Tips and Inspiration for your European holiday

Hallstatt


Planning to visit Austria? It’s a beautiful country with incredible scenery, charming villages and vibrant cities.


In this Austria travel guide, you’ll find tips on things to do in Austria and suggestions for where to go in Austria to experience the best of this wonderful country.


All the Austria travel blog articles featured below are written to help you plan an Austria vacation you’ll always remember.


Let’s get your Austria trip planning started!


Where is Austria?

Austria is perfectly positioned at the heart of central Europe and shares borders with eight countries – Switzerland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy and Liechtenstein.


Austria map


Cities in Austria

Austria’s cities are bursting with magnificent architecture, culture, fashion and gourmet delights. For art lovers, they are amongst the best places to visit in Austria. Why not include a city stay in your Austria travel plans?  My favourites are:

  • Vienna - this 72-hour itinerary will help you decide the best things to do in Vienna, the Austrian capital. Will you visit one of the most famous Austria tourist attractions, Schonbrunn Palace?

  • Salzburg - Another beautiful city in Austria, Salzburg is renowned for its connections to Mozart and as the setting for the famous movie “The Sound of Music” but there’s much more to this destination.

  • Innsbruck - If you like to mix city stays with visits to the mountains, Innsbruck is one of the best cities in Austria to do just that.  Its location at the foot of the Alps means you can be in the city for lunch and hitting the slopes by mid-afternoon.


Wolfgangsee


Austrian Alps and Lakes

No visit to Austria would be complete (in my opinion) without spending some time in the countryside. Enjoy the fresh mountain air of the Austrian Alps and the crystal clear waters of the Austrian lakes.


Amongst the most beautiful places to see in Austria are these gems:

  • Hallstatt - This fairytale village, nestled between the mountains and a lake, is one of Austria’s most-visited and most photogenic.

  • Salzburg Lake District - With more than 50 lakes in the Salzkammergut lakes region, the chocolate box scenery will take your breath away.

  • Zell am See - A popular ski resort in winter, in summer Zell am See is popular for its lake activities and beautiful alpine walks.

  • Kitzbuhel - Regarded as Austria's most glamorous ski resort, Kitzbuhel is surrounded by stunning countryside and its Old Town has buildings in every colour of the rainbow!


Schoenbrunn PalaceSchoenbrunn Palace. Photo courtesy austria.info


Things to do in Austria

Whichever part of the country you decide to visit, you’ll never be left wondering what to do in Austria? 


Visits to museums and galleries, concerts, coffee houses, palaces and abbeys are just some of the many things you can include in your Austria sightseeing list.


And even if you only have time to visit Vienna, there are lots of things to see in Austria that can be reached on a day trip from the capital.


Planning your Austria travel itinerary

Once you’ve decided which destinations to include in your itinerary, you’ll need to choose how you plan to travel around Austria. Train is always a good option as the Austrian railways provide a frequent and reliable service around much of the country.


Joining an organised tour is a popular way to see Austria, with a huge number of tour itineraries available.


If you’d prefer to be a bit more flexible and hire a car, this suggested 3-week itinerary can be modified to suit the amount of time you have to spend in Austria.


Salzburg in winterSalzburg in winter. Image © Salzburg Tourism


Winter vacations and Christmas in Austria

Twinkling lights, Christmas markets and the delicious aromas of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine are synonymous with Christmas in Austria .  My suggestions for the best places in Austria to spend Christmas or a winter holiday include:


Flights to Austria

Now that your Austria travel plans are starting to take shape, you’ll need to start looking for flights to Austria.  Vienna is home to the country’s main international airport but Munich (Germany) is a good option if you plan to visit central and eastern Austria. You can read my tips for getting the best value flights in this article.


Click here to get a free copy of my Austria Travel Guide and scroll down to read all my articles about Austria ......

 

Kitzbuhel is a medieval alpine town in Austria whose reputation as a hub for winter sports far exceeds its physical size. Its ancient cobbled streets are also a popular destination thanks to the many high-end boutiques and restaurant options. 

Travelling isn’t just a summertime activity, and whilst most cities can be enjoyed at any time during the year, the well-known Austrian city of Salzburg is particularly delightful during the colder months.  

There are so many reasons to enjoy Christmas in Austria.  Cities are dressed to impress with twinkling fairy lights and giant Christmas trees, Christmas markets entice visitors with their tempting aromas of roasting chestnuts and gingerbread, and snowy landscapes put everyone in the festive spirit. There really is nothing quite like a White Christmas in Austria.

Whilst there are plenty of Vienna tourist attractions to fill your time in this beautiful city, it’s also a great base from which you can explore a number of other popular European destinations.

For a relatively small country, Austria certainly delivers big time.  Glorious scenery, delicious food, stunning architecture, history and art are just some of the delights on offer. And to me, the best way to discover Austria is by car.  This 3 week self-drive tour itinerary of Austria visits the country’s major cities, gorgeous lakes and the Danube, making for the perfect Austrian holiday.

Austria has always held a special place in my heart since my very first visit. I love the lakes and mountains and the crisp alpine air and my Austria holidays always include a stay beside one of the beautiful mountain lakes.

Seeing the countryside of any destination from the saddle of a bike is a totally different experience to the one you get from inside a car or train.   Not only are you travelling at a slower pace, you also get to enjoy the sounds and smells of nature, and my cycling holiday around the beautiful Austrian Lakes is one I remember fondly.

Melk Abbey in Austria was never one of those ‘must visit’ places on my European bucket list but as I was practically passing the front door, I felt it deserved a visit. I’d seen it featured many times in European river cruise brochures as it is perfectly situated alongside the Danube and, being about half way between Vienna and our destination of Niederranna, it made sense to enjoy our lunch stop at Melk that day.

I'll admit I was a little nervous as a cycled alongside the lake towards Hallstatt. The lake itself (Hallstatter See) was everything I'd imagined it would be but would the town live up to my lofty expectations? For so long I'd wanted to visit the Austrian town of Hallstatt that I was a little worried that I might have been expecting too much and that it might disappoint. I needn't have been anxious, though, for it was everything I hoped it would be - and more!