From its rich history as home to some of the world’s greatest classical composers, to its stunning natural beauty and vibrant cultural scene, Austria is an ideal destination for any traveling ensemble. With its central location in Europe, Austria is easily accessible from many neighboring countries, making it a convenient hub for creating a custom itinerary that features cities in Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia.
In Austria, the history of western classical music is palpable, and there are many opportunities for your ensemble to experience and learn about it firsthand. Visit the birthplace of Mozart and the home of Joseph Haydn, and cruise the river that inspired the waltzes of Johann Strauss. Tour the magnificent Vienna Opera House, and explore the city’s vibrant arts scene.
But Austria is not just about classical music – it offers a wide range of cultural and natural attractions, from medieval castles and magnificent cathedrals, to elegant gardens and scenic mountain retreats. With its big city culture and quaint Alpine villages, Austria is a small country with a big heart, and it is sure to impress and inspire your ensemble.
Most of our Austrian programs include overnights in Salzburg and Vienna, so check out some of our favorite Austrian venues and landmarks in each of these historic cities.
Vienna, the capital city of Austria, is a vibrant and beautiful city that is full of history, culture, and beauty. From its magnificent palaces and historic landmarks, to its vibrant arts scene and world-class museums, Vienna offers something for everyone and is a must-visit destination. The city offers so many world-class venues, and has been one of the most popular destinations for our past groups.
Built in the 18th century, Schönbrunn Palace was the summer residence of the Habsburg dynasty and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace, which features over 1,400 rooms, is known for its beautiful gardens and fountains, and is a must-see for anyone visiting Vienna. Schönbrunn Orangerie, which was formerly a Baroque greenhouse, is now a popular venue for our touring ensembles. This venue has hosted many live performances from all ensemble types and is the official site of the palace concerts.
The Vienna State Opera is one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world, and a visit to this magnificent building is a must for any classical music enthusiast. The opera house features a wide range of productions, from classical operas to modern dance performances, and is a great place to experience the best of Viennese culture.
Stephansdom (also known as St. Stephen’s Cathedral) is arguably the most famous landmark in Vienna. The Gothic cathedral, which was built in the 12th century, is known for its towering spire and beautiful stained-glass windows, and offers stunning views of the city from its observation deck.
Hofburg Palace is a large complex of buildings in the center of Vienna that was the former residence of the Habsburg dynasty. The palace, which features a variety of architectural styles, is home to several museums, including the Imperial Treasury, which houses the Habsburg’s crown jewels.
Belvedere Palace is a beautiful Baroque palace in Vienna that was built in the early 18th century. The palace, which features stunning gardens and fountains, is home to the Belvedere Museum, which houses a world-renowned collection of Austrian art, including works by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.
Salzburg, located in the beautiful region of Austria known as the Salzkammergut, is a picturesque city that is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant cultural scene. Again, this city is flush with historic performance venues, incredible cultural highlights, and simply splendid scenery. If you’re spending a few days in Salzburg, there are several places we recommend adding to your itinerary.
Salzburg Cathedral is a beautiful Romanesque church that is located in the heart of the city. The cathedral, which was built in the 11th and 12th centuries, is known for its stunning architecture, including its intricate carvings and beautiful stained-glass windows. The Cathedral was hit by American bombs during World War II, and it took ten years of hard work to restore the considerable damage. This historical venue is a must-perform for any ensemble!
One of the most popular sight-seeing destinations in Salzburg is Hohensalzburg Castle — a magnificent fortress that looms over the city. The castle, which was built in the 11th century, is one of the largest in Europe and offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains. The castle is also home to a museum, which features a collection of medieval armor and weapons.
Most of our groups will also plan to visit Mirabell Palace and Gardens. These beautiful complex of buildings and gardens were built in the 17th century and were famously featured in the film “The Sound of Music.” The palace, which is known for its Baroque architecture, is home to a collection of art and historical artifacts. The gardens, which are known for their fountains and sculptures, are a popular spot for picnics and leisurely strolls.
Of course, no tour to Salzburg would be complete without visiting Mozart’s Birthplace Museum. This is an absolute must-see for any classical music enthusiast visiting Salzburg. The museum, which is located in the house where Mozart was born, features a collection of artifacts, manuscripts, and other memorabilia related to the composer’s life and work.
Located on the Alps with breathtaking views, Innsbruck’s many sightseeing activities have made it a popular addition to Austrian itineraries. Innsbruck has a rich cultural history and thriving music scene, but is perhaps best known for its stunning mountain views and its lively nightlife.
Musically minded travelers will want to stop at Music Club Mono, an intimate venue is located in the Old Town, and Jazzit, a great spot to catch a jazz performance or relax with a drink after a long day of sightseeing.
Innsbruck’s Old Town is a must-see for any visitor to the city. With its historic buildings, charming streets, and bustling market square, it’s the perfect place to get a sense of Innsbruck’s rich cultural history. You’ll also want to see Congress Innsbruck, a state-of-the-art conference and concert center located in the heart of the city. It hosts a wide variety of events, including concerts, theater performances, and conferences.
Visitors may wish to see the Hofkirche and see the tomb built for Emperor Maximillian, as well as St. Anne’s Column and the Triumphal Arch. Our groups always love visiting the cozy Christmas markets or taking in traditional Tirolerabend folklore show! Innsbruck may not be as iconic as other Austrian cities, but it’s an absolutely stunning destination with plenty of cultural highlights located just two hours from Salzburg.
Austria is also known for its delicious and varied cuisine, which combines influences from many different European cultures. From hearty stews and soups, to delicate pastries and sweets, there is something for everyone in Austria’s culinary scene.
One of the most famous dishes in Austria is the Wiener schnitzel, a tender, breaded, and fried veal cutlet that is served with a lemon wedge and a side of potato salad or other accompaniments. Other popular dishes include goulash (a hearty stew made with beef, onions, and paprika), tafelspitz (boiled beef served with root vegetables and a horseradish sauce), and käsespätzle (a hearty dish made with egg noodles, cheese, and fried onions).
In terms of desserts, Austria is known for its rich and delicious pastries and sweets. Some of the most famous include apfelstrudel (a flaky pastry filled with spiced apples and raisins, and served with vanilla sauce), linzer tort (a buttery tart filled with jam and topped with a lattice of pastry); and sachertorte (a rich chocolate cake filled with apricot jam and topped with chocolate icing).
Austria is also known for its thriving café culture, which includes traditional Viennese coffeehouses, modern cafes, and cute bistros. Some of the most famous cafes in Austria include Café Central in Vienna, which was once a favorite haunt of intellectuals and artists, and Café Sacher, which is famous for its delicious sachertorte. Café Tomaselli, which is located in Salzburg, is the oldest café in the city and has been serving coffee and snacks since 1705.
Overall, Austria is a must-visit destination for any ensemble looking to experience the best of European culture, food, and music. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant arts scene, Austria offers something for everyone, and it is sure to be a trip that your ensemble will never forget!
Want to learn more about taking your ensemble on an Austrian performance tour? Visit our Austria destination page, or contact us to speak with a tour consultant!