Business meets leisure

Upgraded business trip: turning your conferences and meetings into a holiday

Come for business, stay for leisure: here's how easy it is to add cultural events, culinary delights, wellbeing activities and active outdoors experiences to your business trip in Austria.

Austria knows how to combine hospitality with professionalism. It blends good company with beauty, and the love of nature with the love of food and drink. Austrian hosts are masters at what they do and understand their clientele. You always feel welcome as a guest, including if your trip is for business, and you're travelling to the heart of Europe to meet and network with business partners and push your projects forward. Austria is an excellent destination with its position as a hub between East and West, its outstanding infrastructure and, of course, its scenery, making it the perfect place for unique experiences. This summer the country has a vibrant mix of leisure activities on offer. If you're looking to marvel at historic works of art and be wowed by entertaining performances, if you fancy scaling mountains and cycling around lakes, if you're seeking the tranquillity of the great outdoors to recharge your batteries, or if you're a foodie wanting to enjoy life with a good glass of wine and some local delicacies – this is the place for you. Whatever you're in the mood for, our post is here to tell you what you can get up to locally if you extend your business trip by a few days.

On the go

After hours spent sitting in a business meeting, it's time to get moving: throw on your sportswear and get out into the wild. Hiking, cycling, running – Austria is not short on places to go on adventures and get a thorough workout. 

We'll get your heart pumping! Find more outdoors activities in Austria here.

Foodie cycling trips in Lower Austria

You can roll your business trip in with a cycling holiday packed with foodie delights in the Krems-Wachau region. In addition to the popular Danube cycle route, you can set off from Krems to discover tracks around the Kamptal and Traisental valleys. This is arguably the most well-known wine-growing region in Austria, so there's no shortage of treats for the taste buds here, and a visit to award-winning chef Toni Mörwald's restaurant in Feuersbrunn is an unforgettable gourmet dining experience. Lower Austria also offers a range of meeting and events venues, such as the Steigenberger Hotel & Spa in Krems.

Dance workshop with Andy and Kelly Kainz

When one workshop ends, another begins. Whether you plan it for an incentive with your team or a personal activity with your partner, the dance workshop with Andy and Kelly Kainz proves just how much fun taking on new challenges can be. The dance classes with the four-time winners of the Austrian TV show "Dancing Stars" are suitable for both beginners and experienced dancers. You can arrange how long the workshop lasts and what it includes. Find a venue for your business workshop in Carinthia here.

Austria's favourite cycling spot

If you're taking a business trip to the Salzkammergut, don't forget to pack your sportswear! Attending meetings in Austria's most spectacular mountain-biking regions means you'll definitely want to stay longer for some active outdoors fun. Covering over 630 km and 14,500 m in elevation, the BergeSeen eTrail winds its way through three Austrian states, taking in spectacular lakes and valleys in Upper Austria, from Mondsee, Wolfgangsee and Traunsee to Almtal and Attersee. Stay at the Vital Resort Villa Seilern, located in the imperial town of Bad Ischl. The resort offers historic meeting rooms and has been awarded the "Grüne Haube" for top-quality, regional green cuisine.

Business and golf in Salzburg

Located in Saalfelden, the four-star conference hotel Gut Brandlhof boasts grounds spanning 450 hectares and offers one of the biggest array of facilities for golfing, meetings and incentives in the alpine region.Whether you want to network with business partners as you putt the ball, or you're looking to practise your swing on your own once you're done with work – this is the place for you if you want to golf. The premium golf club has an extensive driving range with partly covered tee boxes and a training ground.

Action-packed fun in Ötztal

Once you've finished a productive meeting, workshop or a day of creative seminars at the AQUA DOME conference hotel in Ötztal, blow away those cobwebs completely with one of the adrenaline-fuelled activities at AREA47, including canyoning, e-motocross, wakeboarding and a high rope course 27 m in the air. If you'd prefer to wind down with something a little gentler, the nearby lake has a chilled-out atmosphere, or let your mind drift away to the sound of the Ötztaler Ache River.

