• Handcrafts and Traditions

      Discover Austria's wealth of traditions, from nearly forgotten handcrafts such as indigo printing to traditions like the yearly cattle drive.

      Breadmaking Lesachtal

    Austria is blessed by coincidences: close to nature and informal, yet valuing tradition and etiquette. Once-courtly formalities are lived out with a light touch at elegant events, while thandcrafts are creatively brought into the modern era.

    The practice of driving animals down the mountain, or transhumance, dates back to the Middle High Ages, and this tradition has been enthusiastically maintained in all Alpine regions of Austria. Every year in late September or early October, the cattle that feed high up on the Alpine pastures during the summer are brought down to their barns down in the valley.

    If there have been no accidents on the Alm during the summer, the cattle will be elaborately decorated with headgear and adorned with Alpine flowers, ribbons, mirrors, and bells. Their return to the valleys is celebrated in front of tourists and enthusiastic onlookers, against an intoxicating atmosphere of live music and dance. The clanging of the cowbells is essential in order to ward off the evil demons on their way down into the valley. 

    In many towns and villages, there are also food stalls, alcoholic beverages on sale and stalls selling artisan goods and hand-made crafts.

    Austrian Traditions

    • Pas de Deux at the Spanish Riding School

      Spanish Riding School

      Levade, courbette & capriole are classical jumps performed by the Lipizzaner stallions, at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. The traditions of this haute école of classic equestrianism have been passed down by word of mouth for more than 400 years. Once these intelligent white stallions have completed their training, they are known as "professors".

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    • Cattle procession

      Cattle procession "Almabtrieb"

      The cattle procession "Almabtrieb" is an annual event in the Alpine region of Austria. Come end of August / September cattle that usually spends the summer up in the Alps is being escorted down into the valley. The most beautiful part however are the colourful decorations of the cattle. This processions ends with festivities in town - great events that are not to be missed.

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    • Painted easter eggs

      Easter Time in Austria

      Visit one of Austria's many colourful Easter markets and discover unique (and curious) regional traditions.

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    • Concordia Ball in Vienna

      Ball Season in Austria

      Austria's ball season is sometimes called the "fifth season." In a country that knows how to enjoy life with all senses, these events take on a magical character. Learn about the balls happening this winter!

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    • Salt from Hallein Salt Mine

      Visit the Hallein Salt Mine

      You can visit one of the oldest salt mines in the world at Hallein near Salzburg. Its salt provided a livelihood for local people, brought riches to the archbishops, and built the magnificent city of Salzburg we admire today.

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    • Grossglockner High Alpine Road

      Alpine Traditions

      Anyone who thinks that Austria’s mountains are a closed-off, secluded world is mistaken. Locals have always cultivated contact and exchange with other regions and cultures.       

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    • One of Vienna's most famous coffeehouses - the Cafe Sacher

      Coffeehouse culture in Austria

      Cafés are an everyday part of city living and in Vienna in particular they are at the heart of city life. Around 1900, a visit to a Viennese café was a spectacular experience, newspapers were displayed on custom-made stands, waiters wore tailcoats, and ceilings were decorated with elaborate chandeliers.

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    • The Fiakergulasch is a traditional Viennese meal with Hungarian roots

      Food and Drink in Austria

      From Wiener Schnitzel to Tiroler Gröstl, from locally-brewed beer to wine from the plains: When in Austria, eat as the Austrians do.

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    • Vienna Christmas market

      Christmas Markets in Austria

      Glistening lights, seasonal treats: From the middle of November until the end of the year, Austria is the place to find romantic Christmas markets.

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    • Eating at the mountain hut in Tirol

      What Are Austrians Like?

      Find out more about eating with Austrians, drinking with Austrians, and what "na no na net" means.

      Meet the Austrians

    Austrian Handcrafts

    • 'Fasnacht' - masks

      “Fasnacht” & the Tirol Mask Carvers

      In Tirol, the processions marking “Fasnacht” (the Shrovetide carnival) are such wild celebrations that these traditional events are only staged every 3, 4, or even 5 years.

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    • Traditional Costume Bregenzerwald

      Costumes of the Bregenzerwald

      According to legend, the women of the Bregenzerwald marched bravely towards their attackers. When they saw the women approaching in their white clothes, the attackers turned and ran; they took the women to be angels. Since then, the women of Bregenzerwald wear dark skirts to avoid being mistaken for otherworldly beings.

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    • Schladming Loden

      Winterproof: Schladming Loden

      Loden, a fabric that has been the high performance product of the Alpine population for centuries, is synonymous with the national identity. Nothing protects so naturally against cold, rain, and wind. The “Schladminger Rock," a robust men’s jacket, is particularly famous. The cloth for this garment is produced in Austria’s oldest Lodenwalke (Loden fulling mill).

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    • Indigo printing in Burgenland

      Indigo Printing Burgenland

      Indigo printing revolutionized Europe’s textile industry in the 17th century, when thousands of companies opened. Nowadays this handcraft is only practiced by two printers in Burgenland in a workshop where everything is old - except for the designs.

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    • Hallstatt, Upper Austria

      Crafts in the Salzkammergut Lake Region

      Love at first sight: anyone visiting the Salzkammergut is fascinated by its bewitching scenic beauty. Lush pastures, dense forests, and crystal-clear lakes alternate before an imposing mountain backdrop. And in between are placid towns and villages with traditional handcrafts.

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    • Ferlach Rifle

      Ferlach's Master Gunsmiths

      They are as beautiful as museum pieces when they leave the workshop, yet destined for practical use. Renowned for their precision, rifles made in Ferlach make the heart of every collector beat faster and are coveted by hunters all over the world.

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    • Bregenzerwald Architecture

      The Elegance of Wood

      In the construction traditions of other countries, it may be fine stones and hand-made tiles - in Vorarlberg, that status is given to wood. In the Bregenzerwald region, the knowledge about this age-old building material is being preserved and applied with a contemporary twist.

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    • Grundlsee, Salzkammergut

      The essential Dirndl (and Lederhosen) guide

      The Dirndl is fun, feminine and flirty. With these attributes, the Dirndl has evolved from its humble origins as the work-garb of farmers to a modern-day fashion superstar. Find out about Dirndl and Lederhosen styles, where to buy them and, most importantly, where to wear them.       

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    • Traditional block printing at the Auseerland

      Hand Block Printing from Aussee

      Aussee's picturesque beauty is reflected in the colours of its traditional costume.

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    • Manufacturing of the Goisern Boot

      Hand crafted Goiserer boots

      It began 140 years ago in Bad Goisern with the invention of the first “engineered” mountain boot. Today the Goiserer is still the epitome of top quality, but it has evolved to be fit for city life.

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