My very first experience in Austria was a ski trip to Zell am See which somehow managed to turn into a full-scale obsession with this amazing country.

8 Unique Experiences You Need To Have In Austria

Photo after photo on Pinterest further fuelled this obsession and just in case you were wondering why you should go to Austria or what you should get up to when you do visit, here are 8 unique experiences you definitely need to have in Austria.

1.) Tap into the Austrian soul by hiking through it’s picturesque natural backdrop
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Austria is a definitely a haven of sorts for outdoor fans. The Alpine scenery is nothing short of amazing and there are more hiking opportunities than you can shake a stick at. Hiking is also deeply rooted in Austrian life and one of the most authentic ways to see the country and meet the locals. And perhaps try an Austria beer or two while you’re at it!

2.) Visit in winter for world-class winter sports in the Austrian Alps
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7 Photos from Zell Am See, Austria! (6)

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Yup! The stereotype proves to be true – skiing in the Austrian Alps is an amazing experience and one that we can’t recommend enough. Slopes are well-groomed, there’s heaps of snow from November to April and the famed Austrian hospitality will help you to recover from from the day’s ‘hardships’. 😉 #FirstWorldProblems

3.) Watching the Lipizzaner Stallions in Vienna
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The Riding School is home to a horse-riding performance like no other. Unless you’re into horses, you’d think this would be a tad dull to watch but it’s actually quite impressive and guaranteed to leave you wanting more. Next time you find yourself considering a trip to Vinenna, definitely make some time to watch the Lipizzaner Stallions and their riders, all dressed up in royal attire, performing various tricks and choreographies that are bound to blow your mind. Head up – you need to book well in advance!

4.) Feel like royalty at Schloss Schönbrunn in Vienna
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The Schönbrunn palace in Vienna is one of the most decadent castles in Europe. The ground span for ages and a tour through the overwhelming museum is bound to leave you besotted with Austria as a whole! Don’t forget to check out the majestic gardens, stunning fountains and have a gander at the fake Roman ruins. It’s a must-do on every itinerary.

5.) Go East for a different taste of Austria
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This is the part no one really tell you about! See, the East of Austria is a fertile wine region and provides a stark contrast to the rest of the country. Here, you can find soft rolling hills, sunny weather (ideal for those wine grapes) and countless wine taverns, called Heuriger. Every year, these Heuriger celebrate the new season of local wine in a feasting session chock full of country-style food and traditional music. It’s the perfect opportunity to mingle with the locals and  sample wines from different vineyards. Essentially this the opportunity you’ve long dreamed of to drink ALL the wine!

6.) Roadtrip on the High Alpine Highway, Salzburg
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If you want to experience the Alps in it’s upmost glory, take your car up the High Alpine Highway. The picture says it all, I guess. Best still, it’s one of those free experiences that can is bound to leave you wanting to see more and more of Austria!

7.) Marvel at the rather impressive Hohensalzburg Castle
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Castle-hopping is an essential Austrian experience – especially seeing as they have quite a few decent castles but one castle that you most certainly don’t want to miss out on is the perfectly located Hohensalzburg Castle in, you guessed it – Salzburg! When you’re around, make some time to catch one of the classical music concerts or just take a stroll around this impressive fortress before you return to Salzburg’s picture-perfect Old Town to sample some of…

8.) …that delicious Austrian Cuisine
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Austrian kitchen don’t often get the accolade they deserve. Arguably, some of the most popular German dishes are from Austria. Schnitzel? From Vienna. Strudel? Former Habsburg empire. And there’s so much more to discover: Salzburger Nockerl, Kaiserschmarrn, Schlutzkrapfen, Tafelspitz… Just make sure you bring your comfy pants for those food comas you’re almost guaranteed to have here every day.

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  • The royal palaces were my favorite when I went to visit!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

    • HandLuggageOnly

      There really are so many to look at! They’re so beautiful! xx

  • I’ve only been to Vienna, but would love to explore more parts of Austria one day! If I do, I’ll keep this great list of highlights in mind.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      So glad you found it useful Lisa – we’d love to hear if you do explore more in Austria! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Claire

    Thanks for this post, I’m heading to Vienna in April and would love to see the Lipizzaner stallions! I’ll make sure to book well in advance 😉

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! Ahhhhh – this is amazing Claire! Can we squeeze inside your suitcase please! We want to explore every little bit of Austria! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • The High Apline Highway is a definate must for Austria! Every time I’ve been to Austria,I have to go because the views and the scenery are amazing. Austria has some amazing scenery and there’s a few little places I found: Krimml waterfall is insane and also Kitz Loch Klamm was a great find!

    Sarah x

    http://www.saraheliza.co.uk/2014/10/august-8th-15th-austria.html

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah! Great highlights Sarah! We’ll be needing some advice from you about our next trip to the continent – your tips are amazing!

      Thanks so much for sharing with us! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Dang, this looks awesome! I haven’t been to Vienna yet, but this is pushing it closer to the top of the list. That snow looks aaaaaaah-mazing!
    http://www.california2catalonia.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      So glad you love it too Liz! A trip to Austria is perfect in winter… actually, come to think of it – any and every time we can actually get there! Haha!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Vienna is amazing and one of my favourite cities in the world! But Austria has more to offer than just Vienna and I’m happy you pointed it out!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, yes – Austria really is a beautiful country to explore! 🙂

  • East Austria looks awesome!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It really is isn’t it! 🙂

  • I went to Austria in January and it was just incredible! I’ve fallen head over heels with the country and everyone is so friendly, not to mention it is so beautiful!! <3

    Gemma x
    http://www.thebritishfeather.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Exactly! So glad you had an amazing time Gemma. How long did you visit for? Did you feel you had enough time there?

      Lloyd xx

  • I am from Austria and haven’t done everything on this list. It’s a shame.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      I always find we take for granted the stuff on our doorstep (so to speak). We do the same in London… it’s always there, so you think you’ll just do it another day… I think we’re all the same! haha!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • You are probably right. I have to do Nr. 3, 6 and 7. 🙂