Travel the Cities of Austria

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Austria boasts some of the most charming and picturesque cities where you can experience historic castles, churches and palaces. Some of the cities, such as Graz, have buildings dating back to the Roman age and offer medieval and modern architectural highlights. Vienna is the largest city in Austria, followed by Graz, Linz, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Klagenfurt.
Vienna
1 vienna-town-hall-2If you are travelling to Austria during June, make sure to visit the exciting Donauinselfest in Vienna. This is one of the largest music festivals in Europe and attracts more than three million people each year. The festival caters for all walks of life and presents different types of styles and genres for free.
You can visit the Wiener Festwochen, also presented around June. You will love this five-week highly celebrated culture festival showcasing Vienna’s rich history and culture. Talented musical reviews, dance performances and well-produced plays are all part of the festival.
Vienna owes much of its international fame to the many celebrated composers who lived and worked here such as Strauß, Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the world’s best and the Vienna Boys’ Choir one the world’s most famous. The Staatsoper on Ringstrasse is one of the world’s leading opera houses.
Vienna is home to beautiful parks, including the Praterpark that is located between the Danube Channel and the Danube. Make sure to visit Stadtpark to view the famous statue of Mozart. For the best view over Vienna, you should visit Kahlenberg, a high hill north of Vienna. You can enjoy the view while eating at the restaurant. Kahlenberg can be reached by city bus 38A. If you decide to walk back to Grinzing in order to admire the vineyards, you should be able to see the house where Beethoven lived on the Grinzingerstrasse.
The oldest surviving building in Vienna is the Maria am Gestade. This is a beautiful old gothic church with a fifty eight meter-high tower dating back to the 12th century.
The Hundertwasserhaus, designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, is one of the most interesting buildings in Vienna, but it can only been looked at from the outside.
The Schloss Belvedere is a big white palace, built by Prinz Eugen. The buiding is called the Lower Belvedere (smaller of the two) and can be accessed from the Rennweg. The Upper Belvedere is much bigger than the Lower Belvedere and boasts amazing architect. The Austrian State Treaty was signed in 1955 in one of the rooms in the Upper Belvedere.
One of the most notable landmarks in Vienna is the Stephansdom, a beautiful cathedral built in 1147 and is by far Vienna’s most visited tourist attraction. Situated in the suburb of Hietzing, it used to be the summer palace of the Austrian Imperial Family.
Graz
2 GrazGraz is the second-largest city in Austria after Vienna and the capital of the federal state of Styria. The city is well-known for its six universities with almost 50,000 students. The historic old town is really worth a visit and it is not far from the train station. Every day, at exactly eleven o’ clock, three o’ clock and six o’ clock, the Glockenspiel comes to life in the city.
You can challenge the spiral staircase in the Burg, a castle built in 1453 by Emperor Frederick III, or admire the exterior fresco of the baroque Mausoleum next to the Cathedral of Graz. Uhrturm (Clock Tower) is the symbol of Graz and is situated on top of Schlossberg. To view early Baroque architecture you should visit the Eggenberg Castle (Tram 1 direction Eggenberg/UKH) Phone: 583264-0.
The highest building of Graz is the Herz-Jesu-Kirche, a church designed by architect Georg Hauberrisser in Gothic Revival style.
On the Kaiser-Josef-Platz, right opposite the Opernhaus, is a fruit and vegetable open-air market where small farmers from the countryside around Graz bring their produce for sale at very affordable prices.
Herrengasse is the most popular and important shopping street in Graz. It connects the Hauptplatz with Jakominiplatz. You should really buy a bottle of “Kernöl” that is made of pumpkin seeds. The oil has a wonderful and unique taste.
Linz
3 linzLinz is the capital of the state of Upper Austria and is located on both sides of the river Danube. The main street, called “Landstraße”, leads from the “Blumauerplatz” to “Taubenmarkt” in close proximity to the main square. In the middle of the main square the high “Pestsäule” (Trinity Column) was built in remembrance of the people who died in the plague epidemics. The New Cathedral is the largest church in Austria and boasts a 134 meter tower.
Linz is famous for its vibrant arts and music scenes and the park alongside the river, the “Donaulände”, is a great place used by young people to meet in summer and for the Ars Electronica Festival.
The Lentos, a modern art gallery, was built in 2003 and worth a visit. The famous Brucknerhaus concert hall is named after Anton Bruckner and is home to the amazing Bruckner Orchestra, as well as Balls and other events.
