02 Jul | The Best of Austria: Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck
Photo by Paul Dodson, courtesy of 23 Photos of Vienna.
In central Europe lies a mountainous, land-locked beauty of a country that’s defined by rolling hills, breath-taking Alps, and vast green meadows. Austria is one of Europe’s top destinations, increasingly popular with growing numbers of visitors. But it’s not just the hills that are alive; Austria is also characterized by cultural, historical and artistic abundance. Nowhere else are these delights more accessible, and more charming, than in Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck; the three brightest jewels in Austria’s urban crown.
Austria’s beautiful capital and largest city, Vienna, is situated in the East, near the impressive Danube River. Vienna offers much in the way of art, history and culture; specifically not to be missed are the museums and opera.
The cultural influences of esteemed former residents, such as Freud, can be explored by visiting any of Vienna’s grand museums. Museums of note include The Naturhistorisches, The Hofburg, and the very fascinating Kunsthistorisches. Numerous other world-famous museums can be found in the Museumsquartier (museum quarter), and this area is home to some of Austria’s richest treasures.
Musicians like Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Mahler have all called Vienna home; a grand influence which can still be felt, and heard, today. There is no better way to experience this than by going to the opera in Vienna with viennaoperatickets.com. Even if you wouldn’t consider yourself to be a fan of the opera in general, enjoying the entertainment that somewhere like the Theater an der Wien, The Volksoper, or The Staatsoper provides is truly an unforgettable experience.
Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart, is so popular that its visitors often outnumber its residents, and given its spectacular backdrops and quaint atmosphere, it’s easy to see why this happens so often. Salzburg not only flanks the Alps, but it’s also defined by a rich architectural history, housed within its endearing UNESCO listed Old Town.
Salzburg’s breath-taking architecture is characterized by impressive Baroque churches, such as Salzburg Cathedral (Salzburger Dom) and Franciscan Church (Franziskanerkirche); imposing edifices like The Hohensalzburg Castle (Festung Hohensalzburg), looming over the Old Town; and the grandiose Salzburg Residenz, housing a splendid art collection in its’ Residenzgalerie.
For the musically passionate, Mozart’s birthplace is not to be missed. During July and August, the vibrant Salzburg Festival draws a significant crowd and, year-round, it is possible to take a ‘Sound of Music Tour’, which takes visitors on an exploration of the locations of the musical that Austria is so famed for.
Mountainous Innsbruck sits in West Austria, sandwiched between Italy and Germany, and is an exceptionally popular tourist destination for its alpine sports and impressive history.
Having hosted four Olympics, and enjoying a remarkable elevation, Innsbruck is a highly sought-after sports destination. Proximity to several ski resorts make Innsbruck the go-to destination for adventure lovers while the glacier in the Stubai Valley promises skiing, even in the summer months!
But Innsbruck is more than sport; it offers an array of inspiring museums, cathedrals and historical sights. Buildings like the striking Kaiserliche Hofburg, the Goldenes Dachl and Ambras Castle are as fascinating as the Büchsenhausen Castle is spookily enchanting. Equally impressive is the beautiful Old Town (Altstadt), flanked by the manicured delights of the outstanding University Botanic Garden and the spectacular Hofgarten (Court Garden).
Having briefly talked about Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck – just three of the numerous jewels in Austria’s crown – it’s easy to see why it remains to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Europe.