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Things to do in Austria

No matter what the season, it is impossible to run out of things to do in Austria, whether you’re looking for ski slopes to hit in the winter or powerful historical sights to visit in the summer. Austria is chock full of stunning cathedral architecture. Stephansdom (or St. Stephen’s Cathedral) in Vienna is a marvel of Gothic architecture both inside and out, with dazzling stained-glass windows and a tiled roof decorated with chevrons and Austrian eagles. Vienna’s Schloss Schönbrunn is another can’t-miss sight – guided tours of the palace will take you through the grand legacy of the Habsburg family as you tour 26 sumptuous and perfectly preserved rooms. If you’re wondering what to do in Salzburg, the Festung Hohensalzburg is a main attraction. This 900-year-old military fortress is a powerful reminder of the country’s former military prowess and offers sweeping views of the Salzach River and the mountains. Salzburg’s marble, stucco and frescoed Schlosskonzerte music hall is also an exquisite venue for chamber-music concerts.

Snow bunnies looking for things to do in Austria should take note of the abundance of ski slopes and resort towns available for a winter visit. Some of the best ski towns in Austria include Heilegenblut, a small village whose easily accessible mountains attract tourists in both winter and summer; Semmering, a favorite among Vienna residents that offers fabulous ski slopes in winter as well as a relaxing spa; Bad Gastein, known for its 19th-century feel, its first-class skiing as well as its year-round therapeutic spas; Zell am See, famous for the sapphire-blue Zeller See lake and its picturesque snow-capped peaks; and Innsbruck, where you can visit the late-medieval old town and Habsburg palaces when you’re not hitting the slopes.

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  • A. E. Köchert

  • Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

    Founded in 1692 by court painter Peter Strudl (who would later become Baron of Austria), the Academy of Fine Arts remains one of Vienna's most pres... More
  • Albertina

    This Neoclassical style palace-turned-art museum was built in 1744. Twenty-one Habsburg staterooms, such as the Hall of the Muses, are decorated wi... More
  • American Bar

    One of the world's smallest bars, American Bar resides in none other than central Vienna. After a visit to the United States, legendary architect... More
  • Augustinerkirche

  • Badener Kurzentrum

  • Belvedere Museum

    Numerous works by Klimt (including his masterpiece, The Kiss), Egon Schiele, and Oskar Kokoschka. More
  • BKWine

    Swedish wine writer and author Britt Karlsson, a Paris resident since 1990, organizes 20 tours annually to wine regions in France, Spain, Italy, Po... More
  • Bregenz Festival House

    Against the backdrop of Lake Constance, this 6,880-seat architectural wonder features a “floating stage” (the largest in the world) and showcases i... More
  • Christkindlmarkt, Salzburg

    What to Expect: Salzburg's Christkindlmarkt is one of Europe's oldest markets; there are documents from the 15th century describing the fine crafts... More
  • Christkindlmarkt, Vienna

    What to Expect:Vienna's venerable Christkindlmarkt on Rathausplatz flings open its stall shutters in mid-November, and three million visitors flock... More
  • Contemporary Art Tower

    Downtown, the Contemporary Art Tower, a World War II anti-aircraft tower with concrete walls thicker than most sidewalks, has been converted to a s... More
  • Fred Poe

    Insider Clout: Poe’s reach in Turkey is evinced by his many years on this list—and the full-service office he maintains in Istanbul—but his latest ... More
  • Gabarage Upcycling Design

    Located on one of Vienna’s chicest streets, repurposes household and office items into furniture, including lamps made of used celluloid and a funk... More
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