Welcome to the enchanting realm of Austria, a country that effortlessly blends imperial grandeur with breathtaking natural landscapes.
Nestled in the heart of Europe, Austria beckons travelers with its rich cultural heritage, stunning alpine vistas, and charming towns steeped in history.
Whether you seek the opulence of Vienna’s palaces, the exhilaration of outdoor adventures in the Alps, or the fairy-tale allure of Salzburg’s baroque architecture, this land of alpine beauty has something to captivate every wanderer.
Join us as we embark on a journey to discover the best places to visit in Austria, where each step is an invitation to immerse yourself in a tapestry of awe-inspiring beauty and cultural splendor.
Are you ready to explore this veritable treasure trove of wonders? Let’s begin!
Best Places To Visit In Austria
1. Vienna – Exploring a Storied Past
Explore Vienna’s rich history and immerse yourself in its storied past. With its mix of Gothic cathedrals and modern art museums, Vienna is a city that has something for everyone.
Take a stroll through the city’s historic center and marvel at the grandeur of the Hofburg Imperial Palace.
Once the residence of the Habsburg dynasty, the palace is now home to several museums and the Austrian president’s offices.
No trip to Vienna would be complete without sampling some of the city’s culinary delights.
From juicy sausages to crispy schnitzels, Vienna is a food lover’s paradise. And don’t forget to indulge in some of the city’s famous pastries, such as the Sachertorte or the Apfelstrudel.
Top off your culinary experience with a cup of coffee at one of Vienna’s historic coffee houses, which have been in operation for hundreds of years.
2. Salzburg – Music and Magic
Discover the enchanting city of Salzburg, where the magic of music can be felt in every corner. As the birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg is a must-visit destination for music lovers.
The city is home to numerous attractions, including the Baroque Mirabell Palace and Gardens, Schloss Hellbrunn’s gardens, and the von Trapp family home.
Visitors can also relive scenes from “The Sound of Music” and explore Mozart’s birthplace and a reconstruction of his home.
In addition to its musical heritage, Salzburg boasts a hill-topped medieval fortress, picturesque Altstadt old town, and breathtaking Alpine scenery.
The city is a perfect blend of history, culture, and architecture, making it a popular destination for tourists.
3. Innsbruck – An Awe-Inspiring Town
You’re in for a treat as we delve into the awe-inspiring town of Innsbruck, where you’ll be surrounded by towering mountains and a mix of history, culture, and architecture.
Located on the banks of the Inn River, Innsbruck is known as the ‘Capital of the Alps’ and is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
In Innsbruck, you’ll find brilliant hiking trails and skiing in wintertime, as well as beautiful buildings such as the Baroque Saint Jacob Cathedral, Renaissance-style Hapsburg Imperial Palace, and the 16th century Schloss Ambras.
You can also explore the local museums, indulge in delicious cuisine, or simply enjoy the stunning mountain views.
4. Salzkammergut – Healing and Rejuvenation
Looking for a place to heal and rejuvenate? Head to Salzkammergut, where shimmering blue lakes, rolling hills, alpine valleys, and dramatic mountain ranges await you.
This picturesque region in Austria is a mecca for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s the perfect place to unwind and relax, surrounded by stunning natural landscapes and fresh mountain air.
Hiking and mountain biking are popular pastimes in Salzkammergut, with plenty of trails to choose from.
Visitors can also relax and unwind at the spa town of Bad Ischl, explore the Dachstein Ice Caves at Obertraun, or go paragliding from the lofty heights of Krippenstein mountain.
Charming lakeside towns such as St Wolfgang and St Hallstatt are a delight to explore, and offer a glimpse into traditional Austrian life.
Come to Salzkammergut to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, and reconnect with nature.
5. Graz – Cultural and Culinary Delights
If you want to immerse yourself in Austria’s rich culture and indulge in mouth-watering culinary delights, Graz is the perfect destination for you!
