Located in the very centre of Europe, Austria brings together some of the continent’s most celebrated qualities, offering visitors beautiful scenery, inspiring art and amazing history. Whether you want to spend your holiday exploring the wonderful cities of Vienna and Salzburg, or instead strap on your walking boots and head up into the country’s snow-capped mountains and alpine meadows, Austria has something for everyone.
Vienna is not only the political and economic heart of Austria, but also perhaps its cultural soul. Located on the banks of the Danube and crammed full of Baroque architecture, palaces and museums, as well as cafés and cake shops, even a short stay in this charming city is sufficient to help visitors understand how it inspired famous residents like Beethoven, Mozart and Sigmund Freud. Salzburg is equally attractive and once you have had your fill of culture (and delicious Sachertorte!) the beautiful Alps are just a short train ride away. Many visitors to the region base themselves in Innsbruck, the so-called ‘Capital of the Alps’, and from this lovely town with its many traditional wooden buildings you can easily head into some spectacular scenery, including the Semmering and Bremmer passes.
Thanks to its location, Austria is very well connected to the rest of Europe’s railways, making it an easy destination for UK-based travellers. You can travel via Germany, making your way into the country at either Salzburg, Passau, or just south of Munich. One of the Continent’s last sleeper services runs between Cologne and Vienna. Alternatively, it’s possible to get there via Paris and Zurich, taking in the spectacular Arlberg Pass route through the Tyrol region. Once in Austria, ÖBB offers a wide-range of services to help you explore the country, including trains with panoramic windows which snake through Alpine passes, providing you with perfect views of the magnificent Alps