AUSTRIA

AUSTRIA

AUSTRIA

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Name: Schönbrunn Palace
Location: Vienna, Austria
Schönbrunn Palace was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, located in Hietzing, Vienna. The 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in the country. Since the mid-1950s it has been a major tourist attraction. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs.

In 1569, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II purchased a large floodplain of the Wien river beneath a hill, situated between Meidling and Hietzing, where a former owner, in 1548, had erected a mansion called Katterburg. The emperor ordered the area to be fenced and put game there such as pheasants, ducks, deer and boar, in order for it to serve as the court's recreational hunting ground. In a small separate part of the area, "exotic" birds such as turkeys and peafowl were kept. Fishponds were also built.

The name Schönbrunn (meaning "beautiful spring") has its roots in an artesian well from which water was consumed by the court.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schönbrunn_Palace
Name: Prater
Location: Vienna, Austria
The Prater is a large public park in Vienna's 2nd district (Leopoldstadt). The Wurstelprater, an amusement park that is often simply called "Prater", lies in one corner of the Wiener Prater and includes the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel. On the grounds of modern-day Kaiserwiese, an attraction called "Venice in Vienna” was established in 1895 by Gabor Steiner. The area included an artificial lagoon to simulate the canals of Venice, Italy.

In 2004, major renovations to the Wurstelprater began, and a new underground railway line was finished and brought into service on May 11, 2008, which includes three stops along the Prater. Wien Praterstern railway station has been in operation for a long time and is only a few dozen metres away from an entrance to the park.

The overall area of the park has also been reduced by the building of the Ernst-Happel-Stadion (Austria's national stadium), the Südosttangente (Austria's busiest motorway) and Krieau Race Track. In 2013, the new campus of the Vienna University of Economics and Business was opened next to the Prater.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prater
Name: Salzkammergut
Location: Austria
The Salzkammergut is a resort area located in Austria, stretching from the city of Salzburg eastwards along the Alpine Foreland and the Northern Limestone Alps to the peaks of the Dachstein Mountains. The main river of the region is the Traun, a right tributary of the Danube.

The name Salzkammergut translates to "salt demesne", Kammergut being a German word for territories held by princes of the Holy Roman Empire, in early modern Austria specifically territories of the Habsburg Monarchy. The salt mines of Salzkammergut was administered by the imperial Salzoberamt in Gmunden from 1745 to 1850. Parts of the region were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

The lands on the shore of the Traun River comprise numerous glacial lakes and raised bogs, and the Salzkammergut Mountains and the adjacent Dachstein Mountains, the Totes Gebirge and the Upper Austrian Prealps with prominent Mt. Traunstein in the east. The towering mountain slopes are characterized by bright limestone (karst) and flysch rocks.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salzkammergut
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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO AUSTRIA.
FACTS:
Official Languages: German / Austrian German / Hungarian / Slovenian
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Time zone: CET (UTC+1) / CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +43
Local / up-to-date weather in Vienna (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Austria travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Austria, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO AUSTRIA.

Austria uses the euro, like several other European countries. One euro is divided into 100 cents. The official symbol for the euro is €, and its ISO code is EUR. There is no official symbol for the cent.

All banknotes and coins of this common currency are legal tender within all the countries, except that low-denomination coins (one and two cent) are phased out in some of them. The banknotes look the same across countries, while coins have a standard common design on one side and a national country-specific design on the other. The latter side is also used for different designs of commemorative coins. The design on the national side does not affect the use of the coin.

The best rates for changing money are offered by banks. Some banks will only exchange money for their account holders, and they usually add an exchange fee ranging from three to six euros, or more when changing large amounts. The only exception is the Schelhammer & Schattera bank located in the city center of Vienna. While their exchange rates are often slightly worse than the ones offered by other banks, the absence of any exchange fee (apart from rounding down to the nearest ten cents) still renders this the best option for changing small and medium (around €150) amounts. Withdrawing money from the ubiquitous ATMs is also a viable option, especially if large amounts of cash are needed.