This cultured city in the Styria region is known for its impressive baroque and renaissance style buildings, world-class museums, and vibrant nightlife scene.
Take a stroll through the historic Old Town and marvel at the impressive architecture of the Graz Cathedral, the Clock Tower, and the Schlossberg fortress.
Visit the Kunsthaus Graz, a contemporary art museum that’s been described as a ‘friendly alien’ due to its unique architecture.
But the real highlight of Graz is its culinary scene. Known as the culinary capital of Austria, Graz offers an array of delicious culinary delights, from traditional Styrian dishes to international cuisine.
Be sure to try the famous Styrian pumpkin seed oil, which is used in many dishes, and sample the local wines from the surrounding vineyards.
The city is also home to many quaint cafes and trendy bars, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of sightseeing.
6. Worthersee – Summertime Fun
Get ready to have some summertime fun at Worthersee, one of Austria’s top-rated tourist destinations. This beautiful lake, located in the Carinthia region, is perfect for swimming, boating, and other outdoor activities.
You can take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, rent a paddle boat or kayak, or even go parasailing for a more adventurous experience.
If you prefer to explore on land, there are plenty of hiking trails in the surrounding hills that offer stunning views of the lake and the picturesque towns that dot the area.
And don’t forget to visit the Cathedral of Gurk, a stunning Romanesque and Gothic-style church that dates back to the 12th century, or the Griffen Stalactite cave, where you can marvel at the unique rock formations and underground lakes.
Worthersee is also known for its many festivals and events, especially during the summer months.
The traditional ‘Gurk Days’ celebrate the local culture and history with music, food, and parades, while the ‘Worthersee Classics’ car show attracts vintage car enthusiasts from all over Europe.
And of course, there are plenty of opportunities to sample the local cuisine, which includes delicious dishes made from fresh Carinthian trout, wild game, and seasonal vegetables.
So whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, cultural experiences, or simply a relaxing vacation by the lake, Worthersee is the perfect destination for summertime fun.
7. Bad Gastein – Recharge and Refresh
Ready to recharge and refresh? Head to Bad Gastein, where you can indulge in the hot spring waters, stay in Belle Epoque style hotels and villas, and marvel at the stunning Gastein waterfall.
Bad Gastein is a spa town located in the Gastein Valley, surrounded by mountains and a picturesque landscape.
The hot spring waters are said to have healing properties, making it a popular destination for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation.
In addition to the hot spring waters, Bad Gastein boasts Belle Epoque style hotels and villas that transport you back in time.
The town also features the Gastein waterfall, a stunning natural attraction that cascades down 341 feet.
8. Bregenz – Serene Lakeside Vibes
Immerse yourself in the serene lakeside vibes of Bregenz, where you can enjoy the picturesque Lake Constance and explore the nearby Pfander Mountain for breathtaking views.
Located in the westernmost part of Austria, Bregenz is a charming town that offers a perfect blend of nature and culture.
The town is well-known for its magnificent lakeside promenade that stretches for miles, lined with restaurants, cafes, and boutiques.
From here, you can take a boat ride to the nearby islands, or simply relax by the lake and soak in the beautiful scenery.
If you’re an adventure seeker, don’t miss out on the chance to hike up the Pfander Mountain, which offers stunning views of the town, the lake, and the surrounding mountains.
The mountain is easily accessible by cable car, which takes you to the summit in just a few minutes.
At the top, you can enjoy a meal at the restaurant, explore the Alpine Wildlife Park, or take a leisurely stroll along the panoramic trail.
9. Wachau – Viticulture and History
Step into the enchanting world of Wachau, where you can indulge in the rich viticulture and fascinating history of this scenic 18-mile stretch along the Danube river.
This region is renowned for its vineyards that produce some of the world’s best Grüner Veltliner and Riesling grapes.
Explore the charming towns that dot the riverbanks, such as Spitz, which is known for its wine production and the picturesque Dürnstein, with its ruined castle perched atop a hill.
