Introduction to Austria

Austria has been the breeding ground for some pretty spectacular humans. Mozart, Freud, Beethoven, Klimt, Waltz…even Schwarzenegger. With its breathtakingly beautiful hillsides, crystal-clear aqua lakes, romantic vineyards and valleys, Austria is a dreamlike location. But it’s not just the scenery that’ll capture your imagination; there’s diverse cultural experiences (19th century-style balls, anyone?) a well-preserved history to discover, fine food, wine and wonderment. And we haven’t even mentioned music yet. Just like Arnie, you’ll be back.

Positioned smack-bang in the middle of Europe, Austria sure shares its borders with a lot of countries: Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Its country is divided in to 9 provinces and regions, each as beautiful as the next. There are a few remarkable cities that are big and bold on the map, namely Vienna, Salzburg, Graz and Linz.

But the quaint little villages are worthy of exploration too. Just 33 kilometres north of Salzburg is a tiny village that’s caught the attention of the English-speaking world because of a name that’d make your gran blush. While this name rhymes with booking in German pronunciation, in English it rhymes with clucking. Road signs here were stolen so frequently; they’ve been modified to become theft resistant.

While the country is famed for its cultural life, classical music and opera, particularly in Salzburg and Vienna, there are plenty of hidden treasures to discover too, like the Upside Down House. It seems Austrian architects may have read Roald Dahl’s ‘The Twits’ and decided they needed to take it a step further. Not only is the furniture is upside down; the whole house has been turned on its head! Find it in the village of Terfens.

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