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In a country steeped in history and tradition, it should come as no surprise that there is a plethora of famous landmarks in Austria that are worth a visit. You can see many of them if you’re staying in the capital city of Vienna, but be sure to explore off the beaten path a bit as well!
Table of contents
- famous landmarks in austria
- belvedere palace – vienna
- bergisel ski jump – innsbruck
- festung hohensalzburg – salzburg
- golden roof – innsbruck
- graz clock tower – graz
- grossglockner alpine road
- highline 179 – reutte
- hofburg – vienna
- hundertwasser village – vienna
- mozarts geburtshaus – salzburg
- salzburg salt mines – salzburg
- st. stephen’s cathedral – vienna
- schönbrunn palace – vienna
- south styria wine road – styria
- state opera house – vienna
- belvedere palace – vienna
- pin it
famous landmarks in austria
belvedere palace – vienna
Contribution: Jade, The Migrant Yogi
The Belvedere Palace in Vienna consists of two breathtaking Baroque structures sometimes referred to as the ‘Austrian Versailles‘. The Lower Belvedere and Upper Belvedere were completed in 1716 and 1724, respectively.
The Belvedere houses an extravagant art gallery, with multiple structures on the property showcasing some of Austria’s finest art collections. Also worth visiting at the Belvedere are the palace’s extravagant gardens, outdoor fountains and sculptures.
It’s certainly one of the most famous landmarks in Austria and a common favorite thing to do in Vienna. Awe-struck by the beauty of the Belvedere? Spend some extra time in Vienna, one of the most beautiful European cities there is.
Purchase tickets to the different structures separately, with prices up to € 16,00.
bergisel ski jump – innsbruck
Contribution: Elina, Empnefsys & Travel
One of the top attractions of Innsbruck and famous Austrian landmarks is Bergisel Ski Jump, a ski jumping hill just outside the city centre of Innsbruck. It first opened to the public in the late 1920s, but since then it has undergone several improvements. Its current form was designed by Zaha Hadid and was completed in September 2003.
Bergisel Ski Jump is mostly known for hosting the Four Hills Tournament every January. In addition, it was a venue for the Winter Olympic Games that were held in Austria in 1964 and 1976. It was also the venue for the first Youth Winter Olympics in 2012.
To visit Bergisel Hill, you do not need to be a ski jumper or a winter sports enthusiast, as the place is open year-round for people who simply want to enjoy the view from the top of the jumping tower.
To get there from the city centre you need to take tram 1, or if you are closer to the train station you can take bus 4140. Alternatively, you can use the hop-on hop-off tourist bus.
Once there, purchase a ticket and take the lift. Alternatively, you can climb the 455 steps parallel to the hill to reach the 250m-high observation platform. At the top, you can also find the “Bergisel Sky”, a panoramic restaurant with floor to ceiling windows.
The entry fee to climb to the viewing platform is €10 per person. Or, for €14 you can get a combo ticket with the nearby Tyrol Panorama Museum.
festung hohensalzburg – salzburg
Contribution: Lisi, Escaping Worlds
The Fortress Hohensalzburg is the most famous landmark of Salzburg, dating back to the 11th century. It is located on a hill above the Old Town and adds to Salzburg’s eye-catching city image.
Festung Hohensalzburg opened to the public in the 1950s. It is accessible via a 15-20 minute walk up the hill. Alternatively, particularly for those with mobility limitations, there is a railway available for use.
Entrance prices vary starting from €10,30 to €15,90. There are a few different museums to tour inside the fortress. These include the Fortress Museum, the Marionette Museum, the Museum of the Rainer Regiment, the Armoury, and the Prince’s Chambers & Magic Theater. Depending on the ticket acquired, the museums may or may not be included in the price, so be sure to ask.
In these museums, visitors can find out more about life in the Middle Ages and Hohensalzburg’s history. From the castle tower, you can take in the view over the city and surrounding mountains. The castle also has a restaurant with a panoramic view.
The Fortress Hohensalzburg offers a free audio guide and free WIFI, themed tours, theatrical performances, summer open-air cinema, dinners, and fortress concerts. If you’re lucky enough to visit in December, you can enjoy a quaint Christmas market as well.
golden roof – innsbruck
Contribution: Stéphanie, Bey Of Travel
Innsbruck is renowned worldwide for its ski resorts and tradition of hosting winter sports competitions, as this Tyrolean capital is tucked away in the dramatic landscapes of the Austrian Alps. But Innsbruck is much more than a winter destination.