Take a leisurely bike ride along the Wachau cycle path, which runs parallel to the river, and soak up the stunning views of vineyards, orchards, and medieval castles.
Apart from its viticulture, Wachau is also steeped in history.
The baroque Stift Melk abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit.
Built in the 11th century, it is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved monasteries in Europe.
Don’t miss the chance to visit the medieval castle ruins of Dürnstein, where Richard the Lionheart was once imprisoned.
The Wachau region is also renowned for its annual wine harvest festival, Weinlesefest, which is held in September.
Experience the traditional grape harvest, sample some of the finest wines, and soak up the festive atmosphere.
10. Zell Am See – Alpine Splendour
As you explore the breathtaking alpine beauty of Zell Am See, you’ll be swept away by the stunning scenery and endless opportunities for outdoor adventures.
This picturesque town is located on the shores of a vividly blue lake, surrounded by majestic mountains that provide a perfect backdrop for skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and biking in the summer.
You’ll find plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in nature, whether it’s taking a leisurely stroll along the lake or hiking to the summit of Kitzsteinhorn glacier-capped peak.
In addition to the natural beauty, Zell Am See offers plenty of cultural experiences as well. You can explore the town’s rich history, visit the Pinzgauer Spaziergang day hike, or take a scenic drive on Grossglockner High Alpine Road.
The town also has a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes to enjoy after a long day of outdoor activities.
11. Hoher Dachstein – Spectacular Three-Country View
If you want to witness the stunning three-country view, head to Hoher Dachstein and take a walk on the suspension bridge or climb the rock face, all while enjoying the breathtaking beauty of the Alps.
Located in the Styria region, Hoher Dachstein is the second-highest mountain in the Northern Limestone Alps and offers a panoramic view of Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic.
The suspension bridge, known as the ‘Stairway to Nothingness,’ is a thrilling experience that will leave you in awe of the surrounding landscape.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try rock climbing or ice climbing on the mountain’s steep cliffs.
Aside from the stunning views, Hoher Dachstein also offers an ice palace, a skywalk, and a hiking trail that leads to the summit.
The ice palace is a unique experience where you can explore the frozen world of the glacier and learn about its formation.
The skywalk is a glass platform that extends over the edge of the mountain, providing a bird’s eye view of the surrounding landscape.
The hiking trail to the summit is a challenging but rewarding experience that takes you through alpine meadows and rocky terrain.
12. Krimml Waterfalls – An Austrian Eden
Now that you’ve witnessed the breathtaking views from the top of Hoher Dachstein, it’s time to explore another natural wonder in Austria – the Krimml Waterfalls.
Nestled in the Hohe Tauern National Park, the Krimml Waterfalls are the highest waterfalls in Austria and one of the most spectacular natural attractions in the country.
As you make your way to the falls, you’ll be surrounded by stunning alpine scenery, including snow-capped peaks, lush green forests, and crystal-clear streams.
Once you reach the falls, you’ll be awe-struck by the sight of water cascading down over 380 meters in three tiers.
The mist from the falls will cool you down on a hot summer day, and you’ll be able to hear the roar of the water from far away.
Take a stroll along the well-maintained walking trails that lead to the top of the falls, and you’ll be rewarded with even more stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the beauty of this natural wonder.
13. Vorarlberg – Mountainous Majesty
Get ready to be mesmerized by the mountainous majesty of Vorarlberg, a region in Austria that will leave you breathless with its stunning alpine landscapes.
Known for its picturesque villages, lush green meadows, and snow-capped peaks, Vorarlberg is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
Hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding are just a few of the activities that draw visitors to this region. But Vorarlberg is not just for adventure seekers.
The region is also home to interesting museums and cultural attractions. The Kunsthaus Bregenz, for example, is a contemporary art museum that boasts an impressive collection of works by international artists.
The Vorarlberg Museum, on the other hand, provides a glimpse into the history and culture of the region.
