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Friday, February 10, 2012

What to Do In Beautiful Austria

By Robert Smith

One of central Europe's great treasures, Austria is home to some of the best known music festivals, such as the Haydn Festival of Vienna, the Salzburg Festival and the International Chamber Music Festival. Austria's beautiful capital of Vienna has long been considered the music capital of Europe. Despite centuries of hardship, Vienna's music and arts scene has survived to become the site of some of the most innovative artistry in the world. Even such great Viennese native's as Mozart often found their inspiration was close by in this fabulous city.

And each of these great festivals also provides plenty of other entertainment, like the famous horse dances. If you love winter in the Alps, then be sure to visit the great snow-covered peaks of Austria. Or, if you're more of a summer person, you'll be happy to hear that Austrian summers are warm and pleasant. Like most of Europe, there's always a chance that you might encounter some rain along the way. Call 120 or 123 during an emergency.

Another great feature are the amazing castles that dot the Austrian landscape. Enjoy a spectacular view of the Danube from the walls of the Schloss Durnstein. If you decide to take a taxi, you should leave a 10% tip.

You'll find many languages spoken here, and even among the locals you'll hear Hungarian, German, Croatian and Slovene. No fancy greetings required - just a simple handshake and you've made a new friend. If you're meeting someone for the first time, the tradition is to use their last name; once you've established a friendship, then you can use the first name. To say hello, use the phrase Guten Tag or Gruss Gott, and to say good-bye, use the phrase Auf Wiedersehen. It's traditional to take a bouquet of flowers when you're visiting someone at home. Horse riding is one of the great passions of all Austrians. The world's greatest equestrians have performed here for over 400 years at some of the most famous riding schools in the world but to attend one of these unique shows, you'll need to reserve tickets in advance. Restaurant bills include a service charge, though an additional 5% tip is suggested.

Austria is home to three national airlines which operate within the country's borders and work in cooperation with the Austrian Airlines Group - these airlines are Austrian Airlines, Lausda Air and Austrian Arrows. Vienna's main airport is only 18 kilometers from the heart of the city. Buses are available at the airports to take visitors to either the South Train or West Train stations.

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