12 Best Places to Visit in Austria

Martina Rosado
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Bad Gastein

Locals claim that the town of Bad Gastein has no visible advertisements, but rather advertisements that are visible. This little Alpine town has so many outdoor attractions that you can always find a way to kill some time. One of the best ways to kill time is to visit the Gastein Thermal Baths.

The baths are in pristine condition, which can only mean they haven’t seen much use recently. Throughout history, this place has served as a place of healing for people who could afford it. Of course, public bathing was always available if one would rather save a few euros. There are also recreational opportunities here such as the nearby Loiperschlad ski jump, a hotel with a spa, and a restaurant for hanging out. Even nature lovers can enjoy the small museum about the local flora and fauna.

Fun Facts About Bad Gastein:

The town was named such because it’s located at the bottom of “good” valleys.

It’s supposedly the name of a shepherd and his sheep that wandered into the valley and didn’t return, in which case, the name Gastein probably comes from a combination of “good” and “shepherd.”

Worthersee

This is a lake in Carinthia, Austria. It is a former glacial lake that was dammed in the 15th century and became a man-made lake. It is now referred to as one of Austria's most beautiful and most popular lakes.

The lake is surrounded by a plateau that is about 1,500 m above sea level. The lake is 770 m long, up to 2 m deep and has a surface area of 3.5 sq. miles.

The lake is surrounded by 13 villages. The villages that surround the lake include “Untertagelsdorf, Vogau, St. Georgen, St. Gilgen, St. Jakob in Judenburg, St. Martin, St. Martin im Rosental, Unken, Talfeisens, St. Michael in Hard, Neustift, St. Veit an der Glan and Glanzenberg.

The village of St. Jakob in Judenburg, which is located on the southeast shore of the lake with a ferry landing, has the largest population of any village on the lake.

The most visited and most photographed portion of the lake is in the southwest corner. The village to the north of that area is St. Veit an der Glan and the village to the south is St. Michael in Hard.

Graz

Austria.

Austria is one of the few countries on the continent that has managed to preserve its traditions, culture, and architecture. These have been showcased over the years through many museums, galleries, and structures. It is known to have the oldest municipal library in Europe, which was founded in 1404.

Graz too has a rich history. It is known to be the birthplace of a prominent philanthropist, who established an endowed synod and a worldwide charity organization that caters to the needy. The city also witnessed the work of a famous painter, for whom the local art museum is named.

Graz is the perfect place for a family vacation. There are many attractions in the area that are going to make the trip much more enjoyable. The country’s administrative capital has its own museum. It demonstrates the history of the country, its collection of art and the nation’s infrastructure. The Graz city museum is known to boast of a large number of archaeological finds. Some artifacts are going to be displayed from the prehistoric times. The ancient cities in Austria can be viewed through various portrait paintings.

Zillertal Alps

Zillertal is the highest valley in Austria. Its valleys run parallel to Austria's highest peak, the Zillertaler Hausberge. The mountains are very diverse with numerous glacial valleys filled with natural beauty. The unique natural landscape together with the long history and cultural tradition has created a unique atmosphere in Zillertal.

Zillertal's ski areas are some of most attractive in Austria. They include the Zillertal Arena for skiing and snowboarding, the Zillertal Ski Arena with numerous ski runs. The area for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing is well equipped with different itineraries to suit nearly every age and level.

Zillertal's Alpine Wonderland provides one hundred kilometers of bobsleigh trails, eight chair lifts and two downhill runs. The bobsleigh runs are for both children and adults and the entire family can enjoy the unforgettable ride through the picturesque landscape of the valley.

The Zillertal Belvedere (Zillertaler Kabinett) offers a magnificent view of the valley. The whole family can have a picnic or just relax and enjoy the view.

Grossglockner Alpine Road

The Grossglockner Alpine Road is a legendary road in Austria, situated in the Alps on the border between Austria and Italy. At almost 57 km (36 mi) long, it is among the more typical long Alpine roads.<br /><br />The Grossglockner Alpine Road is situated at a height of 2,210 m (7,194 ft) on the southern side of the Grossglockner mountain (maximum elevation of 3,798 m (12,530 ft)).

