First Timers Travel Guide To Visiting Austria Visitable Places

This is not just a saying but a solid fact about Austria – a land of picturesque landscapes, rich history, and cultural treasures waiting to be explored! If you are a first-time traveller to this enchanting country, you’re in for an unforgettable experience. Having visited Austria five times, my love for this Central European gem multiplies with each visit. Situated in the heart of the Alps, Austria might be a favourite destination for skiers and hikers, but it also boasts an exceptional musical legacy – from Mozart, Haydn, Liszt, and Mahler to the Von Trapp family, whose life inspired the movie “The Sound of Music.”

On a map, pear-shaped Austria might appear small, but it packs a punch when it comes to attractions. In this ultimate Austria Travel Guide, I will take you on a journey to the top 5 must-visit places in Austria – Vienna, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Zell am See, and Innsbruck. Get ready to discover the must-see attractions, travel tips, ideal itineraries, budget-friendly options, and everything you need to know for a seamless exploration of Austria. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a history lover, or an adventure seeker, Austria has something special for everyone. Let’s dive in and uncover the wonders of this magnificent country!

Places To Visit In Austria

Vienna, the former capital of Austria-Hungarian Empire, is famous for its elegant architecture, rich history, and vibrant cultural scene. It’s a city that seamlessly blends the past with the present, offering visitors a glimpse into Austria’s imperial past while also home to a thriving arts and music scene.

Must-See Attractions in Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace: This magnificent palace was once the summer palace of the Habsburg monarchs and is now converted into a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace’s stunning gardens and intricate interiors are a must-see.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral: Located in the heart of Vienna, this Gothic cathedral is an iconic landmark and offers breathtaking city views from its towers.

Vienna State Opera: One of the world’s most famous opera houses, the Vienna State Opera is a must-visit for music lovers.

Naschmarkt: This bustling outdoor market is a food lover’s paradise, offering various international foods and drinks

Hofburg Palace: This vast complex of imperial palaces and museums offers visitors a glimpse into Austria’s rich history.

Travel Tips for Vienna

While Vienna is beautiful in every season, the best time to visit the Austrian capital is in the spring or autumn when the weather is mild, colourful flowers and leaves are everywhere, and the crowds are smaller. If you visit during the summer, be prepared for high temperatures and larger crowds.
Vienna is a walkable city, but public transportation is also efficient and easy to use.

For the city’s best views, head to the top of St. Stephen’s Cathedral or climb up to the viewing terrace at the top of the Danube Tower.

To experience Vienna’s famous coffee culture, head to one of the city’s traditional coffeehouses like Café Central, Demel, Cafe Landtman, and Hotel Sacher.

For a unique experience, take a ride on the Wiener Riesenrad. This giant Ferris wheel offers panoramic views of the city.

Where to Stay in Vienna

Vienna has many accommodations, from budget hostels to luxurious hotels. If you’re looking for a centrally located hotel, I’d recommend staying at Hotel Bristol as it is centrally located and is near many of the city’s top attractions.

How to Reach Vienna

Vienna is well-connected by air, train, and bus. The city’s main airport is Vienna International Airport, about 20 km from the city centre. You can take a train or bus from the airport to the city centre.

Recommended Days to Stay in Vienna

I recommend spending at least three to four days in Vienna to see the top attractions and get a feel for the city’s vibrant culture.

Must-See Attractions in Salzburg

Hohensalzburg Fortress: This medieval fortress sits atop a hill overlooking the city and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.


Mirabell Palace and Gardens: These beautiful gardens were featured in the movie “The Sound of Music” and are a popular spot for wedding photos.

Getreidegasse: This historic shopping street is home to several beautiful buildings and is where you can find Mozart’s birthplace.

Salzburg Cathedral: This stunning Baroque cathedral is the most significant church in Salzburg and features beautiful artwork and architecture.

Hellbrunn Palace and Trick Fountains: This Baroque palace features beautiful gardens and unique water features, including hidden fountains that surprise visitors with unexpected sprays of

Travel Tips for Salzburg

The best time to visit Salzburg is in the summer when the weather is mild, and the city is bustling with outdoor events and concerts.

