The first-timer’s guide to Austria’s greatest regions

Situated in the heart of Europe, Austria has seen many a traveller lured by the country’s stunning architecture, breathtaking nature (especially during ski season) and unique food and wine scene. Here we break down where to stay and what to do in Austria’s major regions…

***This article was created in partnership with our sponsor, the Austrian Tourist Office***

Vienna and surrounds

Why travellers love Vienna:

  • Imperial splendour and stunning architecture, including the Ringstrasse, Schloss Schönbrunn and Spanish Riding School
  • Extensive array of cultural experiences involving classical music and opera, as well as world-class museums and exhibitions
  • A coffee house culture that’s as artistic as it is delicious

Why locals love Vienna:

  • Green spaces including parks and gardens, the Viennese Woods, the Danube Island and even national park in the city
  • Heuriger wine taverns and vineyards
  • Outstanding infrastructure (public transport) and quality of life
  • Wuerstelstand (sausage stands) – a culinary institution in Vienna and essential for the city’s night-owls
  • Ice cream stalls – Vienna has the greatest density of ice cream shops in Europe!

If Vienna was a person…

…she would be a cultured, open-minded sort, with an unsatiable love for coffee and cake in a Kaffeehaus, and visiting a Heurigen on Sunday afternoons.

Click here to find out the best boutique hotels in Vienna


Salzburg and surrounds

Why travellers love Salzburg:

  • Scenery and the historic Old Town
  • Mozart, classical music and the annual Salzburg Festival
  • Iconic film, The Sound of Music, was famously filmed here

Why locals love Salzburg:

  • Scenery and the historic Old Town (yes, the locals also appreciate it)
  • Taking walks on the Mönchsberg or Kapuzinerberg (hills in the centre of the city) and enjoying the views over the city
  • Being close to the beautiful Salzkammergut Lake District with its stunning scenery of mountains and lakes
  • The outstanding offering of local beers and breweries

If Salzburg was a person…

… she would be a lover of classical music and a good brew and enjoy taking trips to the beautiful surrounding mountains and lakes (but would’ve likely never watched ‘The Sound of Music’).

Click here to find out the best boutique hotels in Salzburg


Innsbruck, the Arlberg and surrounds

Why travellers love Innsbruck:

  • Stunning alpine scenery
  • Well-conserved Old Town with the Golden Roof
  • Modern architectural highlights such as the Bergisel Ski Jump
  • During the cooler months, the area is a haven for skiing enthusiasts and famous for its delightful wintertime atmosphere

Why locals love Innsbruck:

  • Being just minutes away from the mountains means there’s a bounty of sports and activities readily available, such as hiking, mountain biking, climbing, skiing, ski touring, snowshoeing and tobogganing
  • Having all the advantages and cultural offerings of a city, while still enjoying the small-town feeling
  • Every part of the city can be reached easily on foot or by bike

If Innsbruck was a person…

…she would be both a traditionalist and very outdoorsy. With a particular love of the mountains, she’d spend every spare moment in winter skiing down local slopes.

Click here to find out the best boutique hotels in Innsbruck and the Arlberg

Graz and surrounds

Why travellers love Graz:

  • Schlossberg and Old Town
  • Mix of old buildings and innovative architecture
  • Graz is (deservedly) Austria’s culinary capital. A myriad  of gourmet delicacies and wine are produced in its surroundings and are featured in many top quality restaurants in the city

Why locals love Graz:

  • Pumpkin Seed Oil – the quintessential Styrian specialty
  • Buschenschanken (traditional wine taverns) surrounding Graz, serving homemade wine and food such as Brettljausen
  • Mediterranean atmosphere in the Old Town, especially in Franziskanerplatz and Sporgasse
  • Styria’s great variety of scenery, from mountains and lakes to rolling hills and vineyards

If Graz was a person…

…she would be quite the foodie, often taking trips to the local Buschenschanken to enjoy a Brettljausen and drinking wine, or enjoying a picnic at the Schlossberg overlooking the Old Town.

For more information on Austria and its varied regions, visit




One Comment
  • Lee says:

    After reading about all these lovely places in Austria I am convinced that I must take a vacation there it is a must see.