The legacy currency, the Schilling, can still be exchanged for euros indefinitely, but not all banks may offer this service.

PRICES:

The prices are comparable with Western European countries, and a bit higher than the USA. The general sales tax of 20% is included in prices but lower sales taxes applies to certain services and mainly food. A can of Coke will cost you about €0.55, a good meal €15. Prices in tourist areas (Tyrol, Vienna, Salzburg, Zell am See) are a lot higher than the averages. B&B accommodation and restaurants in towns and rural areas are quite cheap.

ATMs:

ATMs in Austria are called Bankomat. They are widespread and you will find them even in smaller, rural villages. Many shops (and some restaurants too) offer the service to pay directly with an ATM card. The majority of ATMs accept cards from abroad. All Bankomats in Austria can easily identified by a sign showing a green stripe above a blue stripe. Usually no fees will be charged, but the company Euronet charges €1.90 per withdrawal.

BY TRAIN AND BUS:

Trains are the best and most common form of mass transportation in Austria. Comfortable and moderately priced trains connect major cities and many towns; buses serve less significant towns and lakes. The two forms of transport are integrated and designed to complement each other, and intercity coaches exist but don’t provide anywhere near the level of intercity rail service. Between Vienna, Linz, and Salzburg trains run every 30 minutes or even more frequently. Trains between Vienna and Graz operate hourly. The 2½-hour train ride takes you along one of the world’s oldest mountain railways. 14 tunnels and 16 viaducts were built to cross the Alps.

Austrian trains are operated mostly by state-owned company ÖBB. The Raaberbahn (GySEV) provides some trains across the Austrian-Hungarian border and there are some short private railways with tourist trains which supplement rather than compete with the ÖBB.

The only competitor to ÖBB is WestBahn on the Salzburg-Linz-Vienna line (the company shares the name of the line it runs on). Westbahn serves several inner-city stations in Vienna that are otherwise only served by commuter trains, giving travelers more flexibility. While comfort is roughly equivalent, ÖBB Intercity and Railjet trains usually have a full-service restaurant car while Westbahn trains just have a couple of vending machines. Both offer free Wi-Fi.

ÖBB also operate buses (InterCityBus) on the Graz–Klagenfurt–Venice line because the road between these cities is much shorter than the railway.

Train types:

  • S (S-Bahn/Schnellbahn) – commuter trains offered in several regions and suburban areas
  • R (Regionalzug) – slow local trains, stops everywhere
  • REX (Regionalexpress) – fast regional trains, stop at more significant stations
  • IC (InterCity) – long-distance trains connecting major towns and cities.
  • EC (EuroCity) – international long-distance trains
  • WB (WestBahn) – private competitor’s InterCity service, no through ticketing to other trains possible outside Upper Austria.
  • ICE (InterCityExpress) – German high-speed trains
  • RJ (Railjet) – Austria’s home-grown high-speed trains – unlike ICE they are locomotive hauled and can carry bikes

On suburban and regional trains there is normally only second class. On ICE, IC and EC trains there are two classes. The RailJet offers three classes: Economy (second class), First Class, and Business Class.

Tickets:

The ÖBB sell domestic tickets using a price based only upon distance traveled, regardless of when you buy the ticket and which train you take. Base fare is rather expensive, but Austrian Railways offer some interesting discounts. If you buy a ticket from Salzburg to Vienna, that ticket is valid for any train that takes you to Vienna, even for a foreign train stopping inside Austria. (Exception being any train operated by WestBahn, you’ll recognize these trains by their white livery with bright green and blue stripes.)

Tickets can be ordered (and paid for) on the web, including itineraries coving connecting trains and involving narrow-gauge, privately-operated, railways (like in the Zillertal valley). You can also reserve seats for a small fee: that is definitely recommended if you plan to travel with luggage, or if you’re traveling as a family or other group and want to be sure you can sit together. Tickets ordered online should be printed and presented to the conductor onboard upon request. They should be printed since they will be barcode-scanned and stamped.

