Austria was the escape I didn’t know I needed. It offered something so sweet – a place to rest, to breathe.
My stay was short at just 36 hours, but I still walked away mesmerized. I savored every moment and soaked up the beauty of what the land had to offer.
I started off my trip by visiting Vorarlberg. I ventured from Zurich, Switzerland by train (see my recap post here!). The ride was magical, winding through the countryside. In just 1 ½ hours, I landed at the Bregenze train station. From there, I traveled by car for about another half hour to the region of Bregenzerwald. There I spent the night at Hotel Bären in Mellau.
The entire Bregenzerwald region is composed of 22 villages and just 30,000 people. It’s every idea of quaint and magical you can imagine. You can learn more here about how to plan for a trip of your own : ) .
Hiking at the top of the Alps was the best way I could have started my first day in Austria. If you arrive and stay in Mellau, just take the Bezau cable car to the Sonderdach middle station and the Baumgarten mountain station. At the top of the mountain you’ll be able to enjoy a modern panorama restaurant with a scenic terrace. You can hike for the day, check out the famous wooden chapel, Alpe Niedere, and Paragliders. One of my highlights was riding the Gondola up the moutainside. Incredible experience!
Platz 185, 6952 Hittisau, Austria
Overlooking the town square, this charming hotel serves regional Austrian dishes in a quaint setting. I especially loved the white asparagus soup. It was excellent paired with the whole trout with almonds browned butter potatoes and a glass of white wine.
Kirchdorf 77, 6874 Bizau, Austria
I had more than one “food love moment” at this restaurant. It was incredible! Biohotel is a contemporary organic restaurant located in a modern hotel, surrounded by mountains. I enjoyed a full tasting menu. Absolutely loved the goat cheese mousse and rhubarb. Was perfect paired with a glass of champagne. The quail egg , spinach, potato mousse course was also remarkable. Definitely worth a visit.
Just a day and a half later, I traveled by train again further east for nearly 3 hours to the city of Innsbruck, the capital of Austria’s western state of Tyrol.
It sits right in the heart of the Alps, surrounded by majestic mountains. It’s breathtaking!
It’s been known as a destination for winter sports. The history is SO rich, dating back to early as 1133! I saw some incredible things that left me speechless.
Anichstraße 2, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Enjoyed some of my favorite coffee in Austria at Max Standard. Bonus – the location couldn’t be any more perfect. It’s just steps away from the main square. Make sure you have cash on hand, or there will be tears. This shop doesn’t accept credit, as it is with many small shops in the mountain towns.
Maria-Theresien-Straße 18, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Dining at Lichtblick at sunset is the perfect introduction to beautiful Innsbruck. It offers remarkable 360 degree views. Come for a casual drink in the round glass bar house or dine in the restaurant with floor to ceiling windows.
The cheese platter was practically life changing. It offered 5 local cheeses, nuts, bread, fruit and jam. The blue cheese they served had a chocolate / cocoa nib rind! Yes, I was in heaven. The aged acquerello risotto, white asparagus and organic egg yolk with wild prawns and crustacean foam made for an incredible main course.
Honestly, I am not sure I’ve ever been anywhere so beautiful. Traveling through Austria, even for such a short time, was remarkable.
I loved experiencing the warmth of early Summer, and I hope to make it back to experience the winter season.
I hope you enjoy this post and can start planning your own trip soon! Check out this site for more information and tips.