14 essential experiences in Upper Austria
From the highest peak to the best-known snapshot and the most beautiful river bends: experience the very best of Upper Austria. Here are the top 14 highlights that definitely belong on your bucket list.
Quench your thirst for mountain lakes
Even artists like Gustav Klimt and monarchs like Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth would take their summer holidays in the Salzkammergut. A break in the region remains a heartening experience to this day. Take it easy, clear your mind, indulge in new ideas.
- Swimming in Upper Austria
- Water sports in Upper Austria
Tackle the toughest marathon
With a distance of 210 kilometres and climbs totalling 7,100 metres, the Salzkammergut Mountain Bike Trophy is Europe’s most challenging marathon. Each July, seven different courses bring nearly 5,000 ambitious bikers to these mountains.
Climb the highest peak
At 2,995 metres, the region’s highest mountain, King Dachstein, holds court over the landscape of southern Upper Austria. But it can be conquered – by mountain bike, on foot or by cable car. At Dachstein-Krippenstein, “5fingers” is probably the most spectacular viewing platform in the Alps.
Take a stroll to the most beautiful place in Austria
The natural wonder of Schiederweiher lake in Hinterstoder has been crowned the most beautiful place in Austria. And rightly so. The Krumme Steyr tributary and the mountain scenery of the Großer Priel make for a picture-perfect idyll visitors can explore with nature guides.
Discover Linz’s sweetest ambassador
What’s famous, made according to the oldest cake recipe in the world and tastes like nothing else? The Linzer torte of course! Typically topped with a lattice design, filled with tart redcurrant jam and sprinkled with flaked almonds. Enjoy as it is or reheat in the oven.
Ride the steepest rack-and-pinion railway
A comfortable, leisurely journey. That’s what you get when you take the nostalgic Schafberg Railway from St. Wolfgang up the 1,783-metre Schafberg mountain. The trip is worth it. When you reach the top, you’re greeted by spectacular panoramic views of the Salzkammergut region’s mountains and 14 lakes.
Lose yourself in Austria’s greatest expanse of forest
Kalkalpen National Park protects the last great forest wilderness in the heart of Austria. Pristine, a rich source of water and home to rare animals. Its beech woods have even been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We recommend mountain biking along the Trans National Park route or hiking the ‘Luchs’ or Lynx Trail.
Capture the best-known snapshot
At Hallstatt, of course! Photographed millions of times, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hallstatt is one of the most charming landscapes in the world. And with a ‘Dirndl to go’ or real Goiserer shoes, you can even become a ‘temporary local’.
Experience the unique Museum of the Future
The line between the virtual world and reality blurs at the Museum of the Future at the Ars Electronica Center in Linz. Visit to explore the unknown in this one-of-a-kind sensory experience. Unique, fascinating – and always one step ahead.
Treat yourself to the most exclusive spa experience
There’s nothing more personal or exclusive than the private spa villas at Geinberg. Not only will you have a private swimming pool at your disposal, but also your very own butler and private dining service. Private living – with the highest level of service.
Be the first on the slopes
Leave the first tracks on the freshly groomed slopes early in the morning. At your own pace and in your own time on Upper Austria’s only World Cup run. Athletic skiers won’t be able to resist the challenging Hannes Trinkl course at Hinterstoder.
Meet the most hard-working giver of Christmas gifts
In Upper Austria, it’s the baby Jesus or ‘Christkind’ who gives presents at Christmas – and he has a year-round presence here: come visit his home in Christkindl near Steyr. In the run-up to Christmas, children send their wish lists to the Christkindl post office where letters from all over the world are stamped with the coveted special postmarks.
Enjoy the best that music has to offer
The Musiktheater in Linz is Austria’s most state-of-the-art opera houses with a fantastic, dreamlike atmosphere and acoustics that make it well worth a visit. Its stage has hosted operas, operettas, musicals and ballets.
Marvel at Europe’s most beautiful river bends
The Danube, Europe’s second longest river, passes through a captivating variety of landscapes. And the Schlögener Schlinge is a true gem among them. This unique natural wonder sees the river meander through the hills, taking 360° bends along the way. We recommend enjoying this exceptional sight from the viewpoint at Schlögen.