10 Reasons to Spend Summer in Austria

Stunning scenery, outdoor adventures, and the Austrian "Lebensgefühl" - welcome to summer in Austria!

Austria offers a range of activities for all travellers looking to enjoy the summer months in breathtaking nature, surrounded by energetic music, savouring the best of what the country’s cuisine has to offer. From hiking in the mountains and sailing in the numerous lakes, to discovering Austria’s rich culture with a feeling for local living – Austria is a must-visit summer destination. Need further convincing? Read on!


If you’re searching for a specific ambience this summer, a particular way of living and being in the moment, Austria might just be the right fit. After all, what makes the country so unique in the end is its people, their hospitality and outlook on life which they can’t wait to share with you. Immerse yourself in this joie de vivre, embrace the conscious feeling of taking part in life, the feeling that Austrians know as Lebensgefühl. Austria boasts guest friendliness to the highest degree, with hosts in restaurants and resorts looking to give you the best experience possible. Follow the recommendations the locals may have in store and get lost in hidden streets offering new adventures around every corner. You will always find someone willing to help you out.


What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your ideal summer destination? Are you soaking in the sun during a new adventure? While Austria is well known as a snow-sure ski destination, it is just as good of a destination for those looking for a warmer alternative during the summer months. Austria in summer offers sunshine and warmth, with temperatures typically between comfortable 20 and 30 degrees Celsius. Days are long with around seven hours of sunshine and sunsets at 9 PM in the peak of summer. And if it gets too hot, head up to the mountains to cool off, or dip into one of Austria’s many lakes.


Austria offers some of the most breathtaking untouched nature you'll find. Around half of its surface is covered in trees, with 48% being preserved through special protection. Austria’s range of natural scenery - from the Alpine mountainside to forests and lakes, as well as national parks with a range of flora, fauna, and animals - are a great way to practice mindfulness and disconnect from the chaos of everyday life. Austria’s biggest and oldest national park, the Hohe Tauern National Park in Carinthia, home to 50% of all animal species in the country, and the High Mountain Nature Park Zillertal Alps, the largest connected nature reserve in the Alps, are perfect places for anyone looking to enjoy green, lush nature during the summer months. Looking to master your tree pose in stunning surroundings? Head to the Mountain Yoga Festival in St. Anton am Arlberg in September or try a sunrise yoga session in Ischgl.  


Whether you’re looking for an action-packed summer adventure to get your heart racing and blood pumping, or you prefer a calm stroll along the waterside, Austria’s great outdoors have activities for all tastes and ability levels, including summer cable cars to enjoy the views without the walk. Alpine resorts such as Kitzbühel and Schladming - Dachstein offer a network of hiking trails clearly marked for self-guided tours across varied natural scenery. Experience nature and culture at the same time by stopping at mountain huts and hiking villages offering authentic food and a well-deserved rest. An alternative to travelling by foot is following a biking trail, either by bicycle, e-bike, or gravel bike, there are options for all preferences, such as the Danube Bike Trail, which will take you past some of Austrias most impressive cultural sites.


Is sunshine and laying back to relax by the water your only requirement for your next summer destination? Don’t cross Austria off your list just yet. While Austria won’t offer you your typical beach side holiday, it has some extraordinary lakes to use for a range of water-based fun. In fact, Austria is often dubbed the “land of water” among the alpine countries, partially due to its mineral mountain spring drinking water, but also its array of waterfalls, lakes, and rivers. Austria’s water bodies come with spectacular views, bordered by mountains and picturesque villages, as well as guaranteed fun for all ages. Options range from swimming, sailing, rafting, to just enjoying a walk near the water. Head to Zell am See – Kaprun for a mix of mountain and lake holiday, or Lake Achensee for crystal clear waters surrounded by lush green meadows. You could even go sailing right in Vienna.


If you’ve had enough action and movement for the time being, Austrias cities offer rich culture and fascinating history to anyone inclined to visit. Experience aesthetic streets and architecture, museums, and art galleries of all kinds to enrich your summer stay in Austria. In some places, you can even directly combine city living with nature, such as in Innsbruck, where you can take a cable card up the mountain right from the city centre, or in Graz, Austria’s second largest town, which boasts the saying: “from the city to the countryside in ten minutes”. Salzburg and Vienna in particular are known for their history, music, and art scene, rich in culture all around.


Austria offers the perfect mix of modern nightlife and classical music festivals to cater to music lovers looking for summer fun. As the birthplace of some of the most famous classical artists, Austria hosts some world-famous and classical music festivals, such as the Salzburg Festival, taking place every July and August. An active bar and club scene can be found in most of Austria’s cities, as well as a range of open-air festivals taking place throughout the summer months, featuring both national and international artists. Vienna is home to a multitude of events, such as the Vienna Festival Weeks, with dance, theatre and music performances as well as art installations.


Austria’s signature dishes are famous around the world. However, the country does not only offer delicious traditional foods, from Schnitzel to Kaiserschmarren (shredded pancakes) and Marillenknödel (apricot dumplings), but also unforgettable experiences to go along with the taste, including food trails and workshops. Austria prides itself in its locally sourced, seasonal foods, mastering the art of creating special yet familiar tastes. Each region has something new to offer. Furthermore, if you’re looking to pair your dinner with something special, you can have your pick from a line-up of wines. Take a stroll through a vineyard with the sun on your face, followed by a wine tasting and explanations to go with it for any wine enthusiasts. Otherwise enjoy artfully brewed beer, locally made.


Enjoy Austria’s summer months with the entire family and discover activities for all age groups. Head on a hike with trails designed specifically to cater to your children’s entertainment, or visit the Familypark Neusiedlersee, Austrias biggest theme park, featuring rides, playgrounds, and a petting zoo. I addition to programmes for children and a range of family-safe nature-based activities, Austria also offers family friendly hotels to allow for a relaxing holiday for all participants. While all summer regions have kid-friendly offers, some, such as St. Johann in Tirol,  are especially known for being family-friendly.


To make travelling comfortable, as well as more sustainable, Austria is easily reached and seen through by its public transport system. Getting around Austria by train and bus is an adventure in itself, allowing for picturesque views of villages and the countryside. It might also be the cheaper alternative, with many regions offering guest cards, including free public transport within the prescribed zones. Regular train fares are reasonably priced in any case, which is a bonus. Austria is also well connected to other countries, reachable by train even from the UK, allowing for a tour of other locations before reaching your final summer destination.

Photos available below. Please include photo credits.

Christian Vorhofer
Mirja Geh
TVB Paznaun-Ischgl
SKB / Alexander Eugen Koller
Graz Tourism / Harry Schiffer
Monika Reiter
Austrian National Tourist Office / Austrian National Tourist Office / Wolfgang Schardt