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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
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
#3
Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper)

Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper)

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A masterpiece of Renaissance architecture and one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world, the Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper) is a hallowed venue for opera fans. Each year, the auditorium hosts 350 Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Ballet (Wiener Staatsballett) performances, as well as the Vienna Opera Ball.More
#4
Kursalon Vienna (Kursalon Wien)

Kursalon Vienna (Kursalon Wien)

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Vienna’s most beautiful concert hall was completed in 1867 on the edge of the Stadtpark (City Park), close to the gilded statue of composer Johann Strauss, whose music is enjoyed there nightly. The Kursalon (Kursalon Wien) was designed by Austrian architect Johann Garben in Neo-Renaissance style and its original use was as a spa; just a year after it opened it was given over to music and became the meeting place of choice for Viennese high society.Recently given a facelift, the Kursalon is now returned to its gleaming, romantic best and its halls once more drip with chandeliers and elegant stucco decoration. It is known for its nightly repertoire of favorites from Strauss, Schubert, Mozart and other Baroque musicians, played by the Salonorchestra Alt Wien, which was founded in 1994. Its concerts – all performed in traditional smock coats and crinolines – are smart affairs and offer a romp through the golden age of Vienna’s classical music tradition in the early 19th century, with waltzes by Strauss accompanied by opera singers and ballet dancers as they perform to much-loved classics such as The Blue Danube.A choice of night-time entertainment packages at the Kursalon includes cocktails or a gastronomic blow-out at the concert hall’s Restaurant Johann before the music starts; in summer open-air concerts take place on the Terrace overlooking the Stadtpark.More
#5
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
#6
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
#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
St. Peter's Church

St. Peter's Church

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Also known as Peterskirche, St Peter's Church in Vienna is the second oldest church in the city. The original church building was rumored to have been established by Charlemagne, but it burned down in 1661. The new church, inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, was consecrated in 1733 and a relief plaque on the outside of the church tells the legend of Charlemagne. St Peter's Church was the first domed structure in Vienna and features an ornate interior with colorful frescoes and gold stucco. Most notable for visitors are the gilded pulpit with a representation of the Holy Trinity atop the canopy, a gold and silver sculpture of the Martyrdom of St. John opposite the pulpit and the fresco in the cupola depicting the Coronation of the Virgin.Over the years, the 18th-century paintings in the church grew darker and the interior began to turn gray, but a massive renovation project from 1998 to 2004 restored the frescoes to their original bright colors.More
#9
Salzburg Cathedral (Dom zu Salzburg)

Salzburg Cathedral (Dom zu Salzburg)

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Salzburg’s Cathedral (Dom zu Salzburg) is a restrained exercise in classic Italian Baroque, topped with green bronze domes. Mozart was baptized here, and the building was completed in 1628.Cathedral highlights include the light-filled atrium and dome, the crypt with its Romanesque foundations and tombs, and the statues of angels surrounding the altar.The Cathedral Museum tells the history of the Dom’s construction and artworks.More
#10
Salzburg Old Town (Salzburger Altstadt)

Salzburg Old Town (Salzburger Altstadt)

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Salzburg’s Old Town (Salzburger Altstadt or Altstadt Salzburg) is the historical and navigational heart of the city, a maze of medieval streets stretching along the banks of the Salzach River. The birthplace of Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg’s atmospheric Altstadt is preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site and overlooked by the hilltop Hohensalzburg Fortress.More

Trip ideas

Christmas Markets in Austria

Christmas Markets in Austria

Top activities in Austria

Kursalon Vienna: Johann Strauss and Mozart Concert
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Private Tour of Melk Hallstatt and Salzburg from Vienna - Sound of Music
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Hallstatt Day Trip from Vienna
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Hallstatt Day Trip from Vienna

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Melk Abbey and Danube Valley Day Trip from Vienna
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Vienna City Classic Walk with a Small Group (English)

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Vienna City Classic Walk with a Small Group (English)

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Salzburg Small-Group 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.
star-5
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.
star-4
Impressive views
Kylie_A, 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 👍
star-4
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.
star-5
Excellent Trip
Linda_W, Apr 2019
Hallstatt Day Trip from Vienna
Totally recommend to those wanting to see another side of Austria
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The Best!
Stucker_P, 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.
star-4
Quick escapade to scenic land
Michelle_T, 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.
star-5
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.
star-5
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.
star-5
Great way to see this expansive...
Karmen_W, Sep 2017
Vienna Hop On Hop Off City Tour
Great way to see this expansive city.
star-4
This is a great trip to see Austrian...
Samuel_H, Sep 2017
Austrian Lakes and Mountains Half-Day Tour from Salzburg
This is a great trip to see Austrian lakes and mountains.
star-5
Thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Our...
Karmen_W, 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.
star-5
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.
star-5
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.
star-5
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.
star-5
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.
star-5
We had a small hiccup at the...
dimesh, Jun 2015
Vienna City Bike Tour
He was English, married an Austrian.
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