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Top 8 Things to Do in Austria

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Salzach river and Fortress Hohensalzburg in Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria

In Austria, the exceptional number of things to do can lead you to the elegant wide-boulevards lined with trees, museum galleries filled with captivating masterpieces, or secluded villages tucked into the mountains. Culture emerges from world-class architecture, celebrated musical exhibitions, fairytale castles, and mouthwatering chocolates. The essential things to do in Austria are sophisticated and approachable with a surprising familiarity.

1. Discover the Opulence and Secrets of Austrian History

Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria

Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria

With centuries of incredible heritage, the culture of Austria seems to spill out from the mountains and flow from the valleys, with grand palaces, captivating music, and enchanting art. Culture reverberates through the cities and towns, the vineyards and riverbanks. The landscape acts as inspiration and backdrop for the exceptional collection of opulent galleries, grand music halls, and lively cafes that have influenced the traditions of greater Europe.

Best Places to Visit for Cultural History: Vienna Hofburg | Spanish Riding School | Salzburg Altstadt | Hofburg und Hofkirche Innsbruck | Melk Benedictine Abbey

Best Time to Visit: April | May | June | September | October

2. Bask in Austria’s Celebrated and Enticing Flavors

Sachertorte, classic Austrian chocolate cake layered with thin apricot jam

Viennese Sachertorte

While often overlooked, Austria is one of Europe’s true food capitals with flavors captured from the exceptional landscapes and gourmet aesthetics defined by centuries of opulent tradition. The culinary evolution of Austria is mouthwatering and irresistible, from the invention of croissants to the mastering of strudel, creating a zeitgeist around coffee to establishing the artisanry of chocolate. Locally sourced ingredients, elaborate customs, hearty stews, and delectable pastries exude the spirit of Austrian cuisine.

Best Places to Visit for Food: Salzburg | Graz | Vienna | Innsbruck | Tyrol

Best Time to Visit: May | June | October | December

3. Delight in Remarkable Wines

Vineyards along the Danube river in the Wachau wine region of Austria

Spitz, Austria

The wines of Austria are often overlooked and underestimated, but the tradition of vintners around the country has crafted some of the finest wines in Europe and shaped vineyard culture across the world. Pairing perfectly with traditional Austrian cuisine, the wines only add to the marvels the country already possesses, offering another piece of mastery easily connected to architecture, art, and music. Whether exploring a greater wine-producing location or visiting a micro-region, Austria captures exceptional flavors.

Best Wine Regions to Visit: Wachau | Kremstal | Kamptal | Traisental

Best Time to Visit: September | October

4. Find the Winding Routes of the Hills and Valleys

Cycling in the Austrian Alps

Cycling in the Austrian Alps

Cycling is a way to discover the scenic lakeside trails and epic rocky paths across Austria for a more immersive experience amid the captivating landscape. Whether as a way to reach secluded villages or another excursion into the untouched hills, cycling in Austria offers you access to the dynamic panoramas across the country. Take on a circular route, travel between cities, or climb a steep mountain pass as you uncover the pristine beauty spanning the breadth of Austria.

Best Places to Visit for Cycling: Hallstätter See | Jepzasattel | Innsbruck | Lake Traunsee | Wachau Valley

Best Time to Visit: May | June | July | October

5. Embrace the Winter Charms

Winter in alpine town of Kitzbühel, Austria

Kitzbühel, Austria

Austria is a wonderland of winter ambiance captured in the accessible thrills of winter sports. With resorts and centers exuding Old World charm in the form of chic alpine villages and cozy getaways, you can embrace the snowcovered peaks whether as an expert skier or on a family snowboarding excursion. Even outside of winter, Austria has access to year-round winter sports with glaciers offering icy surfaces on which you can always ski, snowboard, sled, or icewalk.

Best Places to Visit for Winter Sports: St. Anton am Arlberg | Kitzbühel | Mayrhofen | Sölden | Söll

Best Time to Visit: January | February

6. Revel in the Immersive Scenery

Hiking along river in Tauren valley with view of Großvenediger

Hohe Tauern National Park

Hiking is not just a pastime in Austria but immerses you in the unquestionable wonder of the country’s pristine pastures, craggy hills, and verdant valleys. From the Alps to the riverbanks, you can find trails spanning the whole of Austria or winding on a loop trail connecting towns. Explore the Dolomites, embrace culinary traditions, and witness the history shaped by the surrounding scenery as you explore timeless charm on foot.

Best Places to Visit for Hiking: Pinzgauer Spaziergang | Kitzbühel | Alpbachtal | Hohe Tauern National Park | Lienz Dolomites

Best Time to Visit: May | June | July | August | September

7. Experience the Culture from a Different Perspective

 Bad Ischl, Austria

Bad Ischl, Austria

Visiting the towns and villages of Austria demonstrates the storybook beauty of historic streets and preserved architecture. The charismatic ambiance of each town offers their distinctive local flavors while also representing the surrounding scenery. Whether looking for a romantic Baroque escape, a family ski adventure, or an immersive look at history, exploring the towns of Austria highlights serene splendor.

Best Villages to Visit: Bad Ischl | Dürnstein | Alpbach | Zell am See | Feldkirch

Best Time to Visit: April | May | June | September | October

8. Indulge in the Charming Ambiance of a Fairytale

Kreuzenstein Castle in Austria

Kreuzenstein Castle in Austria

Austria brims with castles and palaces across the country that emanate fairytale wonder looming above the otherworldly landscapes. Charming mountain villages, dense forests, and alpine grandeur add layers to the historical treasures of rich castle grounds. Whether famous medieval fortresses or lesser-known palace grounds topping an ancient volcano, the regal architecture of Austria will showcase the former power of empires and kingdoms.

Best Places to Visit for Castles: Hochosterwitz | Hohensalzburg | Hohenwerfen | Kreuzenstein | Franzensburg

Best Time to Visit: April | May | June | September | October

More Travel Information & Tips

Alpbach, alpine village in the Austrian Alps

Alpbach, Austria

Austria was once a pinnacle of power in the Western World and retains a sense of elegance and charm emerging from its grand boulevards and quiet alpine villages.  Whether a family-friendly skiing trip or a romantic visit to fairytale castles, Austria offers impressive diversity in its must-see destinations. You can find more inspiration on how to visit Austria by visiting our Austria Tours & Vacations page. If you want to plan a trip, you can speak to an Austria travel expert for free by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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