Historic castles, alpine lakes, and cosmopolitan cities. Gorgeous scenery and adrenaline-pumping activities year-round. World-class museums. Luxury hotels. The central European honeymoon wonderland of Austria offers everything from rustic ski getaways in the alps and spooky holiday “Krampus festivals” to historic riverside towns packed with wineries.
Head to Vienna’s Altstadt, or old city, to marvel at architecture from neoclassical to Gothic Revival. Tour medieval palaces, picnic in small parks and gardens scattered throughout the city, or head to the Vienna hills at the Kahlenberg for sweeping panoramic views. Charming rural villages outside the capital invite you to take hands and stroll through the vineyards and forests. Take to the alps and discover a stunning network of ice caves at Eisriesenwelt, where a maze of shimmering white and blue forms a nature-lover’s playground. Check out Mozart’s birthplace in Salzburg. No matter what kind of couple you are, Austria has you covered for an unforgettable romantic escape.
At a Glance
- A Grand Opera: The Vienna State Opera House was restored after being bombed in WWII, and hosts balls, operas, and other performances.
- Gastronomical Wonderland: Soak up the unique local cuisine, with influences hailing from Hungary and Germany to the Balkans. From schnitzel and strudel to Austrian goulash, the food here is one part history lesson, one part geography lesson, and all delicious. A special category of restaurant called a heuriger is only, by law, allowed to use local farm-fresh ingredients, so be sure to stop in at one for a romantic dinner.
- The Parks of Vienna: Greater Vienna is known for its gorgeous greenery. Kick back on free sun loungers sipping complimentary locally-sourced spring water at Sigmund Freud Park during the summer. Or, trek the day away along meadows, woods, and ponds at Schwarzenbergpark, just a 20-minute streetcar ride away from the city center. From urban picnics to half-day hikes, Vienna has you covered.
- Festival Days: Austria’s vibrant festivals happen year-round. From summer music and theater festivals to St. Nikolaus Day in December, they’re a cultural treasure you should check out if your romantic getaway happens to overlap.
- Getting In: Catch a flight to Vienna, or start your trip in a nearby city and use the country’s bus and train lines to explore the capital later.
- Getting Around: The country has an excellent train network. In Vienna, the U-Bahn (subway), bus, and streetcar system is well-organized, affordable, easy to use, and gets you just about anywhere you want to go. You can buy tickets on board, but to save about 30 cents, buy in advance at a tabac-trafik – a tobacco and newspaper stand. Taxis are plentiful but expensive. Bicycle lanes are a common sight throughout Vienna, and a great way to see the city in the warm seasons.
- Currency: Austria uses the Euro. Hotels might offer better exchange rates than airports.
- Tipping: Leave a couple Euros for porters, hotel maids, and valets. Leave 10% for table service and taxi drivers. Leave 50 cents to one Euro for every drink at a bar.
- LGBT-Aware: LGBT acceptance is relatively advanced in Vienna, though attitudes may be less friendly in more rural parts of the country and in smaller cities.