destinations art & architecture music nature wine travel winter travel tips events



3 -| 1 Picturesque landscape in Tirol -| 2 Innsbruck boasts cutting-edge architecture such as Zaha Hadid’s funicular station -| 3 Traditional costumes with detailed ornaments are still worn for special occasions -| 4 Vienna has the largest wine growing area of any European capital -| 5 The Lippizan stallions of the Spanish Riding School -| 6 Schönbrunn Palace was the summer residence of the former Imperial Family -| 7 The Kunsthaus Graz perfectly blends architectural styles



Michael Gigl, Director, Austrian Tourist Office North America

Dear Traveler:
First and foremost, thank you for your interest in visiting Austria. A unique and charming country, Austria is a combination of pristine landscapes and bustling cities, historic town centers and cutting-edge architecture, love of tradition and thirst for the new. These exciting contrasts are part of the reason that veteran travelers report about their Austria experiences in such glowing terms. What keeps them coming back, though, is the famous Austrian hospitality, and that sense of “Gemütlichkeit”: a lifestyle that celebrates the finer moments in life, such as a good meal in the company of friends, a nice long conversation over a cup of coffee, or a long walk through the crisp mountain air, with the sun warming your cheeks and the smell of melting snow and fresh grass in the air. Our “Austria Travel Magazine” gives you an overview of the various things to experience in our country. You will find many practical travel tips, information on well-known resorts, and sights, as well as hotel information and a calendar with annual events worth planning a trip around. Read about Austrian history, must-see museums and festivals, or Austrian wine culture and cuisine. We hope that this magazine will whet your appetite for a one-of-a-kind travel experience. Let us know if we can be of any further assistance with your travel plans, and be sure to visit for even more helpful information. Sincerely yours, Michael Gigl

Austria at a Glance

Food & Wine
When Modern Meets Classical

Experience Austria’s Imperial Past

Nature Paradise
Ideas for Idyllic Nature Experiences

Enjoy Vienna throughout the Seasons

The Arlberg
The Cradle of Skiing

Austria’s Top 11 Music Festivals

Winter Magic
By Roger Toll, Former Editor of Snow Country Magazine

Explore the Wonders of Salzburg and the SalzburgerLand

Christmas Markets
Where to Find the Most Charming Christmas Markets in Austria

Art & Design
From Old Masters to Postmodernists

Event Highlights
The Best Annual Festivals, Concerts and Events at a Glance

Modern Architecture
A Short Tour of Austria’s Architecture Highlights

Travel Tips
Useful Information for Planning your Trip to Austria





Austrian Tourist Office Inc. P.O. Box 1142, New York, NY 10108-1142 Canada Tel: (416) 967 3381 US Tel: (212) 944-6880 • US Fax: (212) 730-4568 Executive Editor Michael Gigl Managing Editor Teresa Faudon

“Austria Travel Magazine” is an official publication of the Austria Tourist Office Inc., New York, NY. The Austrian Tourist Office does not endorse any products or services in this Travel Planner. The descriptions are provided as a guide only. Always check the descriptions and timetables with the supplier before relying on them to make travel plans. The Austrian Tourist Office does not accept responsibility of liability for any claims arising out of the descriptions or information supplied to it. Any rights conferred by any other legislation which cannot be excluded, limited or modified are not affected by this disclaimer.

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Austria at a glance


32,383 mi2 8.2 m. VIENNA GERMAN CENTRAL EUROPE TIME (CET) € EURO (1€ = 100 CENT)
POPULATION 1.66 m. 1.59 m. 280,300 1.20 m. 1.40 m. 529,600 560,400 700,400 364,900 STATE CAPITAL VIENNA ST. PÖLTEN EISENSTADT GRAZ LINZ SALZBURG KLAGENFURT INNSBRUCK BREGENZ AREAS 160 mi2 7,403 mi2 1,531 mi2 6,329 mi2 4,626 mi2 2,762 mi2 3,682 mi2 4,883 mi2 1,004 mi2




Liechtenstein Switzerland Italy









Czech Republic

Upper Austria Lower Austria


East Tirol



Burg enla nd

Hungary 5



996 Austria’s name appears in “Ostarrichi” document

976-1246 The Babenbergs expand their territory

1278 Austria is hereditary fief of the Habsburgs

1438-1806 Habsburgs rule the Holy Roman Empire



ustria is the perfect place to experience history first hand. From archaeological excavations to open-air museums and countless exhibitions, Austria’s eventful history from the Roman era to the present day is apparent everywhere. Not only are the Austrians acutely aware of their heritage, they also incorporate it into everyday life through cherished traditions and stories that are passed on from generation to generation. As a result, the country’s historical artifacts, buildings and sites are painstakingly preserved and renovated, offering visitors and everyone interested a glimpse into an exciting and varied past.

Experience Austria’s Imperial Past A

In 1991, the discovery of a mummified Stone Age man frozen in an Alpine glacier, whom the Austrians lovingly call “Ötzi”, made it very clear that Austria’s history truly is ancient. From the 7th century B.C., the territory of today’s Austria was regularly raided and populated by belligerent Celts and Germanic tribes. Later, Romans settled in the area, and many of today’s cities stand on Roman civil or military settlements. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Germanic tribes, Slavs, and Avars settled in the region. Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, established a provincial outpost in the territory to protect his empire from eastern Magyar invaders. Over the years, the region gained in importance and not only as a defensive bulwark. Two dynasties, first the Babenbergs and later the Habsburgs, added territories to their main

lands through strategic marriages, heritage contracts, and political cunning. Under Habsburg rule, the Austrian lands eventually spanned half the globe, including Spain and its territories in the New World. Consequently, the country adopted many new customs and ideas, many of which thrive today in Austrian culture. The rule of the Habsburg ended only with World War I, and it took the country a while to form a new identity after centuries of belonging to an ethnically diverse empire. After the dark years of World War II, when Austria was part of the Third Reich, the Second Republic was formed in 1955 and in the 50 years that followed, Austria established itself as a stable and peaceful country rich in culture and history. You can experience some of Austria’s history yourself when you visit the various historical sites in Austria. The Wachau Region, for example, is the site of one of the most famous archaeological finds in Austria, a famous figurine named the Venus of Willendorf, which was created around 25,000 BC. Hallstatt, a picturesque lakeside town, was the main site of an Iron Age culture with the same name. The Roman civilization left its traces as well. You can visit excavation sites in Vienna, or at the nearby Open Air Museum Petronell, the site of a former Roman army camp and important civilian town. While the remnants of ancient Rome are impressive to visit, the medieval castles that are scattered all across the country will transport you back to a time when knights in shining armor were supposed to defend their ladies and peasant servants from hostile invaders. Mostly though, they fortified their castles, not only to ward off Turkish armies, but also to protect their interests from equally ambitious political enemies. The ruins of Duernstein Castle, where Richard the Lionhearted was held captive, overlook the picturesque Wachau Valley, which was then a major thoroughfare for knights on their way to some Crusade or other. Castles, however, are not the only remnants of the Middle Ages worth visiting. Hall in Tirol, for example, used to be an important mining town and the site of the royal mint. Here the first Thaler was minted, in its day, it was one of the most important coins in Europe. Learned monks vast libraries in abbeys and monasteries, which held vast libraries. Many of those monasteries have been altered over time, but original structures can still be made out, and the libraries, such as the one in the imposing Melk Abbey, display examples of particularly valuable hand-painted manuscripts. When the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Franz II, pronounced himself Emperor of Austria, the hereditary Austrian Empire was established. Our cities still display the splendor and romance of these times. You can visit the palaces, where the ruling families lived, treaties were signed, and history was made. The spires of impressive cathedrals give the skylines a distinctive look, and the stucco facades of Biedermeier houses reveal glimpses of earlier lifestyles. The prime example for a city that has preserved its historical character to this day is, of course, Vienna. By the turn of the 21st century, Vienna has established itself as a trendsetting metropolis with a cultural life that shows its influence all over Europe. When you visit Vienna today, you can tour Schönbrunn palace, the summer residence of the Imperial family, or have a look at the formidable Neoclassical buildings, such as the State Opera or the Parliament, that stand where the former city wall used to be. You can walk past the Viennese Secession buildings of Adolf Loos and Otto Wagner, visit exhibitions of Wiener Werkstätte furniture, or dance to Johann Strauss’s waltzes at one of the countless Viennese balls. You will notice that the Viennese live and love their history as much as they embrace innovation and change.

