Has Austria ever been on your wish list? If not it should be! Austria is blessed with natural beauty, it’s affordable, and things go at a little slower pace which I like very much. Lovely Austria is full of famous landmarks to fill your itinerary.
Landmarks are recognizable features of the landscape, some carved out by nature, some man made.
These Landmarks are often popular tourist attractions. They are great travel destinations and deserve a spot on our “must see” travel wish lists. So, if you’re looking for some of the best places to visit on your next trip to Austria then look no further!
Famous Landmarks in Austria
Austria (Österreich), formally the Republic of Austria, is a beautiful mountainous country located in the southern part of Central Europe. Austria has a rich culture and history, its people are friendly and welcoming, and I find the slower way of life very appealing.
50 popular landmarks that you need to see right away!
These are the Best of the Famous Landmarks in Austria:
Map of famous Landmarks in Austria
Use this map of famous Austrian landmarks and attractions to plan a bucket list worthy trip to see some of Austria’s most famous landmarks!
(FOLLOW THIS LINK to be directed to an interactive map!)
Landmarks for Nature Lovers
These next landmarks are man-made structures set in nature, the best of both worlds!
(1) The Grossglockner High Alpine Road (Großglockner-Hochalpenstraße)
Grossglockner High Alpine Road: is a scenic road that winds from the towns of Bruck and Heiligenblut through the heart of the Austrian Alps. The 48 km drive leads you into one of Austria’s largest national parks and winds its way up to Austria’s highest mountain via 36 hairpin turns. The drive offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Experience snow-capped peaks, glaciers, green valleys, and crystal-clear lakes.
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(2) Baumwipfelpfad Salzkammergut Tower
Baumwipfelpfad Salzkammergut Observation deck is located in Gmunden. Spiral your way gradually up the 39-meter (128 feet) tower to the top where you’ll find yourself above the treetops with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Traunsee. Children and adults can opt to take the fast way down with the 75-meter-long tunnel slide that spirals its way through the center of the tower!
(3) Highline 179
Thrill seekers will want to add Highline 179 to their list! At 400 meters in length, Highline 179 is the longest Tibetan style pedestrian suspension bridge in the world. Take a stroll 376 feet above the valley below.
(4) Veitsch Mount of Olives Pilgrims Cross (Pilgerkreuz am Veitscher Ölberg)
This unique landmark is a 40 meter tall cross located in in Mitterdorf im Mürztal is the largest accessible cross in the world. Climb up for views of the surrounding landscape.
(5) Hängebrücke Holzgau
Hängebrücke Holzgau, also known as the Holzgau Suspension Bridge, spans the Höhenbachtal Gorge near the small village of Holzgau. The bridge spans over 200 meters (658 feet) and is suspended approximately 110 meters above the ground. The bridge offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Austrian Alps and valleys and is illuminated at night.
(6) Dr. Vogelgesang Gorge (Klamm)
The rugged Dr. Vogelgesang Klamm, the second longest accessible gorge in Austria, is located in Spital am Pyhrn. Visitors will discover wooden walkways, moss-covered rocks & trees, and a small cascading waterfall. The length of the gorge runs 1.5 kilometers from the ticket office (2.7 from parking lot 2.)
(7) Forchacher Hängebrücke über den Lech
The Forchacher Hängebrücke über den Lech is a pedestrian bridge located in Forchach, Austria. The bridge spans 75 metres over the crystal-clear milky blue water of the Lech River. Enjoy panoramic views of the Lechtal Alps mountain range.
Lammerklamm is a narrow and ridiculously scenic Gorge located just 30 km south of Salzburg near Scheffau am Tennengebirge. Cliffside hugging walkways span parts of the gorge that was carved out by glaciers during the Ice Age (approximately 15,000 to 30,000 years ago) and lead visitors down to the rushing waters below. Other activities included canoeing and rafting. It’s a nature lover’s delight!
Natural Landmarks in Austria
Nature lovers seek out the best natural landmarks to add to their travel itineraries! Fortunately, Austria processes some of the most natural beauty in the world!
Gosausee is a stunning alpine lake located in the Salzkammergut region of Austria (Österreich), surrounded by the soaring mountain peaks of the Dachstein mountains. The crystal-clear emerald green water reflects the surrounding majestic mountain ranges. Gosausee is a popular tourist destination. Find out how to plan the perfect trip to Gosausee, the prettiest place on earth!
