No country combines urban landscapes and outdoor activities as well as Austria. One day it is possible to be crowned on alpine peaks and the next day a walkthrough through imperial Vienna is possible. It is definitely worth doing a trip and enjoy a great adventure in this beautiful country, which is a center for philosophy and art.
Located at the heart of the Central Europe, you can never deny the fact that Austria isn’t just a beautiful country, but it also takes pride from having gorgeous cities, rich history and beautiful mountains.
The Alps stretch across Austria’s western part all the way to the country of Italy and Slovenia, which makes this place a perfect location not just for those who like to explore and learn about history and classical music, but also for those who want active holiday and outdoor adventures.
Vienna – trip through imperial city of Austria
Vienna is considered as the imperial city of Austria. It has less than two million inhabitants. This is a major intellectual and cultural center in Europe. It has also served as the home to popular intellectuals and musicians including Freud, Beethoven, and Mozart. One of the great things about Vienna is its palaces, which include Belvedere Palace that serves as an art museum. The works of the most popular contemporary artist in Austria, Gustav Klimt, are displayed in the museum.
Much more than just Baroque architecture
Austria may evoke images of Baroque churches, Habsburg palaces such as Schloss Schönbrunn and great achievements of the Gothic-like the Stephansdom, but this country is much more than pomp and palaces. In many cities, a refreshing breath of modern architecture has made it possible to perfectly match the contemporary and the historical. Some of the most striking icons in Austria are new buildings, such as the Vienna Museums Quartier in the renovated imperial stables, the huge Rubik’s cube of the Ars Electronica in Linz or the science fiction building of the Kunsthaus Graz.
The immense cultural heritage of the Habsburgs can still be felt throughout whole Austria, either by watching a show of Lipizzaner horses at the Spanish Riding School or crossing the Hofburg to see the masterpieces by Rubens at the Kunsthistorisches Museum. The classical music of great geniuses like Mozart, Strauss, Mahler, Haydn, and Schubert continues to resonate in lavish auditoriums, while music festivals such as the Salzburg Festival or the Bregenzer Festspiele are held in beautiful surroundings with lakes and mountains as a backdrop.
Food of local flavor
Beyond Viennese schnitzels and dumplings, Austrian cuisine has evolved a lot but remains true to its philosophy of carefully selected local ingredients. Vegan, organic, wild ingredients and Slow Food are much more than just fashionable concepts. Whether it’s a farmers’ market, a retro-style delicatessen, a modern brunch venue or a Michelin-starred restaurant, love for the land is always present. In Austria they like seasonal food and local flavor.
Explore the city of music
Salzburg is Austria’s city of music. It’s a 3-hour train ride from the city of Vienna. It is also the second biggest city in Austria and essential cultural center in Europe. The Old Town of Salzburg is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is popular for being the birth place of Mozart. In terms of classical music, it’s the most important city and many people come to this place to know more about Mozart.
You can take a train or bus from Salzburg to reach Hallstat. It is a small alpine village and one of the picturesque towns you will ever see. The village is surrounded with a lake and you will see 16th century alpine houses that line the lakeshore. It is also the most photographed and oldest village in Austria. Other than the scenery, its Catholic church has Gothic style and can be found at the center of the town. You can spend time walking around the town and taking some photos.
See the Austria’s Heart of Alpine
The capitol of alpine Tyrol region is Innsbruck and it’s also the best destination for those who are interested with winter sports. It’s only about two hours away from Salzburg if you take a train. Many famous ski resorts in Austria are near the Innsbruck and it has already hosted 2 Paralympics and 2 Winter Olympics years ago. Surrounded by mountains, the city has an interesting culture that you don’t want to miss.
Deep Rivers and High Mountains
In Austria, the destination is the journey itself, such as a winding journey through deep alpine valleys on trains that cling precariously to steep slopes passing through glaciers and flowery meadows. These landscapes will make the traveler want to ride a bicycle or tying hiking boots to reach magnificent and remote corners. In winter the slopes are filled with skiers and snowboarders, while in summer the rivers and glacial lakes become a paradise for whitewater rafting and canyoning: it is der Berg ruft or the call of the mountain.
So why visit Austria?
Austria seems small on the map, but much of the country is vertical, so there is always some remote village, winding road or fabulous alpine panorama to discover. As a hiker, nothing makes me happier than looking out over a 2000 m cliff on a Tyrol or Salzburg trail to see the wildflowers in spring or the Alpenglühen, that fabulous twilight glow that tints the limestone peaks. And then there are the fantastic cafés and the fabulous art of Vienna, the romantic Wachau dotted with vines, the crystal clear lakes of Salzkammergut and the medieval villages of Carinthia, not forgetting the castles, abbeys and great cakes that are present everywhere.
All in all, Austria is a must visit country in Europe. With its picturesque towns, tourist infrastructures, and beautiful mountains, it is one of the best destinations for those who are interested in outdoors, art, classical music, and history. Who would not love this?