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


AustriaPalais Hansen Kempinski Vienna 

Schottenring 24
Vienna 1010

Price (US$): $319 - $866 / night

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Location. Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna is located in central Vienna, close to St. Mary on the Strand, Burgtheater, and St. Stephen's Cathedral. Nearby points of interest also include Vienna City Hall and Spanish Riding School. Hotel Features. In addition to 2 restaurants, Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna offers 3 coffee shops/cafés. 3 bars/lounges are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning in the restaurant (surcharges… more »

AustriaTravel Charme Fürstenhaus Am Achensee 

Pertisau Nr 63
Eben am Achensee 6213

Price (US$): $315 - $394 / night

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Location. Travel Charme Fürstenhaus Am Achensee is located in Eben am Achensee's Pertisau neighborhood, close to Achensee. Additional area points of interest include Schloss Tratzberg. Hotel Features. Travel Charme Fürstenhaus Am Achensee features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast each morning in the restaurant. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, an indoor pool, a health club, a spa… more »

AustriaCortisen am See 

Pilger Strasse 15
Sankt Wolfgang im Salzkammergut 5360

Price (US$): $180 - $408 / night

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Location. Cortisen am See is located in Sankt Wolfgang im Salzkammergut's Wolfgangsee neighborhood, close to Schafberg. Additional area points of interest include Mozart Gedenkstatte and Musikinstrument Museum der Volker. Hotel Features. Cortisen am See features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available during limited hours. A complimentary hot and cold buffet breakfast is served each morning. Recreational amenities include a spa tub, a sauna, a 24 hour fitness facility, a… more »

AustriaRomantik Hotel Schwarzer Adler 

Kaiserjagerstrasse 2
Innsbruck 6020

Price (US$): $161 - $354 / night

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Location. Located in central Innsbruck, Romantik Hotel Schwarzer Adler is within walking distance of Tyrolean Provincial Museum, Hofkirche, and Hofburg. Nearby points of interest also include Cathedral of St. James and Golden Roof. Hotel Features. Romantik Hotel Schwarzer Adler's restaurant serves lunch and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning in the breakfast room (surcharges apply).… more »

AustriaInterContinental Vienna 

Johannesgasse 28
Vienna 1037

Price (US$): $240 - $712 / night

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Location. InterContinental Vienna is a business friendly hotel located in Vienna's Landstrasse neighborhood, close to Viennese City Park, ORF Centre Vienna, and Austrian National Library. Additional points of interest include Karlsplatz and Austrian Parliament Building. Hotel Features. InterContinental Vienna features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available. Recreational amenities include a sauna, a fitness facility, and a steam room. This 4.5 star property has a business… 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