© Foto Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH/Nicole Kubiak: A young couple enjoys the sunset at the small Schönberg.
A young couple enjoys the sunset at little Schönberg

10 Suggested Trips for Long Weekend Breaks

Days taken off between public holidays and weekends - or bridge days as we call them in Austria - are an ideal opportunity for a short getaway. With just a few days' leave, you can enjoy a long weekend - perfect for a trip to Upper Austria! Here are 10 suggestions for you to discover its stunning landscapes in an action-packed, sporty or leisurely atmosphere, to explore its historical towns and cities and to sample the region's culinary delicacies. Read on and let yourself be inspired.

1. A Taste of Adventure on the Dachstein

Enjoy the magnificent scenery of the lakes and mountains on a cycling, hiking or climbing tour. How about a hike to picturesque Lake Gosau, where you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Dachstein? Or visit the idyllic town of Hallstatt, which is included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and is home to the oldest salt mine in the world. For the ultimate adrenaline rush, stroll along the Skywalk, a viewing platform 360 meters above Lake Hallstatt. If you fancy even more alpine air, then venture up the Stairway to Heaven on the Donnerkogel via ferrata (note: only for experienced climbers with equipment) or onto the 5fingers on the Krippenstein, a steel viewing platform that rises like a hand above the valley below and offers a breathtaking view of the Dachstein massif. In between, you can cool down and enjoy a refreshing spell in the Dachstein Giant Ice Caves.


2. Culture and History in Linz

Visit Linz, the capital of Upper Austria, and discover the city's rich history and culture. Stroll through the old quarter of the town and marvel at the castle housing the Schlossmuseum with its modern south wing and exciting exhibitions. From the terrace of the castle you can see the splendid Mariendom - the largest church in Austria and famous for its magnificent organ and impressive stained-glass windows.  The creative and modern aspects of the city are also well worth discovering. Visit the Ars Electronica Center, for example - known as the Museum of the Future - or the Lentos Kunstmuseum, where you can enjoy displays of contemporary art. Or head for the Mural Harbor, the outdoor gallery for graffiti art. In the daytime, a piece of Linzer Torte is a must, while the city's restaurants welcome you as their guests in the evening followed by some vibrant nightlife in the pubs and bars to round off the experience.


3. Beer, Bikes and Indigo Printing in the Mühlviertel

Discover beer and culinary treats in the Mühlviertel region. The Mühlviertel beer region with its numerous breweries that brew truly exceptional beers, its vast hop fields and countless beer taverns is a must for beer lovers. Go on a bike tour through the hilly countryside or visit the enchanting medieval brewery town of Freistadt or the spa town of Bad Leonfelden, which is also an important center of traditional indigo hand-block printing. Relax in one of the many wellness havens in the Mühlviertel, indulge in a massage, enjoy the sauna or steam bath or have a go at yoga or meditation classes.


4. Bathing, Relaxation and Culture around Lake Traun

Take a boat trip on Lake Traun and marvel at the surrounding mountains and picturesque villages. Lake Traun is a paradise for water sports lovers - how could it be otherwise - and is the perfect spot for sailing, surfing and stand-up paddle boarding. For the more energetic among us, there are also plenty of hiking trails around the lake, or you can climb the nearby mountains such as the Traunstein or the Feuerkogel to relish some spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding scenery. Visit the town of Gmunden, known for its famous ceramics, Gmundner Keramik. Take a tour of the manufactory and take inspiration from the artistic designs. You should also pay a visit to Schloss Ort, a picturesque castle located on a small island in Lake Traun and a popular wedding venue.


5. Action and Cooling off in the Pyhrn-Priel Region

Spend an active weekend in the Pyhrn-Priel region. Set off on a hike on the Wurzeralm, enjoy breathtaking views and climb peaks like the Warscheneck. Spend a day at the picturesque Gleinkersee lake, enjoy the clear water, hire a boat or take a walk along the shore and stop for a picnic. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, visit the Hochseilgarten Hinterstoder. This is where you can experience high ropes courses, via ferratas and flying foxes. Visit the charming village of Windischgarsten with its beautiful mansions and head to the Wurbauerkogel, where the Alpine Coaster, Bike Park, 3D Archery Course, via ferrata trails and much more await action enthusiasts.