(10) Dachstein Glacier (Dachsteingletscher)
With a Top Elevation of 2,700 metres (8,00 ft) (Base Elevation 2057 metres (6749 ft)) there’s snow year-round at the top of the Dachstein Mountain. Make your way UP that imposing mountain, for splendid views of the Dachstein Glacier. Attractions at the top include a panorama gondola ride, viewing platform with views that will STUN YOU, an ice palace, and Austria’s highest suspension bridge!
(11) Dachstein Giant Ice Cave, (Dachstein Krippenstein, Dachstein Eishoehle)
The magical and otherworldly Dachstein Ice Cave is located on Dachstein Mountain in the Austrian Alps. The chambers of one of the largest ice caves in the world offers visitors the opportunity to embark on a breathtaking adventure through gigantic subterranean glaciers with icebergs/ice chapels/ice sculptures, frozen waterfalls, and cave formations covered in thick layers of ice. Now including a theatrical show of light and sound.
(12) Werfen’s Eisriesenwelt (World of Ice Giants
Werfen’s “Eisriesenwelt, the world’s largest ice cave, is a natural limestone and ice cave located inside Hochkogel Mountain in the Werfen area of the Austrian Alps. To visit Eisriesenwelt, visitors must take a cable car ride up for the 70-minute tour. Getting to the location requires a good amount of uphill climbing and another 700 steps on the tour. The reward, several chambers of frozen geological formations, including icicles, stalactites, and stalagmites, and the “ice place.”
Meerauge, also known as the “Eye of the Sea”, located in Styria, Austria. Is a tiny little pond with turquoise water. The crystal-clear water allows you to see the submerged wood that sits at the bottom of the pond.
(14) Stuibenfall Waterfall
The Stuibenfall Waterfall is located in the Ötztal Alps near the village of Umhausen and at around 159 meters in height, it is the highest waterfall in Tyrol. Visitors are greeted by a complex of trails, stairs, and viewing platforms for the best views of the waterfall.
(15) Leutasch Gorge (Ghost Gorge)
Leutasch Gorge is located near Mittenwald in the Leutasch Valley. The Gorge is over 1.5 km long and is enclosed by towering rock walls that rise nearly 80 meters high. 970 metres of cliff hugging walkways and bridges crisscross their way over the deep ravine presenting views of the crystal clear milky blue water below. A trail in the gorge leads to a cascading waterfall.
(16) Krimml Waterfalls (Krimmler Wasserfälle)
The three tiered Krimml Waterfall, located in the Hohe Tauren National Park, is fed by glacial meltwater from the Krimmler Ache river. The waterfall with a total height of 380 meters (1,247 feet) is the tallest waterfall in Austria. Spray created by the cascading water tumbling over rocky cliffs contributes to the damp environment around the waterfall, the perfect home for mosses and ferns.
Famous Historical Landmarks
Austria has a rich history and so many worthwhile historic landmarks. The first traces of human settlement in Austria date from the Lower Paleolithic Period (Old Stone Age). Visitors to Austria can discover evidence of human settlement from the Iron age and Middle Age as well as Celtic tribes and the Roman Empire.
Here are some of the popular historical sites from Austrian history:
(17) Mauthausen Concentration Camp (KZ-Gedenkstätte Mauthausen)
Mauthausen Concentration Camp, one of the most notorious Nazi concentration camps during World War II, was a major center for forced labor and mass murder. Prisoners at Mauthausen were subjected to brutal conditions and treated with extreme cruelty, forced to perform hard labor under grueling conditions, and subjected to medical experiments and torture.
(18) Römerstadt Carnuntum
Römerstadt Carnuntum is what remains of a once thriving ancient Roman city located in the eastern part of Austria, near the Danube River. This archaeological site was founded around 50 AD. Tickets can be purchased on Get Your Guide. The Archaeological Park Carnuntum comprises three sites:
- Museum, Heidentor and amphitheater near Petronell
- Excavations in the garden of Petronell Castle
- Museum Carnuntinum
(19) Austrian Open-Air Museum Stübing (Österreichisches Freilichtmuseum Stübing)
Austrian Open-Air Museum Stübing is home to 97 authentic historical buildings that have been painstakingly relocated from various regions across Austria. The historic structures include traditional farmhouses, barns, mills, churches, schoolhouses all with authentic furnishings and artifacts. Skilled artisans demonstrate traditional crafts such as woodcarving, pottery-making, weaving, and blacksmithing.
