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Once a major European power, Austria has maintained much of its imperial history’s splendor. When you think of classical music, architecture, art, and pastries, austrian destinations are the first city that comes to mind. Mozart was born in Salzburg, which also happens to be filled with stunning architecture. While its rich history and beautiful architecture are certainly highlights, Austria offers so much more than its architectural treasures.

Most of its territory is inside the Alps, making it a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts like skiers and hikers. Several charming communities are waiting to be explored among the jagged peaks and rolling green hills.

The fresh air of the mountains and the allure of mountain resorts call to you. Austria’s mountains, valleys, and lakes are stunning examples of their kind. Use our guide to the top attractions in Austria as you plan your vacation to this stunning Alpine nation.

1. Bad Gastein

Gastein Bad, Austria

Nestled in the High Tauern Mountains in the very center of Austria lies the lovely spa town of Bad Gastein. Bad Gastein is renowned for its beautiful setting and lovely Belle Epoque architecture, which includes thick woods and high, craggy cliffs.

The Hotel Grand de l’Europe is one of the area’s most recognizable landmarks. This hotel, built over a century ago, is a prominent landmark due to its location on the edge of a mountain overlooking the city below. The spectacular Bad Gasteiner Waterfall is a one-of-a-kind attraction because it passes through the heart of the city.

Bad Gastein is popular among tourists because of its healing thermal spring waters. Radon treatment, thought to heal immunological, musculoskeletal, and respiratory ailments, is offered at dozens of local spas and thermal baths.

2. Ziller Valley Alps

Ziller Valley Alps, Austria

Between Austria and Italy lies a range of mountains known as the Zillertal Alps. The Zillertal Alps are one of the most breathtaking regions in central Europe, with their towering glacier peaks, steep mountain cliffs, and tree-lined valleys.

Zittertal is home to over 85 glaciers, some higher than 11,000 feet. One of the highest glaciers, the Hintertux, is accessible year-round for skiing and hiking. It is one of just two ski areas that remain open yearly due to its elevation.

The Zillertal Alps are a popular destination for mountaineers, hikers, and backpackers due to the hundreds of kilometers of routes found there. Hikers of varying abilities may enjoy the High Alps Nature Park, with easier going over the lower-level meadows. If you’d rather see the sights inside your automobile, the 30-mile Zillertal High Road is a great alternative.

3. Salzkammergut

Salzkammergut, Austria

The Salzkammergut region, which includes the city of Salzburg and the towering peaks of the Dachstein Mountains, is one of the most picturesque in Austria. Lakes, hills, valleys, and mountains of various shapes and sizes may be found inside its nebulously defined borders. Tourists who have seen the film The Sound of Music will recognize these lakes since they were all shot in and around Salzburg and the Salzkammergut.

The Salzkammergut is a hiking and mountain biking paradise, thanks to its wildness and relative lack of human development. Hallstatter See, Mondsee, and Wolgangsee are just a few reflecting lakes that attract visitors for swimming, fishing, and boating because of their picturesque locations.

4. Salzburg

Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria, lies in central Austria, close to the German border, and is most famous as the location where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born. Visitors to Austria’s fourth-largest city may see the landmarks that inspired some of the country’s most enduring musical works. Salzburg’s beauty is undeniable year-round, thanks to the city’s hilltop castle, attractive Altstadt (old town), and breathtaking Alpine surroundings.

The city of Salzburg, Austria, stretches along the banks of the Salzach River, and it seems like something out of a fairy tale. The von Trapp Family Residence, now a hotel, the Baroque Mirabell Palace and grounds, and the grounds of Schloss Hellbrunn are all must-sees for fans of the 1965 film “The Sound of Music” who want to experience their favorite sequences. The birthplace of Mozart and a recreated version of his house, replete with period instruments, photographs, and musical scores, are open to the public.

5. Innsbruck

Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck sits on the banks of the Inn River, surrounded by soaring mountains reaching almost 2,000 meters. Many visitors come to take in the breathtaking natural beauty of the area. Still, the city itself is rich in history, culture, and fascinating architecture.

Due to its advantageous position in the Alps, Innsbruck flourished during the rule of the Counts of Tyrol and Emperor Maximilian I. Saint Jacob’s Cathedral (Baroque), the Hapsburg Imperial Palace (Renaissance), and Schloss Ambras (16th century) are just a few of the stunning structures that dot the city’s historic old town.

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