1804 Franz I assumes the title of Austrian Emperor

20th Century Austria finds a new identity after two world wars 2001 Austria adopts the EURO

Spectacular Castles in Austria
• Ambras Palace, Innsbruck The beautiful Renaissance palace accommodates the oldest art and armory collection of Europe. • Hochosterwitz Castle, Carinthia Carinthia’s landmark, an extraordinary enclosure with 14 castle gates, was first documented in 860. • Hohenwerfen Castle, SalzburgerLand Built in the 11th century, the former archbishop’s defense fortress houses a museum and falconry. • Riegersburg, Styria This mighty castle thrones on a 482 meter high volcano. Built in the 11th century, the Riegersburg has never been conquered.

-| 1 Baroque library at Admont Monastery, Styria -| 2 Ostarrichi document at the National Library, Vienna -| 3 Klosterneuburg: Babenberg family tree -| 4 The Golden Roof in Innsbruck, seat of Emperor Maximilian I. -| 5 Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna; Former summer residence of the Habsburgs

-| 6 Crown of the Austrian Empire at the Secular Imperial Treasury, Vienna -| 7 Old meets new when a medieval roofscape contrasts the futuristic Kunsthaus in Graz 7


Editor’s Pick: Take the time to enjoy the atmosphere of a typical Viennese coffeehouse. These Viennese institutions are known for their many varieties of coffee and exquisite pastries. There is scarcely a guest who hasn’t, at least once, lost track of time because he grew immersed in his newspaper or became involved in lively conversation. It was because of this atmosphere that many famous Austrian writers such as Karl Kraus did most of their writing at the coffeehouse.



Editor’s Pick: Vienna’s very walkable city center has various shopping areas, each with a unique flair. Stroll along the Graben and the Kärntnerstrasse to find design stores and fashion boutiques. It will be worth your while to explore the side streets, as this is where many outof-the-ordinary shops and outlets have sprung up recently. To find your way around this and other shopping areas, go to



Vienna Home!
Join us on a tour through our beautiful Danube metropolis and discover the secret of Vienna’s charming atmosphere. Experience the fascinating world of music, culture, joie de vivre, style, and charm that makes Vienna so special. Engage all your senses and enjoy everything Vienna has to offer! Whether you are looking for a souvenir to bring back home, or just want to pamper yourself with a welldeserved present, look for the label WIEN PRODUCTS to find high-quality products with a distinct Viennese touch. WIEN PRODUCTS stands for a variety of Viennese companies that subscribe to the same philosophy: they all emphasize the importance of outstanding craftsmanship, the highest standards of quality, and outstanding design. Their products range from precious and custom-made jewelry to stylish accessories and exquisite china, from highest quality furniture to culinary delicacies. Even several Vienna cultural institutions, such as the Viennese Boys Choir and the Spanish Riding School are part of the WIEN PRODUCTS brand. The wonderful thing about WIEN PRODUCTS is that no matter what product you decide on, you can be sure that it represents part of the fascinating aura of Vienna, so you can take a piece of Vienna with you, wherever you go. WIEN PRODUCTS is a project of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce & Industry. It was founded in 1995 with the goal of supporting the export efforts of selected Viennese consumer goods manufacturers. The 55 companies currently associated with WIEN PRODUCTS produce goods of outstanding quality, provide excellent service, and seek to incorporate Vienna’s unique flair and sense of aesthetics in their products. Further information about WIEN PRODUCTS is available on the Internet at or from the WIEN PRODUCTS Service Center, tel.: +011 43 1 51450 1517
A. E. Köchert Juweliere Augarten Mühlbauer


Österreichische Werkstätten

L. Jarosinski & J. Vaugoin

Ludwig Reiter

Florian Ladstätter


J. & L. Lobmeyr



“Vienna has succeeded in preserving its traditions and combining them with the spirit of modern times.” Elisabeth Gürtler, owner of the legendary Hotel Sacher.

Love Life, Live Creativity in Vienna Throughout the Seasons
Emotion, creativity, and tradition – this unmistakable “Viennese mix” awaits visitors of Vienna in every season. Tradition and modernity harmonize here as in no other city, turning Vienna into a paradise for people who love to explore and enjoy life.
Winter: Vienna hosts more than 300 balls every year such as the Imperial Ball, the Coffee Brewers’ Ball, and the world-famous Opera Ball. And it is not only about the traditional waltz— contemporary sounds also have their place. A break at a cozy Viennese coffee house during a leisurely shopping trip in the city is highly recommended, as is the princely service at the imperial and royal (k.u.k.) court pastry shop Demel or at one of the many other former purveyors to the court. Enter the “shop & win” campaign in January and February, and you might win first prize: a luxury trip to Vienna for two and 10,000 Euros in spending money. There are also instant prizes for anyone turning the wheel of fortune at the Tourist Information Office. Spring: A burst of colors and creation can be found not only in Vienna’s parks and markets but also in fashion boutiques and modern galleries of the new artists’ neighborhood around Vienna’s Naschmarkt. Fans of imperial splendor will love Schönbrunn Palace— Empress Sissi’s former summer residence. Spring is perfect for exploring this Baroque complex, which contains an enchanting park, the Palm House, the elevated Gloriette, and a beautiful zoo which dates back to 1752. Athletes can demonstrate their hiking, skating, and biking skills or participate in the Vienna City Marathon. Summer: The action in Vienna is on the streets, during events at the MuseumsQuartier and on the city beaches, cycling paths and recreational areas along the Danube Canal. And, of course, during Europe’s largest party, the Danube Island Festival at the end of June, and at the Music Film Festival on Rathausplatz, one of the hot spots in July and August, where you can sample local and international cuisine and view classical music performances on a huge outdoor screen. Admirers of the old masters will be fascinated by the collections in the Albertina and the Museum of Fine Arts. Autumn: During the “vienna, wine & design” campaign in October and November, an extensive program including a game with prizes—all about Viennese wines and young Viennese design—make autumn even more attractive. A hot tip: During Blickfang (literally: “eye catcher”), the Museum for Applied Arts (MAK) turns into a design department store for three days. Starting in mid-November, the Magic of Advent in front of City Hall and many other Christmas Markets offer delicious punch as well as arts and crafts. And on the New Year’s Eve Path, the New Year starts exceptionally well.



Editor's Pick: Be sure to purchase a Vienna Card, which grants you 72 hours of free public transportation and reduced entry to a lot of museums and other attractions.


• Vienna Boys’ Choir The famous boys’ choir (founded in 1498!) has delighted audiences the world over for more than 500 years. • Albertina The Albertina boasts an exceptional collection of graphic arts, with over 60,000 drawings and a million prints. • MuseumsQuartier (MQ) Modern art in the former Imperial Stables and contemporary museum buildings, with the world’s largest Egon Schiele collection in the Leopold Museum. • Museum for Applied Art / Contemporary Art (MAK) Design is the main focus of the MAK. Furniture, glass, china, silver, and textiles from the Middle Ages to the present day, crafts from the Wiener Werkstätte, bentwood furniture by Thonet and Art Nouveau highlights are on display. • Belvedere Palace This Baroque jewel actually consists of two palaces, and houses the Austrian Gallery, where you can admire Gustav Klimt’s masterpiece “The Kiss”. • Vienna State Opera One of the world’s leading opera houses—an architectural masterpiece and home to every star of the international world of opera. • Museum of Fine Arts The Museum of Fine Arts houses one of the world’s foremost art collections, including the largest collection of Bruegels in the world. • Giant Ferris Wheel The Giant Ferris Wheel in the Vienna Prater—made famous by Harry Lime in Carol Reed’s filming of “The Third Man”—is open all year long. • Imperial Palace The Imperial Apartments, the Sissy Museum, the Imperial Silver Collection and the Spanish Riding School can all be seen at Vienna’s Imperial Palace. • St. Stephen’s Cathedral St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Austria’s most eminent Gothic edifice, houses a wealth of art treasures. Climb the 343 steps to the tower-keeper’s room of St. Stephen’s and enjoy a truly breathtaking view. • Tip: In 2009, Vienna commemorates the 200th


Contact: Vienna Tourist Board

1020 Vienna
Tel: +011 43 1 24 555 Fax: +011 43 1 24 555-666

anniversary of the death of Joseph Haydn, who started his career as a member of the Vienna Boys’ Choir. Authentic sights and performances at the highest level are guaranteed. And in 2010-2011, Vienna will celebrate the life and work of another world-famous composer who lived and worked in Vienna: Gustav Mahler. 11


Editor’s Pick: The famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna is the only institution in the world that has cultivated classical equitation for over 430 years. Their evening performances are a must-see. Alternatively, you can also visit their morning exercises, when riders put the Lipizzan stallions through their paces.

