The magic of the Alpine Republic of Austria leaves no one untouched. Whether in summer, when the cloudless sky is reflected in the mountain lakes, in autumn, when the forested slopes of the mountains glow in the brightest colors, in winter, when the skiing season really starts, or in spring, when the first mountain flowers come back Coming to the fore and being invited to the ball season in Vienna: a holiday in Austria’s federal states means adventure and relaxation at the same time.
The country also offers great scenic and cultural contrasts in a small space: Tyrol with its Mediterranean charm in summer, full of scenic highlights and idyllic towns looks different from the pulsating life of the city of Vienna, in which old pomp and modern architectural highlights stand side by side.
Vacation in Austria – Holidays in Austria
Here you will find an overview of the holiday highlights in the various regions of Austria.
Wine and culture: Burgenland
Burgenland is located in the very east of Austria on the border with Hungary. It is famous for its history and so the landmarks of the country, the many castles, also remained in the name. The Burgenlanders are particularly proud of Lake Neusiedl, the largest lake in Austria and one of the few steppe lakes in Europe.
There are more than 2,000 hours of sunshine a year and countless ways to use the lake as you wish. For example, the countless wellness oases and spa offers around the lake are popular, which can be used in any season. There are also numerous water sports on offer. How about stand-up paddling, surfing or sailing? The lake is also suitable for families, as there is a swimming area at almost every bank access. At its deepest point, the lake is only 2m deep and is therefore also suitable for the little ones thanks to the shallow water.
But Burgenland – excursion destinations in Burgenland – is much more than just Lake Neusiedl. It is particularly popular with passionate cyclists for its 2,500-kilometer network of cycle paths. These lead past endless vineyards, through idyllic villages and, for example, to the state capital Eisenstadt, where visitors can admire cultural monuments such as Esterházy Castle. In the villages you can also try a variety of wine, which is advertised throughout Austria, as Burgenland is the largest wine region in Austria.
Don’t miss a stop at the local winemaker! If you plan a lot of time, you can also make a detour to Vienna, which is located immediately north of Burgenland.
Holidays in the south: Carinthia
Southern Austria is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the country: Carinthia. This region has everything to offer for relaxation: the sunny south side of the Alps, the decelerated way of life of the Carinthian and above all: spectacular nature.
Carinthia is a popular travel destination both in summer and winter. In summer, the many bathing lakes attract a total of 44, of which the most famous is the Wörthersee. Hikers love the region of the Hohe Tauern, the Carinthian National Park, which has the highest peaks in Austria.
Here you can enjoy climbing, hiking and the rugged landscape of the majestic Hohe Tauern. Carinthia is also a popular travel destination in winter due to the numerous ski offers. The highest ski areas in Carinthia can be found around Mallnitz and Heiligenblut, which also offer high-altitude trails for cross-country skiers. Greifenburg, below the Weißensee, is known for a particularly daring sport: paragliding and hang gliding. The Fliegercamp is also located here, a popular meeting point for athletes from all over Europe.
At every corner, Carinthia offers the perfect mix between relaxation and breathtaking nature. Be it the outdoor pool in Oberdrauburg with a view of the large mountain formation of the Linz Gate or a boat trip over Lake Wörthersee after a bike tour through nature. And anyone who misses urban life here can go shopping in Klagenfurt.
Holidays near Vienna: Lower Austria
From the rugged mountains of the Alps to the gentle mountains and valleys of Lower Austria. Here the foothills of the Alps blur in rustic forests, sun-drenched vineyards and the fascinating Viennese Alps. The Danube flows through Lower Austria with its world-famous Danube Cycle Path, which is used by millions of cyclists every year.
However, it not only serves the athletes: old cultural landscapes such as the Nibelungenau and the Wachau must be discovered, wines tasted and of course enjoying the water. Wachau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers not only top culinary delights in old wine taverns, but also popular hiking destinations such as the World Heritage Trail, from which the Danube can be enjoyed. In addition, it offers a wonderful old town, which invites you to enjoy even in winter.
The Vienna Alps are reminiscent of a premonition of the Alps. Already here the visitor is offered a fantastic panorama, hiking, skiing and climbing are equally popular, and yet the landscape is gentler and almost more inviting than the gigantic high Alps.
To the west of Vienna is the Wienerwald, which invites you to take long walks and voyages of discovery. This region was popular with composers and artists hundreds of years ago, and today families in particular can look forward to attractive offers.
Linzer Torte and lake landscape: Upper Austria
Probably the most beautiful lake area in the Alps is in Upper Austria and the Salzburg region. The small Hallstatt, a place with a former salt mine, which is so picturesque on Lake Hallstatt that it was copied one to one even in China and now exists twice, has achieved world fame. In Hallstatt, Austria, however, it proudly says: “Photographed a million times, copied once, never reached”. You shouldn’t miss this destination.
Not only Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut makes the hearts of holidaymakers beat faster (holiday tips salzburg and surroundings), the numerous winter sports opportunities also make the country very attractive. In addition to numerous ski slopes, cross-country trails and winter hiking trails, there are also thermal spas and wellness oases where you can relax after a day of sports.
The Pyhrn-Priel region is very popular with sports lovers both in winter and in summer: if you don’t have enough after skiing in winter, you can enjoy the numerous climbing opportunities in summer.
The capital of Upper Austria, Linz, looks almost like a metropolis. The third largest city in Austria offers not only a picturesque historical center, but also modern art and architecture. The UNESCO City of Media Arts is buzzing with cultural festivals, concerts and exhibitions. How about a visit to the Ars Electronica Center or the Museum of Modern Art, for example?
