Landlocked in the heart of Europe, Austria runs fromthe Alps in the west down to Vienna and the Danube in the east. Forsix centuries it was the heart of the mighty Hapsburg Empire, whichat its peak included what is now Poland, Hungary, and the CzechRepublic, along with much of Romania, Bulgaria, and theBalkans.
The country's imperial inheritance is particularlystriking in the grand buildings and cultural institutions of theBaroque-flavoured capital, Vienna, resplendent with palaces andcaptivating churches, cosy coffeehouses and inns, and grandballrooms where Strauss waltzes still draw dancers onto thefloor.
Another great Austrian composer was Mozart. He wasborn in Salzburg, a beautiful historic city where stunning Baroquechurches rise up against the backdrop of the Austrian Alps. TheAlps stretch west to Switzerland and, in winter, skiers come fromall over the world to carve the slopes and experience the charm ofthe alpine villages and their welcoming inhabitants.
The appeal of Austria may lie in its preservation ofa romantic classical past, but this does not mean modern Austriahas stood back from development. Behind the stunning scenery andantique architecture, a vibrant industrial and commercial societygoes about its business in the cities and towns.
Austrians work hard, but they also know how to party.Austrian hospitality and cuisine are legendary. Whether taking acruise on the magnificent Danube River, cycling through the Alpinemeadows, or enjoying a breathtaking day's sightseeing in busyVienna, visitors to Austria find it impossible to fit in a dullmoment.
Austria is perfect for sightseeing, with an assortment ofwonderful tourist attractions. Just the mention of this scenic,multicultural country brings to mind images of skiing in the Alps,exploring Vienna's impressive Baroque architecture, and samplingthe warm, rich cuisine of the alpine villages and their friendlyinhabitants.
Austria is the birthplace of many famous figures, includingWolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Sigmund Freud, not to mention ArnoldSchwarzenegger. Austria is also home to Swarovski crystals,Lipizzaner stallions, and the 11th-century Hohensalzburg Fortress,as well as one of the largest youth parties in Europe, the DanubeIsland Festival.
Austria is a year-round destination, with snowy winters perfectfor mountaineering, skiing, and snowboarding, and mild summersideal for sightseeing. The many sights and attractions are madeaccessible by the national railway system, the U-Bahn, extensivemotorways, and various ports and harbours. With all thesemagnificent highlights so easily within grasp, taking a trip tothis beautiful country in the warm heart of Europe is guaranteed tobe a fulfilling, memorable experience for anyone.
The Hofburg Palace, or Imperial Palace, was the homeof the Austrian Hapsburgs for 600 years. The first fortificationswere erected by King Ottakar Premyst in the 13th century and wereadded to by every generation until it became the monumentalstructure it is today.
As well as housing the president's offices, thepalace now encompasses 22 separate museums, the National Library, a14th-century Augustinian church, the famous Spanish Riding School,and the Royal Chapel, where every Sunday the Vienna Boys Choir singMass (they have performed for the Royal Court since 1498).
It will be impossible to even catch a glimpse ofeverything on display at the Hofburg, so visitors should beselective. The most popular of the museums is theKaiserappartements, which takes visitors on a tour of the Kaiser'simperial apartments, the Sisi Museum, and the Imperial SilverCollection.
Situated in the Hofburg Palace, the royal library ofthe Habsburgs dates from the 14th century and is among the oldestand finest libraries in the world. The six million items stored inthe library include papyri, manuscripts, ancient and rare books,maps, globes, portraits, music, photographs, and graphics. TheGrand Hall is a palatial room topped by a dome, designed in theBaroque style and decorated with statues and exquisite frescoes.It's regarded as one of the most beautiful library rooms in theworld.
The Spanish Riding School of Vienna is one of the oldestsurviving riding schools in the world where classic dressage isstill practised in its purest form. This institute was founded in1572 and named for the Lipizzaner horses, which are of Spanishorigin. The Imperial Court Stud was originally situated near thevillage of Lipizza, hence the name of the horses. But since thecollapse of the Danube Monarchy in 1920, they have been bred at theFederal Stud in Styria.
The horses perform their tricks in the Winter Riding School,which was commissioned by Emperor Karl VI. Performances take placebetween February and June, and September and December. But they arein high demand and booked up months in advance (details on theirwebsite). The easiest way to see the horses is during theirtraining sessions. Tickets are only available at the door andcannot be booked in advance. Situated in the stables is theLipizzaner Museum, which displays the history of the school.
