14 Most Charming Small Towns in Austria

by Anna Lukas

Tall mountains and stunning capitals like Salzburg and Vienna have made Austria famous across the world. Although most tourists go to the major cities in Austria to see the country’s renowned museums, opera theatres, and historic monuments, it’s worth your while to also travel to the country’s charming smaller communities. Simply said, the real essence of Austria may be found in its capital city.

14. Kufstein

The Tyrolian Alps’ charming small mediaeval village of Kufstein is situated on the Inn River. When compared to Tyrol’s capital, Innsbruck, it is the region’s second-largest city. The towering Kufstein Fortress, which has been a local landmark since the 13th century and is located on a hill above the city, is one of the town’s most popular tourist destinations. The Heldenorgel organ within the fortification is the biggest outdoor organ in the world. Take a trip down Romerhofgasse while in town; it’s a picturesque alley in the heart of Kufstein that might easily pass for the fairy tale village of your dreams.

13. Bad Gastein

To relax in the “healing” thermal spring waters is to visit Bad Gastein, a spa town in Austria. Marie Curie and colleagues identified radon in this water supply via extensive research. Many people, particularly those with arthritis, formerly thought that breathing in radon might help relieve their symptoms. Bad Gastein is a gorge-like valley with a gorge-like waterfall in the middle of town, and it is also a popular ski resort. In any case, it’s not something you can just visit in the winter. During the summer, visitors may enjoy hiking and riding from the comfort of their hotel in Bad Gastein.

12. Heiligenblut

The local chapel, whose name translates to “Holy Blood,” supposedly has a relic of the genuine blood of Jesus Christ. Christians have been flocking to the church since it was constructed in 1271 in order to see this piece of Jesus’ body. The Holy Blood also serves as the gateway to the Grossglockner High Alpine Route, the highest paved road in Austria and a major tourist destination in the country. The stunning scenery along this route has made it renowned. The Austrian ski town of Heiligenblut is situated at the base of the Grossglockner.

11. St. Gilgen

Easily reached on a day trip from Salzburg, St. Gilgen is situated less than 30 kilometres (19 miles) away. Locations for many outdoor sequences in the classic film “The Sound of Music” were filmed in this picturesque village on the beaches of Lake Wolfgang. Since Mozart’s mother was born in St. Gilgen, the town has earned another nickname: Mozart Village. Mozart’s sister and grandfather both called St. Gilgen home, and the latter was employed there. The Zwolferhorn cable car is one of the town’s most popular tourist attractions. Moreover, if you happen to be in the region during the winter holidays, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the town’s lovely and traditional Christmas market.

10. Lienz

Lienz, Tyrol, is a city in Austria that is often referred to as the “Pearl of the Dolomites” due to its proximity to Italy. This picturesque city is one of the sunniest in Austria, with an average of 2,000 hours of sunlight each year because of its far-southern position. The Hohe Tauern National Park, one of the greatest natural reserves in Europe, is not far from the city of Lienz. Lienz is home to both a picturesque mediaeval old town and the thrilling Osttirodler Alpine Coaster, which hurtles riders down the side of a mountain. Bruck Castle is currently a museum showcasing the largest collection of paintings by the East Tyrolean painter Albin Egger-Lienz.

9. Millstatt

A beautiful town, Millstatt is on the northern bank of Austria’s Carinthian state’s second-largest lake, the Millstatter See. In the summer, when the lake’s water and the air temperature are both high, boating and swimming are two of the most popular pastimes in this city. The town of Millstatt also hosts the annual Millstatt Music Weeks every summer, when visitors may hear choral and symphonic concerts, as well as chamber music, by performers from all over the world. The Benedictine Millstatt Abbey, established in 1070, is one of the most significant Romanesque structures in all of Carinthia.

8. Maria Alm

Skiing in Maria Alm in Austria’s Hochkonig area has long been a favourite pastime of the affluent, notably Formula One star Keke Rosberg and former German President Walter Scheel. But if you’re going to be in the neighbourhood this summer, don’t overlook Maria Alm. During the warmer months, Maria Alm is a popular destination for bikers, hikers, and climbers. There is a church at Maria Alm that serves as the beginning point for the Almer Wallfahrt pilgrimage, which travels over the Berchtesgaden Alps and concludes at St. Bartholomew’s Church on the western coast of Lake Konig.

