Travel makes a wise man better, and a fool worse.
— Thomas Fuller, 1608 - 1661




Once the center of power for the large Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austria was reduced to a small republic after its defeat in World War I. Following annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938 and subsequent occupation by the victorious Allies in 1945, Austria's status remained unclear for a decade. A State Treaty signed in 1955 ended the occupation, recognized Austria's independence, and forbade unification with Germany. A constitutional law that same year declared the country's "perpetual neutrality" as a condition for Soviet military withdrawal. The Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 and Austria's entry into the European Union in 1995 have altered the meaning of this neutrality. A prosperous, democratic country, Austria entered the EU Economic and Monetary Union in 1999.


Austria (German: Österreich, literally "the Eastern Realm" or "Eastern Empire") is a land-locked alpine German speaking country in Central Europe bordering Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west, Germany and Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east and Slovenia and Italy to the south. Austria, along with neighboring Switzerland, is the winter sports capital of Europe. However, it is just as popular for summer tourists who visit its historic cities and villages and hike in the magnificent scenery of the Alps.

Read more about Austria in our Austria travel guide »

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Featured hotels in


AustriaTravel Charme Ifen Hotel 

Oberseitestrasse 6
Mittelberg 6992

Price (US$): $279 - $656 / night

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Location. Travel Charme Ifen Hotel is located in Mittelberg's Hirschegg neighborhood and local attractions include Breitach Gorge. Regional points of interest also include Oberstdorf Ski Resort and Schattenberg Ski Jump. Hotel Features. Dining options at Travel Charme Ifen Hotel include 2 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast. There is a full service health spa on site. Complimentary wireless and wired high speed Internet access is… more »

AustriaHilton Vienna am Stadtpark 

Am Stadtpark 1
Vienna 1030

Price (US$): $180 - $967 / night

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Location. Located in central Vienna, Hilton Vienna am Stadtpark is near the airport and within walking distance of MAK and Viennese City Park. Additional points of interest include Schwedenplatz and Austrian National Library. Hotel Features. Hilton Vienna am Stadtpark features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves breakfast each morning (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities include a health club and a sauna. This 5 star property has a… more »

Austriaaenea designhotel 

Woerthersee - Sueduferstrasse 86
Maria Woerth 9081

Price (US$): $400 - $401 / night

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Location. Aenea designhotel is located in Maria Woerth's Worther Lake neighborhood, close to Magic Forest Rauschelesee, Minimundus, and St. Primus and Felician Parish Church. Nearby points of interest also include Strandbad and University of Klagenfurt. Hotel Features. Aenea designhotel's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary cooked to order breakfast.… more »

AustriaHotel Sacher Wien 

Philharmonikerstrasse 4
Vienna 1010

Price (US$): $489 - $991 / night

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Location. Hotel Sacher Wien is a business friendly hotel located in Vienna, close to Vienna State Opera, Austrian National Library, and Austrian Parliament Building. Additional points of interest include Karlsplatz and Michaelerplatz. Hotel Features. Dining options at Hotel Sacher Wien include a restaurant and a coffee shop/cafĂ©. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a health club, a sauna, and a steam room. The property's… more »

AustriaRomantik Hotel Gmachl 

Dorfstrasse 14
Elixhausen 5161

Price (US$): $234 - $369 / night

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Location. Located in Elixhausen, Romantik Hotel Gmachl is in the suburbs with local attractions including Salzburgarena, Mirabell Palace, and Museum Carolino Augusteum. Additional area points of interest include Mozart's Birthplace and Salzburg Cathedral. Hotel Features. Romantik Hotel Gmachl features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available. The hotel serves a complimentary hot and cold buffet breakfast. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, an indoor pool, a sauna… more »

Browse more hotels in Austria »


Full name
Republic of Austria

Central Europe, north of Italy and Slovenia

Geographic coordinates

47 20 N, 13 20 E

Area comparative

slightly smaller than Maine

Border countries

Czech Republic 362 km, Germany 784 km, Hungary 366 km, Italy 430 km, Liechtenstein 35 km, Slovakia 91 km, Slovenia 330 km, Switzerland 164 km


0 km (landlocked)


temperate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain and some snow in lowlands and snow in mountains; moderate summers with occasional showers


in the west and south mostly mountains (Alps); along the eastern and northern margins mostly flat or gently sloping

Lowest point

Neusiedler See 115 m

Highest point

Grossglockner 3,798 m

Natural resources

oil, coal, lignite, timber, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony, magnesite, tungsten, graphite, salt, hydropower


8,214,160 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Austrians 91.1%, former Yugoslavs 4% (includes Croatians, Slovenes, Serbs, and Bosniaks), Turks 1.6%, German 0.9%, other or unspecified 2.4% (2001 census)


Roman Catholic 73.6%, Protestant 4.7%, Muslim 4.2%, other 3.5%, unspecified 2%, none 12% (2001 census)


German (official nationwide) 88.6%, Turkish 2.3%, Serbian 2.2%, Croatian (official in Burgenland) 1.6%, other (includes Slovene, official in Carinthia, and Hungarian, official in Burgenland) 5.3% (2001 census)

Government type

federal republic


12 November 1918 (republic proclaimed); notable earlier dates 976 (Margravate of Austria established); 17 September 1156 (Duchy of Austria founded); 11 August 1804 (Austrian Empire proclaimed)

National holiday

National Day, 26 October (1955); note - commemorates the passage of the law on permanent neutrality

Chief of state

President Heinz FISCHER (SPOe) (since 8 July 2004)

Head of government

Chancellor Werner FAYMANN (SPOe) (since 2 December 2008); Vice Chancellor Josef PROELL (OeVP) (since 2 December 2008)

Internet country code


Internet users

6.143 million (2009)


55 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Enns, Krems, Linz, Vienna

Other countries in the region