Semmering is the best known alpine resort in eastern Austria. In 1854 the Semmering railway was built, one of the first railways to pass through high alpine mountains. The spectacular landscape and the monumental buildings were declared UNESCO world heritage. The railway made it easily accessible from Vienna, and at the fin-de-siècle, several monumental hotels were built here. The Semmering railway was considered such an impressive feat of engineering that many other railways through mountainous terrain were nicknamed "Semmering of x", much like the Watergate scandal engendered the "-gate" suffix for scandals. As of 2020, a new base tunnel is being built for faster long distance trains, and to relieve freight trains of the costly and difficult need to have extra locomotives coupled to get across the steep sections. The old line will of course stay open, but international and freight traffic will move to the new line once it opens.
The railway connects the major municipalities. The beautiful landscape offers plenty of hike possibilities. Of course, all municipalities are connected and accessible by car (S6 highway).
The railway station has an exhibition regarding the Semmering railway which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The local church and several impressive hotels and villas, along the main road crossing the town, originate from the end of the 19th century and have a beautiful view of the Alps. They're worth a visit.
- 1 Karl VI Monument (Carolus Denkmal), Semmering. Emperor Karl VI ordered the first Semmering road to be built in 1728 for faster connection between Vienna and the south. The emperor visited and used the newly-opened road on 21 June 1728.
- 2 Rax-Schneeberg Group (Rax Schneeberg Gruppe). The mountain range in the Northern Limestone Alps are the closest mountains to Vienna. In the summer they are a traditional hiking destination. There are also some possible mountain bike routes. Refer to the Keltenkalk guide for the climbing areas. In winter several cross-country skiing routes traverse these mountains.
- 3 Schloss Gloggnitz, Kirchensteig 3 (Gloggnitz Eichberg), ☏ , email@example.com. The former Benedectine monastery sits elevated on a rock in middle of Gloggnitz. It is a popular site for weddings.
- 4 Semmering railway (Semmeringbahn). The railway solved a big challenge for civil engineering from the pioneering phase of railway building. The high standard of the tunnels, viaducts and other works has ensured the continuous use of the line up to the present day. It runs through a spectacular mountain landscape and there are many fine buildings designed for leisure activities along the way, built when the area was opened up due to the advent of the railway. The historical name is Trieste Route as it connected Vienna with the Adriatic Sea.
- 5 Wallfahrtskirche Maria Schutz. The sanctuary place was built after the water allegedly cured the plague. In 1728 it was rebuilt, and had severe damage after a fire in 1826 and an earth quake in 1837. Since 1925 it has incorporated a Passionistes monastery.
- 6 1. Wiener Hochquellenwasserleitung (First Vienna Mountain Spring Pipeline). The water pipe for Vienna was built in 1872 and there are two tunnels for its flow around Gloggnitz.
- 1 Festspiele Reichenau, Hauptstraße 28, 2651 Reichenau/Rax (right in the centre of Reichenau along the main street), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Juli-August. The festival-performances are mostly theatre-plays in German language from Austrian writers around 1900. There are more than 100 performances of four different plays, a few piano recitals and artist's presentations. Performances take place in two different locations, the old theatre-hall (391 seats) and the new open arena (with stage in the centre, 305 seats), both in the same festival building.
The Semmering has two nearby ski resorts, of the two the Zauberberg is more popular as it is closer to Vienna. The Stuhleck area however offers more possibilities.
- 2 Ski resort Zauberberg (Semmering). The Hirschenkogel mountain features 14km of downhill slopes, including a split park for fun-ski and snowboarders. It has huge artificial snow facilities to provide skiing possibilities even in winters with less snow fall in eastern austria. It hosts World Cup Slalom events.
- 3 Ski resort Stuhleck - Semmering (Stuhleck). The Stuhleck mountain has several snow and fun parks. Ten lifts operate on a total of 24 km of downhill slopes from which 18 km are classified as blue, i.e. easy. The highest station is at 1774 m. There are several huts for lunch or afternoon breaks.
- Mountainbikepark Semmering. In the summer time the slopes are ready for down hill gear.
- 1 Semmering ski school (Sport Puschi), 2680 Semmering Passhöhe, ☏ , email@example.com. Learn to ski or snowboard.
- 2 Skischule Stuhleck, 8684 Spital / Semmering, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Offers courses for ski and snowboard from apprentice level on.
- 1 Gasthof Berghof, Passhöhe 271, ☏ , email@example.com. Simple affordable Austrian food for everyone.
- 2 Kirchenwirt, 2642 Maria Schutz Nr. 2, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. The restaurant fabricates hand made "Klosterkrapfen".
- 3 Restaurant Panhans, ☏ . The chef Michael Hackl earned praise for his regional qualitative food. The menu offers plenty of choices between modern and traditional cuisine. The service is mostly handled by apprentice from the nearby tourism school, which may lack in professionalism. The desserts are recommended. The restaurant mostly sees hotel guests.
- 4 Seewirtshaus (Christian Riess), Zauberberg 2, ☏ , email@example.com.
- 1 Cafe Pub Iglu Pinguin, Zauberberg 1, Semmering, ☏ . winter 10:00-02:00. Après ski.
- 2 Zauberbar, Zauberberg 1, 2680 Semmering (Bahnhof Semmering), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. winter season: F Sa 10:00-04:00, Su-Th 10:00-02:00. An après ski bar.
- 1 Panhans Hotel (Grand Hotel am Semmering), Hochstraße 32, ☏ , email@example.com. It is a historic 4-star hotel in the centre, which opened in 1888. For the restaurant of the hotel see above.
- 2 Panoramahotel Wagner, Hochstraße 267, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Focussed on organic food and living.
- 3 Hotel Payerbacherhof (Familie Hübner), Hauptstraße 2 (Bahnhof Payerbach), ☏ , email@example.com. The Hotel is located at the foot of the Rax mountain. The dinner menu that one can opt in on a per day base has two options with one being vegetarian. The breakfast is included and offers plenty of choices ranging from good Austrian bread with butter and marmalade, eggs, healthy fruits to müsli. The guests facilities include a sauna and a whirl pool.
The ski resort operates several free Wi-Fi access points.
Semmering lies on the Austrian south railway line which connects Vienna and Graz. Of course cities on the track like Baden (Austria), Wiener Neustadt, Bruck an der Mur, Kindberg or Kapfenberg are also easily reached.
- Graz is the second-largest city in Austria. The City of Graz including its historic centre and Schloss Eggenberg is a world heritage site.
- Vienna is the capital of the Republic of Austria and by far its most populous city. It is Austria's artistic, cultural, economic and political centre.
- Leoben is the industrial and educational centre of Northern Styria and home of the Austrian mining industry and university.