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Pocket Guide: Austria
Say "Austria," and the mind immediately travels to Vienna on the blue Danube, home to the Hapsburg Dynasty's stunningly Baroque palace, the Schönbrunn, which has 1,441 rooms. Over 100 museums are also located in Vienna, scattered throughout the Museumsquartier, Hofburg, and Landstrasse districts.
There's so much more to Austria than Vienna though.
Salzburg to the north, best known as Mozart's birthplace, is crowned by the Hohensalzburg Fortress, one of the best-preserved medieval castles in all of Europe. Salzburg provides an ideal base for day trips to the great skiing centers of the Kitzbühel and Tyrolean Alps.
The charming old town of Graz features medieval facades, cobblestones, twisting alleyways, ancient churches, and the remains of city walls that make it seem like a living museum. Cities like Vienna, Salzburg, and Graz are fabulous places to find a cheap Austria hotel deal.
Then there's the spectacular Austrian countryside. Follow the roads along the meandering Danube past vineyards, woodlands, castles, and villages so picturesque they seem to have come right out of the picture on the front of a chocolate box. You'll find plenty of Austria hotels here with all the comforts of home.
The stretch of the Danube Valley between Melk and Krems, called the Wachau, is such a lyrical bucolic landscape that UNESCO has chosen to preserve it as a Cultural Heritage Site. Here you'll find a rural setting that has survived its transformation from medieval times to the present day virtually unspoiled. Visit the vineyards found here, and sample the famous Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners. The granite rocks underlying the steep Danube terraces bestow a singular terroir on these unique wines that make them famous all over the world.
Austria's alpine foothills are riddled with walking trails that cover over 25,000 miles between Vienna and the snow-capped Tyrolean Alps. Many of these trails feature a unique network of "hut to hut" accommodations, so you can enjoy hiking without worrying about where you're going to stay at night.
Hotels in Austria are some of the very best in Europe, and it's easy to find Austria hotel deals. Whether you're planning a stay in one of Austria's cultural capitals or a more relaxing time in the countryside, you'll find Austria hotel packages to fit your needs on Expedia. The secret to tracking down cheap hotel deals in Austria is to book your reservations early, as soon as you know the dates of your trip. That way, you can lock in special discount rates for rooms that will let you take advantage of the top prices.