Austria is a country in Central Europe known for its majestic mountains, vibrant cities, and green valleys. The country is located between mountain ranges, the Alps, and the Carpathian Mountains. Its landscape is divided into three distinct regions:

  • The lowlands of the east
  • The alpine areas of the center
  • The high plains of the west

Austria is also known for its picturesque lakes and, of course, Vienna’s capital city. So let’s explore the geographical features of Austria in more detail.

Location of Austria

Austria is located in the center of Europe, north of Slovenia and Italy and southeast of Germany. It has a total area of 83,879 square km (32,386 square miles), and a temperate climate prevails throughout the country. The Alps dominate Austria’s topography; they cover more than half its total area, while the remainder consists primarily of alpine plateaus, river valleys, rolling hills, and plains. Vienna is the capital city and Austria’s largest city, with a population estimated at 1.7 million people (2016). Other important cities apart from Vienna are Salzburg and Innsbruck, with a population of approximately 150 thousand people each. Other notable towns include Graz and Linz, which have populations of about 200 thousand people each (2015).


Austria is located in Central Europe and shares borders with eight neighboring countries. Its terrain is dominated by the Eastern Alps, making it an excellent destination for skiing enthusiasts. The highest point in Austria is the Grossglockner at 12,460 feet (3,798 meters). The Alps mountain range covers about 59 percent of Austria’s landscape. The Danube River cuts through the north of Austria and offers visitors a stunning natural landscape dotted with green rolling hills and mountains.

The rest of the country consists mainly of forests and pastures with some agricultural land for crops such as cereals, potatoes, and wine grapes. The southernmost tip of Austria has a Mediterranean climate, allowing vineyards to thrive under warm temperatures. In addition, Vienna and Upper Austrian Province offer rolling meadows that exemplify postcard-worthy picturesque countryside views. Salzburg province also has some impressive waterfalls, including the Krimmler Falls, one of Europe’s tallest waterfalls at 380 feet (120 meters).


Austria has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Summers are warm, with average temperatures ranging from 17 to 25°C (63 to 77°F), and mild winters averaging about -4 to 4°C (25-39°F). Snow is abundant in the winter, and ski resorts across the country make the most of it. Austria experiences sizeable rainfall throughout the year, so April to June and September through November often bring more showers than sunny days.

The alpine region is colder than the lowland regions and can experience occasional extremes due to its elevated position. As a result, sudden weather changes are possible at any time of year, with drastic dips in temperature not uncommon in wintertime. In summer, storms may occur after sunny days, often accompanied by heavy thunder and lightning.


Austria has a long and diverse history, spanning centuries and different influences. It was ruled by the Roman Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy before becoming a republic in the aftermath of World War I. Later on, during World War II, it was annexed by Nazi Germany, only to be restored to its independent state afterward. Let’s take a closer look at some interesting facts about Austrian history.

Prehistoric Times

Austria has a long, rich history that can be traced back to prehistoric times when fossil evidence suggests humans occupied the area of modern-day Austria as early as 400,000 years ago. From the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods onward, humans have continued to inhabit Austria in various forms.

The Celts were among the most influential groups in Austria in the early centuries. They arrived in Hallstatt around 600 BCE and settled mainly along the river Danube. The Celts developed a unique Hallstatt culture characterized by high-quality and well-designed bronze artifacts, pottery, and jewelry.

The Romans conquered some parts of Austria during their expansion across Europe, conquered Vienna around 15 BCE, and eventually became the ruling force until it collapsed during the 5th century CE.

The migration period following Rome’s collapse saw many Germanic tribes from beyond the Rhine settling in what is today Austria, who then merged with existing Celtic populations to create new cultures such as Bavarians and Alemanni. These disappeared gradually during Middle Ages when Charlemagne was crowned emperor in 800 CE through his attempt at uniting all Germanic peoples under one Empire. Various feudal estates dominated Austrian politics after that until Albert I chose Vienna as his imperial residence, marking a significant milestone for Austria’s political centralization – which led Empire’s rise to world power status during the Napoleonic wars (1792-1815).

