Category Archives: Austria

Is Austria the right holiday destination for you?

Austria is a small country, compact, easy to get to know, delightful to see. There is a spectacular scenery around every corner: vineyards, ancient castles and venerable abbeys overlooking the Danube, wooded hills rising out of the lush farmland, lakes dotted with sailboats and ringed by soaring mountains, Alpine peaks and their icy world of glaciers reaching for the sky.

CLIMATE
At a latitude of 47 North, the climate is moderate and generally agreeable. Summer days can be hot, with temperatures occasionally reaching 32 C / 89 F and more, summer evenings are usually cool. Rainfall is quite evenly distributed over the entire year, but May, September and the first half of October tends to be the driest, April and November the wettest periods. The winter snow cover lasts from late December through March in the valleys, from November through May at about 6,000 feet, and becomes permanent above about 8,500 feet. Warm clothes and shoes or boots with slip-proof soles are essential in winter. In spring and fall, a few warm pieces and a topcoat or raincoat are advisable.

Distance in Km/Miles

Distance in Km/Miles
Budapest
Munich
Rome
Venice
Zurich
Vienna
265/166
428/268
1130/706
587/367
739/462
Graz
318/199
427/266
1957/598
424/265
730/456
Innsbruck
744/465
170/106
1798/499
400/250
2867/179
Salzburg
553/346
141/88
989/618
443/277
450/281

Austria’s capital, the former hub of a great empire, and a province in its own right, Vienna is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. In this former seat of the once-powerful Hapsburg dynasty, you follow in the footsteps of Schubert, Strauss, Brahms, Mahler, Mozart, and Beethoven, among others.

Vienna

Of course, the Blue Danube (even if it’s not blue) cuts through the city that controlled a great deal of Europe for more than 6 centuries until it suffered humiliating defeats in both world wars of the 20th century.

Schonbrunn Palace


Schönbrunn, the former summer residence of the imperial family, is considered one of the most beautiful baroque palaces in Europe. The Habsburgs resided here the better part of the year in numerous rooms for the large imperial family in addition to representational rooms.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral


Austria’s most eminent Gothic edifice, it houses a wealth of art treasures, some of which can only be seen during a guided tour. Don’t forget to climb the 343 steps to the tower-keeper’s room of St. Stephen’s and enjoy a breathtaking view…

Spanish Riding School


The Spanish Riding School in Vienna is the only institution in the world where the classic equestrian skills (haute école) has been preserved and is still practiced in its original form. Many years of training fuse horse and rider into an inseparable unit. The audience is treated to an unforgettable experience by the precision of movement of the Lipizzan horses in perfect harmony with the music.

Around Vienna

One can take a cruise through the Wachau valley, an especially beautiful area along the Danube. The majestic Benedictine Abbey of Melk, towering above the river; the vintner’s villages Spitz, Dürnstein and Weissenkirchen; hills, on which exquisite wines are grown – all of this is part of the colorful kaleidoscope of profound impressions.

The Vienna Card


The Vienna Card allows visitors to discover the city with Unlimited free travel by underground, bus and tram for 72 hours. Reduction or benefits at museums and sights, theatres, concerts, shops, restaurants, cafés and Heurigen (wine taverns)… valid on day of issue and the following 3 days.

Salzburg

A city rich with the splendors of the baroque age and the melodies of Mozart, Salzburg is one of Europe’s premier architectural gems. It’s also the setting for Austria’s most prestigious music festival. Its natural setting is panoramichugging both banks of the Salzach River and “pinched” between two mountains, Mönchsberg and Kapuzinerberg.

Many travelers come here to follow in the footsteps of Julie Andrews in the fabled 1965 musical The Sound of Music. The von Trapps and Mozart have put Salzburg on international tourist maps.

Mozart’s Birthplace


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in the house Getreidegasse Nr. 9. on January 27, 1756. Today the rooms once occupied by the Mozart family house a museum During the last few decades the museum was systematically renovated by the International Mozarteum Foundation and has become a cultural site attracting thousands of visitors from around the world to Salzburg year after year. Here one can see, among many other things the child’s-violin of the world famous music genius, as well as his concert violin, his clavichord, the hammer-piano, portraits and family letters.

