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When it comes to European history, you can bet that Austria has been at the center of it. Once part of the Habsburg dynasty, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, this small country has had an out-sized impact on European events. From wars (essentially starting World War I with Serbia) to geopolitics (the country frequently hosts high-level negotiations under the sponsorship of the United Nations), Austria has been in the midst of it all.

Visitors to Austria will discover incredible architecture, magnificent gardens and one of the most mountainous countries in Europe. Throughout the Austrian Alps, there’s plenty of outdoor activities to keep visitors busy: skiing, hiking, and mountain biking. In the cities, Austrians practically define high culture. Vienna is one of the most rarefied cities in the world – and one of the most livable. Salzburg is one of the most charming travel destinations anywhere in the world.

Vienna’s Classic Heuriger Wine Restaurants

Heuriger patrons eating and drinking

On a cool evening, we boarded tram #D in Vienna and headed to the end of the line. When we travel, we look for “local experiences” and a local had told us about something called a heuriger in the Austrian capital. We didn’t understand the concept, but if it was a local restaurant that served wine,

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Seven Great Restaurants in Vienna, Austria

The Pastry Case at Café Demel

Updated: January 2018 Vienna, Austria has a fantastic restaurant scene!  Leading up to our trip, we read that until about a decade ago, Austrian cuisine hadn’t innovated in generations.  However, we found a lot of variety in the Austrian capital.   Dinner Cantinetta Antinori – This place tops our list for best meal in Vienna,

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The Family Jewels and Vienna’s Hofburg Palace

Coach outside the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria

Even if you only travel to Europe once, you will undoubtedly spend a fair amount of time in big, opulent houses of some kind—houses that belonged to rulers, to the very rich, or were built to honor God. Some are worth more time and effort than others, and Vienna’s Hofburg Palace is one of those

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Exploring Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna

Vienna's Schonbrunn Palace and courtyard

Schonbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the former summer home of the Habsburgs, is the most popular tourist attraction in Vienna. Over 2.6 million people visit a year – including us.  But when we visited the sprawling 1,411-room palace on a cold winter afternoon, it felt like we had it completely to ourselves. At

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Mozart’s Salzburg

Statue of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Salzburg, Austria

On our second day in Salzburg, we woke up and had breakfast at our hotel, the Hotel Am Dom. They had a nice little breakfast and were very accommodating for us. We checked out of the hotel, but they allowed us to store our bags for the day. We walked down to the river and

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Wintery Day in Salzburg, Austria

Looking down on Salzburg from the Hohensalzburg Fortress

We got up late from our hotel in Munich and took a the Railjet train to Salzburg. This high-speed train connects Munich with Budapest and I kind of wished we were travelling on to Hungary. I had previously been to Salzburg in the summer of 1995, but this was Laura’s first time to Austria. Salzburg, like

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