The Republic of Austria is landlocked and buried in the middle of central Europe. It’s surrounded by some of the most interesting countries in the world, including Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. As such, it’s easy to overlook it. But travelers shouldn’t.
Austria has numerous incredible experiences that virtually anyone would find intriguing and enjoyable. You can find the history and culture of this marvelous country in several addictive cities spread out across the country.
Salzburg quite literally translates into “Salt Fortress,” which is an unequivocally cool name. Traces of settlement in the region have been found as early as the Neolithic Age. Fortunately, things have changed quite drastically since then.
Not surprisingly Salzburg has an incredible Old Town which has to be experienced, with the Residenzplatz being its central feature. Fortress Hohensalzburg is also outstanding as is St. Peter’s Church. And you have to stop by Hellbrunn Palace and Fountains.
Located in the southeast of the country, Graz is close to Austria’s borders with Slovenia and Hungary. It was established at some point during the Middle Ages, becoming a key commercial center in the 12th Century.
It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 and for good reason. The architecture here is unreal. But it’s also home to several key museums as well as numerous highly respected restaurants. Graz is a wonderful place to spend time.
Going to Austria and not spending time in Vienna is like trying not to breathe. It’s just not a good idea. This is the country’s biggest city as well as one of the best cities in all of Europe. Simply put, you must plan to spend time in Vienna.
The official residence of every Austrian ruler since 1275, Hofburg has architectural touches from almost every significant period since then. St. Stephen’s Cathedral is stunning and ornate while the Prater offers a much different funfair experience.
When it comes to a city synonymous with winter sports, few hold a candle to Innsbruck. It hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976 in addition to the 1984 and 1988 Winter Paralympics. If you are into winter sports and the history of it, this is the place to be.
Like most cities in Austria, Innsbruck has an amazing Old Town that has to be experienced. But you also have to ride the cable car that takes you to Nordkette, which is part of a massive natural park. There are several stops on the ride not to mention some of the best views in the country.
Up in the northwest corner of Austria is the city of Linz. While it’s not the biggest city in Europe, it has proven itself to be a key cultural center. Anyone who is looking to explore an exceptional arts scene should be planning a trip here.
The Museum of the Future is an interesting stop. And the architecture of the Lentos Art Museum is as engaging as the art itself. Plus, taking a boat ride on the Danube River through Linz Harbour is a delightful way to spend an afternoon.