10 Places to Visit in Austria

Austria may be a small country, but there are lot of wonderful places to visit. Vienna is one of my favourite European  cities, but this post will focus on things to do in Austria outside the capital.


If you ask someone to name an Austrian city outside Vienna, Salzburg is probably the first place they’ll think of, and with good reason. Take a look at Inka’s post on the “hard” and “soft” ways to visit Salzburg, and at Arwa’s four top Salzburg sightseeing tips, and you’ll see there is plenty to amuse you. Eating Mozart Kugel chocolates and exploring the castle, Festung Hohensalzburg, would be my top tips for Salzburg.

things to do Austria

Mozart Kugeln by Like_the_Grand_Canyon 

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Bad Blumau

Not so well-known, but easily the most fun place I’ve ever visited in Austria, is the small village of Bad Blumau – and more particularly, the Hundertwasser-designed Rogner Bad Blumau resort. It’s a totally unique place with incredible spas and pools but mostly memorable for the quirky Hundertwasser design – nothing is straight and everything is colourful.

things to do Austria

Bad Blumau by Amanda Kendle

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Jeremy wrote a great post about visiting the village of Pinswang, a small town close to the German border in northwestern Tirol. It’s a convenient base for some alpine exploration and a nice way to get a taste of rural Austria.

things to do Austria

Pinswang by Jeremy Branham

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Andy mentioned the Krimml Waterfalls (called Krimmler by Germans, just to confuse us) in his post on great European waterfalls, and with good reason. They are the highest falls in Austria and are found near the village of Krimml in Salzburg state.

things to do Austria

Lower Krimml Waterfall by maciekSz

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Karen visited Eisenstadt by accident but found it had much to recommend. It’s in the far eastern part of Austria close to the Hungarian border and is home to the impressive Esterhazy Castle. Composer Joseph Haydn also lived in Eisenstadt and you can visit his mausoleum.

things to do Austria

Esterhazy Castle Courtyard

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When I lived in Bratislava, close to the Austrian border, I was told by many locals that I should hop across that border and visit the stork sanctuary in Marchegg. It’s affiliated with the WWF and sometimes has volunteers there to answer questions while you walk around the sanctuary – storks from Africa nest there between March and August.

things to do Austria

Stork flying at Marchegg by spanaut


Graz is another lovely Austrian city – the second-largest after Vienna, although it’s not particularly big. Neha recommends the Schlossberg, a hill which dominates the Old Town area and has a ruined fort on top it, and fantastic views over Graz and the Austrian countryside.

things to do Austria

Graz from the Schlossberg by Matt loves kicks

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The Austrian region of Zillertal is so famous for its local produce that it’s referred to as “nature’s dining table”! There are several different food festivals to enjoy in Zillertal throughout the year, but it’s also a great spot for hiking and Nordic walking in summer.

things to do Austria

Zillertal by filipovic

Tannheimer Tal

One of my favourite white Christmases ever was spent with my sister and brother-in-law on (generously enough, on their part) their honeymoon! We stayed in the tiny village of Haldensee in the Tannheim Valley region, not far from the German border, and close to several ski resorts. We picked it because it seemed to guarantee a white Christmas and it didn’t disappoint.

things to do Austria

View in Haldensee by Amanda Kendle

Melk Abbey

The Melk Abbey, near the village of Melk and an hour or so west of Vienna, is a Benedictine abbey dating back nearly a thousand years! The current building dates to the 1700s and overlooks the Danube – it’s a pretty impressive sight.

things to do Austria

Melk Abbey by jay8085

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Podcast on Places to Visit in Austria

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