Hotel am Brillantengrund
Our hotel is located in a charming Biedermeier building in a quiet residential area of Vienna, only a short walk from the shopping district of the Mariahilfer Strasse and other major sights of the city. The little garden in our courtyard is the perfect place to have breakfast or just relax after a city tour or business meeting.
Bed & Breakfast Prices: Winter Summer

Vienna Residence Orchestra
Mozart & Strauss Concert
One of the best orchestras of Vienna’s music world will take you on a journey through time back to the days of Imperial Vienna. The concerts are held at beautiful historic locations such as the venerable Palais Auersperg. DAILY • 6:30 PM • 8:15 PM Auersperg Palace Auerspergstrasse 1, 1080 Wien Phone: +43 1 817 21 78 Fax: +43 1 813 28 65 E-Mail:

Single room Double room Contact Information:

€69 to 156 €79 to 200

€76 to 156 €88 to 200

Hotel am Brillantengrund*** A-1070 Vienna, Bandgasse 4 Phone: +43 1 523 3662 • Fax: +43 1 523 3662 83 E-Mail:




Austria’s Top 11 Music Fesitvals
Immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of Austria’s great festivals

Castle Grafenegg Music Festival – Every year in August, audiences flock to hear performances by the London Symphony Orchestra and the likes amid the beautiful setting of a centuries-old castle and adjacent park. Innsbruck Summer Festival – Historically informed performances of Old Music are the focus of this festival in the Tirolean capital. Styriarte – Famed conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt is the father of this festival which features performances of the Concentus Musicus Wien, an ensemble performing Early Music on period instruments and the extraordinarily dynamic Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

Continued on page 14 13


Editor’s Pick: For a special travel experience, consider a ride on the "Majestic Imperator Train de Luxe," a veritable palace on rails, built according to the original plans of the Imperial Train from 1891. The European Imperial Train is the perfect way to travel between Austrian cities, while the Imperial Dinner Train is perfect for gourmet excursions outside of Vienna.

Austria’s Top 11 Music Festivals Continued

Salzburg Festival – Featuring opera, concerts and drama, the Salzburg Festival enjoys worldwide recognition as one of the most outstanding classical music events today. Summer Festival at Lake Constance – Known as the “Bregenzer Festspiele”, this event draws crowds with opera and concert performances by the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra and the largest floating stage in the world. Tirolean Festival Erl – With the Tirolean mountains as an impressive backdrop, the performances of Wagner’s oeuvre are truly awe-inspiring and receive outstanding reviews. Schubertiade Schwarzenberg – The annual meeting place for an international audience that seeks an exceptional cultural experience: hearing music performed by outstanding artists in idyllic surroundings. Vienna Festival Weeks – Encompassing everything from symphonic concerts and opera to theater performances and exhibitions, this significant festival spices up Vienna’s cultural life during the summer.

Operafestival St. Margarethen – An old Roman quarry is the setting for this exciting summer festival in Burgenland. International stars and popular operas guarantee a spectacular experience. Mörbisch Festival on the Lake – The picturesque town of Mörbisch is the location of the world’s greatest operetta Festival. Once you have seen the impressive open air stage you will be captivated. Hadyn Festival – The works of Joseph Haydn are at the heart of the festival in Eisenstadt, where Hayden was head of the court ensemble at the Esterhazy castle. The Linz Klangwolke (Cloud of Sound) – The opening event for the Bruckner Festival in Linz is a spectacle of pioneering classical music performances and electronic visualization.



Editor’s Pick: If you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing, the Salzburg Card and the SalzburgerLand Card are great money savers: For a small fee, you get free public transportation plus free access to major museums and attractions. The cards are available at many hotels, ticket shops, and all of the local Tourist Information offices. For more information, go to and


Music, Mountains, and More…
Explore the wonders of Salzburg and the SalzburgerLand
he beauty of its landscape and outstanding cultural events are what make this province and its capital a visitor magnet second only to Vienna. A region of mountains, charming Alpine lakes, and rolling hills, SalzburgerLand is located right in the heart of Austria, with Salzburg City only a short train ride away from both Munich and Vienna.


Baroque cathedral in which many of his works were first performed, or simply soak up the city’s atmosphere, which still conveys some of the spirit of his time. Salzburg is also known around the world for its sophisticated cultural offerings with more than 4,000 events throughout the year, most notably the renowned Salzburg Festival, the Mozart Week and the Easter and Whitsun Festivals.

The beauty of Salzburg city and the surrounding countryside has been captured in the acclaimed motion picture “The Sound of Music” and special tours take you to the movie’s different locations, such as the Nonnberg Convent, the Mirabell Gardens, the Sound of Music Gazebo in Hellbrunn. It is the perfect way to get a glimpse of the region’s culture and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. TOURISMUS SALZBURG GMBH Salzburg Information Auerspergstraße 6, A-5020 Salzburg Tel. +011 43 662 88987 0 Fax: +011 43 662 88987 32 SalzburgerLand Tourismus Ges.m.b.H. Wiener Bundesstr. 23 A-5300 Hallwang bei Salzburg Tel. +011 43 662 6688 0 Fax +011 43 662 6688 66

A walk through Salzburg City
A jewel of Baroque architecture, Salzburg City is nestled between the foothills of the Alps, where rich salt deposits made it an important and prosperous trading site. Today, a walk through Salzburg City feels like a walk back in time, thanks to its well-preserved Old Town and extensive pedestrian areas. Accents of modern architecture perfectly contrast the Baroque cityscape and give it a touch of cosmopolitan flair. The majestic fortress Hohensalzburg, for example, which dates back to the Middle Ages, is perched on a mountain directly opposite of the Mönchsberg, where the renowned Museum of Modern Art overlooks the entire city. Salzburg is full of performing spaces for classical music, and each day, at least one of them seems to resonate with the music of Mozart. Walk in Mozart’s footsteps and visit his birthplace, see the remarkable

SalzburgerLand – where the Sound of Music is still alive
Mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, picturesque villages, and affluent towns characterize the province of SalzburgerLand. Each region, from the foothills of the Alps to the Hohe Tauern National Park, is special in its own way. Preserving and protecting this natural beauty is a great tradition in the SalzburgerLand. The farmers there have known for ages that they must care for the land, which is the basis of their existence. This is the reason why in all of Europe, SalzburgerLand has the highest number of farmers who employ organic farming techniques. In the vicinity of the city, discover the crystal clear lakes in Salzkammergut Lake District, the world’s largest ice caves, the salt mines, the Celtic town of Hallein, and the thermal springs in the Gastein Valley.


Art & Design






Pass from the old masters to the postmodernists on a tour of Austria’s most important museums and galleries.
he 2004 enlargement of the European Union placed Austria and its people at the center of the continent’s economic system and cultural scene, making the country one of the great contemporary art centers of the world. Everywhere you go, you’ll find artists and craftspeople building a new lexicon upon the old. Easily and efficiently traversed by train, car, or foot, the famously beautiful cities and breathtaking landscapes of Austria offer the traveler old-world charm and new-world excitement.


walking distance of one another. And be sure bring to your appetite. The museums and their award-winning restaurants feed body and soul alike. Be sure to parade from one gallery to the next in Vienna’s celebrated “Gallery Walkabout” in which several galleries host exhibitions on the same night. When you’re ready for a beautiful trip into the country, follow the Danube a few miles north of Vienna and visit the Essl Museum, an impressive exhibition space designed by Heinz Tesar. Its 6,000 images constitute the most comprehensive collection of postwar Austrian paintings. After strolling through the museum, conclude your daytrip with a tour of Klosterneuburg. The neighboring grand monastery abounds in cultural treasures.

