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Welcome to Austria

Austria

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

Austria is renowned for its picture perfect lakes and snow capped mountain scenery, its fairy tale castles and alpine villages. Few other countries offer so much, from medieval architecture, UNESCO listed cities, stunning countryside and world class ski resorts. It is a beautiful country to visit at any time of the year. It is ideal for winter sports, and less expensive for skiing than France and Switzerland, but also boasts beautiful cities and idyllic countryside for walking, biking and climbing holidays in the summer months. 
Austria is the perfect destination for a city break. Its capital city is, of course, Vienna, the home of Mozart and centre of the Habsburg Empire until the end of World War One. The Habsburg legacy lives on in the imposing splendour of the city's Hofburg Imperial Palace. 
No visit to Vienna would be complete without an hour or two spent in one of the city's legendary coffee houses. Many tourists opt for Cafe Sacher where you can enjoy the cafe's signature cake, Sacher torte, a rich chocolate cake with apricot jam, reputedly the favourite of Emperor Franz Josef. The cafe, equally opulent and rich in style, has an air of nobility and a battalion of waiters that make it a tourist favourite. There are plenty of others to choose from, however, from the Terence Conran renovated Cafe Drechsler to the 50s bohemian Kleines Cafe, not forgetting Cafe Sperl, possibly the finest coffee house in Vienna. 
You won't just want to drink coffee while in Vienna though. There are world class restaurants to visit, the stunning Lipizzan horses at the Spanish Riding school to see and, of course, any number of classical concerts to enjoy. The Vienna State Opera and the Theatre An der Wien, in particular, are not to be missed. 
Austria is the ideal destination for skiers and skateboarders, combining perfect snow with breath taking scenery. The ski resorts are simpler, less pretentious even, than those in France and Switzerland and a little less expensive as a result. The snow is every bit as good, however, and the facilities at many of the resorts, such as Kitzbuehel, are of world class. 
Innsbruck, sometimes known as the capital city of the Alps, has a medieval centre, worthy of any fairy tale. But Innsbruck is anything but old fashioned, largely due to the student population of over 30, 000 and the futuristic Hungerberg funicular and the Bergesel ski jump. Innsbruck's backdrop are the mountains themselves and the city is the gateway to the massive Olympia skiWorld arena, 292 km of slopes and nine ski resorts. Nordpark is the most central of the resorts 
St Anton is a beautiful ski resort in the Tyrolean Alps. Favoured by many serious skiers, it offers some really exciting runs. If you want the excitement of skiing off piste, this is the place to do it. An indication of just what might be in store for you is that remember anyone intending to ride in in the final cable car up to the 2.811 summit, is only be permitted if accompanied by a guide. 
Kitzbuhel is considered to be one of the best ski resorts in the world today. There are runs and snow park facilities for everyone, no matter what your ability. The average number of days in the season when it is possible to ski are 155. In 2012/13 the slopes were open for 182 days and last year for 168. 
The Hahnenkamm is an annual downhill ski race held in Kitzbuhel every January. At one point in this breathtaking race the course plunges down at 85 degrees. Fortunately though, most of the slopes in Kitzbuhel are far more friendly. Even the venue for the Hahnenkamm becomes a family friendly run once the race is over. 
If you are planning a skiing holiday and are hoping to persuade a non-skier to come with you, then Kitzbuhel may be the perfect choice. It is regarded as being one of the prettiest of all Austria's medieval towns. The streets are pedestrianised and full of boutiques, cafes and up market hotels. The town itself has heavily buttressed walls and prettily painted frescos. Any non skier will be happy to while away the hours drinking coffee, reading, and enjoying this very attractive small town.
When you choose JiveHippo for your holiday in Austria, you will find a great selection of hotels and apartments. You can also save up to 75 per cent on the price of your next holiday by becoming a JiveHippo member.

Climate

The weather in Austria varies dramatically, depending on the season, which is typical of countries in Central Europe. The winters can be very cold, thus guaranteeing great snow for skiing whereas the summers can be very hot. Temperatures up in the mid 30s are not unusual. 
German is spoken throughout Austria but you will find that many people also speak some English in the main cities and ski resorts. 

Getting Around

From most of the major cities, you will be able to take a bus or a tram to most destinations. These service lines usually run from 5am through to 11pm and you may be able to catch some night bus lines.

There is only a metro system in the city of Vienna, which runs all night on a Friday and a Saturday. From Sunday nights through to Thursday nights, they will stop at 12:30am.

You will always be able to take a taxi, either from pre ordering or hailing one down on the side of the road. The taxi drivers will expect a 10% tip.

Health

If you should require to see a doctor while you are visiting Austria, then you should get your free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

You will be able to receive state provided medical care with your EHIC card.

If you do not have a card then you should make sure that you travel with some travel insurance and accessible funds to be able to cover any medical attention that you may need.

Language

Austria is officially a German speaking country.

As well as German, Austrias other main spoken languages are, Slovenian, Hungarian and Austrian German.

Money

The currency is the euro. 

Safety

Austria is known to have a very low crime rate, however to avoid becoming a victim where petty crime does occur, you should always take the usual precautions.

Try not to leave your valuables unattended, especially in the main cities.

If you are travelling on the international trains then you should be extra vigilant with your luggage.

Time

Austria is under the Central European Time Zone (UTC+01:00).

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