Nothing quite beats the feeling of reaching a summit and looking down at the world. It is a feeling of freedom, of thrill, of exhilaration – and Austria’s summit platforms are the best places to experience it.
Located centrally within Austria on the border of Upper Austria and Styria, Dachstein mountain stands at 2,995 metres (9,826 ft) high. And yet, reaching its summit is not as difficult as one might think: From the town of Ramsau am Dachstein, take a cable car up to 2,700 metres (2,296 ft) and watch the green pastures below turn into rugged rocks, as the lift passes by craggy cliffs. Right next to the mountain station, the first of four spectacular viewpoints awaits: the Dachstein Sky Walk.
Located in Carinthia in Austria’s sunny south, the corkscrew-like Pyramidenkogel is the highest wooden viewing tower in the world (100 m or 1,312 ft). The best part: you can take an actual slide back down.
Set within the Hohe Wand nature park just an hour outside of Vienna, this observation deck offers long, panoramic views, and a feeling of limitless freedom.
Situated along the Eagle Walk, Tirol’s award-winning long-distance hiking trail, Adlerhorst viewing platform is modelled on an eagle’s nest and made from wrought-iron metal. Here, on top of Gschöllkopf mountain, a 360-degree view awaits. Great as a destination for hiking trips!
Sölden in the Tirolean Ötztal valley is home to no less than three mountains over 3,000 metres (9,843 ft) – the “Big 3”. Cable cars will take you to viewpoints on each of the three peaks, where you’ll be able to see as far as the Italian Dolomites in the south and the Zugspitze (Germany’s highest mountain) in the north.
Two hours from the city of Salzburg, a year-round world of snow and ice awaits: Located at 3,000 metres (9,843 ft), the Kitzsteinhorn glacier and the “Summit World 3,000” have amazing views and experiences in store: Take a guided hiking tour or go tobogganing in the middle of summer!
Glacier summit platforms tend to offer spectacular views, but the Stubai Glacier is taking it one step further: Located at 3,210 metres (10,532 ft), its Top of Tyrol viewing platform makes you feel like you’re suspended in air and has views of 109 (!) mountains that measure above 3,000 m (9,842 ft).
The Triassic Park in the Steinplatte region of Tirol is dedicated to the primordial ocean that covered the land here 200 million years ago. Fittingly, the local viewing platform is shaped like a coral, one of the fossils commonly found in the area. If you’re rather safety-conscious, stay on the non-transparent coral-branch parts of the platform, but if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, step out onto the large-meshed grid between the branches.
Perhaps the best place to have a cocktail with a view: The futuristic, glass-enclosed Top Mountain Star in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is not just a viewing platform, but also a stylish restaurant and bar.