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Austria

  • Area: 83,858 sq km
  • Population: 8,440,465 (2012)
  • Population Density: 100.2 per sq km (2012)
  • Capital: Vienna (Wien)
  • Capital Population: 1,714,142 (2012)
  • 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: €, EURO
  • Time: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).
  • Flight time from the UK: 2 Hours
  • Telephone: Full IDD facilities available.
  • Country code: 0043
  • Mobile telephone: Operators are Mobilkom Austria (website: www.mobilkomaustria.com ; also offers a GSM 900/1800 network) and ONE GMBH (website: www.one.at; also offers GSM 1800 network). GSM 900/1800 network operated by T-mobile (website: www.t-mobile.at). GSM 1800 network operated by Tele.ring (website: www.telering.at).
  • Golf courses: 120
austria

Austria is a landlocked country, bordered by Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Italy. It is a mountainous country, nearly half of which is covered with forests. Austria’s nine Federal Provinces form a political entity, but reflect a diversity of landscapes falling into five sections: the Eastern Alps (62.8 per cent), the Alpine and Carpathian Foothills (11.3 per cent), the Pannonian Lowlands (11.3 per cent), the Vienna Basin (4.4 per cent) and the Granite and Gneiss Highlands or Bohemian Massif (10.1 per cent). Austria’s highest mountain is Grossglockner (3798m/12,465ft). On its way from the Black Forest in southern Germany to the Black Sea, the River Danube flows approximately 360km (220 miles) through Austria. The vegetation changes according to the climate: the lower regions are densely wooded, with fir predominating above 1600ft and giving way to larch and stone-pine beyond 4000ft; the Alpine foothills consist predominantly of arable land and grassland (above 2000ft). The Pannonian region is characterised by scrub and heathland.

Sun Snow

Climate

For many, Austria has the perfect climate; warm summer days with temperatures around 25 to 35 deg C and sunny, chilly winters that hover around zero deg C. The mountains are snow-covered in winter but warm and green in summer. Rain falls fairly evenly throughout the year, with a small spike in July and August. There are strong southeasterly winds.

Economy

Austria has benefited from its position at the gateway between east and west Europe. It attracts great investment, has a thriving service industry, prosperous and modern farming and plenty of industry.

bottles

Food and drink

Austrian menus are based around meat dishes, especially pork, veal (Wiener Schnitzel), game, fish (around the lakes) as well as sausages (called wurst) served with noodles or rosti (grated and fried potato). But the Austrians' main gift to world cuisine has been baking, with tortes and strudels served in the kaffeehauses and a dizzying selection of bread (brot) served at breakfast. Wine is cheap and plentiful, though beer lovers will be spoiled with Austria’s fine brewing tradition.

New build

Part of the reason for recent price rises has been the fall in construction, down to just 40,000 units a year (even the UK managed five times that number). The Austrian environment is, understandably, well protected.

Fly-to-let

Forty per cent of households in Austria are rented rather than owned (double that in Vienna); so fly-to-let is a promising option. Rents have risen on the back of short supply, with six per cent-plus returns on prime Vienna property, and four to six per cent for Vienna or Salzburg property. Overseas investors tend to opt for ski chalets and apartments.

Cost of living

Everyday prices are higher than European averages, yet still around a fifth cheaper than in the UK.

Quality of living

Austrian cities consistently rank in the top five cities in the world for quality of life. This is a genuinely relaxed nation, blessed geographically and economically, and has avoided the disasters that befell almost all of its neighbours in the 20th century. It is exceptionally democratic, with universal suffrage from 16, and the people are genuinely friendly. Public services like health, transport and street cleaning are efficient and well funded. Austria protects its environment and has the greatest percentage of organic agriculture in the world.

Key Austrian Facts:

  • Austria benefits from a very low crime rate with no organised crime; it is a very safe country in which to live and visit.
  • Austria is a politically stable country and is a valued member of the EU, which it joined in 1995.
  • There is no discernable corruption in the legal system or police.
  • There is a highly developed and well-organised banking system.
  • Austria has a thriving economy and is the 3rd wealthiest EU country as measured by per capita GDP, just behind Luxembourg and Ireland. In addition unemployment is extremely low.
  • Austria benefits from an excellent, modern and well-funded infrastructure e.g. the health service, schools, roads, public transport systems etc.
  • There are two enjoyable and long seasons per year, thus increasing your personal enjoyment and letting potential.
  • Austria looks after the environment very well and hence the country is extremely clean and can boast of lakes, rivers and streams that you can drink from. In addition, the Alpine air is incredibly fresh and invigorating.
  • Austria has both wonderful cities of culture and some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world – a quote from Lonely Planet "possibly the best combination of nature and culture on the planet".