6. Get Active along the Danube

Follow the course of the Danube and discover its picturesque twists and turns and the views. Take a boat trip on the Danube and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the river. There are various providers offering round trips or excursions to specific destinations. You should definitely make a stop at the Schlögener Schlinge, an impressive loop of the Danube near Schlögen. The viewpoint offers a breathtaking panorama of the Danube loop and the surrounding area. Along route you can also visit the provincial capital of Linz with its cultural treasures, the Cistercian monastery of Stift Engelszell, famous for its beer and liqueurs, or stately castles such as Schloss Greinburg, home to the oldest theatre in the country. It’s well worth cycling a while along the Danube Cycle Path or hiking a stage of the Danube Trail and enjoying the natural beauty and culture of the region.


7. Culture in Steyr and unspoilt Nature in the Kalkalpen National Park

Experience the flair of the town square in Steyr, one of the most beautiful in Europe, surrounded by colorful houses and churches. Accompany a night watchman on his rounds, or explore the town on a Segway. Afterwards, set off for the wild beauty of the Kalkalpen National Park where you will be surrounded by unspoilt forests, wild rivers and mountains. Hike along one of the many trails such as the Lynx Trail, take a tour with a national park ranger, be part of a wilderness camp, cycle through tunnels, valleys and gorges on the Hintergebirge Cycle Path, cross two national parks by mountain bike on the Trans National Park Tour or roam the countryside "in the saddle".


8. Lots going on in the West: Nature, Culture and Fun at the Thermal Baths

Treat yourself to a day at one of the Innviertel lakes, which are among the warmest in the country, and go on a hike through the idyllic Ibmer moor. It offers unique flora and fauna within stunning landscapes that are ideal for observing rare bird species. Located directly on the river Inn, the charming baroque town of Schärding begs to be visited. Admire the pastel-colored facades of the Silberzeile in the old quarter and take a boat trip on the Inn. A cycle tour along the banks of the Inn is a great way to enjoy this beautiful river. The Inn Cycle Path will take you through areas of outstanding natural beauty as well as splendid towns and cities. Fantastic hiking trails and mountain bike tours through the Kobernaußerwald forest, and the wellness facilities of the spa resort at Geinberg and Aquapulco Bad Schallerbach complete the varied program in this region.


9. Attersee: Water, Water, Water.

Enjoy some sunny days at Lake Attersee on one of its numerous beaches and bathing spots. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal clear water and relax. Are you a water lover to the core? Wonderful, because Lake Attersee is ideal for water sports like sailing, surfing or diving. There are a number of ways to explore the lake and the region. Take a boat trip on Austria's largest inland lake and discover the picturesque landscape and learn more about the region at the same time. For the more active, there are plenty of hiking trails that are ideal for tours along the shore or for climbing the nearby mountains to enjoy spectacular views of the lake and the scenery. Lake Attersee is also served by a well-developed network of cycling and mountain bike trails and is perfect for exploring the region on two wheels.


10. Immerse Yourself in the History and Tradition of Bad Ischl

Bad Ischl was once the summer retreat of the imperial family. You can pay a visit here to the Kaiservilla, where Franz Joseph and Sisi resided. You should also try the famous Zaunerstollen made by the former imperial and royal bakery - a truly mouth-watering speciality. Relax like an emperor in the Salzkammergut thermal baths of this EurothermenResort, where you can enjoy the soothing effects of salt and brine.

Incidentally, 2024 is going to be a very special year for Bad Ischl. For the very first time, the European Capital of Culture will be an entire region consisting of 23 communities in the Salzkammergut with Bad Ischl as the banner town. 

We hope you have enjoyed our suggestions for an extended weekend getaway to Upper Austria. As you can see, this region is so diverse and has something to offer for everyone: from nature and adventure lovers to wellness enthusiasts and city trippers. With so many activities and attractions in the region, your short break is bound to be an unforgettable experience. Plan your next mini break in Upper Austria and be captivated by the beauty of the region. We hope you have a most enjoyable stay!


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