7. St. Wolfgang

St. Wolfgang is a scenic town that sits on the shores of Lake Wolfgang and is overlooked by the towering Schafberg Mountain. The town is also home to a well-known church that dates back to the 14th century. Legend has it that St. Wolfgang, Bishop of Regensburg, chose this spot for his church. From St. Wolfgang’s tomb in Regensburg, committed followers make their way to the church in St. Wolfgang, where the journey concludes. The church is home to the Michael Pacher Altar, a magnificent piece of Gothic art that many consider to be the finest example of its kind in all of Austria. Because of its proximity to excellent skiing, hiking, and biking, this town is an excellent home base for outdoor enthusiasts.

6. Seefeld in Tyrol

Seefeld in Tirol is a paradise for those who like being outside. This town in Tirol, situated on a high plateau, is widely regarded as one of Austria’s premier destinations for cross-country skiing. In fact, the city played host to Olympic events in both the 1964 and 1976 Winter Games. Seefeld in Tirol is also often considered to be Austria’s premier hiking destination. Golfing and mountain biking are two additional well-liked pursuits available in Seefeld. Seefeld in Tirol is a popular tourist destination due to its convenient location, approximately 18 kilometres (11 miles) to the northwest of Innsbruck.

5. Gmunden

The town of Gmunden, Austria, has long been a favourite weekend destination for locals and tourists alike because of its prime location on the shores of Lake Traun and in the heart of the stunning Bavarian Alps. Villas and castles from the 19th century dot the landscape here, such as the castle on an island in the centre of Lake Traun called Schloss Ort. Hikers flock to Gmunden for the opportunity to scale Grunberg Mountain. Grunberg Mountain’s cable car opened in 2014, so those who aren’t in the spirit (or the form) to climb the mountain may now take the quick route to the peak. Be sure to pick up some pottery as mementos from this city, since they are very well-known worldwide.

4. Zell am See

This lovely town is located on Lake Zell, in the middle of the Austrian Alps. In the winter, it serves as a popular ski resort, while in the summer, it serves as a convenient home base for those looking to see the local region on two wheels or foot. Furthermore, a via ferrata, or climbing path, was just built in the region in June 2017 as a new attraction for climbers. The MOBO 107 is the route up the towering Mooserboden Dam Wall. You may go for a swim in the lake or give stand-up paddling a try if you like water sports.

3. Durnstein

The modest walled town of Durnstein, just to the northwest of Vienna on the Danube, will amaze you with its many important historical buildings, such as the remnants of a mediaeval fortress from the 10th century and the Durnstein Abbey, whose blue tower is now a beacon in the Wachau Valley. You should also try some of the local wines while in Durnstein since the town is in the centre of a wine producing zone.

2. Alpbach

In the state of Tyrol, Alpbach is a tiny but picturesque ski resort town that also has an intriguing claim to fame. The Alpbach European Forum is held there annually, and it is a two-week conference that attracts influential people from the fields of politics, business, science, and culture. In addition, Alpbach’s traditional wooden homes and stunning floral decorations helped it win the title of “most beautiful town in Austria.” Starting in the 1970s, the municipality instituted a requirement that all new buildings be built in the classic stone and wood design, which has helped to maintain the town’s aesthetic.

1. Hallstatt

The scenery at Hallstatt is breathtaking. Located in the stunning Salzkammergut Mountains, on the beaches of the Hallstatter See, lies the beautiful hamlet of Hallstatt. Hallstatt is often regarded as Austria’s cultural birthplace due to the discovery of over 2,000 ancient burial sites there. Hallstatt is a charming town with a lot to offer, including the Hallstatt Skywalk, from which you can take in breathtaking views of the region and a charming market square that is surrounded by buildings from the 16th century. More than 600 skulls, some of which are painted, may be seen in the charnel house of St. Michael’s Chapel.

You may also like

Leave a Comment


At OnTravelX, we’re passionate about travel and helping people explore the world. Our mission is to provide comprehensive, informative, and inspiring travel content to our readers. From destination guides and travel tips to the latest trends in travel and tourism, we strive to cover every aspect of the travel experience.

Contact us: contact@ontravelx.com

@2023 – OnTravlex. All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by OnTravlex