You’ll find just about anything at Vienna’s Flohmarkt!
(Photo by: Marco Verch)
9 Amazing Things to See and Do in Austria
One of the world’s most under-appreciated gems is Austria. Many people consider visiting other countries before they consider visiting Austria, but you have no idea what you’re missing if you neglect to add Austria to your European itinerary. Austria is an amazing country packed with natural wonders and some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. Visitors also find arts, architecture, and classical music second to none – can anyone say Mozart? You definitely need to visit Austria for a truly one-of-a-kind experience, and I’m going to give you nine amazing things to do while you’re there!
1. Visit Vienna
No trip to Austria would be complete without visiting the country’s capital city. Vienna is chock-full of things to do. One of Europe’s most amazing palaces, the Schonbrunn Palace, is located in Vienna, as are some other beautiful feats of architecture centuries old. Vienna is also home to the Spanish Riding School, which presents visitors with a truly unique equestrian experience. Finally, check out Vienna’s arts and music scene and experience what makes Vienna so famous: classical music, opera, and theater.
2. Tour the Future
Speaking of museums, Linz, Austria’s third-largest city, offers visitors a chance to see the future before it really happens. Linz is home to the Museum of the Future, where the displays give visitors something to think about by demonstrating how technology might change the world in the years ahead. It’s an interesting take on psychic mediums and crystal balls!
3. Get Spiritual
The Benedictine Abbey in Admont, or the Admont Abbey, as it is also called, is a 1,000-year-old abbey that is crucial to Europe’s religious history. Located within the abbey’s classically structured walls is the world’s second-largest library of religious works, which miraculously survived destruction in 1865 even though the rest of the abbey fell. The abbey also houses an artwork collection and architecture that has given it the label of one of the top Baroque museums worldwide.
4. Check out Some Serious Bling
The Swarovski crystal jewelers are an Austrian gem – no pun intended – which many mistake as Swiss. The Swarovski Kristallwelten is located in Wattens, Austria, which is a quick jump out of Innsbruck. You will see things you never imagined when you visit. The center itself is separated into separate halls embellished by crystals and lighting designed to bring out the gems’ interior beauty. You’ll be blown away as you explore each hall and the art pieces it features.
5. Go Shopping
What’s a trip anywhere, much less to Austria, without going crazy and buying a ton of stuff? Located in Vienna, the Flohmarkt is often referred to as one of the best flea markets in Europe. It has everything, from priceless antiques to junk, and you’d better wear comfy shoes because the market is huge. Beat the excessive crowds by getting to Flohmarkt early, and bring your negotiating skills along with some dough – the retailers like to price things high, so you’ll have to haggle!
6. Indulge in Some Authentic Cuisine
When in Austria, eat Wiener schnitzel! Wiener schnitzel is a thin slice of breaded veal served with some form of potato, and it’s Austria’s national dish. Don’t be thinking that you’re going to be hungry after eating Wiener schnitzel because I said the slice of veal was thin – the slice of veal will fill up an entire plate! Wash it all down with Austria’s authentic soda, Almdudler, the Austrian version of cola that’s super-good!
7. Work Off the Wiener Schnitzel
Work off that huge plate of schnitzel by heading to Innsbruck for some hardcore hiking or skiing. Innsbruck is a picturesque Austrian city nestled between two mountain ranges. If you’re visiting Austria during the summer months, hike, hike, hike! Winter skiing doesn’t get much better than Innsbruck, with plenty of lifts from which to choose. Innsbruck isn’t known as an internationally renowned sports center for nothing!
8. Get REALLY Cold
Eisriesenwelt, which is translated into “world of the ice giants,” is a natural ice cave system located in the Austrian city of Werfen. You might be thinking, “Theresa, I’ve gone caving before. Big deal!” But I ask you, have you gone ice caving? Yes, I’m serious. Visit Werfen, grab a lamp, and explore the Eisriesenwelt cave system for a natural wonder you won’t find anywhere else. You’re your own tour guide, and you’ll be amazed at the 30,000 square miles of ice caves and the waters that flow through them!
9. Wind Down
You’ve visited major cities, explored glorious natural spaces, shopped until you dropped, eaten Austria’s national dish, and skied until you could ski no more. Now it’s time to wind down and spoil yourself. Located in the Austrian Alps, the Aqua Dome is a crystalline spa with decadent treatments awaiting the weariest of travelers! Bake yourself in one of the spa’s textile-free saunas, then cool yourself off in a rain temple. Don’t forget the volcanic mud wrap and massage!