(20) Glattjoch Kapelle
This ancient chapel, like the “boat-shaped oratories” (small chapel resembling an upturned boat) found in Ireland, likely dates from the 9th or 10th century A.D. is the only known structure of its kind located in Central Europe.
Castles and Palaces
Austria has been powerful throughout history and so they are flush with castles and palaces.
Here are a few of Austria’s most recognized castle landmarks:
(21) Schloss Tratzberg
Schloss Tratzberg is a stunning 16th century Gothic/ Renaissance-style castle located in the mountainous region of Tyrole. It is situated on a wooded ridge overlooking the valley below. This well-preserved castle is typical of the architecture from the alpine parts of the Holy Roman Empire. Visitors can explore rooms filled with stunning period furniture, tapestries, paintings, and other works of art.
(22) Schloss Moosham Castle
Medieval 12th century Moosham Castle is in the Lungau region of Salzburg, Austria. The castle is privately owned but can be toured. The castle is steeped in legend and tales of horror. You can read all about them on the Moosham Castle website and get details about how you can stay overnight in this atmospheric castle!
(23) Hofburg Imperial Palace
The 13th century medieval Hofburg Palace, located in the center of Vienna, the official residence of the Habsburg dynasty for over 600 years. This massive palace is a mixture of Baroque, Gothic, Neoclassical, and Renaissance architecture and has over 2,600 state rooms, including the Imperial Apartments, which were once home to Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth (Sisi) (don’t miss the Sisi Museum, which showcases the life of Empress Elisabeth.
On display are some of the most valuable treasures from the Habsburg dynasty, including crowns and jewels. Today Hofburg is the official residence of the President of Austria.
Also located in the Hofburg Palace Complex is the famed Spanish Riding School, renowned for its performances which showcase classical riding techniques that have been passed down through generations.
(24) Schloss Belvedere Palace
The 18th century Belvedere Palace Vienna is a magnificent Baroque style palace consisting of two main buildings – the Upper Belvedere and the Lower Belvedere. The palace was once home to Prince Eugene of Savoy. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and museum containing many impressive works of art, including works by famous artists such as Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh.
The palace gardens contain fountains, sculptures, and manicured lawns. Visitors can walk through the gardens for free or take a guided tour to learn more about their history.
(25) Schloss Mirabell Palace
Mirabell Palace is a magnificent baroque palace situated on the shore of the Salzach River in Salzburg that features beautifully landscaped gardens. The palace was built in 1606, under Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau. The interior of the palace boasts beautiful stucco work, marble sculptures, ornate ceilings with frescoes depicting scenes from Greek mythology. Mirabell Gardens, one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe, features numerous fountains, sculptures, and flower beds. Considering attending a Mozart concert at Mirabell Palace concert hall.
(26) Schloss Schönbrunn Palace
Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna. is a former imperial summer residence of the Hasburg Emperors and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 18th century 1401 room Rococo style place was built in the 18th century. Empress Maria Theresa once received this massive palace as a wedding gift. Inside the castle visitors can explore the many opulent rooms that showcase the grandeur of the Habsburg monarchy. The beautiful gardens contain fountains, statues, and even a maze for visitors to explore.
(27) Hohensalzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg)
Hohensalzburg Castle, also known as the Hohensalzburg Fortress is a medieval fortress perched high on Festungsberg Mountain overlooking the charming city of Salzburg. Built on this strategic location in the 11th century to protect Salzburg from invaders, it offers panoramic vistas of Salzburg’s fanciful rooftops and surrounding mountains. The expansive fortress complex includes courtyards, towers, museums and chapels. Consider attending one of the world class Mozart Dinner Concerts at the Fortress.
(28) Schloss Eggenberg Palace, Graz
Beautiful Schloss Eggenberg, (not to be confused with Eggenberg Castle in Vorchdorf) is a Gothic/ Baroque castle located in the city of Graz, Austria. The castle along with the historic old town district of Graz have been designated as UNESCO sites.
Parts of the castle date as far back as the Middle Ages. Visitors can explore 24 state rooms adorned with exquisite frescoes, stucco work, and 17th and 18th century furnishings. The castle park and gardens contain various notable features such as fountains, ponds, a planetary garden, statues, and sculptures.
