The first time I visited Austria it seemed like the whole country was a national park! That impression has remained after many more visits. Everywhere you turn, you see beautiful landscapes, historic architecture, and friendly people. From the Blue Danube (not really that blue) to the snow-covered Alps, from Salzburg to Bregenz, it’s like Disneyland, only much better — because it’s authentic! Learn more about this Alpine nation that proves the adage that good things come in small packages: Österreich.
Let’s begin with the Austrian capital city and some of the key attractions you should see.
- Stephansdom - St. Stephen’s cathedral was built during the 13th to 15th centuries. It is Vienna’s greatest and best-known landmark standing in the very heart of the city.
- Hofburg - The former residence of the Hapsburgs is a massive complex of buildings, courtyards, squares, and monuments that grew over several centuries.
- Ringstraße - Vienna’s magnificent ring boulevard, tracing the city’s former fortified walls, is lined by parks and grand architecture. Notable buildings: the Staatsoper (opera), Parlament, the Rathaus (city hall), and the Burgtheater.
- Prater Park - Vienna’s famous Volksprater amusement park and its giant Ferris wheel (Riesenrad) have played a role in several classic films (The Third Man and the James Bond film The Living Daylights). Web: Vienna Prater
- United Nations, Vienna (UNOV) - The modern architectural UNOV office complex opened on January 1, 1980. Along with the headquarters in New York and the Geneva UN office, the UNOV performs representation and liaison functions for the UN. It is easy to reach via the U1 U-Bahn line, and tours are available. Web: Vienna International Centre
- Donauturm - The 252-meter (827 ft) Danube Tower offers magnificent views of the city and also features two revolving restaurants. Web: Donauturm (English)
- Parlament - The Austrian Parliament building with its beautiful Athena fountain is on the Ringstraße.
- Hundertwasserhaus - This unique — some would say bizarre — apartment building designed by the Austrian artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser is definitely worth a visit. Also recommended: the Wotrubakirche (church) by the Austrian sculptor Fritz Wotruba.
- Rathaus - The city hall was built in a medieval style in 1873.
- Museums - Vienna and Austria have far too many art and historical museums to mention in detail. Pick your favorites! Web: Museen in Österreich (in German; the museum sites are usually also in English)
- Schönbrunn Palace - Modeled after Versailles, you can tour the Hapsburg royal summer residence and its beautiful grounds, with an 18th century park and the world’s oldest zoo (1752).
- Viennese coffee houses - Vienna’s cafés are legendary. The Viennese claim to have have invented filtered coffee after the second Turkish siege of 1683, using the coffee beans the Turks left behind.
- Heuriger - A Heuriger (HOY-ree-gher) is a wine pub that serves Heurigen wine, "this year's wine." Just outside of Vienna there are small towns that specialize in serving the local wines. Grinzing is perhaps the best-known of these towns.
|The Hundertwasserhaus in Vienna is named for its designer Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Photo © H. Flippo|
For more about Austria, see this page:
- Austria Country Information - History, facts and figures
Other Austrian Cities and Towns
Of course, there is much more to Austria than Vienna. Besides Salzburg, Graz, Linz, and Innsbruck, there are many places in Austria worth visiting. Although the country is only about the size of the U.S. state of South Carolina, there is a great variety of landscapes found between Lake Constance (der Bodensee) in the west and the Neusiedler See in the east — from soaring Alpine peaks to lowland marshes. Watch for more about Austria’s many other attractions in future articles!
Please see the Web links below for Austrian cities and more travel-related information.
Web content Copyright © 1997-2011 Hyde Flippo
Austria: Airlines and Travel Information
- Austrian Airlines flies from New York and Washington, DC to Vienna, and operates flights between many international destinations. Other Austrian cities served: Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz, and Salzburg.
- Austrian Information from The Austrian Press & Information Service in Washington, DC
- Austrian National Tourist Office (in German or English)
- Austrian National Tourist Office (USA)
- Austrian Rail - ÖBB Online - In German or English (Route Planner)
Austrian Cities on the Web
- Bregenz Online (German only) and the Bregenz Festival
- Graz Online in English or German
- Innsbruck Online
- Klagenfurt am Wörthersee
- Linz - Willkommen - Information about Austria’s third-largest city (in English or German).
- Salzburg.at - Salzburg - city and state
- Salzburg im Internet - in German or English
- Vienna Online is a very good web site related to Austria and Vienna. In German only.
- Wien Online - Info and links for Vienna - in German or English
Austrian Events and Celebrations
- Austrian Information - Austrian Press and Information Service, from the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC.
- Bregenz Festival on Lake Constance
- Viennale - Vienna International Film Festival, late October. (Also see: The German-Hollywood Connection, which includes many Austrian connections!)
- Austria Country Information - History, facts and figures
- Christmas in Austria and Germany and
the story of Austria’s “Silent Night”
- Famous People from Austria, Germany, Switzerland
- Learn German at our AboutGerman.net site
- Austrian Photos
- The German Way Forum, where we share information about living in Austria and the other German-speaking countries.
- GW Contents Page - Austria and other places…
Know before you go:
- Electrical Tips - The shocking facts about bringing electrical appliances or devices to Austria.
- German Language - Learn German before you go: AboutGerman.net site has free lessons and resources to help you learn Deutsch.
- The GW&M Site Map or the Search page can help you find a specific page or topic on our site.
- Sigmund Freud was a “complex” Austrian.
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