There are ticket machines at all sizable train stations and onboard some regional trains. When boarding regional trains you are required to have purchased a ticket before boarding, if it is possible to buy a ticket via railway office or vending machine at the station you are departing from. (This includes most stations. These stations are marked with SB in all ÖBB timetables). Ticket machines do not display or print itineraries, and many train stations only display basic timetables. It is best to find an itinerary on the Austrian Railways website trip planner. Stations also provide pamphlets with detailed timetables, but they assume that you know which line to board to get to your destination and can only be obtained during office hours.

Rail passes, ÖBB tickets and VORTEILScard are not valid on WestBahn; buy tickets on-line or on board. Westbahn generally offers fewer discounted tickets than ÖBB, but their full-fare, flexible ticket prices are generally cheaper than the equivalent ticket on ÖBB. Unlike ÖBB, it’s fine to purchase a ticket on board the train, but this incurs a €1 surcharge. Seat reservations are free with purchase of a ticket. If you plan to combine your trip on WestBahn with a journey on ÖBB or another operator, through tickets are not available; you will have to work out the connection yourself and purchase two separate tickets. Besides the added hassle, this produces the further downside that you are not guaranteed the validity of your ticket in case a delay on one operator makes you miss your trip on the other and you may have problems claiming EU guaranteed passenger rights claims.

Discounts:

  • SparSchiene are cheap tickets offered between major cities both domestically and internationally. These tickets aren’t based on distance, rather they’re cheapest when booking well in advance online and are tied to a specific train run and time. Though this offer can be very tempting, especially for those without the VORTEILScard, do consider that they provide less flexibility than regular tickets and are not refundable or changeable and are often sold-out at popular times. For instance SparSchiene tickets from Salzburg to Klagenfurt can be had for €9 in second class, compared to €39 regular price, or €18 with VORTEILScard.
  • VORTEILScard gets you 45-55% reduction on any domestic rail ticket (depending on the train and whether you buy it online, at a ticket machine or at a counter) and 15% off on cross-border trains in Europe (so called RailPlus discount). The VC is also valid for private railways, except the rack and WestBahn railways. The cards are issued for one year, first by preliminary paper ticket (printed on the spot and valid for the first two months). A plastic ID card is send out by mail, usually within two weeks of original purchase. The VC is available at all ÖBB station ticket offices and counters. You will need your passport to fill out the form and purchase your VORTEILScard. A photo is no longer needed, so always have an ID with you to prove your identity. For one year:
    • VORTEILScard (regular) costs €99 if you aren’t eligible for the following.
    • VORTEILScard Jugend costs €19 for those under 26 years.
    • VORTEILScard Senior costs €29 for men and women from 61 years.
    • Persons with limited physical mobility or handicaps (for instance the visually impared) are eligible for certain other versions of the VORTEILScard at extremely nominal prices, although getting these with foreign, or worse-yet non-EU, documents can be a challenge. (Nonetheless you are eligible to have the seat reservation fee waived.)

A ticket from Vienna to Salzburg (one way) cost regular €50 and with the VORTEILScard €25 – so if you are under 26, the card is profitable with one ride!

  • Group discount for 2 people or more gives you 5-30% discount. Children, youths up to 18 years and youths with VORTEILScard <26 pay half of the reduced fare.
  • Einfach-Raus-Ticket can be used by groups from 2 to 5 people, regardless of age, for unlimited train travel during one day on all Austrian regional trains (categories S, R and REX) and trains run by the operator Raaberbahn. It’s valid from 09:00 on weekdays (from midnight on weekends) till 03:00 the following day. The tickets start from €34 for two and costs €4 per additional person, while bringing bikes costs an additional €9.