(29) Hohenwerfen Castle
The 11th century Hohenwerfen Castle, formerly a Habsburg estate, is situated picturesquely on top of a rock overlooking the valley below. A personal favorite, this 900-year-old castle surrounded by mountains is an absolute delight. The red paint color used on some of the architectural elements really pops against the deep blue canvas of the sky. Don’t miss out on the daily falconry shows and if you’re lucky, the Witch exhibit will still be on offer!! Visitors can walk the steep path to the castle or take the funicular up.
(30) Ehrenberg Castle Ruins
Ehrenberg Castle (not to be confused with Ehrenburg Castle in Germany), is situated high atop a mountain in the Austrian Alps. The castle was built in 1296. Don’t miss the Knight Tournament with a medieval market, battle recreations, atmospheric evening fires, and aromatic food!
(31) Hochosterwitz Castle
Hochosterwitz Castle, one of the most famous Austrian landmarks, is a 9th century medieval fortress located in the State of Carinthia. The castle is perched on a 150-meter-high limestone dolomite rock where it stands guard over the valley below. The Armory has an impressive collection of full body armor (including armor worn by Burghauptmann Schenk whose armor was 2.4 meters or 8 feet tall!)
(32) Schloss Hellbrunn
Schloss Hellbrunn, also known as Hellbrunn Palace, is a baroque palace clothed in a lovely shade of yellow. The palace, located on the outskirts of Salzburg, was built in the 1600’s. What makes Hellbrunn so special are the dozens of playful trick fountains located in the gardens. The water features that were designed to entertain guests. The palace interior is stunningly decorated and worth seeing for its intricate frescoes and ornate furnishings.
churches, cathedrals, chapels and abbeys
Austria has many old and ancient churches, cathedrals, and abbeys.
Here are a few of the most recognizable:
(33) Melk Abbey (Stift Melk)
Melk Abbey is a Baroque Benedictine abbey located in the Wachau valley of Lower Austria. The abbey is situated on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube River and is considered one of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in Europe. The abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was built between 1702 and 1736 but there has been a monastery on this spot since 1089. The library houses over 100,000 books and manuscripts dating back to medieval times. Guided tours take visitors through some of the 497 rooms and last approximately 50 minutes.
(34) Mountain chapel Schüsserlbrunn (Schüsserlbrunn Pilgrimage Church)
Nestled in the picturesque Austrian Alps, charming little Mountain Chapel Schüsserlbrunn is a hidden gem with views of lush alpine forests. Situated on top of a hill, the church can only be accessed by hiking up a steep trail. Water that collects on the mountain is said to have healing properties.
(35) St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom)
St Stephen’s Cathedral is a Romanesque/ Gothic style Roman Catholic cathedral located in the heart of Vienna’s historic district. A church has stood on this site since Roman times, groundbreaking on the current structure was in 1137 and construction continued for the next 400 years. Visitors can climb up to the top of the south tower for panoramic views over the Austrian capital of Vienna, or visit the catacombs in the cathedral.
(36) Salzburg Cathedral
Salzburg Cathedral, also known as Salzburger Dom in German, is a stunning 17th century baroque-style cathedral located in the heart of Salzburg’s historic city center. The interior is adorned with stunning frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Jesus Christ. In 1756 little Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was baptized here. This was his home church for the next 25 years. He served for two of those years as an organist.
Famous Cities Towns and villages
(37) Salzburg Old Town
Charming Salzburg Old Town, (Altstadt) sits in the shadow of the imposing fortress that stands guard over the city. Salzburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the best-preserved town centers in Europe. The unique architecture is a fanciful mixture of baroque architecture and Gothic, which gives the town a decidedly ornate appearance.
To further add to its charm Salzburg is surrounded by mountains which provide a stunning backdrop. The Old Town consists of a labyrinth of historic picturesque streets and narrow alleyways that take visitors past grand palaces, cathedrals, medieval buildings, museums, wrought iron signs advertising what’s on offer inside, shops, cafes, and restaurants.
(38) Innsbruck Old Town
Innsbruck’s historic Old Town is a beautifully preserved neighborhood located in the heart of town. Visitors to this charming area of town experience narrow cobbled streets and alleys, quaint shops, beautifully preserved buildings that date back to the Middle Ages, restaurants serving traditional Austrian cuisine, and a historic marketplace.
Innsbruck’s iconic Golden Roof “Goldenes Dachl” was built in the 15th century as a tribute to Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I and is covered with over 2,600 fire-gilded copper tiles (and gilded copper tiles).
