Travel Austria - Pretty Places to Visit

Austria's beautiful landscapes that can be seen covering a relatively small number of kilometres make it ideal for a road trip. Austria is a small country in size with only about 8.9 million citizens. If you want to experience towering mountains, lush valleys or colourful towns, Austria has it all. You can easily turn this into a two to three week long road trip.

Make your way to the country in heart of Europe. Here are a few of Austria's best sights to see on a road trip across the country. Before you jump into a car, make sure you bring the right music. There is pretty much only one type of music you want to listen to on a road trip through Austria.

Travel Austria - Pretty Places to Visit. The Touristin

Travel Austria - Pretty Places to Visit

Please note: It might be that places or to-dos in this article are currently closed due to Covid-19. Check the latest news before you travel. If you travel to Austria, please follow local news for updates regarding regulations controlling the virus. Keep in mind to get vaccinated, to wash your hands frequently, and to keep a distance of 1.5 metres, wear a face cover. Austria makes vaccination against Covid-19 compulsory as early as February 2022. Please check the website of the Austrian government for detailed information.

When you drive through Austria you would want to listen to one of Austria’s most famous artists. No, not Mozart, I am talking about Falco. Listen to his music, learn about Austria and the German language at the same time. 

This. Falco.

Der Komissar

Vienna Calling.

Junge Römer

Ganz Wien.

Egoist

Out of the Dark.

Linz - The Creative One

Linz in Upper Austria has winding lanes lined with pastel-coloured baroque buildings. And, there is of course cake. Linz is the place where the recipe for the most famous of cakes was born. You get to eat the delicious Linzer Torte at many patisseries and cafés in town. Try them at Patisserie Jindrak or also at Café Traxlmayer. So far so Austria. Still, Linz is unlike other places in Austria. Visit the Ars Electronica Centre or the Mural Harbor and the main square plus the old town. You will soon get an idea of the variety this town offers and see how past and future live joyfully together. Linz is a member of the UNESCO Creative City Network for “… making impressive strides as a trailblazer and international hotbed of media arts and digital competence.”

Cobbled lane lined with pastel-coloured houses under a soft blue cloudy sky.

 Info: 4020 Linz, Austria.

Salzburg - A town with a view

The ideal place to visit, to eat cake and for a quite magnificent view over one of Austria’s most famous towns. Visit Mozart’s home. Walk all the way through town and up the path to the Hohensalzburg. The fortress is the largest completely saved castle in Central Europe. It sits on top of a mountain overlooking the roofs of the baroque old town. After the climb, you have to eat more cake. You are in Salzburg after all - Café Bazar is a simply great place.


Info: 5020 Salzburg.

Innsbruck - there is nature everywhere

Innsbruck, at an elevation of 574 metres, and with about 131,000 residents is the provincial capital of Tyrol. You are always close to nature, more to the point, you are always close to breathtakingly beautiful nature.

Emperor Maximilian I showed strong vision with introducing fire- and building regulations. He saved the town from possible fire disasters. As a result, Innsbruck’s old town looks as picture-perfect and colourful as it was back in the 16th century. To pay the Emporer your respect, visit the Hofkirche. Admire its elaborate architecture and 28 larger than life bronze figures that guard his tomb. The tomb is empty though.  Emperor Maximilian I is buried in Vienna. Many monuments planned by him remained unfinished. Same with his grave. His travels and lifestyle lead to a lack of money and prevented completion. Who are we to judge? Travel, who wouldn't spend too much on it?

Devour regional Tyrolian delicacies. Climb the city tower. Stroll through the old town. Meander along the river Inn and find the typical colourful houses of the Mariahilf neighbourhood.

A row of colourful period houses along a river in front of a snow capped mountain range under a blue sky.

Info: 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Nordkette – Austria’s largest nature park

It is always a good time to spend time in the mountains (if weather permits). From most spots in Innsbruck, one can see the grey crowns of the Nordkette. Visit Austria’s largest nature park, the Karwendel. It is only a few minutes from Innsbruck until you are in the alpine paradise. From up here, you are going to have the most amazing view over the Alps, and over the whole of Innsbruck.

Mountain scenery under a blue sky.

Info: 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Seebensee – Dip your Toes in

Make your way to Ehrwald in Tyrol, a village at the foot of the 2,962 metres high Zugspitze. Hike through lush meadows, green valleys, along clear creeks, up unpaved hills until reach one of the most beautiful mountain lakes: the Seebensee. Given its position, the lake won’t be warmer than 12 degrees Celsius. Sounds icy, in summer, this is nonetheless ideal for dipping your toes in after hiking the few hours up here. Simply follow the signposted trail from the valley.

 

Large clear green-blue mountain lake surrounded by mountain peaks, under a blue sky dotted with a few thin clouds..

Seebesee, 6632 Ehrwald, Austria.

