Set in the heart of Europe, Austria is bordered by Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Italy and Slovenia to the south, Slovakia and Hungary to the east and Liechtenstein and Switzerland the west.

Why and When to go to Austria?

For many centuries Austria was at the heart of European history, ruled by the Hapsburg dynasty for 600 years and undergoing the turmoil of war and uprisings throughout those centuries. Beyond its historical heritage, today Austria is a popular destination for cultural visitors. Throughout the spring and summer months, its outstandingly beautiful natural landscapes reveal the towering peaks of the Alps, giving way to luscious green valleys and fields.

Noted for architectural wonders and musical festivals, between December and April Austria displays yet another face, becoming a winter sports paradise. Here is a selection of must-see attractions when visiting this fascinating country.

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna

One of the great Baroque buildings of Europe, the former summer palace of the Imperial Hapsburg family gives a unique glimpse into the capital city’s history. Explore this vast complex, with beautifully ornamented rooms, exquisite furniture and Bohemian chandeliers. After a tour of the palace, visit the Palm House for botanical treats or take a stroll in the park before getting up close with the wildlife in the world’s oldest surviving zoo.

Salzburg Festival

One of the greatest classical music festivals in the world is held in the charming town of Salzburg, the birthplace of the musical genius, Mozart. The program features opera, drama and music, drawing many of the most famous orchestras to perform each year. As well as attending the summer festival, it is worth exploring this historic city and its stunning surroundings. Mozart’s residence is packed with historical information about the composer, while the many delightful restaurants and coffee houses, which are situated by the river, offer moments of peace and relaxation, with good food and of course, excellent beer.

Fortress Hohensalzburg, Salzburg

Dominating the city of Salzburg is a superb stronghold originating from the twelfth century, a towering landmark that became one of Europe’s greatest castles. Visitors can ascend the mountain on the ‘castle lift’ and explore the Regency chambers and Fortress Museum before dropping in to see the world-famous marionettes in the Marionette Museum.


Noted for being one of Europe’s ski capitals, Innsbruck is bordered by the Alps and has hosted the Winter Olympics twice. A playground for winter sports enthusiasts, Innsbruck offers skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, cross-country skiing, bobsleighing and ice-skating; all are part of the seasonal sporting mix. Visit the city in the summer and the hills and mountains become a hiker’s paradise, with mountain biking, climbing, rafting and canyoning being just some of the outdoor activities available.

Getting Around

Although Austria has excellent public transport, including efficient railways, underground systems, tramlines and buses, essentially Austrians are car-loving people and there is a very good road network. Car rental offers a great way of experiencing some superb drives amongst the magnificent Alpine peaks and visiting traditional Tyrolean villages. Remember, no trip to Austria is complete without a cable car ride up the glaciers; they run year-round and provide spectacular views of the mountains and valleys. Try the Kitzeinhorn at Zell am See or the ride up from Bregenz to Pfaender, for a thrilling aerial experience.

Lifecruiser Love Austria (and we plan to go there again when we’re at our European road trip later this year – too much to see there to cover it in one trip only!)

1 Comment on “Austria: Top Must See Attractions”

    Linda said:

    Oh dear! I have to disagree – Styria and the wonderful Lipizzaner horses at Piber Federal Stud; Riegersburg Castle owned by the Leichtenstein family; Eggenburg Castle at Graz; magical Murau; Turracher Hohe plateau; vintage F1 racing at Red Bull Ring…. and too many others to mention!

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