Best Hidden Gems in Austria
Discover the most incredible hidden gems in Austria. Austria is a magical country with its magnificent castles and Christmas markets. If we advise you to visit the sublime cities of Vienna, Graz, Salzburg,… it is also worthwhile to think outside the box too and discover real treasures.
Set off on the trail of Austria’s most beautiful landscapes, charming villages and sustainable tourism destinations. Blow up your Instagram account by posting photos of your trip to these dazzling places and share your trip to Austria with us on social media #ebdestinations.
This Austrian village looks like it came out of a postcard. Hallstatt is a beautiful village located 1 hour by car from Salzburg (2 hours by train). A replica of this village was created a few years ago in China, in Huizhou but let's be honest, that is not worth comparing.
Forget about the copies and come visit the original by booking your flights to Salzburg or Vienna as well as your accommodation at the best price and your tours and activities in Austria such as a private day trip to Hallstatt from Vienna or Salzburg.
How to get there: Book your flights to Salzburg (1h by car / 2h by train) or Vienna (3h).
Where to stay: “B&B Haus Hemetzberger” featuring mountain views.
The two best seasons of the year to enjoy the beauty of this landscape are certainly spring and summer. The view is clear, no clouds on the horizon, you can enjoy a 360 degree view of this beautiful region.
The easiest way to reach this ocean of greenery is to book your flights to Salzburg airport, a 50-minute drive from Schafberg peak. If you prefer the train, allow a 2-hour journey from Salzburg to St. Wolfgang station. Once in Saint-Wolfgang, board the cogwheel train that will take you to the heights of "Schafberg peak" (50 minutes ascent). Please note that the cogwheel train only operates from May to October.
How to get there: Book your flights to Salzburg and reach Saint-Wolfgang by car (50min) or train (2h).
Where to stay: The chateau you see in this photo is Austria’s first mountain hotel, the Hotel Schafbergspitze.
How to get there: Book your flights to Salzburg and reach Saint-Wolfgang by car (50min) or train (2h).
Where to stay: "Gasthof-Pension Wulfenia" is only 300 m from the Schafbergbahn Cable car.
Wattens - Innsbruck
Innsbruck is an incredible destination, perfect for a city break in one of Austria's most beautiful cities. You can also go there for its Christmas Market, which is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe, or to ski there. Another treasure of this Austrian destination is certainly the Swarovski fountain.
You all know Swarovski, the brand that revolutionized the diamond industry by creating crystals at much more affordable prices. This family group has its origins in Tyrol, near Innsbruck. It's been more than a century since the Swarovski family had the idea of these small crystals which appeal to the general public but also to great fashion designers like Chanel or Lanvin.
Ranked among the most beautiful fountains in Europe, the Swarvoski fountain is located a few kilometres from Innsbruck, in Wattens in a theme park dedicated to the Swarovski company. Come and make a wish in front of this fountain, it might bring you fortune.
How to get there: Book your flights to Innsbruck and join Wattens (20 min by car, 1 hour by public transport)
Where to stay: “Hotel Grauer Bär” located in the city centre of Innsbruck.
Schloss Ort Castle
This incredible castle, which will celebrate its millennium in 2080, is located on the shores of Lake Traunsee in Gmunden, one hour by car (2 hours by train) from the city of Salzburg. Many owners have succeeded each other over the centuries and for 20 years the town of Gmunden has become the owner and decided to open the doors of this incredible castle to the public.
The castle is open every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
How to get there: Book your flights to Salzburg and reach Gmunden by car (1h) or by public transport (2h).
Where to stay: “Seehotel Schwan” offering panoramic lake and mountain views.
Strobl - Salzburg
Located over 500 metres above sea level, this beautiful lake is a favourite destination for Salzburgers who want to breathe fresh air at weekends.
Lake Wolfgangsee can be reached by car or bus from Salzburg. Allow 1 hour by car to get there (1h10 by bus, BUS 150 from Salzburg Hofwirt).
How to get there: Book your flights to Salzburg and reach Lake Wolfgangsee by car (1 hour) or by public transport (1 hour).
Where to stay: If you want to stay around the lake, we recommend the hotel "Gästehaus Kloibergütl" located 150 metres from the lake, most of its balconies have views of the lake.
This magnificent destination located on the edge of one of Austria's most beautiful lakes owes its name to the Church of Maria Worth, built on this peninsula in the 9th century. Yesterday the village was small, but today Maria Worth has become one of the most important seaside resorts in Austria.
This unique destination in the world attracts travellers looking for well-being, nature and relaxation, but also film directors and lovers who wish to get married in an exceptional place.
How to get there: Book your flights to Graz (1h30 by car) or Ljubljana (1H by car).
Where to stay: "Hotel Linde" that offers a private water-taxi service.
Pertisau am Achensee
Walk in the footsteps of Maximilian I and discover Pertisau, one of the best hidden gems in Austria. The Emperor had his second home in this charming little village on the shores of Lake Achensee. Just like him, you will be seduced by the green setting of this beautiful Tyrolean destination. Perfect for lovers of art and culture, castles, nature, Pertisau will also suit children with its swimming lakes, leisure parks and zoos.
Come to Pertisau in autumn and discover the local folklore during the festival of transhumance: cows leave the mountain pastures to return to the valley (in mid-September). They are dressed in their most beautiful headdresses and descend the valley to reach Pertisau. This event attracts many other festivities.
Where to stay: "Travel Charme Fürstenhaus Am Achensee" located right on the shore of the lake : it offers panoramic views of the Alps.
