Land of Mountains, Land on the River, they sing in their national anthem. In fact, this characterization sums up quite a bit of what visitors look for in Austria. A landlocked country in Central Europe, Austria’s landscape is widely marked by the Alps. Austria offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation such as hiking, rafting or canyoning and also has many notable skiing areas for winter vacations.
Consequently, many visitors to Austria come specifically for the country’s natural areas. On top of that, the country also looks back onto a storied history that has left many marks in Austria, notably in the form of beautiful palaces and dramatic castles.
The main draw for international travelers is the country’s capital, Vienna. The city, home to a number of important international organizations, has vibrant arts and music scenes as well as many historic sights that draw millions of tourists. These include the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace, the Belvedere Palace and famous St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
While Vienna tops all other Austrian places in terms of visitor numbers, the country has plenty of other interesting cities. The historic city of Salzburg, birthplace of musical genius Mozart, impresses with its well-preserved city center. The same can be said about Graz, Austria’s second-largest city, which sits at the foot of the Castle Hill.
Outside of the cities, Austria’s forests, lakes and mountains make for great day destinations. In addition, there are castles and palaces aplenty throughout the country, as well as a large number pretty villages set against impressive Alpine backdrops.
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