© Pixabay | Mario Eppinger © Pixabay | Mario Eppinger
The Semmering in Styria boasts various leisure activities

UNESCO World Heritage site Semmering railway

Hochsteiermark‘s northeasternmost region offers a lot: culture, sports and stunning outdoor experiences. One of the region’s highlights is the UNESCO World Heritage Semmering railway. Maybe the area surrounding Mürzzuschlag would still be in deep slumber had it not been for the Semmering railway. Back in 1854 it was a real sensation, allowing passengers to cross the Semmering pass.

From there, the region quickly grew to become one of the most popular recreational areas of Vienna’s well-to-do. Along with the guests came the respective infrastructure and leisure facilities that have made the region east of the mountain pass so popular. Almost every type of mountain sport is possible there, ranging from hiking to cycling, mountain biking and e-biking. The town of Mürzzuschlag boasts numerous leisure facilities, cultural highlights and recreational areas such as the Mürzzuschlag floodplains. In addition, there are numerous shopping options and cultural highlights to be found in the charming small town.

The Semmering railway, a UNESCO World Heritage site

The Styrian poet Peter Rosegger once called the Semmering railway a “world wonder suddenly placed into a quiet, remote landscape”. And he certainly knew what he was talking about. After all, his birthplace, Alpl near Krieglach in today’s Waldheimat region, is just a stone’s throw from the famous railway line.

Europe’s first true mountain railway was the brainchild of pioneering engineer Carl Ritter von Ghega. The railway runs from Gloggnitz in Lower Austria to Mürzzuschlag in Hochsteiermark, covering an overall track length of 42 kilometres and an altitude difference of 459 metres. Along the way, it passes through 14 tunnels, 16 viaducts and more than 100 stone arch bridges. Both the railway line itself and the construction of the locomotives are true milestones of railway history. In 1998, the Semmering railway was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Museums (not just) about the railway

What could be more apt than to dive into railroad history right at the foot of the famous Semmering railway, at SÜDBAHN museum in Mürzzuschlag? The Southern Railway Museum is situated in a historic roundhouse, where you can see Austria’s largest collection of draisines and railway carriages.

Our tip: Have a cup of coffee and a slice of cake in the stylish atmosphere of the reconstructed court salon carriage!

Even more museums

You can find other fascinating museums in Mürzzuschlag. For instance, don’t miss Brahms museum, the former summer residence of composer Johannes Brahms. For fans of winter sports, we recommend a visit to WinterSportMuseum with its special children’s adventure path. At kunsthaus muerz, you can see contemporary works of music, literature, art and architecture.

sports – from skiing to climbing

Mürzzuschlag is known as the cradle of winter sports. After all, the region surrounding Stuhleck and Brunnalm – Hohe Veitsch offers perfect conditions for most winter sports. Skiing, cross-country skiing, ski touring and sledging are all possible there. Or how about a relaxed winter hike through the snow-covered landscape?

Cycling and mountain biking

An extensive network of cycling routes connects the area surrounding the Semmering, Veitsch and the Waldheimat region with Mürzer Oberland Nature Park and the “Streuobst region” around Kindberg.

The result: a paradise for mountain bikers and e-mountain bikers!

Climbing for all skill levels

If you’re aiming higher, we recommend one of the region’s dizzying high ropes courses. For instance, fun and action are guaranteed at the Adventure Tower in St. Barbara im Mürztal, an outdoor high ropes course with 36 stations, a giant swing and a zip line.

Hiking and pilgrimage routes around the Styrian Semmering

Pssst: Among hiking fans, the region at the foot of the Styrian Semmering is a well-kept secret! Explore the gentle hills, lush green meadows and forests on a laid-back family hike or tackle the more challenging high-alpine routes at Hohe Veitsch! If you hike along the Mariazellerweg pilgrimage route that leads to Mariazell Basilica, you will pass through the village of St. Barbara im Mürztal on trail No. 706 A. Don’t miss the walk-in pilgrim’s cross in the district of Veitsch!

Even more ideas for your holiday in Hochsteiermark