While the eyes of many tourists are drawn to the big and bustling cities of Austria, there are quite a few peaceful towns and smaller cities that don’t get this attention, but they tell the true story of the beautiful country in their humble and wonderful way. Do not let their size mislead you, because their magnificent architecture and location in front of the mountainous landscapes and clear lakes of Austria can provide quite a few activities that will leave you with a want for more. Here are 14 of the most beautiful small cities and towns in Austria, which can upgrade your next trip to the country and make it particularly fascinating.
Near Austria’s western border with Switzerland lies the magnificent city of Feldkirch, considered the capital of the picturesque district of Vorarlberg. During a tour of the city's ancient center and along its various streets, tourists are exposed to an ancient medieval setting that has been preserved in an astonishing way. The magnificent picture is completed by the great nature that surrounds the city and blends perfectly with the tranquility that characterizes it.
The small town of Millstatt is considered by many to be one of the most spectacular destinations on the banks of the Millstätter See. Apart from its view of the Austrian Alps, the town offers a tour of its historic buildings, which reflect the architectural currents of the late 19th century in Austria, and a visit to an ancient Benedictine monastery.
The town of Heinfells was named after the great medieval castle that overlooks the nearby hills. The ruins of the castle, built in the 13th century, provide a glimpse into the distant past of Austria, where local nobles were required to defend themselves and the territories they controlled from invaders through high guard posts. The town itself offers a mesmerizing view of country houses that are far apart and harmoniously combine with the surrounding green tapestry.
The small town of Krems lies on the banks of the Danube River and attracts many tourists every year to enjoy the fine wines produced in it, being one of the most important wine-making centers in Austria. In addition, the town's ancient center, which boasts the Steiner Tor, one of the most beautiful remains from the medieval period, can be reached by foot.
St. Wolfgang is a charming little town on the steep banks of Lake Wolfgang. Visitors to the town can admire the modest wooden houses overlooking its center, visit the town’s ancient church which was built in the 14th century and explore the forested edge of the lake that overlooks the surrounding mountain peaks.
Anyone who takes part in a cruise on the famous Danube River can’t miss the picturesque town of Dürnstein, which adorns its banks with ancient buildings and a church located on a high cliff. In addition, in the historical center of the town, you can find ancient buildings from a variety of different local architectural styles that make the tour quite fascinating.
Only an hour and a half drive separates the lively city of Salzburg from the peaceful old town of Bad Gastein. This magical town is considered a popular ski destination due to its location near the Hohe Tauern Mountains, one of the largest and most famous national parks in Austria. In addition, the town itself offers a variety of bars that break down the sense of daily calm and make the stay there quite diverse.
Schröcken is a small town located in the western district of Vorarlberg. The beauty of the place stems from a combination of its modest appearance, which is characterized by wooden huts and small stone houses scattered along the hills and the remote Silvretta mountain range, which is considered a popular ski resort during the winter season.
The small town of Gnadenwald is the perfect destination for anyone looking to experience a peaceful European countryside at its best. In addition to the landscaped wooden houses, the town is situated at the foot of the Karwendel Alpine Park, offering its visitors hiking trails and mountain biking trails where you can find spectacular views of the region's mesmerizing landscape.
The small city of Mariazell in the province of Styria is a great destination for anyone who decides to take a trip along the magnificent southern region of Austria. Alongside the low and colorful houses, there is the ancient Mariazell basilica which is well known among the city’s residents and attracts many worshipers every day. The church's charming appearance, painted in shades of pink, adds a splash of color to all visitors’ trip.
The small village of Alpbach is located in a valley surrounded by high Alpine mountains and offers its visitors great hiking trails, however, its main attraction is the beautiful flower beds that adorn its picturesque wooden houses. The beauty of the place was even officially recognized when the village was crowned "the most beautiful in Austria".
At a drive of 1 hour and 15-minutes away from the great city of Salzburg, Hallstatt is, without a doubt, one of the most famous picturesque towns in Austria. Apart from the town’s magnificent architecture and its enchanting views from the nearby lake, Hallstatt offers tours of the world's first salt mine, what lead to it being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kitzbühel is a small town located along the Kitzbüller-Lech. The town's mountainous environment is considered a world-famous ski destination, attracting sports and extreme enthusiasts from all over the world. In addition, the town is known for its beautiful medieval buildings, which make it particularly charming.
On the banks of Lake Wolfgang and the Austrian Alps, lies the picturesque town of St. Gilgen. In the town itself, visitors can tour its side streets and be impressed by the magnificent rural construction. However, one of its main attractions is the famous cable car, which brings visitors to the top of the Zwölferhorn Mountain and allows them to take in some breathtaking scenery.