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Welcome to Austria travel guide, attractions, tours and other information.

The origins of modern day Austria date back to the time of the Habsburg dynasty, becoming one of the great powers and empires of Europe. Of course, today it is a parliamentary representative democracy, and attracts visitors from around the world.

It is a country rich in history and heritage, famous for its castles, palaces and other spectacular architecture. Some of the most famous castles include Burg Hohenwerfen, Castle Liechtenstein and Festung Hohensalzburg. Of the palaces, the most famous include the Belvedere and Schönbrunn.
 

Austria has also contributed richly to the arts, especially music, and home to scientists and psychologists of international reputation.

For those planning to travel to Austria and Europe you can Order FREE Travel Brochure for Austria and Order FREE Travel Brochure for your Europe Vacation Packages with our affiliate partner.

Check out some of our listed attractions for Austria. This is only a sample of the many great attractions and activities to be had. Additional information can be found through some of our links for Austria and by contacting the official tourism sites. For information on Austria, we have included some links to Tourism Information sites.

Austria • Attractions

Vienna
Regarded as the ‘City of Music’, Austria’s Capital City of Vienna is the largest city in Austria. Its legacy of music from the Viennese Classicism, through musical prodigies such as Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Mahler, Schubert and Strauss, who were either born here or worked here, are just a sample of breadth and depth of the musical culture to be found. Of course there is the Vienna Boys’ Choir, one of the best known boys choirs in the world and in our modern era, who can forget the song and album, ‘Vienna’ by Ultravox, paying tribute to the city.

Of course, if music was not enough, Vienna’s history as the capital of an empire, ensures that is plenty of attractions and activities, from the variety of architecture, the rich heritage of art and culture, parks and gardens, museums, sport and food. The city also has a large number of balls, held in the many beautiful palaces.

Some of the best attractions (and this is only a sample of the many attractions) to experience in Vienna, include:
  • Schönbrunn Palace
    — This is one of those places that you should plan the whole day for.

    At the end of the 17th century Emperor Leopold I commissioned the gifted Baroque architect Bernhard Fischer von Erlach to built a palatial hunting lodge for the heir to the throne. On the side of the old imperial Château de Plaisance a splendid edifice was to arise. Half a century later under Maria Theresa Schönbrunn Palace was to become the magnificent focus of court life.

    Today, the magnificent architecture and the exquisite décor of its state rooms marks Schönbrunn as a cultural treasure. The placement of the Schönbrunn Palace and its gardens on the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites, highlights the importance of this as one of Australia most important cultural monuments and a first class tourist attraction and destination.

    The Gardens
    Opened to the public around 1779, the park at Schönbrunn Palace has been providing a popular recreational area for the Viennese population and international visitors alike. The gardens extend for 1.2 km from east to west and approximately one kilometre from north to south. See the website for list of all the beautiful objects of interest.

    Botanic Garden
    In 1753, Maria Theresa’s husband, Emperor Franz I Stephan, who was a keen amateur natural scientist, bought a neglected hedged field from the neighbouring village of Hietzing, on which he had a "Dutch Garden" laid out. The botanic garden has then undergone a number of changes. From 1828 it was transformed into a landscape garden in the English style. The garden was expanded further with land acquired under Joseph II and Franz II/I.

    Schönbrunn Zoo
    Listed as the world’s oldest zoo, this is an unforgettable experience. Founded by Emperor Franz Stephan and based on designs by his court architect Nicolas Jadot dating to 1751, a menagerie was constructed consisting of thirteen animal enclosures arranged radially around a central pavilion. The enclosures were completed by 1752 but the central pavilion was not finished until 1759. Down through the decades there have been a number of changes, until what you see today, perhaps the world’s most beautiful zoo in a unique setting, blending culture and nature.

    Tiergarten Schönbrunn Zoo has become an educational center, a showcase for teaching, research and education.

    Panorama Train
    The Panorama Train provides one of the great way to explore the grounds of Schönbrunn. Covering 160 hectares, visitors can ride in comfort to all of its attractions on the diesel-powered Schönbrunn Panorama Train.
     
  • Belvedere
    — The historic Belvedere in Vienna is a building complex consisting of two beautiful Baroque palaces the Upper and Lower Belvedere, the Orangery, and the Palace Stables. It also houses the Belvedere Museum.

    The buildings are set in a Baroque park landscape in the 3rd district of the city, south-east of its centre. The grounds are set on a gentle gradient and include decorative tiered fountains and cascades, Baroque sculptures, and majestic wrought iron gates. The Baroque palace complex was built as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy. The Belvedere houses the most important collection of Austrian art and special exhibitions.
     
