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8 Austrian tourist spots likely to be overcrowded this summer

Julia Hjelm Jakobsson
Julia Hjelm Jakobsson - [email protected]
8 Austrian tourist spots likely to be overcrowded this summer
Hallstatt tend to be very crowded with tourists during the summer. Photo by Sorasak on Unsplash

Austria is a popular tourist destination. Here we list eight spots that are likely to get overcrowded during the summer - and some alternatives.

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Summer is one of the year's peak times for tourism in Austria.

People travel from all over the world to explore the country's nature, mountains, and historical towns. It can be good to keep in mind that some places tend to be more popular than others.

Here, we list 8 places that are likely to be overcrowded during the summer months, but are still worth visiting outside of the peak season.

Hallstatt

This small town in Salzkammergut is one of Austria's most famous places. It is known worldwide, and in China, a mining company even built a replica of the popular spot.

Every year, a large number of tourists travel to Hallstatt, where the restaurants and shops have menus and information signs in many different languages, Mandarin being one of them.

Even though locals have protested the high number of tourists, it has not stopped people from visiting.

During summer, the town's popularity reaches its maximum due to its location on the shores of Hallstatt See. Visitors can enjoy cooler temperatures, swim, or go on a boat ride on the lake.

If you do not like crowds of people, a better idea might be to visit some other villages in the region, often just as beautiful and interesting but calmer. Some towns worth considering are Gmunden, St. Wolfgang, and Strobl.

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Schönbrunn Palace

This palace and its surrounding gardens are some of Vienna's most touristy spots, especially during the summer.

The palace, once the summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs, is today a historical site with Baroque architecture, beautiful gardens, and detailed interior decorations.

The palace offers guided tours, a glimpse into former royal life, and the world's oldest zoo still in activity, Tiergarten Schönbrunn.

It is also a popular place to escape the heat during summer since the many gardens have lots of trees where you can enjoy some shade while sitting on the benches. However, during the summer, it might be hard to find a free seat.

Schönbrunn is located in the district of Hietzing (1130), which offers a great variety of locally air-conditioned cafes and also other attractions, such as Lainzer Tiergarten, a park which tends to be less crowded than the one at Schönbrunn.

Schönbrunn palace tend to get crowded during the summer. Photo by Haroon Ameer on Unsplash

Salzburg Old Town

Salzburg's old town is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site but also the birthplace of Mozart. Visiting the city's old town is a must for many tourists, and during the summer, the small area is usually very crowded.

Salzburg's Summer Festival, Salzburger Festspiele, also takes place at various venues in the old town, making it even more of a hot spot during the summer.

If you want to avoid the worst of big crowds, going a little bit outside the old town is a good idea. Fortunately, other parts of Salzburg are also beautiful, interesting, and worth exploring. For example, you can walk up Mönchsberg Hill and enjoy the views of the city in the shade of a tree.

You can also visit St. Sebastian's Church, known for its Baroque architecture and historic cemetery. The church is south of the old town and away from the main tourist areas.

READ NEXT: MAP: Austria's 12 World Heritage sites you have to visit at least once

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Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave

This natural ice cave in Werfen, Salzburg, is the largest in the world and attracts tourists from all over the globe to experience its unique ice formations.

During the summer, the cave becomes even more popular as it serves as a great escape from the hot temperatures outside. So, if you want to cool down and experience the world's largest cave, be aware that many others might share the same idea.

For a quieter ice cave experience, visit the Dachstein Ice Cave and the Schellenberg Ice Cave. These caves are also popular during the summer, but not to the same extent as Eisriesenwelt.

 
 
 
 
 
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Grossglockner High Alpine Road

This high alpine road is often referred to as the most beautiful panoramic road in Europe.

It is located in the heart of the Hohe Tauern National Park and offers amazing views of the Austrian Alps and their surroundings.

The road is a hotspot for Austrians and tourists during the summer months. They come there to hike, bike, take photos, see wildlife, or just enjoy the beautiful nature.

Since temperatures tend to be lower at the road's altitude of around 2,504 meters, it is also a popular place to escape the heat.

If you want to avoid the crowds, visiting other parts of Hohe Tauern is a good idea. The national park is large and offers a great variety of different hiking and biking trails, and small towns where you can stay.

For example, you can visit Mallnitz, a cute municipality within the national park. In Mallnitz, you will find campsites, guesthouses, and hotels, and you can easily hike into the national park after spending the night.

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Zell am See

Zell am See in Salzburg is another small town that tends to get very crowded during the summer months.

It is located on the shore of Lake Zell and is surrounded by the Hohe Tauern mountains.

Both Austrians and tourists love the town and its surroundings. Zell am See is considered a perfect place to enjoy beautiful nature and outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, climbing, and biking.

If you prefer a quieter place, you can check out Saalfelden. It is a town near Zell am See that offers a calmer atmosphere with great hiking trails, cycling routes, and cultural attractions. It's known for its beautiful surroundings.

Zell am See is a very popular place during summer. Photo by Markus Lederer on Unsplash

Viennas Opera house

The Vienna State Opera House, or Wiener Staatsoper, is one of the most iconic cultural landmarks in Austria.

The opera is famous for its rich history and contribution to classical music and opera, and it is a hotspot for tourists.

During the summer, the opera offers an intense program of different performances, attracting visitors from all over the world. Many tourists also come to see the building even if they choose not to enter. It is common to find large groups of tourists surrounding the building during the summer.

If you want to experience a calmer atmosphere, there are many other interesting buildings nearby. For example, you can visit the Albertina Museum, where you can see one of the most important art collections in the world, including works by Michelangelo and Picasso.

You can also visit Hofburg Palace, which is just a short walk away. It is the former imperial palace and now serves as the official residence of the President of Austria. Here, you will find different museums and the Spanish Riding School.

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Innsbruck old town

Just like Salzburg's old town, Innsbruck's historic old town also becomes crowded during the summer months.

The old town is a favourite among tourists for its historical and cultural attractions. People travel from far away to see attractions such as the Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl) and St. James' Cathedral (Dom St. Jakob).

Even though the old town is one of Innsbruck's busiest places in summer, it does not stop visitors from spending time there.

If you want to escape the crowds and the heat, you can take the Nordkette Cable Car from the city centre to Nordkette, the local mountain range. Here you can enjoy great views of Innsbruck and the surrounding Alps, go hiking, or just relax in the surroundings.

Innsbruck's old town with the mountains in the background. Photo by Lukas Olde on Unsplash
 

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