AUSTRIA TRAVEL DESTINATION & ATTRACTIONS
Welcome to Austria travel guide, attractions, tours and other
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
Austria has also contributed richly to the arts, especially music, and home to
scientists and psychologists of international reputation.|
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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
For information on Austria, we have included some links to Tourism
Austria • Attractions
• 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:
— 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
— 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).
• 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.
• Museums 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.
• 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
(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
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.
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
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.
World Heritage List - Austria
• Check out the list of properties
inscribed on the World Heritage List.