Starting in Vienna, you’ll experience a unique confluence of the old and new art worlds. The city boasts the greatest density of art museums and galleries in Austria. Check into a hotel and spend days viewing dozens of major collections all within ten minute’s


Art & Design

Art & Design
In Linz European Capital of Culture 2009, you’ll encounter the Ars Electronica Center, or the “Museum of the Future,” as it is called. Fifty interactive exhibits demonstrate how electronic technology produces moving, cutting-edge art. Famous for its music and Baroque architecture, beautiful Salzburg also boasts an important collection of modern art, including works by Klimt and Kokoschka. In 2004, the Museum der Moderne expanded significantly. Perched atop the Mönchsberg, the marble-clad building offers views of the Salzach Valley and is a unique setting for this vibrant new gallery. Farther west, in Vorarlberg’s capital Bregenz, you’ll find one of Europe’s premier museums of contemporary art, Kunsthaus Bregenz. There, sunlight filters through glass-paneled ceilings into serene, polished-concrete chambers to illuminate works by internationally renowned artists. A dialogue exists between the paintings and the exhibition space, out of which has grown a truly unique experience of contemporary art. Similarly, Austrian design is experiencing a veritable surge in popularity. You’ll find magnificently designed wares in shops throughout the country, but be sure to visit the factories too, where you can meet and watch the craftspeople at work. Discover a wide range of ornamental products at Swarovski, the Tirolean manufacturer famous for its endlessly inventive use of crystal. Visit the Swarovski Crystal Worlds near Innsbruck and immerse yourself in this sparkling world. In nearby Kufstein, a picturesque town near Innsbruck, watch Riedel glassblowers craft what Robert Parker in The Wine Advocate calls, “The finest glasses for both technical and hedonistic purposes.” Claus Riedel went down in history when he designed this mouthblown glass that captures the aroma of wine in a balloon-shaped bowl. In Vienna you’ll find Wiener Werkstätte, founded in 1903 by Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser to develop and execute designs on the guiding principles of elegance, precision, and function. The products of the Wiener Werkstätte—whether couches, lamps or handbags—remain classics of modern design even today. It is remarkable how many Austrian companies continue to produce locally. The Austrian porcelain manufacturer Augarten looks back on a history of almost 300 years of producing tableware. Made in Vienna, this porcelain is famous for its filigree shapes and exquisite details. Vienna also produces musical instruments of the highest quality. Devotees of the Bösendorfer piano’s dark, rich, sound should tour its Vienna salon to play every model—from the awe-inspiring Imperial Grand to the dainty Upright. The production facility south of the city is open to visitors. When it’s time to take a rest, sip on some Viennese coffee and enjoy the sublime comfort of Austrian functional design. Viennese craftsman Michael Thonet’s bentwood chairs furnish many of the country’s cafes and coffee houses, providing comfort and a simple grace that prompted Le Corbusier to remark, “Never has anything been created more elegant and better in its conception, more precise in its execution, and more excellently functional.” Austria was not only setting the pace for style and design 100 years ago; it still does so today, and this is reflected in the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK, where a vast variety of works by domestic designers is on display. The event is held annually, with exhibitions, events, and discussions that attract more than 10,000 visitors. Austria offers so much in contemporary design and art; you could spend a lifetime exploring. Learn more by visiting and see what Austrian destinations have to offer.



-| 1 Installation by Olafur Eliasson at the KUB -| 2 Room designed by Matteo Thun at the Hotel Altstadt -| 3 Egon Schiele at the Leopold Museum, Vienna -| 4 Inside the Museum of Fine Arts, Vienna -| 5 Hand-painted Augarten figurines -| 6 High-quality upholstery fabrics by Backhausen are used all over the world -| 7 Façade of the Ars Electronica Center in Linz

Design Finds at Vienna’s Museum Shops
• The MQ Shop at the MuseumsQuartier offers a wide selection of Viennese design pieces and original gift items. • The shop at the Albertina offers postcards and prints with motifs from its famous graphics collection as well as clothing, jewelry, and design products.

• The Museum of Applied Arts presents highlights of applied art throughout history. Its MAK Design Shop commissions objects from artists and supplies prints on demand. • The objects presented at the KunstHausWien MuseumShop were designed using only ecologically acceptable materials. 17

Modern Architecture

A Short Architecture Tour Through Austria A

ustria’s major architectural attractions are an open invitation to travel back through the ages. The country is strewn with castles, palaces, and monasteries, silent witnesses to a colorful past. Architecture enthusiasts travel to Austria to experience brilliant modern architecture in dramatic landscapes and historic settings. At the same time, Austria is a pioneer of ecological building. While the architectural themes may vary from province to province, these buildings all address the problem of relating to the natural surroundings and to the existing architecture. In Vorarlberg (1), the country’s westernmost state, one finds a veritable Alpine laboratory of new design and construction. The most conspicuous features of contemporary building here are the rational use of resources and a continuity that goes back directly to longheld traditions.


Given that Tirol is known for its hospitality, most of the exciting new buildings here cater to the needs of visitors. Highlights are Zaha Hadid’s Bergisel ski jump (2) and the new Hungerburgbahn mountain railway in Innsbruck, the branches of the MPreis supermarket chain (which have garnered numerous architectural awards), and the Ötztal’s Aquadome, one of Tirol’s premiere spas. A stroll through the Old Town of Krems can become a time warp to the Middle Ages, while the town’s “Kunsthalle” exhibition facility brings you right back to the present. Lower Austria’s most spectacular architectural gem is undoubtedly the Loisium (3), a sprawling multimedia wine museum with an adjoining designer hotel, the work of architect Steven Holl. Upper Austria’s outstanding contemporary building is the Lentos Art Museum (4) beside the Danube in Linz, European Capital of Culture 2009. An incisive building with clear-cut lines, the Lentos features a kind of larger-than-life 130-meter wide bridge harboring a space for art that reflects the waters of the Danube.




South of Vienna lies the city of Graz (6), a renaissance jewel on the Mur River. Though not as well known as Prague, it is every bit as enchanting as the Czech capital. But visit the Kunsthaus to see just how starkly modern architecture contrasts the traditional cityscape. Its bubble-glass skin has earned it the nickname “Friendly Alien.” For more information on art, architecture and design in Austria, go to





In Vienna, the wealth of opulent public architecture testifies to the city’s erstwhile status as the capital of a vast empire. That it has mastered the leap into the twenty-first century with aplomb is demonstrated by, for instance, Hans Hollein’s Haas Haus, a post-modernist commercial center facing St. Stephen’s Cathedral (5), the most venerable architectural monument in the city. Be sure to visit the MuseumsQuartier—once the Imperial Stables—which continues the debate between the proponents of traditional and innovative architecture.

Editor’s Pick: Getting around Austria is easy with the highly convenient public transportation system. A train ride from Vienna to Graz, for example, takes only two hours and thirty minutes. And while you can relax in a comfortable seat, you can enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Semmering. For train schedules and fares within Austria, go to

The Austrian Tourist Office Recommends

Unique Travel Ideas at the

Austria Travel Boutique
Austria offers many unforgettable vacation experiences. Discover a selected few in our Travel Boutique that go far beyond the ordinary. These selected travel programs will allow you to experience some of the best Austria has to offer and are operated by some of our most trusted travel partners. With prices starting at US$ 690, our selection also fits your budget. • Walking & Hiking • Wine & Gourmet • Historic Cities & Towns • Biking in Austria

How about a New Passion?

You won’t find many cities with a southern feel and lots of sunshine that offers as much variety in such a conveniently small area. Modern architecture contrasts beautifully with the charming alleys and squares of the medieval city center. Around each corner you’ll discover hidden lanes, picturesque courtyards and ornate facades. This is why the core of the city has been added to the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage Sites as “Central Europe’s best preserved city center”.

