Enjoy historic sights, cultural activities, waterfront attractions and natural treasures in one of Austria's oldest cities.
Romanesque vaults, Baroque façades and medieval towers stand alongside ultra-modern architecture in Sankt Pölten, the capital city of the state of Lower Austria. Explore the city's old and new buildings, swim in a freshwater lake and fill your shopping bags at the markets.
Look for the many well-preserved historic buildings in the old city. Study the mixed architectural styles of the City Hall (Rathaus) with its Renaissance tower, Baroque façade and Gothic niches. Visit Pharmacy Löwen-Apotheke, the oldest building in Sankt Pölten, serving the population’s health needs since 1545. Appreciate the art and architecture of the 11th-century cathedral, rebuilt in the 18th century. Enjoy a drink and schnitzel in a café while surfing the Internet on your tablet or cell phone using the city’s free Wi-Fi access.
Adjacent to the old part of Sankt Pölten is Landhaus, part of the government and cultural district. Attend a dance or musical performance at the Festival Playhouse. Learn about local art, nature and history at the Museum of the Province of Lower Austria. See the city from the viewing platform of the 252-foot (77-meter) Tower of Sound.
Enjoy an entire day at the Viehofner Lakes. Swim, rent a boat or go windsurfing. Visit, or avoid, the nudist area here. Walk or cycle along waterfront trails. The lakes are a breeding ground for numerous bird species, so look for kingfishers and black-necked grebes.
Shoppers can browse the small, independent boutiques lining the country’s second-oldest pedestrian zone. For bargain hunting, go to the markets at Herrenplatz and the Sunday flea markets throughout the city.
Get acquainted with the city’s landmarks aboard the free narrated 50-minute trolley tram. The “Hauptstadt-Express” operates from just before Easter until the end of December. Onboard audio guides are available in English and German.
Sankt Pölten is 40 miles (65 kilometers) from Vienna, Austria’s capital. The city’s central location in Lower Austria makes it a good base to explore the castles and countryside of Wachau-Danube Valley and the monasteries of Herzogenburg and Lilienfeld.