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Cliche's aside, Austria truly is a country alive with the sound of music. Experience the symphonic drift of Mozart's concertos wafting through the cobbled avenues of medieval towns like Salzburg. Imagine loping barefoot, Julie Andrews-style, through flowered Tirolean meadows, bound only by snow-capped peaks with jagged panoramic smiles muscling into the horizon. The historical narrative of Austria reads like an elaborate, never ending novella, complete with schemes and settings both sinister and stunning. Kingdoms, assassinations, political uncertainty, and WWI recount merely one side of the story. Graceful old towns, exuding genteel airs of ...

Cliche's aside, Austria truly is a country alive with the sound of music. Experience the symphonic drift of Mozart's concertos wafting through the cobbled avenues of medieval towns like Salzburg. Imagine loping barefoot, Julie Andrews-style, through flowered Tirolean meadows, bound only by snow-capped peaks with jagged panoramic smiles muscling into the horizon. The historical narrative of Austria reads like an elaborate, never ending novella, complete with schemes and settings both sinister and stunning. Kingdoms, assassinations, political uncertainty, and WWI recount merely one side of the story. Graceful old towns, exuding genteel airs of ancient times, provide good contrast to present-day Vienna, Eastern Europe's favorite gate. So have a glass of Schnapps when you get there - a traditional symbol of hospitality for centuries. Knock it back fast and your trip may be boisterous and edge of your seat exhilarating. Sip it slowly and you'll enjoy a more laid back vacation. Either way, Probst!

Aaron Anderson
About the Expert

Aaron Anderson is coauthor of Lonely Planet's Washington, D.C. City Guide, a contributor on western states to Lonely Planet USA, and he wrote the Austria chapters for Lonely Planet's Western Europe and Europe on a Shoestring.

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Aaron Anderson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Austria is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It borders both Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west.
  • Language: German
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall