8 best day hikes in austria [Vetted by mom & Hut to Hut hiker]

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This hike near the Kleinwalsertal is accessed by gondola so that anyone can really do it. You get up to the top of the trail and suddenly you are on the ridge between Austria and Germany and it’s so pointy and peaky….and fortunately there are hutten along the way to grab lunch and beer/wine so you aren’t famished.

Austria is known for its stunning alpine scenery, and there’s no better way to experience it than on foot and I’m determined to see as much as possible.

I’m so lucky to live in nearby Germany and every chance I get, it’s on the road to Austria to go hiking either lovely soft forest hikes or dramatic high alpine hikes. Sometimes, you can only access Austrian hikes through Germany.

Many of the best day hikes in Austria are easily accessible from major cities like Innsbruck, Munich and Salzburg, making them perfect for a day trip.

Map of Awesome Austrian Day Hikes

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⭐️ TL:DR: Short on time? No problemo – here’s my quick list of awesome hikes in Austria and who it’s good for:

I’ve not personally hiked all of these…yet. But you can read my detailed trail guide to each hike that I have personally done by clicking on the links.

Top 10 Best Day Hikes in Austria [for everyone]

One of the best things about hiking in Austria is the variety of trails available. From easy walks through picturesque villages to challenging climbs up rugged mountain peaks, there’s something for everyone.

Some of the most popular hikes in Austria take you through the heart of the Alps, where you’ll be surrounded by snow-capped peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and lush green meadows.

1. Olpererhutte Zillertal Alps : Best Swing Bridge

olpererhutte bridge
Don’t I like like a total badass??? It’s an illusion. The hike here is difficult no doubt, it’s a lot of elevation climb…600 meters…triple that…1800 ft. But it takes about 2 hours, and then you are here. Are you kidding me??? There’s a lovely hut that serves delicious food. The weather is variable, per usual in the Alps.

The Zillertal Alps are a mountain range in western Austria, and they offer some of the best hiking in the world, not just Austria.

You can hike about 1.5 hours straight up from the lovely Schlegeisspeicher lake to the famous Olpererhutte mountain hut. Just a few meters beyond it is the epic Zillertal Alps bridge to get a sweet action photo of a lifetime. It’s one of the many adventure summer activities in Mayrhofen.

2. Hohe Tauern National Park – Austria’s Highest Mountain

Hohe Tauern National Park

Hohe Tauern National Park is one of the most beautiful places in Austria, and it offers some of the best hiking in the country with a multitude of trails to pick from. The Grossglockner is the highest mountain in Austria, and it offers some of the best hiking in the country.

The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including bears, wolves, and lynx, and hikers can expect to see some amazing scenery along the way. Hohe Tauern National Park is a hiker’s paradise, offering a wide range of trails for all skill levels, from easy hikes to challenging climbs. Among the top 10 hikes in the area are Gößnitzfall – Langtalseen, a 24.6 km trek with 1,400 meters elevation gain, and Wasser-Wunder-Weg Jungfernsprung, a short 0.3 km hike with 60 meters elevation gain.

Other notable hikes include Möllschlucht Klettersteig, Raggaschlucht, and Groppensteinschlucht, each offering stunning views and unique challenges.

3. Dornbirn Rappenlochschlucht – Best Double Gorge


This absolutely scenic hike goes from the flat valley floor near the Rolls Royce museum, through two dramatic gorges (some of the biggest in Europe) with wooden walkways over the plunging rivers up to a church like massive cave.

You’ll see waterfalls and gorges and even some church like caves at Alplochschlucht and Kirschle cave.

3. Krimml Waterfalls : Best Waterfall

krimml waterfalls

The Krimml Waterfalls are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Austria, and they offer some great hiking opportunities. The hike to the top of the falls is a relatively easy one, and hikers can expect to cover a distance of around 4 miles in a day. The falls are at their most impressive in the spring and early summer, when the snowmelt is at its peak.

5. Dachstein Salzkammergut – Best Drama

dachstein hike

Dachstein is a popular hiking destination near Schladming mountains. I went there with my new puppy Ruby and we did some really nice dayhikes around the valley, but she got pooped on by a cow!

