Austria things to see and do

Tourist offices

Austrian National Tourist Office (ANTO) in the UK

9-11 Richmond Buildings, off Dean Street, London, United Kingdom
Tel: (020) 7440 3830 or 0845 101 1818 (holiday information and brochure request line).
www.austriatourism.com/uk

Austrian National Tourist Office (ANTO) in the UK

9-11 Richmond Buildings, off Dean Street, London, United Kingdom
Tel: (020) 7440 3830 or 0845 101 1818 (holiday information and brochure request line).
www.austria.info/uk

Austrian Tourist Office (ATO) in the USA

120 West 45th Street, 9th Floor, New York City, United States
Tel: (212) 575 7723 or 944 6880.
www.austria.info/us

Austrian Tourist Office (ATO) in the USA

120 West 45th Street, 9th Floor, New York City, United States
Tel: (212) 575 7723 or 944 6880.
www.austriatourism.com/us

Things to see and do

A spot of golf

Play golf (www.golfinfo.at) on nearly 150 courses in what is one of Europe's fastest-growing golf destinations, with settings from the grounds of historic castles to alpine valleys and terraces.

Crystal-clear lakes

Take in the awesome panorama of some of Austria's beautiful lakes: they include Wörthersee, Wolfgangsee, Traunsee, Hallstättersee and Mondsee, one of the warmest lakes in the Salzkammergut; Carinthia's lakes reach temperatures of around 28°C (82°F) and have won several awards for their water quality.

Donau-Auen National Park

The last protected patch of European rainforest is a floodplain area of wilderness that nurtures a diversity of plants and animals.

Enjoy coffee and cake

Relax and watch the world go by as you submit to Austria's Kaffeehaus (coffee shop) culture: cakes and puddings (such as Torte, of which there are around 60 varieties) can be eaten guilt-free, knowing that it is all in the name of upholding a national institution.

Famous Ferris Wheel

While in Vienna, see the Ferris Wheel (Riesenrad) in the Prater amusement park, immortalised in the film The Third Man. Also worth a visit are St Stephen's Cathedral, the Chapel of the Hofburg, the Parliament and the Votive Church.

Floating opera

Go to the Opera in style; besides the many opera performances in Austria's major towns and cities, for one with a difference, journey to Bregenz and the Upper City with its St Martinstrum (St Martin's Tower), the world's largest floating stage for summer opera productions.

Graz

Explore Graz (www.graztourism.at) on foot. Must-sees include the Landesmuseum Johanneum, encompassing the Alte Galerie's gothic paintings, the Neue Galerie in the Herbenstrein Palace, the Cathedral, the Mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II, the old quarter, the Schlossberg (Castle Hill) with its Uhrtrum (clock tower), and the Glockenturm (bell tower).

Hike the Alps

Once the snow has melted, walk and hike through the Alps' varied landscapes, ranging from forests and green slopes to glaciers and rocks. The Vorarlberg's alpine pastures provide gentle walks, while the Hohe Tauern National Park has more demanding trekking.

Ice caves

Witness the magical Eisriesenwelt in Werfen: ice caves, featuring wonderful ice sculptures all year round. These caverns are buried deep beneath the mountain wall that flanks the valley south of Salzburg.

Johann Strauss Ball

Dance the night away with elegance at a recreation of a traditional Austrian ball, at the annual Johann Strauss Ball, which takes place in a beautiful ballroom within the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.

Lederhosen Festival

Admire traditional Austrian attire at the annual Lederhosen Festival in Windischgarsten, where the wearing of the aforementioned costume is optional, but drinking good beer and chuckling at the election of 'Miss Lederhose' is compulsory.

Mozart's birthplace

Pay homage to Salzburg's most famous son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. His birthplace (Mozart Geburtshaus) is in the Getreidegasse, also the city's main shopping street, while the family residence (Mozart Wohnhaus) is on the market square. Both are now museums.

Salzburg festival

Listen to classical music in the city that produced Mozart: the Salzburg Festival (www.salzburgfestival.at) provides a varied programme, from singers, actors, orchestras and opera, with a breathtaking baroque backdrop to boot.

Sample Austrian wine

Tour through one of Austria's wine-growing regions, such as Lower Austria, Southern Styria and the Burgenland; most wines, such as the well-known Riesling wine, are white, but there also some good reds from Baden and Burgenland.

Scenic steam train

Take an old 19th-century steam train and gaze at some picturesque Austrian scenery, including the famous and beautiful village of St Wolfgang in Salzkammergut.

Striking stallions

See the famous Lipizzaner stallions perform finely executed dressage manoeuvres to Viennese classical music in the Hofburg in Vienna, or at a stud farm in Piber, where they are looked after, trained and ridden.

Tirol

Explore the Tirol, Austria's most mountainous province, with forests, pastures, valleys, mountain lakes, alpine villages, churches and castles. Capital Innsbruck has numerous historical buildings including a 12th-century castle. For spectacular views, take the funicular to Hungerburg and then the cable car to Hafelekar at 2,334m (5,928ft).

Vienna

Soak up Vienna's (www.info.wien.at) baroque elegance, notably in the elegant First District (the Innerstadt), and enjoy the baroque splendour of Salzburg (www.salzburg.info): the Altstadt (old city) features the Hohensalzburg fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Other sights include the Peterskirche (St Peter's Abbey, with cemetery and catacombs), the Domkirche (intended to rival St Peter's in Rome) and the Alter Markt (old market square).

Winter sports

The Alps are one of Europe's major winter sport destinations: go skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, sleigh riding, curling and skating.

Edited by Jane Duru
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