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15 things to do in Austria in summer 2022

Hayley Maguire
Hayley Maguire - [email protected]
15 things to do in Austria in summer 2022
Exploring Austria's wineries is a great activity for the summer. (Österreich Werbung, Fotograf: Harald Eisenberger)

Visiting Austria for the first time? Or perhaps you want to impress visitors with your adopted home? Whatever the reason, here’s 15 ways to while away the summer days in the Alpine Republic.


Explore the Alps

For many people, summer is not really summer in Austria without a hiking adventure in the Alps.

A top recommendation is the Salzburger Almenweg, which was named as one of the best hut-to-hut walks in Austria by Lonely Planet. This hike is around 350km and takes approximately one month to complete all 31 stages, or they can walked individually in short trips.

Scenes from The Sound of Music were even filmed in the area, giving fans a chance to reenact the famous scene of Maria skipping through the meadows (if that’s your thing).


Another long distance hike to add to your must-do list is the Adlerweg (Eagle’s Trail) that can take up to four weeks to complete. The trail traverses classic alpine landscapes in Tyrol from St Johann to St Anton am Arlberg. The best time to hike this route is between June and September when the trails are snow-free and the huts are open.

For a day hike, check out the Pinzgauer Spaziergang Trail from Zell am See to Saalbach. The 17km route takes hikers across the top of the Schmittenhöhe at 2,081 metres above sea level, with the option to reach the start and end points with a gondola.

READ MORE: How to explore the Austrian mountains in the summer like a local

Acquaint yourself with a Heuriger

A Heuriger is a tavern where local makers serve their new wine. They are found in eastern Austria and are especially popular with locals in Vienna during the summer and early autumn months.

A must-visit Heuriger (according to locals) is Mayer am Nussberg, which is located in the middle of a vineyard with views overlooking the capital. Guests can sample a variety of wines by the glass or the bottle, including the Mayer am Nussberg classic house red and white wines. Snacks and regional delicacies are also available to order alongside the wine.

Visitors can make their way to the winery via the Heurigen Express (which runs from Vienna between April and October), by a hiking trail from the Kahlenberg Station or on tram line D.

A word of advice though: Mayer am Nussberg is only open on good weather days from Thursday to Sunday (as well as public holidays), so don’t try to visit when it is raining.

FOR MEMBERS: The best Austrian wineries to visit this summer

Visit a traditional Austrian hut

Hiking up a mountain is not really worth the effort unless you stop for lunch and a cold beer (or soft drink of your choice) at a traditional Austrian mountain hut.

In fact, some huts can only be reached by foot, like the rustic Gruttenhütte in the Wilder Kaiser mountains that sits at 1620 metres in the Kaisergebirge in Ellmau, Tyrol.


Whereas others, like the Pritzhütte on the Katschberg in Salzburgerland can also be reached by horse and carriage for a romantic alternative to hiking.

Then there is the Schiestlhaus, which sits at 2154m in the Hochschwab mountain range in Upper Austria. These mountains are easily accessible for people living in Vienna and there is even accommodation at the hut for people that want to stay overnight.

Plus, Austria is now home to its first – and only – meat free mountain hut in Salzburg's Lungau Riedingtal Nature Park, where not even a sausage graces the menu.

Hut manager Evelyn Matejka told Der Standard that the Franz-Fischer-Hütte serves dishes like cheese dumplings, lentil stew and potato gröstl, and has since been awarded the environmental seal of approval by the Alpine Association.

So it appears that vegetarianism can work in the Austrian mountains.

FOR MEMBERS: Discover Austria: Five beautiful hikes and destinations south of Vienna

Eat and drink as the locals do

First, no Austrian summer is complete with sipping on a chilled Hugo on a terrace – whether in a city centre or lakeside.

A Hugo is an aperitif of prosecco, elderflower syrup (Holunderblütensirup), a splash of sparkling water and fresh mint leaves. It’s a refreshing drink that is often served across Austria in spring and summer. 

However, despite its popularity in Austria, the Hugo isn’t an Austrian invention. The Hugo actually originates from South Tyrol in Northern Italy and was apparently invented by barman Roland Gruber in 2005 in the town of Naturno (just don’t tell any Austrians).

When it comes to food, it doesn’t get more Austrian than the Schnitzel.

In case there are some readers out there that are unfamiliar with the Wiener Schnitzel, it is a piece of veal that is breaded and fried, then served with potatoes and a wedge of lemon.

National Geographic describes the dish as “unassuming” but don’t let that fool you. The schnitzel dominates most menus in Austria – whether at a mountain hut or in Vienna – and can even be found in restaurants specialising in international cuisine.

Then there is Austria’s thriving cheese industry, which is not to be overlooked, so be sure to sample a selection of protected Austrian cheeses this summer, including Gailtaler Almkäse, Tiroler Bergkäse, Tiroler Graukäse and Vorarlberger Alpkäse.

READ ALSO: Which Austrian cheeses are protected foods and why?

Swim in a lake

Spending time at a beautiful lake is a quintessential way to enjoy summer in Austria and should not be missed.

For people in Vienna, it’s incredibly easy to make a day trip to Neusiedler See in Burgenland, or lake Neusiedl, also known as the Sea of the Viennese. The journey takes around one hour by car or 40 minutes by train.

The lake is huge at 315 square metres of surface area, and it reaches the border with Hungary. The Austrian side is particularly packed in the summer months, as Vienna residents flock to the See to enjoy swimming and water sports.

Other stunning Austrian lakes to add to an itinerary include Hintersteinersee in the Wilder Kaiser National Park in Tyrol. The crystal clear water is freezing (it was created in the last ice age) but on a hot day it’s a great way to cool off and be surrounded by nature.

Finally, there is the famous Schwarzsee in ritzy Kitzbühel. This is the warmest moor lake in Tyrol but it is packed with visitors during the peak summer months of July and August. Families especially like this lake for the water slides and children’s play area. There is also a section without facilities that is free to enter and is known locally as “the wild side”.




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