What to See and Do in Austria
Why do people travel to Austria? What is the main draw? The short answer is: breathtaking natural beauty, a thousand-year old history, and a vibrant and lively cultural scene focused on music and arts. The long answer involves much more detail than we have space for here, but we’ll give it a try…
1000 Years of History and Culture
Roughly a 1000 years ago, the name Austria was first mentioned in a historic document. When you visit Austria today, you'll find evidence of it's tumultuous history at literally every corner. For over a millennium, a multitude of cultures influenced Austria, it's ruling dynasties amassed a wealth of treasures, and princes and emperors turned their courts into centers of the arts and of learning. As a result, Austria's major cities are brimming with museums and unique art exhibitions, and you'll encounter architectural masterpieces of every era wherever you turn. Even in Austria's rural areas, a love for tradition and a touch of thriftiness, if you will, has preserved old farm houses and village centers, making it seem as if you are traveling through time when you visit some of these areas.
One of Austria's most important legacies is its contribution to the world of classical music. With composers such as Mozart, Hayden, List and Strauss shaping the country's musical history, is it any wonder that today you can visit Austria and listen to some of the world's finest orchestras at spectacular concert halls and internationally renowned music festivals?
For a country the size of Maine, Austria's landscapes are spectacularly varied and picturesque. What's more, Austrians are fully aware of the importance of an intact nature and unspoiled landscapes, and therefore go to great lengths to try and protect it. Apart from the well-maintained cultural landscapes you'll find all over Austria, six National Parks draw hikers and nature lovers from Austria and beyond.
Austria's lakes have drinking water quality and in summer, the Salbzurg Lake District, the lakes in Carinthia and Lake Neusiedl, to name a few, are very popular destinations for vacations or even just daytrips from a nearby city.
There are few better ways to explore nature than taking an extended bike tour. The Danube bike trail or the Hohe Tauern bike trail are some of the most picturesque.
And in winter, the ski resorts of Vorarlberg, Tirol and Salzburg are beyond comparison, with unforgettable panoramic vistas from the mountain tops.