  • MuseumsQuartier Wien
    — The MuseumsQuartier Wien is one of the world’s largest complexes for modern art and culture. It offers a wide variety of programs and events, from performing arts, architecture, music, fashion, theater, dance, literature, and children’s culture to digital culture. It is an art space with a total of nine permanent museums and exhibition and event halls, an urban living space and meeting place for people interested in culture in Vienna, and a creativity space for the 60 or so art and culture initiatives based in quartier21.

    Located in the middle of Vienna, the MuseumsQuartier is an oasis of culture and recreation with museums, the quartier21 creative cluster, courtyards, outdoor restaurants, cafés, and shops. Historic buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries are joined with contemporary museum architecture to create a one-of-a-kind architectural setting.
     
  • Vienna’s Ringstraße / Ringstrasse
    — Vienna's Ringstraße is a 5.2 kilometers circular road surrounding the Innere Stadt district of Vienna. The area is lined with monumental buildings, which were built during the period of Historicism (the historical style called Ringstraßenstil - Ringstraße Style) of the 1860s to 1890s.

    Today, the buildings that stand there include the Vienna State Opera (built in the style of the Neo-Renaissance), the Museum of Fine Arts (Neo-Renaissance), the Burgtheater (New Baroque), the Parliament and City Hall (Flemish Gothic), the university (Neo-Renaissance), the Museum for Applied Art, the Vienna Stock Exchange, and the Votive Church (New Gothic).

Burg Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein Castle is located near Maria Enzersdorf (a town in the district of Mödling) in Lower Austria, bordering Vienna. Located on the edge of the Wienerwald (Viennese Forest), the castle was originally built during the 12th century, destroyed by the Ottomans in 1529 and 1683, and remained in ruins until 1884, when it was rebuilt.
kulturleben.atMuseums in Austria
Welcome to kulturleben.at, the culture platform of the bm:ukk, which is the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture. On the Start page you will find topical tips for special events, exhibitions or initiatives. The Cultural Catalogue provides links to all areas of culture. At present, many of the linked websites are only available in German, but the sections in English are being regularly enlarged.
Salzburg
Dominated by churches, castles and palaces, evident by the slender spires that crowd the skyline, this ‘Small Paradise’ of Salzburg offers unspoilt countryside with unique natural attractions such as the Hohe Tauern National Park, the beauty of the ‘Baroque Jewel’ of the old town centre (the entire ‘Old Town of Salzburg’ nominated as a World Heritage Site). Salzburg is a popular holiday destination throughout the year including winter and summer.

Salzburg cultural tradition extends far into the past, from the classical musical tradition of the city’s most famous son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, to the musical ‘The Sound of Music’, based on a true story and filmed on location here in Salzburg, and the world renowned Salzburg Festival (a prominent festival of music and drama, first established in 1920 and held each summer (for five weeks starting in late July). Whilst music plays an important part in Salzburg's cultural landscape, there are also major theatrical events which contribute to the reputation of the Salzburg Festival. One of the most important annual attractions in the festival is the performance on the Cathedral Square of the mystery play ‘Jedermann’ (Everyman) set against the background of the Salzburg Cathedral.
  • Old Town of Salzburg
    The historic centre of the City of Salzburg is listed on the World Heritage List. The city centre is an outstanding example of an ecclesiastical city-state, that was peculiar to the Holy Roman Empire. There are a large number of outstanding ecclesiastical and secular buildings from over several centuries. Some of the many things of interest include the Salzburg Cathedral (Salzburger Dom), Hohensalzburg Castle, St Peter's Abbey, Nonnberg Abbey, the Residenz Palace, Mozart's birthplace and residence and the University Church.
     
  • Fortress Hohensalzburg (Salzburg Fortress)
    As one of the largest 11th century fortresses in Europe, this unmistakable landmark set high atop the Festungsberg Mountain and overlooking the city, is an iconic image. Built in the 11th century by Archbishop Gebhard the castle is 150 meters (490 ft) wide and 250 meters (820 ft) long, with the oldest part being over 900 years old.

    Today, the Hohensalzburg Fortress is a popular destination, with highlights including the magnificent regency rooms (which are among some of the most beautiful gothic secular chambers in Europe) and the spectacular 360° panorama view offered by the ‘Reckturm’ watchtower. There is the torture chamber, the illuminated lower church and the fortress museum. Museums include the Rainer-Regiments Museum Salzburg, the Marionette Museum (in the cellars of the fortress) and the Fortress Museum. Check the events calendar for a range of guided tours, concerts, art and other performances such as the ‘Everyman’ by Hugo v. Hofmannsthal in the fortress courtyard.

    To get to the Hohensalzburg Fortress, visitors can hike up the paths that lead to the fortress or walk from Kapitelplatz or Mönchsberg. The funicular from Festungsgasse is another option and is found at the station behind the Salzburg cathedral. If you purchase your museum tickets in advance, the funicular ride is included in the price.

UNESCO World Heritage List - Austria
Check out the list of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List.
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