Austria is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Liechtenstein and Switzerland to the west, Italy and Slovenia to the south, and Hungary and Slovakia to the east. The capital city of Austria is Vienna which is situated on the Danube River. Austria is composed of 9 independent federal states with their own provincial governments. It is one of the six European countries that have declared permanent neutrality and one of the few that includes the concept of everlasting neutrality in its constitution. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union and also of most UN organizations. Austria has more than 8 million inhabitants and 98% of them speak German which is the official language of the country that is why it is advantageous to learn German in Austria!
The foundations of present Austria can be traced back to the ninth century when the territory of both Upper and Lower Austria became more and more populated. The place called Ostarrichi was first recognized in an official document from 996 and since then the word has evolved into the Modern German word Österreich which means Eastern Empire or Eastern Realm.
Austria has a well-developed social market economy and a very high standard of living. It is one of the 10 wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita. Since Austria joined the EU, it has attracted an influx of foreign investors. International tourism is the most important part of the national economy next to a highly developed industry.
Austria is a wonderful country to visit and enjoy since it has a lot to offer to its guests. The country is famous for its first-class galleries and museums, historical buildings, beautiful scenery, impressive mountains, daring hiking trails and magnificent ski slopes. Visitors who are in search for adventure, recreational activities, scenery and culture prefer to go to Austria. Aside from the natural wealth that Austria has, it is also has many glorious architectural attractions. Vienna, which is the country’s capital, has magnificent structures such as the Hofburg Palace which was the former imperial residence, and the amazing Opera House. Other cities of Austria are also bathed with magical charm such as Innsbruck in the center of the Austrian Alps; and Salzburg with its stunning Baroque cathedrals, its Old Town which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its fame for being the birthplace of Mozart.
Austria is a beautiful country to visit year-round. If you want to visit the country when the weather is warm, it is best to go in between April and October. June and September are the finest months for hiking in the Alps and for city trips. In winter, Austria can grow really cold but it is a great destination for skiing in the Alps. Festivals occur in Austria the whole year round but most of the music festivals are held between May and October.