The road is often closed from February to June due to bad weather conditions, and no traffic is allowed on the road during snowfall. You should also be aware that this road leads over high mountain passes with steep sections, many hairpin bends and heavy traffic.

Travelers should also note that the road often has numerous corners and curves, as well as several bridges and tunnels, often with sharp bends.

To entertain yourself, you can stop at one of four lookout points along the Grossglockner Alpine Road.<br /><br />The high mountain road is only one of two Alpine roads that connect Hochburg (Austria) and Bormio (Italy).

St Anton am Arlberg

The area of St Anton is located on the state border between Austria and Switzerland. With its charm and unique architecture in the hills above the center, Arlberg life only cocoons you in calm and peacefulness.

What to see:

Want to experience the old town of St Anton in a warm spring day? Then start and end your visit at Arlberg Speckenjoch station -one of the highest gondola cable cars in the world. On a clear day you can enjoy a great view from above.

But you'd better go the other way round with one of the beers at the Hotel "Maria" in the centre of the village. It's a very nice house with a relaxed gourmet, a glass garden and much to admire.

The two mountains Axams Gabel and the Pilatus have a shared cultural history. During the Pilatusball, people come together to celebrate the "Arlberger Kogel" … a traditional folk dance of the region.

Wachau

A region that is known for it’s wine vineyards, many of the regions restaurants have wine tasting accompanied by traditional Austrian cheese and meats.

Zell am See

Many trips to Austria will start or end at Zell am See. The beautiful town located in the Austrian Alps will welcome you with its dream-like views. Take some time to visit the Great St. Nicholas Church, one of the oldest churches in Europe and for the view from Mariazeller to Matthias Church, it’s worth the steep hike.

Innsbruck

Salzkammergut

As far as the best places to visit in Austria go, this region really can’t be beaten. It’s broken up into three districts (Dachstein West, Salzkammergut and Mondsee) and is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the entire country.

From the awe-inspiring rocky peaks that make up the Dachstein Mountains that cast a beautiful shade over the area (particularly Mondsee), to the star-shaped hilltops that stretch across Salzkammergut, the region just constantly delivers the goods with some truly breathtaking views.

The impressive lakes that you’ll be able to combine with the hiking trails that run across the area make it the perfect destination for those seeking some incredible relaxation.

Those seeking more adventure can take a trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Lake Neusiedl and the Brixental Alps. For those looking for a place to experience skiing, this region also provides plenty of opportunities for doing so.

Salzburg

As much as I love Vienna, Salzburg is where I am going to spend my first full day in Austria. I plan to take a train from the center of Vienna to the southern entrance of the country.

The city of Salzburg sits in the north of the country, right at the border with Austria. Salzburg is a blend of your average city with modern architecture and well preserved buildings, and a picturesque romantic setting that pairs perfectly with Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” opera.

The fact that it is located at the border couldn’t be more perfect, because its architecture will send tourists out into the country with only their backpacks for at least a few hours.

Once you get to Salzburg, you’ll see that it’s a historic city full of the ghosts of its past, whether you like it or not. If you’re not into ghost stories, you can still have a great day visiting museums and galleries that are packed year-round.

Vienna

Map of Austria

Austria is a wonderland of natural beauty. Whether you enjoy the solitude of hiking the trails of a historic castle or sitting by a lake as the sun sets, Austria offers a taste of life’s simple pleasures.

Austria is located in the heart of Western Europe and shares borders with Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, France, and the Czech Republic. Its capital city is Vienna.

Over 13.1 million people live in Austria today; the number is so high because the country’s population is one of the highest in Europe. In 2015, the population was estimated at over 1.8 million people, and the average life expectancy was 81 years of age. More people move to Austria than any other European country.

The natural beauty in Austria is widespread and includes a UNESCO World Heritage Site, scenic lake towns, ghost towns, and even the Styrian Alps. You can also enjoy the outdoors here in Austria by hitting up the numerous mountain and thermal parks around the country.

Austria is located in the heart of Western Europe and shares borders with Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, France, and the Czech Republic. Its capital city is Vienna.