A general guide to attractions in Niederösterreich, Lower Austria.
Austria and its Provinces
Austria has nine separate provinces.
The Provinces (Länder) of Austria
Lower Austria, or Niederösterreich as it is known, forms the north east corner of the country. As you can see it entirely surrounds the city of Vienna which because of its population size counts as one of the nine provinces.
Lower Austria, Quadrants (Viertel) and Regions (Bezirke)
The Quadrants by colour
|German Name||English Translation|
|North of the Danube|
|South of the Danube|
|Mostviertel||Must (cider) District|
Lower Austria, Waldviertel
- GD - Gmünd,
- HO - Horn,
- KR - Krems an der Donau (Land - Region),
- KS - Krems an der Donau (Stadt - Town),
- ME - Melk north of the Danube,
- WT - Waidhofen an der Thaya,
- ZT - Zwettl.
Lower Austria, Weinviertel
- GF - Gänserndorf,
- HL - Hollabrunn,
- KO - Korneuburg,
- MI - Mistelbach,
- TU - Tulln north of the Danube.
Lower Austria, Mostviertel
- AM - Amstetten,
- LF - Lilienfeld,
- ME - Melk south of the Danube,
- P - The City of St. Pölten,
- PL - St. Pölten-Land,
- SB - Scheibbs,
- TU - Tulln south of the Danube,
- WY - Waidhofen an der Ybbs.
Lower Austria, Industrieviertel
- BL - Bruck an der Leitha,
- BN - Baden,
- MD - Mödling,
- NK - Neunkirchen,
- WB - Wiener Neustadt-Land,
- WN - Wiener Neustadt,
- WU and SW - Wien-Umgebung (Vienna Suburbs).
Basilika am Sonntagberg, Mostviertel
To the north Lower Austria borders on the Czech Republic, to the east it has a border with Slovakia. Our web pages reflect those general areas.
The north east corner is rather flat and uninteresting and so we offer very few properties there i.e. in Mistelbach, Hollabrunn, Korneuburg and Gänserndorf - but we do have a few.
The north west corner - Gmund, Waidhofen an der Thaya, Zwettl, Horn and Krems are really attractive areas and properties there are particularly cheap.
In the south of the province is Scheibbs, Lilienfeld and Neukirchen. These provinces are in the foothills of the Alps and there and many small family ski resorts in those areas. They are too small for the package tour companies but ideal for families and lift passes are much cheaper.
"Buschenschank" or "Heuriger"
Life in this region is all about sitting under the shade of the vines is a "Buschenschank" or "Heuriger" and enjoying the local wines produced by the local vineyard together with home made food and home made bread.
What is "Buschenschank" or "Heuriger"
A small lesson in the German language and in old Austrian law.
"Buschenschank" or "Heuriger"
Heuriger: Is the name given to Eastern-Austrian wine-taverns in which wine-growers serve the most recent year. These taverns need a special licence. Heurig means this year's (as an adjective) in Austrian German; thus, a Heuriger.
On 17 August 1784 Austrian Emperor Joseph II issued the decree that permitted all residents to open establishments to sell and serve self-produced wine, juices and other food.
… Winegrowers are entitled, pursuant to the “Tavern Act of wine and fruit wine”, to serve and sell pure grape and fruit wine, grape and fruit juice as well as home-burned liquors from their own harvests. Furthermore the dispensation of all domestic meats and cheeses, ham and smoked meat, bacon, cold meat and cold poultry, sardines, anchovies rings and pickled herring, salads, pickles, hard-boiled eggs, spreads of all kinds, butter and lard, cracklings, salted almonds and peanuts, wine biscuits as wine biters, baked potato slices and savory pastries, breads and pastries, as well as his home-grown fruits and vegetables to the exclusion of all hot food…
Translated from Austrian Legalese
Buschenschank: Will usually only serve new, partially fermented wines. A Buschenschank is traditionally only be open in late autumn for a 2-3 weeks.
Vineyards in Lower Austria
Here is the link to the official Austrian website for the Niederösterreich region - in English.
Link to Niederösterreich Web-Portal
It is worth reading the whole site.
Ski Resorts in Lower Austria
Ski Resorts in Lower Austria
Hochkar, Semmering and Ötscher are quite large ski resorts. World cup races are held at Semmering.
Most of the others are relatively small but great for a quiet day without queues!
This is a link to around 35 ski resorts in the area.
The Danube long distance cycle track
In German this is called the Donauradweg See www.donauradweg.at.
Donauradweg in Lower Austria
Plenty of places to stop at
Plenty of places to see
There is a continuous cycle track along the banks of the Danube from the Austrian/German border at Passau to the Austrian border with Slovakia at Bratislava.
Most people cycle "downhill" from Passau towards Bratislava and then catch the boat back to Passau. Bikes travel for free. It's great as there are no hills ! You just cycle as far as you want and then stay in one of the many hospitable small hotels along the route.
The cycle track passes right through the Wachau which is a world famous wine growing area.
Check out the "Grüner Veltliner" - the unique white wine from the area.
There are many other cycle tracks and details are available from local tourist offices.
Monasteries and castles to see
The area boasts a great many spectacular monasteries.
Melk monastery. Overlooking the Danube.
The monastery at Gottweig.
Remember Dürnstein castle?
King Richard I of England (Richard the Lionheart) was held captive there by Duke Leopold V of Austria after their dispute during the Third Crusade.
The ruins of Dürnstein castle
A view of the village of Dürnstein in the Wachau from Dürnstein castle
Below is a list of just a few interesting and cultural attractions in the region.
Interested in Castles and Palaces?
There are over 150 of them just in Lower Austria. For a comprehensive list with links, please click here.
And most important of all . . . .the wine growing !
Austria produces 30% more wine annually than is produced in the whole of Germany. It's big business here.
Most of the wine is cultivated in the province of Niederösterreich with the greatest production concentrated around the shores of lake Neusiedlersee just south of Vienna. The other area of major importance is the Wachau area which lies along the Danube.
Wines are also produced in significant quantities in the province of Steiermark and also in Burgenland.
Vineyards on Neusiedlersee
The majority of wines from this region are white wines and a variety known as Grüner Veltliner produces a fresh, crisp really enjoyable wine. It is not well known outside Austria.
Red wines are few, but look out for "Zweigelt" which is the most commonly produced red wine variety in Austria. Also worthy of note is "Blaufränkisch".
Krems - winegrower at work
For more on Austrian wines click here.
For details of all the Weinstrassen (wine routes) in Niederösterreich see: www.weinstrassen.at or just download the Weinstrassen map.