14. Tyrol – Alpine Heaven
You’ll be transported to an alpine heaven as we explore Tyrol, where gothic churches, baroque-style buildings, and palaces merge with breathtaking mountain ranges and outdoor adventures for an unforgettable Austrian experience.
This region is a dream destination for skiing enthusiasts. Popular ski resorts such as Kitzbühel, St Anton am Arlberg, and Ischgl attract visitors from all over the world.
In warmer months, hiking, mountain biking, and paragliding are popular activities to enjoy in the fresh mountain air.
Tyrol’s capital, Innsbruck, is a must-visit destination with its stunning architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture.
Visitors can explore the Baroque Saint Jacob Cathedral, Renaissance-style Hapsburg Imperial Palace, and 16th-century Schloss Ambras.
Hiking trails and skiing in wintertime add to the allure of this beautiful city located on the banks of the Inn River with 2000-meter-high mountains around it. Don’t miss out on the chance to experience the beauty and adventure of Tyrol.
15. Carinthia – Lakeside and Forested
If you’re looking for a tranquil escape surrounded by shimmering lakes and lush forests, then Carinthia is the perfect destination for you.
This southern Austrian province is home to the largest lake in the country, the Worthersee, which is a popular spot for swimming, boating, and water sports.
Other serene lakes in the area include the Millstatter See, Ossiacher See, and Faaker See, each offering their own unique charms.
In addition to the lakes, Carinthia is also known for its alpine forests, which are perfect for hiking and biking.
The Hohe Tauern National Park offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, and visitors can also explore the nearby Grossglockner High Alpine Road for a scenic drive.
And for those interested in history and culture, Carinthia is home to the Hochosterwitz Castle, which dates back to the 16th century and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
16. Styria – Wild and Wonderful
Looking for a destination that combines adventure, culture, and natural beauty? Styria is the perfect place for you!
Located in the southeast of Austria, Styria is a region known for its vineyards, castles, and thermal springs. The capital city, Graz, is a UNESCO World Heritage site with well-preserved architecture and a vibrant nightlife scene.
Visitors can explore the city’s museums, theaters, and galleries, or take a stroll in the Schlossberg park and admire the panoramic view of the city.
Styria is also a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with its rugged mountain ranges, dense forests, and crystal-clear lakes. The Gesäuse National Park offers hiking opportunities for all levels of fitness, while the River Mur is perfect for rafting and kayaking.
Styria is also famous for its wine roads, where visitors can cycle or drive through scenic vineyards and taste the local wines.
So why wait? Plan your trip to Styria now and experience a world of adventure and beauty!
17. Burgenland – Wine Country
The next stop on our Austrian adventure takes us to the picturesque wine country of Burgenland. Located in the eastern part of Austria, this region is known for its beautiful vineyards and wine-producing regions.
A visit to Burgenland is not complete without a visit to one of the many wine cellars where you can taste some of the best wines in the country. Apart from wine, Burgenland is also home to many lavish castles and palaces.
One such castle is the Esterházy Palace, which was built in the 13th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Other notable attractions in the region include the Seewinkel National Park and the Neusiedlersee Lake, which is the largest steppe lake in Europe.
18. Hallstatt – Lakeside Vistas
As you explore the breathtakingly picturesque region of Hallstatt, you’ll be captivated by the shimmering blue lake and stunning Alpine scenery that surrounds you.
This charming town is situated on the banks of Hallstatt Lake, a popular destination for swimming and boating during the summer months.
Visitors can also take a cable car up to the Salt Mine, where they can learn about the town’s rich history and take in panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
In addition to its natural beauty, Hallstatt boasts a well-preserved historic center with traditional Austrian architecture.
Visitors can stroll through the town’s narrow streets, lined with charming shops and restaurants.
Be sure to visit the Hallstatt Bone House, a unique and macabre attraction featuring an ossuary filled with intricately decorated human skulls.
