7 Best Spots in Austria You Don’t Want To Miss
Austria is known for beautiful alpine scenery and incredible hikes. However, hearing about it is not the same as seeing it with your own eyes. Each area of the country is unique, but they all have one thing in common : the majestic, towering peaks, impressive mountain ranges and turquoise water lakes found everywhere. And thanks to well maintained trails and countless cable cars anyone can access the most impressive spots. The only question is: which ones to visit? As Austria is a relatively big country and one could spend a lifetime exploring it, we’ve narrowed down the list to 7 best spots you have to see while on your Eurotrip!
7 Best spots in Austria
1 – Grundlsee (Top Of The World)
Grundlsee is a charming small town located in the Salzkammergut. It’s an area of spectacular natural beauty in the center of incredible Austria. The Grundlsee lake with impressive mountain drop is one of the most beautiful you’ll see.
From here it’s only a short 30 min drive to world viewpoint just below Loserhütte. Arrive before the sunrise, bring a thermos with hot coffee with you and enjoy the morning with most spectacular views.
↬ TIP : Don’t miss the Augustsee Lake! This beautiful alpine lake, located at approx. 1,640 meters is located just 10 min walking from Loserberghütte car park, making these spots & hike some of the 7 best adventures of Austria.
2 – Hallstatt
Hallstatt is one of the most popular places to visit in Austria. And this fairytale village totally lives up to its hype. Pastel-coloured houses, cobblestone streets filled with charming cafes and inns overlook the Hallstatt lake and impressive mountains. Hallstatt enchants in Austria’s Salzkammergut mountains.
There are no bad views of this idyllic mountain town, but some of the best views are from the water. Take a row or electric boat out on the lake and enjoy the tranquility and sublime views.
↬ TIP : Hallstatt is accessible only on foot. The parkings are outside of the city and they get busy quickly. Arrive early to avoid the crowds.
3 – Gosauseen (Gosau Lake)
The Gosausee is a small protected mountain lake, surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery. Located in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage region of Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut, Lake Gosau is one of the most beautiful destinations in the region.
Gosauseen is the perfect location for any type of visitors. The families can complete a 4 km long circular path along the lake before picnicking at it’s shore. Others can choose to take a dip in the refreshing mountain lake.
However, the most spectacular way to enjoy the beautiful scenery is from the Laserer via ferrata. This relatively short climbing route can be broken into two parts and is perfect for beginners as well as those more advanced. The first part of the path leads just couple of meter above the surface of the lake and is relatively easy to complete. The second section is a bit more challenging, but offers breathtaking views of the Dachstein mountains and blue waters of Gosausee lake down below. If you like mountains views and a bit of thrill then trying out a via ferrata in Gosauseen is one of the 7 best spots & adventure to do in Austria!
↬ Note : There are many via ferratas in Gosausee region. The famous ‘Ladder to Heaven’ is located here as a part of 400 m long via ferrata Donnerkogel.
4 – Plansee
Plansee is the second-largest natural lake in Tirol. It lies between the forest-covered ridges of the Zwiesel and Spießberg mountains. Its exceptionally clear and turquoise water makes it a popular destination both for locals and tourists. There is a wide variety of activities to choose from : swimming, snorkeling, rowing, kayaking or sailing. However most people just find a piece of beach or shore to lie on, soak up the sun and enjoy a peaceful day.
An adventure not to miss in Plansee is the hike up to the viewpoint above the lake. It’s not an easy hike- you should be in good health conditions and have proper footwear. The vertical ascent takes over an hour and is pretty hard. Also wear long sleeves & pants as there are many ticks in the high grass.
5 – Seebensee & Drachensee
Austria has many breathtaking alpine lakes, but the spectacular duo of Seebensee and Drachensee is hard to beat. The hike starts from the mountain station of the Ehrwalder Almbahn where you can choose to either ascend the first part by cable car (13 EUR p/p) or start hiking up from there. The trail is well marked and maintained. By taking the cable car, you will shorten the distance in half! The second part of the trail leads directly to the calm emerald-blue Seebensee lake and is also less steep and wider : accessible and doable for anyone.
We highly advise you to continue on after a short break. From Seebensee the trail narrows and you will find yourself on a series of steep switchbacks in the middle of an alpine wonderland. The emerald green Drachensee calmly lies below the surrounding towering peaks. On a sunny day, water reflections are sublime. Here you can also find the Coburger Hütte.
↬ Note : Both of those hikes combined and back can be easily done as a day hike. However, we highly advise you to consider spending the night in Coburger Hütte. The sunset and sunrise light is truly magical.
6 – Olperer mountain hütte
If this view looks similar, it’s probably because you have stumbled across the picture of this bridge across social media. The small suspension bridge next to Olpererhütte has become very popular in the Austrian Alps. In fact it’s so popular that to take this pictures we had to queue for good 30 min 😅. From this exact spot the entire valley is visible, and the views are simply breathtaking.
Olpererhütte can be reached only via a steep 1.5h hike. There is a road leading to a parking lot from which the trail starts. To enter this road you must pay 14 EUR CASH ONLY at the toll. Make sure to have change with you, otherwise you will have to drive 30 min back to the closest ATM.
↬ Note : During sunny summer days the trail is full, despite the fact that it’s not an easy hike. Start your day early and begin hiking before 8 AM to avoid the crowds.
7 – Königssee (Germany)
This is not a spot in Austria, therefore we just add it extra. Technically it’s in Germany, very close to the border of the Austrian territory. Königssee lake with its emerald green color located at the foot of the imposing eastern wall of Mount Watzmann in the heart of the Berchtesgaden National Park is one of nature’s true masterpieces. It’s also a place with one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Europe.
↬ Note : There is information on the web how to reach the waterfall. However, due to new circumstances we decided not to share it on our website. We learned that local authorities are trying to prevent people from accessing the waterfall and that the entrance now is blocked. There are two reasons for it : the path is in fact in really bad conditions and the edges of the waterfall slippery and very dangerous. There were some fatal accidents with carless tourists visiting the site. The second reason is that people left tons of trash behind. We are conscientious travellers and encourage our community to be the same. LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS. ❤️