Countless excursion destinations: the Salzburg region
The wonderful lake landscape of the Salzkammergut continues in the Salzburg region. The Wolfgangsee, for example, is ideal for a day in the water. The small towns of St. Wolfgang, Strobl and St. Gilgen are also former cult sites of this bathing paradise.
The Salzburg region is also famous for the holiday highlight Zell am See-Kaprun. This travel destination, popular in both winter and summer, has now achieved cult status internationally similar to that of Hallstatt. And for a good reason: the sporting variety here ranges from hiking offers, marathon routes, freeride trails and ski and snowboard slopes. Alpine holidays are particularly popular in Pongau in Salzburg. Here you can hike from hut to hut in summer and autumn and discover various themed hiking trails.
From almost everywhere in the Salzburg region it is only a day trip to the city that gives the region its name: Salzburg. This pearl of the European Capitals of Culture also has the most beautiful city center in Austria. The picturesque Getreidegasse not only houses many individual shops, but also the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the pride of the city. The Hohensalzburg Fortress is enthroned high above Salzburg, and its museum and view alone can fill a whole day.
But Salzburg has many other highlights that hardly fit into a single list. Culture lovers and city explorers will get their money’s worth here.
Between customs and active vacation: Styria
Like many other regions of Austria, Styria advertises a wide range of activities for tourists. What makes them so special: Styria is probably the most pristine region in Austria.
Old customs and folk culture are part of everyday life for the Styrian population. The customs are fixed with the seasons and can be admired by tourists in every season. Whether craft, folk music or traditional costumes: everything is an integral part of Styrian culture.
The capital city of Graz is considered the capital of pleasure in Austria and combines baroque, Renaissance and Gothic buildings in the old town. Another highlight: the futuristic art house “Friendly Alien” in the midst of this ancient splendor. However, Styria not only attracts people and culture.
This region counts a total of seven nature parks, all of which call for a conscious treatment of nature. Sustainability plays an important role here and the region is proud of local products such as wine and pumpkin. The Eisenwurzen Nature Park is particularly inviting for hiking, in which dark forests, gorges and alpine pastures alternate, thus forming a varied and colorful landscape.
Ski highlight on the main Alpine ridge: Tyrol
Tirol is THE destination for skiers from all over Europe. Cities like Kitzbühel and St. Anton have cult status among European skiers. The legendary Hahnenkamm race has also been taking place in Kitzbühel for 70 years and attracts over 100,000 visitors every year. But also those who prefer to drive than to watch others will get their money’s worth, because in this region one slope highlight replaces the other.
In summer, holidaymakers can look forward to similarly fantastic offers. The famous Ötztal offers a contrasting high alpine landscape, surrounded by more than 20 three-thousand meter peaks. Hiking can take place both in the rocky heights, in the middle alpine meadows and down in the valley, where there are also some long-distance cycle paths that are particularly popular for crossing the Alps. The Ötzi, the glacier mummy, was found here and named after the valley. However, it is in the South Tyrolean Archeology Museum in Bozen and not in the Ötztal itself.
One of the most beautiful lakes in Tyrol is the Achsee, which is known for its emerald green water. It is also called the “Tyrolean Sea” and offers a remarkable selection of leisure activities, such as sailing, surfing and kite surfing. The latter needs special wind conditions and is therefore special on the Achsee.
Small towns and beautiful alpine pastures stretch around the lake, which quickly lead visitors up and allow a view of the picturesque Alpine panorama.
Vacation in the mountains, vacation in Vorarlberg
The western state of Vorarlberg shows particular cultural diversity. It in the northwest to Lake Constance, as well as to Switzerland, Germany and Liechtenstein. It is known not only for its ski resorts, but also for the characteristic landscape of the main Alpine ridge.
The capital Bregenz is located directly on Lake Constance, where the Mediterranean climate can hardly be compared to the mountainous heights a few kilometers further south. The Bregenz Festival takes place here every year in July and August and attracts many prominent guests. To the south is the alpine mountain world, in which Brandnertal and Klostertal are scenic highlights in summer and winter. Sleigh rides, skiing for young and old and annual free-ride actions delight sports tourists. In summer you can relax on a dense network of nature trails.
The Kleinwalsertal is much quieter than other large ski areas and is therefore valued as an insider tip for many pleasure-seekers. Therefore, there are also many culinary, wellness and spa offers.
The Arlberg itself gives the region its name and is also known beyond the country’s borders. The first ski course was held here in Lech Zürs am Arlberg as early as 1906 and the region is still attractive for guests who enjoy a wide range of tourist offers: whether in bars, on the slopes or at small festivals.
Big city with the highest quality of life: Vienna
Vienna, capital of Austria and center of art, culture, economy and politics attracts more than seven million guests every year to the diversity of urban life. Remarkably, the city does not lose its charm and quality of life. On the contrary: in the Mercer study, it took first place for the ninth time in 2018, making it the most liveable city in the world. There are reasons for that.
Historically, Vienna is an integral part of the power games of former European rulers. The Habsburgs left the Hofburg, Schönbrunn Palace and the magnificent buildings of the Kunsthistorisches and Naturhistorisches Museum in their center. Composers such as Haydn, Beethoven and Mozart lived and created here, Vienna still has a musical influence on the world to this day.
Great artists such as Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele are also Viennese personalities. With this diversity, visitors to Vienna will hardly be able to decide. The impressive city center between St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Opera and Ring houses museums, parks, shopping streets and the famous coffee houses, because with all the hustle and bustle of the city one must not forget the cosiness that is so valued by the Viennese.
Let yourself be enchanted by this extraordinary city with a Vienna travel guide and immerse yourself in the cosiest metropolis in Europe.