Whenever I have heard people talking about traveling Europe, it is mostly about Paris, Switzerland, London etc but only a few times do I hear about Austria. And that is strange. Because, Austria has history, natural beauty, grand palaces all in one country and the tourism is so well developed. In all my journeys through Europe, Austria has been the easiest.
- 24/48-Hour city passes in most cities allow you to enter museums, palaces, special shows, boat rides, local transport and even the cable cars! The €25 for Salzburg city pass’ paid itself after just one cable car journey to the Unterberg mountain. I have bought this card at Salzburg, Vienna and Innsbruck and is totally worth the price. Also, the fact that it is 24 hour and not limited to a certain day means you can plan things better. The only downside is that the shop which sells this normally opens at 9 AM which is a bit late for someone who wants to start their day earlier.
- Public transportation is extensive, reliable and is well integrated so you do not spend your time thinking which ticket to buy. Contrast to Paris where I would spend half my time thinking if the ticket I validated in a metro would be valid in a bus. Similarly, in the Netherlands, I would be forced to buy a card with an electronic chip (paying extra) even if it was for one or two journeys. Austria though has built almost everything with the tourist in mind.
- Even as a vegetarian, it is easy to find good food in Austria with so many Indian and Italian restaurants around. There were vegan restaurants too in all the cities I visited.
- My son was 2 years and 8 months old when we first went to Vienna. You will have to walk a lot and hence a baby stroller is absolutely necessary. The good thing is that the infrastructure is so perfect, I don’t remember folding the stroller and carrying my son anywhere. Elevators, ramps are everywhere and most museums, palaces etc allow you to enter with the stroller.
Just 25 minutes from the Salzburg city center by local bus, a cable car up and you are on the Alps.
Heilbrunn, Mirabel and Hohensalzburg cannot be missed in a Salzburg itinerary
The Schonbrunn palace grounds are so large, you need an entire day for this
There is also a zoo inside the palace grounds
This museum is just one among the various museums in Wien
The Danube grows and grows as it flows towards the black sea. As seen from Donauturm in Wien.
Being an Indian, I have visited the Indian parliament 3 times but have never been able to even set foot on its steps (security I understand but I am sad). Here in Vienna, I had snacks sitting on the steps. Strange and sad.
The lesser known places in Austria are beautiful too. This one is Werfen. Hallstatt is another which I haven’t visited yet.