Austria is a beautiful country nestled in the heart of the Alps and has a very rich history. The country’s past is closely linked to the France history. The country still has many traces of its glorious past, particularly through its remarkable architectural heritage.
Discovering Austria is to plunge yourself into the heart of European history. German, Italian, French, Slavic and Hungarian influences are still very strong.
Vienna, imperial capital
Walking around the Austrian capital, it is not difficult to immerse yourself in the imperial era. The sumptuous architecture of that time stands side by side with more modern buildings giving the city a unique appearance. How can you miss the fabulous Schönbrunn Palace, the residence of Sissi the Empress, or the imperial apartments of the Hofburg?
But we should not forget either that Vienna is the waltz capital of the world. A tradition that continues to this day and which offers resplendent balls that can be attended, especially between January and March. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the most famous in the world, and the Musikverein, where it performs, is one of the most sublime classical music orchestras in the world.
Finally, Vienna is above all a very dynamic city where the inhabitants are used to frequent the numerous museums as well as the famous Viennese cafés and the heurigens (wine bar). At nightfall, head towards Naschmarkt where many trendy bars and restaurants allow you to enjoy the city.
The North of the country has many assets. Hallstatt, a picturesque little village on the Hallstättersee lake, has made a name for itself due to its photogenicity with its lake and surrounding mountains.
Salzburg offers the opportunity to immerse oneself in the heart of classical music, Mozart having been born here. Every year one of the largest classical music festivals in the world takes place. The old city centre, which is overlooked by the imposing Hohensalzburg fortress, offers magnificent ballads on both side of the Salzach.
It is also in the north of Austria that two of the country’s most beautiful abbeys can be found: Melk Abbey and St. Florian Abbey. If the first imposes by its size and its imposing baroque architecture which dominates the Danube, it is the interior of the second with its immense library and its organ which made its reputation.
Finally, Linz is a city which marvellously combines past and modernity through its architecture but also through its culture. Whether it is by strolling around the city or by pushing the door of a museum, culture is omnipresent in the city. From May to October every year you can visit the Höhenrausch, an original exhibition that takes place on the rooftops of the city.
Tyrol and Vorarlberg: The Austrian Alps
From these regions we often have the image of a man in short pants shouting at the top of his lungs from one valley to another or using Tyrolean horns. Although this tradition has become part of the local folklore, Tyrol and Vorarlberg are still very popular. Being in the centre of the Alps, they have a lot to offer.
In the summer, there are numerous hikes to discover some of the highest Alpine peaks and their glaciers. Cycling enthusiasts, mountain bikers as well as road cyclists, will find an ideal playground.
Winter gives way to snow sports, downhill or cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding… There are some mythical places such as Kitzbühel, whose ski race is the most prestigious in the world.