The Best City Breaks in Austria
Be a traveller, not a tourist: Explore Graz, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Vienna the Austrian way.
Marvel at world-famous masterpieces by the likes of Klimt and Schiele, take a stroll through UNESCO World Heritage sites, listen to classical music in the cities where some of the greatest composers were born or find out first-hand what Austria’s legendary coffeehouse culture is all about. And let’s not forget the food, the events, and the recreational spaces.
City breaks are constantly increasing in popularity, and this summer we invite you – and your audience – to experience our favourite cities the Austrian way: not like a visitor but like a local in the know. Salzburg, Graz, Innsbruck and Vienna have a lot to offer – let us show you some of the highlights!
GRAZ: A HIP MEDITERRANEAN TOWN AND AUSTRIA'S CAPITAL OF FOOD
Graz, the capital of Styria, sits in the south of Austria and enchants with its old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its signature landmarks such as the Clock Tower and the Kunsthaus, and the Mediterranean vibe. In this city, the past merges into the future, which is especially visible in the architecture: Elegant courtyards, yaw-dropping houses, porticos, cupolas, cobble-stone alleys, and unique, red rooftops perfectly blend into the city’s more contemporary face. A great example for the latter is the Murinsel, a futuristic artificial island and bar in the Mur River, showing off its bright colours at night.
And there’s more: Graz is also known as Austria’s capital of food, meaning you can enjoy excellent Austrian and international cuisine around town. The city’s 30 “Capital of Delight” partner restaurants all prepare their dishes of fresh seasonal and regional ingredients. Graz also has more vegan and vegetarian restaurants than any other place in Austria.
Experience Graz the Austrian Way
- Homemade bread, fresh fruits and veggies and plenty of Styrian snacks: Graz’ farmers’ markets have it all – and more. Spend a summer day like the locals and enjoy the delicacies you’ve just bought at one of the city’s many picnic spots. Alternatively, book a foodie tour.
- Graz is a cycler’s paradise. Rent a bike and explore the city at your own pace from the saddle. There are 13 main cycle routes on both sides of the river, with many sights along the way – pick one or try them all.
- Love shopping? Herrengasse is the Graz’ most famous street, but hip Lend district is the creative hub. The area around Lendplatz and Mariahilflerstraße is an excellent place to shop all things unusual and quirky.
More about Graz: https://www.graztourismus.at/en
Graz Guest Card: https://www.graztourismus.at/en/getting-there-and-public-transport/graz-card
Press pictures: https://www.graztourismus.at/en/photo-gallery/quick-access
SALZBURG: A MECCA FOR FANS OF MOZART, MUSIC FESTIVALS, AND THE TRAPP FAMILY
Mozart’s birthplace is a small but cosmopolitan town with an outstanding reputation for classical music and cultural events. The city owes its elegance to the prince-archbishops: Their architectural, artistic, and social heritage is omnipresent to date. Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich zu Raitenau (1559-1617) dreamt of transforming Salzburg into a magnificent “Rome of the North”, creating landmarks such as Mirabell Palace and Gardens which helped the city earn its UNESCO title. Salzburg is packed with must-see sights such as the 1,300 year-old DomQuartier, Hohensalzburg Fortress, Mozart’s Birthplace at Getreidegasse, the Marionette Theatre (watch puppet versions of “The Magic Flute”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” or “Fidelio”) and of course all the “Sound of Music” filming locations.
Other highlights not to be missed this summer include the 21st edition of the Salzburg Festival, with top-notch plays, opera, and concerts all around town, and the 70th anniversary of the avantgarde Sommerszene festival.
Experience Salzburg the Austrian Way
- Salzburg’s brewers, liqueur makers, tailors and weavers honour their long-lived crafts. Check out the traditional businesses on and around Getreidegasse.
- Café Tomasselli in the heart of the old town is a family-run institution which has been around for over 150 years. Pop in for coffee and cake or start your day with an Austrian breakfast fest. Salzburg’s oldest bakery is Stiftsbäckerei St. Peter (part of the monastery of the same name) dating back to the 12th century.
- Mönchsberg (literally “monk’s mountains”) is one of Salzburg’s five surrounding mountains and a quick nature escape. Decorated with woodlands and meadows, it features numerous walking and hiking trails, panoramic views over the city’s rooftops and gorgeous sunsets.