The 800-year-old city takes its name from the very first bridge in Innsbruck that crosses the river Inns. Partly because of its location and accessibility over water, the city was a main trade route to Italy and Switzerland in the 12th century.
One of Austria’s most famous landmarks shines in the heart of the historic Old Town of Innsbruck. The Golden Roof, or ‘Goldenes Dachl’, is the city’s most famous building. The charming house with the ornate golden tiles has a chic look and immediately stands out among the authentic Austrian houses.
The roof was built in the year 1500 for Emperor Maximilian’s wedding. It consists of an impressive 2,657 gilded copper tiles. Regardless of the season, the roof is the most popular attraction in the city.
In the past, the emperor watched all the festivities taking place in the square from the balcony under the roof. Nowadays, it attracts visitors from all over the world taking magical photos from the famous building.
The Golden Roof is a must-see when in Innsbruck, and one of the most famous landmarks in Austria. Make sure to visit the adjoining Golden Roof Museum, where you can immerse yourself in the time of Emperor Maximilian.
graz clock tower – graz
Contribution: Jürgen & Martina, Places of Juma
One of the most famous landmarks in Austria is located in Graz on a hill on the Schlossberg: the Graz Clock Tower. This attraction is the absolute heart of the city and a visit is high up on any list of best things to do in Graz.
It only takes a few minutes to walk from the old town to the top, and the path up the Kriegersteig is an absolutely beautiful ascent. Beautiful, however, is also a ride on the famous Schlossbergbahn, where you can enjoy a fantastic view of the city.
Once at the top, you will discover the clock tower, which is about 28 meters high. It is the landmark of Graz and can be found on every postcard. It towers over the city and can be seen from many places in the city center.
Built in the 13th century, it has its current appearance since the refortification in the 16th century. A special feature of this landmark here is the clock face: the minute and hour hands are reversed.
Just below the clock tower is a gorgeous park with fragrant flowers. This is where you can take brilliant photos of this historic Austrian monument.
grossglockner alpine road
Contribution: Jade, The Migrant Yogi
Though it is certainly one of the lesser-known Austrian landmarks, the Grossglockner Alpine Road is a surprising treat for those who haven’t heard of it. It’s Austria’s highest paved road, spanning just under 50km, from Bruck to Heiligenblut. At times, its elevation exceeds 2,400m!
Visiting the Grossglockner Alpine Road requires a bit of planning, as going at the wrong time of year could hinder your visit. Visiting in the winter isn’t a possibility – the region’s heavy snowfall means the Grossglockner Alpine Road is closed at this time.
Don’t forget your camera, so you can stop along the way and take photos of the breathtaking surroundings.
highline 179 – reutte
Contribution: Tiffany, Mommy and Me Travels
Highline 179 is one of the most famous landmarks in Austria, located on the Bavarian-Austrian border near Reutte. It is a suspension bridge that is 114m high that connects the ruins of the Ehrenburg castle and Fort Claudia. On a clear day, the 360 degree views are breathtaking. Adventure seekers will love that the suspension bridge has a clear bottom and on windy days has a light swinging feeling.
Highline 179 opened to the public in 2014. In December 2014, Guinness World Records named it the longest footbridge of its type. The bridge spans 406m long. Entrance fees are relatively budget friendly, at 8 EUR for an adult, and include a round trip on the bridge.
To access the Highline 179 bridge you can either arrive by car via B179 or take a bus from the Reutte train station. Upon arrival you are at the bottom of a walking path. The hike up to the entrance of the bridge is about 15 to 20 minutes. There are plenty of places to stop and rest along the way if required.
Highline 179 is definitely a stop you should make when visiting Reutte and its surrounding areas. You will be glad that you took a moment to venture up to the bridge and enjoy the beautiful views, and discover the history that sits on both sides of it.
hofburg – vienna
Contribution: Lavina, Continent Hop
The Hofburg, which is currently the President of Austria’s residence, is where the Hapsburg monarchy resided from the 13th century. It’s one of the most historically significant and famous landmarks in Austria, and a must-visit on any Austrian itinerary.
Each member of the Hapsburg family had their individual apartment. Most of these have now been converted to public museums, including Franz Joseph and Elisabeth’s apartments. Each has period fittings from the 18th century and furnishings from the 19th century.