BY CAR:

Rural or sparsely populated regions in Austria are easier to explore by car as bus services can be infrequent. Many popular spots in the mountains are accessible only by car or on foot/ski. Renting a car for a couple of days is a good way to go off the beaten track. Driving in Austria is normally quite pleasant as the country is small and the roads are in good condition, not congested and offer fantastic scenery. Beware of dangerous drivers, however: Austrians are generally a very law-abiding bunch, but behind a wheel, they seem to make an exception to their considerate attitude. Comprehensive maps of Austria, specific regions within Austria (including city maps), as well as maps from neighbouring countries can be bought at any petrol station. Expect to pay around €7 for one map.

As in many European cities, parking in cities costs money on work days. Usually those parking zones are marked by blue lines on the street. Some cities (such as Vienna) have area-wide zones not denotated by blue lines. Fees vary from town to town as do the fines, which are charged if you have no valid ticket, generally between €20 and €30. Tickets can be usually bought from kiosks, some cities (such as Graz) have ticket machines on the street. A cheap alternative is to park your car a bit outside of the town in parking garages called Park and Ride, and take public transit from there. Those facilities can be found in any bigger city.

Travelling on Austrian motorways (Autobahnen) or Schnellstraßen means you have to pay tolls. If your vehicle is under 3500 kg in weight, you have to buy a Vignette toll pass, in advance, which can be purchased at any petrol station or at the border. Vignetten can be bought for 10 days (€8.30), 2 months (€24.20) or 1 year (€80.60; valid until January of the following year) (2012). The fact that there is neither a Vignette for a single day nor for two weeks is not a bug – it’s a feature – most Germans passing through on the way to and from Italy spend two weeks there – the way the Vignette is designed ensures maximum revenue from those transiting.

Vehicles heavier than 3500 kg must instead purchase a GO-Box, a transponder which deducts tolls as the vehicles travel along the Autobahn or Schnellstraße. The cost the GO-Box is €5 and tolls can either be prepaid (€75 initially, followed by increments of €50 to recharge) or paid through an invoice at a later date. Rates vary from €0.15 to €0.39/km based on number of axles, with extra charges paid based on time of day and for certain Autobahnen.

Driving a car on a motorway without a vignette is punished with either payment of a substitute toll of €120 (€65 for motorcycles) (that allows one to travel on the motorways for that day and the day immediately following) or a fine of upwards of €300, and if the fine is not paid on the spot, valuables may be seized from your vehicle and person to ensure that the fine is paid. You must affix the vignette to the front windscreen of your vehicle, preferably in the top centre or on one of the driver’s side corners, otherwise it is not valid, a common mistake made by foreigners in Austria. The motorway police regularly check for Vignetten. Driving without a valid GO-Box, if required, costs €220, and setting an incorrect toll class carries a €110 substitute toll.

Additional tolls are payable on certain roads, especially mountain passes, which you need to pay in bank notes (not coins) or with credit card. An example is at Brenner Pass, right before the A13 enters Italy, where a toll of at least €7.95 is collected each way.

The speed limits are 130 km/h (81 mph) on Autobahnen and 100 km/h (62 mph) on Schnellstraßen and Bundesstraßen. Expect limits otherwise of 50–80 km/h (31–50 mph). Sometimes, there is a potentially confusing “IG-L” text at the bottom of the speed limit screens, which is shorthand for “Immissionsschutzgesetz Luft” (Air Pollution Control Act) and actually means higher fines for speeding; see. The “IG-L” text it is often misunderstood by foreigners as a restriction (e.g. speed limit only applies to trucks), who might later receive an unusually high fine at their home address if they are from an EU country.

Headlights should be switched on at all times.

Rules on Autobahnen are very similar to the rules in Germany. For example, you may not pass on the right, and the minimum speed limit is 60 km/h (37 mph) (vehicles unable to travel 60 km/h are not admitted onto the Autobahn). The one big and obvious difference is that there is a general speed limit of 130 km/h (same as in all neighboring countries except Germany) which will be enforced the same way as any other speed limit.