The Linz castle dates back to 799 and was rebuilt in 1477. It contains permanent exhibitions of art from the middle Ages to the present day, the Kastner collection, historical weapons, coins, folklore musical instruments, and technical history.
A great place to visit is the Posthof, which is located near the port. The club will entertain you with comedy performances, music and dance. The Stadtwerkstatt is also a popular place for young people to meet and in the evening you can enjoy good vegetarian food here.
Salzburg
4 salzburg-fortress-byYou can take the cable car up to the Festung Salzburg (castle) for a guided tour of the castle and an outstanding view of the surroundings or you can enjoy one of the Sound of Music tours. Salzburg is rich in history and a place you have to visit is definitely the Wasserspiele Hellbrunn on Furstenweg 37, Salzburg A-5020 (phone: 43-662-820372).
Legend has it that Markus Sittikus, a man with a keen sense of humour, was a jovial man and had the castle built in a manner that it allowed his practical jokes. Some of the great features of the Wasserspiele Hellbrunn include a mechanical, water-operated and music-playing theatre showing various professions at work, a grotto and a crown being pushed up and down by a jet of water, symbolising the rise and fall of power.
Other fun features include stone seats around a stone dining table through which a water conduit sprays water into the seat of the guests when the mechanism is activated, and hidden fountains that surprise and spray guests while they take part on the tour.
Make sure to enjoy a meal at “Goldener Stern” in the Getreidegasse, the former home of W. A. Mozart. The restaurant offers delicious meals and the location is easy to find.
Innsbruck
5 inn-river-innsbruck-austria_1600x1200_71346In the City of Innsbruck it is always great to take a stroll down Maria-Theresien-Strasse and have a drink in one of the pavement cafés, enjoy some shopping or just hang out with friends and admire the amazing Baroque architecture.
Exploring the Old Town gives one an idea of its imperial past. The gothic Hofburg Imperial Palace was built in 1406 and is filled with furniture, souvenirs and art from the Renaissance era.
To get to the Old Town, you can walk down the broad strip of Hertzog-Friedrich-Strasse. The Old Town is a small area of medieval houses, painted in beautiful pastel colors. In the heart of the Old Town you will find the Golden Roof, a balcony on the central plaza built in honor of Maximilian’s second wife. The roof was constructed with 2,657 gold-plated copper tiles.
Café Munding will impress you with its pastries. The owner of this 200-year old café uses jam made at the café from fruit harvested at local farms.
For fresh produce, Tirol-style sausages and red venison bacon, you can visit the Markthalle 1, or for fresh doughnuts or strudel, you can stop at one of the many bakeries.
Nordpark is a ski hill offering magnificent views of the city center. You can reach Nordpark from Hungerberg plateau by cable car. Other great places to visit include the City Hall, Alte Innsbruck, Ambras Castle, Bergisel Tower and Casino Innsbruck.
Klagenfurt
6 Klagenfurt-Worther-LakeMinimundus is located on Villacher Straße 241 in Klagenfurt. This park offers a huge collection of miniature models of famous buildings from many countries in the world.
Europapark is located next to the Minimundus and to the Strandbad (beach) of the Wörthersee. At the park you can watch peacocks, relax, play chess and enjoy the beautiful plants.
If you are interested in literature, Robert Musil Literatur Museum Bahnhofstraße 50 (writer Robert Musil was born here) is the place to go. Gustav Mahler Komponierhäuschen, near the Strandbad Maiernegg, is the place where the famous musician worked and lived. Back in 1899 he bought a small mansion which is now a museum.
For a relaxing day, you can visit the Alpenzoo, Innsbruck University Botanic Garden, Rapoldipark or the Hofgarten. Other great tourist attractions include churches showcasing amazing architecture such as the Hofkirche (Court Church), Innsbruck Cathedral (Dom zu St. Jakob), Jesuit Church, Liebfrauenkirche, Mariahilfkirche, Ursulinenkirche, Wilten Abbey (Stift Wilten) and the Wilten Basilica (Wiltener Basilika).
Notable landmarks in Klagenfurt include the Lindworm fountain, the Hypo-Arena Football stadium and theTentschach and Hallegg castles.
Customs Regulations for entering Austria
For EU citizens, the regulations applicable within the European Union apply. Travellers from non-European countries require a valid passport that entitles them to a three-month stay in Austria. Visitors from these countries may only import “personal travel goods” customs-free, i.e. such goods as they need on a temporary basis for their personal use or consumption or to exercise their profession. (Resource)

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