Austria might be known for its largest city, Vienna, but there is more to this incredible country than meets the eye. Between rolling green hills, Alpine landscapes, ornate palaces and castles, and fantastic Austrian cuisine, Austria’s lesser-known towns are ideal for memorable weekend getaways. Keep reading to learn more about Austria’s underrated cities, villages, and towns.
Surrounded by the towering Alps, Innsbruck is a stunning alpine getaway in the Tyrol region of Austria. While you’re here, explore the Altstadt, or Old Town, home to several restaurants, bars, medieval architecture, and cobblestone streets. Make sure to snap a pic at The Golden Roof, constructed in 1500.
The Hofburg Imperial Palace is another attraction where you can enjoy the beauty of Innsbruck. Dating back to the 1400s, this palace features an ornate interior, a white exterior, and green-domed towers. Today, this structure is split into five museums. Nearby, you will find the Hofgarten, featuring manicured lawns and a lush garden landscape: the perfect green oasis from the city.
Situated on the border of Germany and Austria, Salzburg is an ideal destination for lovers of both history and music. This city was the birthplace of world-renowned composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and the setting of the movie and musical, The Sound of Music. Add in the stunning mountain landscapes and outdoor adventures, and you will have a well-rounded destination for all kinds of travellers.
While you’re here, stroll through the charming Altstadt, stop by Mozart’s birthplace, and explore the massive Fortress Hohensalzburg. This city also has an impressive number of ornate churches and cathedrals, including St. Peter’s Abbey, St. Peter’s Church, and the Salzburg Cathedral.
I’ve been all over the world, and the tiny village of Hallstadt is easily on my list of the top five most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Located on the banks of the pristine Lake Hallstatt and surrounded by magnificent mountains, this quaint village is full og 16th-century Alpine homes and cobblestone alleyways. As you wander through the charming streets and explore the shore, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported onto a scene from a postcard.
Other than marvelling at the beauty of this town, you can take a boat ride on the lake, tour the salt mine, visit the World Heritage Skywalk, or enjoy one of the many local restaurants and cafes.
Located in East Tyrol, Lienz offers the perfect blend of historical sites and nature activities. On the west side of Lienze, check out the Osttirodler Mountain Coaster, where you can control the ride's speed as you twist and turn down the mountain. For hiking trails and nature walks, visit Hohe Tauern National Park, the largest nature preserve in the region. You can also go white water rafting on the nearby River Isel.
In terms of the city, the Hauptplatz, or the main square in Lienze, is a must-do. This square is the ideal spot to grab a bite to eat, enjoy medieval architecture, or meet some of the locals. History lovers can visit Bruck Castle, dating back to the 13th century. The Church of St. Andrew is another lovely historical site where visitors can explore the grounds, the ornate interior, and the attached graveyard.
The incredible alpine scenery mixed with fresh mountain air makes Alpbach an outdoor paradise. You will find plenty of gorgeous hikes in the area, including the Path of Contemplation, Tiefenback Gorge, and the Wolfsklamm Gorge. There is also a nearby Alpine Coaster to enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery.
Alpbach boasts several excellent eateries that serve traditional Austrian dishes, like Wienerschnitzel, made from veal or pork. Stop by St. Georgenberg restaurant to enjoy a massive portion of this Austrian delicacy.
Krems an der Donau
Between fairytale castles and incredible bottles of wine, Krems an der Donau makes for a perfect weekend trip. Tour the Aggstien Castle and Schonbuhel Castle for some intriguing history and a medieval atmosphere. Located in the lower region of Austria, this area is known as Austria’s wine country, so you will definitely want to take a wine tour while you’re here.