Things to do in Austria

Leisure activities in Austria
Updated 2020-01-09 06:35

As the western terrain in Austria is very mountainous, skiing and snowboarding are very popular in the winter, with Austria being home to many internationally-known ski resorts, offering challenging opportunities for those who enjoy winter sports. There are many different ski areas to try. Austrian people also enjoy cross country skiing and ski jumping.

Sports in Austria

During spring and summer, the mountains are the perfect place for some hikes or multi-day treks. Depending on where you are there numerous different types of hikes you can do. If you prefer to relax, there are plenty of lakes and swimming pools to cool off on a hot day. Football, or soccer, is also a popular sport, played by students and young people, and many people also support and follow the professional European football leagues. If you are new to skiing, consider booking a ski lesson before you hurt yourself.

Places of interest in Austria

There are many places to see and explore in Austria. To make the most of your time in the country, consider visiting the following places:


The capital city and the largest city in Austria is known for its beautiful cathedral, royal palaces, and museums. Visit the Spanish Riding School, the Hofburg Palace, and sample local Viennese sweets and desserts. Learn more in our article "Things to do on weekdays in Vienna".


A popular Bavarian town, near the German border, it is the birthplace of the famous composer Mozart. The city is popular for its traditional architecture, art, music, and culture. It is also known for the musical “The Sound of Music.”


A popular resort town in the winter, it is a great starting place to try skiing or snowboarding in the nearby Alpine towns. Or to go hiking in the summer.

Other popular destinations worth a visit are Hallstatt, Zell am See, Ischgl and St. Anton.

Shopping and dining in Austria

Modern and large shopping centres can be found in larger cities, such as Vienna, offering both Austrian and international brands. In addition, Austria has great local craft industries, so consider visiting local shops for handmade woodworking crafts and souvenirs, leather products, and textiles.

Dining options are plentiful in Austria and can suit all budgets and tastes. Traditional Austrian cuisine is hearty and filling and includes meats, such as schnitzel, boiled beef and pork, and potatoes, cheeses and vegetables. Gulash, a meat stew, is also a traditional dish to try. 

Cafes are aplenty throughout Austria, offering strong coffees and local desserts, including pastries, strudels, and chocolate cakes. 

International cuisines can also be found in Austria, especially in larger cities. Find out more in our article "Eating out in Vienna".

Many towns and cities also offer regular markets and are great to find locally produced cheeses and sweets, fresh produce, jams, and sauces. When Christmas is coming closer, almost every town will host a Christmas market. It is very common to go there after work or during the weekend to enjoy some mulled wine and food from all the different food stands. 

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