Austria

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.

Against the backdrop of Lake Constance, this 6,880-seat architectural wonder features a “floating stage” (the largest in the world) and showcases international concerts, plays, and operas.

An essential stop in Vienna for any amateur (or professional) chef, Babette’s Spice & Books for Cooks Shop is part bookstore, part restaurant, and part cooking school.

Tickets for the New Year's concert are awarded by lottery a year in advance.

Many possessions of the Hapsburgs, as well as period rooms from two centuries of Austrian design.

The city of Haydn and Strauss invites choirs from around the world—more than three-dozen Advent season concerts—to perform Christmas music in the Rathaus every weekend (Friday to Sunday) from late November to Dec. 24 as part of the festival.

The Tanzschule Elmayer Dance School was established in 1919 by Willy Elmayer von Vestenbrugg, a former officer of the Austrian Imperial Army.

Erwin Poller will arrange picnic-style lunches of regional cheeses, cured meats, pickled walnuts, and the Grüner Veltliner and Gewürztraminer that put him on the map for any wine-tourist.

The confectionary-bakery’s specialties (such as rhubarb strudel) have been served for 200 years.

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

What to Expect:Vienna's venerable Christkindlmarkt on Rathausplatz flings open its stall shutters in mid-November, and three million visitors flock here each year for beeswax candles, wooden toys, and glass ornaments.

After an initial consultation, an on-staff physician prescribes everything from mental coaching to muscle-soothing techniques for the eight-day Burnout Prevention package.

Take a vinegar tasting at this picturesque farm with hikers seated outside on benches by tables with red-and-white-checked oilcloth. If vinegar isn't your thing, go for the views of the Danube Valley and the mountains of the Waldriertel.

This Neoclassical style palace-turned-art museum was built in 1744. Twenty-one Habsburg staterooms, such as the Hall of the Muses, are decorated with Albertina Gold, which is gold leaf made with a blend of gold, copper, and silver alloys.