Britannia Travel Market
INTERNATIONAL DESTINATIONS ON THE WORLDWIDE WEB
 BRITANNIA.COM . . . AMERICA'S GATEWAY TO THE BRITISH ISLES SINCE 1996

HOME  >  Austria Travel & Vacations

Austria Travel & Vacations
Austria is a land-locked alpine country in Central Europe bordering with 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.

Once the center of power for the large Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austria was reduced to a small republic after its defeat in World War I. Following annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938 and subsequent occupation by the victorious Allies in 1945, Austria's status remained unclear for a decade. A State Treaty signed in 1955 ended the occupation, recognized Austria's independence, and forbade unification with Germany. A constitutional law of that same year declared the country's "perpetual neutrality" as a condition for Soviet military withdrawal. This neutrality, once ingrained as part of the Austrian cultural identity, has been called into question since the Soviet collapse of 1991 and Austria's entry into the European Union in 1995. A prosperous country, Austria entered the European Monetary Union in 1999.

Austrians aren't easy to categorize. In fact, the only reason Austrians stand out from their European neighbors is that they don't stand out from the rest for anything in particular. Austrians are moderate in their outlook and behavior. Being at Europe's crossroads, their culture is influenced from several sides. The stereotype of the yodeling, thigh slapping, beer-swilling xenophobe may apply to a few individuals in rural areas but it certainly doesn't apply to the majority of Austrians.

The average Austrian on the street is likely to be friendly yet somewhat reserved and formal, softly spoken and well mannered, law abiding, socially conservative, rooted, family oriented, conformist and somewhat nepotistic, a catholic at heart, not particularly religious but a follower of tradition, well educated if not as cosmopolitan as his/her European cousins, cynical, and equipped with a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. Many Austrians derive their identity from their Bundesland, or Province. For instance, the typical inhabitant of Carinthia would say he/she is Carinthian first and Austrian second. Hence, patriotism concerning the nation as a whole is seldom shown and foreigners are often disturbed by the lack of enthusiasm that can be observed e.g. on national holiday. The fact, that Austrians dislike demonstrations of national identity, can however also be explained partly by the historical experiences Austria has made during the Third Reich, since due to the horrors of that time some bad taste will always adhere to any manifestation of national pride. Most Austrians enjoy the good life. They spend a lot of time eating, drinking and having a good time with friends in a cozy environment, and are therefore very hospitable. Members of the older generation can be conservative in the sense that they frown upon extremes of any shape and form and, in general, are averse to change. They enjoy one of the highest living standards in the world and want to keep it that way.

Austria doesn't have a well defined class system. However, cultural differences between the urban and rural populations can be huge. Culture also varies from region to region, but to a lesser extent. As a very general rule, the further to the West the location and the more rural the environment, the more socially conservative people become.

Due to the lack of overall patriotism and the commonness of regional identity, Austrians as a big entity like to define themselves merely by what they are not. It's important to stress that Austrians are not Germans. Or at least they don't think of themselves as such. Arguably, Southern Germany and Bavaria in particular is a close cultural relative of Austria in many ways. You may not even notice any change at all in people's accent and appearance when crossing the border between the two countries. But Northern and Eastern Germany are a different world altogether and no more similar to Austria than, say, its southerly neighbor Italy. Whatever the similarities and differences between Austria and Germany may be, comparisons will not be appreciated by Austrians, neither will the use of terms like "German", "Teutonic" or "Germanic" for things that are Austrian.

Austria Travel
Austria Travel
Travel To Austria
Vienna Travel
Travel Austria
Travel To Vienna
Austria Vacations
Day Trips From Vienna
Vienna Austria Travel
Vienna Travel Guide
Vienna Day Trips
Airfare To Austria
Zell Travel
Austria Travel
Travel To Austria
Vienna Travel
Travel Austria
Travel To Vienna
Austria Vacations
Day Trips From Vienna
Vienna Austria Travel
Vienna Travel Guide
Vienna Day Trips
Airfare To Austria
Zell Travel
Austria Travel
Travel To Austria
Vienna Travel
Travel Austria
Travel To Vienna
Austria Vacations
Day Trips From Vienna
Vienna Austria Travel
Vienna Travel Guide
Vienna Day Trips
Airfare To Austria
Zell Travel
Copyright ©2009  Britannia.com