When you hear of Austria, most people immediately think of Julie Andrews and the iconic “The Sound of Music.” If you are on a visit to Austria on your Schengen Visa, you are bound to visit some of its castles, palaces, and other famous buildings. And Austria is famous for its castles, snowy mountains, Apfelstrudel, folk music, etc. If you wish to travel Europe with a Schengen visa, the stupendous splendours of Austria will enhance your multi-cultural Europe vacation experience. Do not miss some of the best things to do in Austria to have a truly magical visit.
Tour the residence of Mozart in Salzburg
The Mozart Residence and the Mozart Birthplace are both museums. Learn about this famous composer with a guided tour to discover his life. If you are a fan of “The Sound of Music”, then tour the movie shooting locations as well as the landmarks in the actual life of the Trapp family. Salzburg is on the UNESCO World Heritage list as a city of “outstanding value to humanity”. Wander around to discover the attractions of the older section of the city. Take a trip to the Eisriesenwelt, the world’s biggest ice cave and be impressed with the crystalline beauty of the ice palaces.
Ski the Alps at Innsbruck
This charming alpine city is a region of extreme contrasts with high peaks and low valleys and traditions and trends. Innsbruck is famous for its winter sports. The eight major ski areas are easily accessible and in summer you find hikers traveling up to find the scenic views. Go around the old areas of this 500-year-old city. Do not miss going to see the Golden Roof – Innsbruck’s main landmark. The magnificent Hofburg palace, the Ambras castle with its unique collection, Tyrolean Folk Art Museum, Hofkirche- the grand royal church, etc. are some of the places that are unique and interesting.
Vienna, the capital of Austria, is beautiful and full of history and culture. Visit and marvel at the beautiful palaces – Hofburg Imperial Palace, Schönnbrunn Palace, and the Belvedere Palace with its extensive gardens. For museum enthusiasts, the Museumsquartier is worth exploring. Here modern and Baroque buildings house some of the most fascinating collections. Make it a point to visit the Spanish Riding School and attend the the “Ballet of the White Stallions.” The young and the fully trained stallions enchant the spectators with their performances. Go on a Ringstrasse Tram Tour to view Vienna’s architectural highlights.
Browse the Admont Abbey Library
You will find another landmark of Austria, the Admont Abbey Library, in Admont, a small town by the Enns River. It is the world’s largest monastery library. Designed and built by the Austrian master-builder Josef Hueber. Roam around the library admiring the seven ceiling frescoes that show the stages of the human mind. Along with more than 70,000 volumes, you find art collections of historical and modern artists. Spend a pleasant 2-3 hours here.
Hike up to the Medieval Burg Hochosterwitz
This castle is a formidable medieval fortress on a high limestone cliff. The castle is owned by the Khevenhüller noble family since 1571. The access road to the castle was made difficult for attackers to reach, as it winds its way up the steep limestone cliff and through the 14 fortified gates. This castle has never been defeated. Visit the Chapel inside the courtyard of the castle. Go around the museum here. Enjoy the restaurant in the courtyard.
Examine the Salt Mines of Hallstatt
The tiny fairytale village of Hallstatt with its very own waterfall is an extremely popular tourist destination. Take a guided tour of Salzwelten, Hallstatt’s UNESCO-recognized salt mines. On reaching there by cable car, visitors encounter a subterranean salt lake and experience an exciting trip with the mining railroad. Take in the breathtaking view by a ride on the Hallstatt Skywalk or the Five Fingers viewing platform. To avoid summer crowds, visit in October when the weather is temperate.
Travel the Grossglockner High Alpine Road
The mountain pass road that is 48 km long winds up through the center of Austria’s largest national park towards the highest peak, the Grossglockner. The scenic road passes through alpine meadows, mountain forests, and huge cliffs. Reach the peak and enjoy the fabulous view of the Pasterze, the longest glacier in the Eastern Alps. This is a drive that even the children enjoy as there are theme parks along the way. The visitor center at Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe has interesting exhibits and information about glaciers.
Wine tour in Krems
Krems is the 5th largest city in Austria. With a rich history of wine production, Krems is a famous wine region. It is also famed for the cobbled streets of its Old Town, which is virtually unchanged since the 18th century. Visit the iconic Aggstein Castle and look at the permanent exhibits here. The Schonbuhel Castle is yet another beautiful castle that visitors enjoy touring. Enjoy the different types of cartoon drawings and caricatures at the Karikaturmuseum. There are other interesting places to visit here to make your stay enjoyable.
Stroll through St. Gilgen Village
St. Gilgen is a lakeside town. This quaint and beautiful village is where Mozart’s mother was born and where his sister lived for many years. The village is surrounded by alpine mountains and a stunning turquoise lake, which is Lake Wolfgang. With plenty of cultural monuments, wonderful architecture, and unique places to visit, you need enough time here. Visit the legendary Oxen Cross island and the local history museum and ride the Zwolferhorn St Gilgen Cable Car.
Though summer is the preferred time to visit Austria, the winter season is the best if you enjoy winter sports. Whatever the season, your heart will be stolen by the beautiful places, architecture, the serenity of the countryside, and the friendly people. You leave Austria with a silent promise to return soon.