12 Best Landmarks in Austria
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With so many landmarks in Austria, it can be hard to choose which ones are worth visiting. So, where should you start? That’s where this post comes in!
With the help of many other incredible travelers, we’ve brought you this ultimate list of Austrian landmarks, from ones filled with history to scenic views that you’ll never want to stop staring at. Whether it’s your first time visiting this country or you’re a repeat visitor, you’re going to want to bookmark these great places to visit.
This post is all about interesting landmarks in Austria that you should add to your bucket list.
Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna
First is one of the best landmarks in Austria, Schönbrunn Palace, which is beautiful any time of year. This historic palace opened in the 1700s and once served as the main summer residence for the Habsburgs but is now open to the public for visits.
If you’re visiting Vienna on a budget, then you can absolutely still visit; just explore the gardens instead of going into the palace. The gardens are free to explore and open to everyone. There are also many spots throughout the gardens where you can relax and just look out at the view.
You can definitely go inside though if you’d prefer actually to see the history up close. There are many different tours, but one of the best is the Grand Tour which is €26 per person. This tour brings visitors to 40 different staterooms and is the perfect way to get introduced to the beauty of the palace.
No matter what you choose to do during your visit here, be sure to do it earlier in the day. Crowds can get worse as the day goes on because this is one of the most popular places to visit in Vienna. Even in the off-season, this palace can get busy!
Hofburg Palace in Vienna
Hofburg Palace is also in Vienna and is an absolute must-see Austrian landmark. If you’re visiting Vienna in general, it’s near impossible to miss this one because it’s in the central part of the city and is easily signified by its bright green dome.
This palace was built back in the 13th century for the Habsburgs. It was mainly used in the winter as they were at Schönbrunn Palace in the summers. Today, the palace is open to the public to visit and explore, and it’s an absolute must-see.
Tickets to explore this palace are only €16, and they will allow you to see the highlights of Hofburg Palace. There are also audio guides that are complimentary which will allow you to learn about what you see throughout your visit.
While visiting Hofburg Palace, be sure to stop by Hofburg Cafe. This is an underrated spot to try the famous Austrian food sachertorte, a decadent chocolate cake that you’ll regret not trying. It’s always a lot less busy than other cafes in the city.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna
One of the best things to do when visiting a new city is to see it from above. Well, you can see all of Vienna from above at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a jaw-dropping piece of historic architecture featuring a beautiful mosaic roof.
This cathedral was built back in the 12th century and is one of the most impressive structures standing today in the city. When you’re in this part of the city, you round the corner and all of a sudden see it in all its beauty.
As you may imagine, to get the view, you do have to climb to the top. The climb is very windy, and the stairwell is small, but if you take your time, you’ll be well rewarded with a few at the top. Tickets for the climb are a few euros, and it is more than worth it.
Because the stairwell can get fairly busy, try to go during times that you know other people won’t. Think lunchtime, early morning, and even right before close. Try to avoid crowds as much as possible so that you’re able to enjoy the view completely!
Hallstatt Salt Mine in Hallstatt
The Salzwelten Mine in Hallstatt is the world’s oldest salt mine, which dates from around 7000 years ago. Visiting the salt mine is one of the best things to do in Hallstatt and an experience in itself because the trip includes the funicular up the mountain, as well as an archaeological burial site.
A ticket to the salt mine costs 36 euros and includes the round trip with the funicular. Make sure to climb the platform near the funicular station and head over to the skywalk for an incredible view of Hallstatt lake and the mountain scenery around it.
The visit inside the mine lasts for 90 minutes, but make sure to set aside around half a day in order to see everything on the mountain plateau. To get into the mine, you are given protective clothing, as well as a helmet. There are lockers where you can store your valuables before entering the mine.
The visit to the mine is very interactive. There are holograms everywhere, as well as projections directly onto the stone walls. You can see how the salt is made, as well as learn about the history of the mine and how it was discovered by prehistoric man.
One of the main attractions inside the main is the two slides, which were used by miners to go from one level to the other. Now everyone can slide on them. The longest slide is 64 meters long.
