Enjoy a cup of coffee at a Kaffeehaus in vibrant Vienna, stare in wonderment at the stunning Austrian scenery whilst on a 19th century steam train in Salzkammergut, get an adrenaline rush by trying some of the many winter sports on offer in the Alps or marvel at the famous traditional Austrian attire at the annual Lederhosen Festival in Windischgarsten. With its breathtaking mountain scenery and architecturally rich cities, world renowned culture and long spanning history, Austria is the perfect location for any traveller.
Austria has a moderate continental climate with warm, pleasant summers and cold, sunny winters. Summers usually last from early June to mid September and have been known to be either very hot or rainy. Winters are cold in the lowlands and extreme in the Alpine region with temperatures often dropping below -10°c (14°F).
Austria observes a number of public holidays including:
New Year's Day
6th January - Epiphany
1st May - National Day
15th August - Assumption
26th October - National Day
1st November - All Saints Day
8th December - Immaculate Conception
The main airports in Austria are Vienna (Wien-Schwechat), Innsbruck (Kranebitten), Salzburg (Maxglan), Klagenfurt (Wörther See), Linz and Graz.
A comprehensive network of trains operates throughout Austria and further afield. Services operate between Vienna and a number of other European cities including Berlin, Moscow, Bucharest, Budapest, Athens, Istanbul, Venice, Milan and Rome. The most popular routes are from Paris and Brussels. Eurostar services operate between London and Vienna via Paris and Brussels.
Austria has a very efficient domestic rail network with frequent intercity services namely between Vienna and Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz and Klagenfurt.
Austria boasts an extensive network of roads with fast, well-maintained motorways that run cross-country and link with neighbouring countries. Coaches run regularly between a number of domestic and European destinations.
Tolls are payable on all Austrian motorways and S roads.
Strict regulations apply when driving in Austria. The minimum driving age is 18. Traffic drives on the right and it is compulsory that headlights are switched on at all times even when driving in towns and cities. Seat belts must be worn at all times and children under the age of 12 are forbidden from sitting in the front seat. All cars must be equipped with a first-aid kit and warning triangle. All motorists must also carry a high-visibility waistcoat and wear it at all times when outside the vehicle. Speed restrictions are as follows: 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas, 100kph (62mph) outside built-up areas and 130kph (81mph) on motorways.
Regular passenger services operate along the Danube from Germany to Vienna. Hydrofoil services run regularly between Vienna and Budapest and between Vienna and Bratislava in the summer months.
German is the official language in Austria. There are a number of regional dialects.
English is quite commonly spoken, however you may find the following German phrases useful:
Hello : Guten Tag
Goodbye : Auf Wiedersehen
Do you speak English? : Sprechen Sie Englisch?
Please : Bitte
Thank you : Danke
The currency in Austria is the Euro, which divides into 100 cents.
The domestic electricity voltage is 230V, 50HZ, generally with "Schuko" type plug sockets which will accept the standard Europlug. Adaptors are widely available.
In an emergency dial the following numbers:
Police - 133
Fire - 122
Ambulance - 144
General European emergency number - 112.
The international dialling code for Austria is +43.
It is considered polite when entering a restaurant or shops to say "Guten Tag" or "Grüss Gott" and to say "Auf Wiedersehen" when leaving. Not doing so may cause offence.
Tipping is the norm in Austria and it is customary to tip about 10% in restaurants, bars, cafés and taxis. It is common practice to add the tip to the bill and hand it over in one lump sum.
It is customary to dress up for the Opera or the theatre.
It is good to keep in mind that the Church has a high and well respected position in Austrian society.
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