Places to visit in Austria- for such a small country, Austria has made it big.
This is, after all, the land where Mozart was born, Strauss taught the world to waltz and Julie Andrews grabbed the spotlight with her twirling entrance in The Sound of Music.
This is where the Habsburgs built their 600-year empire, and where past glories still shine in the resplendent baroque palaces and chandelier-lit coffee houses of Vienna, Innsbruck and Salzburg.
This is a perfectionist of a country and whatever it does – mountains, classical music, new media, castles, cake, you name it –
Austria does it exceedingly well. Beyond its grandiose cities, Austria’s allure lies outdoors.
And whether you’re schussing down the legendary slopes of Kitzbühel, climbing high in the Alps of Tyrol or pedalling along the banks of the sprightly Danube (Donau),
you’ll find the kind of inspiring landscapes that no wellorchestrated symphony, camera lens or singing nun could ever quite do justice.
What to visit in Austria
Imperial Palaces of Vienna
Vienna’s Imperial Palace, the Hofburg, was for centuries the seat of the Habsburgs, rulers of Austria until the end of WWI.
A great deal of European history was written here, in particular by Empress Maria and, for a while, the German Emperor.
When Strauss composed ‘The Blue Danube’, he surely had the Wachau in mind.
Granted Unesco World Heritage status for its natural and cultural beauty, this stretch of the Danube Valley waltzes you through landscapes of terraced vineyards, forested slopes and apricot orchards.
Beyond the Stift Melk, Dürnstein’s Kuenringerburg begs exploration.
This hilltop castle is where the troubadour Blondel attempted to rescue Richard the Lionheart from the clutches of Duke Leopold V.
The Grossglockner High Alpine Road leads from Fusch-Ferleiten in Salzburg to Heiligenblut in Carinthia.
The high alpine road, which is fit for car, bus, motorbike and bicycle traffic, owes its origin to the road engineer Franz Wallack and Franz Rehrl, the forward-looking state governor of Salzburg.
Outdoor Adventure in Tyrol
If there’s foaming water, a tall mountain or a sheer ravine, there are heart-pumping outdoor escapades in Austria.
For a summertime buzz, you can’t beat throwing yourself down raging rivers such as the Inn and Sanna in Tyrol, Austria’s rafting mecca.
Or strap into your harness and be blown away by the Alpine scenery paragliding in the Zillertal. Cyclists use the cable-car network to access the many high-altitude and downhill routes.
Melk Abbey (German: Stift Melk) is a Benedictine abbey above the town of Melk, Lower Austria, Austria, on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube river, adjoining the Wachau valley.
Eisereisenfeldt Ice Caves are the largest ice caves in the world, extending more than 42 km into the ground.
The cave was discovered in 1879, and it was opened to the public after building paths that connect the highest mountains and the cave,
and it is now visited by nearly 200 thousand tourists and locals. As it is approximately 11 minutes from Wervine by car, many guides escort and escort visitors into the cave.
Work up a sweat on the steep walk or step into the funicular and sway up to Salzburg’s glorious fortress, Festung Hohensalzburg, beckoning on a forested peak above the city.
Glide through the Golden Hall, with its celestial ceiling capturing the starlit heavens.
After all this beauty, you will find yourself cast among a chilling array of medieval torture instruments in the Fortress Museum. Don’t miss the 360 degree views from the tower.
The MuseumsQuartier (MQ) is one of the largest cultural quarters in the world.
Located at the border of the old city in the former imperial stables, it combines institutions of different art fields, restaurants,
cafés and shops in an area of over 60,000 square feet in a post-modern ambiance, a combination of baroque buildings and modern architecture.
The MQ offers an ambiance that fits the urban lifestyle of its visitors: retaining the old, experiencing the new – and enjoying both of them together.
Following this principle, a colorful and varied scene developed amid the setting of eminent museums and collections:
After a visit to the Schiele collection, drop by Café Leopold. In Café Restaurant Halle, you can take a look at the furnishings of Vienna’s trendy bar designers, Eichinger and Knechtl.
The MQdaily invites you to drop by for a short break. The hustle and bustle on the large square can be best followed from here.
Cafe Culture in Vienna
A pianist plays and bow-tied waiters bustle to and fro with cakes and encyclopaedic coffee menus.
Ahhh, this is what the Viennese mean by Gemütlichkeit (cosiness), you realise, as you sip your melange (milky coffee), rustle your newspaper and watch life go decadently by.
What suits to bring
Winter can be cold and the ground icy, so several layers of warm clothing and good shoes are essential, along with gloves, scarf and a woollen cap or a hat.
In summer, wear layers you can peel off and make sure you have something for occasional rain showers.
Especially in larger cities, Austrians tend to dress up well in the evening or for good restaurants,
but fashion jeans are fine even for upmarket clubs and restaurants if combined with a good shirt or blouse and a men’s sports coat (Sakko) or women’s summer jacket.
Museums and Palaces
Museums Quartier Where baroque stables have morphed into Europe’s finest modern museum quarter.
Vienna’s Hofburg Habsburg HQ for over 600 years and now host to phenomenal museums.
Schloss Belvedere Prince Eugene’s Viennese masterpiece, with sensational art collections.
Schloss Schönbrunn Vienna’s premier palace and gardens where the Habsburg story is told.
Schloss Eggenberg Graz’ magnificent Renaissance palace, with museums and gardens.
Festung Hohensalzburg Salzburg’s mighty 900-year-old fortress, complete with torture chamber.
Salzburg’s Residenzplatz Opulence coupled with European grand masters.
Places to visit in Austria and around…
Bicycle Most regional tourist boards have brochures on cycling facilities and routes within their region. It’s possible to take bicycles on trains with a bicycle symbol at the top of its timetable.
Bus Services operate inmost cities and are complemented by a few night bus lines. In remote regions plan head and travel on a weekday.
Car Small towns and even small cities often have limited or no car-hire services, so reserve ahead from major cities.
Train Austria’s national railway system is integratedwith the bus services. Trains are good by any standard, and with a discount card it’s inexpensive.
Tourist offices invariably keep lists and details of accommodation; some arrange bookings (free, or for a small fee).
Hotels Swing from budget to five-star luxury in palatial surrounds.
B&Bs Also called pensions and Gasthöfe; range from simple city digs to rustic chalets in the mountains.
Private Rooms Privatzimmer usually represent great value (doubles go for as little as €50).
Farmstays Well geared towards families. Some only operate during the summer months.
Alpine Huts Opening with the snow from roughly late June to mid-September.
Advance bookings essential.
Camping Most resorts and cities have camp grounds, usually in pretty natural settings.