Austria, one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, attracts tourists throughout the year with places to visit both in summer and winter. In fact, with some of the best ski slopes in Europe, winter is almost as busy as summer in the spectacular mountainous regions of the country. Visitors are attracted to both the scenic beauty of the provinces of this Alpine Republic and the splendid cities such as Vienna (Wien), the historic capital and the beautiful Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Austria, one of the smallest countries in Europe, is predominantly a nation of highlands and high mountains, and the Eastern Alps occupy a good 60 percent of its territory. The Danube River flows for about 350 kilometers from west to east through the northern part of the country, which adds to its attractiveness as a tourist destination.
Find the best tourism opportunities and things to do with this list of the main tourist attractions in Austria.
1. The Vienna Hofburg: Austria’s Imperial Palace:
The spectacular Huffsberg Palace in Vienna has been the seat of the powerful Habsburg in the Austrian monarchy for many centuries. Now the President operates state business in the same rooms that were once included by Emperor II Joseph. Since 1275 almost all Austrian rulers have ordered accession or changing,, resulting in many different architectural influences, including Gothic, Renaissance, Rococo, paganism and Baroque.
Along with its many attractive squares and gardens, the entire Hofburg complex occupies 59 acres spanning 19 courtyards and 2,600 rooms. Highlights of the visit include the Imperial Silver Collection and various types of dining services that once happened here give the idea of a luxurious Emperor banquet give; CC Museum focuses on the life and times of Emperor Elizabeth; And Imperial Apartments, a series of 19 rooms that were once occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife.
Address: Michaelerkuppel, 1010 Vienna.
2. The Spanish Riding School, Vienna:
The Spanish Riding School came from the time of Emperor II Maximilian, who in 1562 was responsible for introducing the famous Leipzinger’s horses to Austria. Today, it is one of the only places where the classic riding style preferred by The aristocracy Seeing the famous equestrian exhibitions at the Baroque Winter Riding School, held here since the time of Charles VI, is a must when you are in Vienna.
Built-in 1735, the magnificent hall was designed for the nobility to demonstrate their driving skills. Tickets to see these magnificent animals perform their ballet are very requested, so book online as early as possible.
Address: Michaelerplatz 1, 1010 Vien
3. Salzburg Altstadt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site:
As the residence of the Prince-Archbishop, Salzburg was a spiritual center since the early days of Christianity in Europe. The Benedictine abbey of San Pedro, in the heart of the Altstadt (old town), was founded by San Ruperto in 690 AD. C. and served as the residence of the archbishops until the beginning of 1100.
The Archbishop’s princes appointed some of the best artists and architects of their time to decorate and decorate their churches, dwellings and monasteries, and although they have been “updated” in successive centuries of taste, medieval and baroque buildings combine to form A beautiful old neighborhood to explore.
The highlight is the Abbey of San Pedro and its church, along with the beautiful cemetery and its catacombs, instantly recognizable as a filming site for The Sound of Music.
Walking between the nearby cathedral and its colorful Baroque bourgeois homes, you’ll find fascinating squares and attractions, including the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, now a museum. On the beautiful towers and domes stands the Hohensalzburg Castle in Salzburg, which can be reached by funicular.
4. Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna:
Located on the outskirts of Vienna, the baroque palace of Schönbrunn was completed in the early 1700s and later became a summer residence by Empress Maria Theresa.
The highlights of a tour of the 40 rooms of the palace that are open to the public are the Royal apartments; the Great Gallery, with its ornamental paintings on the ceiling; the million room; Maria Theresa’s salon, with its carved and gilded rosewood panels; and the Hall of Mirrors, with its golden mirrors with rococo frame. There are 500 acres of parks and gardens behind the 1,441-room palace, also in the 18th-century Baroque style.
Your visit to Schönbrunn should include the many attractions spread over these grounds: formal gardens; a palm house maze, full of tropical and exotic plants and butterflies; an alpine garden with a farm; The oldest zoo in Europe; and the classic roundabout, a large marble structure that crowns a hill above the gardens.
A carriage museum at the former Winter Riding School shows dozens of trainers and historical sleds from the state. The entire palace and garden complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Address: Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Vienna.
5. Melk Benedictine Abbey:
Melk Abbey is one of the most famous monastic sites in the world, and its spectacular buildings are distributed around seven courtyards. The most prominent part of this massive 325-meter-long complex is the west end and its double tower church, which rises above a semicircular roof.
Observing a lofty rocky outcrop and monsters over the city of Melk, the Abbey has good reason to spend a few more hours: St. Coleman’s de Stokereau’s tomb; the remains of the first ruling family of Austria, the House of Babenberg; the magnificent 196-meter-long Imperial Corridor with its portraits of the rulers of Austria, including one of Empress Maria Theresa; and the imperial rooms with their exhibits related to the history of the abbey, along with statues and paintings.
