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Things to see in Austria

  • Austria
    Austria
    © Jakobradlgruber / 123RF
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Austria

The fauna and flora

Rare flowers spangling the Alpine meadows, fir trees erecting their cones over the crests... Austrian flora is beautiful, rare, and chosen, like a herbarium. As for fauna, it includes a number of species of birds, often protected, and ibexes and chamois leaping from rock to rock with the skill of a tightrope walker.

Arts and culture

Since the 18th century, Austria has been the home of numerous artists such as Mozart, Schubert, Strauss, Mahler, Herbert von Karajan, Thomas Bernhardt and Gustave Klimt. Sigmund Freud, the creator of psychoanalysis, was born there, together with Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, and also the Formula 1 champion, Niki Lauda, and actors Helmut Berger, Romy Schneider and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Castles

Enthusiasts of walks in the heart of an atmosphere charged with history should compulsorily go to Vienna. From the Hofburg, symbol of the old Habsburg family empire, on the tracks of Elizabeth and Franz Joseph, to the majestic buildings along the imposing "Ringstrasse", without forgetting the Schonbrunn castle, a number of monuments transport each visitor to the times of lordly splendour.

Hikes

From Tyrol to the Vienna Woods, Austria is full of forests, hills and snow-covered mountains, where you will find plenty of idyllic hiking trails. The difficulty level varies from one trail to the next. The Eagle's Walk in Tyrol, one of the most popular ones, has 126 different stages, each one a day long. You can choose between peacefully walking through the vast plains or to take your mountain climbing gear and head up to the summits. There are many different ways to discover Austria's landscapes. Whether you decide to set out on a discovery of the mountain fauna or to stop in the villages you come across to get an authentic feel of the surroundings, the trails of Austria are astounding for their diversity and their wild beauty.

Activities and leisure

The Paznaun valley in Tyrol has some of the most beautiful skiing spots in Austria. Unarguably one of the best destinations to enjoy some winter sports, Silvettra Arena is one of the largest skiing regions in Europe, with over 140 mi of slopes that rise up to more than 3,000m of altitude. Moreover, it is connected to the Swiss duty-free zone of Samnaun. The resort of Ischgl, famous for being "hip", is nevertheless not for all budgets. With its luxury residences, trendy nightclubs and state-of-the-art amenities, it is the Austrian equivalent of Courcheval in the French Alps. The resort of Galtür, on the other hand, is a family-friendly ski area, as is evidenced by its 28-mile circuit along which skiers encounter stuffed animals and are treated to visual and auditory entertainment. Although this resort likes to show off its traditional side, which is more reserved than its neighbour, the two do share one tradition: guests can enjoy a glass of mulled wine at the restaurant at altitude after a long day of skiing.

Museums

Austria holds an important place in European culture and is home to a large number of museums and important art collections. However, in addition to the art and history museums, the music, style, and architecture reveal the thriving cultural activity of this central European country.

The most prestigious museums are the Belvedere Palace, the Leopold Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. These are intermingled with more avant-garde institutions like the KunstHaus Wien, the Museum of Modern Art of Vienna (MUMOK) and Quartier 21.

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