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Things to do in Austria

Things to do in  Austria

Welcome to Austria

Often known for the art it inspired, Austria mixes quaint Alpine charm with abundant opportunities for arts and culture, set against a sweeping Sound of Music landscape. The capital, Vienna, beckons with its rich musical history, plentiful cafes, and emphasis on the arts. A walking tour through the city reveals a mix of architectural styles, from Gothic and Renaissance to art nouveau, which serve as testament to Vienna's ability to seamlessly blend old and new and St. Stephen's Cathedral, with its fairy-tale appearance, is a particular must-see. In the city center, join the ranks of artists and thinkers such as Beethoven, Sigmund Freud, and Gustaf Klimt by tucking into apfelstrudel and sipping a famously thick hot chocolate at one of Vienna's many cafés. If you've got music on the brain, a nighttime visit to the Schonbrunn Palace or the State Opera House will only highlight the immortality of classical tunes. Further afield, its from Salzburg—the picturesque birthplace of Mozart, with its river cruises and fortresses—that the mountain landscape of Bavaria unfurls. Many tours take travelers through the valley for visits to salt mines, wine tastings, and bicycling; and getting back to nature is a year-round option, with ski opportunities in the winter and hikes in the summer. Alternatively, soak up one of the world's happiest destinations in comfort during a train trip through the country to see the imposing Austrian Alps, deep lakes, and idyllic villages.

Top 10 attractions in Austria

#1
Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn)

Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn)

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Built to rival the opulence of Versailles, Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn) was once a summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs. Today, this baroque palace is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historic monuments in Austria.More
#2
Kunsthaus Graz Art Museum (Kunsthaus Graz)

Kunsthaus Graz Art Museum (Kunsthaus Graz)

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Notable for its blob-like architecture, the Kunsthaus Graz Art Museum (or just Kunsthaus Graz) was built as part of the city’s 2003 celebrations as the European Capital of Culture. The museum was constructed as part of the 19th century Iron House building, one of the first cast iron buildings in Europe. The famous exterior is comprised of nearly 1300 iridescent blue acrylic panels with almost a thousand 40-watt lightbulbs, creating a massive screen in the middle of the city. Known to some locals as the Friendly Alien, the museum covers 27,000 square feet and specializes in contemporary art, design, new media, film and photography. It regularly hosts events and exhibitions that highlight worldwide trends in art.More
#3
Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus)

Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus)

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Just an hour’s drive outside of Salzburg lies the alpine town of Berchtesgaden and the historic Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus), Adolf Hitler’s mountaintop chalet and the former southern headquarters of the Nazi party. Perched atop Mt. Kehlstein, Eagle’s Nest offers a dark history and panoramic views of Germany’s Bavarian Alps.More
#4
Hofburg Imperial Palace (Hofburg Wien)

Hofburg Imperial Palace (Hofburg Wien)

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Formerly the winter residence of the Austrian royal family, the Hofburg Imperial Palace (Hofburg Wien) is now a lasting tribute to the glory of the Habsburg Empire. It’s one of Vienna’s most magnificent baroque palaces, located within Vienna’s UNESCO-listed historic center. Visitors to the Hofburg can explore the Imperial Apartments, visit the Sisi Museum and the Silver Collection, or watch a performance at the world-famous Spanish Riding School.More
#5
Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl)

Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl)

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Amid the brightly painted buildings and historic monuments of Innsbruck’s Old Town, one landmark shines brighter than all the others. Standing proud over Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse, the Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl) is the dramatic focal point of the 15th-century New Court (Neuhof) building and glitters with 2,657 gilded copper tiles.More
#6
Graz Main Square (Hauptplatz)

Graz Main Square (Hauptplatz)

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Back in the Middle Ages, the city of Graz was a center of commerce and trade in Central Europe and its main square – the Hauptplaz – was home to dozens of traders, hosting weekly markets. The size of the trapezoidal shaped square was cut in half by the addition of the town hall in the 16th century. Today, the town hall dominates the southern part of the square while other notable buildings include the 17th century Luegg House with an impressive stucco façade, the five-story White House with a sandstone relief of the Virgin Mary, the 16th century Eagle Pharmacy and the 14th century Palais Sturgkh. A fountain and statue of Archduke Johann was added in 1878 and today the stalls surrounding the fountain are a throwback to the square’s medieval origins. In 2002, the square was redesigned to add a large open area in front of the town hall that is used for events throughout the year.More
#7
Mirabell Palace and Gardens (Schloss Mirabell und Mirabellgarten)

Mirabell Palace and Gardens (Schloss Mirabell und Mirabellgarten)

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Part of Salzburg’s UNESCO World Heritage–listed historic center, Mirabell Palace (Schloss Mirabell) enjoys a rich royal history, as well as a place in movie legend: it was one of the filming sites forThe Sound of Music. Built by Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich in 1606, the palace is most famous for its magnificent baroque gardens.More
#8
Graz Schlossberg

