There Are Many Great Reasons To Visit Austria
We found many great reasons to visit Austria on our first short visit on our 6 week trip around Central Europe. But we left many places and things undone that will guarantee a return visit.
We found a vibrant and historical music scene. Stunning architecture and churches kept our heads swivelling in the cities. Lakes and mountains drew us outside. And there was so much history everywhere.
Check out our reasons to visit Austria and find out what is on our list for another visit.
Immerse Yourself In The Music
Vienna was known as the European capital of classical music. So many great classical composers were associated with the city – Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert. Johann Strauss II, Schubert and others. We found these greats were immortalized around the city with statues, plaques and stories.
Concert halls provided classical music concerts on a regular schedule. It was not hard to find a show that featured your favourite composer or music. We found concerts in churches. And even classical music in the Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg.
And if we wanted something a little different than classical music, the Sound of Music tributes were everywhere when we visited Salzburg. Many tours traced the footsteps of the legendary von Trapp family.
Music was certainly one of the reasons to visit Austria.
Marvel At The Architecture
Everywhere we walked in Vienna, we were astounded by the architectural detail we saw. Buildings were decorated with intricate design. Our heads swivelled from side to side.
In Vienna and later on our visit to Salzburg, statues decorated parks and plazas. Fountain spray blew in the air.
We saw clock towers of every design. And we even found sundials that told the time.
The architecture of Austria was beautiful and a great reason to visit Austria.
Visit The Churches
We are not particularly religious. But we visited churches and cemeteries whenever we travelled. In Austria, they were beautiful and varied in design from the outside. And the cemeteries told us more about the history in an area.
But even for the churches that were plain on the outside, we found the interiors opulent and decorative.
In the small mountain village of Hallstatt, the Evangelical Church was the centrepiece in town and the iconic image of this hamlet on the lake.
We were glad we saw so many churches on our visit to Austria.
Explore The History Of Austria
Our first stop in Austria gave us a very different and older view of the history of Austria. Carnuntum was a major fortress established by the Roman Empire in Austria around the year 6 AD. At one time it was inhabited by over 50,000 people and spread over 10 square kilometres. It was fascinating when we visited Carnuntum and walked the ruins of this ancient past.
Vienna went from the Romans to be the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At one time, Vienna was occupied by German, British, French, American, and Soviet forces. And it became the capital of Austria when it became its own Republic in 1918. The history of Vienna was evident as we walked through the city. The Hochstrahlbrunnen fountain even sat in front of a giant memorial to the Red Army.
In Salzburg, the Hohensalzburg Castle stood high above the city. This fortress was one of the largest in central Europe. It was initially built to protect the archbishops but also housed barracks and a prison. Today, it was a museum. The views from above showed how well it would act as a fortress.
Even as we travelled around the countryside, we found interesting historical sites. From our stay in Salzburg, there were tours to Hitler’s Eagle Nest (Kehlsteinhaus) on the summit of Kehlstein in the Austrian Alps. Eagle’s Nest was built as a teahouse for Adolf Hitler. But we were surprised when learned that Hitler’s home (the Berghof) and his second seat of power were located at the foot of the Eagle’s Nest mountain.
The history of Austria was fascinating and an unexpected reason to visit Austria.
The Outdoors Were One Of The Reasons To Visit Austria
There were wonderful outdoor spaces everywhere we visited in Austria. In Vienna the Danube River ran through the city and river cruise boats lined the docks. We found canals as we walked. There were even beaches on the Danube Island.
In Salzburg, the Salzach River ran through the city. We enjoyed strolls along the river. And the interesting bridges that crossed it. Parks and green space inside the cities were never hard to find. They were relaxing tranquil spots filled with statues and fountains.
When we went outside of Vienna, we even found vineyards high on the hills that overlooked the city.
We found many ways to enjoy the outdoors on our visit to Vienna.
Head To The Mountains
No visit to Austria was complete without some time in the Austrian Alps. Our day trip from Salzburg took us to the charming mountain town of Hallstatt. We started with a ride up the funicular for panoramic views over the town, out along the lake and off to the mountains.
When we came down, we wandered along the lake and enjoyed the small town. The views along the shore got us that classic view of Hallstatt.
We ran out of time to see much more of the Lake Region and the Austrian Alps on our visit to Austria. On our trip to Hallstatt, we got a quick glimpse of the town of Gilgen on the shores of the emerald green Lake Fuschlsee.
But we would have loved to take a boat ride on the lake to St. Wolfgang. And from there, take the old cog railway up to Schafberg. We found many tour options to visit the Lake Region and there was even a Hop-on-Hop-Off bus route to this area. But when we go back we would love to rent a car and explore on our own timeline.
Heading into the mountains was the perfect reason to visit Austria.
Indulge Your Sweet Tooth
We had a lot of great food and drink when we visited Vienna. Fresh seafood was surprisingly easy to find. Champagne bars and wineries offered adult beverage options.
But for those of us with a sweet tooth, there was a cornucopia of options for sweet treats. Viennese pastries were not limited to Vienna!
We found delicious pastries in lovely iconic settings on our visit to Austria. Sacher tortes in the Sacher Cafe. Shelves of pastries at the Mozart Cafe. And every coffee shop had more sweet treats to tempt us.
There were many sweet reasons to visit Austria.
Just Some Great Reasons To Visit Austria
It was hard not to find great reasons to visit Austria. A great stop on our tour around Central Europe. There was a wonderful and historical music scene. Architecture and churches drew us from street to street. When we headed outdoors, lakes, parks and mountains relaxed us. And the history of this region was fascinating.
We had a busy week on our first visit to Austria. But we know we only scratched the surface. We will certainly return to the favourite spots from our visit trip. But we have along list of new places for a return visit. We want to see Innsbruck nestled in the Austrian Alps, the Baroque palaces and Renaissance courtyards in Austria’s second biggest city Graz and we will spend time wandering in the wine region of Wachau Valley.
Do you have other great reasons to visit Austria?
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