Europe’s enjoying a boom in travel this fall, with Americans looking to get away from their hectic work schedules to enjoy the majestic autumn landscapes of Europe.
While countries like Croatia and Portugal see record-breaking numbers of international visitors, you can experience charming Alpine vistas, picturesque castles, incredible wine, and some of Europe’s most beautiful train lines in uncrowded Austria.
With all the natural beauty, history, and culture that you’d expect from a central European destination with fewer tourists and excellent infrastructure, Austria is perfect for an unforgettable fall getaway this year.
Here are 5 reasons you should make Austria your European destination this fall:
Enjoy One Of Europe’s Biggest Fall Color Shows
Nestled next to the towering snow-capped Alps and picturesque lakes, rivers, and forests, Austria is a nature-lover’s paradise.
During the autumn, you can expect a bright burst of reds, yellows, and oranges radiating from the landscape. Seeing this exciting show of color in such a naturally diverse and mountainous country is like walking into a dream.
Destinations like the lakeside village of Hallstatt and the Wachau Danube Valley continue to be included in Europe’s most beautiful lists, with fall being the most romantic time to visit.
Starting in mid-October and continuing well into November, Austria’s fall colors start in the high Alps and sweep through the lowland valleys, vineyards, and cities.
Incredible Scenic Railways
This year, Lonely Planet rated Austria’s Semmering Railway as one of Europe’s top ten scenic railways.
If you want to get the most out of fall this year, try to book a seat on the world’s first railway line to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It’s not just the Semmering; Austria has several scenic railway lines that run through its mountainous terrain, giving you unbeatable views of the dramatic scenery and fall foliage.
This year, the Austrian government gave train passengers arguably one of the most unconventional train deals in history. If passengers get a tattoo of the word “Klimaticket,” they ride for free.
The controversial Klimaticket campaign was meant to encourage travelers to use the more environmentally friendly public train system this year.
As temperatures cool off and the leaves turn, people around the world get into party mode, and Austria is no exception. From mountain music festivals to all-night parties in vineyards and castles, Austria is the place to party this autumn.
For film aficionados, there’s nothing like Vienna’s International Film Festival happening during the last two weeks of October. During this event, you can celebrate the world’s best independent films in Vienna’s famous theaters and spend the night at one of the festival’s afterparties.
To experience Austria’s world-famous modern art, electronic, and new-age classical music scene, check out the Wien Modern Festival. This is one of the world’s most celebrated runs of avant-garde performances ranging from electronica, philharmonics, and dance.
The autumn is also time to explore Vienna’s smaller electronic music parties in spaces like the Danube riverfront or the eclectic all-night castle-disco event aptly named Techno Castle at Cobenzl.
For something more mellow, you can head to the country’s mountain towns to see the colorful and festive cattle drives known as the Almabtrieb processions or enjoy three nights of Indie Folk music at the Blue Bird Festival in Vienna.
Some of Europe’s most celebrated vineyards surround Austria’s cities and towns, and fall is harvest time.
Surrounding Vienna are the famous vineyard wine taverns known as heurige. You can hike up into the vineyards around the city, grab a table, and cozy up with a plate of traditional comfort food and wine.
Vienna is also home to the world’s only celebration of orange wine, which is any white wine left in contact with its skin, making it turn orange. During this festival, you can try the best orange wines in Europe and meet the winemakers themselves.
For the ultimate grape harvest adventure outside of Vienna, head to the state of Styria. Here, you can celebrate the harvest at one of the region’s famous vineyards and afterward relax in one of the state’s popular natural spas.
Fewer Tourists and Digital Nomads
Europe is experiencing some of the highest numbers of international tourists in history, and many countries are now digital nomad hotspots.
Although Austria has so much to offer, including having one of Europe’s best tourism infrastructures, many American travelers choose to go elsewhere.
While places like Lisbon and Dubrovnik fill up this season, you’ll get to enjoy this romantic country in all its autumn beauty relatively free from crowds.
This, combined with its stunning sights and experiences, makes Austria this year’s perfect fall getaway.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com