Hallstatt is a must-visit destination for anyone who appreciates natural beauty, history, and unique cultural attractions.
19. Mostviertel – Timeless Charm
You’ll fall in love with the timeless charm of Mostviertel, where you can immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of Austria while basking in the beauty of the rolling hills and picturesque landscapes.
Located in Lower Austria, Mostviertel is known for its apple orchards and cider production, as well as its stunning architecture and quaint villages.
One of the highlights of Mostviertel is the pilgrimage site of Mariazell, which attracts visitors from all over the world.
The Basilica of Mariazell, with its stunning Baroque architecture and intricate frescoes, is a marvel to behold.
The town itself is also worth exploring, with its charming cobblestone streets and traditional Austrian houses.
20. Alpbach – Hit the Slopes and Sleds
If you’re looking for a winter wonderland with plenty of skiing, snowboarding, and sledding opportunities, Alpbach is the perfect destination for you.
This charming village in the Austrian Alps is known for its picturesque scenery, traditional architecture, and family-friendly atmosphere.
With over 100 kilometers of ski slopes, Alpbach is a haven for winter sports enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a beginner, you’ll find plenty of runs suited to your skill level.
The village also has a ski school and rental shops, so you can easily equip yourself with everything you need for a day on the slopes.
Apart from skiing, Alpbach offers many other winter activities. You can go ice-skating, snowshoeing, or take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the snow-covered countryside. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try tobogganing on one of the village’s five toboggan runs.
For a more relaxed experience, you can visit one of the local spas or enjoy a cup of hot cocoa in a cozy café. Whatever you choose to do, Alpbach promises a magical winter holiday that you’ll never forget.
21. Eisenstadt – Postcard Perfection
Get ready to experience the absolute charm and beauty of Eisenstadt – this postcard-perfect town in Austria will leave you breathless with its rich history and stunning baroque castles.
Located in the Burgenland region, Eisenstadt is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and architecture admirers.
The town is home to the Esterhazy Palace, a magnificent baroque palace that was once the seat of the Esterhazy family.
The palace is famous for its beautiful gardens, grand ballrooms, and impressive collection of artwork and musical instruments.
Apart from the Esterhazy Palace, Eisenstadt also boasts several other noteworthy attractions.
For example, the Haydn House, where Joseph Haydn lived and worked for over 40 years, is a must-visit attraction. Visitors can take a tour of the house and see the composer’s personal belongings and musical instruments.
Another must-visit attraction is the Bergkirche, a stunning church that features a magnificent dome and a beautiful baroque interior.
22. Grossglockner High Alpine Road – An Epic Road Trip
The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is a must-see destination for any road trip enthusiast. It offers breathtaking views of the Alps and an unforgettable experience.
This 30-mile scenic drive takes you through the heart of the Hohe Tauern National Park, the largest nature reserve in the Alps.
You’ll wind your way through hairpin turns, past sparkling lakes, and up to the highest point of the road, the Edelweißspitze.
Here, you can take in panoramic views of more than 30 peaks over 9,800 feet tall. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to stop at several lookout points and information centers to learn about the park’s history, geology, and wildlife.
You might even spot some of the park’s famous inhabitants, such as ibex, chamois, and golden eagles.
23. Lake Constance – A Continental Jewel
Lake Constance, located in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, is a picturesque destination that offers visitors a chance to explore beautiful towns, take part in water sports, and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
The lake is the third largest freshwater lake in Central Europe and is known for its crystal-clear waters, making it a popular spot for swimming, boating, and fishing.
On the Austrian side of Lake Constance, visitors can explore the charming town of Bregenz, known for its impressive floating stage where the Bregenz Festival takes place each summer.
There are also plenty of opportunities for hiking and cycling in the nearby hills, and visitors can take a cable car up the Pfänder mountain for stunning views of the lake and surrounding areas.
24. National Park Donau Auen – Wild Adventure
Explore the wild adventures of National Park Donau Auen and discover the breathtaking beauty of Austria’s natural wonders.
