Austria is an unlimited playground for outdoor enthusiasts. And the stunning peaks of the Austrian Alps, the 76 lakes of the Salzkammergut (Austria’s lake region) and the natural wonders of the SalzburgerLand will not disappoint.
The Arlberg region is an Alpine paradise in Austria’s most western province. And the breathtaking nature and the local culture in the villages are a truly unique experience. Go on one of the most beautiful hikes of your life – The Green Ring. The Green Ring winds from Lech Zürs over several peaks and consists of three stages that range from 2.5 to 5.5-hour long hikes. Another excellent alpine option is to explore the Verwall Valley near the town of St. Anton, where cars are not allowed. It’s an El Dorado for E-bikers and mountain bikers.
For those who want to combine an active holiday with culture, Innsbruck – The Capital of the Alps – is the place to go. The city impresses with a beautiful medieval Old Town paired with stunning contemporary architecture, all surrounded by the majestic Alps. Take the cable car right from the city centre up to the Nordkette Mountain and go hiking in Karwendel Nature Park, Austria’s largest nature park. You can also explore the bike trails above the rooftops of Innsbruck or visit the highest altitude zoo in Europe.
The heart of Austria
From ancient salt mines and medieval castles to Austria’s highest peaks and biggest glaciers, the SalzburgerLand is home to some cultural treasures and eventful history. Here, you can visit the world’s biggest ice caves high above the village of Werfen or hike up to Central Europe’s tallest waterfalls, the ‘Krimml Waterfalls’. The best way to experience one of the country’s most impressive regions in the heart of Austria, the Salzkammergut, while hiking or cycling along one of the numerous trails.
Lovers of art and culture will feel right at home in Austria’s provincial capitals, where you can immerse yourself into Austria’s longstanding history, which is paired with a vibrant art scene. Explore the Habsburgs’ immense art collections at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) in Vienna which is home to 2,100 objets d’art collected and commissioned by the Royal Family or discover world-class museums, year-round cultural events, and a vibrant food and shopping scene at the MuseumsQuartier Vienna.
Music to our ears
In Salzburg you can live like Mozart for a day and find out more about the world’s most prolific and influential musician and composer. You might also be surprised to hear that Salzburg was an independent State for most of its history and ruled by the church and today you can learn about its rich legacy of ecclesiastical power and wealth.
World’s largest armoury
In Graz, Austria’s second largest city, you can travel back in time. In the 17th century, the city was subject to frequent attacks by neighbouring territories. Styrian lords were forced to organise massive armies in response, and the Armory Graz was born. Today, it is the world’s largest original armoury, and the collection’s 32,000 items are still stored the way they were 400 years ago.
Certain places are best discovered through their local food. Graz is one of them and defends its title as Austria’s Culinary Capital. You haven’t fully experienced Graz until you’ve sunk your teeth into at least one of the culinary sights. Try pumpkin seed oil or runner beans at the Kaiser Franz Josef Market, which has been delivering fresh produce to the city since 1883. Only 40 minutes’ drive south of Graz you’ll find yourself in a different world. Gentle, sun-soaked hills, small historic villages, and a sing-song-y local dialect make the wine region of southern Styria. Visit a Buschenschank, a traditional wine tavern that serves home-grown sauvignon blanc and other wines, as well as hearty Styrian food.
Have you heard about Viennese Cuisine? Austria’s capital is the only city in the world that has an entire cuisine named after it. Its culinary scene is varied and creative, with a long history that is partly rooted in the numerous crown lands of the former Habsburg Empire. Besides the crispy, golden wiener schnitzel, you’ll also find Vienna is justly famous for its exquisite pastries, crisp wines, cosy coffee houses. Treat yourself at Vienna’s gourmet restaurants, go for a traditional Viennese dining experience at a ‘Beisl’ and stroll various vendor stalls, eateries and bars of Naschmarkt, Vienna’s fabulous farmers’ market.
Austria’s extensive train system is easily one of the most convenient ways to travel. The ÖBB Railjet takes you from one stop to the next with comfort and ease, while you lean back and enjoy the scenic ride. Visit Austria.info