It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Austria is filled with beautiful cities and villages. Dramatic mountain scenery, historic architecture, and the occasional ski resort. The most attractive towns in Austria are listed here, so check them out if you’re searching for a day trip from Vienna or just want to explore another side of this European nation.
Salzburg, which is regarded as one of central Europe’s most attractive cities, easily makes our list. The city has had enough time to develop into the beauty it is now, having a history of roughly 12 centuries.
For fans of baroque architecture, there is no better spot to visit than the Old Town, which has been maintained and is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. There’s more, though: Salzburg was the location of The Sound of Music (1965) filming as well as the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Feldkirch, which is located at the very westernmost point of Austria and borders both Switzerland and Liechtenstein, is well worth a visit because of its magnificent medieval centre.
The surrounding mountains further accentuate the view, and it’s simple to explore the historic alleys and feel envious of the Austrians who were fortunate enough to grow up in such a picturesque setting. Feldkirch, which was first recorded in writing in 1218, is an excellent illustration of the type of towns that formerly littered central Europe.
3. St Gilgen
The Salzkammergut mountain range surrounds St Gilgen, which is situated on the lovely Wolfgangsee Lake and has all the natural splendour one could want. It also helps that it is a medieval city full of vibrantly coloured historic structures.
In the late 19th century, when affluent Vienna residents started constructing their summer homes here, it began to gain popularity as a tourist attraction. The city also has a connection to Mozart; even while the composer himself never visited, several other family members lived and worked in the area, including the composer’s mother.
A lot is available in Innsbruck. A high-altitude location in the Alps offers year-round breathtaking views and fantastic opportunities for winter sports; Innsbruck even served as the host city for the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976. It serves as the seat of the Austrian state of Tyrol and is home to a variety of opulent structures in the city’s core and along the Sill River.
The majority of the structures you see today, meanwhile, are restorations because Innsbruck suffered significant bombing damage following the Anschluss when Germany occupied Austria in the run-up to World War II.
Hallstatt, another benefactor of the Salzkammergut mountains’ natural beauty, has grown to be a popular vacation spot for travellers from all over the world as a result of its commanding location on Lake Hallstatt.
In fact, a Chinese mining corporation built a full-scale copy of Hallstatt in Guangdong due to the town’s stunning appearance. Visit the genuine thing, though, and you’ll be much better off, and the schnitzel will undoubtedly taste better.
If you’re taking a Danube cruise, Dürnstein is one of the most beautiful little towns you’ll pass. The town centre is filled with stunning structures in a variety of architectural styles and a medieval castle that dates at least to the 10th-century towers over the river.
You can sample some of the local fares because Dürnstein is situated in the heart of a significant wine-growing region in Austria. The most well-known types are dry white wines, especially grüner veltliner.
Alpbach won awards for being the most picturesque village in the nation in 1983 and the most picturesque flower village in all of Europe in 1993. Thousands of visitors come here each year to experience its appeal despite the fact that it is quite remote up in the Alps.
The Alpbach European Forum, which is held annually, brings notable figures from the fields of politics, business, the arts, and science together for two weeks of idea exchange. It is also a ski resort, one of the greatest in Austria. And for those who are interested in the history of science, this is the location of theoretical scientist Erwin Schrodinger’s grave.
8. Krems an der Donau
Despite the fact that Krems a der Donau was only first recorded in writing in 996, archaeological findings show that the region had been inhabited for many thousands of years before that.
Krems was nearly as huge as Vienna in its prime, in the 11th and 12th centuries. Because of the lovely ancient town, it is still worthwhile to visit. The native marillenschnaps, an apricot brandy, should be your first port of call when visiting Krems, which is also in the wine region and ideal for wine sampling.
9. Bad Gastein
Despite the fact that Bad Gastein has been inhabited for more than a thousand years, the area only became popular as a spa town in the late 19th century as a result of the kings, queens, chancellors, and tsars who were drawn to the area’s hot springs.
The extravagant Belle Époque architecture, which is still evident in the structures, was used to develop the city to satisfy the visiting royals. Today, you can go to the baths to receive the spa services that kings did more than a century ago, or you can go in the winter to engage in skiing and a variety of other winter activities.
When a city proclaims itself the Sun Town, you can be sure it will be attractive. About 4,000 years ago, during the Bronze Age, people began to occupy this area, and numerous land transfers have taken place since then. It had formerly belonged to the Roman Empire, the Hapsburg Monarchy, and Nazi Germany.
When you go there today, you can witness examples of architecture from several eras that complement the surrounding area’s natural beauty, which includes mountains and lush landscapes.