Pleasant bike paths along the Danube River, great skiing on Schneeberg, and idyllic villages in the wine region Weinviertel are just a few of many highlights in Lower Austria (Niederösterreich).
Lower Austria is Austria’s largest state with 19.177 km2. At a first glance, the state doesn’t have the same flair to it as the alpine states of Tyrol or Salzburg. Nevertheless, Lower Austria offers an incredible variety of nature and culture.
Lower Austria has always been the center point of Austrian history. The original name of the state was Austria, and it was the heartland of the Habsburg Empire. Moreover, the state surrounds the Austrian capital Vienna. 42 % of the state is agricultural land. Thus, providing a large share of the food production in Austria. In addition, Lower Austria is the largest wine grower in the country. Its proximity to the country’s capital and seat of power has given it some advantages throughout history.
Culture and architecture
As a consequence of being the heartland of Austria and an integral part of the political powerhouse, you will find numerous palaces, castles, and monasteries in Lower Austria. Nobles who wanted to get away from Vienna built their countryside retreats a day or two coach-rides away. Furthermore, no other state can showcase more astonishing holy buildings than Lower Austria. Just to mention a few of the most impressive; Stift Melk, Stift Göttweig, and Stift Klosterneuburg, which have become important tourist magnets.
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The mighty Danube River
The mighty river splits the state right in the middle. The Danube has played a vital role in Lower Austria’s history. One of the state’s most significant tourist regions is the lovely Wachau, which stretches out for about 30 kilometers along the Danube. Only a one-hour drive west of Vienna you find many picturesque villages separated by vineyards and fruit orchards. Add to that medieval castles and one of the mightiest rivers in Europe, the Danube and you have a perfect mix for attracting tourists.
North of the Danube river valley, towards the Czech Republic, the Waldviertel is primarily made up of the agricultural landscape and rolling hills covered with forest. The region has not yet been fully discovered by foreign tourists in the same way as by the Austrians. This means that the prices are still on the comfortable side and you rarely have to queue for attractions. Furthermore, if you look for tranquillity and closeness to nature, the Thaya Valley National Park is a real gem.
The easternmost parts of the Alps lie within Lower Austria. Albeit not as spectacular as in Tyrol, the state still offers great skiing.
– Schischaukel Mönichkirchen-Mariensee
– St. Corona am Wechsel
– Zauberberg Semmering
– Puchberg am Schneeberg
This is not a complete list of the ski resorts in Lower Austria, but some of the most popular. Schneeberg (Snow Mountain) is easily accessible from Vienna, which is 115 km away by car. Many of the ski resorts have lifts that also run in the summer, giving access to a wide range of hiking terrain.
For more info, see Lower Austria Tourism
The small-town of Melk by the Danube receives tens of thousands of visitors each year who come to see the huge Melk Abbey. Regardless of whether you arrive at Melk Abbey by land or water, you cannot avoid being mightily impressed by the grande splendour of the monestary. 1000-year history Melk was for the first […]
The highest mountain of Lower Austria, Schneeberg (Snow Mountain), with its 2,076-metre (6.811 ft) high summit Klosterwappen, offers family-friendly hiking and stunning views. Only about 80 km (50 mi) from Vienna, it’s a popular hiking destination for the Viennese and travellers. Hence, I boarded the yellow and green salamander train and headed to Schneeberg. Arriving at the top, […]
Dürnstein is as taken out of a medieval novel. Dürnstein clings to a narrow strip on the north bank of the Danube in Lower Austria. The small town has taken its name from the castle which occupies the cliffs above. The town is luckily much better preserved than the castle, which only consists of a […]
The Mostviertel region in the southeastern part of Lower Austria offers a wide range of activities and is an all-year travel destination. Notwithstanding, I especially love traveling in the region in early springtime. Mostviertel is a great place to hike, but if you are visiting only for a few days I recommend driving. Pear tree […]
First of all, the location of the castle, perched on a rock above the Danube river, is out of this world. Secondly, although Aggstein Castle is only partly restored it still offers you a great insight into life in the Middle Ages. That and the fantastic views of one of the mightiest rivers in Europe […]
Like so many other castles and palaces in Austria, this place has a fascinating history, a great location and is very well preserved. Hence, you get a sense of the almost 1000-year history of Rosenburg. At Rosenburg, they focus on a varied program of activities for their visitors. One of the events that make Rosenburg […]
The Wachau takes up a 33-kilometre (20-mile) stretch of the Danube between Melk and Krems in Upper Austria. The unique blend of picturesque villages, river landscape, history, culture and regional delicatessen are the main attractions. The mild climate, geology and good soil make Wachau one of the prime wine districts of Austria. The tourist season […]
The Bucklige Welt region in the southeastern corner of Lower Austria is characterized by a very hilly landscape. Hence the name, which means something like “world of bumps” in German. This is the easternmost end of the Alps, which extends through Austria. From here, the flat Pannonian plains dominate the landscape far into Hungary. Land […]