The most beautiful towns in Austria

The hilly Alpine climate and largely mountainous terrain, hides many beautiful places, be it big towns in Austria or small mountain places and villages surrounded by natural beauties, which, in addition to the inhabitants of these places, are enjoyed by tourists from all over the world. Out of the many places in Austria that attract the attention of lovers who appreciate the combination of archaic architecture and the fairytale landscapes that nature can give, we have singled out just a few of the most interesting ones that we hope you will enjoy.

Salzburg

Panoramic view of Salzburg - one of the most beautiful towns in Austria

Located along the border with Germany, bordering the Alps mountain range, it exudes the architecture of Italian masters and is called German Rome. A city with a tradition twelve centuries long, it can certainly be listed as one of the most beautiful towns in Austria, perhaps even one of the most beautiful towns in the central part of the European continent. The city boasts beautiful Baroque architecture surrounded by hilly landscapes intersected by the Salzach River, a tributary of the Inn River that flows into the Danube. The city of Salzburg was founded on the banks of this river, which is today divided by the river into a new and old part of the city (Altstadt), whose city core from that period is still well preserved and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. If you are an art lover, Salzburg can offer you something that other towns in Austria are unable to provide, including the European Painting Gallery, the Palace of the New Residence and the Salzburg Cathedral from the beginning of the 17th century, the Benedictine monastery of St. Peter’s, Church of St. Sebastian in whose backyard rests the graves of Mozart’s wife and father, as well as many pieces of early-modern-century architecture.

Feldkirch

Beautiful Feldkirch surrounded by greenery

Surrounded by mountains and forests, located in the far west of Austria, not far from the border with Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Feldkirch is the seat of the district of the same name. This small town was built along the Rhine River, and to the east of the town stretches the Alps – all that is needed for the idyllic natural beauty rich in beautiful landscapes enjoyed by every resident and visitor of this place. Architecture lovers will especially love the medieval center of this town, whose streets look like a time machine. The town was first mentioned in the writings from the beginning of the 13th century, and due to the specificity of its geographical location, it was long inaccurately located on the map of this part of Europe.

Innsbruck

View of Innsbruck with Alps in background

It is the fifth-largest town in Austria and is the economic and cultural center of the Tyrol region. The name of the town has the meaning of a “bridge over the Inn River”, which explains its origin since the town began to form near the river in the place where it was easiest to cross it since it is very difficult terrain. The town is located in the center of the Alps, along the river Sill, a tributary of the Inn, and almost no other towns in Austria of this size are located in the Alps. Due to its geographical location, it is one of the most popular winter resorts in the Alps and hosts many winter sports events. The area where the town was founded was inhabited in prehistoric times, and during the Roman Empire, this area was conquered and inhabited by the city of Veldidena, after whose disappearance, after the fall of the empire, this place was revived in the 13th century with the establishment of Innsbruck, the main trading center throughout the Alps, with the town square preserved to this day.

Hallstatt

Panoramic view of Hallstatt - one of the most beautiful small towns in Austria

On the shore of the lake of the same name, in the Salzkammergut region, which is included in the UNESCO list of protected cultural heritage, lays the city of Hallstatt. The panorama of the town, which overlooks the lake and the town on its shoreline, is reminiscent of almost unreal fairytale landscapes. Since the settlement and development of the entire region, including the town itself, is linked to the salt mines of this region, the settlement dates back as far as the 8th and 4th centuries BC, when it was inhabited by Celtic and pre-Illyrian tribes. As this place was constantly inhabited, it is thought that Hallstatt may even be the oldest settlement in Europe. In the Middle Ages, it became an important trading center, and until 1890 Hallstatt could only be reached by boat or extremely impassable mountain trails. The town is very easy to walk on foot, in only fifteen minutes, and the only large street with the biggest traffic is closed to vehicles from spring to autumn at certain times of the day since the crowds caused by tourists during the peak of the season are quite large. One of the most beautiful ways to sightsee the town is to go on a boat ride. You can complement your visit to Hallstatt with a visit to the Museum of Cultural Heritage, Salt Caves and the House of Bones, or simply visit the beauties of nature that make this area extremely rich. The fact that the replica of this city was built in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong is in favor of how enchanting this city is.

Alpbach

Gorgeous village Alpbach

Alpbach is located in the Alps in the Province of Tyrol, near the border with Italy. Although it is a very small village, especially when it comes to population, Alpbach has become a popular destination in Austria for a very short time due to its beauty. Because of its natural beauties, this place was voted the most beautiful village in Austria in 1983, and exactly a decade later it was awarded the status of the most beautiful flower village in Europe. Although it is not so accessible in the Alps, it is visited by thousands of tourists every year. This is the place where the bi-weekly European Alpbach Forum is held every year, bringing together significant people from the fields of science, art, politics, and business.

Bad Gastein

View of hilly town Bad Gastein

An Austrian municipality located on the outskirts of the High Tauern National Park in the Gastein Valley. Although for centuries this area had been used for gold mining, the Bad Gastein settlement became known as a spa. What made this place stand out at the end of the 19th century were the thermal springs that soon began to host members of the ruling class and another elite, which even some towns in Austria were not worthy of hosting. Thanks to such guests, the town takes on an elegant appearance, worthy of its guests, which can still be seen today in the style of construction and luxury that distinguishes such a small mountain town. If you decide to visit Bad Gastein, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the spa treatments in the rooms used by nobles from these areas over a hundred years ago. If you are a fan of winter sports, it will be useful for you to know that Alpine skiing world cup competitions have been held in this place for years.

Lienz

Beautiful street of Lienz town in Austria

The Sunny city, as it is called, is located in the southern part of the state, in the district of the same name, and is one of the significant towns of the province of Tyrol. Lienz was settled at the mouth of the river Izel in the Drava, the Alps extend to the south of the town, while to the north rises the highest Austrian mountain High Tauern. The town is located near the southern border of the country, near Italy, which is why such a characteristic position of the town played a very important role in the historical development of this area. There are findings that this place has been inhabited for about four thousand years ago and has undergone many changes since, including cultural changes, since the town was part of the Roman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, and Nazi Germany. Today, architectural diversity can be clearly observed, reminiscent of the epochs this city has gone through, which could not be admired by the far more prominent towns in Austria.

 
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