This stunning national park stretches along the Danube River and is home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna. Its unique location means that it is a vital habitat for a diverse range of wildlife, including over 30 species of fish, 90 species of birds, and 800 species of plants.
Visitors to National Park Donau Auen can enjoy a range of exciting outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, and wildlife spotting.
There are numerous trails to explore, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging hikes.
You can also take a guided tour and discover the history and ecology of the park. Make sure to bring your camera as you are sure to see some incredible sights, from nesting birds to majestic deer, and even the occasional otter.
25. National Park Gesause – Rock Climbing Haven
If you’re looking for a wild adventure, you should definitely check out the National Park Gesause.
This stunning park is located in the heart of Austria and is known for its rocky terrain, breathtaking views, and thrilling activities.
One of the most popular things to do in the park is rock climbing, and it’s not hard to see why.
With its towering cliffs and challenging routes, the National Park Gesause is a rock climber’s dream come true. Whether you’re an experienced climber or a beginner, there are plenty of routes available in the park to suit your level of expertise.
And with the help of experienced guides, you can safely navigate the challenging terrain and experience the thrill of climbing in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
So if you’re up for a challenge and want to experience the natural beauty of Austria in a unique way, the National Park Gesause is the perfect destination for you.
What are the best places to visit in Austria?
Austria is a beautiful country with a lot to offer. Some of the best places to visit in Austria are St. Anton am Arlberg, Wachau Valley, Hohe Tauern National Park, and Zillertal Alps.
What is St. Anton am Arlberg?
St. Anton am Arlberg is a ski resort in the Tyrolean Alps. It is one of the best places to visit in Austria during the winter months for skiing and snowboarding.
What is the Wachau Valley?
The Wachau Valley is a region of Austria that runs along the Danube river. It is known for its stunning scenery, picturesque towns, and vineyards. It is one of the best places to visit in Austria for a relaxing trip.
What is Hohe Tauern National Park?
Hohe Tauern National Park is the largest national park in Austria. It is located in the Eastern Alps and is known for its glaciers, lakes, and mountains. It is one of the best places to visit in Austria for hiking and outdoor activities.
What are the Zillertal Alps?
The Zillertal Alps are a mountain range in western Austria. They are known for their skiing and hiking trails and are one of the best places to visit in Austria for outdoor activities.
What are some other must-see places in Austria?
Some other must-see places in Austria are Melk, Bad Ischl, and the city of Vienna. Austria is a beautiful country with many amazing tourist attractions.
Is Austria a good country to visit?
Yes, Austria is a beautiful country and a great place to visit. It has stunning scenery, rich culture, and many tourist attractions.
When is the best time to visit Austria?
The best time to visit Austria depends on your interests. If you like skiing and winter sports, then the winter months are a good time to visit. If you prefer outdoor activities and sightseeing, then the summer months are a great time to visit.
How can I plan a trip to Austria?
To plan a trip to Austria, you should first decide on the places you want to visit and the activities you want to do. Then, you can book flights, accommodation, and tours online. It is also a good idea to research the local customs and culture before your trip.
What are some lesser-known but worth a visit places in Austria?
Some lesser-known but worth a visit places in Austria are the border of Upper Austria, Southern Austria, and the Tauern valley. These areas offer stunning scenery and a chance to experience the local culture.
So now you know the best places to visit in Austria, all that’s left to do is start planning your trip!
Whether you’re looking for history and culture, natural beauty, or outdoor adventures, Austria has something for everyone.
Don’t forget to try some of the delicious local cuisine, like schnitzel and strudel, and sample some of the world-renowned Austrian wines.
To make the most of your trip, consider staying in a mix of hotels, hostels, and vacation rentals, depending on your budget and preferences.
And be sure to give yourself enough time to fully explore each destination, as some places, like Vienna and Salzburg, require more than just a day trip.
So pack your bags, put on your walking shoes, and get ready to fall in love with Austria!