Hellbrunn Palace & the Trick fountains


One of the finest examples of mannerist architecture, world-famous trick fountains. Admission only with a guided tour .Water was the central theme in the palace’s design. The numerous sources in Hellbrunn Mountain gave the estate effervescent life. Hidden in the shade of bushes and trees or jetting out from unexpected hiding places the world-famous Wasserspiele(water fountains) have been the main attraction at Hellbrunn for almost 400 years.

One approaches the grotto on a path, from which water jets squirt from both sides, they so form an archway, so that the visitors can walk right through. When leaving the grotto the guide turns on these water jets and the visitors jump fast, still dry, beneath the archway. But not without getting wet by further splashes which change their direction in unexpected ways, of course just then, when the visitors think that they are safe from a further wetting.

Fortress Hohensalzburg


The landmark of the city Salzburg offers a beautiful view over the roofs of the Mozart city Salzburg.The buildings dating from the 11th century cover an area of over 14.000 m² and is for each visitor an exceptional and impressive experience. Besides the fortress – walkthrough with audio and guide in 7 different languages through the unique premises, such as the prince room, fortress -, puppet and Rainer regiment museum. A visit to the catering trade enterprises of the fortress Salzburg is well worth while.

From the guest gardens of the fortress restaurant you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city Salzburg and the surrounding mountain world. The largest completely preserved castle in Central Europe. In order to save to the guests the steep trek up to the mountain fortress, an endless rope haulage system was established in 1892. A modern version of this unusual route is still functional today; the steep journey begins in the Festungsgasse.

Mirabell Gardens


The Mirabell Palace was built by Prince Arbishop Wolf Dietrich in 1606 for his mistress, Salome Alt, and her children. The central axis of the garden is aligned on Hohensalzburg, the castle on the other side of the River Salzach. It has a central fountain, an outdoor theatre and a marvellous sculpture collection. Mirabelle has a key position in the town, near the river and between the old town and the commercial new town. It is also, as Jellicoe observed, draws upon the surrounding landscape.

It is a beautiful place, always full of people and more redolent of the atmosphere of a Court Garden than most of old Europe’s extant Hofgartens. Mirabelle Palace is used as a registry office and elegantly dressed couples contribute to its courtly air. Mirabelle Garden and the summerhouse at Hellbrunn were used in the film of the Sound of Music about the von Trapp family.

Salzkammergut


The Salzkammergut is a popular holiday area to the east of Salzburg. The region is split between three provinces: Upper Austria, Styria and Salzburg Province. The region’s mountains and many lakes, including the Attersee and the Wolfgangsee, attract visitors for water sports and walking in summer. In winter, both downhill and cross-country skiing are on offer as well as some great walking opportunities.

At all times of the year, the scenery itself provides reason enough to spend time in this unique region. As its name suggests, the Salzkammergut is an important salt-mining area, and some of the tours down the mines provide an intriguing alternative to the more traditional over-ground holiday pursuits.

The Salzburg Card


With the Salzburg Card enjoy free admission to all the sights in the City of Mozart, free use of the public transport network and numerous other plus points and advantages. You will also be able to enjoy considerable discounts in various other sights and attractions.

Innsbruck

The capital of the Tirol and the most popular Austrian holiday destination, the city of Innsbruck lies at the very heart of the Austrian Alps.

Nestling in the valley of the Inn River, tucked between the northern Alps and the Tuxer mountain range, Innsbruck is famous for its winter sports and has twice been home to the Winter Olympics.

Swarovski Crystal World


An absolute must on every sightseeing tour! Crystal Worlds is shaped like a giant with a huge head. He is the guardian of the worlds and entrance to them is through his mouth. Colored deep blue, the main hall is dominated by a huge wall of crystals made up of 12 tons of glittering stones that almost overshadow a gigantic crystal of 300,000 carats, the largest ever produced. Since May 1 a special shuttle bus is operating between Innsbruck and the Crystal World in Wattens.

