12 Best Places to Visit in Austria

Austria, which formerly spanned a vast portion of Europe, still exudes the opulence of its former grandeur. Vienna has a long history of being regarded as a destination for art, pastries, and classical music. Salzburg, where Mozart was born, is home to numerous magnificent buildings. And although Austria’s rich history and stunning architecture play a big part in what makes this landlocked country so amazing, it is much more than that.

Because it is mostly situated in the Alps, it is a very popular destination with skiers and hikers and offers a ton of breathtaking scenery to take in. Hidden in sweeping green hillsides with angular peaks, there are charming towns that are just waiting for you.

Pure mountain air and resorts in the alps call. Austria is a prime illustration of how beautiful lakes, valleys, and mountain panoramas can be. Below are a few of Austria’s most popular tourist attractions:

12. Bad Gastein

The lovely spa town of Bad Gastein is located in the heart of Austria’s High Tauern Mountains. Bad Gastein is noted for its stunning environment and lovely Belle Epoque structures. It is surrounded by steep mountain cliffs and covered in deep forests.

One of the most notable buildings in the area is the Grand de l’Europe Hotel. This 11-story hotel, perched on the side of a mountain and dominating the city below, has been a well-known landmark since it was constructed more than 110 years ago. The magnificent Bad Gasteiner Waterfall, which runs through the center of the town, is a unique sight to behold.

11. Worthersee

At the foot of the Karawanks and Gurktal Alp mountain ranges, in southern Austria, sits the Worthersee, the largest lake in Carinthia. Because of the stunning surroundings and scenery, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations. The pleasant waves and Mediterranean environment draw lots of tourists in the summer.

Fantastic hiking opportunities are provided by the lake’s surrounding, dense forests. Along the edge of the lake is a lovely bike path. At the Worthersee, you can enjoy water sports, golf, and horseback riding, making it a great place for outdoor recreation.

In the past, it was known as “Austria’s Monte Carlo” due to the vacationing Viennese bourgeoisie and nobility, but it is now a more hospitable location for families. Along the lake’s shores, you can find everything from small, charming towns to relaxing spas and exciting nightlife areas.

10. Graz

The second-largest city in Austria, Graz, is a lovely place to visit. It is situated among a luxuriant forest, farms, and hills on the banks of the Mur River. Due to its advantageous location in the nation’s southeast, the city has been fought over and ruled by numerous people over the years, including the Romans, the Hapsburgs, the Hungarians, the Ottomans, and Napoleon.

One of Central Europe’s oldest cities with the best preservation is Styria’s capital. Baroque palaces and Renaissance patios can be found alongside historic churches and modern museums. The Schlossberg Hill, which is in the middle and is covered in trees, rises above the city with its recognizable clocktower sticking out at the top.

Despite its long history, Graz has a youthful, lively vibe and a thriving nightlife scene. Numerous bars, restaurants, and cafes serve the sizable student population that is dispersed throughout the city’s numerous universities and colleges.

9. Zillertal Alps

The boundary between Austria and Italy is paralleled by the Zillertal Alps. The Zillertal Alps, with their towering glacier peaks, jagged mountain cliffs, and tree-lined valleys, offer one of central Europe’s most breathtaking views.

More than 85 different species of glaciers, some of which rise more than 11,000 feet above sea level, can be found in Zittertal. The Hintertux Glacier, one of the tallest glaciers, is reachable for skiing and trekking 365 days a year. Due to its height, it is one of only two ski areas in the world that is open all year.

Due to its hundreds of kilometers of outdoor pathways, the Zillertal Alps are a well-liked destination for mountaineers, hikers, and backpackers. Beginners can stroll through the lower-level pastures in the High Alps Nature Park, while more experienced hikers might decide to embark on a long excursion there. The 30-mile Zillertal High Road is available for anyone who would prefer to enjoy the beauty while driving.