Some of the top hikes in the area include the Gosauseen Trail, a 12 km hike that takes you past crystal-clear lakes and through alpine meadows. Other notable hikes include the Rieseneishöhle Trail, which takes you through a magical ice cave, and the Krippenstein Circular Trail, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

6. Drachensee – Seebensee Hike : Best Alpine Lake

Nestled in the stunning Tyrolean Zugspitz Arena region of Austria, the Drachensee and Seebensee hike offers an unforgettable adventure for outdoor enthusiasts. The two majestic mountain lakes, Drachensee and Seebensee, are surrounded by the towering limestone peaks of the Mieminger Chain.

These crystal-clear lakes’ teal waters, combined with the region’s breathtaking scenery, make this hike a must-do for anyone visiting Austria.

7. Imst Rosengartenschlucht : Best for Small Kids

Hiking in Imst Austria is a total hidden gem and we loved the jam packed Nature hike from old town to the famous Imst alpine coaster.

Imst has a work-a-day vibe that is refreshing after the impossible cuteness overload at places like Garmisch (and less crowds).This absolutely stunning hike packs a lot in its short 1 mile length, from spouting waterfalls, caves, hanging bridges and milky blue tumblers of a river in the gorge. 

6. Pfitscher-Joch Hike – Best Border Crossing High Altitude

woman hiking from austria to italy

This was one of the coolest hikes I’ve ever done – crossing over the spine of the Zillertal Alps for lunch! Wow.

It starts at the turquoise Schlegeisspeicher (reservoir). It and gradually winds up wide rocky paths to the Pfitscher Joch Haus mountain hut in Italy. 

Then it goes over the spine of the Alps filled with dramatic views and stunning waterfalls. This hike/walk will inspire Wonder, with a capital W. This is a moderate 8 mile day hike across the spine of the Alps from Austria to Italy. And as it’s close to the Olpererhutte, you can hit two mega hiking buckletlist things in one weekend.

7.Lünersee Circuit Trail – Best Lake Accessed by Gondola

lunersee austria best hikes in austria

The Lunersee hike is a popular trail in the Austrian Alps, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the crystal-clear waters of the Lunersee lake.

The trail is approximately 5 km long and takes about 2-3 hours to complete, making it a great option for hikers of all skill levels. The hike starts at the valley station of the Lünerseebahn cable car and takes you through alpine meadows and past rushing streams, before reaching the shores of the Lunersee lake.

8. Seefeld in Tirol Sonnenalm Trail – Best Forest Bathing

Located only 30 minutes from Innsbruck, Seefeld in Tirol is a total hidden gem. While the famous Alpspitze hike on the Rosshütte gets all the press, it’s actually a fantastic forest bath to hike the Sonnenalm on the opposite side of the valley. It’s filled with flowers, cows, soft trails and stunning views.

What to Know Before You Go

Best Time to Hike

The best time to hike in Austria is during the summer months, from June to September. During this time, the weather is warm and sunny, and the trails are usually clear of snow. However, it is important to note that the weather can be unpredictable, so hikers should always be prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions.

Difficulty Levels

Austria offers a variety of hiking trails for all skill levels, from easy and leisurely walks to challenging mountain climbs. It is important for hikers to choose a trail that matches their skill level and physical fitness.

What to Bring

When hiking in Austria, it is important to bring the right gear and equipment. Hikers should wear sturdy hiking boots, comfortable clothing suitable for the weather, and bring plenty of water and snacks. It is also recommended to bring a map, compass, and a first aid kit.

These are just some of the best day hikes in Austria, offering stunning views of the country’s beautiful landscapes. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, Austria has a trail for everyone to enjoy.

Wrap Up

There are many great day hikes to choose from in Austria. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, there’s a trail for you. From the stunning views of the Alps to the peaceful lakeside strolls, Austria has it all.

Remember to always be prepared with proper gear and supplies, and to check the weather before heading out. And most importantly, have fun and enjoy the breathtaking scenery that Austria has to offer.

Each of these hikes offers something unique and special, from stunning mountain views to historic landmarks and peaceful lakeside strolls. No matter which hike you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience in the beautiful Austrian countryside.

More Resources

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We hope this guide filled with the best day hikes in Austria has given you the proper information to plan your next adventure

Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.