Austria's Off-Beat Bucket List
Introduce your clients to Austria's most charming under-the-radar destinations for a full cultural immersion.
SalzburgerLand ©friendship is
SalzburgerLand ©friendship is
A Different Austria Itinerary
Austria's combination of culture and nature is unparalled. The compact alpine country unites some of the world's most stunning outdoors with delightful art, history and food. This itinerary covers enough ground for a facetted deep dive into the whole country—consider this your clients’ must-see bucket list.
The Green Ring in Arlberg ©Oesterreich Werbung, Nina Baumgartner
Dip into Austria’s mountainous western end first, with a flight into Zurich or Munich. A convenient train connection takes clients from the airport to the Arlberg region with just one transfer. Hikers and bon vivants enjoy the region’s lush mountains and ritzy dining experiences. Take the cable car up Valluga mountain for some of the Alps’ best views, shop the exclusive boutiques on Lech’s main street, and hike your heart out on the Arlberg’s breathtaking trails.
The Imperial Palace in Innsbruck ©Innsbruck TVB
The Austrian Railways whisk clients through the Alps to Innsbruck, the former seat of the Habsburg Empire and a dream-come-true for outdoorsy culture nerds. This year, the city celebrates the 500th anniversary of Emperor Maximilian I, who commissioned Innsbruck’s iconic Golden Roof. Zip into the mountains from the city center via a Zaha Hadid-designed cable car and visit the headquarters of Swarovski Crystal.
Graz Old Town ©Oesterreich Werbung, Wolfgang Weinhaeupl
Guests arrive well-rested in Graz, Austria’s second city, by taking the Nightjet sleeper train from Innsbruck. Early morning arrival gives the whole day to walk the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town and Graz’ tree-covered city mountain. Graz is known as Austria’s “Culinary Capital,” so foodies can’t miss the historic farmers’ markets, and nearby wine country.
The village of Hallstatt ©STMG Parzer
Rent a car in Graz and drive north-west into Austria’s Lake Region. The Salzkammergut is known for bright blue Alpine lakes and soaring mountains. Hallstatt village might be Austria’s most photographed spot: It slumbers on an eponymous lake with fairy-tale farm houses and church spires that reflect in the water.
Kapitelplatz Square, Salzburg ©Guenter Breitegger
Drive further north through SalzburgerLand, home to Austria’s tallest waterfalls, highest Alpine road, and the world’s largest ice caves. Clients stop by Hohenwerfen castle before making their way to Salzburg proper. The hometown of Mozart and the exclusive Salzburg festival has a phenomenal culture program: Year-round concerts, dance performances, and modern art shows attract culture fans to the Baroque gem.
Travelers can fly out of nearby Munich Airport, or add an extra stop in Vienna to get their museum fill. The Kunsthistorisches Museum, MuseumsQuartier, Albertina, and Palais Liechtenstein hold Medieval to contemporary treasures to satisfy different tastes.
Tip: Austria is easy to explore by rental car or train.
For 4 and 5 star hotel recommendations in Tirol, Salzburg, and Vienna, browse the Austria Hotel Collection curated by the Austrian Tourist Office.
Railjet in Salzburg ©OeBB
DID YOU KNOW?
Austria is number one in dedicating farmland to organic food production. No other country in the world has a higher percentage of organic farming, and you can taste the difference.