Where to go: Austria’s most Visited Places
Without much doubt, the usual suspects of sightseeing spots in Austria are Vienna and Salzburg, followed by Tyrol and the Salzkammergut. Other hot-spots for international visitors are the lakes of Carinthia – and obviously the skiing areas of Vorarlberg, Tyrol and southern Salzburg for winter tourism. Now, being a nerdy person myself with interests in biology, history and literature and fine arts, I used to focus very much on urban tourism in Austria as well as “conventional” sightseeing.
Recently, I had a conversation with a colleague of mine, whose parents own a hotel. He pointed out to me that his hometown was among the top-ten tourist destinations in Austria – to my great surprise. This was simply because it is in the middle of a very popular skiing area; a no-skier like me misses out on this important aspect of the Austrian tourism industry. Therefore, TourMyCountry.com has a few significant gaps.
This made me look up a ranking of the numbers of booking arrangements (total number of nights spent in a place by a tourist) and there were even more surprises to come. The ranking was published by the “Statistik Austria” (Austrian Institute of Statistics, a governmental organisation) and thus I regard it as a rather reliable piece of information.
A fair number of the apparent top-10 paces to go in Austria were towns I didn’t know. Usually skiing destinations or hiking hot-beds. Unsurprisingly, winter and summer seasons show quite different results. The data was collected in 2006, but variations are small and thus representative for other years. Here they are:
Sightseeing and Attractions of Austria For You
A relatively small country as it is, Austria has exercised a profound influence on the world history and culture; that is why it will be a great choice as the holiday destination for most fastidious travelers, including art connoisseurs, sport lovers and idle pleasure-seekers.
The lists of sightseeing and attractions well worth visiting can be endless for those who travel Austria. A good starting point for discovering the country is its proud capital, Vienna.
Once the seat of the Habsburg Empire, it abounds in historical and cultural monuments of supreme importance. The greatest places to visit in Vienna include its gorgeous palaces, as the Imperial Palace (Hofburg), Schö?nbrunn and the Belvedere being not only architectural masterpieces for all times, but also treasure-troves for works of Austrian and foreign artists, that (works, not artists) are housed in the numerous galleries and museums inside. Hofburg only encompasses over 20 museums and the National Library. Tickets will cost you no more than 10 Euro except for admittance to performances of the Spanish Riding School that may be as expensive as 26 Euro or more, but the show is worth the money
Salzburg is another city that can fill you with passion for Austria. Here, in the Old Town (Altstadt), a great ensemble of Baroque buildings is presented, and Hohensalzburg Fortrsess (Festung) is often called the most imposing medieval castle of Austria. The birthplace of Mozart welcomes tourists to the Salzburg Festival and thousands of people who travel Austria accept this invitation each year.
Europe's skiing capital, Innsbruck with its great resorts and historical monuments, is Austria's great travel destination, too.
Consider taking a tour around Austria to visit some of the land's major attractions in Graz, the country's second largest city, as well as in small medieval towns like Freistadt in Upper Austria or Hall in the Tyrol.
Theatre-lovers are highly recommended to visit at least one of the hundred performances of Vienna State Opera that are given daily September through June. However, queues may be really long here, especially for the world-famous New Year concert given together with Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, so consider booking well in advance! Salzburg's Marionette Theater also offers exquisite entertainment by no means orientated towards children audience only. Its impressive performances are renowned all over the world.
Austria is a country generously blessed with all kinds of sightseeing and attractions, famous for its music, art, architecture and cuisine, spectacular landscapes and friendly people.
Travel Austria with us and you will surely love it!
Zell am See (Salzburg)