W hile no travel destination really “has it all,” Austria comes pretty close. One of the jewels of central Europe, Austria has a rich history, great sports all year long, a vibrant cultural life, great food and some superb hotels. It’s one of those places you never need to worry about finding something interesting to do.
Some travel here for The Sound of Music ambiance of the Salzburg countryside; others vie for the sounds of music in trendy bars and clubs in Vienna and other cities. And international resorts such as St. Anton, Kitzbühel and Ischgl are renown for great winter sports, but come the summer and they also have fabulous hiking, white-water kayaking and biking.
While Austria has its fair share of bombastic palaces and baroque abbeys, it has also become an avant-garde destination known for design, clearly evident in its mix of modern architecture with centuries-old buildings in cities such as Graz south of Vienna.
After visiting Vienna’s museums, its shops and the Spanish Riding School, the oldest Classical Dressage riding school in the world, featuring the well-known Lipizzaner stallions, leave time to enjoy the city’s cafes or to sip Austria’s famous wines in the Heurigers in the hills above the city.
Vienna – a spectacular city of culture
Salzburg – step into “The Sound of Music”
The Tyrol – the Alpine paradise
Hallstatt – picture-perfect on the shore of the Hallstätter See
Graz – a rival to Vienna in the Middle Ages
Good to Know
Its resort towns such as Innsbruck and St. Anton may be best know for skiing, but even if you’re a non-skier the Tyrol is still captivating.
In the Footsteps of Julie Andrews
Perhaps you can’t hear The Sound of Music here, but you can see where it was filmed in several locations around Salzburg.
Austria’s Music-Festival Extravaganza
Austria’s reputation as a land of music is most evident in the country’s numerous music festivals that take place every summer, many in stunning landscapes.
My Secret Salzburg Tour
While in Austria a few weeks ago I was lucky to have a half-day tour in Salzburg.
I’ve been on many tours but what made this one unique was that it showed me areas many travelers visit, but few ever really see, all within a three-block or so area in the city’s old town. It was as if I was taking a tour of “Secret Salzburg.”