Tucked in between the soaring Alps, Austria is an enchanting country with dream-like landscapes, picture perfect meadows and grasslands, stunning baroque architecture and music flowing through its veins.
From pretty villages to magnificent cities, from the best operas to the most lavish desserts Austria has the perfect ingredients to intoxicate your senses. Let us guide you through the picturesque landscapes and stunning cities to find out the best places to visit in Austria, including the usual suspects like Vienna and Salzburg and some hidden unexplored gems like Bregenz and Wachau.
12 Top Places To Visit In Austria
And now for an unforgettable experience on your next vacation, make sure you include some of these places to visit in Austria in your itinerary, if not all.
1. Vienna – For A Walk Down The Glorious Past
The city of grand palaces and museums, the home of Opera and Beethoven, Vienna is a city steeped in culture and grandeur. A walk down the city’s beautiful Ringstrasse Boulevard, lined with royal buildings like the Hofburg Imperial Palace and many beautiful parks, is a great way to let the magic of Vienna grow on you.
The opulent Schonbrunn & Belvedere Palaces and the ornate St Stephen’s Cathedral are architectural marvels and a must-visit for art and history enthusiasts. Don’t forget to sip the famous Viennese coffee at one of many cozy coffee houses and gaze in wonder at the world famous Vienna Opera House before you bid adieu to one of the best places to visit in Vienna, Austria.
Ideal for: History, Architecture, Culture
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2. Salzburg – A Date With Mozart
Salzburg brings to mind a charming city surrounded by rolling green meadows, majestic historical buildings and Mozart. The birthplace of the genius composer and the place where the iconic movie Sound of music was shot, Salzburg tops the list of top places to visit in Austria.
The old town Aldsten with its stunning baroque buildings is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while the imposing Hohensalzburg fortress boasts of being Europe’s last preserved castle. The grand extravaganza of culture, music and arts, the Salzburger Festspiele during summers is an experience to remember.
Ideal for: Architecture, Nature, Photography, Music
3. Innsbruck – The Picture-Postcard Town
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The idyllic alpine town surrounded by the high mountains has plenty of options that make your stay worthwhile. You could enjoy a leisurely walk through the old town and marvel at the glittering Goldenes Dachl adorned with more than 2500 shiny tiles or get a peek into the Tyrolean Folk Art museum, one of the finest museum for regional heritage in Europe.
A destination for all seasons and one of most magical places to visit in Austria, Innsbruck has world renowned ski resorts which can be enjoyed in the winter months. Adventure enthusiasts can go hiking up the gorgeous meadows, bungee jumping at Europa Bridge or take the thrilling funicular ride up the Nordkette mountain range.
Ideal for: Adventure, Architecture, Culture
4. Salzkammergut – Relax And Rejuvenate
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This picturesque resort area near Salzburg offers the quintessential Austrian experience, with shimmering blue lakes (76 lakes in all!), stunning alpine ranges, charming villages, and luxurious spa towns. Situated by the Lake Halstatt and included on UNESCO’s world heritage sites list is the fairytale village Halstatt which happens to be amongst the most beautiful places to visit in Austria.
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to see in Austria, Halstatt’s stunning pastel colored houses, underground salt lake Salzwelten and Ice Cave on Dachstein Mountain will take your breath away. The spa town of Bad Ischl and the romantic St Wolfgang are other tourist favourites.
Ideal for: Nature, Culture, Spas, Adventure
5. Graz – Immerse In History, Culture, And Food
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Austria’s second largest city with six universities and one of Europe’s’ best preserved Old town area, Graz has so much to satiate your traveler soul. Throw in the numerous museums, impressive baroque & renaissance style buildings and a unique forested hill in the centre of the city offering panoramic views and you have the recipe for a perfect vacation.
Literally too, because Graz will also entice you with its many culinary delights. Cooking enthusiasts can carry home some pumpkin seed oil to pep up their dishes back home. Counted amongst the most offbeat places to visit in Austria, Graz is a must visit!