Roman Times

Austria’s recorded history began during the Roman times when it was a border province of the Roman Empire. It was part of Noricum, a frontier province that extended from Vienna in the east across to what is now western Austria. Numerous Celtic tribes inhabited the area before Roman’s arrival, and many of their artifacts remain today.

The Romans had a significant influence in Austria, and their traces are still visible. Among these ancient ruins, two cities stand out: Carnuntum and Vindobona, which were key parts of the immense Roman defense system. In addition, Vienna was an important trading post and military center on the Danube River during this period. After Rome’s decline, Slavic tribes moved into Austria due to its geographic location between Western and Eastern Europe.

In 788 AD, Charlemagne proclaimed himself King of Austria – at this time, there was no distinct Austrian nation-state yet – beginning 400 years of rule under Bavarian kings who took full control over what is today known as Austria. However, it was not until 976 that this rule became permanent when the eastern part of Bavaria (Ostarrich) became an independent duchy centered in Vienna under German Emperor Otto II.

Medieval Times

During the Middle Ages, Austria was part of the Holy Roman Empire. It was governed by a nobility that provided a tribute to the Holy Roman council. In 1278, the first Habsburg king, Rudolf I, was elected king of Germany and ruler of Austria. He acquired further duchies in present-day Austria and established imperial status in 1282. In 1273, Rudolf’s forces defeated Ottokar II of Bohemia at Vienneseödtlitz and gained possession of Bohemia and parts of modern-day Hungary and Croatia.

From then on, the country experienced a period of stability under strict rule from its monarchs, despite suffering from several wars with neighboring countries such as Turkey and France. In addition, the era saw some important developments, such as increased trade with other European countries, that increased wealth for upper-class Viennese citizens who enjoyed privileges from their monarchy. This allowed them to pursue more luxurious lifestyles developing Vienna into a lavish city renowned for its culture, music, art, and architecture – including many Baroque-style palaces now open to visitors.

The period also saw flourishing religious life with many new churches being built or redeveloped, including St Stephen’s Cathedral, which became the centerpiece of Vienna’s grand skyline (it still is today). As well as this, there were certain scientific advances throughout this period, too; books were printed in Vienna during 1477 while pharmacists worked hard to improve treatments for illnesses such as scurvy or even diabetes.

Modern Times

Modern times have seen Austria rise to the ranks of some of the most developed countries in the world. Since 1955, when it officially declared independence from the USSR-controlled federation of Austria-Hungary, it has experienced impressive growth, rising steadily from one of Europe’s poorer nations to one with one of the continent’s highest standards of living.

Austria joined the European Union in 1995 and adopted the Euro as its legal tender. This marked a profound change for Austrian citizens, as prices for some staples, such as petrol, began to level out across Europe, and wages rose accordingly. In addition, the influx of new capital and investments helped revive tourism, especially in rural areas where structures such as palaces and castles had been neglected for decades.

Today Austria stands out amongst its EU peers with its low unemployment rate and strong domestic economy. Though lagging slightly behind financially better-endowed neighbors such as Switzerland and Germany, Austrian citizens still enjoy years of relative prosperity and stability, making it an attractive destination for scholars, tourists, entrepreneurs, and immigrants who seek to benefit from this small nation’s relative wealth.


Austrian culture is heavily influenced by the country’s history and geographical location. Austria is known for its classical music dating back to the Middle Ages and is still highly appreciated today. Additionally, Austrians take pride in their regional and religious traditions, having numerous festivals and events throughout the year. Austrian cuisine is also a source of national pride, with dishes like Wiener Schnitzel, Käsespätzle, and apple strudel all popular. Let’s dive in and explore more interesting facts about the culture of Austria.


Austria has four official languages: German, Croatian, Hungarian, and Slovenian. The modal language is German, spoken by 94% of the population. Austrian Standard German originates in the 16th-century Middle High German language of the Habsburg Empire and acts as a lingua franca for all citizens who speak many different dialects. People also speak other languages and dialects, such as Burgenland Croatian and Romani.

The type of German spoken in Austria differs from that spoken in Germany as it has taken several hundred words from other Slavic languages due to its location at the edge of the Slavic region. It also contains some grammatical features not found in German variants like Pluralia tantum, which is found across southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Colloquial Austrian varieties differ significantly among provinces, but there are some commonalities between them, particularly among central varieties: rarely inflected short words, a past tense composed mostly of regular forms instead of strong verbs, word order differences from standard German (final position for noun complements instead of initial; a tendency to avoid complex sentence structures; etc.).