Apart from a fantastic blend of Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque buildings with ones exhibiting cutting edge architecture, such as the bubble-like structure housing a new artexhibition space, you will also find that Graz offers many outstanding culinary and cultural experiences. Try some of the local delicacies, and make sure to include a visit to the wine regions around Graz to round out your stay. But be warned: a short, harmless fling with Graz can turn into a serious relationship. Because once you’ve fallen in love with Graz, you’ll come back again and again.

Contact Information:

Graz Tourist Information Office
Herrengasse 16 8010 Graz / Austria Tel: +011 43 316 8075 0 Fax: +011 43 316 8075 15 19

Food & Wine







Futuristic Wines in a Storybook Land


n 2009, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate awarded an Austrian Blaufränkisch 95 points—the varietal’s first-ever rating of “extraordinary.”

That the 2006 wine from Austria achieved this milestone is no surprise: the country’s distinctive red wines have been rocketing steadily up the charts for a decade—catching up to their well-regarded white counterparts. What is surprising is how Austria’s wine region—with its outstanding Rieslings, Grüner Veltliners, Zweigelts, and other unique varietals—continues to remain a deliciously best-kept secret.

Indeed, Austrian Wine Country is boundless and untrammeled—despite its accessibility. Burgenland—home to Blaufränkisch (earthy reds), Zweigelt (rich, gamy reds), and Trockenbeerenauslese (spine-tingling dessert wines)—lies one hour southeast of Vienna. Situated around Lake Neusiedl/Neusiedlersee (pronounced “noy-zeed-ler-zay”), Burgenland is lush, green, flat, and wonderfully alive. Storks abound, nesting alongside steeples and pointed roofs. Burgenland’s historic villages step straight out of a storybook, but a new horizon is emerging, too. It’s clear in the region’s finer restaurants, where compulsively fresh, local ingredients (i.e. delicate lake fish, fork-tender rabbit) and traditional


When Modern Meets Classical

Food & Wine

preparations undergo modernization—a foam here, a sprig of micro-greens there. Change is evident in the landscape, too. Dramatic, stark monoliths rise high above the green fields—marring their storybook simplicity. Head toward these modern marvels: they represent some of Burgenland’s best wineries and vinotheks (tasting rooms). Make an afternoon of it: go to a vinothek, taste the day’s selections, pick out a bottle, and set up a picnic. Don’t forget your binoculars! Vienna is no slouch when it comes to wine, either. Mozart and Klimt remain powerful draws to this great cultural capital, but the city is fast-becoming a wine destination, filled with ultra-hip wine bars, cozy heurigen (family-run taverns), and temples of Modern Austrian Cuisine. The most famous among these is Steirereck, and it demonstrates precisely how well the region’s natural abundance—such as a lean, juicy cut of Alpine ox—pairs with Austrian varietals. Wine even stars in Vienna’s hotels, such as at Hotel Rathaus Wein & Design, where each of the streamlined boutique-style rooms is named after an Austrian winery. Ninety minutes west of Vienna is a different wine region entirely. Wachau and Kamp Valleys line the Danube. Like the rice terraces of Asia, their terrain is steep, breathtaking, and vividly green. Rather than flatlands, here are tier upon tier of grapevines—a dramatic backdrop for quaint villages, deep blue water, and the occasional castle rising into the clouds. Explore this scenery on bicycle or foot—or float from Krems to Melk on a majestic riverboat.

A new generation of superstars have inherited the scenery and craft, and their white wines are so lively that it’s safe to say they dance in the mouth. The most famous among them—Grüner Veltliner—are peppery enough to tickle your tongue, ears, and throat. But overlooking the Riesling of this mineral-driven soil—characteristically puckering, tart, and insistent—would be a crime. The picture-book countryside is sprinkled with architectural feats. Designed by New York-based architect Steven Holl, the Loisium combines a luxury resort with an Aveda spa, a vinothek for wines from nearby Kamptal, astounding cheeses, and a multi-level, sensory museum. Sound, sight, smell, touch, and taste are all evoked in a tale that’s equal parts mystical, historical, and imaginative. If Burgenland is flat and the Wachau steep, Styria—to the south of Vienna—is rolling green slopes dotted with wineries. Find a Buschenschanken (rural café) and order a platter of charcuterie: then sit on a veranda and with a glass of Styrian Sauvignon Blanc. To learn more about the regions, events, and wines themselves, go to

Jean Tang, a New York-based food writer, discovered the Austrian wine country in 2005, and fell in love. Ms. Tang also writes for The New York Times, New York Magazine, and other publications. Read her work at



-| 1 Liszt Center Raiding -| 2 Winemaker H. Schröck -| 3 Loisium Cellar World -| 4 Wiener Schnitzel -| 5 Klosterneuburg Abbey -| 6 Wine tavern -| 7 Grape

-| 8 Lake Neusiedl 21

Nature Paradise





Alpine Vistas
Recharge Your Batteries Vacationing Amid Austria’s Famously Idyllic Landscapes
wim in crystal clear lakes, enjoy a homemade meal in a cozy wine tavern in front of sun-drenched vineyards, take a deep breath of fresh mountain air on top of one of the majestic peaks of the Alps, or relax in a deck chair on board a Danube sightseeing cruise and take in the view of hundreds of apricot trees in full bloom.


wild, steppe like fields and rolling hills, marvel at the majestic peaks of the Alps and stretch your legs while walking along the even banks of Lake Constance. And just like the open prairie and the Rockies shaped American culture and history, Austria’s varied landscape is an inextricable part of Austrian culture. Hence the profound respect for the environment, deep appreciation of nature and generous hospitality that make an Austria vacation special. It is not an accident that many families have lived in a particular village or town for centuries, and hotels and guesthouses are run by the third or fourth generation of innkeepers.



Austria’s landscapes are incredibly varied and the options are endless. It takes only seven hours to drive from the easternmost part of Austria to the western border with Hungary, roughly the same time it takes one to get from New York City to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Yet, in these seven hours, you drive through several climate zones, pass

Nature Paradise
Austrian lakes have drinking water-quality, a full 13% of farming is now organic, and many resorts introduced ecologically responsible measures that ensure the protection of Austria’s pristine environment. Austria’s nature reserves are visitor magnets in which you can ramble, cycle and explore. The majority of National Parks are located in sparsely populated areas and provide a habitat for a vast profusion of indigenous flora and fauna. The National Parks’ unspoiled environment also benefits people in search of quality rest and recreation. One of the most notable parks is the Donau-Auen National Park between Vienna and Bratislava, one of the few remaining floodplain landscapes in central Europe. This “green wilderness“ is a delightful natural environment which you can explore on foot or by boat and encounter more than 60 species of fish, eagles, beavers and rare orchids. Another highlight is the Hohe Tauern National Park. The largest National Park in central Europe covers territory in the provinces of Carinthia, Salzburg and Tirol. With mighty mountain peaks such as the Grossglockner (Austria’s highest peak), vast glaciers and spectacular waterfalls, the Hohe Tauern National Park is a many-faceted natural wonder. Explore either one of 26 rambles on themes such as “life on an Alpine farm” and “on the trail of smugglers.” Covering over 80% of the country, the Alps provide the ideal backdrop for a walking tour. Austria is a paradise for leisurely walkers, and you will find more than 31,000 miles of trails for outdoor enthusiasts of all proficiency levels. Let your senses take in all the different smells, sights and sounds as you wander along hillsides splashed with the colors of wildflowers. Be sure to rest your legs once in a while and stop at one of the many mountain huts to enjoy the cozy atmosphere, chat with the locals and taste some of the local specialties. Innsbruck, the capital of Tirol, is particularly charming with its medieval flair. Architectural highlights from past and present can be found at every corner. Its surrounding holiday villages are a walker’s dream come true. Let a cable car whisk you up the Patscherkofel Mountain and walk the popular Pine Tree Trail locally known as Zirbenweg, a 4-mile-long panorama promenade in the midst of a nature preserve. Another option is the “Almenweg”, an exciting path that starts off as a forest track and follows a level or gently ascending gradient between alpine meadows and pastures. While the Alps are also a mecca for Mountain bikers, with Tirol and Vorarlberg offering great trails of various difficulty levels, the gentle inclines of Upper Austria and Lower Austria and the wide open landscapes around Lake Neusidel are the perfect location for leisurely bike trips both long or short. Sunny Burgenland is great for excursions on asphalt tracks such as the Red Wine Path, or the Nature Reserve Path; or a two day trip for a round circuit of the Neusiedler See through reed beds, past wine cellars and to idyllic little villages. The wine district to the north of Vienna is also ideally suited to leisurely biking: unspoilt nature wherever you look, the cycling paths are all dotted with inviting places to stop for a break. Without significant gradients, the Wine Cycle Paths lead through picturesque vineyards, away from busy roads, to castles, palaces, museums and romantic wine cellars. All the while, you are never far from historic city centers, cultural events and gourmet restaurants, which makes Austria’s provinces the ideal location for family vacations and sophisticated outdoor adventures.


