Capital | Vienna
Population | 8,214,160
Area | 83,858 SQ KM
Official Language | German
Holidays | National Day, 26 October; Labor Day, 1 May
Currency | Euro
Time Zone | UTC +1
Best Time to Visit | Year-round
Connecting with the Culture | Wandering your way through Vienna’s Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market); Strolling through Salzburg, one perfect view after another; Gawking at the oddities of the Josephinum, Vienna’s medical history museum; Marveling at the unfolding scenic magnificence of the Grossglockner Road.
Read | The Left-Handed Woman by Peter Handke; the Nibelungenlied, an epic poem of passion, faithfulness and revenge in the Burgundian court at Worms.
Listen | to Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, the Vienna Boys’ Choir and Falco
Watch | The Third Man, set in postwar Vienna
Eat | Weiner Schnitzel with Knodel (dumplings) followed by Mohr im Hemd for dessert (chocolate pudding with whipped cream and chocolate sauce)
Drink | Sturm (new wine) in autumn, and Gluhwein (hot, spiced mulled wine) at Christmas
In a Word | It is customary to greet people, even shop assistants, with the salute Gruss Gott and to say Auf Wiedersehen when departing
Characteristics | Strauss waltzes; strudel; edelweiss; Sigmund Freud; dirndls (traditional peasant dresses)
Surprises | The Fohn, a hot, dry wind that sweeps down the mountains in early spring and autumn, which causes – according to folk wisdom – restless animals, increased car crashes and suicides.