8. Grossglockner Alpine Road

The breathtaking 30-mile trek down Grossglockner Road is without a doubt the most gorgeous route in Austria. Bruck is the starting point of a road that travels to the magnificent Grossglockner, Austria’s highest peak at 12,461 feet. It offers breathtaking views of the majestic valleys and mountains along the way as it winds its way 8,200 feet above sea level through Hochtor Pass, which crosses the Alpine divide.

Grossglockner Road is an exciting route for both drivers and passengers because of its frequent hairpin turns. But hikers also enjoy vacationing there because there are so many trails and paths that circle the mountain.

Many of the most popular hiking trails run along the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe lookout point. You can hike up to the icy glaciers on the Pasterze Glacier path, take in the expansive views of Grossglockner from the Gamsgrubenweg path, or travel through Slovenia and Italy on the Alpe Adria Trail.

7. St Anton am Arlberg

St Anton am Arlberg, a ski resort town in Austria, is one of the most well-known in the country. It is tucked away in the Tyrolean Alps. The region is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts with a sizable ski slope that can accommodate skiers of all abilities.

The 9,215-foot Valluga Mountain is equally enjoyable to skiers and non-skiers. Visitors are transported to the summit by two aerial tramways, known as the Vallugabahns, where they can marvel at the breathtaking views of the Lechtal Alps.

St. Anton am Arlberg is a popular summer vacation destination even though most people only associate it with winter vacations. Once the snow has melted, mountain biking, cycling, and hiking are ideal activities to enjoy in the lush, tree-lined forests and grassy meadows.

A charming town in its own right is St Anton am Arlberg, which is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Despite being small, St Anton am Arlberg has a lot of charming cafes and classic restaurants.

6. Wachau

The breathtaking 18-mile-long Wachau Valley in Austria is home to lovely vineyards, towering rocks, and undulating terrain. The Wachau Valley is located along the Danube River in the state of Lower Austria, which is technically in the country’s northeast.

The Wachau Valley is one of Austria’s smallest yet most prominent wine districts. Many of the famous Riesling and Grüner Veltliner grapes are grown in the numerous vineyards that line the river.

One of the busiest towns in the valley is Dürnstein, which is home to the Dürnstein Castle. Richard I of England was held here by Duke Leopold V in 1193 during the Third Crusade.

There are paved bike paths on both sides of the river for those who prefer to explore the valley by bicycle. It is worthwhile to stop in the charming towns of Melk, which is well-known for its stunning Benedictine abbey, Krems, Willendorf, and Spritz in addition to a trip to Dürnstein.

5. Zell am See

In the midst of the imposing Kitzbuhel Alps, the charming Alpine town of Zell am See is hidden away in a serene valley. The name of the small town is derived from the lovely blue lake that it is built upon, and its slopes are covered in comfortable chalets and flower-filled meadows.

Outdoor pursuits like hiking, biking, and water sports are popular in the summer, but in the winter, skiers and snowboarders swarm to the town to take advantage of the incredible mountains and ski resorts nearby. Despite being small, the charming center’s cozy alpine atmosphere makes a trip there worthwhile at any time of year. One of the city’s most well-known landmarks is the Romanesque St.

Because of its gorgeous position, Zell am See is a popular tourist destination. It also acts as a significant transit hub for the remainder of the Salzburg region. The towering Mount Grossglockner, Austria’s tallest mountain, is nearby. From there, a lot of people travel along the captivating High Alpine Road that passes through the town.

4. Innsbruck

On the banks of the Inn River, Innsbruck is surrounded by mountains that reach heights of 2000 meters, creating one of the most spectacular vistas imaginable. Despite the fact that the city itself has boasts an intriguing blend of history, culture, and architecture, many tourists still travel there for the stunning views and landscapes.

Innsbruck’s advantageous location among the Alps allowed it to develop into a significant center of European politics and culture under the Counts of Tyrol and Emperor Maximilian I. Due to this, the city’s medieval old town is home to a variety of exquisite buildings, such as the Baroque Saint Jacob Cathedral, the Renaissance-styled Hapsburg Imperial Palace, and the 16th-century Schloss Ambras.

