The ultimate Austria Autumn Bucket List

What to do in Austria in Fall (#AustriaAutumnBucketList)

Austria Autumn Bucket List

(Updated, September 2023). Now that the days become gloomy and grey it’s time to fill our calendars with activities, that lighten up our mood! We’ve put in all our experience and research power to show you some of the best things you can do this fall in Austria.

Our Austria autumn bucket list

As much as we love being cozy indoors, we also enjoy the outdoors – even on a rainy day. This list is a combination of outdoors and indoors experiences – depending on your mood (well and how bad the weather really is).

Austria Autumn Bucket ListAustria Autumn Bucket ListAustria Autumn Bucket ListThese photos were taken at Lake Altaussee at the beginning of October.
Depending on the weather the foliage will turn even more yellow & orange at around mid October!
Austria Autumn Bucket List
This photo shows lake Weissensee in Carinthia at the end of October – also one of the best places for autumn.

1. Find Indian summer in Austria

One of the key ingredients for a perfect autumn feeling are yellow, orange and red colours! Finding Indian summer and fall foliage in Austria isn’t that hard, as Austria is covered by forests. But forest isn’t forest. Unfortunately many of Austria’s forests consist of a high percentage of evergreen trees like spruce trees and there are also many monocultures. Therefore you have to look for mixed forests!

If you want to look for something very special – visit the iconic larch forests. Larches are (among?) the only conifers in Austria, that turn orange approximately at the end of October. Luckily Austria has some incredible larch forests. The largest larch-swiss stone pine forest can be found at Warscheneck in the Pyhrn-Priel region.

Larch trees in AutumnThis photos is from the 1st of November – at the very end of Indian summer – in a mixed conifer forest with many larch trees in East Tyrol close to Obertilliach.

Our tip:

If you want to discover a real primeval forest in Austria book one of the guided tours at “Wildnisgebiet Dürrenstein” to discover the “Urwald Rothwald”. This primeval forest was declared UNESCO world nature heritage in 2017. You are not allowed to enter this forest by yourself, but only with an experienced guide.

2. Enjoy the local delicacies like Sturm & Chestnuts in Southern Styria

Another region that is worth a visit in autumn is Southern Styria. We visited Southern Styria for the first time in the late summer and fell in love with the region. But Autumn is another cup of tea. Or shall we say glass of Sturm? Sturm is a very young wine, that has only been partially fermented and is a regional speciality. In fall the vineyards open their doors for people to try this young wine and eat roasted chestnuts with it!


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Southern Styria sunset view


But it’s not just the delicacies, that invite for an autumn visit of Southern Styria. The landscapes with their rolling hills and vineyards are also quite intriguing at that time of the year. Another specialty are hot air balloon rides, which are one of the most scenic activities you can do in Southern Styria.

Hot air balloon ride over Southern Styria


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3. Try out “Törggelen” in a hut in Tyrol

Speaking of roasted chestnuts we also recommend to try out “Törggelen”. This tradition is part of Tyrolean and South Tyrolean culture and can be seen as the equivalent to a Thanksgiving celebration. The festivities usually include wine or “Most” (this is essentially grape juice) and a meat-heavy meal. As a vegetarian you can find some huts and restaurants that serve alternatives such as pumpkin soup, homemade bread with spreads or dishes with chestnuts.


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4. Test the best gingerbread aka “Lebkuchen” in Austria

There’s no real autumn without starting to pack a few pounds for the cold months 😉 Gingerbread is one of those easy means to do so! There’s heated discussions every year how early gingerbread can be sold and eaten – some argue that they should only be consumed for Christmas, but we believe in gingerbread also works in fall when the days get shorter and colder already.

The roots of gingerbread go all the way back to old Egypt and also in Roman times they used to bake honey cake – especially in spring. What we know as gingerbread today dates back to the 13th century in Belgium and made it’s way all through Europe. In Austria there are a few very famous places with regional “Lebkuchen” specialities – most of them are located in the beautiful Salzkammergut.


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Our tip:

The most famous ones are Mariazeller Lebkuchen, Ischler Lebkuchen and Ausseer Lebkuchen! If you want to get a taste of gingerbread while still staying in Vienna you can check the shop of Pirker Mariazell Lebzelterei (Stephansplatz 7, 1010 Wien). They even offer some vegan Lebkuchen.

