Best Things to Do in Austria


By Abigail Lewis

Austria, known for its stunning Alpine landscapes, rich history, and vibrant cultural scene, offers a wide range of activities for travelers. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or an art lover, Austria has something to offer for everyone. From exploring the picturesque mountain villages to visiting world-class museums and indulging in delicious Viennese coffee, here are some of the best things to do in Austria.

If you’re a nature lover, you can’t miss the opportunity to explore the Austrian Alps. With their towering peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and lush green meadows, the Alps offer endless opportunities for hiking, skiing, and mountaineering. Whether you’re an experienced climber or prefer a leisurely stroll, there are trails for all levels of fitness and hiking experience.

For history enthusiasts, a visit to Vienna is a must. The Austrian capital is home to numerous historical sites and landmarks, including the famous Schönbrunn Palace and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Take a stroll through the historic center and immerse yourself in the city’s rich cultural heritage. Don’t forget to visit the Hofburg Palace, the former imperial residence, and explore its opulent rooms and museums.

If you’re interested in classical music, a visit to Salzburg is a must. The birthplace of Mozart and the setting of “The Sound of Music,” Salzburg is a city steeped in musical history. Attend a performance at the iconic Salzburg Festival, visit Mozart’s birthplace, or take a stroll through the charming old town. Salzburg is a paradise for music lovers.

These are just a few of the many things to do in Austria. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the mountains, immersing yourself in history and culture, or simply enjoying the country’s natural beauty, Austria has it all.

Explore the Charming Vienna

Vienna, the capital of Austria, is a city full of charm and history. Known for its stunning architecture, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant arts scene, Vienna offers a plethora of activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a history buff, art enthusiast, or simply love exploring new cities, Vienna has something for everyone.

Start your exploration of Vienna by visiting its iconic landmarks, such as St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Schönbrunn Palace. These magnificent structures are testaments to Vienna’s rich history and architectural prowess. Don’t forget to take a moment to admire the intricate details and breathtaking views these landmarks offer.

For art lovers, a visit to the Belvedere Museum is a must. Home to an extensive collection of Austrian art, including works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Oskar Kokoschka, the Belvedere Museum is a treasure trove of artistic masterpieces. Lose yourself in the beauty and creativity of these renowned artists.

Another must-visit attraction in Vienna is the Hofburg Palace. This former imperial palace is now home to a variety of museums, including the Sisi Museum, which gives visitors a glimpse into the life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Explore the opulent rooms, learn about the royal history, and immerse yourself in the grandeur of the Hofburg Palace.

Vienna is also famous for its coffee culture, so be sure to indulge in a cup of traditional Viennese coffee at one of the city’s charming coffeehouses. Enjoy the cozy atmosphere, savor the rich flavors of coffee and desserts, and embrace the Viennese tradition of “Gemütlichkeit,” which translates to a feeling of warmth, friendliness, and relaxation.

When in Vienna, don’t miss out on experiencing the city’s vibrant music scene. Attend a classical concert at the famed Vienna State Opera or catch a performance at one of the many concert halls and theaters. Immerse yourself in the enchanting melodies of Mozart, Strauss, and other great composers.

Lastly, take some time to explore Vienna’s beautiful parks and gardens. The expansive Prater Park is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a bike ride, while the Vienna Woods offer a picturesque escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Breathe in the fresh air, enjoy the greenery, and recharge amidst nature’s tranquility.

Vienna truly has something for everyone. So, whether you’re a history lover, art enthusiast, music aficionado, or simply looking for a charming city to explore, Vienna promises to captivate you with its rich heritage and irresistible charm.

Experience the Beauty of Salzburg

Salzburg is a picturesque city in Austria, known for its stunning architecture, rich history, and breathtaking natural beauty. From exploring the historic Old Town to immersing yourself in the music and culture of the city, Salzburg offers a variety of experiences that will leave you captivated.

One of the top attractions in Salzburg is the iconic Hohensalzburg Fortress, perched on top of a hill and offering panoramic views of the city. Take a guided tour of the fortress to learn about its history and enjoy the stunning views from its towers.

For music lovers, a visit to Salzburg wouldn’t be complete without exploring the legacy of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was born in the city. Visit his birthplace, now a museum dedicated to his life and work, and attend a classical music concert to experience the magic of Mozart’s music in the city where it all began.

