contacts:Phone: +43 (0)1 / 588 66-0 Fax: +43 (0)1 / 588 66-20 firstname.lastname@example.org
All car hire locations in Austria
- Graz Airport
- Hohenems-Dornbirn Airport
- Innsbruck Airport
- Klagenfurt Airport
- Klagenfurt Am Wörthersee
- Lauterach Airport
- Linz Airport
- Neusiedl Am See
- Salzburg Airport
- Sankt Pölten
- St Anton Airport
- Vienna Danubepier Hov Airport
- Vienna International Airport
- Wiener Neudorf
- Wiener Neustadt
- Zell Am See