Austria is in the center of Europe, with Italy and Slovenia to its south and Germany and the Czech Republic to its north. Austria is north of the Bay of Venice, and the Alps run through much of the country.
Austria is a landlocked country with no coastal areas. Hungary, Slovakia, Liechtenstein and Switzerland round out its border nations. Austria's location is politically strategic because of its central European location and its access to many mountain passes through the Alps. The Danube river flows from west to east through the northern part of the country, creating a fertile valley where much of the population resides.