Archive for the ‘Countries Near Austria’ Category

Austria & Italy

Italy Tourist Info

Italy and tourism go hand in hand. There isn’t enough time to talk about all it has to offer. Of course it is world renowned for its artwork, food, wine, fast cars, Western Civilization and history. We’ll just give you some of the highlights.

To the North you have the beautiful Dolomites (Italy’s Alps), once part of

Dolomite Scene – Northern Italy

Austria and wished by many locals that it was still so. Between the Alps and Milan is the beautiful and scenic Lakes region, with Lake Como, Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore, nestled among beautiful peaks. Going further south there’s Venice, Florence and Tuscany. I can taste the food now. Going further into Italy, Rome deserves a vacation all of its own. Further south still, the terrain gets a bit more arid and in ways may be reminiscent of our own West. In fact many Westerns movies were shot there. Once there,

Leaning Tower of Pisa - Tuscany
Leaning Tower of Pisa – Tuscany

you may want to take a boat to Cicily. You may also pay a visit to the Isles of Corsica and Sardinia.

Italian is the official language, as well as the primary language spoken here. Not too many people speak English.  This is because the locals are more focused on family, and not so much on tourist or social courtesies. It would be to your advantage to learn a few Italian phrases to get by when speaking to the locals. Also you may want to think about using bottled water, as in many areas the chlorine level in the water is high.

Regarding customs, dress is probably a bit more casual than in some of its European neighbors. However, as this is Italy, one of the fashion capitals

Colloseum in Rome

of the world, the word “casual” can take on a different meaning, especially when around Milan. Of course, people dress up for formal and religious events. In the larger metro areas, you may want to beware of pick pockets, who prey upon tourists. Also, you may want to remember that many stores close for lunch breaks.

The national airline of Italy is Alitalia which also services the US, Canada, and Australia. When traveling by air, note that the two largest airports are in Rome, and in Milan, where rail and roadways connect you to the rest of the country and the rest of Europe. You also have the choice of using the Eurostar rail line for your longer trips. If you chose to drive through Italy, you can get there from Austria, Switzerland, and France.

Interested in Tours and Activities in and around Italy? For additional information on Rome check out

Austria and Hungary

Hungary Tourist Info

Touring Hungary, and especially historical Budapest when visiting Vienna for a few days, is a must.  How about a Riverboat cruise on the Danube from Vienna to Budapest?

Hungary is a landlocked country that is bordered by the Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Austria of course. Its largest city and capital is Budapest a city divided in two by the Danube River. The West bank known

Village Along Danube Bend – Hungary

as Buda and the East bank as Pest. The area had quite an interesting past, as it changed hands among; Romans, Huns, Goths, Mongols, Turks, Hungarians and Habsburgs. Hungary because of this historic past is a very popular tourist destination and known for its hospitality and the mixture of history with modern touches. Tradition is important to many locals, yet they are very much in tune with the western world.

The setting of Budapest on Danube River makes it a gathering place for writers, artists and musicians. When there, other sights to see include the Chain Bridge, the Parliament Buildings, Fisherman’s Bastion, and the Castle Royal Palace.

One of the most popular vacation destinations in Hungary is Lake Balaton, which is about 60 miles from Budapest. It is the largest lake in Central Europe, with a length of nearly 48 miles, and a width varying from about 2.5 to 8 miles. Since Hungary is landlocked, the lake is often and fondly referred to as the “Hungarian Sea”. Here you’ll find many of Hungary’s Beaches and resorts. Another area to explore and sight see is what is called the Danube Bend, an area between Budapest on the East and Esztergom on the West, where the Danube makes a couple of twists and turns. An area rich with scenic views, castles and quaint little villages.  This presents itself on the way to Budapest from Vienna

Hungary’s population is approximately, 10 million and the predominant language is Hungarian. The climate of the country, because of its South Central European location is temperate, with hot summers, and cold winters.

With regards to local customs, people like to shake hands and as with some other European countries and when visiting someone’s a little gift or flowers are welcome. Although smoking is prohibited in most public places, it is permitted during long distance train travel. Tipping is OK and expect to give a 10 to 15 percent tip.

There are four ways to travel to Hungary; by car, rail, air and river. Budapest is served by numerous European and International airlines, including Malv, Hungary’s national airline. The major air hub is the Ferhegy Budapest International Airport, which is about ten miles from Budapest. The country is also part of the extensive rail network with direct connections to 16 European cities. Getting to Hungary and Budapest by river (Danube River) may be one of the most enjoyable means. Leave from Vienna via tour boat or the more rapid daily hydrofoil service which runs between Budapest and Vienna during the months of April to October.

Interested in Tours and Activities in and around Hungary?

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