Austria Travel Guide, the Good Germans

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Austria is a small country located in the heart of the European Union, with a long and well established reputation, at least from the intrepid traveler’s point of view. With a land surface of  83,871 square kilometers and a population just shy of 9 million, Austria is one of the most sought after touristic destinations in the world.

If you’ve never been to Austria, you probably know at least about the geniuses that made that country great and world-renowned, and I am not talking about Adolf Hitler either. When I think of Austria, I have my head full of names like Mozart (he was Austrian, you know), Strauss, Schubert, the Hapsburg Empire and, of course, epic Alpine visions.

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If you have these expectations in mind while travelling to Austria, don’t worry, they’ll be met and exceeded, with delightful grace. The mountain scenery in the country is absolutely outstanding, the country’s capital Vienna is bursting with culture and has all the old empire fingerprints still intact, the home grown classical music icons are championed (read played) everywhere, but there are also quite a few surprises kept up its sleeve by Austria.

Cutting edge architecture, contemporary art marvels and a truly out of the box and innovative cuisine, all these make the country to be one of the best places to live in the world, and it’s very easy to see why, provided you stay long enough here and you take a sip of everything, one at a time.

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The country already reached end history status, I mean everything is nice and clean, the life is easy, its cities offer you natural beauty, affordable culture and, very importantly in my view, lots of opportunities to learn new things and cleanse your eyes and your soul admiring elegant neoclassical and Baroque architecture. Oh, and the public transportation system works impeccable, so you’ll be able to ditch your car and enjoy the view.

Austria is also surprisingly diverse, as in varied, meaning that you can enjoy the bohemian life in one of Vienna’s numerous coffee shops, where coffee is almost a religion, or, why not, to have the time of your life in one of the country’s skiing paradises, the likes of, let’s say St Anton or Kitzbuhel. Summertime hikes are one of Austria’s main attractions for outdoors enthusiasts, while in the winter, besides skiing you can go ice skating on one of Austria’s numerous lakes.

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While in the city, you may stand in shock and awe admiring the intricate cathedral interiors or the almost ostentatious opulence of Hapsburg castles, or if you’re on the plebe’s side, take a more prole approach and imbibe yourself in the Mitteleuropa culture (that’s middle Europa) over the fabulously diverse  inner country inns where you can eat the best goulash in your life.

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Hundertwasser House is the place in Vienna which makes for a true Mecca of art aficionados, as visiting here you’ll be able to admire authentic paintings wearing the signatures of famous names, the likes of Rubens, Rembrandt, Raphael and so on and so forth. Or, why not, to have the time of your life riding a horse through the country’s beautifully wooded tracts.

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It would be hard to squeeze it all in actually, so take your time, enjoy the show and remember that Austria is a place  of natural beauty which is best served calmly, one sip at a time. Austria is a country which indulges you to relax, recline and relish, being the end result of millennia of western civilization, boasting an impressive architecture, works of art, a deep and rich culture, all created by many hands and souls over the centuries. Allow yourself the most time you can afford to luxuriate and understand what’s going on, you’ll thank me later.

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Visa Requirements

Austria is a member of the European Union and it signed the Schengen treaty, hence if you’re an EU citizen, you’ll not require a passport, just an ID (if anything). For USA/Canadian tourists, a passport is required (no Visa though).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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