Austria is one of Europe’s most visually stunning and historically rich countries. From the gorgeous alps to the unique history and food, there’s lots to love about this cosy mountainous nation. Whether you’re planning to visit or are just curious about the land of Österreich, there are lots of interesting things to learn. Here are the most interesting facts about Austria.
7 of the Most Interesting Facts About Austria
1. Austria Has One of the Highest Quality of Living Standards in the World
Year after year, Austria ranks as one of the highest countries globally when it comes to quality of life. According to Numbeo’s mid-year report for 2020, Austria ranks number six beating out Iceland, New Zealand and Norway.
2. Austrians are Some of the Best Recyclers in the World
When it comes to the ol’ reduce, reuse and recycle, Austria is one of the best. Together with its German neighbours, Austria is one of the world’s most green and sustainable countries. Approximately 63% of the countries waste is recycled, and those are big talkin’ figures considering its 24% higher than the UK’s 39%.
3. Austria Has the Oldest Zoo in the World
Austria is home to the world’s oldest zoo, Vienna’s Tiergarten Schönbrunn. Founded way back in 1752, the zoo has survived some of Austria’s brightest and darkest days and has lived to tell the tale. Thanks to its unique history, it is also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
4. Vienna is a Fine Art Mecca
In its heyday, Vienna was a hub for fine art. Throughout the 19th century, the capital gave birth to some of the world’s most renowned artists such as Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. Over the years it’s remained home to some of the highest standards of European art around. If you find yourself in Vienna, we highly recommend the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Fine Art Museum).
5. Vienna is a Serious Wine Hub
When it comes to European wine, Austria may not be the first place that comes to mind. However, Vienna has a thriving wine scene. In fact, it is one of the only capital cities in the world that produces large quantities of wine. The hills that encircle the city boast nearly 2,000 acres of vineyards; most of which are commited to white wine varieties.
6. The Hills Really are Alive With the Sound of Music
Austria’s stunning Salzburg is the heart of the iconic 1965 The Sound of Music. Year after year, tourists flock to the scenic alpine area looking to experience a little bit of the magic themselves. Strangely enough, many Austrians have either never heard of the film or find it underwhelming.
7. Austria Was Home to One of Europe’s Most Powerful Dynasties
The Habsburg Dynasty was famously one of Europe’s most powerful and elite empires. They reigned from the 13th century all the way until 1918 and are still considered one of the most iconic dynasties in European history.