10 best things to do in Austria

When it comes to the top 10 things to do in Austria, the country’s allure as a travel destination is undeniable. Mention of diverse activities and experiences awaiting visitors can be found throughout this beautiful European country, from the majestic Alps to the bustling cities. 

In this blog post, we will delve into a variety of activities and experiences that will make your trip unforgettable. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, Austria has it all. So, get ready to embark on an exciting journey through Austria and discover the 10 best things to do in this captivating country.

I. Schönbrunn Palace: A Glimpse into Royal Grandeur

Schönbrunn Palace, located in Vienna, is a former summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs and a must-visit attraction in Austria. The palace’s history dates back to the 16th century when it was a hunting lodge for Emperor Maximilian II. It was later expanded and transformed into a grand palace by Empress Maria Theresa in the 18th century.

Schönbrunn Palace is a glimpse into royal grandeur and a must-visit attraction in Austria. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and beautiful gardens, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the top 10 things to do in Austria. Don’t forget to visit the world’s oldest zoo while you’re there!

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Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace

II. Embracing Nature: Hiking in the Austrian Alps

The Austrian Alps offer diverse trails for hikers of all levels, making it a top activity in Austria. Kalkalpen National Park provides easy trails, while experienced hikers can tackle the challenging Hohe Tauern National Park. Exploring charming mountain villages and packing appropriate gear are essential. 

Hiking in the Austrian Alps is a must for nature lovers and adventure seekers, with its diverse trails, stunning scenery, and traditional villages. Lace up your boots and explore the beauty of the Austrian Alps! After your hike, consider hiring a coach or minibus to further explore Austria’s natural beauty.

Austrian Alps

Austrian Alps

III. Cultural Extravaganza: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Vienna is known as the “City of Music” and is home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the best orchestras in the world with a legacy dating back over 175 years. Attending a performance by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is a unique cultural experience that showcases the city’s rich musical heritage. 

The orchestra performs at the Musikverein, one of the world’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, and the dress code is formal. To attend a performance, it’s best to book tickets in advance, as they can sell out quickly. In conclusion, attending a performance by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is a must-do experience for music lovers and one of the top 10 things to do in Austria.

Immerse yourself in the musical magic of Vienna – explore more!

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

IV. Vienna’s Historic Center: A Tapestry of Architectural Marvels

Vienna’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit in Austria, boasting architectural marvels like St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. The cathedral’s Gothic architecture and panoramic city views from its spire are a highlight, while the palace complex, former home of the Habsburgs, features the Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum, and the Spanish Riding School.

Exploring this UNESCO site is a journey through Vienna’s rich history and culture, with narrow streets lined with stunning architecture, including the Baroque-style Karlskirche and the Art Nouveau Secession Building. A visit isn’t complete without a stop at the bustling Naschmarkt, offering a wide range of culinary delights and traditional Austrian dishes.

In conclusion, Vienna’s historic center is a tapestry of architectural marvels and a must-visit destination in Austria, with its stunning landmarks, rich history, and culinary delights making it one of the top 10 things to do in the country. So, put on your walking shoes and explore the beauty of Vienna’s historic center.

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Vienna's Historic Center

Vienna’s Historic Center

V. Art and History: The Belvedere Palace

The Belvedere Palace is a stunning Baroque palace located in Vienna, Austria, and is a must-see attraction for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Built in the early 18th century as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy, the palace was later expanded and transformed into a museum and art gallery in the 19th century. Today, it houses over 24,000 works of art, including notable pieces by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.

Klimt’s famous painting, “The Kiss,” is one of the most popular works on display at the Belvedere Palace. The painting is a symbol of the Art Nouveau movement and is considered one of the most iconic works of art in Austria. Schiele’s works, including “Portrait of Wally” and “Self-Portrait with Black and White Bands,” are also on display at the palace.

Visitors can explore the palace’s opulent interiors, including the Great Gallery and the Marble Hall, and admire the stunning views of Vienna from the palace’s terrace. The Belvedere Palace is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in art and history, and it’s no wonder that it’s one of the top 10 things to do in Austria. So, plan your visit to the Belvedere Palace today and immerse yourself in the beauty of Austrian art and history.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Austrian art at Belvedere Palace, click here!

The Belvedere Palace

The Belvedere Palace

VI. Salzburg Festival: A Celebration of Performing Arts

The Salzburg Festival is a prestigious cultural event in Austria, featuring world-class performances in music, drama, and dance. Founded in 1920, the festival takes place every summer in Salzburg’s historic center, with performances in venues such as the Salzburg Cathedral and the Felsenreitschule. The festival’s program includes classical operas, symphonies, contemporary theater, and dance. 

Attending a performance at the Salzburg Festival is a unique cultural experience, with an elegant and refined atmosphere and a dress code that reflects the occasion. The festival attracts some of the world’s most talented performers, offering a chance to witness their artistry up close. With its stunning venues and world-class performances, the Salzburg Festival is a must-see attraction in Austria and a celebration of performing arts. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Austrian culture and plan your visit to the Salzburg Festival.

Plan your trip to Austria and experience these top attractions!

