Austria is one of the most beautiful countries to explore in Europe and it’s a place that’s so much more than its capital city, Vienna. This dreamy-looking country is surrounded by the magnificent Alps and offers tourists a wonderful time while exploring Austria places to visit.
Nestled within central Europe, Austria is a small country and it’s pretty easy to explore the whole country on a road trip. However don’t let its size put you off, there are many gorgeous looking cities, towns, and villages in Austria to explore that not only have the best modern amenities but are also covered by dramatic mountain sceneries.
With that being said, there are so many places to see that you will actually have to prioritize on your trip. So we share with you the most beautiful tourist attractions in Austria and we hope you will love them.
Browse through the top things to do and best places to visit in Austria to make your tour memorable:
The capital of Austria, Vienna will probably be your first destination during your trip. It is one of the liveliest cities in Europe and is popular for its street theatres, operas, ballets, art galleries, and musicals.
Did you know the city still holds more than 200 balls each year? And was home to classical composers like Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven and Schubert.
Begin your tour at the Ringstrasse, a circular road; most of the main architectural sights are contained in this area. The city’s architecture ranges from Baroque palaces to modern art museums and Gothic cathedrals to Art Nouveau exhibition centers. The notable ones being the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the 1400-room Schönbrunn Palace, and the Belvedere Palace, which features works by the city’s most famous painter, Gustav Klimt.
The city also has a rich musical culture. You can watch the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic orchestra at the State Opera House or explore the new sounds of Vienna by local DJs in the city’s hottest nightclubs. From savoring sausages and schnitzel to chocolate and cakes, the city’s culinary pleasures are plentiful too.
Vienna is also home to plenty of coffee houses, some being in operation for over a hundred years. These coffee houses offer some of the best coffee concoctions in the world. During your vienna walking tour, all you have to do is visit a coffee shop, sit, relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the city.
All-in-all, Vienna is one of the top tourist attractions in Austria with a perfect combination of beautiful historical architecture and modern living, a place you certainly must visit.
Salzburg is the second most visited city and one of the ideal places to visit in Austria that is surrounded by majestic historical buildings and beautiful green meadows. If you are looking for top things to do in Salzburg Austria then you will get ample opportunities.
If you’re a big-time fan of the ‘Sound of Music’ as well as Mozart, then you’ll love this city, as Salzburg is probably best known as the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
You can begin your tour with a visit to Aldsten, an old town that has stunning baroque buildings; it also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can also take up ‘The Sound of Music tour’ and live a few scenes of the movie.
You can head to the Hohensalzburg fort which is one of the last preserved castles of Europe. Though the medieval castle’s artifacts were plundered during the Napoleonic Wars, the vistas from the fort are its real treasures. You can reach the castle on foot or by a quick ride in the 19-th century funicular.
The other must-see tourist attractions in Salzburg Austria include the 17th-century Baroque Mirabell Palace and Gardens. The gazebo in the Schloss Hellbrunn’s garden and the actual Von Trapp family home, which is now a hotel. Mozart fans can visit his home and get a real-life experience and glimpse of the period instruments, portraits and musical scores.
Finally, whether you are taking a city tour of salzburg or wandering by yourself through Altstadt; marveling at the abundance of Baroque architecture or relaxing in an open-air beer garden sipping a local brew, the city of Salzburg is one of the top 10 places to visit in Austria that appeals to all the senses.
Salzkammergut is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and taking a tour of it is one of the fun things to do in Austria. The region’s pristine beauty is credited to its verdant hills, serene blue lakes, and snow-peaked mountain ranges. And for over a century it has served as one of Austria’s major tourist destinations.
The Salzkammergut region is famous for its many luxury spas and hotel resorts, making it a perfect destination for travelers looking for both relaxation and adventure. Here you can try outdoor recreational activities like mountaineering, horseback riding, swimming, and cycling.
You can also enjoy swimming, fishing, and boating on reflective lakes of Hallstatter See, Mondsee, and Wolgangsee – all of which are set amidst some stunning scenery. The beautiful lakeside town of St Wolfgang and St Hallstatt are also well worth a visit.
In addition, you can opt to relax and unwind at the spa town of Bad Ischl, or venture underground to explore the Dachstein Ice Caves at Obertraun or go paragliding from the lofty heights of Krippenstein Mountain.
Overall this region is sparsely populated and one can see pockets of civilization here and there, making it an ideal place to spend quality time with family.
Innsbruck is one of Austria’s most scenic cities nestled in the heart of the Alps which is listed amongst one of the top places to see in Austria. Although its breathtaking scenery and landscapes are what make people visit it, the city also offers an interesting mix of history, culture, and architecture.
As you arrive, begin by exploring the Renaissance-style Hapsburg Imperial Palace, the Baroque Saint Jacob Cathedral, and 16th-century Schloss Ambras scattered around the medieval old town.
Innsbruck is home to the most popular ski resorts in the world and if you are an adventure enthusiast then you certainly will enjoy hiking up the attractive meadows, or go Bungee jumping from the ‘Bridge of Europe’. You can take the Nordkettenbahnen cable car to the top of Nordkette Mountain, which offers phenomenal views of the city below and the breathtaking scenery around it.