Contributed by Joanna from The World in My Pocket
Mirabell Palace and Gardens, Salzburg
Located in the city of Salzburg, Mirabell Palace and Gardens are one of the most popular tourist destinations in Austria. Not only are the gardens considered a cultural heritage monument and part of Salzburg’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, but they are also one of the locations used in the iconic movie “The Sound of Music.”
Mirabell Palace was completed in 1606, and its gorgeous baroque gardens were added later from 1715-1730. If you are a history buff, you may be interested to learn that the palace was actually the home of Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau’s mistress!
The palace was subsequently purchased by the City of Salzburg in 1866. At this time, it was used for the mayor’s office. Nowadays, the Palace is still used by the city for administrative offices, but many areas are open to the public for viewing and for special events.
Entry into the incredible gardens is free. Take a stroll past the infamous Pegasus Fountain, or have a seat near the garden steps to admire the views of the High Salzburg Fortress (Hohensalzburg) towering over the city.
The beautiful gardens make the perfect backdrop for family photos or are a lovely place to sit and enjoy a coffee. As you leave the palace grounds, make sure to make your way through the incredible hedge maze!
Contributed by Marianne from Pasta Pretzels & Passports
Krimml Waterfalls are actually made of three levels that make up 380 meters high waterfall. It’s a great landmark to visit because the Krimml Waterfalls are the highest and the most impressive waterfall in Austria.
There is a Eur 5 fee to enter the Krimml Waterfalls trail, and the fee goes towards the maintenance of the tree and the surrounding area. The trail was made more than 100 years ago to make Krimml Waterfalls more accessible to people who want to enjoy the fresh air and the magical views of the Alps.
Over 400 000 people visit the Krimml Waterfalls each year. It takes only about 10 to 15 minutes to go from the parking lot to the first stage of the waterfall to enjoy the beautiful view. But for the more active people, the Krimml Waterfall trail takes around 4 hours to climb up and get back down.
It offers multiple viewpoints of the waterfall. On sunny days it’s possible to see rainbows in the mist created by the waterfall, which makes the hike really cool.
You can get to Krimml Waterfalls by car – they are located 2 hours and 15 minutes away from Salzburg and 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Innsbruck. There is also a train leading to Krimml village from Zell am See.
Recommended by Una from Wandernity
Grossglockner in Hohe Tauern Natural Park
The Grossglockner is the highest mountain, at 3798 meters or 12460 feet located in the Hohe Tauern natural park. It’s an important landmark in Austria.
The high alpine road leads up to the visitor center of the Grossglockner and Pasterze glacier. The road also leads over a pass to Heiligenblut in Carinthia, making it a significant road to get over the alps.
It’s a toll road, costing each car about €36 and €26 for a motorbike to drive in one of the most stunning mountain backdrops. The road tax is used to preserve the Hohe Tauern national park. Visitors get to discover some permanent exhibitions at the visitor center, which talks about global warming.
Adventurous people can go down to the Pasterze glacier, which is a 30-minute hike downwards. Signboards explain the glacier levels between the 70s and now, helping one to understand the changes that this glacier has undergone over the decades.
At the Grossglockner, you will come close to marmots and ibex. The vastness will most definitely enchant you and turn your Austria trip into an adventure. Learn everything you need to know to get to the Grossglockner.
Contributed by Paul from Paulmarina
Graz Clock Tower in Graz
One of the most beautiful attractions in Austria is definitely the Graz Clock Tower. It is located in Graz on the Schlossberg and is also a landmark of the city. This site is the absolute heart of the city, and a visit to this historic structure should not be missed.
The Graz Clock Tower is about 28 meters high, and due to its location on a hill, it towers over the city. It is the landmark of Graz and can be found on every postcard. It was built in the 13th century, but it has its current appearance since the refortification in the 16th century.
A special feature of this landmark is the clock face: minute and hour hands are reversed on the tower clock. Beautiful and worth a visit is also the park with the rose and flower garden directly under the clock tower. From there, you can take the best pictures of the Graz Clock Tower.
You can easily reach the Graz Clock Tower by taking a walk from the Old Town because it’s only a few minutes walk from the center to the top. The path Kriegersteig is probably the most beautiful ascent because from there you can enjoy a magnificent panorama of the city center.