Ambras Castle


The focal point of a delightful English landscape garden, Ambras Castle is Europe’s oldest museum and towers high above Innsbruck. It’s divided into a lower and an upper castle set in the remains of a medieval fortress. This was Ferdinand’s favorite residence and the center of his court’s cultural life.

The lower castle was planned and constructed by the Archduke as a museum for his various collections, including arms and armor, art, and books, all of which can be seen today. The Wunderkammer (Gallery of Wonders) contains a display of exotic objects like coral, ivory, a rhinoceros’ horn and other artifacts brought back to Europe by the early explorers. The upper part of the palace houses the Habsburg’s Portrait Gallery, an awe-inspiring collection of works by the likes of Lukas Cranach, Anton Mor, Tizian, Van Dyck and Diego Velásquez. The Castle’s most striking and precious feature is the George’s Altar of Emperor.

Maximilian I
Nordpark

Seegrube

Hafelekar

The Nordkettenbahn Cableway whisks skiers and ramblers all the way up Nordpark-Seegrube, 1,905m above sea level. The view over the Inn Valley and Innsbruck is breathtaking, particularly from the Seegrube Restaurant. Should those heights not be dizzy enough, there is also the option of carrying on to the 2,334m high Hafelekar Top Terminal, from where there are uninterrupted panoramic views of the Zillertal, Stubai and Ötztal Alps. Superb views are provided northward into the Karwendel Alpine Park, the biggest Nature Preserve in the Eastern Alps.

Alpine Zoo


Situated 727m above sea level, Innsbruck’s Alpine Zoo is the highest zoo in Europe. A visit provides an invigorating experience for both young and old. Sheltered within are more than two thousand animals indigenous to the Alps and belonging to 150 different species


The Golden Roof


The Golden Roof was built by Archduke Friedrich IV in the early 15th century as the residence of the Tirolean sovereigns. The Golden Roof actually is the three-story balcony on the central plaza at the heart of the Old Town. The late Gothic oriels are capped with 2,738 gold-plated copper tiles. It was constructed for Emperor Maximilian I to serve as a royal box where he could sit in luxury and enjoy tournaments in the square below. Completed at the dawn of the 16th century, the Golden Roof was built in honor of Maximilian’s second marriage, to Bianca Maria Sforza of Milan (Maximilian was a ruler who expanded his territory through marriage, not conquest).

The New Bergisel Ski Jump


Towering high above Innsbruck on the wooded Bergisel Hill, the brand-new Bergisel Ski Jump is a sight to behold. The Tower stands 47 meters tall and provides spectacular views.

The new facilities now can hold 28,000 spectators. Each year, the refurbished Bergisel Stadium plays host to the annual Four Hills Tournament in January and to a Summer Grand Prix Jumping Event. All Bergisel Stadium facilities, including gondola, elevator, panoramic café, and vantage spot on the jumping platform are open to visitors. From the stylish Restaurant there are uninterrupted panoramic views of the lofty surrounding peaks of Patscherkofel, Nordkette, Hohe Munde and Serles

The Sun Plateau
Explore the scenic Sun Plateau high above Innsbruck: Tucked away in the folds of the gently rolling foothills you will find your quintessential Tirol in the picture-postcard villages of Aldrans, Lans, Igls, and Rinn, etc. Ellboegen, Igls, Lans, Patsch, Rinn and Sistrans. This relaxed combination of city flair and countryside idyll, with all the sporting possibilities that go with it, guarantees a summer holiday that the whole family will never forget. The sunny plateaus of Aldrans, Ampass, Ellboegen, Igls, Lans, Patsch, Rinn and Sistrans will bid you to go for a jaunt on Innsbrucks local mountain, the Patscherkofel. Here the “Zirbenweg”, a seven kilometre long, almost flat mountain promenade, leads you through stands of centuries old stone pine.

