Area: 83,858 sq km (32,378 sq
Population: 8,223,062 (official
estimate July 2014 est.)
Population Growth Rate: 0.23% (2002 est.)
Population Density: 97.4 per sq km
Capital: Vienna (Wien)
Ethnicity / Race: German 88%,
non-nationals 9.3% (includes Croatians, Slovenes,
Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Roma), naturalized
2% (includes those who have lived in Austria at
least three generations)
Language: German is the official
language. Regional dialects are pronounced and
within the different regions of the country one
will encounter marked variations from Hochdeutsch,
ie ‘standard’ German. There are Croatian
and Slovene-speaking minorities in the Burgenland
and southern Carinthia respectively.
Currency: Single European currency
(Euro): The Euro is now the official currency
of 12 EU member states (including Austria). The
first Euro coins and notes were introduced in
January 2002; the Austrian Schilling was in circulation
until 28 February 2002, when it was completely
replaced by the Euro. Euro (€) = 100 cents.
Notes are in denominations of €500, 200,
100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations
of €2, 1 and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents
Religion: 78 per cent Roman
Catholic, 5 per cent Protestant, 4.5 per cent
Time: GMT + 1.
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz.
Round two-pin European plugs are standard
Health: Ticks often live in
heavily afforested areas during the summer months
in some of the more easterly parts of Austria
and can create discomfort and, in very rare cases,
serious infection to people who are bitten. Immunisation
against tick-borne encephalitis is available and
travellers likely to find themselves in these
wooded areas should take a course of injections.
Rabies is present in Austria, although there have
been no incidents reported in recent years. For
those at high risk, vaccination before arrival
should be considered. If you are bitten seek medical
advice without delay. For more information consult
the Health appendix.
Tipping: Widespread, but large
amounts are not expected. On restaurant bills
a service charge of 10 to 15 per cent is included,
but it is usual to leave a further 5 per cent.
Attendants at theatres, cloakrooms or petrol pumps,
expect to be tipped €0.15-0.22. Railway and
airports have fixed charges for portering. Taxi
drivers expect €0.22-0.29 for a short trip
and 10 per cent for a longer one.
Customs: Austria, at the geographical
heart of Europe, is renowned for its ski resorts
set on spectacular mountains, overlooking crystal-clear
lakes and voluptuously green valleys. Throughout
the country are glorious architectural reminders
of the once-powerful Hapsburgs, who dominated
central Europe for seven centuries.
Austria has a justifiable reputation for music,
literature and the arts, but also boasts a gourmet
culture. The legendary Gemütlichkeit –
a relaxed enjoyment of life – is in evidence
in the cafés, where the art of coffee-drinking
has been raised to a high art, and the many Heurigen,
where the latest vintages are accompanied by vast
quantities of food. Nightlife is versatile, offering
laid-back taverns, beer gardens and excellent
après-ski, as well as trendy clubs and
dance venues packed to the small hours.
Location: Central Europe, north
of Italy and Slovenia
Geographic coordinates: 47 20
N, 13 20 E
total: 82,738 sq km
Water: 1,120 sq km
Land: 82,738 sq km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: temperate; continental,
cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain in lowlands
and snow in mountains; cool summers with occasional
Terrain: in the west and south
mostly mountains (Alps); along the eastern and
northern margins mostly flat or gently sloping
Elevation extremes: lowest point:
Neusiedler See 115 m
highest point: Grossglockner 3,798 m
Natural resources: iron ore,
oil, timber, magnesite, lead, coal, lignite, copper,
Natural hazards: landslides;
Environment - current issues:
some forest degradation caused by air and soil
pollution; soil pollution results from the use
of agricultural chemicals; air pollution results
from emissions by coal- and oil-fired power stations
and industrial plants and from trucks transiting
Austria between northern and southern Europe
Geography - note: landlocked;
strategic location at the crossroads of central
Europe with many easily traversable Alpine passes
and valleys; major river is the Danube; population
is concentrated on eastern lowlands because of
steep slopes, poor soils, and low temperatures
Telephone: Full IDD facilities available.
code: 43. Outgoing international code: 00. Call
boxes are grey and found in all areas. International
calls can be made from payphones with four coin
slots. Trunk calls within Austria and to 40 countries
are cheaper Mon-Fri 1800-0800 and approximately
35 per cent cheaper at the weekend (from 1300
Saturday to 0800 Monday).
Mobile telephone: GSM 900/1800.
Network operators include T-mobile (website: http://www.t-mobile.at)
, Connect Austria (website: http://www.one.at)
and Telering (website:
Fax: Widely available, especially
Internet: There are many Internet
cafes. ISPs include Nextra (website:
Telegram: Facilities are available
from any post office; telegrams can also be sent
by dialling 10 from any phone.
Post: Letters up to 20g and
postcards within Europe are sent by airmail. Letters
within Europe take 2 to 4 days, and to the USA
4 to 6 days. Stamps may be purchased in post offices
or tobacco shops. Postcards and letters within
Austria and Europe cost €0.51. Post boxes
are yellow; red stripes mean that the box is also
emptied weekends and bank holidays. A Poste Restante
service is available at most post offices. Address
mail to ‘Postlagernd’ (‘Hauptpostlagernd’
if a main post office), followed by the person’s
name, town, and post code. Post office hours:
generally Mon-Fri 0800-1200 and 1400-1700/1800,
but main post offices and those at major railway
stations are open for 24 hours, 7 days a week,
including public holidays.
Press: Newspapers are in German.
The Wiener Zeitung, established in 1703, is the
oldest newspaper in the world. The national daily
with the largest circulation is the Neue Kronen-Zeitung,
followed by Kurier, Der Standard and Die Presse.
English-language newspapers and magazines are
also widely available, particularly in the big
cities and tourist resorts.
Radio: BBC World Service (website:
From time to time the frequencies
change and the most up-to-date can be found online.