The enchanting charms of Austria

Travelwise

Austria is nestled in the heart of Europe, where breathtaking landscapes, captivating history and rich cultural heritage create an unforgettable travel experience. From the imperial grandeur of Vienna to the snow-capped peaks of the Alps, Austria offers a diverse range of attractions that cater to every traveler’s desires.

Austria is one of my favorite countries in Europe to visit, and Vienna is one of my favorite cities to explore. Located in the less mountainous eastern part of Austria on the Danube River, Vienna is one of the best capital cities to visit, as it offers a blend of imperial traditions, music and endearing charm. It is a city that inspires the old and the new alike, and always has a cozy place available in a coffee house
or wine tavern plus Viennese cuisine, wiener schnitzel and apple strudel.

The top highlights in Vienna are the Schönbrunn Palace; Hofburg Palace; Spanish Riding School, where the Lipizzaner stallions enchant their audience at the oldest riding school in the world; Belvedere Palace; and the Giant Ferris Wheel, where for 125 years, it has been putting visitors, young and old, under its spell.

The city of Innsbruck is surrounded by snow-capped peaks of the Alps and is a paradise for nature lovers. Between culture and nature, high peaks and low valleys, traditions, and trends ­— no other region combines extreme contrasts with as much charm as Innsbruck. The city’s special old town flair and famous sights are only a breath away from your next hike or bike tour, ski area or winter hiking experiences.

Salzburg, with the Hohensalzburg Fortress at top right. (Rafa Esteve, via Wikimedia Commons)

And then there is Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and the setting for the film, The Sound of Music. A must-see is a visit to the Hohensalzburg Fortress, perched atop the Festungsberg hill, dominating the Salzburg skyline; the Baroque Mirabell Palace and the Salzburg Cathedral. Salzburg is one of the best places to visit in Austria with kids; there’s plenty to see and do.

Graz, Austria’s second-largest city, is located in the southern part of the country. Its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the Clock Tower, Eggenberg Palace and Kunsthaus Art Museum.

Linz is a city in Upper Austria, straddling the Danube River midway between Salzburg and Vienna. Explore the old town with its cobbled streets and unique architecture of the Linz Castle and St. Martin’s Church, the oldest church in Austria. The city is filled with Baroque architecture and a great main square, Hauptplatz, one of the largest urban squares in Europe. There are art museums and many historic sights to visit.

Standing majestically along the Drava River and rubbing shoulders with both Italy and Slovenia, Villach is renowned for its invigorating spas and the captivating beauty of the Faaker See Lake. The nearby Dobratsch Nature Park, with its hiking trails and panoramic views, is a highlight for those seeking a mix of urban and natural experiences.

Wels, located in Upper Austria, boasts a history that dates to Roman times. It is a city where history meets contemporary life as one strolls through its streets visiting Wels Castle and the ancient town square.

Rattenberg is a picturesque gem beside the Inn River in the Tyrol region. This medieval town is renowned for its well preserved architecture, characterized by narrow streets. A highlight is Rattenberg Castle, which looms above the town and offers sweeping views of the surrounding Alpine landscape. Its claim to fame is its tradition of glassblowing found in shops that showcase intricate glassware from colorful ornaments to bespoke crystal pieces.

These are just a few of the many incredible destinations in Austria. Each region has its own unique charm, so be sure to explore beyond the major cities and discover hidden gems along the way.

Reach out to your travel advisor for the various ways to explore the enchanting charms of Austria.

About Nancy B. Alligood, CTC 25 Articles
Nancy B. Alligood, CTC is general manager/owner of Warwick Travel Service, Inc.and can be reached at 757-599-3011 or at n_alligood@warwicktravel.com.