Austria is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. The unique country attracts with its rich history, culture and traditions, amazing mountain scenery, and hospitality. Every year several million tourists from all over the globe visit Austria.
The Danube River flows about 350 kilometers from west to east through the northern part of the country, adding to its atmosphere a tourist destination.
It is no coincidence that some of the local ski resorts are among the best mountain resorts in Europe.
Lets start our trip with the magnificent capital Vienna.
The Imperial Palace Vienna or Hofburg Wien
The grand Hofburg Palace in Vienna was for a century the seat of the Austrian monarchy, the mighty Habsburgs. The president now runs a state business on the same premises that once belonged to Emperor Joseph II. Almost every Austrian ruler from 1275 ordered additions and modification. This led to many different architectural influences, including Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Classicism. Together with its squares and gardens, the entire Hofburg complex occupies 59 acres, covering 19 yards and 2600 rooms. Do not miss the Imperial Silver Collection that gives a taste of the lavish imperial banquets that once took place here. Also, the Sisi Museum, focusing on the life and times of Empress Elizabeth. And last but not least the Imperial Apartments. It is a series of 19 rooms once occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife.
Museum of Fine Arts, Vienna
Opened in Vienna as far back as 1891, the Kunsthistorisches Museum was originally part of the collection of the Habsburg imperial family. To date, it is the largest museum of its kind in the country. Its collection includes works by famous artists such as Vermeer, Dürer, Rembrandt, and others. And if you are traveling to Austria with children, be sure to visit the Zoom Children’s Museum in Vienna. There are themed children’s rooms in this museum, where everything can and should be touched and tried.
The Belvedere Palace was built in Vienna in the 18th century. It was the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy, perhaps the best military leader at the time. The palace is in Baroque style and is located in the third district of Vienna – Landstrasse. It consists of two Baroque palaces (the Upper and Lower Belvedere), the Orangery, and the Palace Stables. The grounds are set on a gentle gradient and include decorative tiered fountains and cascades, Baroque sculptures, and majestic wrought iron gates.
Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna
Schönbrunn Palace is the most visited attraction in the country. Schönbrunn has imperial baroque architecture, painted in the traditional Habsburg light yellow tones. If anyone does not remember this school, the Habsburgs were an Austrian royal dynasty that ruled the country until 1918. This palace was the summer residence of the Habsburg royal family. Also, on the territory of the palace is one of the largest and oldest zoos in the world.
Hallstatt and the Dachstein Salzkammergut
Without a doubt, Hallstatt is one of the most picturesque small towns in Austria. It is a good place to explore the spectacular Dachstein Salzkammergut region, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The beautiful Baroque architecture testifies to the richness of Hallstatt, which is based on its long history of salt production from prehistoric times. You can visit the underground salt lake in the nearby Hörnerwerk Cave or explore the Dachstein Caves, one of the most impressive cave networks in Europe, which in places is up to 1,174 meters deep. Highlights include the Giant Ice Cave, with its summer temperatures below zero, and huge caves with magnificent frozen waterfalls, and the Mammoth Cave with its huge tubular formations formed by an ancient underground river. Above ground, visitors can handle a superb 5-finger observation platform, an amazing metal structure hanging over a 400-meter drop with excellent views of the surrounding Alps.
The superb city of Salzburg is in the heart of Austria. All over the world, this place is known as the birthplace of the famous Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Salzburg attracts music lovers who come here to visit the house where Mozart was born and lived, as well as to visit the city’s numerous galleries and museums. Guests of the city are sure to enjoy the huge selection of shops and restaurants in Salzburg, as well as its famous festivals and the medieval fortress of Altshad.
Without underestimating the merits of Mozart, the main attraction of the city of Salzburg is still the Hohensalzburg fortress, dating back to the 12th century. By the 18th century, under the rule of a Roman Catholic archbishop, it had become one of the strongest fortresses in Central Europe.
Grossglockner, High Alpine Road
This is the road between the mountain passes, connecting two areas of Austria – Salzburg, and Carinthia. It passes at the foot of the highest point in the country – Grossglockner Peak (3,798 m).
This spectacular road was open back in 1935. It was once reserved only for experienced mountaineers. But fortunately, the road became wider, safer, and more comfortable. The mountain road blends harmoniously into the landscape and it offers a unique mountain experience. For more than 80 years it has provided 48 kilometers of incomparable driving pleasure.