Austria, with its splendid castles and monumental fortresses, Alpine scenery and adventure sports, and a wealth of cultural heritage in its museums, music and modern & sophisticated cities … is a wonderfully enchanting travel destination with a little something for everyone.
Where to go
In Vienna, visit the impressive Hofburg Palace and the grand Cathedral of Stephansdom. Explore sprawling Schloss Schönbrunn and the Museums Quarter. In particular, the Kunsthistorisches Musuem and The Third Man Musuem are must-visits! Ride the Riesenrad Ferris Wheel and shop at the lively Naschmarkt food market. Book way in advance to get a ticket to the State Opera House for an evening performance (in September-June) or join a tour organized by professional guides and fall in love with the history of the building, go up the famous stage and visit the main hall.
Explore villages and vineyards in the Wachau and the beautiful Danube Valley. Ride the impressive Semmeringbahn railway, and visit the spectacular monastery of Stift Melk and the Roman ruins of Carnuntum.
Sail the Neusiedler See Lake, go birdwatching and cycling around Seewinkel and hiking around the limestone peaks of Kalkalpen. Visit the avant-garde museums of Linz, the majestic abbey of St Florian's, the picture-perfect town of Steyr, and the pretty castles of Lockenhaus. See dazzling Schloss Eggenberg in Graz, beautiful Admont Abbey, and the religious art of St Wolfgang's Church. Unwind at Bad Blumau spa, tour the vineyards of the Styrian countryside, and go hiking around spectacular Hallstätter Lake.
Enjoy classical music and the stately palace of the Residenz in Salzburg. Visit the cliff-top fortress of Festung Hohensalzburg, the ice caves of Eisriesenwelt, and take a tour of the iconic locations that were filmed in the "Sound of Music". Relax in laid-back Klagenfurt, swim in Wöthersee and ski in Villach and Nassfed. Explore the medieval castle of Hochosterwitz and the walled villages of Gmünd and Friesach.
In the wilderness of Hohe Tauern, drive among the Alps on the Grossglockner Road, sleep in an igloo at Kitzsteinhorn Glacier, and see Krimmler Wasserfälle, Europe's highest waterfall. Ski in Kitzbühel and Mayrhofen, then join the after-ski party in St Anton and Ischgl. Go rafting in Landeck, hiking on the classic Zillertal Circuit, and bungee jumping off Europabrück. Explore the bucolic pastures and villages of the Bregenzerwald, and taste chocolate and charm in Schwarzenberg and Bludenz, before trekking in rugged Montafon, and cycling around the beautiful Bodensee.
Austria isn't particularly large, so flying is not always necessary, though major cities are linked by air. Instead, take the train or bus, which are efficient, punctual and comprehensive. Trains link most towns, with buses serving smaller villages and remote Alpine areas. However, services tend to be reduced on the weekends.
Austria is a pleasant country to drive around in, as roads are well sign-posted and maintained. Use Skyscanner Car Hire to find the best deals, as prices can vary greatly between car rental companies. Cyclists have it good - all major towns have cycle lanes, and bikes can be rented from many train stations. For great sightseeing, there are popular scenic cruises along the Danube and some larger lakes.
Within cities and towns, the main form of transport is the bus, though larger cities like Vienna have integrated bus and tram networks that use the same ticket system.
Do's and Don'ts
Do get your tax refund at the airport if you're a non-EU citizen. Austria has a whopping 20% tax, which is already built into prices, so don’t forget to claim.
Do leave a tip. While service charges are usually already included in the bill, Austrians usually round it up to the nearest Euro.
Don't forget titles. If you know that someone has a title (Doctor, Professor etc.), use it in addition to their name. This is a common practice in Austria showing politeness and respect.
Don't be surprised if people seem unfriendly. They're not; it's just standard Austrian reserve.
Did you know…?
Austria celebrates its rich music heritage with an impressive list of classical music festivals. Get your dose of culture at the Salzburg Festival, the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, the Bregenzer Festspiele with its floating stage, the Bruckner Festival in Linz, the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, and the dazzling Vienna Opera Ball.
For a distinctly Austrian experience, visit a Heuriger wine tavern. Along with wine, they serve hearty, home-style food from a buffet counter, and the all-important concept of "Getmultlichkeit", which can be translated as a sort of “cheerful coziness”. Find a Heuriger by the evergreen bough hung outside the gate - it signals that the wine is ready!
Austria is also famous for their many sidewalk cafes with great coffee and delicious chocolate cakes, which are also great spots to people-watch.
Prices shown on this page are estimated lowest prices only. Found in the last 45 days.