Traveling is almost like talking with men of other centuries.
— René Descartes, 1596 - 1650




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


AustriaAmbassador Hotel 

Kaerntner Strasse 22
Vienna 1010

Price (US$): $220 - $244 / night

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Location. Located in central Vienna, Ambassador Hotel is within walking distance of Capuchin Church, Albertina, and Austrian National Library. Nearby points of interest also include Spanish Riding School and St. Stephen's Cathedral. Hotel Features. Ambassador Hotel features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts each morning in the restaurant (surcharges apply). This 5 star property has a business center… more »

AustriaHotel Schloss Leonstain 

Leonstainerstrasse 1
Poertschach am Woerthersee 9210

Price (US$): $235 - $361 / night

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Location. Hotel Schloss Leonstain is located in Poertschach am Woerthersee's Worther Lake neighborhood, close to St. Primus and Felician Parish Church and Pyramidenkogel. Additional area points of interest include Minimundus and Magic Forest Rauschelesee. Hotel Features. Hotel Schloss Leonstain features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast. Recreational amenities include a health club, a spa tub, and a sauna. This 4.5 star… more »

AustriaFalkensteiner Schlosshotel Velden 

Schlosspark 1
Velden am Woerther See 9220

Price (US$): $386 - $599 / night

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Location. Falkensteiner Schlosshotel Velden is a business friendly hotel located in Velden am Woerther See's Worther Lake neighborhood, close to Schloss Rosegg and Wildpark Rosegg. Other area points of interest include Pyramidenkogel and Ossiachersee. Hotel Features. Dining options at Falkensteiner Schlosshotel Velden include 2 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary full breakfast.… 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 »


Haus Nummer 295
Zuers A-6763

Price (US$): $1669 - $2409 / night

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Seasonal hotel: Closed April 10th 2011 to Dec 13th 2011 Ski in, ski out rooms, one of the most exclusive addresses in the Austrian Alps with very personalized service, gourmet halfboard with daily 5 8 course dinners, own sports and leisure instructor with free participation in wide range of programs, indoor swimming pool, sauna, steambath, personal fitness with Mr. Universe Fitness Bernd Osterle, massages, piano bar with daily live entertainment, 24 hour room service, boutique, cafe,… 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