50 Fascinating Facts about Austria

Austria is a landlocked country in Central Europe with a very mountainous terrain. Only 32% of Austria is below 1,640 square feet (500 m). With a high per capita GDP of $49,436, Austrians have a high standard of living. Approximately 47% of the country is covered with forests which gives Austria a lot of greenery. With beautiful waterfalls and meadows, there are many great places to walk or hike. Austria, the birthplace of many famous composers and Nobel Prize winners, is rich in cultural history. Baroque architecture is found across Austria in cities such as Vienna and Salzburg and is a sight to behold. With a generous allowance of paid days off, Austrians can enjoy a good work and life balance.

Austria Facts

1
The population of Austria is estimated at 8,823,054.
2
The government of Austria is a federal parliamentary republic.
3
The national flag of Austria has three horizontal stripes. The top and bottom stripes are red, and the middle stripe is white.
4
German is the official language of Austria, with most of the population speaking local Bavarian dialects of German as their native language.
5
Austria has a land area of 32,386 square miles (83,879 km squared).
6
Austria has a population density of 269.4 per square mile (104 per square kilometer).
7
Austria is a landlocked country.
8
There are amazingly eight countries bordering Austria, including Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Hungary, Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic.
9
Austria’s full long name is the Republic of Austria or Republik Oesterreich (Oesterreich means “eastern march” or “eastern realm”).
10
The largest city in Austria, Vienna, is also the capital.
11
Austria is world famous for music and was the birthplace of many famous composers such as Haydn, Strauss, Schubert, and Mozart.
12
Austria is not a member of NATO.
13
Almost ¾ of the country is overlooked by the Alps, which gives most of Austria an alpine climate.
14
The per capita GDP of Austria remains steadily high, at $49,436.
15
Christian Austrians, including Catholic and Protestant, are required to pay a compulsory membership fee to their church which is based on their income and is called “Kirchebbeitrag.”
16
About 58% of Austrians identify as Roman Catholic. There are small percentages of Austrians registering as Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist, with about 24.5% claiming no religion or other.
17
For all children aged three to six, pre-school education is available and, in most states, free.
18
Austria has one of the highest rates in the industrialised world, of women working outside of the home.
19
A well-known, important sport in Austria is Alpine skiing. Alpine skiing helps promote the economic growth of the country and is a draw for tourism.
20
The most popular team sport in Austria is football.
21
The most popular types of beer in Austria are lager, wheat beer, and Zwicklbier.
22
There are around 20,000 private small schnapps distilleries in Austria.
23
The highest-selling energy drink on earth, Red Bull, was invented in Austria.
24
Adolf Hitler was born in Brauna am Inn, Austria in 1889, and was raised near Lintz. He moved to Germany in 1913.
25
Vienna’s central cemetery has over 3 million internments and was established in 1863.
26
Werfen, Austria, is home to the world’s largest ice cave, the Eisriesenwelt, extending more than 26 miles (42 km).
27
Austria’s national flag is one of the oldest in the world dating back to 1230.
28
One of the most famous dishes of Austria is Wiener Schnitzel, which means ‘Viennese cutlet’ in German. It is made from a thin veal cutlet that is breaded and pan-fried.
29
The Wurstelprater in Vienna, is one of the world’s oldest amusement parks.
30
The Tiergarten Schönbrunn, in Vienna, Austria is the oldest zoo in the world.
31
Schönbrunn Palace, a former imperial summer residence in Vienna, is one of the most significant historical, cultural, and architectural monuments in Austria.
32
Austria is one of the most densely forested countries in central Europe, and 2/3 of the total area of Austria is covered by meadows and woods.
33
About 300 international companies have settled their Eastern European headquarters in Vienna and the surrounding area.
34
Vienna places highly on many reports for some of the highest standards of living in the world.
35
At 2860 carats, the largest emerald in the world is on display in the Imperial Treasury at the Hofburg palace in Vienna.
36
On October 26th each year, Austria celebrates a national holiday called National Day which remembers the passing of the constitutional law on permanent neutrality back in 1955.
37
Males who have reached the age of 18 and are deemed fit, mandatorily have to serve six months in the Austrian Armed Forces.
38
Austria has been a member of the European Union since 1995.
39
The currency in Austria, since 1999, has been the Euro.
40
Austria is high on the list of Nobel Prize winners per capita. It is 7th in the world for all prizes and 4th in the world for scientific prizes.
41
Before he moved to America and became a Hollywood actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger was born and grew up in Austria.
42
Austria was made a part of Nazi Germany in 1938 and was no longer an independent country until 1955.
43
The highest waterfalls in Austria, with a total height of 1,247 feet (380 meters), are the Krimml Waterfalls.
44
Austria has mostly Central European wildlife such as foxes, deer, pheasants, stags, rabbits, partridge, badgers, and martens.
45
In Austria, standing in line or queueing is not always an orderly affair. In post offices and banks, people will stand in an orderly line. However, they do not tend to do this at ski lifts, bars, ticket offices and other entertainment attractions.
46
In Salzburg, there is a restaurant called St. Peter’s Stiftskeller which is said to be the oldest existing restaurant in Europe and possibly the world. It has been said to have been around since at least 803 AD.
47
Austrians, as a whole, tend to take being on time very seriously. It is not a good idea to even be a few minutes late as it is considered rude in Austrian society.
48
Austrians working less than 25 years in a job get 25 paid days of annual leave. Those with 25 or more years get 30 days! There are also 13 paid public holidays.
49
There are 45 natural lakes in Austria with a surface area of more than 0.19 square miles (0.5 sq. km). So, while it is landlocked, there are water activities to be enjoyed.
50
Austria was the first country to publish the postal card. The idea was submitted in Germany a few years before but not executed until a year after Austria published the first postal cards.

Austria is full of beautiful alps for snow sports such as Alpine skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. While it is a landlocked country, there are many beautiful lakes with beaches, in Austria, to enjoy. Austrians enjoy a high standard of living. Austrians are big on family and most activities, outside of work, revolve around family. Sundays usually revolve around family activities such as a hike in the country or visiting the grandparents for a meal. Being on time is very important, and they are very into organizing their day down to the minute. Cleanliness and tidiness in the home are very important to most Austrians. Austrians are generally very conservative people but are friendly and tend always to greet people they see on the street.

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