Planning out an Austria itinerary is one of the top things to do when visiting Central Europe. This beautiful country nestled between Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary and Slovakia has a lot to offer beyond Vienna or Salzburg. And whether you have 5 or 7 days in Austria, you’re sure to have a blast exploring this gorgeous Central European nation.
There is a lot to see and do in Austria and there is really something for everyone. From chic cities to charming villages, to gorgeous mountaintops to lovely lakes, Austria is a dynamic and interesting destination that is a joy to explore. Easy to navigate and filled with history, planning out the ideal trip to Austria is a treat.
So if you’re planning to spend a few days to a week in Austria, follow this itinerary to ensure you get a good feel for this country – though you may want to plan another trip in the future!
How Many Days in Austria?
Before jumping into the nitty-gritty of this Austria itinerary, you’re likely trying to figure out how many days to spend in Austria. If you want to see more than the capital city and get to a couple of different places, then consider spending at least 5 days in Austria.
However, if you’re interested in digging deeper and visiting more than two different cities, then mapping out at least 7 days in Austria is going to be your best bet. With a week here, you have the opportunity to visit a number of different places, will have the time to really get to know some of the cities and also have the opportunity to explore some smaller towns and natural areas as day trips.
You also really can’t go wrong with spending 10 days in Austria or more. With this amount of time, you don’t really need to leave anything off of your Austria itinerary and you will be able to spend time in some more far-flung places and areas a bit off the beaten tourist trail.
No matter how long you have to devote to your Austria trip, you’re sure to enjoy your time here.
Getting To & Around Austria
Located in the centre of Europe, Austria — and, particularly, the capital of Vienna — is easy to reach from virtually all of Europe and many destinations further afield. Vienna airport is a large international airport that has countless flights to and from a myriad of countries and cities in the world, so arriving in Austria from abroad is not a problem.
Austria is also well-connected by rail and bus from nearby countries and cities. Vienna is directly connected to cities like Budapest, Prague, Munich and Ljubljana and many other smaller cities are also well-linked across the continent. You can view train schedules here.
Once in Austria, you have a few options when it comes to getting around. In the cities, plan to rely on getting from point A to B on foot or using the city’s public transit. Austrian cities are incredibly easy to navigate and there is no need to have a car while exploring.
You also can easily get between cities and major urban areas via both an extensive rail system and bus.
However, if you want to easily make stops between cities or would like to get out in nature, see the countryside and have some flexibility, it can be worth it to opt for a car rental and go for an Austria road trip. This will allow you to spend time in the Bavarian Alps, the Zillertal Alps and the town of Mayrhofn, the Danube Valley and drive along the Grossglockner High Alpine Road.
If you decide to hire a car while in Austria, you can compare prices across a number of major companies on Rentalcars.com. One thing to note when driving in Austria is that you will need a vignette – or toll sticker. If you rent a car while in Austria already, this will be taken care of for you. However, you will need to purchase one upon crossing over from a neighbouring country.
5 to 7-Day Austria Itinerary
Day 1 – Vienna
The perfect place to begin any Austria itinerary is in the capital city of Vienna. Often considered to be one of the most liveable cities in the world, Vienna is an absolutely beautiful city that is packed with history and interesting things to do.
Spend your first day in Vienna wandering around and taking in all of the top sites.
You can go on a walking tour in order to get your bearings before heading to sites like the Vienna Opera House, enjoying the art collections at the Albertina Museum or taking in the iconic attraction of the Spanish Riding School and the Sisi Museum at the Hofburg. End your day taking in the beautiful St Stephen’s Cathedral.
Vienna is also absolutely wonderful to simply wander around or to park yourself at one of its iconic cafes and enjoy a classic Viennese pastry and coffee. This is absolutely one of the best things to do.
