Travel Austria Österreich

Travel Austria

Travel Austria

The Romantic Danube

Europe is certainly blessed with beautiful rivers. The Danube River starts in the Black Forest of Germany and flows into the Black Sea. It flows through 10 countries making it a major water highway. Some major cities on the Danube River include Vienna (Austria), Bratislava (Slovakia), Budapest (Hungary)and Belgrade (Serbia).

Wachau Valley
The Wachau Valley about 1 hour West of Vienna, Austria is surely a romantic part of the Danube River. There are beautiful vineyards and castles along the Wachau Valley. There is so much history along the banks of the Danube. For an example, Richard the Lionhearted was imprisoned in Dürnstein Castle. Dürnstein Castle lies along the Danube River and is worth a trip from Vienna, Austria. Melk, Austria is another place that you should visit. The Melk Baroque Benedictine monastery is a treasure. It houses a large library and beautiful frescoes. River cruises run between Melk and Krems. Take a romantic river cruise along the Wachau Valley and take back lovely memories of this journey.

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Salzburg and the beautiful Salzkammergut region of Austria

Salzburg is around 2 hours by train from Munich and less than 3 hours by train from Vienna. Most of us remember watching the Sound of Music filmed in beautiful Salzburg Austria. The beautiful Schloss Mirabell Gardens is where the Sound of Music “Do Re Mi” was filmed.

Mozart, the classical composer was also born in in Salzburg, Austria. You can visit Mozart birthplace and museum in Salzburg.

Salzburg Christkindlmarkt, Christmas Carols and Advent are beautiful traditions observed here during the Christmas season. The song “Silent Night” is Austrian after all.

Salzburg (salt fortress) became an important center due to the salt trade. The fortress Hohensalzburg overlooking Salzburg is majestic. Stroll around the old town center and soak in the beauty of this place.

But that is not all. The Salzkammergut region is beautiful with Alpine ranges and lakes. Enjoy the beauty of the Austrian countryside. Take a trip to Hallstatt, Austria. This is an amazing place of beauty with the beautiful Hallstatt village hugging the lake.

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European Christmas Markets

The European cities come alive in Winter for Christmas. The Christmas Markets spring up everywhere especially around the Old Town centers or squares. There is even a Christmas market at the Munich International Airport.

GERMANY
The backdrop of beautiful Gothic churches like in Cologne (Germany) and Christkindlesmarkt Nuremberg (Germany) will take you back in time. German towns become festive with Christmas markets. With Christmas delicacies and lovely Christmas Music, you will become a child again for Christmas. You got to try some Nuremberg Lebkuchen (German Gingerbread) and Feuerzangenbowle (red wine and rum punch).

Czech Republic
The Christmas markets in Staroměstské náměstí Prague (Old Town Square) and Wenceslas Square (5 minute walking distance from each market) in Czechia (Czech Republic) are a real treat. Stroll along the beautiful wooden huts with all sorts of Christmas ornaments and gifts. Eat some trdelník (grilled rolled dough cake) while you shop.

Hungary
If you wish to try all sorts of delicious food, you should check out the Budapest Christmas Markets at the St. Stephen’s Basilica ( St Istvan Bazilika) and the Christmas Market at the Vorosmarty Square in Budapest, Hungary. You won’t be in hungry in Hungary, as this market offers you tasty regional food and not just Christmas cookies. Try the Kürtőskalács (Chimney cake) and Goulash Soup (Gulyásleves).

Austria
How do you beat the beauty of the Christkindlmarkt at the Rathausplatz (Town Hall Square) in Vienna, Austria? Ice skate around the “tree of hearts” in the nearby park and enjoy some Viennese Gluhwein (mulled wine).

France
Strasbourg Christmas market (Capital of Christmas) is a fusion of both the German and French cultures in the Alsace Region of France. Christkindlsmärik first took place in 1570. Try the Christmas bredele (small cakes) made in this Alsace region. It comes in different flavors. Strasbourg Christmas Market is one of the oldest and the most beautiful Christmas market that blends both the French and German cultures into a wonderful Christmas experience.