Salzburg Festival

Salzburg Festival

VII. Scenic Drive: Grossglockner High Alpine Road

The Grossglockner High Alpine Road, a top 10 attraction in Austria, offers a 48-kilometer scenic drive through the Alps, showcasing glaciers, waterfalls, and alpine landscapes. A highlight is the opportunity to see the Grossglockner, Austria’s highest mountain, from the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe viewing platform. The road passes through the Hohe Tauern National Park, allowing visitors to explore diverse flora and fauna. 

To maximize the experience, plan ahead, as the road is open from May to October and can be busy during peak times. Checking the weather and road conditions is advisable. In conclusion, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road is a must-do for nature lovers and road trip enthusiasts, offering stunning views, alpine landscapes, and diverse wildlife. It’s no surprise that it’s a top 10 attraction in Austria. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and savor the beauty of the Austrian Alps.

Embark on an unforgettable journey and explore the beauty of Austria!

Alpine Road

Alpine Road

VIII. Melk Abbey: Baroque Splendor Above the Danube

Melk Abbey is a must-visit attraction in Austria, boasting a rich history and architectural beauty that dates back over a thousand years. The Baroque masterpiece is situated above the Danube River and offers opulent interiors adorned with intricate frescoes, sculptures, and ornate details. Visitors can explore the Imperial Staircase, Marble Hall, and Abbey Church, each offering a glimpse into the abbey’s rich heritage and artistic splendor. 

Guided tours are available for those seeking a deeper understanding of the abbey’s history and cultural significance. Melk Abbey’s inclusion on the list of the top 10 best things to do in Austria is a testament to its enduring appeal and cultural importance. 

Its stunning architecture, rich history, and breathtaking location above the Danube make it a must-see for history enthusiasts, art lovers, and anyone seeking to immerse themselves in Austria’s cultural heritage. A visit to Melk Abbey offers a captivating journey through time and a deeper appreciation for the country’s artistic and spiritual legacy.

Immerse yourself in history and explore the cultural splendor of Melk Abbey.

Melk Abbey

Melk Abbey

IX. Culinary Delights: Indulging in Austrian Cuisine

Austria’s culinary scene is a delightful fusion of rich flavors and traditional recipes, making it a significant part of the top 10 best things to do in Austria. When indulging in Austrian cuisine, there are several iconic dishes that should not be missed.

Wiener Schnitzel, a beloved Austrian classic, consists of a breaded and fried veal cutlet, offering a crispy exterior and tender meat. Tafelspitz, another staple, features boiled beef served with horseradish and a variety of side dishes, showcasing the country’s emphasis on hearty and comforting meals. To satisfy your sweet tooth, Sachertorte is a decadent chocolate cake with a layer of apricot jam, often enjoyed with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

In addition to the delectable dishes, Austrian wines are the perfect complement to the local cuisine. The country’s wine regions, such as Wachau and Burgenland, produce a diverse range of white and red wines, offering the ideal pairing for traditional Austrian meals. Grüner Veltliner, a crisp and aromatic white wine, and Blaufränkisch, a full-bodied red, are among the popular choices that beautifully enhance the flavors of Austrian dishes.

Exploring the culinary landscape of Austria is a journey of the senses, allowing visitors to savor the country’s rich heritage and gastronomic traditions. Whether enjoying a leisurely meal at a traditional Heuriger or dining at a renowned restaurant, indulging in Austrian cuisine is an essential part of experiencing the country’s vibrant culture and hospitality.

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Austrian Cuisine

Austrian Cuisine

X. Shopping and Souvenirs: Embracing Austrian Crafts

Exploring local crafts and souvenirs is a delightful part of the top 10 best things to do in Austria. The country is renowned for its rich tradition of craftsmanship, offering a wide array of unique and high-quality products that make for perfect mementos of a visit to this beautiful country.

Austria’s Christmas markets are a treasure trove of traditional handmade gifts and souvenirs. These markets, which are held in various cities and towns throughout the country, offer a festive and charming atmosphere, with vendors selling an assortment of items such as wooden toys, hand-painted ornaments, intricate glassware, and warm woolen clothing. The markets are an ideal place to find one-of-a-kind gifts and experience the magic of the holiday season.

In addition to the Christmas markets, visitors can find unique Austrian mementos in the country’s specialty shops and boutiques. From intricately crafted cuckoo clocks and elegant crystal glassware to traditional dirndls and lederhosen, there is a wide range of items that reflect Austria’s rich cultural heritage and artisanal expertise. Whether strolling through the streets of Vienna, Salzburg, or Innsbruck, there are numerous opportunities to discover and purchase authentic Austrian crafts and souvenirs, allowing visitors to bring home a piece of the country’s unique and timeless charm.

Immerse yourself in Austrian crafts and explore more unique souvenirs!

Austrian Sourvenir

Austrian Sourvenir

XI. Conclusion

Austria is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking diverse experiences. From exploring the Austrian Alps to indulging in rich culinary traditions, the top 10 best things to do in Austria offer a glimpse into the country’s vibrant culture, history, and hospitality. 

Whether it’s attending the Salzburg Festival, exploring Vienna’s historic center, or driving through the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria offers something for everyone. With its rich heritage and stunning landscapes, Austria provides a unique and unforgettable experience that will leave a lasting impression on any traveler.

So, whether you’re planning your first trip to Austria or returning for another visit, be sure to explore more of what this beautiful country has to offer. 

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