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Travel, Teach, Live in Europe and Middle East

Travel to Austria
By:Eija Rissanen

Austria is one of those countries where you never run out of things to do or see. With its rich history, musical heritage, world-class winter sports resorts and unbelievably beautiful landscape, you will have new things to see and experience every time you visit. Austria's location in the middle of Europe makes it easy to reach from anywhere in Europe, and the friendliness of Austrians will make you feel like home the minute you arrive. Music festivals, outdoor activities and historical sites will keep you so busy that when night comes you'll look forward to enjoying a cup of Melange coffee and a famous apfelstrudel.

Austria is located in central Europe. It is bordered by Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west, Germany and Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, and Slovenia and Italy to the south.

When to Go
The best time to visit Austria depends on what you want to do there. Summers are optimal for outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking, but winter is the skiing season. Festivals are organized all year round, but most of the music festivals are held from May to October. Summer is the warmest time, but the weather can change quickly and become uncomfortably hot. In addition, many of the institutions you might want to visit, such as the opera, are closed during the summer. Late spring and early fall are the best times for city visits.

How to Get There
Many international airlines fly to Austria. Austria's main airport is located in Vienna, but Graz, Linz, Klagenfurt, Salzburg and Innsbruck are also destinations for international flights. Flights to outside of Vienna can also be less expensive. You can also take a train from any of the countries surrounding Austria or from the rest of the Europe because Austria is extremely well connected to Europe via a vast rail network.

Needed Documents
A valid passport is required to enter Austria and some nationals also need a visa. For tourist visits up to 90 days, citizens of the European Union, European Economic Area, Israel, USA, Canada, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and most Eastern European and Central and South American nationals do not need a visa. Austria is one of the Schengen countries; a visa valid for one of the Schengen countries is also valid in the others.

What to Do
Austria is a well-known skiing and snowboarding destination in Europe, and its world-class ski resort town of Innsbruck once hosted the Winter Olympics. Cycling and hiking are common ways to spend time during the spring and fall, and the scenery--highlighted by the Alps, lush green valleys, rivers and a beautiful countryside--offers a backdrop for a safe and fun outdoor experience for the entire family. Austria is also known for its musical heritage, and Salzburg and Vienna have world-class opera, classical music and jazz-concert and music festivals throughout the year. In addition, Austria has a rich history that can be seen today in many baroque buildings, castles, palaces and monuments. Vienna especially has many architectural treasures and art collections.

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