Experience the magic of inspiration

Arts, culture and Austria go together like whipped cream and apple strudel. That's the way it's always been, and you can see it in the country's array of attractions and cultural gems today. If embarking on a journey of discovery to see the great masterpieces sounds like your thing, Austria's museums and galleries will be just what you're looking for. Its theatres and music venues also offer delightful cultural experiences, with a convivial atmosphere that's so typical of Austria.

Discover more art and cultural experiences in Austria here.

Fun and excitement mixed with art and history

There are whole guidebooks filled with cultural recommendations for Vienna, but here's an insider tip that works for both a family trip and a team-building activity. Go on a Da Vinci Code inspired treasure hunt through the Greek and Roman Antiquities and Egyptian collections of the impressive Kunsthistorisches Museum with Mystery Hunt. Stay in a central location within walking distance of the museum and hold your business meeting at MQ Libelle in the MuseumsQuartier.

Stunningly picturesque weekend in Burgenland

If you're attending a conference in Burgenland during the week – perhaps at Seehotel Rust – then it's worth extending your trip to stay for the weekend. From 14 July until 21 August, there are performances at the Oper im Steinbruch St. Margarethen every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The festival puts on spectacular open-air performances in the old quarry for seasoned music connoisseurs and curious enthusiasts, creating an extraordinary atmosphere on Europe's largest natural stage. You can book your tickets here.

Summer festivals in Salzburg

Fans of classical music and theatre are in for a treat at the Salzburg Festival. It is putting on an incredible range of opera, drama and concerts between 17 July and 31 August 2021. Salzburg is the perfect place to couple your holiday with arts and cultural events. During the day the surrounding countryside and lakes in the Salzkammergut are ideal for outings and rounds of golf, while the festival offers sublime performances in the evening. Grab your tickets here. If you're still looking for the right venue for your conference that is located in the heart of the historic Salzburg old town, why not try Hotel Goldener Hirsch, which has over three events spaces covering a total of 135 m2.

Entertainment to round off your trip in Vorarlberg

Your business meeting – say, at the Montforthaus Feldkirch – can be perfectly rounded off with a visit to the Poolbar Festival. Until 15 August the Altes Hallenbad in Feldkirch, just a short walk from the venue, will be a hotspot for those who love good entertainment, cultural exploration and club culture. The line-up ranges from family-friendly jazz breakfast in the park to cinema, comedy, performances and concerts by well-known bands and others who are still best-kept secrets.

Wellbeing using all the senses

Close your laptop, time for a break. If you're going to be ready to face challenges at work, your body and mind need regular downtime. This is the only way we can keep our mental health in tune and see challenges from new angles. The great outdoors is an excellent place for recharging your batteries. From spas to forest bathing – adding some well-earned me-time to your business trip in Austria is easy.

From forests to lakes, find more places for rest and relaxation in Austria here.

Forest bathing in the Mühlviertel region

After a productive meeting at the Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Bad Leonfelden, it's time to unwind in the woods. Forest bathing combines nature, tradition, health and mindfulness. Qualified guides will immerse you in the invigorating atmosphere of Upper Austria's forests. The benefits of forest bathing for body and mind have been researched and tested. They include being able to slow down and recharge, feel the forest's energy and find peace and clarity, as well as strengthening your body's defences and reducing stress on your circulatory and nervous systems. Looking for more ways to wind down? There is a spa at the Hotel Falkensteiner in Bad Leonfelden with a fantastic view of the Mühlviertel region.

Downtime in Bad Blumau

After days spent in a conference at Rogner Bad Blumau, why not stay on to relax and enjoy a spa experience. And the amazing thing about it is that you don't even have to leave the premises: the conference centre is also a spa, with its architecture designed by the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The Rogner Bad Blumau hotel is one of Austria's most popular spas and is famous for its unique architecture. The surrounding Styrian countryside is perfect for leisurely walks and hikes.

