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Austria Travel Guide
Austria is a land-locked alpine German speaking country in Central Europe bordering Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west, Germany and Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east and Slovenia and Italy to the south. Austria, along with neighboring Switzerland, is the winter sports capital of Europe. However, it is just as popular for summer tourists who visit its historic cities and villages and hike in the magnificent scenery of the alps.
Austria offers a high density of ski resorts, second perhaps only to Switzerland in Europe. However, most of them are medium-sized. Austria's ski resorts are not as spectacular and glamorous as the mega-resorts found in Switzerland and France, but they are more cosy, less prone to mass tourism and a little cheaper. Due to their proximity and the common language, most winter sport tourists in Austria come from southern Germany.
The country's imperial inheritance is particularly in the grand buildings of the Baroque-flavoured capital, Vienna, resplendent with palaces and captivating churches, cosy coffeehouses and inns, and grand ballrooms. Many other cities are similarly infused with historical magic too, notably Mozart's birthplace, Salzburg, with its stunning baroque churches. The city of Graz with its UNESCO World Heritage Old Town, the largest in central Europe, has a very relaxed and mediterranean flair. The charm of Austria may lie in its preservation of a romantic classical past, but this does not mean modern Austria has stood back from development. Behind the stunning scenery and antique architecture a vibrant industrial and commercial society goes about its business in the cities and towns.