Austria is renowned for its cultural heritage and rich musical history. Classical composers such as Johann Strauss, composer of The Blue Danube waltz, Franz Schubert, composer of Symphony no. 8, and Ludwig van Beethoven, creator of Symphony No. 9, are all from Austria. Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the most respected orchestras known for their sentimental renditions of classical favorites that can captivate their listeners with a medley of pure musical mastery.

Many popular modern music festivals bring Austrian music and culture to life in cities like Vienna, Salzburg, or Province Steiermark (Styria). Festivals like Electric Love and Hip Hop Open Festival have seen international artists participate in this unique experience while introducing tourists to Austria’s legendary club scene. In addition, electronica indie labels such as Subscenario Records keep the Austrian music scene alive, with releases spanning several genres like acid jazz, house, and post-rock!

From light classical music to pop and dance culture, Austria has something for everyone regarding Broadway shows during summer months or stunning operas under starry nights! Tourists worldwide continue to appreciate the beauty and soulful tunes that reflect centuries of Austrian history through its culture and music!


Austrian cuisine features the use of a variety of different ingredients, including potatoes, beer, sweetbreads, and dairy products. Common dishes and pastries include Wiener Schnitzel (veal cutlet), Tafelspitz (boiled beef with horseradish sauce), Germknödel (sweet dumpling with apricot jam), and Kaiserschmarrn (rich pancakes with raisins). Popular beverages in Austria include tea, coffee, beer, wine, juice, and mineral water.

Regarding baking and desserts, Austria is home to an array of popular sweet treats. Apple strudel is a staple in Austrian cuisine, often found topped with vanilla or other ice creams. Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte—or Black Forest cake—originally hails from Germany but is also popular in Austria. Other sweet treats include Salzburger Nockerl (meringue dumplings made from egg whites), Palatschinken (crepes filled with jam or cheese), and Punschkrapfen (rum balls).


Austrians are very proud of their traditions and celebrate all major religious and national holidays throughout the year. Some of the most popular include:

– Fasching, or carnival season, is celebrated in February leading up to Ash Wednesday. Austrians participate in parades and parties wearing colorful, traditional costumes.

– Easter is observed by Austrians with decorated eggs, exchanging chocolates as gifts, and trips to nearby lakes and countryside.

– Ascension Day marks an important day for working Austrians, who commemorate the day with a long weekend away from work to spend time with family and friends.

– National Holiday (formerly National Day) held on October 26 honors when Austria became a republic in 1955. On this day, people gather in major cities dressed in national costumes; marching bands play traditional music; restaurants serve specialty dishes like ischschleger (a custard cake), and fireworks light up the sky at night.

– Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ with nativity scenes in Austrian homes and traditionally decorated Christmas trees decked out with decorations showcasing Austrian culture and favorites like handcrafted wooden figurines known as Pyramid figures that rise on levels representing different church choirs singing hymns.

– New Year’s is celebrated with a lavish dinner served to families gathered together feasting on traditional dishes accompanied by champagne before taking to the streets later during the evening for fireworks displays around Vienna’s Vienna Steps or Donauinsel (Danube Island).


Austria is a country in Central Europe known for its stunning Alpine landscape, imperial history, and vibrant culture. The people of Austria are just as diverse and interesting as the country itself! The population is eclectic and diverse, with people from various cultural backgrounds making up its sizeable population. In this article, let’s learn more about the people of Austria and their cultural heritage.


Austria has a population of 9 million, making it the 122nd most populous country in the world. Austria is home to multiple ethnic and linguistic groups, with German as the official language. The German-speaking population is estimated to comprise more than 85% of Austria’s inhabitants, while other prominent groups include Eastern European countries such as Croatia and Hungary, Slovenes, and Burgenland Croats. Additionally, Slovenia and Italy border Austria; Slovene-speaking populations make up just over 2% of its citizens.

