On our recent trip to Austria, we were amazed by the beauty of this country and its historical and picturesque cities. There is so much to see and do year-round in this little country and it is all in easy reach by car or Austria’s excellent train service. The following list is just a sample of the myriad reasons to visit Austria; if you want more, be sure to visit the Austrian Visitor’s Bureau Site.
From the imposing St Stephan’s Cathedral in Vienna to Mozart’s birthplace and home in Salzburg, a visit to Austria will open the doors to many historical sites that you can’t see anywhere else. We were impressed by Vienna’s baroque, Shonbrunn Palace, home to the former monarch of Austria; the ancient Guild signs on Getreidegasse Street in Salzburg; and the Ambras Palace in Innsbruck.
Art and beauty are the watchwords in this country that has blended the Medieval, the Baroque and the Modern into a harmonious whole. In Vienna, the Belvedere Palace holds the Klimt Museum with several of his works, most notably The Kiss. Also well worth the trip is the Hofburg Imperial Palace, residence of the Hapsburgs, whose apartments and art collections will astound you. The Hellbrunn Palace in Salzburg is a lovely estate with serene park-lands and the clever Trick Fountains.
Music in the Air
Austria, is the home of the Sound of Music in every sense. Mozart was born in Salzburg and lived in Vienna as an adult. The Vienna Boys Choir has entertained people across the world and Austria offers concert events year-long. Some of the more famous venues are the Bregenz Festival held in Vorarlberg each summer; The International Music Festival of Vienna; The Salzburg Festival in summer and in Linz, the Bruckner Festival each Fall.
from the pristine Alps to Lake Constance in Bregenz, Austria is a nature-lover’s dream come true. No matter if alpine hiking, or swimming in a crystal clear lake is your cup of tea, Austria offers several National Parks that offer respite from the city’s sounds and crowds.
Cities that Astound You
Vienna, Austria’s largest City is a glorious mix of old and new. From the baroque palaces to the Museum Quartier’s Museum of Modern Art, Vienna is alive and celebrates life. Salzburgis simply beautiful and offers churches galore and every one worth looking into and enjoys a unique harmony between its architecture and the landscape. We especially loved the Salzburg Museum, which tells the story of Salzburg, its history, famous residents, and culture. Innsbruck is surrounded by mountains and offers small-town ambiance and big-city sophistication. This town is for the active person who loves to hike, ski or walk in the beauty of the great outdoors.
Food Beautiful Food
Austrian fare is hearty and flavorful. I had the best weiner schnitzel I have ever tasted in Vienna. And the sausages are delicious. They really know how to cook! You have heard of Viennese pastries haven’t you? Well, they are everything they are cracked up to be…yum. The famous Sacher Torte (chocolate glazed cake filled with either apricot, currant or raspberry jam) can be found throughout Austria and is a real favorite.
When you think of Austria, you think of skiing; that may be because the Winter Olympics have twice been held in Innsbruck. Skiiing is big in Austria, but so is boating on Austria’s many lakes including beautiful Lake Constance. Hiking is a year-round sport and when there is no snow on the ground, biking is a part of daily life.
Written by Terri Fogarty for EuropeUpClose.com