Graz Schlossberg

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The Graz Schlossberg is a public park on a hill in the center of the city of Graz that has been home to fortifications as far back as the 10th century. A fortress stood on the hill from the middle of the 16th century to the 19th century, with only the clock tower and bell tower spared by an invading Napoleon. The remains of the castle became a public park in 1839 including the two towers, a cistern and a couple bastions from the destroyed castle.A great walking tour of the Schlossberg starts at the bottom of the hill at Schlossbergplatz, from where visitors can take the 19th century Schlossbergbahn funicular or the newer Schlossberg lift to reach the top of the hill. Once at the top, check out the bell tower, climb to the top of the clock tower for scenic views of the Old Town and relax at one of the several cafes. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to catch a concert in what was once the cellar of one of the old bastions. Head back down to the Schlossbergplatz via one of several footpaths or staircases and then check out the extensive system of tunnels underneath the Schlossberg that was created during World War II.More
#9
St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom)

St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom)

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With its dark Gothic spires, intricately tiled roof, and imposing bell tower, St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom) is one of Vienna’s star attractions. Centrally located on Stephansplatz square in the city’s UNESCO-listed historic center, the cathedral is architecturally stunning both inside and out. It’s also a site of great historical significance—Emperor Friedrich III and numerous other Habsburg dignitaries were buried here.More
#10
St. Gilgen (Sankt Gilgen)

St. Gilgen (Sankt Gilgen)

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Much of the Lake District landscape around St. Gilgen (Sankt Gilgen) found its way into the opening shots of The Sound of Music, and the village center itself is chocolate-box perfection, where wooden chalets with steeply pitched roofs stand side by side with softly colored baroque townhouses overlooking Wolfgangsee lake.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Austria

Hallstatt Day Trip from Vienna

Hallstatt Day Trip from Vienna

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Recent reviews from experiences in Austria

star-5
A Perfect Experience
Alex, Jun 2021
Daily Hofburg Palace & Sisi Museum Skip-the-line Guided Tour
It is for sure a most to visit during any trip to Vienna.
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Fantastic immersion into Austrian culture
MichaelaV, May 2021
Virtual Classical Music Tour of Vienna
Thank you for an amazing immersion into Austrian culture, I look for other virtual tours you might do & I can't wait to visit your lovely city on the Danube in person!
star-5
Fun day to see the Salzburg sites & countryside
227gogirl, Dec 2019
The Original Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg
Enjoyed this tour to see popular Sound of Music movie sites.
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Impressive views
Kylie0001, Sep 2019
Hallstatt Day Trip from Vienna
Great way to see the countryside of Austria and the lakeside towns.
star-5
The perfect trip!!!
Trip35059228466, Jun 2019
The Original Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg
You also get to see quite a lot of Austria’s countryside whilst having fun 👍
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Great tour, but very bad tour guide
OnAir35034583065, May 2019
Alpine Panoramic Hallstatt Day Trip Tour from Vienna incl. Admont Abbey Visit
Sadly the tour guide we had was terrible, bad English, not very organised, didn’t inform the group very well, she got several facts wrong when telling us about Austria.
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Excellent Trip
Wisemom5, Apr 2019
Hallstatt Day Trip from Vienna
Totally recommend to those wanting to see another side of Austria
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The Best!
Venture817462, Mar 2019
Hallstatt Small-Group Day Trip from Vienna
It was a small group tour, our tour guide Balazs was great he stopped at many small villages for us to see along the way to Hallstatt.
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Quick escapade to scenic land
MichelleT4770, Oct 2018
Hallstatt Half-Day Tour from Salzburg
If you have limited days in Austria, but would love to visit Hallstat, this is the tour to go to.
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Excellent summary of Austrian...
Rose H, Jul 2017
Historical Hitler Walking Tour of Vienna
Moving to see the one synagogue not torched in 1938 and to learn the reason why.
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Walter our guide was so knowledgable...
Ruth S, Nov 2017
Vienna Private Evening Walking Tour
Walter our guide was so knowledgable with perfect English, waiting for us on time iat our hotel.
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Great way to see this expansive...
karmenwellington84, Sep 2017
Vienna Hop On Hop Off City Tour
Great way to see this expansive city.
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This is a great trip to see Austrian...
alohadakona, Sep 2017
Austrian Lakes and Mountains Half-Day Tour from Salzburg
This is a great trip to see Austrian lakes and mountains.
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Thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Our...
karmenwellington84, Sep 2017
Wachau Valley Small-Group Tour and Wine Tasting from Vienna
So nice to visit wine country in Austria, we learnt so much during the day.
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An amazing tour....Hallstatt has...
ericadebattista, Jul 2017
Private Tour of Melk Hallstatt and Salzburg from Vienna
Should be on everyone 's bucket list and things to do in Austria.
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Vienna is an awesome city with a lot...
Misha C, Jul 2016
Wachau Valley Wine Tasting Bike Tour from Vienna
Vienna is an awesome city with a lot to see -but if you really want a cool Austrian experience I would absolutely do this tour.
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The guide Marco Muzzi was fantastic...
Krister L, Jul 2016
Wachau Valley Small-Group Tour and Wine Tasting from Vienna
The trip was perfectly timed with good activities.
star-5
What a fun and perfect way to see a...
Christy B, Jul 2016
Wachau Valley Wine Tasting Bike Tour from Vienna
What a fun and perfect way to see a bit of the Austrian wine country.
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Loved this tour! Very few tourists...
Judith B B, Jan 2016
Melk Abbey and Danube Valley Day Trip from Vienna
Perfect way to see the Austrian countryside.
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We had a small hiccup at the...
dimesh, Jun 2015
Vienna City Bike Tour
He was English, married an Austrian.
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