Austria is a country booming with rolling hills, quirky towns, and an abundance of history. Due to the flawless transportation options, you can hop on a train and be across the country in a few hours, but you may be asking yourself what are the must-see cities to see when traveling on a time limit. If you’re headed to this german speaking region, make sure you check out these three cities.
Less than 2 hours from Munich, this city is the perfect introduction to Austria. Known for being the filming location of the film The Sound of Music, this town lies in western Austria and takes pride in being the birthplace of the composer Mozart. When taking a trip to Austria, don’t leave Salzburg off your list, as the fortress is a reason to visit the town all in itself. Ditch the cable car and walk to the castle if you are looking to get a workout in, and walk through the different courtyards of the fortress. There’s also a museum inside the castle, which has interactive exhibits, that will give you a hands-on learning experience. On the trail to the castle you’ll be granted with splendid views of the city.
To see a pleasing garden, head over to Mirabell Palace, which dates back to the 17th century. If you’re interested in catacombs and graveyards, don’t miss out on Petersfriedhof, a historic Christian burial ground. Salzburg isn’t too large, so you could easily see the highlights of the city in one day.
The Salzburg Cathedral constructed from domed marble back in the 1600s is a must-see as well. Don’t miss out on the Old Town, which offers a variety of shopping, as well as historical monuments, restaurants, and various outdoor eateries. If museums are your style, head into the Haus der Natur, where you can lose yourself for hours in the exhibits. Each floor is dedicated to a different area of science, and it will leave you enlightened and educated.
If you can only see one place to see in Austria, this must be it. To get to this village, you must take a combination of trains and buses, plus a boat to get to the mountain-side town.
Since it lies between the Alps and a glorious lake, the town is extremely picturesque. The village itself is tiny, with accommodation limited to B&Bs and hotels, but the nature behind it is endless. Spend a day hiking for hours back behind the town, deep into the mountains, where you will find untouched land flowing with crystal clear waterfalls. While in the backcountry, I didn’t see one other person, which made the experience even more special. The vibes in this town are unreal as it is incredibly peaceful and quiet. To beat the rush of tourists in the summer, I recommend coming in March, where it isn’t busy but the snow has melted. There’s no need to buy water here, as the lakes have perfect mountain water where you can fill up water bottles.
The architecture of the buildings is cozy and will make you feel as if you’re in a wonderland. Souvenir shops hold charming handcrafted wood pieces which will have you drooling. The remote village can be expensive as they know it’s appealing and importing products can be costly, but if you camp and buy supermarket food it shouldn’t be a big deal. For a different side of Europe and an escape from a large, busy city, an escape to Hallstatt is necessary.
One doesn’t think about Austria without envisioning Vienna, the capital city which is booming with students and history. Since it is known as “the city of music” and “the city of dreams” it’s a top tourist destination for humans from around the world. This city takes more than a day to see, so plan on spending a while wandering the historic destinations. Vienna is friendly to various types of diets, making it no problem to be a vegan or vegetarian in this town. Alternative cafes lie on each corner, with stunning gardens to sit in and reflect on where you are. Two must see palaces are Hofburg and Schonbrunn. These are both baroque complexes, which will leave you drooling over the precision of the craftsmanship.
My favorite site was St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which is best represented in the night time, when it’s medieval glow lights up the entire square.
Near this cathedral sits the Vienna State Opera, which offers tours and a museum to get a better feel for the historic music that was played there. For art lovers, head into Kunsthistorisches Museum, where you can spend an entire days soaking up the creativity.
The city is booming with different museums, so chances are you’ll find one to fit your likings. Anyone impressed by churches will love to spend time in the sacred site of St. Peter’s Church, with it’s light blue roof and opaque white body, it’s a stunning site. As I’ve previously noted, this city is huge and will take time to see all of it’s glory, so make sure to take time here of come back a few times to fully appreciate the beauty.