Austria is known for its iconic architecture, endless natural beauty, and its mountainous Alpine surroundings – all equally impressive in their own right – making it a perfect vacation destination for travelers in search of a new adventure.
Winter sports enthusiasts regularly visit the country to ski and snowboard on the slopes of the Austrian Alps, but that doesn’t mean the only worthwhile attractions are snow related. In fact, Austria has some of the most incredible examples of historic architecture in all of Europe, and myriad towns and cities with their own unique cultural feel.
Without further adieu, here are our Top 5 Places to Visit in Austria:
Vienna is widely considered to be a cultural haven for music, fine art, and architecture lovers from all over the world. Known for the many diverse architectural styles peppered throughout the city, travelers can expect to find numerous well-preserved examples of Romanesque, Baroque, Classicist, and Art Nouveau styled structures. Vienna is also celebrated for its rich performance-art tradition, hosting over 200 balls a year, and a variety of classical music concerts honoring the many famous composers who once called Vienna home, including Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and countless others.
Situated near Germany’s southern border with Austria, the city of Salzburg, like its capital counterpart, is famous for its long-standing musical traditions, including being the birthplace of Wolfgang Mozart. Beyond the many examples of historic architecture and artistic attractions found in the city, Salzburg is surrounded by the breathtakingly epic Alps mountain range, affording visitors and residents alike the ability to explore the experiential contrast of rich history and stunning natural beauty simultaneously.
Salzkammergut – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is an Austrian resort area surrounded by serene blue lakes, verdant hills, and snow-peaked mountain ranges, that for over a century has served as one of the countries prime tourist destinations. Outdoor recreational activities are prominent in the area, including mountaineering, horseback riding, swimming and cycling. The Salzkammergut region is also famous for the many luxury spas and hotel resorts inhabiting the area, making it an idyllic destination for groups of travelers looking for both relaxation and adventure.
Famous for hosting the Winter Olympics twice, in 1964 and 1976, the city of Innsbruck is widely considered to be one of the best winter sports destinations in the world. Visitors not so keen on skiing or snowboarding, or those visiting during the summer months can find plenty to do in the historic city as well, including exploring the Innsbruck Cathedral, the bell-making museum, or a number of local restaurants.
Zell am See
For travelers who are looking for the ultimate in natural scenery, and wilderness adventures, the town of Zell am See is a “must-visit” destination in Austria. Surrounded by majestic alpine mountains, world-class ski slopes, and tranquil blue lakes, Zell am See hosts numerous outdoor recreation events throughout the year, including a number ski and snowboard competitions. The driving here is also out-of-this-world, be sure to take the Grossglockner Alpine Road from here for some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the country.