Need any help with booking?
Build your trip to Austria
We offer cheap international flights outbound from China to Austria and cheap hotels in Austria, build your trip with us and save money.
More info about Austria
Home : Holidays : Europe : Austria : Austria - Overview

Austria - Overview

Austria is all at once breathtaking Alpine mountains, picturesque villages, lush valleys dotted with crystal clear lakes and bordered by vineyards, and bustling cities with ultramodern skyscrapers and medieval castles. The country is famous for its classical music and opera, the baroque excesses of the Hapsburg imperial dynasty, glorious food and wine, and festivals celebrating all of these things.

Vienna was the capital of the Hapsburg Empire, which included parts of what is now Germany and Hungary, so the city is threaded with monumental castles and cathedrals. Vienna is a city of music. The State Opera House (Staatsoper) is world famous, as is the Vienna Boys' Choir and Viennese waltzes, many of which were written by native son Johann Strauss.

Austria's imperial history also is evident in Salzburg, which has a fortress dating to 1077 and castles from the 1500s and 1600s. Salzburg is Mozart's birthplace, and the native son is celebrated year-round with ongoing performances of his concerts, symphonies, and operas, including some performances featuring life-size marionettes. Salzburg and the mountains around it were made famous by the movie The Sound of Music. Fans can enjoy a dinner theater performance of the soundtrack and take a tour of sites included in the movie. Be forewarned, though, that neither the musical nor Austria's involvement in World War II--the backdrop of the story--are popular subjects to discuss with the local populace.

Long before Innsbruck hosted the Olympics, it hosted Hapsburg royalty, who were attracted by the clear air and the spectacular Tyrolean Alps on the outskirts of town. Now, outdoors enthusiasts can enjoy skiing in the winter and spring, and mountain biking, hiking, sailing, fishing, and river rafting from spring through fall in Innsbruck and the neighboring valleys. Also near Innsbruck is the Swarovski Crystal Museum, a fantasyland of playful and fascinating crystal sculptures, including a three-story-high crystal geodesic dome that visitors may stand inside and watch their ever-changing kaleidoscope reflection as they move around.

Austria's spas are a luxurious, pampering experience, featuring both thermal springs and heated pools. Many treatments are under medical supervision, and a growing number of spa resorts include golf and tennis programs.

Austria's westernmost province, Voralberg, includes the almost Mediterranean gardens and orchards of the Rhine valley near Lake Constance. Above the valley, thickly forested uplands lead to glaciers at 10,000 feet. Folk festivals, with parades featuring bands and orchestras in folk costumes, are popular in summer here.

Austria, at the geographical heart of Europe, is renowned for its ski resorts set on spectacular mountains, overlooking crystal-clear lakes and voluptuously green valleys.

But Austria is also a hothouse of striking contemporary architecture, reflecting a modern country at the forefront of engineering, invention and design, and whose modern, efficient social system ensures a high quality of living for most of its residents.

Austria has a justifiable reputation for music, literature and the arts, but also boasts a gourmet culture. The legendary Gem¨?tlichkeit ¨C a relaxed enjoyment of life ¨C is in evidence in the cafes, where the art of coffee-drinking has been raised to a high art, and the many Heurigen, where the latest vintages are accompanied by vast quantities of food. Nightlife is versatile, offering laid-back taverns, beer gardens and excellent apr¨¨s-ski, as well as trendy clubs and dance venues packed to the small hours.

An important part of Europe??s artistic and cultural heritage, Austria is an ideal environment to expand your intellectual horizons in, whilst simultaneously viewing some truly outstanding structures and experiencing once in a lifetime events that you will treasure forever.

Looking around, you??ll be mesmerised by the powerful Parliament building, the towering Town Hall and of course St. Stephen??s Cathedral, where thousands congress and pay pilgrimage.

Afterwards, why not take an optional excursion to Schönbrunn Palace and the famous Prater Amusement Park, great fun for all the family!

If you would prefer a tranquil, peaceful day out, try a relaxing stroll through the scenic and historic town centre of Zell am See, where the towns tranquil lakeside flower gardens and quaint cobbled streets greet you, enchanting you into a world of fantasy.

If a gentle stroll is a little bit too slow a pace for you then we recommend a pacy yet thoroughly enjoyable journey through the Karwendel Mountains on the Gisela Train between Zell am See and Achnesee. This breathtaking voyage takes you through lush, verdant meadows, sparkling streams and lavish lakes, all set to the backdrop of the soaring mountain range. Believe us; when you are thundering through here, you will feel you have returned to nature itself, such is the variety of wildlife on offerl

Keeping with the mountainous theme, Zell am See is home to the Grossglockner, the highest peak in Austria and home to several magnificent glaciers, including the five-mile-long Pasterze Glacier. This and other huge mountains can be seen from the carriage windows of the Zillertal train, the second scenic train journey available to you to take through Fűgen to the beautiful Ziller Valley to the pretty little town of Mayrhofen, a thoroughly charming rustic affair. Here, you can explore the town and many craft shops selling ornate woodcarvings and locally produced clothes, ideal as souvenir gifts.

Finally, for the fan of historical architecture, the town of Salzburg reveals a fine array of Renaissance and Baroque architectural structures, joined together by a spider??s web of quaint cobbled streets leading to many an ornate church. The Baroque style city consisting of churches, squares and fountains lies in the shadow of Monchsberg mountain along the Salzach river, making for an impressive ??medieval?? looking landscape that harks back to times of yore. Topped off by the impressive overbearing 11th-century Hohensalzburg Castle atop a rock cliff, Salzburg is a quintessentially old fashioned Austrian town worthy of your undivided attention.