High Tauern National Park
Located in Tyrol, the National Park Hohe Tauern was established in 1981 making it one of the newest national parks in Europe.
With its 1,800 square kilometres it is also one of the largest national parks in Europe.
Come and discover the fauna and flora of this exceptional park as well as its mountains, glaciers and lakes. Go in search of this beautiful heart-shaped lake, only visible in spring and summer.
Where to stay: “Heimat - Das Natur Resort” features 2 saunas in the garden.
Waidhofen an der Ybbs
Surrounded by lush forest and crossed by a river, Waidhofen an der Ybbs is one of Austria’s most beautiful destinations. Do not miss to visit the market ( it is held three times a week) in the old historic centre to taste local products. Waidhofen an der Ybbs is part of the Mostviertel region, awarded by the European Commission for its commitment to sustainable tourism.
Come in Spring to admire the pear trees in bloom and taste the pear brandy, a local product that is the pride of this region.
Where to stay: “Leopold an der Ybbs” perfect for a 2-night stay.
Laxenburg Water Castles
The summer residence of the Habsburg royal family is located just a 30-minute drive (1.5 hours by carriage) from the Schönbrunn palace, another of Austria's most beautiful castles, also owned by the Habsburgs. "Laxenburg castles" is plural since several castles and royal palaces were built in Laxenburg, a town near Vienna.
The castle you see above is called "Franzensburg Castle" in reference to Emperor Franz I. It is probably one of the most beautiful because it is built on an island. It is home to conventions and major events and has a restaurant. Opinions may be mixed about the food served but unanimously positive about the exceptionnal setting.
Opening hours: Open daily from 9.30 am to 7pm.
Where to stay: "Hotel Sans Souci Wien", situated in the real heart of Vienna.
Living in the midst of nature - that is the special quality offered by Landlust. There is also plenty to discover in the surrounding area: no fewer than 18 palaces and castles - such as the impressive Riegersburg Castle - invite you to travel through time; the healing properties of the thermal springs benefit both body and soul, and for the gourmets amongst you, southern Styria offers a wide range of culinary pleasures.
All along the wine routes you can sample excellent white wines in the numerous vinothèques and Buschenschank wine restaurants. Styrian pumpkin seed oil, delicious farmhouse bread, spicy Vulcano ham and hand-made chocolate are just a few of the regional delicacies.
Discover this destination awarded the sustainable tourism label "EDEN" awarded by the European Commission.
How to get there: Book your flights to Graz (1 hour by car, 2 hours by train) or Vienna (2 hours)
Ramsau am Dachstein
Whether you are an Olympic champion or just a curious traveller ready to think outside the box to discover the best hidden gems in Austria, Ramsau am Dachstein is for you. Ramsau am Dachstein is considered one of the best places in Europe to restore your body, mind and soul.
Popular with Olympic champions for recharging their batteries before major sporting competitions, Ramsau am Dachstein also attracts hikers, Instagrammers, nature and authentic places lovers. Discover its suspended footbridge, its hiking paths, ski slopes or simply walk on foot in the most beautiful places of this destination considered to be one of the best hidden gems in Austria.
Where to stay: “Landhaus Ramsau” offers an indoor pool and a spa area.
Podersdorf Am See
In winter, it is not uncommon to see people from Vienna descend to Podersdorf am see, with their ice skates in their car boots on their way to the frozen lake of Podersdorf am see. If you travel to Austria at this time of the year you too can treat yourself to a moment of pure happiness, out of time, far from trouble and stress, by ice skating Podersdorf am see.
You can come here also in spring or summer and practice paddle boarding, running around the lake, horseback riding, cycling, kitesurfing or windsurfing. If you are not a sports enthusiast but you have a palate for competition and are a gourmet, you can also taste the wines produced locally or the various beers from the microbreweries located in the region.
Located just 30 minutes by car from Vienna (2 hours by public transport), Podersdorf am see is one of Austria's hidden gems, a destination not to be missed for lovers of nature, gastronomy and outdoor sports.
Where to stay: "Lakeside77" is one of our top picks in Podersdorf am See.
Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave
Werfen - Salzburg
Eisriesenwelt is the largest ice cave in the world. More than 40 km of frozen caves await you a few kilometres south of Salzburg.
Do not try this experience unless you are prepared to walk a bit: the car park is 10 minutes walk from the cable car which will take you up there. Once in the cave you will have to descend nearly 1000 steps which you will then have to walk up. Wear warm clothes (a small umbrella will come in handy too). The cave is magnificent and unique in the world, it is well worth your effort.
During your stay in the region be sure to visit the Hohenwerfen Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in Austria.
Where to stay: “Travel Charme Bergresort Werfenweng” Enjoy its indoor and outdoor pools.
Zell am See
Located between Salzburg and Innsbruck, Zell am see is one of Austria's most beautiful destinations. Renowned for its sports facilities that host the biggest ski competitions, Zell am See is popular with travellers in winter.
In summer it is the perfect destination for beautiful walks in the mountain pastures or to let yourself be carried away by the waves on its captivating blue lake.
Zell am See is a city rich in cultural events with many restaurants and quality accommodation. From hiking and golf to skiing, cycling, paddle boarding, Zell am See is a destination suitable for all types of travellers who stay there for its numerous Wellness and Spas, for shopping, for its gastronomy but also to celebrate weddings. In short, Zell am See is a destination to put at the top of your travel-wishlist.
How to get there: Book your flights to Salzburg (1 hour by car) or Innsbruck (2 hours).
Where to stay: "Superior Hotel Tirolerhof - Zell am See" is a 4-star spa hotel at the foot of the mountain.
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