Head to Part I and get to know the Alpine Country – Austria – in the eyes of a local.
Austria is a very diverse country and it consists of 9 states. Just as in the France Part II post with Paris, Vienna will not be included – I will post an itinerary about it sometime 🙂
There is plenty to do in the red and white stripped country:
An activity you cannot miss out on in Austria is – what else – skiing! There are great mountains in Vorarlberg, also partly in Tyrol, because you can hit the slopes of the Alps there. The winter season lasts from November until April, the best time to go is in December or January. Furthermore, you can get the best Alpine experience if you stay at a lodge or cabin in the mountains – nice and cozy plus it has a local vibe. Which valley I think is perfect for skiing and spending your winter holidays there is Kleinwalsertal. It is a valley landlocked from Austria by mountains and only reachable through Germany. It has 4 very large mountains with one connected skiing area just waiting for you to be explored. In addition to that, you can also encounter the German way of life because Kleinwalsertal is also a borderland.
Tyrol is also perfect for skiing. Its mountains belong to the Alps as well and share borders with many countries, in Tyrol it applies to Austria, Germany and Italy. You are traveling through Austria and Tyrol in summer? No problem! The ‘Nordkette’ is perfect in summer for mountain biking and in winter for skiing. Plus, what really makes the Nordkette area the so-called ‘Jewel of the Alps’ is its gorgeous town: Innsbruck. It is such a perfect little town with its magnificent houses, chic yet easy vibe and more than friendly inhabitants. When in Innsbruck, you definitely have to see the ‘Goldernes Dacherl’. It is a house with a golden roof and the towns landmark. Also located in the historic centre,the annual Christmas market takes place in December.
Salzburg is a state in Austria. Whoops, and its capital is also called Salzburg! So here we go, visiting the home of Mozart (you know, that world-famous musician with the white curls and unbelievable piano skills. Oh, and delicious sweets are named after him: the ‘Mozartkugeln’). Salzburg is an Austrian city on the border to Germany. You can spend days strolling through the city gazing at the medieval and baroque houses. You can experience a lot of culture there, especially in the area of music. It is also called ‘Salzburg – The stage of the World’ because there is the famous Salzburg Festival, as well as it is an UNESCO world heritage site.
Hallstatt was fairly unknown a few years ago until BOOM somebody posted a breathtaking picture on Instagram and Pinterest and it went viral. You can find at least one picture of the Austrian city of Hallstatt, located in the state of Upper Austria, on any travel page since. But is a trip to this picturesque city even worth it? It for sure is. It was already worth it before Hallstatt experienced its media boom. It is quite an amazing city, frankly. The houses and alleys date back to the 16th century. They are mostly kept in an Alpine style, which feels very familiar and cozy. But Hallstatt has something other cities do not have: the ‘Salzwelten’ (Salz = salt, Welten = worlds). It is a former salt mine with an underground salt lake and a viewing platform overlooking the ‘Hallstätter See’ (See = lake). A path in the west leads you into the ‘Echerntal’ with glacial potholes and a waterfall. So the city in Upper Austria is a must visit for all nature lovers and adventurers!
Whilst traveling from Salzburg to Vienna, you can stop in Linz for a day or two. It is a modern city, located on the Danube, where a lot of students are. You can find nearly everything in Linz – from contemporary art in the ‘Lentos Kunstmuseum’ to the a building that probably sticks out the most: the ‘Ars Electronica Center’. It is a place where you can explore science, speculate about life in the future and deal with society. It is very interesting and definitely worth a visit. A ticket costs 9,50€. Linz is overall famous for interesting exhibitions, featuring topics for kids and adults. See the city and explore the cultural and artistic part of Austria.