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Best Places to Visit in Austria | Famous Cities & Alpine Escapes

If you want to visit Austria, you’ll undoubtedly have questions, including the best places to visit.

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, with many attractions such as the glacier caps of the Hohe Tauern mountains and picturesque medieval towns.

It is brimming with royal cities built by the Habsburgs and the Holy Roman Emperors, a world-famous coffee culture, and vast forests of fir. To top it off, there’s no single best time to visit Austria, thanks to there being something to explore regardless of season.

So, without further ado, have fun with this list of the top attractions in Austria.

5 Must-See Places in Austria

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A country with a rich history and breathtaking landscapes, Austria is waiting for you to discover its hidden gems. From the elegant splendor of Vienna to the unspoiled alpine beauty of Finkenberg, Austria offers a staggering wealth of experiences.

You’ll get to discover the quiet charm of Zell am See and witness the unique blend of old and new in Graz. These five must-see places in Austria promise a journey through a collection of diverse and captivating attractions.

Vienna

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Vienna is a kaleidoscope of imposing Baroque facades, ornate palaces, and charming parks. It was initially the glorious imperial residence of the old Habsburg monarchy, which once ruled over the heartlands of Central Europe.

The grand Hofburg Palace stands tall in the city center, with the famous Museumsquartier nearby. Inside, you can find works by iconic artists like Klimt, Picasso, and Warhol, to name a few.

Vienna’s old town is a maze of cobbled streets and hidden gems. You can grab a cup of coffee in one of its iconic cafes and imagine Freud, Wittgenstein, and Trotsky discussing their theories in the alcoves (if you’re a history buff, of course).

If you’re trying to decide when the best time to visit Vienna is, it all depends on what kind of adventure you want, but no matter when you go, you’re guaranteed a fantastic time.

Try Vienna’s Signature Cake

Vienna’s famous cake, the Sachertorte, is more than a delicious treat; its recipe is a closely kept secret. A sumptuous combination of dense chocolate sponge and dark chocolate ganache, it’s generally served with unsweetened whipped cream.

You can go on a sweet Vienna tour and select which café has the greatest cake thanks to the variations of this delicious treat in cafés throughout the city.

Finkenberg

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The quaint little Tyrolean town of Finkenberg is awash with timber homes and Austrian taverns. They’re usually draped in pillows of snow in winter and surrounded by evergreen Alpine peaks during the warmer months of the year.

Apart from this charming aspect, the small village is home to the Finkenberger Almbahnen, which takes skiers and snowboarders to the renowned Mayrhofen Pistes. The Trentino-Alto Alps in Italy are visible to the south from the massive Hintertux glacier, which is a little further down the Zillertal and offers year-round winter sports.

Go Paragliding in Zillertal

The Zillertal is perfect for adventurous journeys and flights that add excitement to your vacation because of its high mountains and lush green fields.

Paraglider flights are available on the Hintertux Glacier, Sommerbergalm, Eggalm, or Penken. These starting locations are all in the upper Tuxertal, sure to astound you with their stunning mountain views.

Tip: For an authentic VIP experience, you can take a private paragliding flight no matter your level.

Innsbruck

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Innsbruck’s Old Town has beautiful old buildings, including palaces and traditional Tyrolean houses that will remind any history fans of Maximilian I’s home. View the iconic Golden Roof and Whitewashed Hofburg by strolling through the cobblestone alleyways and old imperial sites of the Habsburg era.

Besides armories and Ambras Castle, you’ll find a bunch of Bavarian-style beer halls and après-ski spots serving schnitzel and strudel near the base of the surrounding mountains.

Visit Swarovski Crystal Worlds

Only 12 miles east of Innsbruck, the Swarovski Crystal Worlds are easy to get to by shuttle, and you’ll see its lovely grounds immediately from the entryway. Inside, the 18 Chambers of Wonder await

Among the highlights are The Art of Performance room, where everything is centered around the history of Swarovski in Hollywood, and Silent Light, an icy chamber with snow all year long.

Fortunately, you can skip the line by getting tickets for a Swarovski Crystal Worlds tour, which includes the shuttle.

