Europe in a Nutshell: Austria

Austria is probably one of the most beautiful countries in Central Europe. Visitors are attracted by the beauty of Vienna and Salzburg, the picturesque alpine village of Tyrol, magnificent national parks, the “Lake District” in the west, and the famous resorts.

Austria is one of the favorite ski destinations in Europe with thousands of visitors flocking to its ski resorts in winter. In no other country are the ski industry, tourism and sport so closely interconnected. Today, Austria has numerous ski resorts, a variety of architectural patterns, favorable location and stunning infrastructure. The most interesting region of the country is Tyrol, the empire of sun and mountains with the capital city of Innsbruck. Here one can find the world-famous resorts of the Arlberg region, where celebrities relax and enjoy excellent skiing throughout the season. For those seeking a less expensive vacation, there are smaller resorts, such as Zurs, St. Christoph and others. Relatively low prices and excellent opportunities for skiing can be found about 60 km from Innsbruck.

A winter in Austria has long been a byword because the mountainous landscapes of the Austrian Alps provide the best prerequisites for a complete winter recreation for every taste. Fans of the winter sports always expect ideal snow conditions throughout 22,000 kilometers of beautiful ski slopes of all difficulty levels. If you prefer to enjoy the undisturbed winter nature, 16,000 km of ski trails in 900 regions of the country are at your disposal. Beginners will be given excellent lessons at ski schools and will soon master skiing, carving and snowboarding. In Austria, there are about 14,000 kilometers of hiking routes, opportunities for snowshoeing, ice climbing and paragliding. On the surface of frozen lakes in Austria, people enjoy skating, ice-surfing and sailing on the ice. Tourists will also appreciate modern hotels equipped with the latest technology, cozy mountain huts in picturesque Alpine villages, farmhouses, meadows, and alpine glaciers.

The informal “symbol” of the country is Vienna and its numerous sights, including St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Graben Street, the Church of St. Ruprecht, Schönbrunn Castle, Vienna amusement park, the Vatican Church, the City Hall, and the Belvedere Palace. Apart from that, one will also see a unique collection of antique musical instruments at the Museum of Fine Arts. In the heart of the city there is the City Hall with the statue of Athena in front of it. Vienna is considered to be the city of music and arts, and that statement is supported by the presence of numerous art venues, such as the Burgtheater and Staatsoper.

Tourists will find the ruins of Durnstein fortress built in the 12th century some 70 km west of Vienna, but the real highlight of Vienna is the former imperial Hofburg Castle, with its Schatzkammer, one of the world’s richest repositories of gold and treasures. One of the masterpieces of this collection is the crown of Holy Roman Empire made in 962 and the Austrian imperial crown of the Habsburgs.

Salzburg, another gorgeous city surrounded by three areas with luxurious residences of princes and archbishops, known for its Museum of the Baroque, the Salt Mountains, Helburn palaces with a magnificent park. Styria and Carinthia regions are famous for medieval castles and majestic landscapes. Karnische is the renowned sports center and spa often visited by tourists. Baden is perhaps the most popular resort with its healing hot sulfur springs that have always attracted royals and artists.

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