Address: Abt-Berthold-Dietmayr-Straße 1, 3390 Melk
6. Innsbruck’s Hofburg and Hofkirche:
Emperor Maximilian I, who reigned in the late 1400s and early 1500s, made Innsbruck the principal residence and seat of the Habsburg government and, as a result, a focal point of Europe. His palace, Hofburg, was rebuilt by Emperor Maria Teresa in the eighteenth-century Baroque and Rococo style. The highlight of a tour is the opportunity to see the sumptuous royal apartments, the giant marble room (Riesensaal) and the painted ceilings everywhere.
The highlight of the Halfkiri or Church of the Court is the spectacular tomb of Emperor Maximilian I, who died in 1519. Considered widely as the best work of German Renaissance sculpture, the central feature of the monument is the huge marble sarcophagus Black with a bronze figure of the Emperor. On the sides of the sarcophagus there are 24 marble reliefs that represent events of the Emperor’s life, and around it are 28 bronze statues larger than the real size of the Emperor’s ancestors and contemporaries (watch out for King Arthur).
Other pieces of the sculpture include 23 bronze saints statues from the Habsburg family and 20 bronze buses from the Roman emperor.
Another landmark of Habsburg Innsbruck is the Goldenes Dachl, or Golden Roof, in the old town. This ornate residence is known for its magnificent window of the late Gothic oriel, covered with golden tiles and now a museum of the history of Innsbruck.
Address: Rennweg 1/3, 6020 Innsbruck
7. Hallstatt and the Dachstein Salzkammergut:
Without a doubt, one of the most picturesque small cities in Austria, Hallstatt is a good place to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site Dachstein Salzkammergut. The beautiful Baroque architecture supremacy to the richness of the Hallstatt, which is based on a long history of its salt from prehistoric times.
You can see the underground salt lake in the nearby Hearnwerk Cave or explore the Dachstein caves, one of Europe’s most impressive cave networks, some as deep as 1,174 meters.
Highlights include the Huge Ice Cave, its summer temperature below zero, and the Huge Cave, a large pipe-shaped gallery built by an ancient underground river, with a large cavern and a large waterfall. On the ground, visitors can board the excellent 5 Fingers observation platform, an incredible metal structure that hangs over a 400-meter drop with excellent views of the surrounding Alps.
8. Skiing at Kitzbühel and Kitzbüheler Horn:
One of the best places to ski in Austria, the famous tourist town of Kitzbühel pampers snow lovers with its 170 kilometers of ski slopes and tracks dotted with small mountain huts, where they can stop to enjoy traditional alpine snacks and drinks hot. Although it is the site of the annual Hahnenkamm, the toughest of all alpine skiing races, Kitzbühel has a lot of ground for all skill levels in its three ski areas, and the smallest of these, Bichlalm, is dedicated to cyclists.
But Kitzbühel is not just for skiers. With its walls and houses with frescoes, and the snowy Alps as a backdrop, the city is as beautiful as the Alpine villages. The 1,998-meter kitschbela’s horns delight the skier in winter, a favorite near mountain high courts in the summer and you can even reach the top by cable car through the plazaerlum.
It is considered one of the best views of the Tyrol summit: south from Radstädter Tauern to the Ötztal Alps; to the north, the nearby Kaisergebirge; to the west, the Lechtal Alps; and to the east, the Hochkönig. To the south of the Horn of Kitzbüheler rises the Hornköpfli of 1,772 meters high, which is also reached by cable car. In addition to the excellent views, on the summit, you will find the Gipfelhaus, a unique house on top of the mountain; a chapel a restaurant; and an alpine garden.
9. Medieval Burg Hochosterwitz:
To the east of St. Veit, on a cliff that rises about 160 meters above the valley, lies the imposing Burg Hochosterwitz, the most important medieval castle in Austria. After a turbulent history, the castle first mentioned in 860 AD. C. was captured by the Khevenhüllers and was extended in 1570 against the Turkish invaders. Never captured by an enemy, the castle has remained in the Khevenhüller family since then.
The steep access road to the castle, the Burgweg, makes its way through the 14 defensive gates to the beautiful arcaded courtyard where you will find the small chapel with its 1570 wall and ceiling paintings and the church at the southwest end of the Castle with its high altar dating from 1729.
Address: Hochosterwitz 1, 9314 Launsdorf
10. Belvedere Palace, Vienna:
Another of Austria’s most visited palaces, and one that should definitely be included in your travel itinerary to Vienna, is the spectacular Belvedere Palace (Schloss Belvedere). Known more frequently simply as “The Belvedere”, this important historical site is divided into two main sections: the upper (Oberes) and lower (Unteres) palaces.
