With over 10 awesome places to visit, Austria has it all. Between the mountains, architecture, cuisine, and welcoming people, the reasons to visit Austria are endless. I’ve been to Austria many times – the first time being when I was 10 years old. My German-born father was sent to Austria during World War 2 and returned again about 15 times. Thankfully, it’s exactly the kind of place you want to go back to. Without further ado, here are 10 awesome places to visit in Austria:
Lake Achensee is known as the “Sea of Tirol” and is a popular destination for surfers, windsurfers, sailors and swimmers in the summer months. Around the lake are lush green meadows, cozy mountain huts, and 500 kilometres of signposted hiking trails. Pertisau, a small town on the southwest shore, provides a great home base in both the summer and winter ski season.
Lentos Museum, Linz
Located in a modern building next to the beautiful Donaupark, the Lentos Museum is one of Austria’s finest museums of modern art. Opened in 2003, it has many European masterpieces and a strong collection. Works of art from the 19th century, classical modernity (Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka) and Expressionism are presented, as well as current, contemporary artists.
Old Town, Salzburg
Salzburg, considered one of Austria’s most beautiful cities, is picture-perfect. For beer lovers, it’s the home of Stiegl Beer. Walk the old streets and take the funicular to Hohensalzburg Fortress for a breathtaking view. Known as one of the largest medieval castles in Europe, the Fortress dates back to 1077. The old town is charming with many small shops and includes Mozart’s Birthplace Museum – well worth a visit.
Mountains of Innsbruck
Innsbruck is beautiful in all 4 seasons, but especially so in winter when it becomes a winter wonderland. From Innsbruck, you can take a short train ride up into the mountains. A 20-minute train ride takes you to Seefeld, where you can take the funicular and cable car to Rosshutte for incredible views of the Alps. On a clear day, you’ll see the mountain tops of Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, making it one of the best places to hike in Austria. Seefeld has hosted two Olympic winter games, so you know the skiing is top drawer too!
‘Cheese Street’ in Vorarlberg
The Cheese Road is a union of 107 cheese producers (17 valley dairies and 90 alpine farmsteads) where you can experience their delicious work in various stages. Discover how cheese is made and, while you’re at it, try your hand at cheesemaking. Of course, you’ll want to sample the regional specialty ‘Bergkäse’ (mountain cheese) and buy cheese in Voralberg.
Wachau World Heritage Trail
Wachau is less than an hour from Vienna, making it easy to get to. The Wachau World Heritage Trail takes you to numerous fortresses, castles, and monasteries. Hiking the trail takes you through the Wachau wine region with its hillside vineyards, and to the top of the Jauerling, the highest mountain along the Danube River. To experience the trail in all its glory, give yourself a full week to explore. The trail blends scenery, exercise, culture, cuisine and wine into one. It’s all of Austria in one package, and the perfect showcase for first time Austrian visitors.
Hallstatt is a beautiful UNESCO world heritage site recognized for its stunning architecture and well-maintained landscape. Salt production started the town and dates to the Bronze Age. This quaint village is located on Lake Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut region and is one of the most charming in all of Austria. Take some time to wander the old town, walk the world heritage skywalk, visit the ossuary, get out on the water and tour the salt mine. It’s a hectic day, but completely doable if you arrive early (or stay there) and start with the salt mine tour to avoid the crowds.
Bathing House, Lake Constance
Lake Constance borders Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The area is rich in castles, baroque churches, exquisite town squares and curious museums. The Bathing House, located at the SENTIDO Seehotel Am Kaiserstrand, is home to breathtaking views of this beautiful lake. A 42m long wooden walkway leads from Lake Constance’s shore to the bathing house, built with local silver fir sitting on pilings above the water. The Bathing House provides lounge areas for suntanning and direct swimming access to Lake Constance.
St Anton am Arlberg
Skiing in Austria is legendary, and among the legends is St Anton am Arlberg. Located in the Tyrol region, the area offers serious ski terrain for those who are up to the challenge. St. Anton is very much about the “work hard” (ski all day), “play hard” (live it up at night) mentality. The vast area has a loyal and eager winter crowd. In the summer, hikers take over for an annual trek. If you’re looking for an adventurous and sport-filled holiday, St Anton is it.
Vienna is a must visit destination and can easily top this list of awesome places to visit. The coffee house culture dates to the 16th century: Café Central is one of the many authentic and charming cafés to visit, while “Sacher Torte” is known for Vienna’s must-try cake. The Belvedere Palace consists of two Baroque palaces: the Orangery and the Palace Stables. The grounds include the beautiful Botanic Gardens and Belvedere Museum, which is the most visited museum in Austria, and well known around the world for its collection. As an extra bonus, there’s a great view of the city from the top of the hill within the palace grounds. One of the most impressive buildings in the Ringstrasse area of Vienna is the Kunsthistorische Museum, home to an impressive collection of historical artworks, many from the House of Habsburg.
These are just a few suggestions for visiting Austria, but they’re sure to offer something for everyone! Try to knock a few off this list, and you’re bound to have a great time exploring all that Austria has to offer.