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Austria is a landlocked country located in Central Europe. It has a population of approximately 8.7 million and its capital is Vienna. The country’s terrain is mostly mountainous with the river Danube running through the country.
The land that now makes up Austria was once ruled by the Celtic tribes and the Romans. But it was the Habsburg dynasty that turned Austria into a powerhouse. The dynasty would later collapse and the country would eventually be occupied by Nazi Germany until the end of World War II. Austria was then occupied by the Allies, but for the next 10 years Austria’s fate as a nation would be unclear. In 1955, Austria became a sovereign state.
Austria is in Central Europe, so it’s quite easy to get to and a great place to stopover in if you're backpacking through Europe. Given the presence of the Alps, many people visit Austria to visit the mountains and the quaint mountain villages. Wintertime brings avid skiers and snow-seekers, while the summer is great for hikers and wildflower lovers. However, the outdoors are not the only alluring element of this country; the capital city of Vienna is a popular vacation destination as well. It’s home to a number of beautiful palaces, cathedrals and museums.
Vienna is a popular European destination, home to the Schönbrunn Palace and the Hofburg, both of which were once palaces of the Habsburg rulers. Art aficionados will appreciate the many art museums in the city including the Belvedere Palace, the Albertina and the Kunsthistorisches. Salzburg is another city in Austria with stunning mountain views and a quaint lake district not far from the city center. St. Anton am Arlberg, known as the Cradle of Alpine Skiing, is said to be one of the oldest mountain resorts in the world. It remains a popular ski destination along with Austria’s other popular ski resorts, Kitzbuhel and Ischgl. Innsbruck is a charming mountain city with a nice balance of urban and outdoor features.
Austria is a fantastic destination to visit any time of the year. No matter what time of year you go, there will be something to do and something to see. Winter is a popular time to visit for the many snow-related activities and Christmas markets, while the summer offers incredible hiking and lake adventures. The shoulder seasons between May and April and September and October are also ideal periods to visit since the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.