From luxurious urban excursions to remote escapes into its mountainous countryside, Austria is the ideal destination for a romantic getaway. While the scenery is outstanding in all the top romantic spots of Austria, there are also plenty of unique activities and world-renowned restaurants to anchor a journey to one of the marvels of Central Europe. If you’re looking for a romantic backdrop in Austria, consider these possibilities.
Unparalleled views of Hallstatt
This stunning and remote oasis in upper Austria is much more than just a postcard. Complete with a unique history that dates to prehistoric times, Hallstatt is a picturesque village at the base of the Alps. A pristine blue lake surrounds the village, creating a magically timeless feel that attracts visitors from all over the world. It’s also easily one of the most romantic vacation spots in Austria, a place of pure tranquility that offers endless opportunities for cozying up with a loved one and enjoying the alpine wonder.
The most popular feature of Hallstatt, the age-old salt mine, may not sound particularly romantic but that changes quickly once actually experiencing it. While the 7,000-year history of the mine will pique the interest of some, the views obtained on a funicular ride up the mountain to the mine are sensational and the World Heritage Skywalk gives you a brilliant panoramic view of Lake Hallstatt from high above. But one of the very best ways to absorb the sights of Hallstatt is to simply head off on your own to one of the trails that surround the village. The Soleweg, in particular, is a great way to get lost for an afternoon of mountain/lake views, and a simple picnic can quickly turn into an unforgettable experience for anyone looking to stir up a little romance.
The same goes for hopping on a boat tour of the lake, although renting your own small rowboat can be an easy way to elevate the romantic ambiance to the next level. As for restaurants, lakefront options like the Gasthaus Seeraunzn let you soak up the scenery from a fresh angle while enjoying some of the best traditional German/Austrian food you’ll find in Hallstatt. Though you definitely won’t have trouble finding a terrific hotel that lets you tap the beauty of the region, the Seehotel Grüner Baum has been a refuge since at least 1700 and offers rooms and dining areas with picture-perfect views of the lake and village.
Hallstatt is gorgeous all year long and can be a great experience in the winter, but less adventurous visitors might want to stick to the warmer weather months of March through October.
No shortage of romantic options in Vienna
A sunset dinner at Villa Aurora is likely all it takes to fall in love with the city of Vienna, marking it a terrific place to have an Austrian date night. Although Vienna has your inevitable touristy location, Villa Aurora has genuine local favorites (like schnitzels) and happens to have a terrace perched directly over the Viennese cityscape. Villa Aurora joins an impressive list of different cafes and restaurants that offer authentic Austrian cuisine along with an atmosphere worthy of being the backdrop for your romantic excursion. Others like the Buxbaum or the famous ef16 Restaurant Weinbar are known for striking a romantic mood alongside some of the best Austrian dishes in the city, although Vienna is also known for having a variety of other romantic restaurants featuring cuisine from all over Europe (and beyond).
If you’re visiting in spring or early summer, Schönbrunn Palace is worth mingling in the crowds to see the flower-filled grounds in front of the 16th-century landmark. A short drive away, the Hofburg Palace is just as impressive and is another romantic place to spend an afternoon, and some couples will enjoy the terrific museums within shouting distance of the palace. Even if you’ve never been to an opera in your life, dressing up for a romantic meal and night at the very famous Vienna State Opera is a classic Viennese experience that anyone can enjoy. In a similar vein, ball season in Vienna is a very big deal and can offer a night out worthy of royalty.
If the opera and ball season aren’t what you’re looking for in a getaway, however, Vienna has plenty of other routes geared toward romanticism. A river cruise along the Danube will show off some of the best views of the city and many of the options include traditional music, food, and beverages along with a smooth ride down the famous river. Couples also routinely make their way to the Palais Hansen Kempinski for honeymoons and urban escapes, where guests enjoy luxurious accommodations pulled back from the tourist-heavy parts of the city. Not only is there a world-class day spa but the restaurant on-site, Edvard, is one of the highest rated in Vienna. Although it’s away from the hustle and bustle, Palais Hansen Kempinski offers very easy access to the main features of the city thanks to neighboring tram and bus stops, in addition to a nearby U-Bahm station.
Step into a storybook at Schloss Fuschl
Originally built as a castle and hunting lodge for Austrian royalty in the mid-15th century, this masterpiece on Lake Fuschl guarantees privacy and luxury while visitors feast their eyes on the treasures of western Austria. Though swimming in the lake and hiking are typical activities during the summer, it’s also spectacular in the winter months thanks to the renowned Nordic walks accessible from the hotel.
The accommodations are also first-rate, as guests get to choose from suites with different décor styles like Baroque or Renaissance along with lakeside cottages that offer couples privacy. Couples can also enjoy a mesmerizing experience at the two-floor spa along with a host of terrific dining options that change with the season.
For any couple looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience highlighted by elegant accommodations, seclusion, and staggering scenery, Schloss Fuschl is as good of an option as you’ll find anywhere in Austria. It’s also a fantastic add-on to a trip to Salzburg, which is only a 20-minute drive away and has plenty of its own charm.
Also worth considering is Schloss Mönchstein, another outstanding resort easily accessible from Salzburg, offering a similar level of luxury and another opportunity to stay in an Austrian castle known for being an ideal romantic escape.
The gorgeous, old-world style of Innsbruck makes it an ageless classic, and there are more than a few options for the romantically inclined. The tightly packed rows of colorful buildings overlooking the famous market square create a vintage European village look at the heart of the city, which is bustling with open-air cafes and restaurants sitting beneath the often snow-tipped Karwendel Alps. If eating strudel and gaping at medieval architectural masterpieces isn’t for you, an evening hike up the mountain to a traditional Austrian tavern overlooking the city lights (the Laternenwanderung hike) tends to leave couples with the proverbial unforgettable experience.
Just a short drive from Innsbruck in western Austria, the cozy village of Alpbach is your quintessential ski town that keeps moving with or without the snow. Skiers and snowboarders can line up an outstanding winter getaway in Alpbach, although taking a gondola through the mountains for a scenic hike in the summer can also be the perfect launch for a romantic excursion.
Austria is country with scenic views and landscapes sure to take your breath away. With several amazing resorts, cities, and landmarks, there is no place like Austria for the perfect romantic getaway. It offers an environment where anything seems possible, and where you will make unforgettable memories with your significant other.