Another must-visit spot in Salzburg is Mirabell Palace and Gardens, a beautifully landscaped garden that offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. Take a leisurely stroll through the rose garden, enjoy the sculptures and fountains, and soak in the beauty of this enchanting place.

Salzburg is also known for its rich culinary scene, and no visit would be complete without trying some traditional Austrian dishes. Visit a local restaurant to indulge in favorites like Wiener schnitzel, potato dumplings, and apple strudel.

For outdoor enthusiasts, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding natural beauty of Salzburg. Take a cable car ride to the top of Untersberg mountain for breathtaking views of the Alps, or go hiking in the nearby Salzkammergut region, famous for its sparkling lakes and scenic trails.

Whether you’re a history buff, a music lover, or simply someone who appreciates natural beauty, Salzburg has something for everyone. Experience the charm and beauty of this Austrian gem and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Enjoy the Winter Wonderland in Innsbruck

If you’re a fan of winter sports and breathtaking mountain views, Innsbruck is the perfect destination for you. Located in the heart of the Austrian Alps, this charming city offers a winter wonderland like no other.

One of the main highlights of Innsbruck is its excellent skiing opportunities. The city is surrounded by nine ski resorts, each offering different levels of slopes for both beginners and experienced skiers. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful ski trip or an adrenaline-fueled adventure, you’ll find it all in Innsbruck.

But skiing is not the only activity that Innsbruck has to offer during the winter months. You can also try your hand at snowboarding, ice skating, or even take a thrilling toboggan ride down one of the city’s many sled runs. There’s something for everyone, regardless of age or skill level.

When you’re not hitting the slopes, make sure to explore Innsbruck’s charming Old Town. Admire the beautiful medieval architecture, visit the famous Golden Roof, and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate in one of the cozy cafes. The city is also home to a number of museums and art galleries, perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in the region’s rich history and culture.

For the ultimate winter experience, don’t miss the opportunity to take a cable car ride up to the top of the Nordkette mountain range. From there, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Innsbruck and the surrounding mountains, making for a truly unforgettable experience.

So, if you’re craving a winter wonderland getaway, look no further than Innsbruck. From skiing to exploring the historic town, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this picturesque Austrian city.

Discover the Historic Graz

Graz, the second largest city in Austria, is a treasure trove of history and culture. From its stunning medieval architecture to its vibrant arts scene, there is something for everyone in this captivating city.

One of the must-visit attractions in Graz is the Schlossberg. Situated on a hill overlooking the city, the Schlossberg offers breathtaking views and a fascinating history. You can take a leisurely stroll up to the top or even take an elevator for those who prefer an easier way up. Once at the top, you can explore the ancient ruins, visit the clock tower, and relax in one of the many peaceful gardens.

Another highlight of Graz is the Altstadt, or Old Town. Here, you can wander through narrow cobblestone streets and admire the beautiful Renaissance and Baroque buildings. Make sure to stop by the impressive Graz Cathedral, which dates back to the 15th century, and the iconic City Hall.

Art enthusiasts will also love the Kunsthaus Graz, a futuristic art museum that is a work of art in itself. This contemporary art museum hosts a wide range of exhibitions and events, showcasing the cutting-edge work of local and international artists.

To truly immerse yourself in Graz’s history, visit the Styrian Armoury. This is the largest historic armory in the world and houses an impressive collection of weapons, armor, and military gear. Take a guided tour to learn about the city’s military past and admire the craftsmanship of these artifacts.

No visit to Graz would be complete without trying some of the local cuisine. Be sure to sample traditional Styrian dishes such as pumpkin seed oil, Styrian cheese, and apple strudel. Stop by one of the cozy taverns in the city center to savor these delicious flavors.

Graz is a city that seamlessly blends its past with its present, offering visitors a unique and unforgettable experience. So take the time to discover the historic Graz and immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of this remarkable city.

Admire the Lake District in Salzkammergut

One of the most breathtaking regions in Austria is the Lake District in Salzkammergut. With its stunning natural beauty and crystal-clear lakes, this area is a dream destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The Lake District is home to several picturesque lakes, including Wolfgangsee, Hallstättersee, and Fuschlsee. Each lake offers its own unique charm and is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, boating, hiking, and cycling in this enchanting region.

If you’re looking for a tranquil retreat, head to Wolfgangsee. This lake is known for its peaceful atmosphere, emerald green waters, and picturesque villages. Take a leisurely boat ride across the lake, explore the charming town of St. Wolfgang, or simply relax on the lakeshore while enjoying the stunning views.

