Austria has many different faces, from the sophisticated suave character of the capital, with its coffee houses and strong cultural scene, to the rugged mountainous landscapes of Styria and Salzburg. Depending on whether you are passionate about your wine or love to get in touch with nature, here are our recommendations for the best places in Austria for you.
For coffee connoisseurs – Vienna
If, like many, you can’t stand to be awake without being close to a caffeinated drink, where better to travel to than Europe’s capital of coffee, Vienna? The suave city has endured a long-running love affair with espressos, since way before hipsters got their hands on them and flat whites became ubiquitous. Although the city is most renowned for its antiquated coffee houses, with their smoky interiors and snooty tuxedo-clad waiters, there has also been an influx of trendy third-wave coffee shops popping up in recent years. Whichever experience you decide upon, this city welcomes caffeine junkies with open arms.
A typical Viennese-style coffee | Courtesy of the Vienna Tourist Board
For winter sports junkies – St Anton
If the mere mention of snow leaves you yearning for ski slopes, St Anton am Alberg could be the right place in Austria for you. Alongside France and Switzerland, Austria is world-renowned for being a top destination for winter sports, and St Anton is often cited as being one of Europe’s best destinations for serious skiers. The region attracts huge numbers of visitors each year, who enjoy the range of runs, from demanding to devilish.
Smothered in snow | © Austrian Tourist Board
For artsy introverts – Graz
Vienna certainly has a lot to offer by way of culture, but quieter types may prefer sleepy Graz, which has in the past been hailed as the capital’s cooler cousin. Bookworms and artsy visitors will be charmed by the former European Capital of Culture, with its low-key yet intriguing cultural scene, charming renaissance architecture and lively student crowd for when things get too tranquil. There is no place better to catch a glimpse of Graz’s art scene than the Kunsthaus. This striking, bulbous building sticks out like a sore thumb on the banks of the River Mur. Nicknamed by locals as ‘the friendly alien’, the gallery is not just an innovative exhibition space, but also one of the country’s most curious pieces of architecture. Alternatively, the Austrian Sculpture Park, located just outside the city, is perfect for those who would like to combine culture with the great outdoors.