Fun Facts About Austria
- Population: 9 million people
- Capital: Vienna
- Language: German
- Currency: Euro
- National Day: 26 October
Austria. Home to beautiful snow-capped mountains, picturesque lakes and delicious food, it’s no wonder thousands of people visit this landlocked, East Alpine country each year. Comprising nine federated states, its capital is Vienna – which is known as the city of music due to the numerous classical musicians that were born there, from Beethoven to Mozart.
A popular destination for interrailers, there’s even a specific Interrail Austria Pass available for children, adults, young adults, and seniors. Arguably the best way to explore all that Austria has to offer, it’s available from 3 days up to 8 travel days within a month. With the pass, you can travel on as many trains as you like each day and won’t have to take a physical ticket with you; instead, you’ll have a nifty mobile pass!
Alternatively, if you’re looking to visit Austria during a multi-country holiday, you can opt for the Global Pass. Giving you the flexibility to travel between 4 days and 3 months, you can discover up to 33 different European countries!
Austria: Best Places to Interrail
If you’re thinking about interrailing around Austria, one of the first things you’ll be considering is where you should visit. Now, there’s plenty of incredible places to visit when in Austria, but there are certain cities/locations that should be on the top of your list! From the alpine city of Salzburg to the romantic lakeside village of Hallstatt, we’ll take you through where to go when interrailing in Austria.
When you think of Austria, one of the first places that comes to mind is Vienna. Located on the River Danube, it has a fascinating history and is full to the brim with different sights to see. Offering something for every traveller, the city is easy to navigate thanks to its transport system.
For those wanting to get their history fix, why not visit the awe-inspiring St Stephen’s Cathedral. With its unique multi-coloured tiles, jaw-dropping spires, and central location, this cathedral is perfect for those interested in Gothic architecture. Decorated internally with a Baroque style and stained glass windows, you can climb the spiral staircase and take in views across the city.
If the St Stephen’s Cathedral isn’t to your taste, then why not ride the giant Wiener Riesenrad. Also known as the Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel, this impressive structure is over one hundred years old. Built in 1897, it gives you sweeping views across the city whilst you ride in quirky gondolas.
One of the most iconic sites in Vienna is the Schonbrunn Palace. Oozing an air of regality and elegance, this 17th Century palace was once home to European royalty. Comprising 1,400 rooms, you can wander around the palace and take in its beautiful decor, grand furniture, and delightful gardens.
Where to stay in Vienna: There are plenty of hostels and hotels to choose from when in the city, from the centrally-located Hotel Ruthensteiner, to the stunning Boutique Hotel Donauwalze. So no matter what your budget or preference, you’ll be able to find the right accommodation for you within easy reach of the train station and city centre.
Where to eat in Vienna: There are numerous restaurants, cafes, and bars in Vienna to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a traditional Viennese meal (check out Wiener Wiazhaus) or fancy a quick bite to eat (Ribs of Vienna is always a popular choice), then you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Known as the birthplace of Mozart, this breath-taking alpine city is just over 3 hours from the bright lights of Vienna. Bordering Germany, it grants views of the Eastern Alps and is set on the Salzach River. Abundant with Baroque buildings, Salzburg is split into two parts – the Alstadt (old city) and the Neustadt (New City). Regardless of if you prefer to explore the rich history of Salzburg or the incredible natural beauty, it has something to offer every interrailer.
So what is there to see in Salzburg? Firstly, there’s the extraordinary Fortress Hohensalzburg. Dominating the city, it was built all the way back in 1077. A 20-minute walk from the city, this historic fortress is a must-see for anyone visiting Salzburg. At the eastern end of the city, you’ll find the Old Market. Within the older part of the city, you’ll find the 13th-Century Court Pharmacy, and the 17th- Century St Florian’s Fountain. If you’re wanting to explore the New City, you can take in the fascinating science museum, Haus der Natur, and the beautiful Mirabell Palace.
Where to stay in Salzburg: Like Vienna, Salzburg has a wide variety of places to stay. From the budget-friendly hostels (Yoho International Youth Hostel) to the popular hotels (Hotel Mercure Salzburg City), there’s plenty to choose from.
Where to eat in Salzburg: Unsurprisingly, Salzburg has dozens of delicious eateries, including the mouth-watering Smorrebrod Scandaninavian Dining and old-world inn Barenwirt.
Love to ski? Then head over to Innsbruck. This bustling city is surrounded by Alpine mountains, has a medieval old town and the notorious Hofburg Palace. A frequent stop for those interrailing around Europe, it has great train links that will take you not only across Austria but around Europe.
For those seeking adventure, the first place you should visit is the Innsbrucker Nordkettenbahnen. Board the cable car and head up to the Nordkette, part of Austria’s largest natural park where you can admire views out towards the mountains. Taking around 20 minutes, there are multiple stops along the way to discover. Alternatively, Hungerburg Funicular will take you up into the mountains, granting you views out towards the city.
Another tourist favourite is Ambras Castle. A castle from the Renaissance period, it was once home to Archduke Ferdinand II. From the notorious Spanish Hall to the alluring gardens, there’s plenty of sights to take in.
Where to stay in Innsbruck: Whether you’re on the hunt for a wallet-friendly option for your accommodation (Cityhotel Schwarzer Bar Innsbruck) or looking for a stylish hotel in the centre, (Hotel Innsbruck) Innsbruck has an abundance of choices of places to stay during your trip.
Where to eat in Innsbruck: Like the other cities on this list, Innsbruck is home to a variety of different restaurants – from the traditional Restaurant Bierwirt to the modern Ludwig. So whether you’re craving an Austrian meal or a burger, you won’t be disappointed.
When you type in ‘Austria’ into Google, one of the first pictures that comes up is of Hallstatt. Breathtakingly beautiful, this alpine village is renowned for its 16th-Century houses, the Echem Valley trails, and the Salzwelten salt mine. Rustic and beautiful, this lakeside village is like something out of a fairytale. Whether you’re wandering the streets and exploring the Central Square Marketplatz, taking in the sights of the Old Town, or capturing pictures of the mountains and lake from the Hallstatt Skywalk, there are lots of attractions to discover.
Where to stay in Hallstatt: Want to push the boat out and stay in a contemporary 4* hotel, then Dormio Resort Overtraun. Or perhaps you’re looking for accommodation that’s more traditional and won’t break the bank? In that case the charming I da Mitt may fit the bill.
Where to eat in Hallstatt: Want an easy eatery that serves delicious food without the fuss? Then Muk’s Schmankerl might be the one for you. A small bistro that serves pizzas, it’s a popular choice for visitors and residents alike. Alternatively, if you’re craving more hearty, traditional cuisine, Rudolfstrum is ideal. Situated within an 13th-Century medieval tower, it’s amongst the UNESCO World Heritage Site Hallstatt-Dachestein/Salzkammergut.
Hopefully that’s given you a taste of the top places to go interrailing in Austria. Although this is only a short list, it provides you with an idea of a handful of attractions, restaurants, and places to stay when in the bewitching European country. From historic Baroque cathedrals to cable cars that whisk you to the top of a mountain, Austria truly is one of the most incredible places to go interrailing; regardless of your age or who you go with.
Affordable and easy to travel around, once you buy your Interrail Pass and hop aboard the first train, you’ll be in awe of what you find. So what are you waiting for? Discover Austria and see the magnificent sights for yourself!