Ideal for: History, Food, Education
6. Worthersee – A Summer To Remember
Canoeing, spelunking, pretty churches and the hometown of Porsche are reason enough to spend a few days at Austria’s favoured summer destination. The beautiful Worthersee Lake offers ample opportunities for swimming, boating and canoeing in the summer months.
You can head to the colourful Griffen Stalactite cave for some thrill and exploration. Admiring the 12th century ancient Cathedral of Gurk and a visit to Gmund the birthplace of Porsche complete your list of must-do experiences in one of the best places to see in Austria.
Ideal for: Adventure, Nature
7. Bad Gastein – A Refreshing Treat For Body And Soul
Head to the spa town of Bad Gastein to take a dip in the healing hot spring waters and breathe in the pure mountain air. Perched on the High Tauern Mountain, this splendid hill town also attracts skiing enthusiasts during the winters, which makes it one of the best places to visit in Austria.
Famous for its Belle Epoque style hotels and villas, Bad Gastein has some thrilling hiking trails around and ample outdoor opportunities like biking and hiking. The spectacular Gastein waterfall in the heart of the town is an impressive site. Open studios, creative workshops, jazz shows, culinary delights and a buzzing nightlife are more reasons to book your holiday right away!
Ideal for: Relaxation, History, Skiing
8. Bregenz – Tranquil Days By The Lake
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Located on the Eastern edge of Lake Constance, Bregenz offers sweeping views of the Swiss and German Alps. Stroll around the beautiful promenade by the lake or take a cable car up the Pfander Mountain for breathtaking vistas of the Lake Constance.
The mountain top is also a great place to relish a lunch with spectacular views or meander along a hiking trail. Get bowled over by the opera and orchestras at the annual Bregenz festival(July-August) performed at the floating lakeside platform. The architecture, history and art legacy of the city can be admired in the museums and beautiful buildings across the town.
Ideal for: Nature, Culture
9. Wachau – Best Wines And A Dose Of History
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Flanking the beautiful Danube River, this rich valley is one of the best South Austria tourist attractions. A UNESCO World heritage site for its cultural significance and unmatched natural splendour, Wachau valley is popular amidst wine connoisseurs for some of the best white wines in the world.
Studded with some magnificent monasteries (like the baroque Melk monastery) castles and fortresses Wachau valley offers lots of history and architectural delights too, this spot deserves to be one on the list of the most famous places to visit in Austria.
Ideal for: Wines, Architecture, History
10. Zell Am See – Pristine Alpine Wonders
International level ski slopes, pristine blue waters of the Zell Am See Lake and the picturesque Salzburg mountains make Zell Am see one of the best places in Austria for natural beauty and relaxation.
Cycling along the dreamy lake or swimming in the impossibly blue water of the lake are some of the most invigorating experiences in this enchanting alpine town. You can soak in the scenic beauty while sipping coffee at one of the many cafes in the city centre or walk the elevated walkway at St Hippolyte’s Church for some of the best views.
Ideal for: Nature
11. Hoher Dachstein – The Three-State Mountain
Located at the border of Upper Austria, Styria, and Salzburg, Hoher Dachstein is the second highest mountain in the Northern Alps. The top of the mountain offers gorgeous views that are to die for. The suspension bridge, skywalk, rock climbing, and the ice palace are a few things to do here.
Ideal for: Adventure and Nature
12. Krimml Waterfalls – Austria’s Famous Paradise
Famous for being the highest waterfall in Austria. this is a great place to visit and witness with your loved ones. While this is not just it. To reach this fall, you’d have to hike a 4 km trail that would take you through multiple observation platforms and around 1.5 hours to reach the highest tier of the waterfall.
Ideal for: Nature and Adventure
Though we’ve included the must-visit places in Austria, there is so much more to experience in this beautiful country and in Europe too! And to help you plan your perfect vacation, we would recommend you plan a Europe trip with TravelTriangle and enjoy a customized holiday just like you have always desired or dreamt of. Happy traveling!
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