6 -| 1 Picturesque Hallstatt is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site -| 2 Relaxing under a tree -| 3 Landscape near Guessing, Burgenland -| 4 On a bicycle tour in Lermoos, Tirol -| 5 Mountain spring: Austria is famous for its excellent drinking water -| 6 Kaiser mountain range near Kufstein, Tirol

Ideas for Great Nature Experiences
• For Hikers and Outdoor Enthusiasts Free guided hikes are run by the famous Innsbruck Alpine School, which even provides hiking boots and a stylish rucksack. • Explore the Danube Region on Two Wheels The Danube biking trail provides easy riverbank cycling. Always close to the mighty waters of the Danube, your path is dotted with castles, monasteries and picturesque villages. • A Nature Paradise for Gourmets Following the Cheese Route through the Bregenzerwald of Vorarlberg is the ideal way to explore this lovely region and its traditional—and excellent—cheeses.



Editor’s Pick: If you want to enjoy fresh mountain air and the fantastic views over Austria’s peaks, but don’t feel like skiing or hiking, simply take the cable car or chair lifts to get up and down the mountain. Winter and summer, you can relax in a lounge chair on the terrace of one of the cozy mountain huts, bask in the warm midday sun, and enjoy excellent food and refreshments.

Exquisite Austria Experiences with

Patrician Journeys
Book your Austria Vacation with
• Music Tours featuring Mozart, Haydn and Strauss • Custom Designed Museum Experiences • Cuisine & Wine • Family & Small Group Holidays • Honeymoons & Vow Renewals • Charming Romantic Villages off the Beaten Path • Imperial Cities • 4* and 5* Properties or Family Owned Country Hotels • Abbeys, Monasteries & Shrines

Hotel Zuerserhof *****
Right next to the ski slopes near the exclusive village of Zürs, our hotel offers elegant rooms and suites with beautiful views of the breathtaking mountain landscape. Numerous well-being facilities and excellent cuisine make both winter sports fans and those looking for relaxation feel at home.

Herzerl Tours
A Taste of Vienna A hands-on culinary tour for gourmets The Sound of Austrian Music Must-see attractions for classical music lovers Wine Tasting in Austria Walking/bus tours in Austria’s wine country. Group Tours/Mini Groups/FIT Susanne Servin Tel: +800 684 8488 • Fax: +914 771 5844 Email:

Patrician Journeys, Inc. Austrian Certified Travel Specialists Tel: +800 344 1443 Fax: +973 992 9804 Email:

Familie Skardarasy A-6763 Zürs am Arlberg Österreich – Austria Tel. +011 43 5583 / 2513 0 Fax: +011 43 5583 / 3165 Email:



How to Get There: Connecting to the Arlberg is easy. Besides excellent public transportation options (, there is the Arlberg Express. During the winter season, the company offers a shuttle service that takes you from the international airport in Zurich, Switzerland, directly to all Arlberg resorts.


The Stars of the Arlberg
More than 100 years ago, the Arlberg made history as the cradle of Alpine skiing. Ever since, its five charming villages have impressed many a visitor with their individual characters: luxurious Lech, sophisticated Zürs, cozy Stuben, exclusive St. Christoph, and cosmopolitan St. Anton.

The Cradle of Skiing The Arlberg is undoubtedly one of the best skiing areas worldwide. If there were a “walk of fame” for ski regions, the star for the Arlberg would most certainly have impressive dimensions. Inspiring views over majestic mountain ranges, a seemingly endless galaxy of glorious pistes, 85 cable cars and chairlifts, and 280 kilometers of marked runs make for delightful adventures. In addition, powder-snow enthusiasts can look forward to 180 kilometers of off-piste runs. No wonder that free riders view the Arlberg as the European standard for backcountry skiing! Between 4,200 feet and 9,200 feet above sea level, the winter season lasts from the end of November until the beginning of May, and excellent snow conditions are guaranteed!

The Arlberg Gene The Arlberg gene must be the reason for the great success of the region in international winter-sports competitions. Its effect: To give one’s utmost, not only when it comes to skiing. This urge has inspired skiing professionals from the pioneer of modern skiing Hannes Schneider, to the legendary skier Karl Schranz and Olympic champion Patrick Ortlieb. The same driving force also inspires to achieve new heights in hospitality and service. The Arlberg region delights with an exceptional concentration of fourand five-star hotels and award-winning restaurants. Despite the rich diversity of the five communities, they all have in common an uncompromising commitment to exclusivity, which makes the cradle of Alpine skiing a legend even in our times.

Arlberg Cuisine The Arlberg has the highest density of Gault Millau toques in Europe. However, visitors to the chic ski region not only appreciate the high quality of gastronomy when it comes to top-class and star restaurants, but also the excellent standard of the ski huts, après-ski clubs, and snack bars.


Lech Zürs Tourismus GmbH A-6764 Lech am Arlberg Phone: +011 43 5583 2161 0 Fax: +011 43 5583 3155

Tourismusbüro Stuben A-6762 Stuben am Arlberg Phone: +011 43 5582 399 Fax: +011 43 5582 3994

Tourismusverband St. Anton/St. Christoph A-6580 St. Anton am Arlberg Phone: +011 43 5446 22690 Fax: +011 43 5446 2532 25







Winter Magic
By Roger Toll
he jagged spine of the Alps soars skyward from the heart of Austria just as it sinks deep into its national culture. This is where modern skiing was born and from where America’s first generation of ski instructors emerged to teach the New World the Arlberg technique, named for a region of Austria whose towns carry such legendary names as St. Anton, St. Christoph, Zürs, and Lech.


drawn sleigh glides by silently but for the bells on the horse’s yoke. The warm interiors of restaurants gleam through frosted windows. They call it Gemütlichkeit, this friendly twinkle in the eye, the warm greeting, the offer of refreshments when you stop by an old chalet high on a mountain slope to ask directions to a lift in the morning light. You return for lunch, when Gemütlichkeit is in full flower. It’s as if skiing is prelude to the real fun: the warmth of friendship, laughter, a cozy meal on a sunny terrace, below soaring peaks, rocky arêtes, and fields of snow that surround you. Waiters squeeze