Karlskirche is the most outstanding Baroque church in the cityand its 236-foot (72m) high dome flanked by two columns forms adramatic landmark on the Viennese skyline. The church wascommissioned by Emperor Charles VI, after the Black Plague thatswept through Vienna in 1713, and is dedicated to the Saint CharlesBorromeo who was revered as a healer for plague sufferers.
The lavishly decorated interior includes frescoes and visitorscan get a closer look by taking the elevator to the roof, which isincluded in the entry fee. Although the lift carries visitors mostof the way up, there are some steps to be climbed to get to thevery top of the dome.
The magnificent Schönbrunn Palace was used as the summerresidence of the Hapsburgs from the 18th century onwards. Set amongsuperb gardens, this vast symmetrical structure is everything youwould imagine an imperial palace to be.
A tour of the palace offers visitors the chance to view thesuperb assortment of Baroque and Rococo State Rooms and to admirethe famous ceiling frescoes of the Great Gallery and the Hall ofMirrors where Mozart once played.
The vast gardens are popular with locals and tourists alike, andinclude a zoo, a maze, and labyrinth, the Privy garden, and theGloriette with a viewing terrace. Also within the grounds, theOrangery hosts classical concerts during the summer season.
One of Vienna's most recognisable landmarks, the Giant Wheel islocated in a large wooded park and playground known as the Prater.It was built in 1897 by an English engineering firm and is the onlyone of its era still standing (the Ferris wheels in Chicago,London, Blackpool, and Paris have long since been destroyed).
The wheel's 15 gondolas take 20 minutes to manoeuvre around andoffer magnificent panoramic views of the city. Cautious visitorsneed not worry about the age of the Giant Wheel as it has been verywell maintained over the decades! This is a fun attraction for thewhole family and will delight children.
The Belvedere consists of two splendid rococo mansions, designedin the early 18th century, which face each other across formal,sloping grounds offering excellent views over the city. From theoutside, it is Vienna's finest palace complex, built by PrinceEugène of Savoy, the famous general who saved Vienna from theadvance of the Ottoman Empire.
The museums in the two palaces house some of Vienna's mostrenowned art galleries, offering excellent examples of Austrian artfrom the middle ages to the present day. Their displays include anunrivalled collection of paintings by Klimt, as well as famousworks by Schiele, Kokoschka, Renoir, and Monet. The Medieval andBaroque works are presented in the Lower Palace where many roomshave been preserved in their original state.
The Vienna State Opera performs a repertoire of nearly onehundred operas, operettas, and ballets every day from September toJune. The opera house was founded in the early 18th century (it wasrebuilt in 1955 after being all but destroyed in 1945) and makesfor a romantic and regal setting in which to enjoy theperformances.
As seating tickets are not easily available, an alternative isto buy standing-room tickets, which are well priced and can bepurchased on the same day (but expect long queues). The State Operacollaborates closely with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra andtheir famous New Year concert requires advance bookings of up toone year. The building is beautiful and of interest in itself, evenif visitors are unable to catch a show.
The 11th-century Hohensalzburg Castle stands on a rocky outcropapproximately 394ft (120m) above the city. Although originallybuilt by Archbishop Gebhard to repel attacks from the neighbouringBavarians, the present-day fortress was largely rebuilt in theearly 16th century by Archbishop Leonhard Von Keutschach, who addedthe grand state apartments.
Visitors can walk around the courtyard and outskirts of thefortress at no cost unless they take the guided tour around thestate apartments. The tour finishes at two small museums thatdisplay a selection of weapons, uniforms, and armour, together withinstruments of torture such as the Schandmasken which pettycriminals had to don as punishment for their crimes. The castle canbe reached by funicular or by a walking path.
The cathedral is one of the city's most recognisable symbols andthe massive south tower, standing at 445 feet (136m) tall, is adominant feature on the Vienna skyline. The 343 steps can beclimbed for a fantastic view over the city. St Stephan's Cathedralis the most important religious building in the city and is one ofthe greatest Gothic structures in Europe. It has been in a state ofcontinual preservation and repair since its original constructionin the 12th century due to fire, city sieges and bombardment.