Stubai Valley


Take a stroll around Fulpmes before boarding the Tram again to get back to Kreith.

From there you will walk along a lovely high elevation trail until you reach the village of Mutters, that was twice rated as “The most beautiful village in Tirol”.

The Innsbruck Card

With the Innsbruck Card avail of admission to Innsbruck’s most important sights. Attractions such as the mint tower in Hall and the Swarovski Crystal Worlds are included as well. The Sightseer or the Crystal Worlds Shuttle take you everywhere. Moreover, the Innsbruck Card allows you to use all public transport. The Innsbruck Card is available for 24 hrs. 48 hrs and 72 hrs.
Graz

The district’s capital of Styria, it is one of the best-preserved medieval cores of any Austrian city. The colours of this pleasant medieval town will immediately strike the visitor: Green parks, red roofs, and the blue River Mur. Dominated by the Schlossberg, which rises up over the town centre, Graz has a great deal to offer and is a good start-off point for day excursions to a number of different destinations

Schlossberg

What other city can boast a tree-clad mountain right in its centre – wonderful to wander? The Schlossberg. A castle standing on a rock ledge of this hill more than 1,000 years ago gave the city its name. From the Slavic word gradec, meaning “little castle”, Graz derived. And the little castle was made a huge fortress. In 1809 it was blown up by Napoleon. The Bell Tower and the Clock Tower, the friendly landmark of the city, remain

Kunsthaus


Something extra-terrestrial in the World Heritage site of Graz? Like a huge bluish bubble the landmark of new Graz is hovering above the right bank of the river Mur. Since October 2003, Kunsthaus – affectionately called “a friendly alien” by its creators, Peter Cook and Colin Fournier.

1,066 acrylic glass elements form the skin of the friendly alien. At night it sends light signals or written messages from its “BIX façade” to the other side of the river. It sucks daylight from the north through its “nozzles” on top. The “needle” is a glazed viewing platform, stretching over Eisernes Haus and Kunsthaus on the eastern façade. Inside the Eisernes Haus there is the museum shop, the Kunsthaus administration and Camera Austria – an institution which in exhibitions and the eponymous magazine has devoted itself to photography.

Landzeughaus


Incredible 32,000 historical arms and military equipment on five floors. The Landeszeughaus (Provincial Armoury) in Herrengasse is reputed to be the most outstanding historical weapons collection in the world. On the ground floor – an exhibition explaining the historical background. And above it, an impressive arsenal of rifles, armours, staff and bladed weapons dating mainly from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Schloss Eggenberg


A journey into the Cosmos. A building portraying time. That is how one could describe Schloss Eggenberg, erected in 1625-56. The owner: Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg, political advisor of Emperor Ferdinand II. The architect: Giovanni Pietro the Pomis, who also planned Ferdinand’s Mausoleum in Graz. Today, Styria’s most splendid palace is used for cultural events. And sometimes as setting for films. The ground floor and the first floor house collections of the Provincial Museum Joanneum.

Klagenfurt

Klagenfurt, the Rose of Lake Wörthersee, reaches as far as the eastern bay of the warmest and largest alpine lake in Europe (drinking water quality / largest inland bathing beach), and it really doesn’t matter when you decide to visit Klagenfurt either. The climate is Mediterranean in the summer and there are bright, sunny days in the winter.

The autumn is golden and the spring is mild.Known as the ‘Austrian Riviera’, clear, warm Lake Wörthersee has something for everyone Getting around is easy with local buses, trains and, of course, boats to give you access to the villages that dot the lakeshore and the many attractions and activities on offer. We feature accommodation in two different resorts Pörtschach is a large bustling village on the northern shore.

Minimundus


A miniature world on Lake Wörthersee. Here you can travel around the world in just a few hours, or, if you are interested in the stars, you could go to the internationally renowned planetarium and observatory. What started on a small scale in 1958 has now been elevated to the art of perfection, as demonstrated in the 150 models on display of the most beautiful buildings from all five continents.

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