One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.
— Henry Miller, 1891 - 1980




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


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 »

AustriaHagleitner Family Relax Hotel 

Kirchenweg 11
Zell Am See 5700

Price (US$): $391 - $514 / night

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Location. Hagleitner Family Relax Hotel is located near the beach in Zell am See and close to Areitbahn and Zeller See. Additional area points of interest include Schmittenhoehe and Kaprun Ski Resort. Hotel Features. Dining options at Hagleitner Family Relax Hotel include a restaurant, a coffee shop/café, and a snack bar/deli. A beach bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary hot and cold buffet breakfast each… more »

AustriaCourtyard by Marriott Linz 

Europaplatz 2
Linz 4020

Price (US$): $131 - $228 / night

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Location. Located in Linz, Courtyard by Marriott Linz is near the airport and close to Nordico Museum, Landesgalerie, and Lentos Art Museum. Additional points of interest include Linzer Schloss and Martinskirche. Hotel Features. Courtyard by Marriott Linz features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities include a sauna, a fitness facility, and a steam room. Spa amenities include spa… more »

AustriaHotel Sacher Salzburg 

Schwarzstrasse 5-7
Salzburg 5020

Price (US$): $226 - $831 / night

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Location. Located in central Salzburg, Hotel Sacher Salzburg is a business friendly hotel within walking distance of Mozarts Wohnhaus, Residenzplatz, and Mozartplatz. Additional points of interest include Mozart's Birthplace and Museum Carolino Augusteum. Hotel Features. Dining options at Hotel Sacher Salzburg include a restaurant and a coffee shop/café. 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… more »

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 »

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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