The cathedral is built of limestone and has an ornatelypatterned and richly coloured roof covered by glazed tiles. Theinterior is rich in wood carvings, sculptures and paintings and hasnumerous chapels and altars, as well as the catacombs, which can bevisited on a guided tour. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was married here,had children baptised here, and his funeral was held in the Chapelof the Cross.
The cathedral is one of the city's most recognisable symbols andthe massive south tower, standing at 445 feet (136m) tall, is adominant feature on the Vienna skyline. The 343 steps can beclimbed for a fantastic view over the city.
St Stephan's Cathedral is the most important religious buildingin the city and is one of the greatest Gothic structures in Europe.It has been in a state of continual preservation and repair sinceits original construction in the 12th century due to fire, citysieges, and bombardment.
The cathedral is built of limestone and has an ornatelypatterned and richly coloured roof covered by glazed tiles. Theinterior is rich in wood carvings, sculptures, and paintings, andhas numerous chapels and altars, as well as the catacombs, whichcan be visited on a guided tour. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wasmarried here, had children baptised here, and his funeral was heldin the Chapel of the Cross.
The former Hofburg residence today houses one of the largest andgreatest graphic art collections in the world with drawings, oldmaster prints, and modern graphic works. The museum explores thedevelopment of graphic arts since the 14th century and there aremore than 60,000 works on show.
Artists featured include Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo,Manet, Picasso, and Cezanne. The Albertina is also one of the mostbeautiful examples of classical architecture in the world. There isa pleasant cafe for refreshments while the museum is beautifullyconceived, with each room decorated to complement the art ondisplay.
The Fine Arts Museum across from the Hofburg Palace houses manyof the art collections gathered by the Habsburgs and is one of theforemost museums of fine arts and decorative arts in the world.
The magnificent building is crowned with a 197-foot (60m) highdome, while the inside is sumptuously decorated with marble, goldleaf, and stucco ornaments, a fitting home to the formidableartistic treasures collected over the centuries.
The collections range from Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Romanrelics to medieval art, and Renaissance and Baroque paintings. Themuseum faces the Natural History Museum across the Maria-TheresianPlatz, which has an identical exterior.
The House of Music is an interactive, hi-tech discovery museumdevoted to music and is located in the former Palais of ArchdukeCharles. Four floors take visitors past the music and memorabiliaof the great composers who lived in Vienna, such as Mozart,Beethoven, Brahms, and Schubert, and allow visitors to discovertoday's top musicians, as well as explore the future of music oncomputers.
Visitors can conduct an orchestra, listen to what an unbornchild hears in the womb, or paint a musical picture. The museum wasawarded top prize for its innovative design and allows visitors toexperience music using the senses of sight, sound, touch, andhearing. A glorious combination of fun and education!
The impressive Natural History Museum is situated within aneo-Renaissance building that is identical from the outside to theFine Arts Museum opposite. It is the third largest natural historymuseum in the world and has some of the oldest exhibits, includingearly Stone Age artefacts. Visitors can travel through the planet'shistory, ranging from the diversity of nature to the origins ofculture. Guided tours, lectures, and workshops on a variety ofinteresting themes are offered regularly at the museum.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756 at his family's home inGetreidegasse. The house has since been converted into a museumdisplaying exhibits which include the violin played by Mozart as achild, his concert violin and clavichord, a pianoforte, and variousportraits. The museum was first opened in 1880, by theInternational Mozart Foundation, and restored in 1994.
It is now said to be one of the most frequently visited museumsin the world. Tours of the museum are available but need to bearranged in advance. A basic tour of the exhibition takes about anhour. The museum provides a fascinating introduction to the Mozartfamily and how they lived, as well as detailing the early life ofWolfgang Amadeus.
This large public park is a great place for families to enjoy aday in the sunshine. Stroll along the Hauptallee where chestnuttrees line the way, or visit the Planetarium and the Prater Museum,both located inside the park.
The Wiener Prater also has a small amusement park with a FerrisWheel, a rollercoaster and a number of other fun rides anddiversions, as well as food stalls and games booths. There isplenty of open space here for kids to run around and the cheesy,innocent fun of the amusement park is enjoyable for the wholefamily. Entrance to the park is free but individual rides must bepaid for.
Minopolis is Europe's first theme park featuring a city that wasspecifically designed for children, with buildings, doors, cars,and other objects reduced to children's size. Children can pretendto be adults and go about their daily life in the city ofMinopolis, working as whatever their hearts desire: a journalist,fire-fighter, policeman, doctor, or dentist.