5. Stay indoors and try out a pottery workshop

On particularly gloomy and rainy days, we opt for indoor activities. One of the things that’s on our bucket list is a pottery workshop! Since the begin of the Scandinavian “hygge” trend in the last years pottery has become an increasing phenomenon.

It started with people buying artistic pottery again and now everyone wants to try for themselves – and we get why. During recent trips to Portugal and Mallorca we tried our hands on pottery as well and loved it, so why not sign up for a course back home in Austria?

Pottery classPottery classPottery classPottery classPottery class

Our tip:

In Vienna you can book short beginner classes or even multi-day workshops at “studio.ok” or at “rami“.


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6. Take in the views of the Danube surrounded by fall foliage

The Austrian equivalent to the Grand Canyon is located in Upper Austria 😉 Well, admittedly – that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but there is a beautiful viewpoint here nonetheless. Where the Danube takes an oxbow and is surrounded by hilly landscapes, that are covered in bushes and trees, that’s the spot we’re talking about. We haven’t been ourselves, but plan on visiting the look-out spot called “Schlögener Blick” to watch the sunset and the colours of the fall foliage since years. One of those bucket list items that we are still chasing!


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7. Visit Austria’s oldest oak tree in Bad Blumau

For item #7 of this collection we have a very special place to put on your autumn bucket list! Hidden in the Bad Blumau region, that is famous for it’s thermal baths (also not wrong for a fall weekend), you can find Europe’s oldest oak tree. This 1,000 year old oak (Eichenweg 44, 8283 Bierbaum an der Safen) is worth a visit on it’s own. But of course you can combine a trip with some wellness in one of the region’s hot and steamy baths.


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8. Go on a health retreat in the mountains

After all this Törggelen, Sturm and gingerbread – we have a very different tip for you. We believe autumn is also the perfect season to slow down and take care of yourself, before the Christmas season has it’s grip on you and self care gets cut short in the process. In Austria’s Bad Bleiberg region you can find a brand-new health retreat focusing on holistic cures – from de-stress to Anti-aging.

We stayed at BLEIB BERG Health Retreat for a full week three times already in the last two years, that’s how relaxed and rejuvenated we felt after the holistic medical and wellness treatments in Carinthia. The cures focus on gut health and mindfulness and are a welcomed break in hectic times.

Thermal water pool at BLEIB BERG Health RetreatSuite at BLEIB BERG Health RetreatBLEIB BERG Health RetreatBLEIB BERG Health RetreatThermal water pool at BLEIB BERG Health Retreat in Austria

9. Stay at one of Austria’s calmest lakes

For our tip #9 let us take you to a hidden gem. There’s one lake in Austria that we visit over and over again. It’s called lake “Weissensee” and is located in the southernmost state of Carinthia. The lake is special for various reasons, but the calm and quiet atmosphere, dedication towards sustainable and slow travel and the quality of the food are just three of those reasons why we keep returning there.

We can highly recommend booking a few days at the lake, taking out the rowing boats and immersing yourself in the stillness of nature. And if you’re looking for a place to stay check out our articles from Austria’s first vegan-vegetarian hotel Strandhotel Weissensee and our most recent stay at Biohotel Gralhof – a fully organic certified and 100% carbon neutral hotel at the lake.

Lake Weissensee as seen from aboveIce bathing at lake Weissensee in the fallAutumn mood at lake WeissenseeAutumn mood at lake WeissenseeAutumn mood at lake Weissensee

The autumn bucket list comes to an end

This brings us to the end of our autumn bucket list. We hope you are now also keen to experience autumn in our home country of Austria. Of course there are many more things to do – from autumnal hikes to wellness trips, from horse carriage rides to pumpkin harvesting. So you’re welcome to extend this list further. One thing is certain, you won’t have a dull time in fall in Austria.

Autumn in Austria

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In our Austria category on the blog you can find more tips for Austria holidays and mini vacations! Maybe a weekend in a chalet would be the right thing for you? If yes, keep on reading here:

Senhoog: Brand-new luxury chalets in Leogang

What is on your autumn bucket list?

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