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Vienna, the city of palaces!

It is amazing how many beautiful buildings and palaces you can find in Vienna (Wien), Austria. The emperors kept building and building new palaces and beautiful buildings.

Flying to Vienna
You can fly into Vienna Airport (VIE) in Schwechat (in German Flughafen Wien-Schwechat). The airport is around 11 miles from Central Vienna and around 35 miles from Bratislava, Slovakia. In Slovak the airport is called Letisko Viedeň-Schwechat. Vienna International Airport makes a good hub to base your travel into the center of Europe.

Getting to Vienna by train
Take a train to Wien Mitte which is like 10 minutes walking distance to the stunning St. Stephen’s gothic cathedral (Domkirche St.Stephan or Steffl). Vienna has lovely pedestrian streets. From St. Stephen’s, you can stroll on the Graben to Kohlmarkt to Heldenplatz.

Heldenplatz
Once you get to the Heldenplatz, you can find your way around to see various magnificent buildings in this area. Check out the Hofburg, Neue Burg, Maria-Theresien-Platz and Albertina. There is also the Volksgarten and Burggarten (Castle Garden). You can also visit the Schmetterlinghaus (Palm Haus). There is really one fascinating building after the other.

Viennese Food
Take some time off to enjoy some good Viennese food. The emperors knew how to eat. You may wish to try Wiener Schnitzel (cutlet) and Tafelspitz (beef). Try some really good desserts such as Kaiserschmarrn (fluffy pancakes with apple sauce and powdered sugar), Viennese Apfelstrudel , and Sachertorte (chocolate cake) with your coffee (melange) at the local cafes. Cafe Demel is a famous bakery and chocolatier that you could visit.

Summer Palaces
You will need more time to visit the Summer Palaces of the Habsburg rulers located around the city. They are spectacular. Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens are really huge. You can also visit the magnificent Belvedere Baroque Palace and Gardens. You can see the great display of wealth of the emperors. This city is really a city of palaces!

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The Romantic Rhine

You can cruise the Rhine from Amsterdam, Netherlands via the German Heartland to Basel, Switzerland. Rhine starts its journey from Lake Toma, in the Swiss Canton of Graubünden and winds its way to Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The Rhine actually passes through Switzerland, Liechtenstein , Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands. There is so much history along the Rhine. It used to be the boundary between civilized Europe and untamed lands beyond. There is so much to see along the Rhine.

Rhine Falls, Switzerland
Rhine Falls or Rheinfall in German is Europe’s largest waterfall. In some ways resembles the Niagara Falls between United States and Canada. Rhine Falls is located near Schaffhausen , in Switzerland just across from the German border.

Lake Bodensee
Lake Constance (Bodensee in German) is one of the lakes on the Rhine. Bodensee borders Austria, Germany and Switzerland. You can basically visit all 3 countries by boat. Principality of Liechtenstein is around 30 minutes by car from the Bodensee (Lake Constance).

Basel, Switzerland
Basel, Switzerland on the Rhine is a good transportation hub to pretty much get anywhere in Europe, especially to your Alpine destinations. A good place to rest and sight see in the lower elevation before going up into higher altitudes of the Alps.

Mainz to Kobenlz, Mid Rhine, Germany
The mid Rhine is probably the most romantic part of the Rhine. German towns from Mainz to Kobenlz, Germany will take you back in time. Take the Rhine ferries to slow down and soak in the beauty.

The Moselle River to Luxembourg
The Moselle River meets the Rhine River at Kobenlz. Moselle can take you all the way to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Luxembourg actually means Little Castle). Towns along the Moselle such as Zell and Cochem are simply breathtaking.

Heidelberg, Germany
Take another detour along the River Neckar (Neckar meets the Rhine at Mannheim) to Heidelberg, Germany. Heidelberg is both romantic and picturesque. It is definitely worth the detour.

Netherlands
Keep following the River Rhine and you will end up in Rotterdam, Netherlands which is Europe’s largest port with plenty of good places to eat and shop. For the romantic side visit Amsterdam.


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