The Hofburg is in the heart of Vienna and is easily accessible by public transportation. People who have an advanced Sisi or Vienna pass should use the entrance in the inner place courtyard. Others without a ticket should opt for entry near the Michaelerkuppel dome.
The Sisi Museum pays tribute to Empress Elisabeth. It contains personal belongings such as parasols, gloves and clothing, from her coronation until her death.
There are a few options to buy tickets to visit the Hofburg. The Sisi ticket includes access to Schonbrunn Palace, Sisi Museum, Vienna Furniture Museum and Schloss Hof Estate, which you can visit at leisure and not necessarily on a single day, costs 36 Euros. Single tickets are also available for purchase.
hundertwasser village – vienna
Contribution: Kenny, Knycx Journeying
Vienna’s historic city center has kept a rich architectural ensemble, filled with Baroque-style castles and gardens, grand buildings, and famous Austrian monuments along the Ringstrasse. There are also some modern structures nearby that stand on their own, created by the iconic Austrian architect, Friedrich Stowasser, in the 20th century.
The architect, more commonly known as Hundertwasser, was deeply inspired by Antoni Gaudi; therefore, visitors will find a certain resemblance between the two artists. While his masterpieces can be spotted across Austria, the Hundertwasser Museum is considered the best place to get the first taste of his work and style.
The village is located at the Kegelgasse, which can be easily reached by tram, or a 20 to 30-minute walk from Krugerstraße. It is open year-round and is free to the public.
Visitors can admire the Hundertwasserhaus from the outside and understand more about the artist’s aesthetics: how he applied colors and curvy lines; and his diverse use of shapes and materials. Both Gaudi and Hundertwasser liked to use curved lines with no flat surfaces. One thing that distinguishes Hundertwasser, however, is that he symmetrically arranged his mosaic or patterns, whereas Gaudi took a more random approach.
There are shops and galleries in the Village Gallery; and to learn more about Hundertwasser’s work and history, the Museum Hundertwasser is a stone’s throw away from the village and the building is also the work of the artist back in 1892. Visitors can enjoy free access to Museum Hundertwasser with Vienna Pass.
mozarts geburtshaus – salzburg
Contribution: Em, That Travelista
There’s little debate that Mozart is one of the greatest musical composers that ever was. His iconic melodies have lived on through the centuries, and while not everyone may know his compositions by name, most everyone will recognize them by sound. Mozart was Austrian, a fact that fills the whole of Austria with pride. This is clear by the countless souvenir trinkets bearing his face and opera ticket sellers dressed up in his costume.
But those looking to ditch the cutesy fanfare and get to know the real Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart should head to his place of birth, in Salzburg. There, visitors will find the exact apartment in which he was born back in 1756, aptly named Mozarts Geburtshaus, which means “Mozart’s birth house” in German.
The residence is now a museum, where visitors can enjoy an hour-long walking tour through original rooms filled with original memorabilia documenting Mozart’s life in Salzburg, such as his very own violin and clavichord.
Tickets to enter Mozarts Geburtshaus are €12 for adults, or €18.50 for a combo ticket including Mozart’s second Salzburg home across the river. And as this famous Austrian landmark is conveniently located along the popular Getreidegasse street in the Old Town, it is easy to squeeze in a visit before continuing onto the many other interesting things to do in Salzburg.
salzburg salt mines – salzburg
Contribution: Dzangir, Dr Jam Travels
Salzburg is one of the cities you shouldn’t miss if you are visiting Austria. Here, you can find beautiful architecture and many famous Austrian landmarks. Funding for all of Salzburg’s epic structures came from salt. Even the name Salzburg means Salt Castle!
The best place to see how these mines operated can be seen at the Hallein mine at Bad Dürrnberg. The mine is just a half hour from the city center, accessible by train or bus.
In this area, salt was mined for almost two and a half millennia. Initially, it was classical mining. In medieval times, however, they changed technique – they would dig small holes, put water in for six weeks, pump out the brine, and after boiling it, ‘white gold’ would be left. This technique increased production and profits that enabled the city to flourish.
In the museum among historical facts, you can take a ride on a train in one of the tunnels. Later, you will descend to lower levels on a huge wooden slide. Finally, you will finish with a boat ride across an underground lake.
