Nestled amid the peaks and valleys of the Alps is the beautiful nation of Austria. This country has a long history of beautiful architecture, and its abundant countryside is nothing short of breathtaking. Take your upcoming summer vacation abroad this year and experience all the majesty this country has to offer at three of the most beautiful places to visit in Austria.
Architecture aficionados will love visiting Vienna, the capital city of Austria. Home to several palaces— including Schönbrunn Palace and the Hofburg—and stunning churches such as St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna is brimming with breathtaking landmarks and monuments. While strolling around Schönbrunn Palace, you can stop in to visit your favorite furry creatures at the oldest zoo in the world, Tiergarten Schönbrunn. This zoo is home to over 700 animal species and offers special tours for guests to interact with some of the friendlier animals, such as the zebras, lizards, and seals. After a long day enjoying the sights of the capital, stop in at one of Vienna’s many coffeehouses. Coffeehouses are a large part of Viennese culture and have even been labeled a piece of intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.
Salzburg is the place to be for music lovers of all ages. Fans of classical music will enjoy visiting Mozart’s birthplace, which has been rebuilt as a three-story museum filled with exhibits related to the composer’s life. Lovers of showtunes and movie musicals can enjoy a day spent recreating iconic scenes from The Sound of Music. Several companies in Salzburg offer tours of the locations featured in the 1965 film, which include Mirabell Palace and Gardens, Saint Peter’s Cemetery, and Nonnberg Abbey.
Also featured in the Oscar-winning movie is the Salzburg Festival, which is hosted every year in late June. This festival is a five-week-long celebration of music and drama that features concerts by renowned musicians. The most anticipated performance of the festival is the annual production of Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Jedermann.
Just outside of Salzburg lies the Eisriesenwelt, one of the most breathtaking places to visit in Austria. The largest ice cave in the world, it allows visitors to travel to the World of the Ice Giants to view spectacular ice formations. Located in the Hochkogel mountain, this cave offers stunning views of the Austrian countryside. After the invigorating hike, visitors can stop by either of the Eisriesenwelt’s two restaurants for a warm meal and refreshing beer.