Children can discover their dream jobs in a fun and safeenvironment. There are more than 80 professions for children to trytheir hand at. The theme park is designed with children agedbetween four and 12 in mind. Although a visit is lots of fun forkids, they also learn a lot about life in a safe and friendlyenvironment, where they are under the supervision of trainedcoaches, most of whom are qualified teachers.
One of Vienna's most famous residents, Dr Sigmund Freudrevolutionised the study of psychology with his ideas. Though manyof his theories, once wildly popular, have been discredited, theterm 'Freudian slip' and other ideas are still widely known anddebated today.
The Freud Museum in Vienna houses a number of antiques andmementos of the doctor inside the offices he practised in from 1891to 1938. Guided tours are available and the museum has a gift shopoffering photos and other memorabilia, as well as books written byFreud. This attraction will be very exciting for those interestedin the great man and his work, and it will provide a goodintroduction for those unfamiliar with Freud.
Austria enjoys a temperate Central European climate with fourdistinct seasons. Summers, between June and August, are hot withcool nights. In Vienna and other low-lying cities, temperaturesduring the day can get uncomfortably hot over July and August.Winters are cold and below freezing in January and February. Theski season in the Alps runs from December to April but themountains are also popular with hikers and climbers over the summerwhen the weather is usually warm and bright.
This award-winning restaurant stays true to its traditionalvalues and is somewhat of an institution when it comes to Viennesesteak restaurants. The tasteful décor and impeccable cuisine ensurethat this eatery stays within the top ranks of Vienna's diningscene.
The Tafelspitz (boiled beef) is without a doubt the most famouschoice of beef and is the flagship dish of this restaurant. Thebeef is served in the traditional manner - in beef soup, with appleand horseradish, roast potatoes and chive sauce. Open daily forlunch and dinner. Reservations recommended.
Café Central is probably one of the most famous cafes in theworld due to its high profile clientele during the history ofVienna, which included famous artists, writers, and intellectualssuch as Lenin and Trotsky. The grand, cathedral-like setting withits marble pillared hall and soaring ceiling is a fine setting forthe excellent coffee and apple strudel that they serve up, alongwith an assortment of other desserts and pastries for tea. Lightlunches are served and the menu includes a variety of provincialdishes and Viennese specialties, as well as salads, soups,sandwiches, and vegetarian dishes. Piano music plays daily from5pm. Open daily from 10am.
The venue may be Gothic, sunk into the cellars beneath thehistoric town hall, but the style, atmosphere and cuisine are veryup to date. This spacious eatery features various rooms furnishedin different styles and can handle up to 1,100 people. The food canbe described as 'modern Viennese', offering fare such as goulash,Wiener Schnitzel and apple strudel. Open daily for lunch anddinner.
Arguably the best of Vienna's 300-odd traditional coffee shops,offering their legendary confections and pastries, is the CaféDemel. The café is best known for its original Sachertorte(chocolate frosted cream cake), but the rest of the range of sweetdelights on offer is just as delectable. Demel also serves a largerange of sandwiches and, of course, really good coffee. Open dailyfrom 10am to 7pm. Vienna's other renowned coffee shop is CaféCentral near the Hofburg Palace, where Lenin and Totsky once metregularly.
The warm, cosy and classic style of the Restaurant Imperiallends itself perfectly to a stylish dining affair. The décor istasteful and evokes a feeling of old-world charm while chef HansJuergen Schauer creates delectable dishes such as fillet of turbotwith goose liver and fillet of veal, or the old favourite, WienerSchnitzel. Open daily for dinner. Reservations essential.
This funky restaurant is stylish to the extreme, with quirky redand black decor and an eclectic menu that ranges from sushi tospaghetti. The restaurant expands in the summer with tables set upin the attractive garden. Motto is open late into the night,closing at 4am.
When in Vienna, do as the Viennese do: indulge in WienerSchnitzel, the delicacy most associated with the romantic city.Reputed to serve the biggest and best schnitzel is Wollzeile, awine tavern where the long tables are always packed with hungrycustomers sampling the golden-brown schnitzels. Next door to StStephen's Cathedral, it is open daily for lunch and dinner.Wollzeile is closed during August.
