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Austria’s Little Gem Filled with Experiences You Can’t Find Anywhere Else

Located in the middle of Europe and made up of nine federated states, Austria is one of the continent's most compelling countries.

The nation has a population of nearly nine million.

You can imagine how much beauty and interest this place holds if so many desire to reside within its borders.

With a history full of famous musicians and renowned artists, and an abundance of breathtaking scenery and architecture, it's time to start planning your vacation to the enchanting nation of Austria.

Here are some of our favorite hidden gems in Austria.

★ Hohensalzburg Fortress

As the most monumental and famously preserved citadel in Central Europe, the Hohensalzburg Fortress is undoubtedly one to behold in person.

Tourists from all over come to explore this longstanding medieval fortress.

While touring through the castle, make sure to visit the staterooms, torture chamber, and museums.

Take a day out of your schedule because you won't want to rush this visit.

★ Visit Salzburg's Old Town

While in Austria, make sure to mosey on through Salzburg's Old Town to get acquainted with the cobblestone streets, quaint alleyways, preserved 15th-century buildings, and awe-inspiring architecture.

The Old Town even contains some of the best shopping around, making it perfect for picking up souvenirs and grabbing something delectable to munch on.

★ Salzburg Marionette Theatre

Established in 1913, the Salzburg Marionette Theatre is one of the oldest marionette theatres in the world.

Live actors were used in the productions at this theatre, and as of today, the theatre is used to record live soundtracks.

For marionette productions, there are over 500 characters that are still used, including the entire cast in the Sound of Music.

The puppet masters for the theatre perform operas from composers such as Tchaikovsky, Shakespeare, Mozart, and Saint-Exupéry using their wooden characters.

★ Panorama Museum

Johann Sattler, a well-known painter from the 1820s, painted a remarkable wall that included an in-depth panoramic view of Salzburg.

This painting included great detail, not just of the buildings and architecture of the Austrian state but of the residents and their everyday lives from over 200 years ago.

★ Guided Sound of Music Tour

Now's your time to hit up all the beautiful locations you grew up watching in the classic film, Sound of Music.

With over 15 sites, you'll want to see Mirabellgarten, Hellbrunn Palace, and the Nonnberg Abbey.

Even if you choose not to take a guided tour, make sure you at least visit these iconic spots.

★ The Home of Mozart

Once Mozart's family moved away from his birth home, they moved next to the Salzach river.

Today, this home is known as Mozart's Residence Museum, where you can get an inside view of how Mozart grew up and the delicate artifacts of his past.

★ St. Peter's Cemetery and Catacombs

Dating way back to the 1600s, St. Peter's Cemetery and Catacombs are the first Christian burial grounds in Salzburg.

Since 696, monks have been coming to the monastery to pray, live, and work. This site is certainly one to behold.

It isn't just a place to mourn but a place that features gorgeous architecture and rock caves in the Mönchsberg.

★ The Klessheim Palace

Once upon a time, this magnificent Baroque structure acted as the residence of the Archbishops of Salzburg.

Now the Salzburg Casino, it is a beautiful place to partake in a little gambling, but that's not all.

The interior design, gardens, and pleasure grounds are all worth seeing.

If you make this trip, dress appropriately. There is a dress code for all those who visit.

★ Sachertorte & Coffee

Germans are known for their amazingly thick, rich chocolate cakes.

So make your way to Sachertorte & Coffee for a piece of the most exquisite dessert around, the Sachertorte.

★ Christmas Market/Christkindlmarkt

If you happen to visit Austria anytime in November or December, you must make it to the Christmas Market.

This age-old event is one that will create memories that last a lifetime.

The smell of roasted chestnuts and mulled wines fills the air as you walk through the three squares, Domplatz, Kapitelplatz, and Residenzplatz taking in the true essence of the wonderful holiday.

★ Christmas Museum

If you make it to the Christmas Market, then you must make it up to the Christmas Museum.

Luckily, Salzburg's Christmas Museum is a year-round attraction.

This museum will teach you all that there is to know regarding the spirit of Christmas and its history.

★ Salzburg Open-Air Museum

There is so much to experience at the Open-Air Museum.

With structures and artifacts that date back to the 16th century, you will get an intimate view of how the natives lived centuries ago.

There are well over 100 historic structures, so get ready for a long, exciting day.

★ Stiegl Brauwelt

Calling all beer enthusiasts!

This brewery will teach you all about the history of beer through its enjoyable beer tasting and exhibits.

You don't want to miss this multi-sensory experience.

★ Toy Museum

Whether you brought the kids along or left them at home, you should make a stop at the Toy Museum.

This museum holds the most extensive assortment of toys from around Europe.

Nearly the entire museum is hands-on and interactive, so there's no doubt, you'll feel like a kid again.

★ While in Town, Get a Horse and Carriage Ride

Horse and carriage rides are popular forms of transportation when you're trying to get around town.

The tourists especially love them and for a good reason!

Taking a carriage ride is one of the best ways to learn all about the city as you see it from a unique perspective.

★ Last but Not Least, Try Austrian Food

This one may be kind of obvious, but you can't possibly leave Austria without trying some of its authentic cuisines and traditional foods.

Austrians love their red meats, bread, and potatoes.

Pair a mulled wine or freshly brewed beer with a hearty meal at least once before you head home.

Some of the classic dishes you should consider include strudel, wiener schnitzel, tafelspitz, and speckknödel.

These are just a few of the amazing sights you'll experience in Austria on a Danube River cruise. Want more experiences? Give us a call today to talk about all the options available!

20 ports of call only accessible via a river cruise

If you're looking for new cruise ports to explore – if you feel like you have seen every island in the Caribbean and stopped at every port in Mexico and the Mediterranean, these are 20 ports of call that you will never see on an ocean cruise ship, that you will only see on a river cruise.

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I am Ann Bartholomew, the owner of Simply River Cruises.

My love of travel comes from the many trips I've taken to other countries over the course of my life. I officially got my start in the travel industry 10 years ago. Since then, I've made it my life's mission to help others realize their dream vacations.

Planning a vacation yourself entails making decisions that can make or break the entire experience. After hours of researching, talking to travel partners, and planning an itinerary, you can still feel lost and confused. Your inexperience could lead you to a disheartening trip, which I want you to avoid.

With my expertise, you can bid farewell to the stress of travel planning and focus on the joy of your vacation. I will take your vision, customize the experience, and provide you with the perfect itinerary. All you have to do is make a booking and embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

Working in the travel industry gives me a unique understanding of your yearning to experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. By giving each case my full attention and dedication, I have helped hundreds of clients fulfill their travel goals.


With over 10 years of experience, I have all the resources and premium partnerships needed to curate a unique and remarkable river cruise experience, allowing you to focus on the beauty of stunning destinations that leave you invigorated.

You want to travel, and I have the knowledge, skills, and connections to create a high-end vacation that goes above and beyond your expectations.

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