Information on Austria

Austria is a German-speaking country in Central Europe, characterized by mountain villages, baroque architecture, Imperial history and rugged Alpine terrain. Vienna, its Danube River capital, is home to the Schönbrunn and Hofburg palaces. It has counted Mozart, Strauss and Freud among its residents. The country’s other notable regions include the northern Bohemian Forest, Traunsee Lake and eastern hillside vineyards.

Capital and largest cityVienna; 48°12′N 16°21′E / 48.200°N 16.350°E
Official languagesGerman, Hungarian, Slovenian, Austrian German
DestinationsViennaSalzburgInnsbruckGrazLake Constancemore

Austria is a country of startling contrasts, from the Austrian Alps in the west to the Danube Basin in the east. It is not only famous as one of the world’s premier skiing regions, but also for its historical buildings, world-class museums and galleries, breathtaking scenery, magnificent mountains and established hiking trails. Visitors in search of culture and visitors in search of scenery are spoilt alike.

Austria has few peers as a year-round holiday destination, with plenty of winter sports in the Alps, some of the most impressive and overblown architecture in Europe and an unrivalled musical tradition.

Austria’s cities have plenty to engage visitors: Vienna is the capital, hub of the country’s musical life and littered with beautiful buildings; music, art and architecture reach baroque perfection in Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace; Innsbruck’s snow-capped peaks frame fascinating historic buildings.

Many places in Austria are themselves worthy of artistic acclaim, so it is little wonder that Austria has produced and inspired a catalogue of cultural figures. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Austria (and, in particular, Vienna) became one of the major centers of the cultural renaissance associated with the terms baroque and The Enlightenment; the musical achievements of this period are particularly notable and their note in cultural history still resounds. Remnants of Mozart’s legacy are everywhere. However, Austria has also yielded people such as artists Klimt and Schiele, composers Mahler and Schubert, writers Rilke and Schnitzler, psychologists Freud and Rank, and philosophers such as Husserl and Wittgenstein.

Austrians aren’t easy to categorize. In fact, the only reason Austrians stand out from their European neighbors is that they don’t stand out from the rest for anything in particular. Austrians are moderate in their outlook and behavior. Being at Europe’s crossroads, their culture is influenced from several sides. Most Austrians like to enjoy the good life. They spend a lot of time eating, drinking and having a good time with friends in a cozy environment, and are therefore very hospitable. Members of the older generation can be conservative in the sense that they frown upon extremes of any shape and form and, in general, are averse to change. They enjoy one of the highest living standards in the world and want to keep it that way.



Vienna has a multi-faceted cultural life. It offers a choice of 50 theatres, four opera houses, two stages for musicals, 100 museums and numerous theatre, music and dance festivals. As if this weren’t enough, there’s also the Museumsquartier with its Baroque façade and which is home to one of the biggest cultural districts in Europe.



This section of our website acts as a guide, providing you, our visitor, with practical and useful information with regards to life in Austria.

General Information

Fact File

Austria is a land-locked alpine country in Central Europe bordering with 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.
Official Name: Republic of Austria
Area: Total 83,870 sq. km.
Lowest point: Neusiedler See 115 m
Highest point: Grossglockner 3,798 m
Capital: Vienna (Wien)
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Official language: German
Time zone: UTC+1
Dialing Code: +43
Internet top-level domain (TLD): .at
Emergency services: 112
Average annual temperatures: -1° C – 20° C
Main International Airports: Vienna International Airport (VIE), Graz (GRZ), Innsbruck (INN)
Religions: Roman Catholic 73.6%, Protestant 4.7%, Muslim 4.2%, other 3.5%, unspecified 2%, none 12% (2001 census)
Government: Federal republic
President: Heinz Fischer
National holiday: National Day, 26 October (1955) – commemorates the passage of the law on permanent neutrality
Population: 8,199,783 (2007)
Population density: 99 people/km²
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Total est. $279.5 billion (2005) Per capita $37,117
Human Development Index (HDI): 0.948 (high) (2005)
Business hours:
Offices: Mondays to Fridays: 09.00 – 18:00
Banks: Mondays to Fridays: 08:00 – 15:00 (small banks will close in the middle of the day between the hours of 12:30 and 13:00, and banks usually close on Thursdays at 17:30)
Stores: Mondays to Fridays: 09:00 – 18:00
Most major credit cards are widely used and accepted.