The charming small town of Hallstatt is nestled in the mountainous Salzkammergut Northern Limestone Alps region of Austria. Picture perfect Hallstatt sits prettily on the shores of Lake Hallstatt, surrounded by majestic mountains and lush forests and is 1000% worth seeing!
Explore the town’s narrow streets lined with traditional Alpine architecture and colorful houses adorned with flower boxes or the bone chapel where hundreds of skulls and bones have been artfully arranged in a decorative display. Head up the mountain for a visit to the ancient salt mines that date back over 7,000 years.
Famous buildings and Monuments
(40) Mozart’s Birthplace ( Geburtshaus)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the most renowned composers in history, was born in Salzburg. The historic building that he was born in dates to the 12th century. It is in Salzburg’s Old Town and is today a museum dedicated to the famous composer. Exhibits include original documents, letters, portraits, and other memorabilia, instruments used in the composition of his early works such as Mozart’s childhood violin, and his clavichord. Salzburg is a mecca for all things Mozart and you can find many things to do in Salzburg to pay homage to all things Mozart!
(41) Vienna State Opera House
The 19th century Vienna State Opera House, also known as Wiener Staatsoper, is in the heart of Vienna and is one of the most prestigious and historic opera houses in the world. The opera house is known for its stunning architecture, exceptional acoustics, and world-class performances and has exemplified musical excellence for over 150 years. The main auditorium seats over 1,700 people.
(42) Kunsthistorisches Museum
The beautiful building that houses the Kunsthistorisches Museum is a work of art in itself. Inside you’ll find more than 4,000 works of art and artifacts from ancient to modern times. Exhibits range from ancient artifacts to contemporary paintings and sculptures. Highlights include masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeers.
(43) Austrian Parliament Building (Parlament)
The Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna is an impressive example of Greek Revival architecture. One of the building’s most famous features is the Pallas Athena fountain in front of the main entrance. The exterior of the Austrian Parliament—especially the statue and fountain of Athena—is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Vienna. The Parliament Building offers guided tours, including an architectural tour.
(44) Hundertwasser Village (Friedensreich Hundertwasser)
Hundertwasser Village is located in Vienna and is a popular destination for art enthusiasts and travelers seeking something a little offbeat. The buildings here are colorful, whimsical, unique, eclectic, and vibrant. The village is a fascinating blend of art and architecture with a range of shops selling handmade crafts and souvenirs made by local artisans.
(45) Altfinstermünz Fortress
Altfinstermünz Fortress is a medieval fortress located in the Tyrol region of Austria. The fortress is situated on a rocky outcrop overlooking the River Inn and once served as a toll station for merchants traveling along the route.
Famous tourist attraction landmarks
(46) Nature Ice Palace (Natur Eis Palast)
Natur Eis Palast is a glacier cave located in the Hintertux Glacier ski resort. This otherworldly landscape of ice formations would certainly fit into the “natural landmarks” category but I’m adding it here. Why? This ice cave turns into a technicolored adventure park where visitors can use stand up paddle boards, rafts or kayaks to explore the underground river that flows through the cave or explore the frozen labyrinth of icicles on foot.
(47) Prater Amusement Park Ferris wheel
The 65-meter-tall Prater Ferris Wheel has been a fixture of Vienna’s skyline since 1897. It is the oldest Ferris wheel of its type still in existence anywhere in the world and offers a breathtaking view of the city. “According to the unwritten rule for all visitors to Vienna, if you haven’t done a round on the Giant Ferris Wheel, you haven’t been in Vienna.” -Wein Info. Thrill seekers will find the Ferris wheel located in Wurstelprater Amusement Park. You can purchase skip the line tickets at Get Your Guide.
(48) Burgruine Waxenberg
Burgruine Waxenberg ancient castle ruins date prior to the 13th century. Located in the town of Waxenberg, Upper Austria the castle offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Explore crumbing towers, walls, and battlements but the real attraction here are the many statues depicting haunting robed figures.
Minimundus miniature park is located in the Carinthia region and has over 150 miniature models of architecture from around the world on display. Notable miniature structures include the Statue of Liberty, the Parthenon, the Taj Mahal, the pyramids, the Eiffel Tower and more!
Seebruhne Opera House is an outdoor event venue located in the city of Bregenz, on Lake Constance. The floating stage venue hosts a variety of operas, concerts, and theatrical shows with the lake serving as a backdrop for each performance. The uniqueness of its location makes Seebühne one of the most unforgettable opera houses in the world.
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