If you only have time to explore one, turn it into the Superior Palace. Here, you will find most of the impressive collection of artworks of the attraction, and you will have the opportunity to see one of the best-preserved architectural gems in the country. They emphasize Sala Terrena, the main room, notable for its statues and vaulted stucco ceiling; the Carlone Room, with its ceiling fresco; the two-story Marble Hall, with its many sculptures and paintings; and the impressive ceremonial staircase.
The Lower Palace is no less worth a visit. Highlights include the Marble Gallery, with its collection of statues; the Grotesque Hall, with its many fine wall paintings; and a second Marble Hall, known for its fascinating ceiling fresco. If you are here for the day (you should plan it!), The palace has an excellent cafeteria and restaurant, three shops and a large Christmas market for those traveling in the winter months.
Address: Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Vienna
11. The Grossglockner Road to Franz-Josefs-Höhe:
The Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse from Bruck, in Pinzgau, to Heiligenblut, the region at the foot of the Grossglockner, was built between 1930 and 1935.
Although its importance as a route through the Alps has diminished, it remains the host Torna, the highest mountain mass in Austria, and one of the most fascinating attractions in the country. Running 22 kilometers through the mountains at an altitude of more than 2,000 meters, the road consists of a long succession of turns that lead to the summit tunnel at the Hochtor at 2,506 meters and then descend towards the valley on the other side.
The road is the access to the huge Hohe Tauern mountain range, where Franz-Josefs-Höhe is famous throughout Europe for its spectacular views. Named after a visit by Kaiser Franz-Joseph in 1856, this magnificent view is 2,222 meters high above sea level and offers incredible views of the surrounding country. The Grossglockner stands out in view, which at 3,798 meters is the highest mountain in Austria.
Be sure to stop at the visitor center to see detailed exhibits related to the history of the area, as well as exhibits focused on its glaciers and general tourist information.
12. Klosterneuburg Abbey and the Verdun Altar:
A flight of steps in the charming abbey of Klosterneuburg leads to the Chapel of St. Leopold of the twelfth century, where Leopold III is buried. It is also where you will find the famous Altar Verdun. Probably the best-known example of medieval enamel work, the altar is made up of 51 Champlain work panels in gilded copper representing the Biblical view of Nicholas de Varden, circa 1181.
Originally in the old Roman Romanesque church reader’s mumble, the panels came together and erected the present-day right altar after the fire in 1329. Four painted panels adhered to the altar in 1331 and the oldest in Austria, were painted in Vienna before 1329 -is now in the Abbey Museum.
Address: Stiftsplatz 1, 3400 Klosterneuburg
13. St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna:
The imposing Gothic cathedral of St. Stephen (Stephansdom) is a landmark within the old town of Vienna. The original Romanesque church of the twelfth century was replaced in the thirteenth century by a late Romanesque church, of which the massive gate and pagan towers (Heidentürme) survive.
The later Gothic reconstruction in the 14th century added the choir and the Chapels of San Eligio, San Trina and Santa Catalina, and in the following century, the famous 137-meter-high South Tower (Steffl) was built.
After the significant loss of World War II, the church was rebuilt. The views from the surveillance room at the top of the Steffl are worth climbing its 343 steps, but you can take an elevator to an observation platform in the North Tower, where the huge Pummerin Bell is located.
You will not want to miss the catacombs of the 14th century and the treasure of the cathedral, where some of the most important objects of the cathedral are exhibited.
Address: Stephansplatz 3, 1010 Vienna
14. Maria Saal Cathedral:
The Church of Maria Saal, more often known as the Cathedral of Maria Saal, stands on a hill above the Zollfeld and is one of the main pilgrimage sites in the state of Carinthia in southern Austria. It was around 750 CE that Bishop Modestus consecrated a church, from which the surrounding area became Christian.
The current church of two towers was built in the Gothic style in the first half of the fifteenth century on the foundations of a Roman basilica and was remodeled during the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
They emphasize the west facade with twin towers and their old fine gravestones. Particularly interesting is the sixteenth-century Caucasus Epitaph depicting the coronation of Our Lady and the relief of Roman stones from around 300 AD.
15. Krimmler Ache: Austria’s Tallest Waterfalls:
The Krimmler Ache dips 380 meters in three tremendous waterfalls and is an excellent excursion from the nearby village of Krimml. At a height of 1076 meters, the crematorium is situated on a wooded valley above the Salzachtal, which is a great place to stay for a few days if you like hiking. In addition to several excellent waterfall walks, there is a rewarding climb to the Schettbrücke and continues to the spectacular Krimmler Tauernhaus. From here, expert climbers can board the 2,911-meter Glockenkarkopf on the Italian border.