Some Great Reasons To Visit Austria

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There Are Many Great Reasons To Visit Austria

We found many great reasons to visit Austria on our first short visit. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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In Vienna and later on our visit to Salzburg, statues decorated parks and plazas. Fountain spray blew in the air.

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We saw clock towers of every design. And we even found sundials that told the time.

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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.

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But even for the churches that were plain on the outside, we found the interiors opulent and decorative.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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When we went outside of Vienna, we even found vineyards high on the hills that overlooked the city.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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. 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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About TravelAtWill 619 Articles
Travel blogger and photographer! Scuba diving, luxury cruising, chocoholic, sea and sunshine addicts, camera attached and just generally curious! Join us on our adventures!

44 Comments

  1. I have had Austria on my list forever. I want to visit it because of the spectacular landscapes it has. The scenery is just too stunning. I did not know that it had so many other things. I would love love the architecture there with so many buildings and churches, it is awesome. I had thought that I would need one week in Austria but looks like I need more time than one week.

  2. My son went on a tour of Europe before the pandemic but couldn’t remember what some of the places were that he had photos of. This helped me understand his trip better. Thanks.

  3. Austria is one of my favourite countries, as a nature lover. I visited in winter to experience Christmas and it was magical, just as I had expected! Glad you mention Hallstatt specifically, it’s one of the most charming places I’ve been to, almost like being in a fairytale!

    • We would love to go back to Austria in the winter. I am sure there is a totally different feel with snow on the ground and would love to do the Christmas markets.

  4. I haven’t seen much more than Vienna and the beautiful area to the west where you can enjoy a great cruise on the Danube. However, Vienna is one of my favorite cities in the world – because of all the a bit cheesy traditions and the heritage, but also because of the young and wild art scene. Okay, and I cannot forget to mention the food….sooo good!

  5. Gosh, what an incredibly beautiful country Austria is. It’s been on my bucket list for a while now, and this just makes it harder to wait until we can travel again. But I can see I’m going to need to plan for my time to properly explore, and eat!

    • We were happy we planned some time to visit Austria. But we probably underestimated how much time we really needed. But there to get a first taste test.

  6. I’ve only been to the Austrian Alps and the skiing, nightlife and food were fantastic! Now you make me want to go back and do everything else.

    • I hope you do get to go back to Austria. Our first visit gave us a great taste test but it just whetted our appetite. We would love to go back in the winter and enjoy more of the Austrian Alps.

  7. I have never visited Austria before, but from this post it looks beautiful and there is tons of things to do while there. The skiing and food looks amazing and something I would like to try. Definitely adding this location to my list of places to visit. Thanks for sharing!

  8. You’ve given SO many great reasons to visit Austria! Perhaps more importantly, you gave the reasons to get out into the countryside – something I missed doing when I was there. Thank you for the inspiration to go back!

  9. Oh, I just fell in love with Hallstatt through your post! I’m planning on visiting Salzburg by train from Belgium once I’m fully vaccinated and a daytrip to Hallstatt is now definitely on my to do-list! Thanks for the tip!

    • I hope you do get to see Hallstatt when you visit Salzburg. I am glad this post was in time for your planning. There are some other great day trips from Salzburg we missed. So we will definitely go back.

  10. Your Austria photos are absolutely stunning! I’m like you… I would be taking photos of the clocks and fountains and probably the door handles. The church photos are indescribably beautiful. On my way from one pet sit to another I serendipitously found myself in Vienna on Easter Sunday (pre-pandemic). I found Vienna to be THE most pristine city I had ever visited. I can’t wait to pet sit my way to some other Austrian cities as well! Thanks for an excellent Austria guide!

  11. Austria looks absolutely magical! How cool that you can even see historic places like Carnuntum… and those pastries look AMAZING 🤤 I hope to see Austria next time I visit Europe.

  12. Austria is one of my favorite countries in Europe: it’s beautiful, clean and civilized. But besides that, there are indeed many other reasons to visit it, like you enumerated in this posts, like the great outdoors, beautiful music and delightful architecture. Thankfully we can resume our travels now. I can hardly wait to go back to Austria!

  13. When we visited Germany, we stay around Lake Constance, so we considered going to Austria. With so much to see in Germany, we never made it to Austria. Hopefully we will have a chance to experience it the next time.

    • We have not yet made it to Germany. So that will be a bigger longer trip for us. Hard to fit it all in on one trip. Hope you do get to Austria one day.

  14. Austria looks like a beautiful place to visit! It’s on my list of places to visit someday, but this makes me want to visit it now!!

  15. These are truly nostalgic. I have been to Austria a couple of times. Just walking around the cities is our thing. Alternately just hanging out in one the parks or in a coffee shop….like I said truly nostalgic.

  16. You inspired me to visit Austria. I was only in Vienna so far. I didn’t think there were so many great places there. Salzburg with the Hohensalzburg Castle stood high above the city seems beautiful and worth seeing as well. And for sure, I add to my list the village of Hallstatt, with the Evangelical Church on the lake.

  17. Totally agree with you! There are a lot of reasons to visit Austria. I have been truly fascinated with their architectural structures. The churches are also beautiful and should be part of the everyone’s itinerary.

    • It was great to see a variety of sights on our visit to Austria. We truly found may reasons to go back over and over again. And I have to agree with you around the architecture.

  18. Soon… Soon… Hopefully next spring. Atleast 4-5 days trip. There’s so much to do… I too am not a religious person, but historic churches with stunning architecture, paintings is something I wouldn’t miss wherever we go. The lakes, mountains & funicular rides are all so awesome. Soon, soon, very soon….

  19. You have given me some strong reasons to visit Austria. The history is fascinating and the architecture of the churches and forts are splendid. The Sound of Music tribute is also something that will interest me. That movie was one of our favourites! The sweet dishes are also so indulging. I am sure Austria will be in my travel plans soon.

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