Innsbruck is also famous for hosting the Winter Olympics twice, in 1964 and 1976, even today it is widely considered to be one of the best winter sports destinations in the world.
If you are not so keen on skiing or if you happen to be visiting during the summer months you will find plenty of amazing things to do in Austria like exploring the city on foot or relishing traditional cuisines at a number of local restaurants.
5. Zell am See
If you are one of those travelers looking for some of the natural places to visit in Austria including sceneries and wilderness adventures, the town of Zell am See should be on your list.
Nestled on the banks of Lake Zell, the town is surrounded by majestic alpine mountains, tranquil blue lakes and is home to world-class ski slopes.
Zell am See is a year-round destination. During summer activities like hiking, cycling, and water sports are hugely popular while in winter skiers and snowboarders descend upon the town for its marvelous mountains and ski resorts.
Besides outdoor activities, make a visit to the famous Saint Hippolyte Church, which is on an elevated walkway that dates back to the early 16th century.
Finally, don’t forget to take a long drive through the Grossglockner Alpine Road. On this route, you will witness some of the most beautiful sceneries and landscapes that you are expecting from Austria vacation spots.
6. Bad Gastein
Bad Gastein is a picturesque spa town located in the heart of the High Tauern Mountains. It’s covered in lush green forests and surrounded by steep mountainous cliffs, and is known for its spectacular landscape and charming Belle Epoque architecture. If you are looking for a rejuvenating experience, the city is listed amongst some of the top 10 places to visit in Austria.
Because of its hot springs, it became a spa town in the late 19th century. It became a holiday spot for the Kings, Queens, Chancellors and Tsars who enjoyed the healing powers of Bad Gastein. On this day it’s your turn to visit the spa town and take a dip in the hot healing spring waters and breathe the fresh pure mountain air like the royals once did.
Bad Gastein can be visited any time of the year. You can go skiing in winters or enjoy biking and hiking in the other seasons. Don’t forget to visit the splendid Gastein waterfall that is located right in the heart of the town, you’ll surely love it. There is more entertainment here and you can indulge in activities like open studios, jazz shows, creative workshops and nightlife.
It’s one of the perfect holiday destinations in Austria for anyone who loves nature, adventure, and a serene place – it is an ideal holiday destination for one and all.
Set on the banks of the Mur River, Graz is the second-largest city in Austria. It’s usually known as an offbeat destination, but is home to the best panoramic landscapes, impressive baroque, numerous museums, renaissance style buildings, and the lush green Schlossberg Hill, right in the city’s centre that offers a great view and makes a perfect place for vacations.
Besides its great history and culture, Graz also has a lively, youthful and vibrant nightlife scene. The town is dotted with restaurants, bars and cafes that cater to the student population studying in its numerous universities and colleges.
Vorarlberg is the smallest province in Austria, but it’s equally fascinating like other tourist attractions of Austria. It is home to amazing ski resorts and great alpine villages which are perfect for hiking trips, and offer a great opportunity to experience local culture.
It shares its borders with Germany and also has Europe’s third-largest lake, Constance. You could also go trekking or long walks in the forests or enjoy a cable car ride to get the best view of the valley. If you love the mountains you will love this place known for its stunning landscapes and beautiful sceneries.
Vorarlberg can be visited all round the year. You can enjoy summer and winter sport activities like mountain biking, cycling, inline skating, skiing, snowboarding and there are also a lot of cultural events throughout the year including carnivals during winter.
Another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Wachau valley is a scenic 18-mile (29 kilometer) stretch of dramatic cliffs, rolling hills, and picturesque vineyards. It is situated along the Danube River and the best way to explore the valley is by bike, and you’ll find paved bike paths on both sides of the river.
Once you arrive, head for the Wachau World Heritage Trail and stop at places like Spitz, Joching and the Holzapfel Vineyards for some wine tasting. There are several vineyards along the river, many of which produce the famous Grüner Veltliner and Riesling grapes. Later you can visit Dürnstein, one of the most visited towns in the valley, it is home to the Dürnstein Castle.
After you have spent time exploring the valley, take a break and enjoy a tasty traditional Austrian lunch in the market town of Spitz.
Worthersee is the largest lake in Carinthia and lies at the foot of the Gurktal Alps and Karawanks mountain range, south of Austria.
Due to its spectacular setting and scenery, it’s one of the top-rated tourist destinations in Austria. Along the shores of the beautiful lake, you can find charming, picturesque towns to relaxing spas and vibrant nightlife venues.
If you are visiting in summer you can swim in the warm waters and bask in the Mediterranean climate. You can also indulge in activities like canoeing and boating.
The lake and the surrounding lush forests make an ideal place to enjoy some of the top things to do in Austria such as hiking and trekking. The scenic path along with the lakeside offers ideal settings to enjoy unique things to do in Austria including outdoor activities like golf, horseback riding, and water sports.
If you love exploration and thrilling moments then make a trip to the colorful Griffen Stalactite cave. The other interesting places to visit are Gmund, the birthplace of Porsche and the 12th-century Cathedral of Gurk.
And there you have it, best things to do and top10 places to visit in Austria. What do you think of the list? Did we miss anything? If you are planning to explore the best places to visit near Austria then don’t forget to check our Europe travel guide.