Austria

Austria Travel Guide

Austria is a multifaceted nation. It's colorful mix of old-world architecture, and religious, historic and military sites juxtaposed alongside unparalleled natural wonders – alpine valleys, snow-capped mountains, sapphire lakes – and modern, vibrant city life. The capital, Vienna, encapsulates Austria’s many personalities: classical music and choir performances, Gothic cathedrals and powerful military architecture peacefully existing alongside a youthful, modern culture and a burgeoning arts and nightlife scene. But don’t mistake Vienna for the nation’s only worthwhile destination. Make your visit to Austria as diverse as possible by taking in the rolling hills, crystal-clear lakes and mountain meadows in regions like the Danube Valley, the quaint ski resort towns in the eastern Alps, and the modern arts and architecture in cities like Linz and Salzburg. From unforgettable architecture and religious sites to the simple pleasures of the great outdoors, Travel + Leisure’s Austria travel guide will point you to the nation’s can’t-miss sights.

Things Not to Miss in Austria

• Skiing at alpine resort towns like Semmering, Bad Gastein, Zell am See and Heiligenbut
 • Stephansdom, or St. Stephen’s Cathedral, in Vienna
 • The Schlosskonzerte, a stunning marble concert hall in Salzburg
 • The Cathedral Pummerin in Vienna
 • The Stift Melk abbey in Melk
 • The Ars Electronica museum in Linz
 • The Festung Hohensazlburg cliff-top military fortress in Salzburg

When to Go to Austria

Austria travel brings different pleasures with each season, from the snow-crested ski hills of winter to the warm temperatures of summer, perfect for sightseeing. Skiers will want to visit Austria in the winter months for freshly powdered slopes. Adrenaline junkies can also visit in the summer months for hiking trails, mountain biking and swimming in the lakes scattered throughout the mountains. If you travel to Austria in the summer months, you’ll also be able to take advantage of the nation’s many music festivals, most of which are held between May and October. Austria sees its warmest weather between April and October, and tourism peaks in July and August, while ski resort towns see their highest traffic between November and February.

Articles about Austria

Kurt Gutenbrunner may have grown up in Wallsee—a small town along Austria’s Danube River—but it’s Vienna that’s played the most significant role in his culinary trajectory. “I was lucky enough to live and work there during the early years of my ca...
There's really only one thing to see at the Salzburg Panorama Museum, but that single attraction is well worth the trip—a 410-square-foot panorama painted by Johann Michael Sattler in 1829. The scene features what the city looked like from the top...
With a focus on extended stays in port and in-depth shore excursions, river cruising has become one of the most popular ways to travel. And for the first time, the industry is going after multi-generational travel—with little ones. Adventures b...
I was sitting in an ornate dining room eating a breakfast out of the Hapsburg Empire: cheeses, meats, smoked fish, black bread with apricot jam—not a cereal bowl in sight. Chandeliers hung from the ceiling. Framed landscapes adorned the walls. Out...
See our slideshow of the World’s Best Secret Dining Clubs. “Look for the man learning How to Cook Everything. He will direct you to the location of the feast.” And so began a recent cloak-and-fork odyssey that ultimately led some 150 food lover...
Lay of the Land First District: Once the seat of the Hapsburgs, the core of imperial Vienna is now known for its pedestrian-only streets and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Second District: Cutting-edge shops and restaurants occupy this former immigran...
Pancake Bakery, Amsterdam: Bacon-, cheese-, or apple-topped pannenkoeken (larger and thinner than American flapjacks) are the items to order at this intimate canal-side space. 191 Prinsengracht. $$ Lauras Bakery, Copenhagen: In a land obsessed ...
Outside Vienna’s Upper Belvedere Palace, a Baroque steed rears in frozen delirium over a stall peddling teddy bears and toy Santas. Perhaps the marble Lipizzan is in a frenzy for a bite of Kartoffelpuffer, fried potato pancakes the size of the Aus...
Surely you’ve played this game: Are you a hotel person, or an inn person? My answer has always been firm: I am not an inn person. The homey rooms, the cheerful “And what did you do today?” every time you come through the door, the enthusiastic sh...
The Omnia, Zermatt, Switzerland Sitting above one of Europe’s most celebrated ski villages, the Omnia forms an angular wood-and-glass apex that echoes the Matterhorn just beyond. A Modernist take on mountainside log cabins, the hotel is the visio...