The 8 Must-Visit Austria Landmarks
Whether you’re backpacking Austria to get a quick escape or go to a week-long vacation, Austria has so much to offer to satisfy your burning wanderlust.
From alpine mountains, classical music, rich culture, world-class art, to delicious food, you’ll never get short of things to love in this beautiful country.
In fact, there’s no other country that waltzes so effortlessly between urban and outdoors like Austria. There are so many places to explore in Austria. So we’ve narrowed down the list and picked the best Austria landmarks that you should not miss.
Table of Contents
1. Schoenbrunn Palace
At the end of the 17th century, Emperor Leopold I ordered Johann Bernhard Fisher von Erlach, a Baroque architect, to design an imperial hunting lodge. It would be for the Emperor’s son, Crown Prince Josh, who will later become Emperor Joseph I.
The imperial lodge will replace the chateau de Plaisance built for empress Eleonora of Gonzaga. It was to become an imperial residence of the 18th century.
The 1,441 room Baroque palace is one of the most significant architectural, historical, and cultural monuments in the country. Since the mid-1950s, the castle has since become a major tourist attraction.
UNESCO has listed Schonbrunn Palace in the World Heritage List in 1996.
The palace is famed for its impressive Rococo decor. Vacationers can tour around Schonbrunn Palace with a free audio guide. You can stroll through the 40 staterooms and picture yourself living during the imperial age.
Get stupefied by the precious and delicate 18th-century interior from the time of empress Maria Theresa.
2. The Hofburg
The majestic Hofburg was once the principal imperial palace of the Habsburg dynasty rulers. Today, the impressive building is the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria.
Located at the heart of Vienna, this 13th-century-built extravaganza also served as the imperial winter palace, while Schonbrunn Palace was the summer residence.
The palace has expanded several times, and numerous architects have worked at the Hofburg as it extended. Some of the notable architects that executed work at the Hofburg are Filiberto Lucchese, Lukas von Hildebrandt, Joseph Emanual Fischer von Erlach, Johann Fischer von Erlach, as well as the architects of the Neue Burg built between 1881 and 1913.
For centuries, the Hofburg served as the center of the Habsburg empire. Now, the palace houses 3 museums where thousands of artifacts and significant documents are kept.
This must-visit Austria landmark will tell you a lot about the fascinating history that shaped the country.
3. Belvedere Palace
In the early 18th century, the famous Baroque architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt built two Belvedere palaces. They served as the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy.
Now, the palace is a famous Austria landmark and a significant tourist spot. It was also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you want to see a collection of Austrian art from the Middle Ages up to the modern-day, then the Belvedere Palace is the perfect place to be. Get close to some of the famous artworks by popular international artists, including Vincent van Gogh, Max Beckmann, and Claude Monet.
You will also see the world’s largest painting collections of Gustav Klimt and masterpieces by Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka.
4. Fortress Hohensalzburg
The Hohensalzburg Fortress is not just the largest preserved castle in Central Europe, it is also among the famous landmarks that Austria is renowned for.
The impressive fortress is situated on the Festungsberg, soaring high above the rooftops of the Baroque historical district.
The construction of this massive fortress started in the year 1077. In 1500, the complex was reconstructed and acquired the appearance that we recognize today.
Vacationers can tour around the beautiful 11th-century castle as it is open year-round. Get stunned with fantastic views. The hill offers a panoramic view of Salzburg, the spectacular horizon, and calming Baroque rooftops of the city.
5. St. Stephen’s Cathedral
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the primary church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna. It is one of Austria’s prominent national symbols.
The impressive cathedral is best known for its intricately designed roof and its 500-foot tall South Tower that has changed the skyline of the entire city.
Devotees of the Roman Catholic church visit the huge and impressive cathedral. The artistic building is beautifully designed in and out with stain-glass window, Romanesque towers, imposing pillars, Baroque high altar, tiled roof, and impressive vaulting.
6. Mirabell Palace and Garden
Mirabell Palace is yet another prominent Austria landmark that lures thousands of vacationers. The historic building was a former palace with enchanting gardens.
The palace is now part of the Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One of the most loved features of the palace is the Marble Hall. It has been the venue of the Salzburg Palace Concerts directed by Luz Leskowitz. The hall is also being used for weddings.
Built in the 16th century, the palace has never failed to impress its visitors.
7. Vienna State Opera House
Do you love theatrical performances? The Vienna State Opera House is the best place in Austria to hear classical music and get your soul pampered by excellent opera performances.
This internationally renowned Opera House offers about 300 performances each year. The spectacular theater will surely give you an experience that you will never forget in your life.
At night, the Opera House is lit with golden lights that make up its grandeur and elegance. It’s one of the best Austria landmarks that you should visit.
Hallstatt is a small town in the Gmunden district. But this tiny town is actually Austria’s salt empire.
The town has been known for its salt production that dates back to prehistoric times. In 1997, Hallstatt was listed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The picturesque Hallstatt has become one of the most visited tourist spots in Austria. Spending a day touring around Hallstatt is a genuinely pleasant experience.
You can wander around the old town and take pictures of the beautiful and colorful gingerbread houses. You can also go to The World Heritage Skywalk and get dramatic 360-degree views of the entire Dachstein Salzkammergut region.