But it’s also nice to take a ride on the famous Schlossbergbahn, which takes you up to the top of the Schlossberg within a few minutes.
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Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg
Many of the most remarkable landmarks in Austria can be found in Salzburg. The city is packed with amazing things to do, from Mozart to The Sound of Music. And during wintertime in Salzburg you can explore some of the best Christmas Markets in Austria too.
But one of the top attractions in Salzburg is to visit the incredible Hohensalzburg fortress. What makes this medieval fortress one of the best landmarks in Austria, it is the largest preserved castle in central Europe.
This fortress was built in 1077 at the behest of the Prince-Archbishops in order to protect the archbishops and principality from any possible attacks.
The best way to visit the fortress is to book your ticket in advance and take the 1-hour tour where you will be able to visit a couple of small museums and rooms that you can tour.
But the highlight of visiting the fortress is the views from the top, sitting atop the Festungsberg at an altitude of 506 m, where you have the best views of Salzburg and also the countryside.
There are 2 ways to get to the fortress – One option is to ride the funicular, and the other is to walk up the steep path that leads to the entrance.
Contributed by Paula from Paula Pins the Planet
Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna
A visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna is a must if you want to see all the treasures of the Hapsburg dynasty in one room. Located in the historic ring district of the Ringstrabe in a palatial building.
Built in a Neo-Baroque style that mimics the other National Science and History museum with more of the Hapsburg treasures, the Kunsthistorisches is rich with Hapsburgs Master paintings, sculpture, furniture, and other antiquities. The other must-visit collections are from their royal treasury and personal gifts to the Hapsburg rulers which is an incredible collection of amazing treasures.
The museum is a truly grand and must-visit attraction, including the royal painting galleries, the royal treasury and the Egyptian collections which can easily take an entire day to enjoy.
If you need a break, visit the wonderful restaurant with stunning views and a circular opening below to the entrance which is a fun people-watching venue right at the restaurant while enjoying some of the delicious local cuisine and beverages.
Noel with The Mature Traveler
Mauthausen Concentration Camp Memorial in Linz
Located outside of the town of Linz, Mauthausen served as a concentration camp during World War II and the Holocaust from 1938-1945. Initially just one camp, the complex developed into multiple different satellite sites over time, imprisoning almost 200,000 workers, an estimated 90,000 of them who died.
The Mauthausen Memorial offers free entry to the grounds, and visitors can download an app that includes a free audio guide for use as they tour the camp complex. Alternatively, a guided tour can be purchased for €5.
The easiest way to get to Mauthausen is to rent a car and drive. There is free parking on the premises. Alternatively, you can take a direct bus from Linz or take the train to the Mauthausen Railway Station and then take a taxi or bus to the Memorial.
Although perhaps not at the top of a tourist’s list of places to see, visiting Mauthausen is incredibly significant as it evokes reflection and contemplation of a history that we must remember.
Read about other important Holocaust and WWII sites to visit here.
Contributed by Taylor from Traverse with Taylor
Nordkette Mountain Range in Innsbruck
Talking about things to do in Innsbruck, it is fair enough to conclude that Nordkette Mountain Range remains one of the best spots around. This is the perfect place to spend your vacation with family members.
It is true that Austria has lots of eye-catching destinations which tourists can explore. However, this one seems to stand out among all of them. For instance, it is like a natural skyscraper.
Apart from that, there are lots of activities you can engage in to make your visit worthwhile. These could be hiking, skiing and others. The amazing views are also worth talking about.
Do you want to know the best part about this playground? Such is the fact that it can be visited at any time of the year. During the summer, you will come across mountain bikers, rock climbers, and different categories of people.
Nordkette Mountain Range is one of the best places to discover more about nature in Austria firsthand. Winter periods also offer some exciting moments that will leave you captivated and speechless. At a price of US$ 42.90 (for adults), this place may seem expensive. However, the fun-filled activities that it offers are worth every penny.
Recommended by Phil from JOURNICATION Travel Blog
This post was about the best landmarks in Austria.
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