Kühtai – The Sellrain Valley

The village, in the municipality of Silz, is located right in the heart of the Stubai Alps in the magnificent Sellrain valley. Kühtai, at an elevation over 2,000 meters, has only ten permanent inhabitants and is one of the smallest villages in the whole of Tyrol and the highest located ski resort in Austria. As far back as 1288, there was a cow alpine pasture, and that is where the village probably got its name from. The idea to design a holiday resort already came up centuries ago. In the 17th century, an old farmhouse was transformed into a hunting lodge and, in later the 19th century, into a hotel.

Kühtai's mountain climate is heaven for allergy sufferers and asthmatics. Pure mountain air, long summer days and the view over the alpine scenery, that is everything one needs to be thoroughly content. Read more about it here: Travel Austria. Day trip Innsbruck: Hiking to gorgeous lakes in Kühtai

Clear blue-green mountain lake surrounded by mountain peaks and meadows dotted with pink spring flowers under a blue sky..

Sankt Wolfgang and Lake Wolfgang

Lake Wolfgang in the Salzkammergut region is surrounded by forests, meadows and mountains. Period country houses, stylish Art Nouveau villas and plain wooden cottages stand next to each other in the cute villages and towns around the lake. You will find lots of cafés and restaurants offering local delicacies and in many cases a killer view over the lake. There is a circular hiking trail all around Lake Wolfgang that is about 23 kilometres far. You can also travel by ferry. Bring enough time to visit the heritage listed Pilgrimage Churchthat sits right by the lake (Markt 18) and to go for a ride with the Schafbergbahn, the steepest cogwheel railway in Austria. Make sure to buy homemade jam and gingerbread from one of the many artisan shops. Locally made products make perfect souvenirs.

A deep blue lake lined by mountains and a village with a white church on the lake's shore.

Info: 5360 St Wolfgang, Austria.

Traunkirchen – Nineteenth Century Oil Painting

One of the cutest little places in the Salzkammergut region is the village Traunkirchen. It sits right on lake Traunstein. The background of the Traunstein mountain could not be more impressive or better-looking. On a stroll through the village with its century-old farmer's cottages and traditional keelless box-shaped wooden boats, you feel like being a character in a 19th-century oil painting. Many beaches on lake Traunstein are only to be reached by boat. Thanks to the traditional boat's raised pointed bow, you can bring it to shore at any imaginable point on the lake. This helps if you want to arrive without getting your feet wet.

 

A dark brown wooden cabin and a white chapel on top of a mountain all mirrored in a blue-green lake at its bottom.

Info: 4801 Traunkirchen, Austria.

Ort Castle in Gmunden –Mermaid Blondie and Giant Erla

Find yourself on the edge of the northern Eastern Alps. Ort Castle, named after knights who used to live here, was first officially mentioned in 909. Originally the castle was a moated castle. It burned to the ground in 1626 and was rebuilt. That is what is documented, the other story is so much better. Legend has it that the giant Erla built this castle for the love of his life, the mermaid Blondie. After she died, he chiselled her face into the mountains - into the so-called Erlakogel, a 1,575 metres high mountain on lake Traunstein. As you stroll over the bridge that leads the way to the castle you will be surprised to know that Lake Traunstein, with its 191 metres is the deepest lake in Austria.

 

A wooden pier leads to a white castle with a black tiled roof in the middle of a lake under a blue sky.

Info: Schloss Ort. Ort 1, 4810 Gmunden, Austria.

Vienna - is Calling

It is the capital – so just go. It is especially beautiful during the festive season. Read about the Christmas Market here. When you have seen all of Vienna, you can easily visit Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. Read more about it here: Travel Slovakia. BratislavaGuide for First Time Visitors


What you need to know to travel to Austria

Visa requirements for Austria

You can apply for the Austria Schengen Visa, as a Member State of the EU Austria is a member state of the Schengen Area. Visitors from the Schengen countries do not need a passport or visa, only a valid an ID-card or passport. Visit this website to see whether you need a visa to visit Austria.

How to get to Austria

You can reach Innsbruck, Vienna, or Salzburg directly by plane and/or train from most capital cities in Europe. Taxis are metered.

Wi-fi in Austria

Wi-Fi is available in most cafés and restaurants and hotels.

Best time to visit Austria

Austria is a year-round travel destination. Spring and summer are warm and ideal for hiking. In winter, it is all about skiing and having fun in the snow.

Austria – Currency and how to pay

Austria is a member of the European Union. The official currency in Austria is the Euro. Exchange money on arrival at the airport, or get some cash at an ATM. You can pay in cash still almost everywhere in town. Credit cards are widely accepted.

What to read on a trip through Austria? The World of Yesterday: Memories of a European by Austrian writer Stefan Zweig. Do you like to read to travel? Join the Verbatim Journey Twitter Chat.

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Please note: Check the latest news before you travel. If you travel to/through Europe, please follow local news for updates regarding regulations controlling the virus.

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