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Wonders of Austria

Belvedere Palace - one of the most beautiful palaces in the world
Belvedere Palace – one of the most beautiful palaces in the world../ The 3B’s, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

This Alpine country has a very rich man-made heritage. Natural heritage is interesting as well and most of the country has got very impressive scenery. The most amazing wonders of Austria are:

  • Historical cities and towns. The people of Austria have been following and even creating the trends in architecture, building cities and towns with countless beautiful buildings in gorgeous mountain settings, preserving the historical street network, and often – fortification walls.
  • Palaces. Some of the world’s most beautiful palaces – Schönbrunn and Belvedere palaces – are located in the vicinities of Vienna.
  • Monasteries. Some monasteries in Austria – such as Melk Abbey and Göttweig Abbey have served as giant treasure troves of knowledge and art values.

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Austria

Geological wonders



The largest ice cave in the world. The cave is more than 42 km long but the beautiful ice formations are at the first kilometer of the cave, at the entrance.

Ice formations in Eisriesenwelt, Austria
Ice formations in Eisriesenwelt / Nathan Wong, Flickr / CC BY 2.0.


Very impressive gorge, up to 300 m deep and in some places just a few meters wide. Walkways have been installed here since 1875.

Walkway in Liechtensteinklamm, Austria
Walkway in Liechtensteinklamm / Thomas Quine, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Architecture wonders

Schönbrunn Palace


One of the most prominent palaces in the world, built as an imperial summer residence of the Habsburg dynasty. The current giant palace with its 1,441 rooms was built in the 1740-50ies. It was built in the Baroque style, with very ornate interiors in many rooms. The facade was remodeled in a Neo-Classicism style later, in the early 19th century. Very impressive are also Schönbrunn Palace Gardens – an area with sculpted relief, many examples of park architecture (including the enormous Gloriette), orangery, and palm houses.

Schönbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn Palace. / Andrew Moore, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Upper Austria

Beautiful historical town perched between Hallstatt Lake and the Alps that developed at a salt mine above this town. Space in this small plot of land is limited and, for example, burials on a regular basis are removed to make place for new ones. Current structures are mainly in the Baroque style and were built after the fire in 1750.

Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt / Ncsakany, Wikimedia Commons, public domains


A complex of palace buildings in Vienna – Upper Belvedere Palace, Lower Belvedere Palace, Orangery, and the Palace Stables, surrounded by an exquisite park. One of the high achievements of the Baroque style in architecture. The beautiful Upper Belvedere was built in 1717 – 1723. The palace contains a collection of Gustav Klimt paintings and other influential artists.

Belvedere, Ausri
Belvedere / Hernán Piñera, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna


Magnificent church, built in Romanesque and (mainly) Gothic styles in 1147 – 1160. Its beautiful, 136 m tall tower was built in 1368 – 1433. Specific detail is the colorful roof with 230 000 glazed tiles.

Melk Abbey

Lower Austria

Founded in 1089, developed into an important intellectual center. Beautiful Baroque architecture.

Library in Melk Abbey, Austria
Library in Melk Abbey / Emgonzalez, Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Hochosterwitz Castle


Large, impressive castle on the top of a mountain. Construction of the castle started around 860 but the present structures were built in 1570 – 1586. One should go through 14 gates to enter the castle.

Hochosterwitz Castle, Austria
Hochosterwitz Castle / János Korom Dr., Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0


Large museum with a very important collection of drawings and prints as well as Impressionist art. Contains artwork of Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht DĂĽrer, Claude Monet, and many other world-famous artists.

Hofburg Palace with museums


Giant palace complex near the center of the city, a complex of numerous buildings built since the 13th century. The palace complex includes very large museums – Naturhistorishes Museum, Kunsthistorishes Museum, Imperial Treasury, the beautiful Austrian National Library, and others.

Hofburg Palace in Vienna
Hofburg Palace in Vienna. / Kasa Fue, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Ambras Castle


Large castle, built in 1563 in Renaissance style. Part of the castle complex was built as the first museum in the world in the 16th century. Many rooms have ornate interiors, especially the Spanish Hall.

Göttweig Abbey

Lower Austria

A large complex of ornate monastery buildings. Monastery was founded in 1083 and rebuilt in its current Baroque style in 1714 – 1749. Beautiful is the library in the monastery, important piece of Baroque art is the fresco on the staircase.

Vienna State Opera


Enormous and very ornate opera building, constructed in Neo-Renaissance style in 1861 – 1869.

Hohensalzburg Castle


Enormous mountaintop castle, one of the largest in Europe. Construction started in 1077 and since then it has been expanded multiple times. Castle is well-preserved, and in many rooms are sumptuous interiors.

Hohenwerfen Castle


Large, well-preserved castle on the top of the mountain, first built in 1075 – 1078.

Wiener Rathaus


Magnificent town council building, constructed in Neo-Gothic style in 1872 – 1883. The building has 1,575 rooms.

Wiener Rathaus
Wiener Rathaus / Gryffindor, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Esterházy Palace


An ornate palace that was built in the 13th century and since then has been rebuilt several times. Especially beautiful is Haydnsaal – an ornate concert hall.

Vienna Inner Stadt and Ring Road


This former imperial metropolis was one of the most influential cities in the world and here have been built hundreds of magnificent buildings. Most impressive are the large public buildings from the 19th century – government offices, operas and theaters, museums, and educational buildings.

Hallstatt Salt Mines

Upper Austria

More than 3500-year-old (or even 7000 years old) salt mines. Here has been found Europe’s oldest wooden ladder.

Heiligenkreuz Abbey

Lower Austria

The world’s oldest continuously occupied Cistercian monastery that was founded in 1133. The medieval buildings are built in Romanesque and Gothic styles.

Old Town of Salzburg


One of the best preserved late medieval city centers in Europe north of the Alps. Contains very valuable Baroque architecture.

Salzburg Old City
Salzburg Old City / Jiuguang Wang, Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0
Karlskirche in Vienna


An outstanding example of Baroque and Rococo architecture, built in 1716 – 1737.

Hallein Salt Mine


Some of the oldest known mines have been working for more than 2500 years. Mines below the ground enter the territory of Germany.

Descending in the Hallein Mine, Austria
Descending in the Hallein Mine / Luca Sartoni, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Secession Building


An exhibition hall that was built in 1897 to demonstrate the new style in art – Vienna Secession. Architect – Joseph Maria Olbrich. Its interior is adorned with an important artwork by Gustav Klimt – Beethoven Frieze.

Aggstein Castle

Lower Austria

Castle ruins on the mountaintop in a very picturesque place – high bank of the Danube, some 300 m above the river. Built around the early 12th century and since then several times destroyed and rebuilt again.

WorldYellow Recommended books

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Austria

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Austria takes you by the hand, leading you straight to the best attractions the country has to offer.

DK’s insider travel tips and essential local information will help you discover the best of Austria, from the breathtaking Alpine scenery to the country’s imperial castles and palaces. Discover one of the world’s greatest collections of art in Vienna, visit Mozart’s house in Salzburg, or go skiing and snowboarding in Innsbruck, a world-renowned location for winter sports.

Michelin Green Guide Austria

The updated Green Guide Austria reveals the spectacular beauty of the country’s mountains, forests, and lakes. Dotted within its scenery are picturesque villages and towns awaiting discovery, and vibrant cities brimming with culture. Recommended activities such as skiing down snowy slopes, strolling through Christmas markets, or sipping a Viennese coffee offer a taste of the Austrian experience. This guide, with its maps, color photos, driving and walking tours, suggested hotels and restaurants, and in-depth information, ensures a memorable visit.

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