Austria is a German-speaking country in Europe that has an incredible sense of culture, art, and architecture. Though it shares many borders and can seem to blend into the surrounding cultures, Austria holds its own personality that is distinct and inviting.
Austria boast both an incredible natural landscape that encourages long hikes and communing with nature, and a sophisticated cosmopolitan side that brings to mind things like art, music and wine. In Austria, you can feel equally comfortable climbing through the mountains, valleys and lakes, as you do browsing through galleries in Vienna.
WHEN TO GO
If you don’t like vying for space with all the other tourists, it’s best to avoid the high season of July and August – the two summer months when seemingly all of Europe goes on holiday. The shoulder seasons of May-June and September-October are when you’ll find less crowds and better deals.
For hiking and outdoor sports, be sure to check weather conditions if you’re planning to travel on the shoulder or low seasons, as conditions may not allow it. In the lake areas, crowds can start to get heavy beginning in June, but May is a fantastic time to hike and enjoy nature.
While December is decidedly in the low season in Austria, you’ll find that the weeks surrounding Christmas are actually considered part of the high season, due to the incredible Christmas markets you’ll find throughout Austria.
WHERE TO GO
Where to stay
You can choose from many different types of accommodations in Austria. The experiences range from chic hotels in the city to rustic lodges in the Alps. You can really have any kind of experience you want in Austria, so choose wisely!
For affordable luxury in the heart of the city
Vienna: Hotel Sacher Wien ⇒ Read reviews and check prices on Trip Advisor or Book a room
Innsbruck: The Penz Hotel ⇒ Read reviews and check prices on Trip Advisor or Book a room
Bregenz: Hotel Schwärzler ⇒ Read reviews and see current prices on TripAdvisor or Book a room
Salzburg: Hotel Bristol Salzburg ⇒ Read reviews and check prices on Trip Advisor or Book a room
Unique experiences outside the city:
Hotel Salzburgerhof ⇒ For an alpine experience and incredible mountain views, try Hotel Salzburgerhof. For ski enthusiasts, it’s just a short walk to the ski resort. And it has a three-story “wellness area” spa that is enticing to everyone. Click to see on Booking.com.
Hotel Schloss Monchstein ⇒ A castle hotel outside of Salzburg with a beautiful view of the city, a very good restaurant and a charming castle feel. Read reviews and check prices on Trip Advisor | Click to see on Booking.com.
Loisium Wine & Spa Resort in Langenlois, Austria ⇒ For wine lovers, there’s no better place to stay than at the Loisium Wine & Spa Resort just outside of Vienna, in the heart of wine country. There is a wonderful spa and the food is superb. Read reviews and check prices on Trip Advisor | Click to see on Booking.com.
What to Eat
As you might expect, the food in Austria is a bit of a conglomeration of the surrounding countries, as well as influences from early settlers. You will find plenty of schnitzel and spaetzel, as well as bratwurst, potato salad, and spicy goulash. Austria makes lovely cheeses, great wines, and plenty of beer.
Austrian cakes and pastries are a well-known feature of its cuisine. Perhaps the most famous is the Sachertorte, a chocolate cake with apricot jam filling, traditionally eaten with whipped cream.
These days, the culinary landscape is starting to change as more modern flavors and techniques are transforming the traditional foods of Austria. You will find plenty of high-class dining experiences throughout the country, like Le Ciel and Fabios in Vienna or Goldener Hirsch in Salzburg. Palais Coburn in Vienna is the place for wine lovers. They have over 60,000 bottles of wine in their cellar.
What to drink
There is no shortage of adult beverages in Austria. They love all things wine, beer and cider. Austria’s wine country might not be as well known as other wine regions, but it is vibrant and swarming with great wines. Try the Vienna wine region with over 600 producers, or the Burgenland wine region in eastern Austria, where sweet wines are the thing.
You won’t have to look far for Austrian beer, either. Austria has the fourth-largest beer-drinking population in the world. Beer production here is a major affair. The beers you can expect to find are märzen, pils, wheat and zwickel. One of Austria’s traditional brewing regions is the Mühlviertel, located between the Bohemian Forest and the Danube.
Lastly, there’s a strong cider culture in Austria. According to Austria.info, “Lower Austria’s Mostviertal (cider region) boasts Europe’s largest continuous area of pear orchards. Our tip: take a leisurely drive along the winding 200km panoramic Cider Trail, with plenty of stops along the way.”
By reading this AustriaTravel Guide, you now know what to do and where to go, and have sorted out the right time to visit Austria, haven’t you? So, pack your bags and book your tickets, because Austria awaits you!