It is a different kind of experience that will enable you to understand the historical value of something as simple as salt. Kids will have a blast at this location.
Entrance to this museum will cost you 24€.
st. stephen’s cathedral – vienna
Contribution: Debbie, World Adventurists
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is one of the most important Gothic structures in Austria, and one of the most famous Austrian landmarks. The original church was completed in 1160 but burned down from a fire in 1258. It was rebuilt in 1263 only to be damaged again during WWII, and again in 1945 during the Battle of Vienna. The church reopened in 1952 after extensive renovations. The Cathedral represents eight centuries of architectural history.
The most notable features of the Cathedral are its 137 meter spire and the vibrant, tiled roof. Colored tiles were laid on the roof to create the Royal and Imperial double-headed eagle and the coat of arms of the city of Vienna.
Visitors can enter the cathedral free of charge, though there are many ‘extras’ you may want to enjoy. For a public guided tour or audio guide, it is 6 EUR (2,50 EUR for children). There are additional costs for seeing other parts of the Cathedral: visiting the catacombs, viewing the cathedral treasure, going to the top of the north or Steffl (South) towers. The best city view of Vienna and view of the tile roof is from the South Tower.
Visiting times are Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 11:30 am and from 1 pm to 4:30 pm, and Sundays and public holidays from 1 pm to 4:30 pm.
Fun fact: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart married his wife at St. Stephen’s!
Located in Vienna’s Innere Stadt, St. Stephen’s Cathedral is a popular meeting place and an excellent starting point to explore Vienna.
schönbrunn palace – vienna
Contribution: Chrysoula, Historic European Castles
The 18th-century Schönbrunn Palace is one of Vienna’s famous palaces that was once the summer palace of the Hapsburgs. Forty of its most magnificent staterooms are open to the public, but there are other attractions for the whole family. There is a museum and separate children’s museum, the carriage museum, gardens, fountains, and a maze.
The stunning Orangery is where Mozart premiered his opera Der Schauspieldirektor in 1786. Every summer, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performs a concert in the palace gardens and tickets are free of charge. There are three seasonal markets at Schönbrunn – Easter, Christmas, and New Year.
Tickets vary in price depending on which attractions you want to visit, the average cost is €22. It is best to pre-book online to save queues.
If you are planning to visit other attractions in the city, it is cheaper to buy a Vienna Sightseeing Pass as this gives free entrance to the State Rooms and other attractions at Schönbrunn.
south styria wine road – styria
Contribution: Lori, Travlin Mad
In southern Austria lies a unique landmark designed to showcase the region of Styria, known as The Green Heart of Austria. This scenic 44-mile long South Styrian Wine Road loops through this part of Austria past quaint towns, along lush rolling hills and verdant vineyards.
The wine route can be driven or cycled in a few days to a week. It may remind you more of Tuscany than Austria! Look for the giant wooden windmills (klapotetz) that turn and clack to scare the birds away from the vineyards.
If you like white wine, this region produces some of Austria’s best, and wineries such as Sattlerhof and Lackner Tinnacher deserve a tasting tour. If you enjoy craft beer, be sure and stop at Die Brauerei in Leutschach for some of the tastiest brews in Austria.
Harvest time in the fall is the best time to visit South Styria, when the first wine press (stürm) is being served at small farm stands along the route. Stop in the local Austrian wine taverns, or buschenshanks, near Gamlitz that display a bundle of twigs above the entrance, indicating they have their own wines ready to taste. They’re a perfect way to experience the beauty and bounty of South Styria, Austria.
state opera house – vienna
Contribution: Jade, The Migrant Yogi
The Vienna State Opera House, Wiener Staatsoper, is undoubtedly one of the world’s premiere opera venues and one of the most famous landmarks in Austria. Whether you are visiting Vienna for a few days or a few weeks, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a night at the opera. Bonus points if it’s a Mozart performance!
Wiener Staatsoper opened in the late 19th century and was the first of the iconic buildings on the Ringstrasse.
If you’ve never been to an opera performance before, on the headrest of the seat in front of you is a small screen with subtitles that are available in different languages, so you will have some idea of the plot.
Don’t worry if you’re taking a solo trip. The Vienna State Opera House regularly hosts solo attendees! It’s a fun excuse to get dressed up for a night out in one of Europe’s most elegant cities.
Ticket prices accommodate all budgets, ranging from €16.00 to upwards of €250.00 per seat.