Take special care when driving in winter, especially in the mountains (and keep in mind that winter lasts from September to May in the higher parts of the alps and snowfall is in general possible at any time of the year). Icy roads kill dozens of inexperienced drivers every year. Avoid speeding and driving at night and make sure the car is in a good condition. Motorway bridges are particularly prone to ice. Slow down to 80 km/h when going over them.

Winter tires are mandatory between November 1 and April 15. During winter season most rental cars are equipped with winter tires, an additional fee may be charged. (Some rental companies use all season tires, in such a case you might be able to rationalize this fee away.) Use of winter tires also is strongly recommended by Austrian motoring clubs. When there is snowfall, winter tires or snow chains are required by law on some mountain passes, and occasionally also on motorways. This is indicated by a round traffic sign depicting a white tire or chain on a blue background. It is always a good idea to take a pair of snow chains and a warm blanket in the boot. Drivers often get stuck in their car for several hours and sometimes suffer from hypothermia.

Contrary to popular belief there is no need to rent an off-road vehicle in winter (though a 4×4 is helpful). In fact, small, lightweight cars are better at tackling narrow mountain roads than sluggish off-road vehicles.

Virtually all roads in Austria open to the public are either covered in tarmac or at the least even surfaced. The problems normally encountered are ice and steepness, not unevenness. When driving downhill the only remedy against sliding are snow chains no matter what vehicle you are inside.

Petrol is cheaper in Austria than in some neighboring countries but is still more expensive than in America.

BY PLANE:

Although you’ll miss out most of the stunning Austrian Landscape, it is possible to travel by plane within Austria.

Domestic flights normally cost in the region of €300-500 return, Austrian Airlines offers limited tickets for €99 (Redtickets) but they have to be booked usually 2–3 months in advance. Since the country is small, the total journey time is unlikely to be shorter than by rail or car. As a matter of fact, even Austrian Airlines now codeshares with ÖBB for some “feeder flights”. In other words, fly only if you are on a business trip.

These domestic airports are served by airlines like Austrian Airlines (AUA):

  • Graz (Thalerhof), servicing eastern Styria and southern Burgenland
  • Innsbruck (Kranebitten), servicing Tyrol
  • Klagenfurt (Wörthersee-Airport), servicing Carinthia
  • Linz (Hörsching), servicing Upper Austria
  • Salzburg (Wals), servicing Salzburg and Berchtesgaden (Bavaria)
  • Vienna (Schwechat), servicing Vienna and Lower Austria

Here are international airports serving western Austria:

  • Altenrhein Airport (Switzerland), servicing Vorarlberg, Liechtenstein, Eastern Switzerland, and Lake Constance area
  • Friedrichshafen (Germany), servicing Vorarlberg, Baden-Württemberg and Lake Constance area

EAT:

Austrian food is distinctive and delicious, and is traditionally of the stodgy, hearty “meat and dumplings” variety. Wiener Schnitzel (a bread-crumbed and fried veal escalope) is something of a national dish, and Knödel are a kind of dumpling which can be made either sweet or savory according to taste. In Vienna the Tafelspitz (boiled beef with potatoes and horseradish – it’s classier than it sounds) is traditionally served on Sundays, and is normally accompanied by clear broth with dumplings and herbs. Apart from these, Austria is renowned for its pastries and desserts, the most well-known of which is probably the Apfelstrudel.

Bread (Brot) is taken seriously in Austria. Almost every village has its own bakery, offering a large choice of freshly baked sweet and savoury rolls daily from 06:00. Rye bread (Vollkornbrot, Bauernbrot) is the traditional staple food among peasants. If this is too heavy for you, try the common white bread roll (Semmel). Somewhat surprisingly, it is easier to find good bread outside of Vienna, where the baking industry hasn’t yet come to be dominated by industrial scale chain shops.

Some Austrians have a habit of eating sweet flour-based dishes (Mehlspeise) for a main course once a week. Varieties include Kaiserschmarren, Marillenknoedel, and Germknoedel.

The best advice is to dive into the menu and give it a go – there are no nasty surprises!

