Austria Travel Guide
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.
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 Adolf Loos was inspired to design the tiny bar, which opened in the early 1900's as a private men's club.
Here, members of Vienna's aristocracy still choose the fabrics for their custom orders.
What to Expect: Salzburg's Christkindlmarkt is one of Europe's oldest markets; there are documents from the 15th century describing the fine crafts being sold by elderly women in front of the Salzburg cathedral during Advent season.
Situated on the sixth floor of the Do & Co Hotel, the space has windows about 30 feet high looking straight across Stephansplatz at the tiled roof and towers of the Gothic St. Stephen's Cathedral.
Named after one of Europe's oldest noble families, Palais Liechtenstein is home to a vast, private art collection that spans six centuries. The Princely Collections contains priceless sculptures, paintings, porcelain, and furniture and is considered to be one of the world's most significant.
The kaiser of kaiser rolls sells a tiny portion of his production at retail from his plant, squeezed between car dealerships on the outskirts of Tulln.
Located on one of Vienna’s chicest streets, repurposes household and office items into furniture, including lamps made of used celluloid and a funky chaise longue created from old three-ring binders.
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.
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 prestigious schools. Over 900 students attend the academy, where they are immersed in a variety of art disciplines in a research-oriented environment.
Originally commissioned by Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria-Hungary to house the Habsburgs' vast art collection, the Naturhistorisches (Natural History Museum) is one of the most prominent museums in the world. Like its identical twin opposite Maria-Theresien Platz, the Museum of Fine Ar