Meaning 'corner of Styria' (a state in southeast Austria),Steirereck is one of Austria's top restaurants, featuring seasonalAustrian cuisine with a Styrian emphasis. The menu is small andchanges regularly according to the freshest ingredients available,but everything is superbly prepared.
Meals begin with freshly baked bread and close with a selectionof more than 60 cheeses from the restaurant's own cellar. Seasonalofferings might include foie gras Steirereck, Styrian roast beef,lobster, lamb with crepes, rabbit with risotto, or smoked monkfish.Dress is smart and reservations are recommended. Open Monday toFriday.
Located on the seventh floor of the Haas Haus, Do & Co isthe flagship restaurant of Do & Co International Hotel andoffers the best views in town, situated opposite St Stephan'sCathedral. The cuisine is international, featuring mainly modernViennese and Asian fare, but the extensive menu also covers SouthAmerica and wider Europe. The menu covers 'Tastes of the World','Beef & Co', 'Kebab, Wok and Curries', 'Catch of the Day','Austrian Classics', and different kinds of sushi. Reservations arehighly recommended, and dress is smart. Open daily from 12pm.
The unit of currency is the Euro (EUR). Currency can beexchanged at banks and bureaux de change available in all towns,but it may be easier to use the ATMs. Banks are closed on Saturdaysand Sundays, but bureaux de change at airports and major city railterminals are open seven days a week. Most credit and debit cardsare widely accepted though some small hotels and restaurants mayonly accept cash.
The official language in Austria is German.
Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Europeantwo-pin plugs are standard.
US passport holders require a passport valid for three monthsbeyond period of intended stay, but a visa is not needed for a stayof up to 90 days.
British passports endorsed 'British Citizen', 'British Subject'(containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abodeissued by the United Kingdom), and 'British Overseas TerritoriesCitizen' issued by Gibraltar, only need to be valid for period ofintended stay in Austria. All other endorsements require at leastthree months validity beyond the period of intended stay inAustria.
A visa is not required for passports endorsed 'British Citizen','British Subject' (containing a Certificate of Entitlement to theRight of Abode issued by the United Kingdom), and 'British OverseasTerritories Citizen' issued by Gibraltar. No visa is required forstays of up to 90 days in a half-year period for holders ofpassports with any other endorsement. Holders of identity cardsissued by Gibraltar authories, and endorsed 'Validated for EUtravel purposes under the authority of the United Kingdom', do notrequire a visa to visit Austria.
Canadians require a passport valid for three months beyondintended period of stay, but no visa is needed for a stay of up to90 days.
Australians require a passport valid for three months beyondperiod of intended stay, but no visa is needed for a stay of up to90 days.
South African nationals require a passport valid for threemonths beyond period of intended stay and a visa.
Irish nationals require a passport but no visa is needed fortravel to Austria.
US passport holders require a passport valid for three monthsbeyond period of intended stay, but a visa is not needed for a stayof up to 90 days.
New Zealanders require a passport valid for three months beyondperiod of intended stay, but a visa is not needed for a stay of upto 90 days.
The borderless region known as the Schengen area includes thefollowing countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark,Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy,Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway,Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. All thesecountries issue a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entryoption that allows the holder to travel freely within the bordersof all. For most nationalities, passports are required to be validfor three months beyond period of travel. We always recommend thatpassports be valid for six months from the departure date.
No vaccinations are necessary for business visits or generaltourism in Austria. There is, however, a risk of tick-borneencephalitis for long-term visitors who expect to be visiting ruralor forested areas in spring or summer. These travellers shouldconsider vaccination and ensure they take precautions against tickinfestation. Water and food are safe. Medical facilities areexcellent. Medical insurance is advised unless from the UK -citizens of EU countries can get free emergency medical treatmentat public hospitals in Austria on production of a European HealthInsurance Card (EHIC).
A 10-15 percent service charge is normally added to hotel andrestaurant bills in Austria, but it is customary to leave another 5percent if satisfied with the service. Sometimes, one can round offthe bill. Bartenders usually expect this rounded up tip. It iscommon to give the money to the waiter rather than leave it on thetable, but leaving small change for other service personnel isfine. Taxi drivers expect a 10 percent tip.
Travel to Austria is generally trouble-free. However, visitorsare advised to take sensible safety precautions, particularly inlarger cities.
It is compulsory that vehicles are driven with their lights onthroughout the year. Smoking is not allowed in many publicplaces.