Restaurants:

If you want to try out traditional Austrian food go for a Gasthaus or Gasthof, which serve traditional food for reasonable prices. Usually they offer various options of set lunch including a soup and a main dish and in some cases a dessert too. They are typically priced at €5-7 (except for very touristy areas). Menus are written in German, though some of the restaurants have English menus as well. Keep in mind that tipping is expected throughout all restaurants in Austria. Rounding up the price given on the bill is usually enough tip.

Paying:

In Austrian restaurants you must ask to pay. Get the attention of your server and say: “zahlen, bitte” (the bill, please). They will then bring you the check, or tell you the amount of the bill verbally. Then, the proper way to pay in Austria is to give your cash and say the amount you wish to pay, including tip. To tip it is appropriate to round up, or to round up +50 cents or €1 of the cost for each person (should equal about 5-10% for a full meal). Servers are not dependent on tips, and it is not appropriate to tip a large amount. Saying “danke” (thank you) when paying, means keep the change! Alternatively, you can say the amount of the bill plus your tip and you’ll only get change above that amount (for instance, if you pay with a €20 bill, the amount is €16.50 and you say “Siebzehn Euro” (seventeen euro), the server will give you €3 change and keep the €0.50 as tip).

Local specialties:

  • If you have the chance to try Kletzennudeln you should definitely do it. They are an exceptional Carinthian specialty you can very rarely get anywhere: sweet noodles filled with dried pears and soft cheese. The best Kletzennudeln are handmade with minced dried pears, rather than the lower quality versions which use pear powder.
  • Salads can be made with Kernöl (green pumpkin seed oil), a Styrian specialty. Even though it looks frightening (dark green or dark red, depending on lighting conditions) it has an interesting nutty taste. A bottle of good, pure Styrian Kernöl is very expensive (around €10-20), but maybe one of the most Austrian things to take home. Beware of cheap Kernöl, sometimes sold as “Salatöl”. Be sure to seal the bottle appropriately, the oil expands when slightly heated and leaves non removable stains. Just in case, sunlight occasionally removes them though. Kernöl or pumpkin seed oil is also available in some online shops.

Desserts:

  • Strudel is a sweet layery, pastry filled with fruits, most commonly apples.
  • Sachertorte is chocolate torte with chocolate icing and filled with apricot jam. It should be served fresh with freshly beaten, lightly sweetened cream, which the Austrians call “Schlagobers”. The original is available in Vienna in the Cafe Sacher, but similar cakes are very common in many other Viennese Cafes. Cafe Sacher has several tourist-trap behaviours (such as a non-optional €2 coat check) and their cakes are not always the freshest.
  • Eszterházy Austrian torte.
  • Malakhoff: a delicate cake made with milk and rum
  • Manner Schnitten are a very Viennese sweet specialty, but just the square form factor and pink packaging are really unique. You can buy them everywhere. (Maybe you’ve already seen these as a product placement in some Hollywood movies or for example in “Friends” and wondered what they are.)
  • Milchrahmstrudel: milk and curd cheese strudel, served warm
  • Powidl is a type of savoury prune jam with alcohol, another specialty from Vienna. It makes a good present as it tastes exotic and is hard to find anywhere else in the world.

DRINK:

Vienna is famous for its café culture, and there are coffee houses all over the city, many of which have outdoor terraces that are popular in the summer. Visit them for coffee (of course), hot chocolate and pastries. Most famous is Sacher-Torte.

Austria also has some first class wines, mostly whites, slightly on the acid side. Due to its climate, Austrian reds will often be made from grape varieties such as Zweigelt or Blaufränkisch which are not familiar to many wine drinkers from outside the country, but are definitely worth trying. Wine can be drunk pure or mixed with mineral water, called “G’spritzter” or “Spritzer”. The best place to do so is at the “Heurigen” in the suburban areas of Vienna. Originally the “Heurigen” was open only in summer, but now you can have your “Spritzer” throughout the year with a little self-served snack. Locally produced wine is often inexpensive – it’s easy to find a perfectly passable bottle for less than €5 in a supermarket. Sturm, or young wine, similar to federweißer in Germany, can be found in early autumn. It’s cloudy in appearance, and while not as high in alcohol as normal wine, can be easy to overdo because it’s fairly sweet and fizzy.