Zell am See

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South of Salzburg lies a lovely vacation spot in Austria called Zell am See. It’s the best place for summer breaks since it is situated in an idyllic setting with mountains and a clear lake.

In and around Zeller Lake, you can participate in some incredible activities and discover all that Zell am See offers. For instance, there are a ton of breathtaking views to take in, or you can indulge in stand-up paddling, skiing, and other activities.

Visit Schmittenhöhe Mountain

The Schmittenhöhe is the neighborhood mountain in Zell am See and its most well-known tourist destination. It’s a standout, a popular ski resort in the winter, and an attractive hiking destination in the summer.

With the Schmittenhöhen cable car, you can reach elevations of over 2,000 meters. You will be rewarded with a stunning view of Lake Zell and the breathtaking mountain sceneries from up there.

Pro tip: When you’re up on the mountain, you’ll want the memories to last forever, so why not book a professional photoshoot to capture these moments?

Graz

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Graz is a city of arts and contemporary culture that showcases 900 years of history ranging from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. It is at once modern and inventive and old and traditional. You’ll get a powerful vibe of the Mediterranean, making you feel farther south of Austria than you actually are.

It’s a town where Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque buildings coexist, but that just tells half of its cultural tale. To truly understand Graz as a whole, you should also pay attention to its contemporary persona. All of this has contributed to its achievement of the coveted titles of UNESCO City of Design, European Cultural Capital, and Austria’s Culinary Capital.

Climb the Graz Schlossberg for Clocktower Views

The iconic Graz Schlossberg mound, which rises to a height of 473 meters, provides the ideal vantage point from which to observe the city and its famous sweep of orange rooftops. The blue-bulbed Kunsthaus Modern Art Museum is cozily tucked here.

For anyone wishing to travel back in time, the 260 steps of the Schlossbergstiege connect the ground to the fortress’s upper levels. The highest underground slide in the world is 64 meters tall and 175 meters long, and you can ride a funicular up and down it.

FAQs About the Best Places to Visit in Austria

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If you’re thinking of planning a vacation to this wonderful country, then you undoubtedly have a few questions in mind, some of which will be answered below.

Is Austria Expensive to Visit?

Yes, Austria can be expensive to visit. Seeing its alpine lakes, ancient cities, and extensive mountain ranges is costly. It is more expensive than Belgium, Portugal, and Croatia but less expensive than countries like Switzerland, France, and Italy.

Fortunately, you can explore the country on a budget.

Is Austria Worth Visiting?

Absolutely! Austria is worth checking out, even though it’s not as popular as countries like Spain or Italy. This is a great thing because there’ll be fewer tourists, to start.

But in all seriousness, you’ll be kicking yourself if you skip it because it offers beautiful mountain ranges, modern towns, and delectable food (and beer). It easily meets the majority of people’s criteria for what they want from Europe.

Do I Need Travel Insurance for Austria?

If you need a Schengen visa to enter Austria, travel insurance is a must. This is optional but highly advised if you do not need a visa because medical expenses for visitors can be very expensive. So try to get it, especially since you’ll be responsible for paying for any prescription medications.

Is Austria Safe?

Even if you’re an inexperienced tourist, Austria is one of the safest countries to visit, and even female travelers going it alone don’t experience any form of harm there. Except for the occasional pickpocket, you’ll hardly find any crime. You’ll have a fantastic trip to Austria as long as you’re conscious of your surroundings.

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Visit in Austria

Austria, a European gem, offers a rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture.

From Vienna’s imperial charm to Finkenberg’s Alpine beauty, there’s something for every traveler. Innsbruck blends old-world charm with modernity, while Zell am See boasts serene lakeside allure. Graz’s mix of history and contemporary culture is captivating.

Austria’s experiences are worth the cost, whether you seek adventure or culture, especially if you’re planning a European tour. It’s safe, diverse, and welcoming, promising unforgettable memories and deeper insights into Central European history and culture. Pack your bags and discover Austria’s best on your next adventure.

Last updated on January 15th, 2024 at 12:58 pm

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