Cultured, outdoorsy, friendly and historic Austria is one of the most accessible and diverse countries in Europe for all types of family holidays.
Visit in winter and you have gorgeous Vienna covered in ice rinks, markets, museums and kids entertainment. Tyrolean and Alpine skiing is snow-sure, long-season and some of the best value for families – Austria’s also a leader in lake-skating and cross-country. Go in spring and summer for hiking, walking, climbing and touring; Danube cruises; parks and gardens; amazing festivals; flower-filled meadows; pretty towns and villages. Austria even does chocolate cake better than anywhere else then pairs it with the world’s best coffee.
Direct flights all year round from London to Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck.
Austria’s Alpine region is one of the world’s leading snow-sure ski destinations.
Austrian Tyrol has five glaciers and includes legendary Hintertux where there’s skiing 365 days a year.
Salzburg’s Europe’s greatest Baroque city and the entire historic centre is a World Heritage site. It’s also home to the world’s oldest Christmas Market and the annual Salzburg International Music Festival in July and August.
2016’s Mercer Quality of Living Survey named Vienna as the world’s best city to live in, ahead of Zurich, Munich and Vancouver.
Innsbruck, the capital of Austrian Tyrol, opens lifts on the Stubai Glacier in October for Europe’s longest skiing season.
Austria has the most extensive network of marked walking trails in Europe and leads the world in accessible hiking with 24 wheelchair-approved routes across the country’s Tyrol region.
Apart from the enormous Ferris Wheel in the Prater, Vienna’s skyline’s dominated by the graceful spires of gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral which really says all you need to know about the city. It’s graceful and lovely, elegant beyond reason, packed with famous museums, galleries, monuments and sights and officially the best place in the world to live. No surprise that families want to raise kids here and Vienna’s a fantastic city to visit with children.
The capital of Austrian Tyrol is justifiably world famous for skiing. It’s hosted the Winter Olympics twice, owns the Stubai Glacier and has the Bergisel Ski Jump – designed by Zaha Hadid. But even when there’s no snow, this lovely city works a family holiday beautifully with no end of outdoor activities, pretty weather and fun festivals and kids’ events.
Towered over by the immense Hohensalzburg Fortress, Salzburg is one of Europe’s loveliest cities, the birthplace of Mozart, setting for the Sound of Music and near neighbour to Austria’s best family-friendly skiing in SalzburgerLand. It’s also the Baroque capital of the world and the entire historic centre is a World Heritage site.
Driving in Austria is one of the country’s great holiday experiences. But if you want to sit back and let someone else do the work, there’s an extensive and very efficient rail network and trains run to even the most remote ski regions. Public transport in cities is superb and most have turn-up-and-join guided tours so you can see plenty on foot too.