More about Salzburg: https://www.salzburg.info/en/
Salzburg Card: https://www.salzburg.info/en/hotels-offers/salzburg-card/prices
Press pictures: https://www.salzburg.info/en/press
Press releases: https://press.austria.info/uk/summer-the-austrian-way/salzburg/
INNSBRUCK: IMPERIAL SIGHTSEEING AND MOUNTAIN BREAK BOTH IN ONE
Tirol’s capital Innsbruck is the perfect place for anyone wanting to combine a sightseeing-packed city break, think the Golden Roof, the Imperial Palace or the shopping mecca Maria-Theresien-Strasse, with some outdoor sports. Stroll through the streets full of imperial elegance and beautiful Baroque and Gothic architecture in the historic old town, then get whisked up the Nordkette and be at 2,000 m in just 20 minutes. Hungry? Join a Food Tour and sample through all the traditional Tyrolean delights or stop by at Konditorei Munding, Tirol’s oldest café (it opened in 1803).
Thanks to its location in the heart of the Austrian Alps, Innsbruck doubles as an outdoor hub. Take one of the cable cars right from the town centre and head hiking, biking, or climbing. Fancy an adrenaline kick? Check out Bergisel Ski Jump, known around the world as part of the annual Four Hills Tournament.
Experience Innsbruck the Austrian Way
- Sightseeing, foodie, nature, and sports adventures all in one: Innsbruck’s locals fully embrace their alpine-urban lifestyle all year round – and invite holidaymakers to make the most of the town’s prime location, too.
- Innsbruck’s Alpine Zoo is the only one of its kind around the world. It’s home to more than 2,000 animals, including wolves, eagles, bears, and deer – a highlight for the whole family.
- Love all things sparkly? The Swarovski Crystal Worlds are only 20 km east of Innsbruck. Explore 18 Chambers of Wonder, including an all-year-round icy chamber with snow, and a Crystal Cloud made from 800,000 hand-mounted crystals.
More about Innsbruck: https://www.innsbruck.info/en/
Innsbruck Welcome Card: https://www.innsbruck.info/en/destinations/accommodation/welcome-card.html
Press pictures: https://newsroom.pr/at/pressemappen/Innsbruck-Tourismus?type=9&lang=en
Press releases: https://press.austria.info/summer-the-austrian-way/innsbruck/
VIENNA: AUSTRIA'S CENTRE OF CULTURE AND THE ARTS
Vienna stuns with a mix of Imperial tradition and vibrant metropolitan flair, top-notch art, its classical music scene and equally famous coffee houses. World history has been written in the city for half a millennium – and yet Vienna’s more modern sides are just as fascinating. St Stephen’s Cathedral, Belvedere (celebrating its 300th birthday this year!) and Hofburg Palace, the Vienna State Opera and Schönbrunn Palace (including the oldest zoo in the world are just a few of the must-see sights for first timers. What’s more, the city celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Vienna World Exhibition this year with events and special exhibitions.
Fans of the arts should pencil in a visit at the Leopold Museum at MuseumsQuartier. With more than 8,300 works of Austrian art from the second half of the 19th century and Modernism, including several masterpieces of Gustav Klimt, it houses the largest collection of its kind worldwide. Leopold Museum is also home to the world’s most comprehensive Egon Schiele collection, with more than 220 works on display. There’s also currently a special exhibition showing the highlights of the Würth Collection.
Experience Vienna the Austrian Way
- Nothing is more Viennese than heading to one of the many traditional coffee houses for a “Melange” (the Austrian version of Café latte) and some cake. Must-tries include Café Hawelka, Café Sperl, Café Landtmann and the more unconventional but equally stand-out Vollpension (run by local retirees).
- Wiener Schnitzel is world-famous, and the locals love it just as much as visitors to the city. Vegan? Figlmüller restaurant, the place where Vienna’s signature dish was invented, now also has a plant-based version.
- Vineyards in the city? Absolutely! Vienna is surrounded by them and the so-called “Heurigen” (wine taverns) rank among the locals’ most popular hangouts, especially in the warmer months.
More about Vienna: https://www.wien.info.en/
More about Leopold Museum: https://www.leopoldmuseum.org/en/collection
Vienna City Card: https://www.wien.info/en/travel-info/vienna-city-card
Press pictures: https://b2b.wien.info/en/media/pictures
Photos available below. Please include photo credits.