Business protocol is very important in Austria and business isformal, structured and conservative, more so than many otherWestern European countries. All correspondence, such as faxes andemails, should be formal. Dress is conservative, yet elegant;Austrians take great pride in their appearance and a good quality,well-fitting suit for men and women should be worn to make a goodfirst impression. Austrians are also very title-conscious: alwaysuse last names with a preceding title such as Herr (Mr), Frau (Mrs)or Fräulein (Miss), along with their professional or academic titlewhere applicable (e.g. Herr Professor Kaufmann). It is vital toarrive punctually for meetings and to be thoroughly prepared, asmeetings are brief and to the point. Be prepared to engage inpreliminary small talk, including a knowledge of current affairs,before getting down to business. English is widely spoken inbusiness, but printed literature should be in German if possible.Offices open at 8am and close promptly at 5pm Monday to Friday.
The international access code for Austria is +43. Hotels, cafesand restaurants offering free wifi are widely available. Asinternational roaming costs can be high, purchasing a local prepaidSIM card can be a cheaper option.
Travellers from non-EU countries over 17 years are allowed tobring in the following items without paying customs duty: 200cigarettes, or 100 cigarillos, or 50 cigars, or 250g of smokingtobacco, or a proportional mix of these products; 4 litresnon-sparkling wine, or 1 litre of spirits with alcohol content morethan 22 percent, or 2 litres of alcohol volume less than 22percent; 60ml perfume and 250ml eau de toilette; and other goods toa total value of €430. Restricted items include pornographicmaterial and fresh foodstuffs such as meat and dairy products.Travellers must have a European Firearms Pass if travelling withfirearms.
Austrian National Tourist Office, Vienna: +43 (0)1 588 660 orwww.austria.info
Austrian Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 8956700.
Austrian Embassy, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 73443250.
Austrian Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 789 1444.
Austrian Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 4529155.
Austrian Embassy, Canberra, Australia: +61 (0)2 6295 1533.
Austrian Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 (0)1 269 4577.
Consulate of Austria, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 (0)4 3841402.
United States Embassy, Vienna: +43 (0)1 313 397 535.
British Embassy, Vienna: +43 (0)1 716 130.
Canadian Embassy, Vienna: +43 (0)1 531 383 000.
South African Embassy, Vienna: +43 (0)1 320 6493.
Australian Embassy, Vienna: +43 (0)1 506 740.
Embassy of Ireland, Vienna: +43 (0)1 715 4246.
New Zealand Consulate-General, Vienna: +43 (0)1 505 3021.
The Salzkammergut is a lake area spanning Upper Austria,Salzburg, and Styria, and was formerly home to the salt mines ofthe Hapsburg Empire. The many lakes and mountains in the regionlend themselves to a variety of activities such as water sports,golf, cycling, and hiking, as well as relaxing at the beautifulshore and hillside retreats.
Take some time out to enjoy the local kaiserschmarrn (sugaredpancakes with raisins), lebkuchen (gingerbread) and krapfen(doughnuts), and the spectacular scenery in one of Austria's mostlovely regions. Parts of the region have been declared a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site, including the towns of Hallstatt, Obertraun,Gosau and Bad Goisern.
Dating as far back as the 17th century, Schloss Kleßheim Palacewas used by Adolf Hitler during World War II and today serves as acasino with an elegant atmosphere and beautiful gardens. The palacealso featured in the 1965 film The Great Race starring Jack Lemmon,Tony Curtis, and Peter Falk.
The casino holds some historical interest because of theassociation with Hitler during the war, and the eagles displayed atthe palace entrance are reminiscent of the Third Reich. However,the main appeal is the chance to gamble and party the night away instyle!
Guarded by a water-spouting giant, Swarovski Crystal World isone of the most popular attractions in Tirol. The museum isunderground, featuring 14 interconnected rooms with an eclecticmultimedia gallery showcasing dazzling work by Pablo Picasso, AndyWarhol, Salvador Dali, and Marc Chagall, among others, allfeaturing the distinctive glint of the famous Austriancrystals.
Another popular sight is the largest crystal in the world,located in the first room. Just a 15-minute drive from Innsbruckand less than two hours drive from Salzburg, Swarovski is a popularexcursion from both cities. The Swarovski Crystal World gift shophas an equally sparkling array of souvenirs available at lowerprices than in town, with the opportunity for a tax rebate forforeign visitors.