If you’re a music lover, be sure to attend a performance at the Salzburg Festival, which takes place each summer and is one of the world’s most famous music festivals.
For the city’s best views, take the funicular to Hohensalzburg Fortress or hike up to the Kapuzinerberg viewpoint.

To experience Salzburg’s culinary scene, try some local specialities like schnitzel, dumplings, and strudel at traditional restaurants like St. Peter Stiftskeller or Zum Fidelen Affen.
For a unique experience, take a guided tour of the Salzburg salt mines or explore the city’s many Baroque churches and palaces.

Where to Stay in Salzburg

Salzburg has a range of accommodations, from budget hostels to richness hotels. For a central location and stunning city views, I’d recommend Hotel Sacher Salzburg.

How to Reach Salzburg

Salzburg has a small international airport and is easily accessible by train or bus from other major European cities.

Recommended Days to Stay in Salzburg

We recommend spending at least two to three days in Salzburg to see the top attractions and explore the city’s charming streets and gardens.

Hallstatt, located in the Salzkammergut region of Austria, is a picturesque village known for its alpine scenery, historic salt mines, and charming architecture.

Must-See Attractions in Hallstatt

Hallstatt Skywalk: This viewing platform offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Hallstatt.
Old Town: The charming streets of Hallstatt’s Old Town are lined with colourful buildings and offer plenty of opportunities for shopping and dining.
Hallstatt Ossuary: This tiny chapel is home to over 1,200 human skulls and is a unique and eerie attraction.
Lake Hallstatt: This pristine alpine lake is famous for swimming, boating, and hiking.
Hallstatt Salt Mine: This historic salt mine dates back to the Celtic era and offers visitors a glimpse into Austria’s rich mining history.
Travel Tips for Hallstatt
The best time to visit Hallstatt is in the summer when the weather is mild, and the village is alive with outdoor activities and events.


To avoid the crowds, consider visiting Hallstatt in the shoulder seasons of spring or fall.
Consider renting a bike or kayak to explore the surrounding mountains and lakes.
Try some traditional dishes like Kasnocken or Wiener Schnitzel at Gasthof Zauner or Gasthof Simony for a taste of local cuisine.
For a unique experience, take a boat tour of the lake or visit the nearby Dachstein Ice Cave.

Where to Stay in Hallstatt

Hallstatt has a range of accommodations, from cosy guesthouses to richness hotels. For a charming and centrally located option, I recommend Seehotel Grüner Baum.

Must-See Attractions in Innsbruck

Golden Roof: This historic balcony in the heart of Innsbruck’s Old Town is covered in gold tiles and is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
Ambras Castle: This Renaissance palace is home to an impressive art collection and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Nordkette Cable Car: This cable car offers stunning views of the Alps and is a popular spot for hiking and winter sports.
Old Town: The charming streets of Innsbruck’s Old Town are lined with historic buildings and offer plenty of shopping and dining options.
Bergisel Ski Jump: This ski jump was designed by famed architect Zaha Hadid and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Travel Tips for Innsbruck
The best time to visit Innsbruck is in the winter when the ski slopes and ice rinks are open or in the summer when the city is alive with outdoor activities and events.
For a unique experience, ride on the Hungerburgbahn funicular or hike up to the nearby Hafelekar Peak.
To experience local cuisine, try traditional dishes like Tiroler Speckknödel or Wiener Schnitzel at restaurants like Gasthaus Anich or Café Munding.
For a cultural experience, attend a performance at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music or visit the Tyrolean Folk Art Museum.
To save money on attractions, consider purchasing the Innsbruck Card, which includes access to museums and cable cars.

Where to Stay in Innsbruck

Innsbruck has a range of accommodations, from budget hostels to richness hotels. For a central and comfortable option, I recommend the Hotel Innsbruck.

How to Reach Innsbruck

Innsbruck has a small international airport and is easily accessible by train or bus from nearby cities like Munich or Vienna.

Recommended Days to Stay in Innsbruck

I recommend spending at least two to three days in Innsbruck to see the top attractions and enjoy the Austrian alpine beauty.

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