For us, traveling to German-speaking Innsbruck, in Austria was a one day adventure from Interlaken. Bordered by Switzerland, Slovakia, Czech, and Germany; Austria is a mountainous Republic full of ancient Roman remains and baroque architecture. Even though this part of Central Europe is easily accessible from Zurich, Engelberg, Lucern, Budapest, Bratislava, Brno, Munich or Salzburg. Whichever side you choose to enter from, a trail of rugged Alpine terrain will lead you into the small Austrian Villages. (Followed by an outburst of Imperial history!) In particular, Innsbruck is the 5th-largest city of this Alpine country, celebrated for winter sports.
Top 5 Landmarks to Visit in Austria
Which, is why we were thrilled to be exploring this epitome of modern engineering and ‘majestic’ designs. On the other hand, the heritage capital, Vienna is where you can tour the Hofburg and Schönbrunn Palaces. As much as, we want to come back to discover the Bohemian Forest and hillside vineyards, this trip was king pinned on the 4th-century city of Innsbruck and neighborhood. From our travel experience, penning down five best landmarks for you to add to your Austria bucket list.
Swarovski Crystal World
Twenty minutes from Austrian Tyrol, is this magnanimous world, of Crystals. We drove from Innsbruck in the morning to reach the venue under 30-minutes. Lined with log houses and green meadows on one side, and steep Alpines on the other, our countryside drive was nothing short of a wild ride. At first glimpse, Swarovski Kristallwelten is a colossal-park flaunting the ‘famed’ Giant at the entrance. Built-in 1995 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Swarovski, this Crystal World is a work of magic produced by hundreds of artists. On display, are 16 thematic chambers, fringed with majestic art installations to pay tribute to Daniel Swarovski. The museum is open throughout the year between 9.30 AM to 6.30 PM for a price of € 9.50 per adult ticket. To make your travel experience better, SCW offers a park shuttle to downtown Innsbruck, every two hours for € 8.50.
The Golden Roof
Our next place of impact sightseeing was the Goldenes Dachl or the Golden Roof. Located in Altstadt, an old Austrian town, the Golden Roof is a 15th-century symbol marking Emperor Maximilian’s marriage. Embellished with over 2600 fire-gilded copper tiles, the Goldenes Dachl was once a hall of celebrations. From time to time, the Royals immersed in the joy of cheering up for their favorite sports tournaments and social events from the balcony. Even today, the decorated oriel draw attention to its frescoes, balustrade, flanking panels, mural paintings, sculpted reliefs, and heraldic flags. But, we were particularly impressed by the grotesque dance of Moorish figurines on the wall, symbolic with popular entertainment of the early Roman era. Indeed, a glimpse in mortality of the luxe lifestyle of Emperor Maximilian.
Clock Museum in Vienna
Vienna is the cultural capital of Austria, featuring the best of museums and Palaces. Even though this Clock Museum tops our bucket list, we haven’t yet got a chance to visit it. But, from what we have heard, the Clock Museum of Vienna is home to time-bearers from as early as, the fourteenth century. (Each clock wired to chime every sixty minutes) If time-piece collections are your thing then, Vienna’s Clock Museum presents to you 700 clocks from across the globe. Other than the astronomical, picture, Zappler table and luxurious pendulum wall clocks on display; the Museum also houses a comprehensive Cajetano clock. This 18th-century Cajetano features 150 gears and wheels in a splendid precision to map the movement of planets and eclipses. We think that’s time travel in real time!
Dachstein Salzkammergut and the Giant Ice Cave
Amidst all the amazing landmarks, on the Austrian terrain, Dachstein’s Giant Ice Cave stands out with its ice and stone brew. Famous as King Arthur’s dome, and the Castle of the Holy Grail, this Austrian Ice Cave is magic wrapped under a sheath of snow. They say these caves are a doorway to some of Europe’s most spectacular scenery. And so, to experience snow miracles in the company of ice sculptures, curtains, and icicles, let this be your next summer destination. Besides, if you make it in August then, you have a ‘wonderful’ chance of attending the annual ice-concert organized by the Parsifal Dome. Located above the panoramic Trauntal valley, Dachstein Cave is a world of remarkable ice artwork.
Melk Abbey in Melk
Two and a half hours from Dachstein Giant Ice Cave is the Benedictine Melk Abbey on a rock-strewn bed crop; looking over the Danube river, next to the Wachau valley. Showcasing the tomb of Stockerau’ Saint Coleman, this 10th-century Abbey is a perfect place to have a look at the remains of Austria’s first ruling dynasty. Although, what makes this historical landmark splendid is that the Abbey was gifted to a Benedictine Monk by Leopold II. In the 12th-century a monastic school and library were included on this site. Known to safe keep an extensive medieval-manuscript collection, Melk Abbey was also a scriptorium for a long period. Reinvigorating the monastic life of a bygone era, this Baroque Abbey is the center of insatiable peace. The Abbey Church is the altar to Rottmayr’s noteworthy frescos.
If you have been to Austria, do let us know your favorite places or travel hacks across the wild trails of Austria.