Where to Stay in Vienna
Motel One Wien – Hauptbahnhof — This hotel is a fantastic accommodation option for those travelling on a mid-range budget in the Austrian capital. Located very close to Vienna’s main train station, they have a number of clean, comfortable and nicely decorated rooms on offer. There is also a breakfast option available each morning. Click here to see their availability
Hotel Brauhof Wien — Those after luxury in the Austrian capital will love this 4-star hotel. They have a range of beautiful, plush rooms to choose from and countless other amenities to ensure that your stay is an unforgettable one. Click here to see their availability
Hostel Ruthensteiner — This family-run hostel can be a fantastic option for both budget or solo travellers in Vienna. They have both private rooms and dorm beds available, a central location for exploring the city and there are plenty of great common areas and self-catering facilities that make it easy to meet other visitors to the city. Click here to see their availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Vienna hotels!
Day 2 – Vienna
Day 2 of your Austria should still be spent in Vienna. As the capital and largest city in the country, there is a lot to do here and you definitely need at least two full days within the city itself to do it justice.
On your second day, it’s time to explore a bunch of sites that you didn’t get to the day before. These can include touring Schonbrunn Palace (you can book a guided tour here), heading to Karlskirche or wandering around Schloss Belvedere.
Plan to spend your afternoon taking in the museums in the Museums Quartier, which include places like the Leopold Museum and the Modern Art Museum.
Day 3 – Vienna
One of the benefits of mapping out 3 days in Vienna for your Austria itinerary is that you will have the time to go on a day trip from the capital. Because we’re exploring more of Austria itself if you’re spending 5 or 7 days in the country, this is a great time to take a day trip outside of Austria.
Heading to the Slovak capital of Bratislava is an excellent day trip option from Vienna.
Located only about an hour via train from the Austrian capital, Bratislava is an interesting place to spend a day and it is completely different from Vienna so you will get a good change of pace. You can go independently or organise a guided tour.
Bratislava’s compact nature means that it can easily be explored in just one day and it’s the perfect way to head outside of Austria during your trip to Austria!
Day 4 – Salzburg
After spending a few days in Vienna, the next stop on your itinerary through Austria should be the western city of Salzburg. Known for being the birthplace of Mozart and the filming location for the classic musical The Sound of Music, Salzburg is a lovely city to enjoy and no trip to Austria would be complete without visiting.
Though small in size, Salzburg has enough to offer visitors to merit spending 2 days here. So if you’re only planning for 5 days in Austria, this will be the final stop on your itinerary.
Spend your first day in Salzburg taking in the main sites of this beautiful city. In the morning, explore the old town, wander down Getreidegasse, browse through the stalls in the Grünmarkt, visit the Salzburg Cathedral and take in the views at Residenzplatz – Salzburg’s main square.
Later, head up to the imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress and stroll along the walking trail on Monchsberg until you reach the Augustiner Brau Brewery, which is well-known for its classic and massive beer garden.
Where to Stay in Salzburg
Gästehaus im Priesterseminar – This guesthouse is an excellent option for mid-range visitors to Salzburg. They have a wonderful, centrally located in a beautiful baroque building and they have a number of lovely rooms on offer – perfect for exploring the city! Click here to see their availability
Boutique Hotel Auersperg – If you’re after a luxury option in Salzburg, you’re sure to love this boutique hotel in the centre of the city. It has been family-run for generations and it is located within spitting distance of all of Salzburg’s top sites. They have a number of luxe rooms available and countless other amenities to ensure your stay is a great one. Click here to see their availability
Yoho International Youth Hostel – Budget and solo travellers will absolutely love this centrally located hostel. They have both private and dorm rooms available, good common areas and self-catering options and, for those who want it, they screen “The Sound of Music” every evening. Click here to see their availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Salzburg hotels!
Day 5 – Salzburg
On the final day of your 5-day Austria itinerary (or simply your final day in Salzburg if you’re planning on spending 7 days in Austria), plan to spend the day digging deeper and getting to know Salzburg just a bit better.
There is plenty to keep you occupied on your second day in Salzburg. Plan to spend your day wandering through the Mirabell Palace and Gardens, take in one or two of the city’s many museums and take a river cruise along the Salzach to see the city from a different perspective.
