My Austrian Evening Travel Giveaway


Austrian Alps via Shutterstock

By Diana Smith

Austria. Often revered as home to legendary composers such as Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven; hailed as the birthplace of culinary creations like Weiner Schnitzel, Sachertorte, and strudel; and recognized as the breathtaking backdrop to “The Sound of Music.” It’s a small country with just over 8 million people, and it is a country that is undoubtedly packed with artists, musicians and innovators. But Austria’s greatness actually lies beyond its list of icons and more within its everyday culture.

“Gemütlichkeit” refers to the feeling of comfort and contentment that can be found when one is among friends in an atmosphere that lends itself to pleasant conversation and a good meal.  So it’s fair to say that at the very core of “Gemütlichkeit” lies the country’s cuisine.

Situated primarily among the Alps, Austrian dishes are highly influenced by its landlocked geography. Potatoes, mushrooms, berries, venison, and pork are common in meals, as are trout and carp, which are found in Austria’s lakes and streams. Nineteen distinct districts produce the country’s wine, and with the largest percentage of organic farmland in the EU, farm-to-table is not so much a movement in Austria, but rather a way of life that has been around for generations.

Dinner is often when people will experience “Gemütlichkeit,” and to help share that part of Austrian culture, the Austrian Tourism Office is hosting #MyAustrianEvening, a contest where one winner in the United States will receive an Austrian dinner party in the winner’s own home. “Featuring the finest of Austrian culture and hospitality,” the winner and 10 of his or her friends will dine among elegant table décor, indulge in Award-Winning wines, and feast on a 4-course meal prepared by an Austrian chef. The contest opens OCTOBER 1. Sign up before then on Facebook to be the first to hear when the contest goes live!

For a preview, check out tweets from the Culture-ist’s Austrian evening or follow the hashtag #MyAustrianEvening.


Diana SmithAbout the Writer

Diana Smith is a Brooklyn-based writer and photographer originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to her travels in Europe, she has also explored the US, adventuring from coast to coast and back again by way of the road. When Diana isn’t road-tripping she volunteers with a non-profit AIDS organization in New York City. Diana holds a BA in film and media studies from the University of California-Irvine and an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. To view more excerpts from her travels visit or find her on Twitter @Roads_America.



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