Soft drinks: Austria has also a national soft drink called Almdudler. It is lemonade with herbs. North Americans will find it similar to, but not exactly like, ginger ale. Other typical Austrian soft drinks are Holler or Hollundersaft. It’s a soft drink made of elderberry blossoms. The globally popular energy drink Red Bull is a license produced localisation of Krating Daeng from Thailand but is often seen as an Austrian invention and is sold everywhere.

Beer in Austria is largely ubiquitous with Märzen Lager. The quality is generally very good but varies greatly between breweries, as in many other Central European countries. The best options are from a modest number of remaining regional breweries not yet bought up by Heiniken. Visitors accustomed to the selection common in most larger towns in the US or UK may be underwehlemed by beer lists, even in upscale bars. There are a small number of micro-breweries around the country, offering more exotic brews such as stouts. Beer culture in Austria is not widespread, many Austrians have strong brand loyalty but don’t know the difference between pilsner and lager, so don’t be surprised if a bartender or server struggles to answer your questions.

  • Lagers: decent classic “Märzen” lagers commonly available include Stiegl, Egger and Zwettler. The quality of many others including Gösser, Puntigamer, Schwechater, Wieselburger and Zipfer all now under the Heinicken umbrella has debatebly dropped.
  • Pilsners: are normally noted with Pils or Spezial, most common is Hirter Pils.
  • Dunkles: is a rich dark brew offered by most breweries.
  • Weiße: is wheat beer. There are several breweries and many imports from neighboring Bavaria, though its rarely found on tap.
  • Zwickl: is unfiltered lager and the pride of several breweries.

Schnaps is a type of fruit brandy served in many parts of Austria, usually after a meal. The most popular flavours are pear, apricot, and raspberry, though dozens of other flavours are available. There are three quality tiers of Schnaps: distilled, infused, and flavoured. The distilled variety is the highest quality; several brands of Austrian fruit Schnaps rank among the best in the world, but are accordingly expensive: a half-Liter bottle can cost up to €100. “Real” Schnaps is made from real fruit (either distilled or infused). Beware of the cheap stuff sold in large bottles in supermarkets; this is often of the “flavoured” type – nothing more than pure ethanol mixed with artificial flavouring. If you want the real thing, go to a deli or upscale bar (if you’re in a bigger city) or a Buschenschank (Farmhouse) (if you’re in the countryside). However, be careful with Schnaps especially if you are not used to alcoholic drinks!

Eiswein is a type of dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. Eiswein is generally quite expensive due to the labour-intense and risky production process. Your best bet is to buy eiswein at Naschmarkt for €10-15 for 375 ml or 500 ml; more chances to find it there on weekends. Just to give an idea of prices elsewhere, ice wine sells at Wein & Co near Naschmarkt at €24-30 for a 375 ml bottle, and Vienna duty free shop sells it for €23.50 as well.

Stroh is possibly the best known Austrian spirit drink. It is classified as a kind of rum, although it’s not produced of sugarcane molasses like the Caribbean “real” rum is. Coming in five versions (the strongest one having an alcohol content of 80%!), Stroh is often used as a component in cocktails like Jagertee and as a flavoring for cakes and pastries.

Although hotels can usually even be found in smaller cities they are quite expensive (even more so in bigger cities) cheaper possibilities in big cities are youth hostels and in smaller towns you can often find families renting flats in bed and breakfast style (look for Pension or Zimmer Frei signs) for €15-25. In the countryside many farmers will rent out rooms for a couple of nights, both officially and unofficially. To find a place to stay, simply knock on the door of a farmhouse and ask – if they don’t have a room they’ll probably know someone nearby who does.