You can end your day in one of the city’s fine restaurants or even visit another beer garden to sample some great Austrian brews.
Day 6 – Gollinger Waterfall & Hallstatt
If you’re spending 7 days in Austria, then plan to treat day 6 as a travel day between Salzburg and Austria’s second-largest city of Graz. This day is best to do if you have a car, as it will give you the flexibility to make stops along the way and to enjoy the rural and natural side of Austria.
For those looking to get a bit active, then make your first stop en route to Graz be the Gollinger Waterfall. This waterfall is absolutely beautiful and there is a hiking trail that can take you around the falls and allow you to view it from different vantage points. The hike is pretty easy and it’s suitable for those of a moderate fitness level.
After enjoying the waterfall, drive a bit further to visit the iconic town of Hallstatt. This town is well-known on Instagram feeds and it is absolutely beautiful. However, it is also incredibly popular amongst international visitors and can be absolutely packed with tourists.
If you’re keen to avoid crowds and want a more laid-back alternative to Hallstatt, then consider making a trip to the town of St Gilgen on Wolfgansee, a large lake located a little bit closer to Salzburg.
For those who don’t have a car and are going this by public transport, it’s not going to make sense to stop at Hallstatt or the Gollinger waterfall. What you can do instead is spend your morning on a lovely day trip to St Gilgen and Wolfgangsee before taking an afternoon train from Salzburg to Graz.
End your day of exploration in the beautiful city of Graz.
Where to Stay in Graz
Schlossberghotel – Das Kunsthotel – This classic hotel is an excellent option for those looking for a great place to stay in Graz. They have a range of beautifully decorated rooms and it is filled with antiques and artwork. There are lots of rooms to choose from, a swimming pool, and plenty of other fantastic amenities. Click here to check their availability
Aiola Living Graz – This boutique hotel is a great option for visitors to Austria’s second city who are looking for a swish place to stay in the centre of town. They have a number of clean, modern and comfortable rooms on offer and there is also an on-site fitness centre for guests to use at their leisure. Click here to check their availability
B&B Hotel Graz-Hbf – This hotel is a great option for those travelling in Austria and visiting Graz on a budget. They have a range of private rooms available and a great location close to the train station – perfect for exploring the city and for continuing on your trip in Austria. There is even an option to include breakfast. Click here to check their availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Graz!
Day 7 – Graz
The final day of your 7-day Austria itinerary should be spent exploring the absolutely beautiful and charming city of Graz.
This city often gets overlooked when people plan trips to Austria and this is really a shame – it has quite a lot to offer and its compact size means that you don’t need to dedicate a lot of time to it.
Start your day at the Kaiser Josef Market before meandering over to the Grazer Burg where you can take in the fascinating double spiral staircase. Then, head over to the Graz Cathedral and tour this incredible structure before watching the clock chime and the interesting puppets at the city’s Glockenspiel.
Spend your afternoon up at Schlossberg, the castle hill that has incredible views over the city – it is accessible via funicular. Then, head over to the hip Lend area and, if you’re so inclined, visit the Kunsthaus – a modern art museum. If you’re more interested in history, then you could head to the Styrian armoury, instead.
End your day (and your 7 days in Austria) at one of Graz’s many phenomenal restaurants – and make sure to sample some of the great wines grown in the region!
Have More Time?
If you, for example, have 10 days in Austria or more, then the world is really your oyster. For those who want to see more of this beautiful country, head to the west and make sure to explore the Tyrol region. The Alpine city of Innsbruck is infinitely popular and is a perfect getaway for those looking for an active holiday. From here, you can also visit the gorgeous glaciers at Dachstein.
If you’re interested in heading to some neighbouring countries, Slovenia is well-located and easy to get to from Graz. Consider spending heading to the city of Maribor before venturing onto Ljubljana (and beyond, if you have the time!).
There is a lot to see and do in and around Austria and it is likely impossible to plan a bad itinerary in this beautiful country. However, with the proper planning and knowledge, you can map out the absolutely perfect trip for you and your travel style.
Are you planning a trip to Austria? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!