People have been navigating the peaks and deep valleys of the Austrian Alps for millennia. The carved-wood balconies and pastel-painted motifs on village chalets are the inspiration behind many American ski resorts’ replications of that original Alpine charm. Under five feet of fresh snow, Austria’s mountain towns turn magical. A horse-

past the wooden benches ferrying plates of dried meats, venison carpaccio, all kinds of dumplings, plates of regional cheeses and the occasional glass of wine or beer. Ask Austrians what the best part of the ski day was, and they point to lunch with their friends and family. The simple enjoyments of life. This camaraderie built around skiing is part of the national culture. A string of picturesque villages tucked into wooded valleys links the skiing areas of western Austria. There, children aspire to be ski champions, not football stars. The annual race of the Hahnenkamm in the fashionable town of Kitzbühel is the Super Bowl of ski racing, and fans from throughout Europe turn the long weekend into one of the world’s great street parties. High above the town, however, 90 miles of groomed trails across valleys and passes beckon, a seemingly endless terrain of white landscapes and mountain peaks. At the bigger areas that interconnect numerous towns, skiing becomes an adventure stretching across vast networks of lifts that lead to distant villages. In Europe, skiing can feel like treks of discovery. Plan where you want to go in the morning, then ski to distant villages, stopping along the way for a hot chocolate or even a schnapps. If hidden powder is what you seek, hire a mountain guide for the day—at more accessible prices than you’d pay on this side of the Atlantic—and he’ll lead you into secret stashes far from the groomers, perhaps still untracked days after the last snowfall. There are about 700 ski areas in Austria, but foreign visitors do best concentrating on the larger, more famous resorts of the provinces Vorarlberg, Tirol and Salzburg. Transportation connections are easy and everything is close, no more than a few hours between them by comfortable, efficient trains. Everybody in the service industry invariably speaks English, and it’s easy to get the right advice on traveling from here to there. For lodging, pick a hotel at the center of the town you choose, or at a gasthaus—an Austrian B&B. Free bus systems pick up skiers and carry them to any of a variety of lifts from which they can access different mountains. Soon you are talking with others on the bus, exchanging information, feeling a part of local knowledge. The towns are fun to walk through and discover, the shopping is good, and the people are always friendly. There are snowshoe trails, sleigh rides, cross-country skiing and an array of snow toys—from snow scooters and bikes to skateboards and pontoons—that are unknown in our more litigious North America. If the beauty of the Alps and the gemütlich pleasures of an Alpine holiday are not tempting enough to seal the deal, consider exploring Vienna, one of Europe’s great capitals, where during the mid winter months you can get tickets to one of the fairy-tale-like Viennese balls, where everyone dances the waltz. Or spend a few days in the beautiful Baroque city of Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace. Each is a museum in itself, with glorious churches, palaces, priceless art galleries and traditional coffee houses.

Roger Toll, former editor of Snow Country magazine and a travel writer and photographer, is a frequent visitor to Austria.



Our Top Winter Resorts
-| 1 Snow shoe hikes in untouched landscapes -| 2 A view of the snow covered church steeples of Salzburg City -| 3 Rustic mountain huts are the perfect place to take a break from skiing -| 4 A fun winter adventure: toboganning -| 5 Enjoy a sleigh ride in Ramsau am Dachstein, Styria -| 6 Quaint Kitzbühel is a paradise for skiers -| 7 Breathtaking views from the Top Mountain Star in the Oetztal
• The Arlberg For excellent skiing visit upscale Lech and Zürs, or St. Anton with its bustling nightlife and international flair. • Innsbruck This historic town is the winter destination for overseas travelers. You can’t beat the value and easy access to ski slopes and sightseeing highlights. • Ötztal Valley The village of Obergurgl at the very end of Ötztal is a vacation paradise for families, while Sölden has two glacier ski areas for year-round winter fun. • Kitzbühel A picture perfect town center and the world’s most famous ski race define this center of Alpine skiing.



Christmas Markets
During the four weeks leading up to Christmas Eve, Christmas Markets spring up in every town, big and small, all over the country. They are an important part of the longstanding traditions observed during the Advent season and contribute to the almost tangible aura of expectation that lies over the land. Emanating a warm and cozy atmosphere, these markets offer all kinds of handicrafts and Christmas decorations: handmade toys and local art, dolls and marionettes, spice bouquets, candles, ceramics, crèches and crèche figurines. Mulled wine and delicious foods draw crowds, and many Christmas Markets become a gathering spot where people meet to chat and enjoy the festive mood. Here is a short list of the most popular markets across Austria:

• VIENNA – “The Magic of Advent” The Christmas Market held in front of the City Hall can be traced back to the year 1298. Today, 140 stalls offer a variety of seasonal food and drink as well as handicrafts and Christmas decorations. For children, there is even a Christmas workshop, where they can make trinkets and bake cookies. • VIENNA – Schönbrunn Christmas Market Vienna’s most scenic and cozy Christmas Market is held directly in front of Schönbrunn Palace. With daily concerts, the scent of mulled wine and gingerbread in the air, and the beautiful Christmas tree to admire, you can’t help being in a festive mood. • Christmas in Salzburg The romantic Christmas Market on Cathedral Square right in the heart of Salzburg dates back to the 15th century. The tree vendors occupy the Residenzplatz on the side of the huge Baroque building. Several folk groups perform traditional Salzburg Christmas carols, all designed to conjure the true Christmas spirit.

• Salzburg – Hellbrunner Advent Magic One of the most perfect locations for a traditional Christmas Market is the charming Hellbrunn Castle near Salzburg. Come to soak up the fairy-tale atmosphere, shop for local handicrafts, and listen to traditional music while sipping a cup of special Christmas coffee. • Innsbruck Christmas Markets The medieval square in front of the Golden Roof is transformed into a traditional Austrian Christmas Market, where you can sample Tirolean fare and buy Christmas presents. In fact, the entire town center is so beautifully decorated, it seems like one big Christmas Market. The snow-capped mountains in the background provide the perfect seasonal atmosphere. • GRAZ Advent Markets A romantic tour is the best way to experience the magical atmosphere of the various Christmas Markets in Graz. Nestled between medieval buildings or spread out right in front of the festively adorned City Hall, the various stalls beckon with glittering trinkets, local handicrafts, and delicious foods.

• LINZ The Christmas Markets in Linz are held on the Baroque main square and in the Volksgarten. The Linz City Express takes you from one market to the next, so you can enjoy typical arts and crafts, hot punch, and performances by brass orchestras and choirs without having to walk far. Linz also features a special Christmas and crèche exhibition and workshops, where you can create your own Christmas presents. • Rattenberger Advent A medieval city with only 439 inhabitants and covering an area of 11 hectares, Rattenberg is the perfect backdrop for an authentic Advent experience. Be sure to check your calendar, Austria’s smallest city holds its lovely Christmas Market only on certain weekends in December! • Mariazell – Advent Austria For centuries, Mariazell has been a spiritual center and favorite destination of pilgrims and vacationers from all over the world. Against the picturesque backdrop of the basilica, in the midst of the wintry mountains of the Mariazell region, it is the magic and tranquility of Advent that come to the fore. Every weekend in December, authentic Christmas customs and regional delicacies delight adults and children alike.



