The beautiful Republic of Austria, covering the incredible scenery from the Alps to the Danube, is one of the central European countries that are landlocked. The EU shares its borders with eight countries, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
The climate is temperate in Austria, characteristic of the regions of Central Europe, with variations according to different seasons. In summer the days are quite warm and the nights are cold, while winter temperatures are kept below zero, especially during January and February. The weather in Vienna and other cities at low altitude may be a bit unbearably hot during July and August, months in the mountainous areas that are quite pleasant, thanks to the breezes that temper the heat. These are the same months of the season, when prices rise and the housing shortage. Because of the high temperatures there are some places that are closed. The ski resort runs from December to late April.
The requirements for entry to Austria vary according to the nationality of the visitor. The only tourists who can stay for up to 3 months without a visa are nationals from Australia, Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Korea, Costa Rica, Ecuador, USA, El Salvador, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, the EU, Uruguay, Singapore and Venezuela. In contrast, visitors from Africa, Colombia, Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, and from Arab countries, must apply for a visa that will allow a stay of 3 months, too.
The official currency is the euro (EUR). You can change money at banks and exchange houses, although it is more convenient to use ATMs. While the major credit cards and travelers checks are widely accepted, some small restaurants and hotels only receive cash.
Regarding health, there are no immunization requirements for visits for tourism or business. However, those who plan to stay for a long time in Austria or visit rural areas and forests in spring and summer, should consider vaccination against one type of meningo-encephalitis transmitted by ticks. There are no particular problems with regard to the consumption of water and food. The level of medical facilities is excellent and the people in the UK and the EU having a Card European Health Insurance (EHIC) can receive free treatment in public hospitals. In 2006 some were reported cases of bird flu, it is recommended to consume well cooked and hot dishes containing eggs or poultry and avoid contact with them.
Places to Visit:
In the city you can visit Hofburg, the imperial residence of the Habsburgs until 1918, and current venues of many jewels of Austrian heritage. Within the limitations of this building may also be a church of Agustina s. XIV, among other things. In addition to the palace can be visited at the Vienna Fine Arts Museum, the Museum of Sigmund Freud and two other beautiful palaces, the Belvedere and Schönbrunn.
Salzburg, home of the famous composer Wolfgang A. Mozart and Austrian Baroque center, offers an interesting landscape to its visitors, as it is a city surrounded by mountains and bisected by the River Salzach. Some of the attractions of Salzburg are the historical center, built in the late sixteenth century and early XVII; the medieval towers, the castle Hohensalzburg, the best preserved fortress in central Europe dating back to 1077 and where you can see two various museums and state rooms and torture chambers. You can also visit the important Museum of Natural History, which makes interactive exhibits in physics and holds an interesting collection of flora and fauna. Other places that can not be overlooked on a visit to Salzburg are the catacombs of the cemetery of the abbey of St. Peter, the ninth century and the birthplace of Mozart, currently operating as a museum. Another option is to visit the palace of Hellbrunn is located 4 km south of the city and built in Baroque style in the seventeenth century.
The Grossglockner Road represents a distance of 50 km and enjoy the scenery of mountains, one of the most attractive of Austria. This road was built over an ancient route that linked Germany and Italy during the Middle Ages. Among the attractions of this circuit is the Hobe Tauern National Park.
San Anton in the Arlberg region, is one of the best places in the country to enjoy winter sports, especially skiing. This place stands out as one of the largest and least elitist, while enjoying a fun nightlife and a relaxed atmosphere.
Throughout the year there are several music festivals, among them are the New Year concert in Vienna. In this city you can enjoy the parade Faschich (carnival) in February, and a little later, of Corpus Christi.
Between May and June is celebrated one of the most important events of the year, the Vienna International Festival. On June 23 that the bonfires are lit at night for the celebrations of summer solstice illuminate the skies. Between July and August, Salzburg is celebrating with concerts of its International Festival, where Mozart’s compositions have a special place. Christmas begins with a parade to celebrate the December 6th, Saint Nicholas.
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