Austria is a country of startling contrasts, from the soaring Alps to the verdant swathes of the Danube Valley. This European beauty is noted as much for its historical buildings, awe-inspiring museums and galleries, as for its world-class skiing conditions and breathtaking mountain scenery.
Glorious architectural riches include reminders of the once-powerful Habsburgs, who dominated central Europefor seven centuries; the capital of Austria, Vienna, is magnificent with its ornate Opera House and the imperial Hofburg, while many other cities are similarly infused with historical magic, notably Mozart’s birthplace, Salzburg, with stunning baroque churches set before a backdrop of snow-covered peaks.
Visiting Austria at any time of year is a great experience, but remember that the season will influence what you can do. Summer is the obvious time for hiking, mountain biking and lake swimming, but ski conditions also make Austria a fantastic place for winter breaks. Festivals take place year-round, but the majority of music festivals are held between May and October. View Austrian Holidays
For warm weather, aim for the months between April and October, although these two months can be changeable, June to September are best for those seeking sunshine and low rainfull. You’ll find cities less crowded in winter although it can get bitingly cold. Winter sports are in full swing from mid-December to late March, with the high season over Christmas and New Year and in February. Alpine resorts are very quiet or close down from late April to mid-June, and in November and early December.
Viennese cuisine is strongly influenced by southeast European cuisine, notably that of Hungary, Serbia, Romania and Dalmatia. Austrian desserts and cakes are particularly renowned. Gourmet culture is evident in the cafés, where coffee-drinking has been raised to a high art. Specialities include, Wiener Schnitzel (a traditional dish of breadcrumbed and fried veal escalope), Tafelspitz (boiled beef) is regarded as Austria’s national dish, Palatschinken (Austrian pancakes), Apfelstrudel (apple strudel), Mehlspeisen is the national term for cakes and puddings. There are around 60 varieties of Torte, which is often consumed with coffee