Event Calendar


Yearly Event Highlights
If you want to know what not to miss while you are in Austria, we have compiled a list of the country’s most notable events throughout the year. People have been known to travel across the Atlantic for these events alone. . . . JANUARY______________________________ Mozart Week, Salzburg Every year around Mozart’s birthday on January 27, Salzburg honors its most beloved son with a series of performances featuring world-renowned artists. Hahnenkamm Race, Kitzbühel The Hahnenkamm Downhill Race is the unofficial highlight of the championship skiing season. Daredevil skiers excel on the slopes, and Kitzbühel is party central for days. Resonanzen in the Konzerthaus, Vienna Vienna’s festival of ancient music in the Konzerthaus features compositions ranging from the Middle Ages to the Baroque period. FEBRUARY_______________________________ Opera Ball, Vienna The Vienna State Opera is the venerable venue for the top social event of Vienna’s Ball season. MARCH_________________________________ Easter Festivals in Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck The very popular Easter Festivals give new impetus to the cities' cultural scenes and focus on solemn and joyful music fit for the occasion. APRIL__________________________________ Spring Festival, Vienna Masterpieces of classical music, performed by well-known interpreters at the Vienna Musikverein, with focus on compositions by Dvořák and Janáček. MAY____________________________________ Life Ball, Vienna Life Ball is one of Europe’s most fun and flamboyant AIDS charity events and has grown to be a renowned society gathering. Narzissen Fest, Bad Aussee In two traditional parades, one on the road, the other by boat, the participants—dressed in traditional costumes—display beautiful creations made entirely of daffodils. Vienna Festival The concerts and performances of the Vienna Festival are the true highlights of Vienna’s concert and performing art season. Schubertiade, Schwarzenberg A series of high-level orchestral and chamber music concerts, piano, and lieder evenings amid the charming setting of the Bregenzerwald. JUNE___________________________________ Styriarte, Graz The involvement of star conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt guarantees exceptional musical experiences. Danube Island Festival, Vienna This has become the largest youth festival in central Europe. People from all over the world are expected at the largest summer recreation paradise in Europe to enjoy a weekend of entertainment and music. Vienna Music Film Festival Famous concert, opera, and ballet performances are shown on a huge screen every evening under the summer sky against the splendid backdrop of Vienna's City Hall. Food and drink are served at food stands, the entertainment is free. Opera in Summer Concert and opera highlights at the Theater an der Wien, outside of the regular opera season. JULY___________________________________ Ambras Castle Concerts and Festival Weeks in Innsbruck One of the most important festivals of music from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Baroque and Classic periods performed on original instruments. Bregenz Festival Since 1946 music theater has been performed in the unique atmosphere of the largest lakeside stage in the world. Innsbruck Summer Festival Workshop and performances with international artists. AUGUST_________________________________ Salzburg Festival The Salzburg Festival is one of the most important music and theater festivals in the world, featuring drama, concerts, and opera since 1920. SEPTEMBER_____________________________ Haydn Festival, Eisenstadt The program includes opera, concerts, masses, and lieder evenings performed in the concert hall at Esterházy Castle. Bruckner Festival, Linz Numerous classical concerts honor Linz’s famous son, composer Anton Bruckner. The festival is ushered in every year with the spectacular “Classical Sound Cloud” on the banks of the River Danube. OCTOBER________________________________ Steirischer Herbst, Graz At the heart of this innovative contemporary art festival is the interplay of music, performance, creative arts, literature, and new media. Three Country Marathon Each year runners pass through Germany and Switzerland on their way around Lake Constance to the finish line of this scenic marathon in Bregenz, Vorarlberg. NOVEMBER______________________________ Winter Opening Arlberg There is no better place to start the winter season than the resorts of the Arlberg. Salzburg Jazz Autumn, Salzburg The Salzburg Jazz Autumn has been staged since November 1996 with international stars and artists. DECEMBER______________________________ Christmas Markets Sparkling Christmas lights and decorations adorn the streets of Austria’s cities and villages.

For a comprehensive calendar of events, with detailed information on dates, times and venues of cultural events, please call or e-mail the Austrian Tourist Office and ask for your copy of the “Culture Guide.” US Tel: 212 944 6880 CAN Tel: 416 967 3381 29

Travel Tips






Travel Tips
Our Insider’s Guide to Traveling in Austria.
Plan before you go
Travel planning is a fun and entertaining task, a period of anticipation and excitement. Good travel planning makes a great trip even better. We highly recommend the use of a professional who can help you in this endeavor. In this guide you will find information about leading travel companies with a vast expertise in planning and operating trips to Austria. If you need a good travel agent, let us assist you. The Austrian Tourist Office continuously trains and educates professional travel agents in the US and Canada. Quite a few of them have completed our “Austria Expert” program. Look for an Austria Certified Travel Specialist near you at or call us at 212 944 6880 in the US or 416 967 3381 in Canada.



Travel Tips
For your convenience we have put together a selection of Austria travel guides, CDs, cook books, fiction and much more which is available at Just go to to access the list of Austria related literature.

Driving on Austria’s expressways (Autobahn) requires the use of a paid toll sticker which needs to be attached to the windshield. If you rent your car in Austria, it will likely already have such a sticker attached, not, however, if you rent in another country. The required toll is rather inexpensive (a ten-day visitor sticker will cost €7.70), the penalties for being caught without one, however, tend to be rather stiff. Toll stickers are available at gas stations (in Austria and abroad in close border proximity), autoclub offices, post offices, tobacco shops.

Austria is located in the very center of Europe, therefore easily accessible from all directions. Austria has six international airports: Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Linz, Graz and Klagenfurt. Vienna is served by about 30 international airlines. Our national carrier Austrian Airlines (a member of the Star Alliance) offers non-stop connections from the United States and Canada to Vienna. Visit for more information.

Rail service in Austria is comfortable and reliable, connecting all major cities and many resort towns and regions with over 3,600 miles of rail system. A train ride From Vienna to Salzburg takes approximately 3 hours; from Vienna to Innsbruck, it’s a five hour ride. Austrian Rail is part of the Eurail system, with easy connections from neighboring countries. For information on Rail Passes for Austria and neighboring countries, as well as ticket reservations, please visit

Citizens of the United States and Canada simply need a valid passport to visit Austria for up to 90 days. For citizens of other countries, we advise to check with the nearest Austrian Consulate in the US or with the Austrian Embassy in Canada.

Consular Section of the Embassy, Washington, D.C.: Austrian Consulate General, New York: Austrian Consulate General, Los Angeles: Austrian Consulate General, Chicago: Austrian Embassy, Ottawa, Canada:

202 895 6700 212 737 6400 310 444 9310 312 222 1515 613 789 1444

Austria enjoys pleasant, moderate weather with distinct seasonal changes. Summers can be hot with temperatures occasionally reaching above 86° Fahrenheit (30° Celsius), summer evenings are usually cool. Don’t be afraid of the occasional rain shower, with rain falls heaviest in April and November. The driest periods tend to be from September through early October. Winter temperatures typically fall just around freezing with the occasional cold spell.

Citizens of countries not belonging to the European Union may obtain a refund on the VAT they pay on single purchases totaling more than EUR 75—if these goods are taken out of the country and the necessary customs formalities are completed. The required forms are available at stores that are marked with a TAX FREE sticker. For detailed information visit

Austria is part of the EURO (€) Zone limiting the need for currency exchange when traveling to many neighboring countries. Credit cards are widely accepted, though some restaurants, shops and private pensions still insist on cash payments. We recommend exchanging US or Canadian Dollars at banks, as exchange rates at hotels and currency exchange offices tend to be less advantageous. You can also access your personal bank accounts at many ATM teller machines, if your bank is part of the Plus, Cirrus, Maestro or Star systems. A word of caution, remember your PIN code in a numeric format as the keypad does not show letters.

If you are planning on calling the US or Canada please check with your long distance carrier whether they have a special service (access codes) for phone calls from Europe. If you are using MCI or AT&T phone cards, you will only have to pay for local phone charges in Austria, the rest will be billed to your phone bill at home. • The country code for Austria is +43; the area code for Vienna is 1, for Salzburg it is 662 and for Innsbruck 512. • When calling a local number in Austria, dial a 0 and then the area code (skip the area code if you are calling from the same town) • To call the US from Austria, dial 001 and then the area code and number

All service industries in Austria already include a basic service charge with their bill. However, for good service it is customary to tip about 10% of the bill amount for waiters, taxi drivers, hairdressers. Porters will appreciate about 1€ per piece of luggage. For additional information on Austria—including travel information— please call or e-mail the Austrian Tourist Office: US Tel: 212 944 6880 CAN Tel: 416 967 3381

International and local car rental companies have offices at airports, key rail stations and in major cities. Traffic regulations are similar to those in the United States and Canada, with some important considerations: no right turn on red, no passing on the right on highways and expressways and a lights-on-at-all-times rule. Also, all vehicles on Austrian roads have to carry a “security vest”, a light, neon-colored vest that has to be worn for better visibility in case the driver has to leave the vehicle while on the highway. Security vests can be obtained at any gas station. Driving in Austria requires an International Drivers License, which can be obtained at your local AAA and CAA.

-| 1 Vienna offers a colorful mix of cultural events -| 2 Austria offers 6,200 miles of clearly signposted trails for cyclists and mountain bikers -| 3 Shopping in Austria is a pleasure, especially knowing that you can get a VAT refund for many purchases above 75 €. -| 4 Hotel prices always include taxes and service charges -| 5 Make the most of your city stay by booking day trips to nearby regions such as Lower Austria’s wine country.

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From our New York, Washington D.C. and Toronto gateways, Austrian Airlines flies nonstop to Vienna, our hub. We offer excellent connections within Austria and to many other European destinations. Onboard, we treat our guests to elegant dining and numerous entertainment choices. But the real difference is our European flair. It is reflected in everything we do, from our attention to detail to the pleasure we get from a job well done.
For information & reservations call 800.843.0002 or visit Earn miles with Miles&More, Mileage Plus and Aeroplan.

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