Lake Location Highlights
Wolfgangsee Saint Gilgen, Strobl, and St. Wolfgang Stunning lakeside villages, boat rides
Hallstättersee Hallstatt Iconic village, salt mines
Fuschlsee Fuschl am See Crystal-clear waters, hiking trails

Another must-visit lake in the Salzkammergut region is Hallstättersee. This lake is famous for the picturesque village of Hallstatt, which is considered one of the most beautiful places in Austria. Explore the narrow streets, visit the salt mines, and soak in the breathtaking views of the lake and mountains.

Fuschlsee is another gem in the Lake District. Known for its crystal-clear waters and peaceful surroundings, this lake is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers. Explore the hiking trails that surround the lake or simply relax on the lakeshore and soak in the tranquil atmosphere.

Whether you’re looking to admire the stunning landscapes, enjoy outdoor activities, or simply relax in nature, the Lake District in Salzkammergut offers something for everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this remarkable region and experience its natural beauty firsthand.

Visit the Imperial Palace in Schönbrunn

The Imperial Palace in Schönbrunn is a must-visit attraction when you are in Austria. This magnificent palace, located in Vienna, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the country’s most visited landmarks.

The palace was the summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs and is known for its stunning architecture and beautiful gardens. The palace’s interiors are adorned with exquisite frescoes, luxurious furniture, and intricate details, showcasing the grandeur and opulence of the imperial court.

Visitors can explore the various rooms and halls of the palace on a guided tour, gaining insight into the fascinating history and life of the Habsburg dynasty. Highlights include the Great Gallery, the Millions Room, and the Napoleon Room.

In addition to the palace, the Schönbrunn Gardens are also worth exploring. Spanning over 1.2 square kilometers, the gardens feature meticulously manicured lawns, impressive fountains, and a charming maze. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, relax by the Neptune Fountain, or enjoy a picnic on the vast green expanses.

For a truly unforgettable experience, consider visiting the Schönbrunn Palace in the evening. The palace hosts classical concerts in the Orangery, where you can enjoy the enchanting sounds of Mozart and Strauss in a breathtaking setting.

Overall, a visit to the Imperial Palace in Schönbrunn offers a glimpse into Austria’s rich history and allows you to experience the grandeur of the Habsburg era. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this architectural masterpiece and its stunning gardens when you are in Austria.

Indulge in the Rich Culture of Linz

Linz, the third-largest city in Austria, is known for its vibrant cultural scene. With its rich history and modern developments, Linz offers a diverse range of cultural experiences for visitors to enjoy.

One of the highlights of Linz’s culture is the Ars Electronica Center, a futuristic museum focusing on the intersection of art, technology, and society. It features interactive exhibits, art installations, and multimedia presentations that provide a thought-provoking experience for visitors of all ages.

For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Linz Castle is a must. This medieval fortress overlooks the city and offers a fascinating glimpse into Linz’s past. The castle is home to several museums, including the Castle Museum, where you can learn about the history of the region, and the Castle Art Gallery, which showcases contemporary Austrian art.

Linz is also home to numerous theaters and performance venues. The Landestheater Linz, one of the largest theaters in Austria, hosts a wide range of performances, including operas, ballets, and plays. The Brucknerhaus, a renowned concert hall, is a must-visit for music lovers, with its exceptional acoustics and impressive lineup of classical and contemporary performances.

Art lovers will appreciate the Lentos Art Museum, which houses an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art. The museum showcases works by artists from Austria and around the world and hosts temporary exhibitions that explore various art movements and themes.

When visiting Linz, be sure to explore the city’s vibrant street art scene. Murals, graffiti, and other forms of urban art can be found throughout the city, adding an element of creativity and expression to its streets.

Finally, don’t miss a visit to the Hauptplatz, the main square of Linz. This picturesque square is lined with historic buildings and is a hub of activity, with its many shops, cafes, and restaurants. It’s the perfect place to relax, take in the beauty of Linz, and immerse yourself in its rich culture.

With its diverse range of cultural attractions, Linz is a city that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in art, history, music, or simply soaking up the atmosphere of a vibrant city, Linz is sure to captivate you with its rich culture and unique experiences.

Take a Scenic Drive along the Grossglockner High Alpine Road

One of the best things to do in Austria is to take a scenic drive along the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. This breathtaking road stretches for 48 kilometers through the Hohe Tauern National Park, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains, glaciers, and alpine meadows.