In the so-called “Capital of the Alps,” visitors can explore a variety of fantastic hiking trails, and skiing is a must during the winter. For breathtaking views of the region’s stunning scenery and the city below, take the Nordkettenbahnen cable car up Nordkette mountain from the city center.

3. Salzkammergut

The Salzkammergut, which spans from Salzburg, the country’s capital, to the soaring peaks of the Dachstein Mountains, is one of Austria’s most beautiful landscapes. Within its hazy borders are sparkling lakes, sloping hills, alpine valleys, and majestic mountain ranges. Tourists who have seen The Sound Of Music will be familiar with the appearance of this lake region because the film was shot in and around the city of Salzburg and the adjacent Salzkammergut region.

Because it is primarily wild and undeveloped, Salzkammergut is a delight for those who enjoy the outdoors and the natural world. Two of the most popular activities here are mountain biking and hiking. Many tourists visit mirrored lakes like Hallstatter See, Mondsee, and others to swim, fish, and boat.

The region has a rich history that goes back to the Neolithic era despite having a small population. Its name derives from the region’s numerous salt mines. Civilized life exists in isolated locations. It is well worth the trip to visit quaint lakeside towns like St. Wolfgang and the gorgeous St. Hallstatt. Due to its captivating surroundings, the latter is frequently referred to as “the pearl of Austria”.

Additional places for visitors to rest and relax include the resort town of Bad Ischl, the Dachstein Ice Caves in Obertrau, or paragliding from the lofty heights of Krippenstein mountain.

2. Salzburg

The city of Salzburg, located in central Austria and not far from the German border, is most known for being the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The fourth-largest city in Austria attracts tourists who want to see the places that provided the idea for such well-known tunes. With its hilltop medieval fortress, beautiful Altstadt old town, and stunning Alpine views, Salzburg is sure to enchant visitors all throughout the year.

The Salzach River runs through Salzburg, an ancient city that looks like it belongs in a fairytale. If you want to relive scenes from the 1965 movie “The Sound of Music,” go to the 17th-century Baroque Mirabell Palace and Gardens, the gazebo in Schloss Hellbrunn’s gardens, and the actual von Trapp family home.

A 900-year-old stronghold called the Festung Hohensalzburg rises 120 meters (400 feet) above the city. It was built more for show than for defense. Even though most of the castle’s artifacts were looted during the Napoleonic Wars, the views from the fortification are what truly make it valuable. Visitors can get to the castle on foot or after taking a quick ride on a funicular from the 19th century.

Whether you’re strolling through Salzburg’s Altstadt, the city’s old town, admiring the abundance of Baroque architecture, or unwinding in an outdoor beer garden with a local brew, Salzburg is a tourist destination that engages all of the senses.

1. Vienna

Austria’s capital and greatest city, Vienna, is synonymous with exquisite waltzes and Johann Strauss; the city still stages more than 200 balls annually. The city is also well-known for other classical composers including Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven, and Schubert.

The majority of the city’s most famous architectural structures are situated along the Ringstrasse, a circumferential route that commemorates where walls once ringed the old city. The city’s architectural landscape includes Gothic churches, Art Nouveau exhibition halls, Baroque palaces, and contemporary art museums. Highlights include the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the 1410-room Schönbrunn Palace, and the Belvedere Palace, which houses artwork by the city’s most famous painter, Gustav Klimt.

The city has a diverse musical scene as well. Visitors can attend performances by the renowned Vienna Philharmonic at the beautiful State Opera House or experience the new Vienna sound being pioneered by local DJs in the city’s largest nightclubs. Vienna offers a vast range of delectable foods, such as chocolate, sweets, sausage, and schnitzel.

Additionally, there are several coffee cafes in Vienna. Many have been in operation for many years. They offer locations where guests may pause, unwind, and take in the magnificent panoramas of this gorgeous city on the Danube River in addition to delivering some of the best coffee concoctions in the entire globe.

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