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Best Places to Visit in Austria

Visitors as drawn to Austria as much for the scenic beauty of the Alpine region as they are for the splendid cities like the historic capital of Vienna and beautiful Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart. 

These are some of the best places to visit in Austria – some you’ve heard of and some you haven’t!

1. Vienna

The glorious imperial home of the old Habsburg dynasty that once reigned supreme over the heartlands of Central Europe, Vienna is a medley of majestic Baroque facades, elaborate palaces, and romantic parks.

In the center of town the mighty Hofburg spreads its grand and neoclassical wings around the manicured Heldenplatz, while the totemic institutions of the Museumsquartier stand nearby, bursting with works by Klimt, Picasso, and Warhol.

Then there’s the winding web of streets that forms the Vienna Innere Stadt (old town); home to vaulted cafes and art deco tea houses where the specters of Freud, Wittgenstein and Trotsky still lurk in the alcoves.

—> Read More: Top 10 Things To Do in Vienna, Austria

2. Salzburg

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Dreaming spires, green hills, and romantic gardens make up a city loved by millions of visitors from all over the world. Salzburg means “salt castle”, referring to its massive fortress and the white gold from the mountains in the south. It is the capital of a federal province of Austria with the same name.

The city′s magnificent Baroque town center is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site and can easily be explored by foot. 

A classic music festival, the city′s most famous son Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and the heart-warming musical “The Sound of Music” created the area′s fame and popularity with music enthusiasts.

salzburg austria

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3. Innsbruck9047094873_5b62114066_b

Centered on a gorgeous Old Town of Baroque palaces, Innsbruck is a sight to behold. Weaving between the cobbled lanes and old imperial palaces, visitors here can spy out sights like the Golden Roof and the grand whitewashed Hofburg.

Summer and winter activities abound, and it’s understandable why some visitors only take a peek at Innsbruck before heading for the hills. But to do so is a shame, for Innsbruck is an attraction itself. 

Its late-medieval old town, presided over by a grand Habsburg palace and baroque cathedral, and large mountain views make a spectacular combination of the urban and the outdoors.

The Guidester Difference: If you don’t have a lot of time here and are interested in historical sites, our travel experts recommend a walking tour to take in the best sites – which can be booked from your personal travel guide by Guidester.

4. Graz

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A glorious Old Town center and a lively student vibe make Graz one of Austria’s most fun-loving cities. The inner square fuses everything from Renaissance to Gothic to Slavic architectural styles between its cobbled streets and sea of red-tiled roofs.

The city is awash with fascinating historical sites, like the Schlossberg hill, complete with one curious clock tower, and the Styrian Armory, where a whopping 32,000 guns, swords, suits of armor, and more stand testimony to the city’s onetime place on the frontier between the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe.

5. The Grossglockner

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Grossglockner is the highest mountain in Austria and one of the most striking elevations in the Eastern Alps. The mountain is home to small villages, numerous animals, and rare plants. The famous mountain is cloaked in mystery and the stuff of legend.

Tip: The Grossglockner Road, at the foot of the mountain, was constructed between 1930 and 1935 and is one of the most magnificent mountain roads in Europe. Although its importance as a route through the Alps has declined, it’s still a splendid highway through one of Austria’s most outstanding attractions.

6. Wachau Valley


A UNESCO cultural heritage site, Wachau Valley is characterized by gently rolling hills, abundant vineyards, medieval villages, and the picturesque banks of the Danube.

The mild climate, influenced by the river valley, sunny wine slopes and the special geology mean that excellent wines are produced here. The Wachau also boasts a high density of restaurants and inns, where you can enjoy top quality regional cooking at reasonable prices and which promise a delicious balance of local ingredients and creative flair.

Perhaps the most picturesque and famous town in Wachau is Dürnstein, famed for its historical richness, including the captivating ruins of Dürnstein Castle where Richard the Lionheart was once imprisoned.

7. Zell am See

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Austria’s quintessential Alpine lake town, the spot has become a veritable outdoorsy paradise, drawing millions of adventure travelers each year. Here you will find some of Austria’s finest sailing, hiking, mountain biking, scenic driving, and skiing.

Since 1961, the city has been declared as a climatic health resort thanks to the excellent conditions that thrive here. Take a cable car to the glacier of Kaprun and the funicular down to the snow plateau.

8. Hallstatt

hallstatt austria

Dive into the enchantment of Hallstatt, Austria, where 16th-century Alpine charm meets the stunning backdrop of the Dachstein mountains. This UNESCO gem offers a magical mix of history with its ancient salt mines and picture-perfect views from a sky-high platform.

Hallstatt is a condensed wonderland that combines serene beauty with a dash of adventure, perfect for a snapshot-worthy journey into Europe’s heart.

If you’re struggling to narrow down what to see and do in each of these places, leave it to the experts to curate a personal travel guide just for you — complete with personal recommendations on what to see and do, local dining, getting around, cultural insights, and everything you need to make the most of your trip!

The Ultimate Pre-Travel Checklist

Download ‘10 Crucial Things To Do Before Traveling Abroad’ to avoid mistakes and ensure a smooth trip; adapters and electronics, packing tips, foreign currency, phone plans, and more!

Each trip is a unique experience. Guidester personalizes your adventure, guiding you to those breathtaking sites, authentic local eateries, and hidden gems!

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6 thoughts on “Best Places to Visit in Austria”

  1. Really thanks for sharing this useful post !! Austria is a nice place to visit for holidays and i will visit Austria in a short time with my family and definitely visit these places.

  2. I feel very relax after reading this post, no doubt that Austria have many beautiful places to visit, and may be the best deal for spending the holidays in Austria.

  3. Have planned to visit Austria during May 2021 ,that is if all goes well particularly in the context of covid.I have read so much about Hallstatt and St.Gilgen etc. Aren’t these in top seven?

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