The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
— Marcel Proust, 1871 - 1922




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


AustriaHilton Vienna Plaza 

Schottenring 11
Vienna 1010

Price (US$): $180 - $294 / night

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Location. Hilton Vienna Plaza is a business friendly hotel located in Vienna, close to Schottenkirche, Vienna City Hall, and Austrian Parliament Building. Additional points of interest include Judenplatz and Michaelerplatz. Hotel Features. Hilton Vienna Plaza's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a spa tub, a sauna, and a fitness facility. This 5 star property has a business… 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 »


Stephansplatz 12

Price (US$): $344 - $2086 / night

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DO and CO Hotel Vienna is a member of Design Hotels The hotel offers 41 ultra chic rooms and 2 exclusive suits The majority of the rooms have a fascinating view on St Stephens Cathedral and the pedestrian zone All rooms have a minimum size of 32sqm Experience perfect design combined with B and O multi media center complementary WLAN and HSIA exclusive wine and spirits bar and rain forest showers The DO CO Stephansplatz restaurant in roof top serves delicatessens from all over the world and… more »

AustriaFalkensteiner Balance Resort Stegersbach 

Panoramaweg 1
Stegersbach 7551

Price (US$): $313 - $314 / night

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Location. Falkensteiner Balance Resort Stegersbach is located in Stegersbach and attractions in the region include Burg Gussing, Pfarrkirche St Martin, and Burg Schlaining. Hotel Features. Dining options at Falkensteiner Balance Resort Stegersbach include 2 restaurants. A swim up bar, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, an indoor pool,… more »

AustriaSheraton Salzburg Hotel 

Auerspergstrasse 4
Salzburg 5020

Price (US$): $209 - $715 / night

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Location. Sheraton Salzburg Hotel is a business friendly hotel located in central Salzburg, close to Mirabell Palace, Museum Carolino Augusteum, and Mozart's Birthplace. Additional points of interest include St. Francis Church and Salzburg Cathedral. Hotel Features. Dining options at Sheraton Salzburg Hotel include 2 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts each morning in the restaurant… 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