Austria Travel Guide


Austria Holidays – Tours & Adventure Travel Guide

PureTravel Says
“The capital city of Austria, Vienna is a very popular destination and actually the entire country offers so much for the traveler to see and do, it’s often hard to make enough time to see and do it all. Austria has a rich history and culture which infuses the cities, towns and villages. There’s plenty to do outdoors in any season such as skiing the Austrian Alps. From trekking through the alpine forests of Hohe Tauern National Park to touring the winter palace, Hofburg, there is never a lack of impressive scenery from the amazing peaks and stunning cathedrals.”

Austria Holiday Highlights

History & Culture – Castles and palaces, historic sites and world-famous art; you will see it all in Austria. The throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire used to be located in Vienna at the Hofburg palace. From the president of Austria’s offices to the Vienna Boy’s Choir, you will find a wealth of culture within those walls. Tour Mozart's Geburtshaus in Salzburg to see where he was born. The options are limitless in Austria.

Sightseeing – There are rivers to cruise, lakes to enjoy and never-ending vistas of beautiful peaks and valleys. Austria is a land of pleasure for anyone on a sightseeing holiday. Visit the crystal lakes of Traunsee or Wolfgangsee. Investigate a wine cellar in Retz, or take Grossglockner Road and navigate the hairpin curves whilst surrounded by the incredible views.

Walking & Trekking – Austria is perfect for walking and trekking with so many rugged mountain trails and paths. Explore the forests and alpine pastures. The Zillertal Valley has some great winding paths and you’ll find quaint little Austrian villages backed by snow-covered peaks.

Cycling – There can’t be much that’s more rewarding than riding through Austria on your bicycle. Travel the river paths such as along the Danube for non-challenging paths or take some incredible scenic rides through the Alps. From Krimml to Vienna, you will find the cycling in this country fascinating.

Water Sports – Although there is no seacoast in Austria, you can find some fascinating water sports. Sail in the Salzkammergut Lake District or swim in Lake Constance and go kayaking on Steyr River.

Fishing – Fly fishing in Austria will give you the opportunity to get that catch you’ve always dreamed of. Fish for trout in Kaprun, or sturgeon in Haid. Even on the Danube you can find a unique catch. There are well-stocked mountain streams to try whilst enjoying the panoramic views.

Skiing – Thousands come to Austria for the skiing and once you arrive, you’ll see why. You will have your pick of slopes, from Tyrol to Vorarlberg. The skiing is wonderful and exciting, even for the most experienced. Visit Seefeld where events were held for a number of Winter Olympics, and many other resorts throughout Austria.

When To Go

The summers are pleasant with cool nights and the winters are usually sunny with plenty of snow. For sightseeing and fishing, the summer is ideal. Winter sports are popular here whenever the snow is deep, in the middle of winter.

Top Tips

  • You should always say Guten Tag or Grüss Gott when entering a shop or restaurant. Also say Auf Wiedersehen when you are departing.
  • Austrians are quite formal so do not use first names when introduced.
  • A number of European rail passes with unlimited travel in Europe are valid in Austria.

Austria Holidays In Focus

History and Culture
Visit the summer residence of the powerful family who ruled parts of Europe, the Schönbrunn Palace in the beautiful city of Vienna. Modeled after the French Versailles, the architect surpassed its size to create this palace of over 1,400 rooms. For more of Austria’s culture, you can visit the Schloss Esterházy in Eisenstadt to find a place that holds an inner courtyard designed by an Italian architect, Carlone. Don’t miss the marvelous cathedrals, Domkirche St. Stephan with its 450 foot steeple, or the Melk Abbey in Melk, sitting above the Danube. In Salzburg visit the old house where Mozart was born, the Geburtshaus, and see his first viola and even a lock of his hair. Check out the Tyrolean artifacts at the Tiroler Volkskunst-Museum in Innsbrück.

Sightseeing
Nothing can compare to a wonderful cruise down the “blue” Danube, the highlight of an Austrian holiday. Spend a day viewing the famous sights like Melk and Krems. Another must-see is a visit to the famous Hofburg in Vienna. You will find the famous Lipizzaner stallions there, performing to classical music in finely executed moves. Travel to Piber where these horses are trained and cared for. They call it driving on top of the world when you travel the Grossglockner Road, winding on a most scenic alpine highway, far up into the mountains. Take a cable car ride from Hungerburg up the mountain for unbelievable views of Innsbrück and the surrounding countryside.

Walking and Trekking
After the snow has gone, the trails and paths are open for you to enjoy the spectacular landscapes of the Austrian backcountry. You can trek the gentle pastures of the Vorarlberg or take the more demanding hikes through the Hohe Tauern National Park. Try the footpaths through the Zillertal Alps in Tyrol for some great views, and you can use lifts to get to the higher elevations. The different areas of the Alps have forests and green hills and then glaciers and craggy rocks. There’s a whole world of opportunity for the eager trekker.

Cycling
The cycle paths in Austria are called radwegs and take wonderful routes through Austria, along rivers and up into the Alps. The Tauern Radweg does go into the mountains and the climbs are great. A scenic ride on the Donau Radweg, along the beautiful Danube travelling from Passau to Vienna. You can stop in wonderful villages like Dürnstein as you bike from Vienna to Naarn. Enjoy the latticed vineyard views, and don’t forget your camera to capture this inspiring land, passing castles and medieval towns. Rent your bike from a train or ferry station and get on the move to discover Austria.

Water Sports
Austria has some lovely lakes to enjoy your favorite water sports. You can swim all year round in the many indoor pools available. Outside in the lovely summer weather try swimming in the warm waters of Carinthia, or between Land Salzburg and Upper Austria in the lake district of Salzkammergut. Kayaking will be possible in fast water rivers such as on the Ybbs River and in Salzburg province’s fast waters. You can slow down and take a canoe in calmer lowland rivers like the Inn or Mur.

Fishing
Austria is a paradise for anglers with streams and rivers to explore. Fish the lakes and admire the surrounding views and you may even make a catch you will consider unique and interesting. Try to catch one of the land-locked salmon, called a huch, in one of the tributaries of the Danube during late fall. Mountain streams will give up monster catfish, pike and char to the lucky fisherman. Drive an hour from Zell to get a great trophy catch on the river Lofer.

Skiing
Austria is ideal for year round skiing and a good place is the glacier at Tuxer Gletscher. The national sport in Austria is skiing and you will find some of the best slopes in Land Salzburg, Vorarlberg and Tyrol. Lower Austria also has slopes such as St. Anton and Arlberg is a village up high in the mountains and which has great snowfall. Expert and intermediate skiers come here from all over the world. Start at the base of the Arlberg Pass, then six miles to the west you’ll find St. Christoph for winter fun. Although the usual season here in Austria lasts from the end of November through to April, the Obertauern region extends its ski season until May. With so many ski resorts all over the country, there are five alone around Innsbrück, you’ll wish you could stay longer.

Classic Itineraries

  • Watch the nineteenth-century steam train weave through the lovely village of St Wolfgang in Salzkammergut.
  • Enjoy attending the opera in the Upper City at the world’s biggest floating stage, the St Martin's Tower.
  • See the landscaped park and the world's oldest zoo at Schloss Schönbrunn.
  • In Vienna visit the art at Mumok, art at Museums Quartier, walk along Gumpendorfer Strasse, visit Schloss and Schönbrunn and see the Gothic cathedral of Stephansdom.

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