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Austria Travel Guide.

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Mountainous scenery and culture aplenty.

Austria has lots of culture, festivals and nature activities during summer or winter to offer. Go hiking, swimming, mountain biking, skiing or snowboarding! Alternatively, you might wish to visit Austria because you love ‘The Sound of Music’ or you might be interested in the life and works of the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn. With activities and culture aplenty, it’s no surprise this country is a prime European contender.

Travel to the capital Vienna in your rental car; why not spend an evening at Vienna's stately Hotel Sacher? Begin the night with a drink at the elegant “Blaue Bar”, famous for its midnight blue and gold décor. After learning a bit about the hotel's fabled history from the charming barkeeper, head down the marble hall for an unforgettable dinner at “Anna Sacher” (named for the legendary Grande Dame who ran the hotel until 1929). Alternatively, head out into the wild to discover impressive mountain ranges, where you can rest your head in a charming wooden log cabin.

At Zest Car Rental, we provide car hire all around Austria so whatever you have your sights set on, you can travel there at your own pace, taking in the beauty of the landscapes along the way!

Austria Tourist Board: The official website for the Austria Tourist Office – a useful resource for planning your trip to Austria. 

Know Before You Go: Travel advice for Austria from the FCO. 

Things to see and do

Snow-capped peaks, legendary après-ski and Austrian hospitality will make your winter break in Austria unforgettable. This great holiday destination has so much to offer from skiing, sleigh rides, toboggan run to unforgettable Christmas Markets.

Visit Christmas Markets in Innsbruck, Vienna, Salzburg, Linz or Graz and enjoy a warming Glühwein and a delicious Vanillekipferl.

Austria also offers unlimited fun for all the family during the summer. Explore the Danube Valley's steep vineyards and Dachstein's warren of sub-zero caves.

Go hiking in the Hohe Tauern National Park to spot Alpine ibex, ice-blue glaciers and waterfalls in the shadow of Grossglockner Mountain. Go for a swim in Lake Wörthersee's turquoise waters or cross the Leutasch Gorge's swirling whirlpools. Enjoy a relaxing boat trip or explore the area on a mountain bike.

Austria offers a vibrant cultural scene with lots of festivals and museums. Mozart's Geburtshaus, Mozart’s house, in Salzburg is a fine example and many music lovers flock here to get a glimpse of many of his possessions from his childhood.

Take in Austria’s diverse architectural landscape which boasts imposing imperial buildings, spectacular art-deco creations and contemporary masterpieces. Any of the major cities, such as Vienna, Salzburg and Graz among many more, are perfect areas to explore!

Festivals and events

Running for over 25 years, the Schubertiade Festival has become one of the most important Schubert festivals in the world. Founded by Hermann Prey in 1976 in the small town of Hohenems in western Austria, more than 40,000 visitors each year delight in song recitals, chamber concerts, piano recitals, exhibitions and more at this festival. (May to September)

The Wiener Festwochen Festival is a firmly-established high-point of the Vienna cultural calendar, offering exciting theatre productions as well as a great number of orchestra concerts, recitals and chamber music performances. (May to June)

A highly attractive combination of culture and nature is offered by the Carintian Summer music festival in the area surrounding Carinthia's Lake Ossiach each year. It is renowned for the classical and new musical talent that it showcases. (July to August)

Thousands of professional dancers, choreographers, teachers and students from around the world transform Vienna into a global dance capital for five weeks every year at the ImPuls Tanz Festival. (July to August)

Bregenzer Festspiele is an opera festival with two stages: a traditional opera house, home to less-known operas, and an open-air lakeside stage, where productions are held in the most spectacular fashion. Theatre and opera performances, orchestra concerts and numerous other events contribute to the festival's bold artistic profile. (July to August)

Innovative and contemporary street theatre rediscovers the city of Graz at the La Strada Street Theatre Festival. It tells stories of people; artfully and playfully. It reflects the sounds and rhythms of the city, in a dance that yearns for urban space. It offers alternative compositions to counter omnipresent commercial communication. (August)

The Salzburger Festspielel is one of the cultural highlights of the year. Alongside the regular residency of the Vienna Philharmonic, musicians and ensembles of the highest calibre fill the alpine city with music and drama. (July to August)

Since 2007, Grafenegg has presented a top-class programme of concerts as part of the Musikfestival Grafenegg. Under the artistic direction of Rudolf Buchbinder, the world's most renowned orchestras, conductors and soloists come to perform on the Wolkenturm open-air stage and in the Auditorium concert hall. (August to September)

The mountain range of the Steinernes Meer, lush green meadows and a lake form the picturesque backdrop of Europe's most important festival of contemporary jazz. The Jazzfestival Saalfelden with its top-class instrumentation is regarded as one of the most significant jazz festivals in Central Europe. (August)

Every year the Steirischer Herbst Festival for contemporary art is held in the Styrian capital of Graz. Grasp the opportunity for unexpected perspectives in unusual performance venues, such as abandoned factory buildings, swimming pools and underground mine tunnels. The festival presents a diverse programme of drama, film, architecture, music, literature and visual art. (September to October)

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