Other significant groupings in the country include Austrians of Turkish descent (over 200,000 people) and Albanians (around 75,000). Some Austrians are also native speakers of Hungarian, Polish, or Romani. According to a 2016 census by Statistics Austria, almost 6 million Austrians are Roman Catholic, while roughly 1 million belong to any form of Protestantism or Orthodoxy. Just under 1 million states that they have no religion at all.


Austria has one of the highest religious affiliations in Europe, with approximately 78% of the population identifying as Roman Catholics. Protestantism is also relatively common, with about 4% of Austrians affiliated with a protestant Church such as Lutheranism or Calvinism. About 6% identify as Muslims, mostly of Turkish and Bosnian ancestry.

The dominant religion in Austria is Catholicism, and the Austrian people consider it a fundamental part of their national culture and daily life even if they do not practice it. Most Austrians regularly attend Sunday services, while others still observe religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter.

Though Catholicism remains the most popular religion in Austria, there were increases in church membership over the 1990s for other religions, including Islam, Buddhism, and non-denominational Christianity. In addition to religious faiths being practiced within Austria, many Austrians are members of various spiritual movements. For example, New Age beliefs such as Paganism are particularly popular among young adults.


In Austria, education is highly valued, and most citizens complete secondary school. As a result, Austrian adults have some of the world’s highest literacy levels. In addition, educators strongly emphasize lifelong learning so that adults can continue to develop their knowledge and further their careers throughout their lives.

Higher education is free for all eligible students who pass an entrance examination to be admitted into Austria’s university or college program. Furthermore, the government provides an array of grants and loans to assist Austrians with the cost of living expenses while attending college. In addition, several universities and colleges offer special programs geared towards foreign students who wish to study for a degree or diploma program in Austria.

Furthermore, businesses commonly offer post-secondary courses such as language courses and higher degrees to give workers career-specific training that they need to excel in their jobs. Continuous professional development is a leading factor behind Austrian success as a nation, allowing young people and seasoned professionals to attain new skills and grow within the field they are employed in.


Austria has a strong, open economy built on the service, industrial, and agricultural sectors. It has outperformed Europe in terms of GDP growth and employment in recent years and is one of the few countries in Europe with a budget surplus. Austria has also adopted policies such as providing tax breaks for innovation and encouraging investment in new technologies. These policies have enabled the country to remain competitive.


Austria is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. For many years now, Austria’s GDP per capita has consistently been among the highest in Europe. This is attributed to its highly productive labor force, sound and liberal economy, and sound macroeconomic policies (ranking at or near the top of various World Bank indicators, including human development).

In 2019, Austria’s GDP was estimated to be 428 billion euros (463 billion dollars), making it one of the richest countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Europe as a whole. The Austrian economy heavily depends on foreign trade and investment; exports contribute 61.82% of Austria’s total export value, while imported goods account for 61.88% of the total import value in 2019(Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies). Most important trading partners include Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and France due to Austria’s geographic location and its efficient transportation networks across state borders.


Austria is home to a highly diversified and internationalized industry sector. Many industries based in Austria have achieved world-renowned success, particularly the automotive and aerospace industries. The country produces high-tech equipment, aircraft engines, materials processing machinery, paper and printing machines, medical equipment, iron and steel products, pharmaceuticals, and food products.

Other productive areas of industry include machine building, engineering services, chemicals, petrochemical production, textiles manufacturing, and rubber products. Austria’s energy sector is also thriving, with notable activities such as hydroelectricity production and electricity distribution accounting for approximately 6 percent of the country’s total GDP. Auto assembly is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in Austria, with major foreign concerns, including BMW Group and Volkswagen AG having a strong presence within the country’s borders.


Austria’s trade is largely geared toward the export of its manufactured products. In 2018, its exports totaled €132.7 billion, and imports totaled €107.2 billion. The major exports are vehicles, machinery, processed foods, and chemicals, offset by imports from Germany (22 percent of all imports), Italy (10 percent), and China (9 percent). Austria is an active participant in international organizations such as the Working Group on Sustainable Economic Development and Investment in Central Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and various United Nations organizations. Trade agreements have been concluded with numerous countries including Hungary, Slovakia, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and the United States. Austrians enjoy a high standard of living due to this extensive economic participation which helps them pay low taxes while receiving excellent services from their government.