No flight, no problem. Austria’s tourism board have launched a series of virtual experiences to help travellers keep exploring during the COVID-19 pandemic
Like many of the globe’s destinations, Austria’s tourism has been put on hiatus in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
People have been asked to stay in their houses and flats, and travel plans have been grounded for the time being.
To help travellers learn more about this beautiful country during the pandemic, the Austrian National Tourist Office has curated a collection of virtual journeys to help bring a piece of Austria to homes across the UK.
They’ve transformed their website, austria.info/en, into a portal full of exciting online experiences.
Join them for a streaming of a State Opera performance, dip your toes into Lake Wörthersee with an interactive panorama, or browse the Albertina and Belvedere galleries from the comfort of your living room.
Available in English and German, with more sights being added to on an ongoing basis, it’s the perfect way to enjoy a little Austrian adventure from the comfort of your living room.
Some of the virtual destinations include:
1 Schönbrunn Palace
Feel like an empress or emperor and stroll through splendid state apartments while kicking back on the couch at home, with the virtual tour through Schönbrunn Palace.
The journey begins in the imperial family dining room of Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife, Sisi, and continues to the breakfast chamber before taking you to the Yellow Salon – furnished in neo-Rococo style – and on to the magnificent Mirrors Room.
Built in the 17th century, the former summer residence of the Habsburgs is full of intriguing stories and history.
2 Großglockner High Alpine Road
Austria’s 48-kilometre Grossglockner High Alpine Road links the provinces of Salzburg and Carinthia.
Whether you start from the Salzburg side or from Carinthia’s Mölltal, crossing this Alpine ridge offers impressive views all around and the opportunity to explore a variety of vegetation zones.
You’ll pass by Alpine meadows, mountain forests, massive rock formations, and finally the Pasterze glacier before summiting the Großglockner, the country’s highest mountain at 3,798 metres.
3 Vienna State Opera
Music opens people’s hearts. Music connects. What better reason in times like these to relish some of the most beautiful melodies ever composed. Even if you cannot be there in person: simply take a seat in your living room, relax, and enjoy.
The Vienna State Opera streams the very best of classical music via the internet: watch opera and ballet performances on your computer, mobile devices, and via apps on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, or Samsung SmartTV.
4 Giant Ice Caves in Werfen
Normally, adventurers venture into the depths of the mountain in groups as part of a guided tour. Then it’s time to climb stairs: one ascends 100 vertical metres through the huge “Posselthalle”, whose floor is completely covered with ice.
Today, however, you can embark on the adventure-filled excursion right from your home: floating in a 360° perspective between the rock walls bearing a glittering coat of furry crystals.
Enormous ice formations shimmer in turquoise in the light of magnesium torches. A narrow passageway leads straight to the “Dome”, the largest room on the tour. The ice floor is as smooth as glass in the “Ice Palace”, some 400 metres beneath the surface.
From here, the fantastical journey takes you past the “Ice Gate” and back to the entrance by way of a 100-metre-long tunnel carved into the ice.
For Martina Jaming, UK Director of the Austrian National Tourist Office, it’s a thinking-forward way to bring the country direct to its curious visitors
“The tourism industry is undergoing a crisis, causing stress and uncertainty for members of the trade and public alike” commented Martina.
“With this virtual portal, we hope to bring some entertainment and light relief to those in isolation.
Most importantly, we want to remind travellers that the Austrian National Tourist Office is still here for them, and that we look forward to welcoming visitors from the UK when circumstances once again allow. “
Find out more and start your Austria sightseeing via austria.info.
PLUS: start planning 2021’s adventures with The Wordrobe’s gourmet guide to Austria’s Tirol region.