The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is not only a road, but also a tourist attraction in its own right. Along the way, there are several visitor centers, lookout points, and information boards, where you can learn more about the local flora, fauna, and geology.

The highlight of the drive is the Kaiser Franz Josef’s Hohe bridge, which offers a panoramic view of the Pasterze Glacier and the Grossglockner, Austria’s highest mountain. Be sure to make a stop here and take in the awe-inspiring scenery.

During the drive, you may also encounter marmots, ibexes, and other alpine wildlife. Keep an eye out for them and have your camera ready for some amazing wildlife photography opportunities.

If you’re visiting Austria in the summer, make sure to check the opening dates of the road, as it is closed during the winter months due to snow. The road can be busy during peak tourist season, so try to visit early in the morning or later in the day to avoid crowds.

All in all, driving along the Grossglockner High Alpine Road is a must-do experience in Austria. It offers an unforgettable journey through some of the country’s most beautiful and dramatic landscapes. So grab a map, hop in your car, and enjoy the scenic drive of a lifetime.

Explore the stunning Hallstatt village

Discover the enchanting beauty of the Hallstatt village, nestled in the heart of the Austrian Alps.

With its picture-perfect setting on the banks of Lake Hallstatt, surrounded by towering mountains, Hallstatt is often referred to as one of the most beautiful villages in the world.

Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Hallstatt as you wander through its charming streets adorned with centuries-old buildings. Admire the iconic church with its distinctive spire and explore the small shops and cafes that line the cobbled streets.

Don’t miss the opportunity to take a boat ride on Lake Hallstatt, where you can marvel at the breathtaking scenery from the water. As you glide across the calm lake, take in the panoramic views of the mountains reflected in the crystal clear waters.

For those seeking adventure, Hallstatt offers a wealth of outdoor activities. Hike or bike along the scenic trails that wind through the surrounding mountains, or embark on a thrilling paragliding experience to get a bird’s eye view of the village and the alpine landscape.

Indulge in the local cuisine of Hallstatt and savor the flavors of traditional Austrian dishes, such as schnitzel and strudel, in one of the village’s cozy restaurants. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a glass of regional wine or a refreshing local beer.

Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, cultural immersion, or thrilling adventures, Hallstatt has something for everyone. Experience the magic of this stunning village and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Get adventurous in the Austrian Alps

If you’re an adventure seeker and love the great outdoors, then the Austrian Alps are the perfect destination for you. With their breathtaking landscapes and wide range of activities, there is no shortage of things to do in this mountainous region.

One of the best ways to experience the Austrian Alps is through hiking. There are numerous trails suitable for all fitness levels, ranging from easy walks to challenging multi-day hikes. Strap on your hiking boots and explore the stunning mountain vistas, meadows, and forests that the region has to offer.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, why not try your hand at rock climbing? The Austrian Alps are home to some of the best climbing routes in Europe, with a variety of challenges for climbers of all abilities. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, there are plenty of opportunities to test your skills and enjoy the thrill of scaling the towering cliffs.

For those who prefer to stay closer to the ground, mountain biking is another popular activity in the Austrian Alps. With an extensive network of trails and tracks, you can explore the alpine landscape while enjoying the rush of adrenaline that comes with biking downhill. Rent a mountain bike and hit the trails, taking in the stunning scenery as you go.

If you’re a water lover, don’t worry, the Austrian Alps have something for you too. The region is home to beautiful lakes and rivers, perfect for water-based activities such as kayaking, rafting, and paddleboarding. Experience the thrill of navigating the rapids or relax and take in the picturesque surroundings while paddling on a serene mountain lake.

No matter what activity you choose, the Austrian Alps offer a unique and unforgettable adventure. So, get out there and explore all that this stunning region has to offer.

Take a Boat Trip on the Danube River

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Austria is by taking a boat trip on the Danube River. The Danube River is Europe’s second-longest river and flows through several countries, including Austria.

The river offers stunning scenery and the chance to relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. As you cruise along the river, you’ll pass by picturesque villages, rolling hills, and lush forests. It’s a great opportunity to take in the natural beauty of Austria and snap some amazing photos.

During your boat trip, you’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Austria. Many boats offer guided tours or audio guides that provide interesting facts and stories about the landmarks and attractions along the Danube River. You’ll have the chance to learn about the country’s rich history and its connection to the river.

