Top 8 Things to Do in Austria
So, are you planning your next trip to Europe? I am sure you have Rome, France, Amsterdam, Venice and other beautiful places on your mind? But have you considered Austria yet? Of course, I bet you must have considered Vienna as one of your destinations. But, Vienna is not all that you get in Austria to visit. This article gives you the top 8 things to do in Austria.
The first few things which come to mind when we talk about Austria are the fresh air, snow and serene calmness. Situated at the heart of Europe, Austria is one country visited by millions of tourists all around the year. The country welcomes its tourists with its beautiful mountains, deep forests, charming villages, tranquil lakes, architecture and of course, its friendly and warm-hearted people. Once you reach this country, you may be seriously spoilt for choice. Here are some things to do so that you won’t get lost in the beauty of the country forever.
Top 8 things to do in Austria
- Schönbrunn – Vienna
Naturally, the first city which comes to mind when we talk about Austria is Vienna. But there are so many things to do in Vienna. So, let us start with Schönbrunn. The Schönbrunn palace is one of the most sought after tourist attractions in Vienna. This is the summer palace where the Habsburgs (rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) started living since Maximilian II. It is currently in the possession of the Republic of Austria. Guided tours are conducted here and different types of tickets/tours are available for visitors.
- Mozart’s House – Salzburg
If you are music lover, then this is the place you just cannot miss. Although, this is slightly less famous than his birthplace, it is still a place not to be missed by music lovers. This is the place where Mozart was brought up after his family moved here in 1773. He also composed more than 150 masterpieces here. He stayed in this residence till 1781. The house was destroyed during World War II, but then restored carefully and converted to a museum. As you may expect, the house showcases the furniture used by the family, biographies of the family members, a special audio room and a small cinema room. You can watch a nice movie about Mozart’s life in this cinema room.
- Mirabell Garden & Castle – Salzburg
This palace was built by the Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau for his mistress in 1606 A.D. The castle was built in the Baroque style combining Italian and French models. The castle was initially called “Altenau” after his mistress’s name, but renamed as Mirabell by Wolf Dietrich’s successor after his death. He also drove Salome, the Archbishop’s mistress, out of the castle. It was destroyed and rebuilt a couple of times to resemble the original baroque style. Though many parts of the castle are not open to the public, visitors can still enjoy the beautiful gardens around the castle. One of the attractions of these gardens is the fountain situated at the center. This fountain portrays the four elements symbolized by four mythological stories.
- Hofburg – Vienna
Hofburg palace is located within the inner city of Vienna. It has been a residence for some of the most powerful people in Austria’s history including the Habsburg dynasty. It contains the imperial apartments of Empress Elizabeth and Franz I. It also contains some of the most valuable artifacts which belonged to the rulers. It presently serves as the official residence of the Austrian president.
- Swarovski Crystal World – Innsbruck
The Swarovski crystal world is to you what the high seas and tides were to Vasco da Gama and Christopher Columbus. The crystal world is an invitation to a dreamland. It is situated just about 20 minutes of drive from Innsbruck and was created by Andre Heller, a multimedia artist. For the 100th anniversary of Swarovski in 1995, he created this place with 14 subterranean “Chambers of Wonder” which is nothing less than a dreamland.
- The Alps
Are you a person who is interested in adventure, especially mountaineering? Or are you a person who loves winter sports? You don’t need to look further. The Alps is there to cater to your needs. A considerable surface area of Austria is spanned by the Alps. As such, you can try various winter sports such as skiing, tobogganing, snowboarding, curling and skating. Also, if you are a hiker at heart, why not climb the Alps while combining it with some hang-gliding?
- Southern Styria
If you want to appreciate real wine when in Austria, why not visit Southern Styria or Burgenland? Southern Styria is called the Styrian Tuscany for a good reason. This place consists of gentle hills covered with vineyards and patches of farmland. And yes, it is one of the best places in Austria where you can savor good wine.
- Austria’s Kaffeehaus
After a good day’s travel around the tourist places, what is the best way to unwind? Beer, you may say. But, how about a cup of Austria’s best coffee at the local coffee shops? Austria’s Kaffeehäuser (Austrian coffee houses) are traditional coffee shops where you can experience the rich coffee culture of Austria. These are not your regular coffee shops where you go, sit, order a cup of coffee and leave after you finish your coffee. You can enjoy a wide variety of carefully brewed coffees with newspaper, games, and some of Austria’s best cakes and puddings.
These are some of the top 8 things to do in Austria. So, now that you know that are more places to Austria than Vienna, you may want to take more time to plan out your Europe trip carefully.