Choosing where to stay in Austria is a daunting but exciting task: the possibilities are many, but starting to plan your holiday will give you a boost.
Let yourself be tempted by romantic hotels with views of Alpine peaks or along the shores of a lake, wooden chalets with snow-covered roofs, traditional Tyrolean-style hotels, private rooms in well-kept and delightful houses, B&Bs serving hearty breakfasts, luxury spa hotels or modern boutique hotels.
There really is everything: tourism in Austria has a very long tradition and this is reflected in a good choice of accommodation not only in the main resorts but also in lesser-known towns and mountain villages.
Of course, the best places to stay in Austria depend a lot on the type of holiday you want to take and your spending budget. Here is a small guide to the best of Austria’s hotel offerings to help you organise your holiday yourself.
With an area almost entirely occupied by mountainous terrain and a long tradition of winter sports, Austria is among all European countries the favourite holiday destination for those who love mountain holidays.
Dizzying peaks, glittering glaciers, pristine lakes and green meadows that are covered in white snow in winter are typical elements of the spectacular Alpine landscape in Austria. For your stay, you can choose from numerous possibilities, suitable for all holiday types and budgets.
For a romantic holiday, choose a cosy wooden chalet or a luxury hotel with spa; if you want to save money, go for traditional family-run guesthouses, private rooms or campsites, while for a family holiday, sleeping in a flat is comfortable. There are also a few hostels, usually frequented by energetic young daredevils on the slopes… ski and dance!
If you choose a holiday in the mountains for the specific purpose of spending your days on and off the ski slopes, here are the resorts we recommend. All of these resorts are also perfect for a summer holiday and we recommend them especially for hikers and mountain bikers.
Kitzbühel and Sölden are the favourite ski resorts for big fans: on their thrilling slopes, ski champions compete in some of the most important international competitions. Some of these slopes, such as the adrenaline-pumping Streiff, are open to the public: you can try them too, but only if you are not afraid of speed!
Kitzbühel is a well-known, rather chic resort, so accommodation tends to be a little expensive, but good accommodation can be found in the mid-price range, while in Sölden there is a wide choice of hotels and B&Bs to suit all budgets.
Lienz (not to be confused with another Austrian city with a similar name, Linz) adds to the typical Alpine charm of Austrian mountain resorts also an important cultural heritage, with clear traces of its thousand-year-old past in the city centre.
Saalbach Interglemm is a charming resort that is part of an outstanding ski area, the Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrun, with state-of-the-art ski lifts and hundreds of kilometres of slopes suitable for all levels.All accommodation in ski resorts
Austria’s cities are beautiful, romantic, clean, full of tourist attractions and opportunities for recreation and entertainment. If you want to combine days of art and culture with outdoor activities, you can choose to book a city hotel for the duration of your holiday and take advantage of the good road and rail connections for exciting day trips.
How to adequately present the wonderful Vienna? The city that was the nerve centre of the glorious Habsburg Empire still retains an imperial charm and many of its attractions, such as the Hofburg, the Imperial Palace, Schönbrunn Palace and the Prater Ferris wheel, seem to keep the romantic and opulent atmosphere of the 19th century alive.
But Vienna is a modern capital, with a vibrant cultural buzz, a nightlife devoted to electronic music and highly efficient means of transport. It is also unsurprisingly multicultural, as you will realise when strolling through the colourful Naschmarkt market.
As far as accommodation is concerned, the offer is really wide, but the Innere Stadt, the historical heart of the city, has been colonised by luxury hotels and inns, with little choice in the lower-middle price range. Move just outside the Innere Stadt or even to the suburbs for cheaper prices, as it is very easy to reach the centre by metro.
Salzburg is a miniature Vienna, with regal palaces, elegant cafés, classical music, a romantic river and a medieval castle. Plus it is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (everywhere you turn you will find the famous composer’s face) and the set of the musical ‘The Sound of Music’.
Accommodation in Salzburg is slightly more expensive than the Austrian average, so it is advisable to book as early as possible to find a good deal, especially if you are travelling during the Salzburg Festival or Christmas market period.
Graz, the capital of the Styria region, is Austria’s second largest city and the most dynamic and modern. Innovative contemporary architectural constructions have changed the face of the city centre, propelling it into the future.
It is the ideal destination for a sparkling weekend of art and culture, but can also be included as something original in an itinerary in Austria that touches on more classic stages.
There is no shortage of traditional guesthouses and elegant hotels in Graz, but to get into the mood of the city, choose a modern design hotel or comfortable city-apartments.Accommodation in Graz
Tyrol is one of the three Austrian regions (along with Carinthia and the Salzburg region) bordering Italy. Due to its proximity and breathtaking landscape, it is an excellent choice as a destination for a relaxing weekend, a skiing holiday, a summer or winter mountain holiday.
In Tyrol, all the elements that have made the country’s tourist fortune are concentrated. Its charming capital, Innsbruck, halfway between an Alpine resort and a city of art, is definitely worth a visit, perhaps during the period of the traditional Christmas markets.
Tyrol has a successful tourism industry, with numerous quality services, so the hotel offer is of the highest standard. The offer of hotels and b&b’ s in the capital Innsbruck and in the mountain resorts is very good, but remember that Tyrol attracts a lot of tourists so it is a good idea to book well in advance.Accommodation in Tyrol
One of Austria’s most visited towns is Villach, a charming town nestled in the mountains of Carinthia. Be sure to stop by the other towns in this beautiful region, starting with its capital Klagenfurt.
Here, too, there is a wide range of hotels and B&Bs on offer and you should have no trouble finding good-value accommodation.Accommodation in Carinthia