In addition to the beautiful scenery and historical information, taking a boat trip on the Danube River also allows you to experience the local cuisine. Many boats offer onboard dining options where you can sample traditional Austrian dishes and enjoy a glass of Austrian wine. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and indulge in some delicious food.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day on the water or an educational and cultural experience, a boat trip on the Danube River is a must-do activity in Austria. Soak in the stunning landscapes, learn about the history and culture, and indulge in the local cuisine – all while cruising along one of Europe’s most iconic rivers.

Sample the Austrian Cuisine and Delicacies

Visiting Austria would not be complete without indulging in its rich and diverse culinary heritage. Austrian cuisine is known for its hearty and flavorful dishes that combine influences from neighboring countries such as Germany, Hungary, and Italy. From delicious Wiener Schnitzel to mouthwatering Sachertorte, here are some must-try Austrian delicacies:

Wiener Schnitzel: This iconic Austrian dish consists of a breaded and fried veal escalope. The meat is typically thinly pounded to create a tender and crispy coating. It is best enjoyed with a squeeze of lemon and served alongside a potato salad or warm potato fries.

Sachertorte: Austria’s famous chocolate cake, the Sachertorte, is a decadent treat that originated in Vienna. This rich and moist cake is filled with apricot jam and covered with a glossy layer of dark chocolate icing. It is traditionally served with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream and a cup of Viennese coffee.

Tafelspitz: Tafelspitz is a traditional Austrian boiled beef dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. The beef is simmered with root vegetables, onions, and spices to create a flavorful broth. It is served with horseradish sauce, apple-horseradish sauce, and a side of boiled potatoes or Semmelknödel (bread dumplings).

Apfelstrudel: Apfelstrudel is a classic Austrian dessert that features layers of thin, flaky pastry filled with spiced apples, raisins, and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. It is typically served warm with a dusting of powdered sugar and a side of vanilla sauce or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Kaiserschmarrn: Kaiserschmarrn is a delicious Austrian pancake dish that is torn into small pieces after cooking. The pancake batter is typically flavored with rum-soaked raisins and cooked until golden brown. It is served with powdered sugar, stewed plums, and sometimes a dollop of whipped cream.

Goulash: Although originally from Hungary, goulash has become a beloved dish in Austrian cuisine. It is a hearty stew made with tender beef, paprika, onions, and various spices. It is often served with buttery dumplings or a side of creamy mashed potatoes.

No matter where you go in Austria, you’ll find a wide range of regional delicacies and culinary specialties that will leave you craving for more. From hearty savory dishes to delectable desserts, Austria offers a gastronomic experience that is not to be missed!


What are the best places to visit in Austria?

Austria offers many amazing places to visit, but some of the top attractions include Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Hallstatt, and the Austrian Alps.

What is the best time to visit Austria?

The best time to visit Austria is during the months of April to October, when the weather is pleasant and there are many outdoor activities and festivals to enjoy. However, if you are interested in winter sports, the ski season from December to March is also a great time to visit.

What are some must-try Austrian dishes?

When in Austria, you must try some traditional dishes like Wiener Schnitzel, Sachertorte (chocolate cake), Apfelstrudel (apple strudel), Kaiserschmarrn (shredded pancake), and Tafelspitz (boiled beef). These dishes are delicious and a true representation of Austrian cuisine.

What are the top cultural attractions in Austria?

Austria is known for its rich cultural heritage. Some of the top cultural attractions include Schönbrunn Palace and Belvedere Palace in Vienna, Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg, the Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens, and the Museum of Tyrolean Folk Art in Innsbruck.

What outdoor activities can I do in Austria?

Austria is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. You can go hiking or mountain biking in the Austrian Alps, try water sports like kayaking or rafting in the rivers, go skiing or snowboarding in the winter, or simply enjoy a leisurely boat ride on Lake Wolfgang. There are endless options for outdoor activities in Austria.

What are the top tourist attractions in Austria?

Some of the top tourist attractions in Austria include Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Hallstatt, and the Austrian Alps.


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Abigail Lewis

Abigail Lewis, a valued Cancun resident since 2008, skillfully combines her extensive knowledge of the region with her travels across Mexico in her engaging TravelAsker pieces. An experienced traveler and dedicated mother, she brings the lively spirit of Mexico to her articles, featuring top family-friendly destinations, dining, resorts, and activities. Fluent in two languages, Abigail unveils Mexico's hidden gems, becoming your trustworthy travel companion in exploring the country.

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