Julie Andrews got it right; the hills are alive with yodeling, knockout scenery, and cultural traditions in Austria. Austria is a small but stunningly beautiful German speaking country nestled in heart of central Europe. It’s characterized by snow-clad Alps, quaint mountain villages, lush forests, hillside vineyards, baroque architecture, Imperial history and jagged Alpine terrain. It has every possible element a tourist could desire in a travel destination.
I love Austria and it’s one of my favorite countries to revisit. Here’s a quick list of the top five places you might want to check out if you decide to travel to Austria.
Vienna, Austria’s capital, lies in the country’s east on the Danube River. Famous composers Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert and Johann Strauss made Vienna their home because of its romantic charm, vibrancy and cultural flair; qualities it still boasts today.
A great way to see all attractions is by using the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour. Jump on a double-decker bus to explore the charms of Vienna on your own timetable. With no limit to the number of rides you can take, visit can’t-miss attractions like Schönbrunn Palace, historic landmarks, and bustling corners of the city.
Wörthersee is located in the 3-Corners Region of Austria, Italy and Slovenia, and it’s the largest and warmest of Carinthia’s many lakes. Due to its southerly location and Mediterranean climate, it’s a popular tourist destination for locals and tourists during the summer months. It has a diverse range of activities on its shores and in the water. Sights to see are the Rosegg Palace, Pyramidenkogel, Cathedral of Gurk, and Gmund — the birthplace of the Porsche.
Graz is a charming city in the Styria region of Austria. The Schlossberg is a tree-clad hill, and the site of a fortress, in the center of the city. It rises over the medieval town center, Hauptplatz, and is crisscrossed with walks from all sides. At the top is the Uhrturm is a centuries-old clock tower; take the funicular up to this site and admire the city below. The narrow surrounding streets of Graz are lined with shops and restaurants where you can take in a rich blend of Baroque and Renaissance architecture.
Wachau is a region that straddles the banks of the Danube. Gently rolling hills almost completely striped with vineyards, the medieval character of its villages and the scenic banks of the Danube beckon to be explored. The mild climate, influenced by the river valley, sunny wine slopes and the special geology mean that excellent wines are produced here, appreciated by wine connoisseurs the world over.
The 33 kilometers long stretch of the Danube – from Melk to Krems –offer a wealth of historic buildings to be visited. The Wachau also boasts a high density of restaurants and inns, where you can enjoy top quality regional cooking at reasonable prices and which promise a delicious balance of local ingredients and creative flair.
Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol, is nuzzled gracefully in the Austrian Alps. It’s one of those cities that has so much to offer, you’ll leave spellbound. An absolute must-see on every visit to Innsbruck is a gondola ride up Seegrube from where you can enjoy spectacular views of the Inn valley and the surrounding mountains.
Innsbruck is visibly shaped by its imperial past. The Imperial Palace, Ambras Palace, Ottoburg and the Wilten Basilica all tell of Innsbruck’s eventful history. Tops sights to see are the Golden Roof, Ambras Palace, Stadtturm, the Hofburg District and Hofkirsche. My favorite place to stroll is Maria Theresien Strasse. This vibrant and historic Avenue is bustling with shops and restaurants that stretch from the Triumphal Arch to Aldstadt. We also took in a Tyrolean Folk Show where the Gundolf family performed magnificently.