Set in Mitteleuropa, the geographic (and from a Germanic perspective, the cultural) heart of Europe, Austria conjures images of gilded cafés, velvet-draped opera halls and postcard-perfect Alpine vistas. Rising to the 12,461-foot summit of Grossglockner, the Alps cover two-thirds of the country, making skiing the national sport and the mountain villages of the Tyrol and Vorarlberg justly renowned. Cultural tourists flock to the birthplace of Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Bruckner, Strauss, Schoenberg, Webern and Berg, especially to the Salzburg Festival, a five-week celebration of music and drama beginning in late July. At the end of the 19th century — when it was home to Sigmund Freud as well as to artists such as Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka — Vienna was widely regarded as the cultural capital of the world. It remains an alluring city, not yet ruined by mass tourism.
The Danube Valley in northeast Austria (including Vienna) is the driest section of the country. The Alps are most popular in winter, but late spring and summer are lovely as well, when wildflowers are in bloom and the hiking is world-class.
Six hours ahead of New York (EST).
To phone hotels and restaurants in Austria, dial 011 (international access) + 43 (Austria code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
Euro (€). Fluctuating rate valued at €1.00 = US$1.11 as of November 2019.
Vienna, Tel. (43) 1-313-390.