A visit to Austria with an InterRail Austria Pass will take you through the country’s many great places: mountainous landscape, ancient glacial lakes and dense forests. Get a warm welcome and find yourself at home with the locals in no time at all.
Vienna: A top European city destination
Vienna (Wien), Austria’s endearing capital has been voted one of the most liveable cities in the world – a few days there and it will be easy to see why. The city is laden with green space, architectural jewels passed down through Austria’s rich heritage, plus an enigmatic injection of modern-day cool. Visit the city’s MUMOK (MUseum of MOdernKunst) and set your eyes on major works from the likes of Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. Or simply take a stroll around one of the pretty parks. More things to do in Vienna
Take the metro to Museumsquartier and from there the MUMOK is on a 5-minute walk.
River and mountain activity
Austria’s main river, the Danube is a great place to enjoy water sports – especially popular is wakeboarding and cable wakeboarding. There are a number of reputable wakeboarding camps along the river where you can sign up for an intensive short course. Salzburg is the birthplace of the Austrian musical maestro Mozart. It's also one of Europe’s top alp ski destinations, with a variety of runs for beginners and the more experienced skiers and snowboarders. The après-ski is also one of the wildest on the European ski circuit.
Travel to Salzburg from Vienna in around 2 hours and 40 minutes by train.
Attractions not to be missed
Spend half a day browsing around the Hohensalzburg Castle – the crown and jewel of Mozart's birth city Salzburg. Built in 1077 this well-preserved castle has a medieval royal room, a palace, a church and a number of towers to keep you eagle-eyed. While you’re in the area, don't miss Austria’s cheesiest attraction: the Sound of Music Tour. You’ll be taken to some of the key film locations, where the story of the all-singing von Trapp family was brought to life, including Hellsbrun Palace and Mondsee Cathedral.
Hohensalzburg Castle can be reached with a 20-minute walk from Salzburg’s main train station. Buy tickets for the Sound of Music Tour from the kiosk on Mirabellplatz, which can be reached from the train station with the same name.
Pumping night clubs and sumptuous cocktail bars
Salzburg isn’t alive and kicking only during the ski season there’s also a great nightly offering all year round. Built in the Rainberg mountain, the Cave Club pumps out techno and other hard sounds into the early hours. Alternatively, take a train to Austria’s second largest city, Graz for a night to remember. This student city has a great choice of bars, but it’s the cocktail bars that are the best-loved nightly attraction in this city. One of them, the Pharmacy Bar Lounge, has a vibrant atmosphere, along with a mouth-watering selection of cocktails.
The Cave Club is a 10-minute taxi ride from Salzburg’s main train station. The Pharmacy Bar Lounge is 10 minutes by taxi from Graz’s main train station.
Crystal lakes and crashing waterfalls
Visit Austria’s salt mining region of Salzkammergut and set your eyes on bewitching blue lakes and wooded mountains. Take a hike, go cycling or relax around Grundlsee or Toplitzsee lake, then take a dip in the crystal waters. Finally savour a local culinary delight: Kaiserschmarrn (pancake pieces with raisins). Also, try and fit in a trip to one of Austria’s top beauty spots: Krimml Falls at the National Park Hohe Tauern. With a combined height of 380 metres, this three-levelled waterfall is Europe’s biggest and makes for picture-perfect photography.
Regional trains cross Salzkammergut from north to south, beginning at Attnang-Puchheim on the Salzburg-Linz line. If you take the train to Mallnitz station this will bring you to the south-east side of the National Park Hohe Tauern.
Donau Insel fest
- 28-30 June, 2013
Every year this popular music festival in Vienna attracts millions of party revellers to the Danube island, where the event is held. As well as being one of the biggest European summer music events, it’s also completely FREE.
Take the metro to Donauinsel, which will bring you to the island and the entrance of the festival.
- 18-22 June, 2013
Austria’s edition of Gay Pride, where you’ll witness Austria’s gay community take to the streets adorned with wacky costumes and colourful body paint, partying away to deep techno music.
The event takes over the whole area of Vienna within the ring.
Billabong air and style
- 2 February, 2013
Get ready for a weekend full of snowboarding! The Innsbruck edition of this competition is especially famous for it’s enormous quarterpipe.
Take tram 1 from the city centre to the Bergisel Stadium.
- 7-13 February, 2013
This week-long, Mardi Gras-type festival features traditional waltzes, parades, and heaps of partying. Although fasching is celebrated through all of Austria, Tirol is the place to celebrate the coming of spring.
Take the train to Salzburg. From there you can visit as many neighbouring villages as you want!
- 1 November - 23 December, 2013
Nearly every Austrian town, but especially Vienna and Salzburg, put on spectacular outdoor Christmas markets, complete with food, mulled wine and gifts of all shapes and sizes.
The Christmas markets are within walking distance of the main train stations of Vienna and Salzburg.
FM4 frequency festival
- 15-18 August, 2013
A 3-day pop and rock festival with a mix of international and local acts held in the capital of lower Austria.
From St Pölten train station you can take a shuttle bus to the festival grounds.