Post-conference spa day

You've had a productive but intense business meeting, perhaps at the Blumenhalle St. Veit, so now is the perfect time to get out into Carinthia's countryside and relax. The newly built, four-star hotel Gipfelhaus Magdalensberg is surrounded by fields and forests, so escaping the daily grind here is easy. Swim in the outdoor infinity pool with panoramic views, take a refreshing dip in the natural swimming pond, or while away the time in the tea lounge.

Forest bathing in Kufsteinerland

In the Kufsteinerland region in Tyrol, on the outskirts of the magical mountain village of Hinterthiersee, hike along Breitenau and through the Modalwald forest. After a special forest qigong session, it's time for some forest bathing. This is the name for practising mindfulness in the forest, where the power of terpenes – the chemical compounds that give you the forest scent – are used to de-stress, strengthen the immune system and boost your health. The relaxing visit to the forest is rounded off with a "slow-down meditation".

The Alpenrose Kufstein city hotel also owns the Lindhof farmhouse in Thiersee, making it the perfect place to combine events with outdoor relaxation.

Unwinding in Vorarlberg

The Biosphere Reserve Grosses Walsertal in Vorarlberg is a great place to rest, find calm and enjoy nature. The reserve has special "unwinding spots" to tell you that these are the ideal places to stop, relax, listen to the sounds of nature and look around at the stunning mountain scenery. The old St Gerold priory is nestled in the heart of the UNESCO biosphere reserve. The complex is now a training and conference centre and gives guests the right environment to take things slow, even at work.

Spots for foodies

Wine from Wachau valley and cheese from the alpine pastures of Vorarlberg – the alpine and Danube region is home to innovators who are aspiring to enrich their area's delicious and sustainable food and drink. Whether you make it part of your business event or keep it for a social afterwards, it's always worth scheduling some time to partake of the region's culinary delights.

Find more ideas for foodies in Austria here.

Raising a glass in Europe's largest wine cellar

Round off your business trip at the Palais Coburg – or make it the start of a few extra days of soaking up Vienna. Here you can enjoy an exclusive wine tasting in the grand wine cellar of the esteemed Palais Coburg, located in Vienna's old town. Six vaulted cellars store around 60,000 bottles dating from four different centuries, and you'll learn more about Viennese wine in the guided tour and tasting.

Feasting in the Weinviertel

Once you've finished up with your work or conference at the Therme Laa – Hotel & Private Spa, you'll not be able to resist staying longer in the Weinviertel. This wine-growing region in Lower Austria is famous for its culinary delights, quaint Kellergassen ("wine cellar lanes") and lively wine festivals. It's a place to relax, explore and indulge.

The Tafeln im Weinviertel  event is where the region's top chefs and winegrowers serve up a luxurious five-course menu and wine pairings, with guests seated outdoors at long banquet tables covered in white table cloths. Nature is the venue here: its decoration comes from the field of grapevines, its lighting is provided by the sunset, and the open sky is the roof under which a wonderful warm summer's evening is had.

The sweet life

Sweet treats await you just a 30-minute drive from your meeting venue, the Congress Loipersdorf conference centre in Styria. The Zotter chocolate factory doesn't need any explanation: everything there is all about sweet treats. You'll learn how cocoa is grown, and how it is turned into tasty chocolate bars. And, of course, you'll get to taste some. Is chocolate not your thing? Then take a trip to the vinegar and fine spirits manufacturer Gölles instead.

A trip to the vineyard

Once you're done with your conference at St. Martins Therme or Vila Vita Pannonia in Burgenland, the next item on the agenda is training for those who love wine. In addition to tasting fine wines, pay a visit to the exhibition vineyard and nature trail on the Andreasberg site at the Scheiblhofer winery in Burgenland. Round off your trip with a meal at the Quarter, which due to renovation work has been moved to The Hall of Legends events venue, making for an extraordinary experience with amazing dishes in unique surroundings.