Famed for being the winter sports capital along with Switzerland, Austria is a breathtaking picture-perfect-postcard city and a classic favorite with families and singles who love to indulge in fun activities such as skiing, snowboarding, carving and cross country skiing. But this Central European country is just as popular during the summer months as well like hiking to enjoy the incredible scenic views of the alps or visiting historic sites. With a unique culture, stunning landscapes, magnificent Baroque and neoclassical architecture and effective public transport system, it's not without reason Austria is considered to be one of the best destinations to settle.
Kick-start the holiday by visiting the musical city of Vienna. The Austrian capital is not only well known for it's old-world coffee house heritage but also possesses a deeply-embedded cultural legacy that is second to none. One of the reasons why tourists flock to this metropolis is due to it's rich musical inclination as the likes of world-famous musicians and composers such as Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Beethoven, Johann Strauss, Liszt, Brahms, Bruckner and numerous others have showcased their work here. Other notable highlights include Schonbrunn Palace, Hofburg Imperial Palace, Spanish Riding School, St. Stephen's Cathedral, State Opera House, People's Opera House and Haus der Musik, an interactive museum seeking to educate music to kids and adults alike. When in Vienna, be sure to head over to the coffee house to experience it's unique coffee culture with customers allowed to spend the entire time there in leisure.
Salzburg is famous for two significant attractions - birthplace of musical genius Mozart and filming of the iconic movie, Sound of Music. Capital of the federal state bearing the same name, this fourth-largest megalopolis of the nation is renowned for several sight-seeing points like the resident of the eminent Mozart, Salzburg Cathedral, St. Peter's Abbey & Monastery and so on. Stroll around the Old Town and gear up to experience a whole new universe with historical structures from the medieval era spruced around. Movie buffs may be keen on taking the popular Sound of Music tour and catch a glimpse of the significant filming locations.
Innsbruck is not only known for winter sports but is also renowned for it's magnificent Tomb of Emperor Maximilan I. Folks who are fascinated with history will love visiting the Styrian Armoury. Housed in the Austrian city of Graz, it is the planet's largest armoury and holds around 32,000 pieces of weaponry, tools, suits of armour for battle and so on. Head over to the Mariazell Basilica in Mariazell for it is one of the nation's most visited point as well as a remarkable and impressive pilgrimage destination.
Drop by at the picturesque and quaint little town in Austria, Hallstatt, from where you can wander around the extraordinary Dachsetein Salzkammergut region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and visit the Dachstein Caves which includes marvelling at Giant Ice Caves and beautiful frozen waterfalls as well as the Mammoth Cave comprising of an ancient underground river. One can visit Eisriesenwelt, a natural limsetone ice cave, residing about 40km south of Salzburg. Renowned to be the largest ice cave in the world, running more than 42km, this natural wonder is a tourist magnet with more than 20,000 visitors year after year.
When it comes to winter sports, try Kitzbuheler Horn in the Tyrol region and the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier in Zell am See. Don't forget to pay a visit to Krimml Waterfalls, known to be the tallest waterfalls in Austria with water gushing down from a height of 380 meters. Be sure to drive through the magnificent Grossglockner High Alpine Road to enjoy the stunning scenery unfolding before you.
When it comes to shopping, be on the lookout for items like handbags, glassware, chinaware and winter sports equipment. As far as Austrian cuisine is concerned, those with sweet-tooth can gorge into the world-famous Sachertorte - delicious chocolate cake prepared with a thin layer of apricot jam and a rich chocolate glaze or dig into the scrumptious Salzburg Nockerl, made from egg yolk, flour, sugar and vanilla and served with raspberry sauce. When it comes to drinks, sip on the refreshing and sparkling Eiswein (Ice wine), a kind of dessert wine, generated from grapes that have been frozen while they were still on the vine.
Austria is home to abundant stay options catering to those who can afford to splurge on an extravagant holiday with the best luxury hotels as well as offers plenty of budget and cheap options to those who are light on the pocket.
Austria experiences temperate continental climate. The best time to visit the country would be from April to September as the weather is pleasant but if you're interested in participating in winter sports then head over to the country during the winter months.