Located in the middle of Europe and made up of nine federated states, Austria is one of the continent's most compelling countries. The nation has a population of nearly nine million. You can imagine how much beauty and interest this place holds if so many desire to reside within its borders. With a history full of famous musicians and renowned artists, and an abundance of breathtaking scenery and architecture, it's time to start planning your vacation to the enchanting nation of Austria.
Here are eight of our favorite hidden gems in Austria.
As the most monumental and famously preserved citadel in Central Europe, the Hohensalzburg Fortress is undoubtedly one to behold in person. Tourists from all over the world come to explore this longstanding medieval fortress. While touring through the castle, make sure to visit the staterooms, torture chamber, and the museums. Take a day out of your schedule because you won't want to rush this visit.
Visit Salzburg's Old Town
While in Austria, make sure to mosey on through Salzburg's Old Town and get acquainted with the cobblestone streets, quaint alleyways, preserved 15th-century buildings, and awe-inspiring architecture. The Old Town even contains some of the best shopping around, making it perfect for picking up souvenirs and grabbing something delectable to munch on.
Salzburg Marionette Theater
Established in 1913, the Salzburg Marionette Theater is one of the oldest marionette theaters in the world. Live actors were used in the productions at this theater, and as of today, the theater is used to record live soundtracks. For marionette productions, there are over 500 characters that are still used, including the entire cast in The Sound of Music. The puppet masters for the theater perform operas from composers such as Tchaikovsky, Shakespeare, Mozart, and Saint-Exupéry using their wooden characters.
Johann Sattler, a well-known painter from the 1820s, painted a remarkable wall that included an in-depth panoramic view of Salzburg. This painting included great detail, not just of the buildings and architecture of the Austrian state but of the residents and their everyday lives from over 200 years ago.
Guided The Sound of Music Tour
Now's your time to hit up all the beautiful locations you grew up watching in the classic film, The Sound of Music. With over 15 sites, you'll want to see Mirabellgarten, Hellbrunn Palace, and the Nonnberg Abbey. Even if you choose not to take a guided tour, make sure you at least visit these iconic spots.
The Home of Mozart
Once Mozart's family moved away from his birth home, they lived next to the Salzach river. Today, the house is known as Mozart's Residence Museum, where you can get an inside view of how Mozart grew up and the delicate artifacts of his past.
St. Peter's Cemetery and Catacombs
Dating way back to the 1600s, St. Peter's Cemetery and Catacombs is the first Christian burial grounds in Salzburg. Since 1696, monks have come to the monastery to pray, live, and work. This site is certainly one to behold. It isn't just a place to mourn but a place that features gorgeous architecture and rock caves in the Mönchsberg.
The Klessheim Palace
Once upon a time, this magnificent Baroque structure acted as the residence to Archbishops of Salzburg. Now the Salzburg Casino, it is a beautiful place to partake in a little gambling, but that's not all. The interior design, gardens, and pleasure grounds are all worth seeing. If you make this trip, dress appropriately. There is a dress code for all those who visit.
When you think of Austria, wine might not be the first thing that comes to your mind. However, once you taste a cool, crisp Grüner Veltliner – Austria’s signature wine – you will forever link Austria to premium wine in your mind. Austria’s best wine regions lie along the Danube River, where steep vine terraces stretch over rolling hillsides. The hills boast appealing medieval towns and castle ruins. In these areas, Riesling and Grüner Veltliner grapes dominate, offering appealing sips for white wine lovers.
You won’t want to miss visiting Schloss Gobelsburg in Kamptal. This winery is in the Danube region and was initially built as a fortified castle. The land was granted to the monks of a nearby monastery, which the monks then planted the vineyard. The baroque castle is still there today and is where Schloss Gobelsburg wines are produced. The monks still own the winery, and every year after the fall harvest, they come to baptize the vintage and bless the wines with the workers that produced them.
Whether you are into music, history, culture, wine or natural landscape, Austria offers so much to travelers. There are very few places in the world like Austria, where you can go from the center of a bustling city to the top of a tranquil mountain within a matter of minutes. When you are ready to begin planning your next travel adventure, contact me and we can discuss all that Austria has to offer.
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