Austria (/ˈɒstriə/ (About this soundlisten), /ˈɔːs-/; German: Österreich [ˈøːstɐʁaɪ̯ç] (About this soundlisten)), officially the Republic of Austria (German: Republik Österreich, About this soundlisten (help·info)), is a landlocked East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine federated states (Bundesländer), one of which is Vienna, Austria’s capital and its largest city. It is bordered by Germany to the northwest, the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia to the northeast, Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. Austria occupies an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi) and has a population of nearly 9 million people. While German is the country’s official language, many Austrians communicate informally in a variety of Bavarian dialects.
Vienna (/viˈɛnə/ (About this soundlisten); German: Wien [viːn] (About this soundlisten)) is the national capital, largest city, and one of nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria’s most populous city, with about 1.9 million inhabitants (2.6 million within the metropolitan area, nearly one third of the country’s population), and its cultural, economic, and political center. It is the 6th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, Vienna was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it is the second-largest German-speaking city after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations, OPEC and the OSCE. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city center was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger. Additionally to being known as the “City of Music” due to its musical legacy, as many famous classical musicians such as Beethoven and Mozart who called Vienna home. Vienna is also said to be the “City of Dreams”, because of it being home to the world’s first psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. Vienna’s ancestral roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements that transformed into a Medieval and Baroque city. It is well known for having played a pivotal role as a leading European music center, from the age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century. The historic center of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque palaces and gardens, and the late-19th-century Ringstraße lined with grand buildings, monuments and parks.
Vienna is known for its high quality of life. In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the city first (in a tie with Vancouver and San Francisco) for the world’s most livable cities. Between 2011 and 2015, Vienna was ranked second, behind Melbourne. In 2018, it replaced Melbourne as the number one spot and continued as the first in 2019. For ten consecutive years (2009–2019), the human-resource-consulting firm Mercer ranked Vienna first in its annual “Quality of Living” survey of hundreds of cities around the world. Monocle’s 2015 “Quality of Life Survey” ranked Vienna second on a list of the top 25 cities in the world “to make a base within.” The UN-Habitat classified Vienna as the most prosperous city in the world in 2012/2013. The city was ranked 1st globally for its culture of innovation in 2007 and 2008, and sixth globally (out of 256 cities) in the 2014 Innovation Cities Index, which analyzed 162 indicators in covering three areas: culture, infrastructure, and markets. Vienna regularly hosts urban planning conferences and is often used as a case study by urban planners. Between 2005 and 2010, Vienna was the world’s number-one destination for international congresses and conventions. It attracts over 6.8 million tourists a year.