Austria is Europe’s one of the most popular holiday destinations. It is predominantly a nation of high mountains and upland area, with Eastern Alps occupying 60% of its territory. The country is well known for its scenic beauties, tradition, beautiful places and cultural activities. Austria is famed for its contrasting attractions. It boasts of some of the Europe’s contemporary architecture and varied museums. And the bars, cafes, and clubs give a modern and elegant touch to it.
Situated in the Alps, the country is also the winter sports capital of Europe. The place is very popular with hikers and skiers. Besides providing plenty of outdoor activities, Austria has also given the world an important musical heritage, ranging from Mozart to the Strauss. Here is an overview of the ten best places to visit in Austria.
What comes to your mind when you think of Vienna? Johann Strauss, Mozart, and elegant waltzes right? But there is a lot to Vienna than this. The city is packed with imperial history, lively eateries, nightlife scenes and exciting museums. The capital of Austria holds more than 200 balls every year. If you want to take a break from music, then you can visit the Hofburg, which houses the Imperial jewelry of the Hapsburg rulers. The Kunsthistorisches is another popular place to visit here. It exhibits an outstanding collection of paintings by the old masters. Vienna is also famous for its cafes, where you can rest your weary feet while deciding which place to visit. Some popular attractions include the Schloss Schönbrunn, the Belvedere Palace, and the Österreichische Galerie.
Situated beside the fast-flowing Salzach River, Salzburg is no less than a storybook Austria. This the fourth largest city in Austria is best known as the home of Mozart. People from all over the world come here to view the sights that inspired such an unforgettable music. The city has burgeoning art scenes, manicured parks, concert halls and wonderful food. The cozy and scenic Salzburg is also home to the Mirabell Gardens and Palace. Festung Hohensalzburg is the landmark of the Salzburg along with Mozart’s Geburtshaus. The Museum of Modern Art is another attraction of Salzburg.
Graz, also known as the city of students, is the second largest city in Austria. It has six universities enrolling more than 44,000 students. Graz is also the best-preserved old town in central Europe. It reflects the culture of the Balkan States and Italy. Here, you will find numerous museums, ranging from the armory to art. Graz also offers a wide variety of international cuisines, living up to its reputation as the ‘City of Culinary Delights’. Graz is also very lively. The place bursts with red rooftops, bristling green parkland and a small river gushing through the center. The city is dominated by the Schlossberg, a forested mountain rising above the medieval town center. The city is also architecturally marvelous. It has provincial baroque palaces and Renaissance courtyards.
Linz is the city on the move. Linz with its public art installation, a cyber center, and an innovative gallery, it looks no less than a science- fiction movie. Linz is also culturally diverse. You will find the interactive art in the virtual world of the Ars Electronica Center. Just on the opposite bank of Danube, you will find architectural masterpieces of the 19th and 20th centuries on display. If you want to enjoy excellent drama and music, then head to Brucknerhaus and the Landestheater. If you want to take a stroll through the cobblestone streets and centuries-old architecture, then head the Linz’s Old City.
Innsbruck is a season tourist destination of Austria. It is squeezed between two impressive mountain chains. The place testifies to the great past of the Tirol‘s province. It is internationally renowned for its winter sports like skiing, ski mountaineering, skating and snowboarding. Innsbruck has also hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976. But there is much more to Innsbruck than great skiing. You will find a good mix of the cathedral here. The Hofkirche cathedral houses the tomb of the Emperor Maximilian I. The Schloss Ambras displays a huge collection of paintings and armor. The city also hosts events and festivals like the Dance Summers and the Innsbruck Festival Week. Do not forget to visit the Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens while in Innsbruck.
Bregenz is the capital of Vorarlberg. It is beautifully located at Lake Constance, the third-largest European Lake. The place offers a dense cultural program coupled with a wide range of outdoor activities. Baroque Martinsturm, the centerpiece of the 2000-year-old city, is found in the medieval center of the town. The Kunsthaus Bregenz is also an architectural marvel in Bregenz. The place also holds Bregenzer Festspiele, a renowned music festival featuring a different opera every second year. The other popular festival is the Bregenzer Frühling, a dance festival of international reputation. You can ride a cycle, walk, trek and hike on the course of fantastic slopes.
If you are looking for an ideal summer destination in Austria, then you can head to Klagenfurt. It is located near Lake Wörthersee, the largest and the warmest Alpine lake in Europe. Klagenfurt is enjoyable throughout the year with its sunny winter days, Mediterranean climate and colorful autumn. The place also boasts of some of the prettiest Austrian old towns. In fact, it was awarded thrice with the Europa Nostra Diploma for its arcaded Renaissance courtyards. The place accommodates trendy bars, modern boutiques and beer gardens. There are also many galleries and museums here, including the Provincial Museum, the Wappensaal and the Museum of Modern Art. There are well-maintained cycle paths, so you can bike around wherever you want to.
Located in Austria’s Burgenland province, Eisenstaedt is the smallest provincial capital of the region. The place is home to 13,000 inhabitants and has plenty to offer to its tourists. The major attraction of Eisenstaedt is the Schloss Esterhazy. The palace serves as a venue for a range of cultural activities including the operas of the famous Haydn Festival. The other sights include the Gloriette, the Calvary Mountain, and Martinsdom. Eisenstaedt also has many protected buildings and a pedestrian area with cafes, shops, and restaurants. If you are a wine lover, then do not miss to visit the surrounding area of Eisenstaedt. The districts of Kleinhöflein and St. Georgen are famous for their wine taverns.
Hallstatt is a quaint village located in the Salzkammergut region. The old world charm of Hallstatt not only comes from its small Alpine setting, but from the laid-back atmosphere and friendly locals. Much of the Hallstatt has changed over 7000 years. But they have started to unearth the artifacts and pottery now. Besides strolling the quaint streets, you can also take trips to the local salt mine and the Bone Chapel. The best way to experience this famous location is by taking a ferry ride across the lake. Do not forget to carry your camera to capture the beautiful settings.
There are very few regions in Europe that can match the rugged beauty of Carinthia. The place will take you on a serpentine journey in the valleys and natural conduits. Carinthia may also seem larger than life because of its high peaks and glistening lakes, but it is worth the visit. Wörtherseem, the most popular lake in the region has water warmed to a comfortable temperature by the thermal springs. The deep medieval heritage of Carinthia is a popular attraction. The heritage is celebrated in picturesque walled villages like Gmund and Friesach. There is also an impressive castle on the hilltop like the fortress of Hochosterwitz. The towns and villages nestled in Carinthia’s rolling hills hold annual summer festivals with performers coming from Italy and Slovenia.
We hope this article helps to make your trip extra special. Can you suggest some places to visit in Austria? Please leave us a comment below.