You can also find a lot of camping grounds (some of them are open the whole year round) but while they are exceptionally clean and often provide additional services, they are also a bit more expensive than in other countries in Central Europe.

Austrian law requires anyone to register at their resident address, even if it’s only for one night and even if it’s a campsite.

Hotels will therefore ask you to hand over your passport or driving license and may refuse to give you accommodation if you don’t have any ID on you. Don’t worry too much about handing over your passport. In many countries, such a practice would raise concerns, but in Austria, it’s a standard procedure. Your passport will be returned. If you stay in private accommodation for longer than about two weeks, you should obtain a document of registration (Meldezettel) from the local registration authority (Bezirksamt or Meldeamt), usually located in the town hall. This document needs to be signed by the owner or tenant of your accommodation. Failure to present this document upon departure could cause difficulties if you have stayed in the country for more than two or three months.

What gifts to take home:

  • Eiswein (ice wine)
  • Marillenmarmelade (Apricot Jam)
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil a speciality from the southern region Styria
  • Manner Schnitten Popular sweets in pink package available almost everywhere.
  • Salzburger Mozartkugeln chocolate balls with marzipan in the middle

For children:

  • Haba wooden toys
**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Austria
TOP ATTRACTIONS
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Name: Schönbrunn Palace
Location: Vienna, Austria
Schönbrunn Palace was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, located in Hietzing, Vienna. The 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in the country. Since the mid-1950s it has been a major tourist attraction. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs.

In 1569, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II purchased a large floodplain of the Wien river beneath a hill, situated between Meidling and Hietzing, where a former owner, in 1548, had erected a mansion called Katterburg. The emperor ordered the area to be fenced and put game there such as pheasants, ducks, deer and boar, in order for it to serve as the court's recreational hunting ground. In a small separate part of the area, "exotic" birds such as turkeys and peafowl were kept. Fishponds were also built.

The name Schönbrunn (meaning "beautiful spring") has its roots in an artesian well from which water was consumed by the court.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schönbrunn_Palace
Name: Prater
Location: Vienna, Austria
The Prater is a large public park in Vienna's 2nd district (Leopoldstadt). The Wurstelprater, an amusement park that is often simply called "Prater", lies in one corner of the Wiener Prater and includes the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel. On the grounds of modern-day Kaiserwiese, an attraction called "Venice in Vienna” was established in 1895 by Gabor Steiner. The area included an artificial lagoon to simulate the canals of Venice, Italy.

In 2004, major renovations to the Wurstelprater began, and a new underground railway line was finished and brought into service on May 11, 2008, which includes three stops along the Prater. Wien Praterstern railway station has been in operation for a long time and is only a few dozen metres away from an entrance to the park.

The overall area of the park has also been reduced by the building of the Ernst-Happel-Stadion (Austria's national stadium), the Südosttangente (Austria's busiest motorway) and Krieau Race Track. In 2013, the new campus of the Vienna University of Economics and Business was opened next to the Prater.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prater
Name: Salzkammergut
Location: Austria
The Salzkammergut is a resort area located in Austria, stretching from the city of Salzburg eastwards along the Alpine Foreland and the Northern Limestone Alps to the peaks of the Dachstein Mountains. The main river of the region is the Traun, a right tributary of the Danube.

The name Salzkammergut translates to "salt demesne", Kammergut being a German word for territories held by princes of the Holy Roman Empire, in early modern Austria specifically territories of the Habsburg Monarchy. The salt mines of Salzkammergut was administered by the imperial Salzoberamt in Gmunden from 1745 to 1850. Parts of the region were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

The lands on the shore of the Traun River comprise numerous glacial lakes and raised bogs, and the Salzkammergut Mountains and the adjacent Dachstein Mountains, the Totes Gebirge and the Upper Austrian Prealps with prominent Mt. Traunstein in the east. The towering mountain slopes are characterized by bright limestone (karst) and flysch rocks.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salzkammergut
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