The Ultimate 5 to 7 Days in Austria Itinerary

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by Maggie Turansky

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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.

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?

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 is going to be your best bet.

With a week in Austria, you have the opportunity to visit several different places, have the time to 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 the country or more. With this amount of time, you don’t need to leave anything off of your itinerary and you will be able to spend time in some more far-flung places and areas a bit off the beaten tourist trail.

Hofburg Palace in Vienna
Hofburg Palace in Vienna

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 Austrian 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 several major companies on

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.

Salzburg from the Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg from the Hohensalzburg Fortress

5 to 7-Day Austria Itinerary

Day 1 – Vienna

The perfect place to begin any visit to Austria 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 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 attractions 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.

Vienna State Opera House
Vienna State Opera House

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 several room sizes to choose from and an option to add breakfast each morning.

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.

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 and several common areas and kitchen facilities that make it easy to meet other travellers in the city.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Vienna hotels!

Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral)
Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral)

Day 2 – Vienna

Day 2 of your Austria trip 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 includes places like the Leopold Museum and the Modern Art Museum.

Schloss Belvedere
Schloss Belvedere

Day 3 – Vienna

One of the benefits of spending 3 days in the Austrian capital 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!

Bratislava skyline
Bratislava skyline

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.

View of Fortress while hiking on Monchsberg
View of Hohensalzburg Fortress while hiking on Monchsberg

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 several lovely rooms on offer – perfect for exploring the city!

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 luxe rooms available and countless other amenities to ensure your stay is a great one.

Yoho International Youth Hostel – Budget and solo travellers will 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

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Salzburg hotels!

Residenzplatz in Salzburg
Residenzplatz in Salzburg

Day 5 – Salzburg

On the final day of your 5-day trip to Austria (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.

Iconic archway featured in The Sound of Music in Mirabell Gardens
Iconic archway featured in The Sound of Music in Mirabell Gardens

Day 6 – Gollinger Waterfall & Hallstatt

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.

Gollinger Waterfall near Salzburg
Gollinger Waterfall

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.

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 clean, modern and comfortable rooms on offer and there is also an on-site fitness centre for guests to use at their leisure.

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.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Graz!

Beautiful views of Graz
Beautiful views of 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 at one of Graz’s many phenomenal restaurants – and make sure to sample some of the great wines grown in the region!

Graz's Famous Clock Tower
Graz’s Famous Clock Tower

Have More Time?

If you, for example, have 10 days in Austria or more, then the world is 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!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie


  1. Hi, Amazing article, helps a lot!

    I have more questions around sightseeing near Hallstatt and Salzburg- for eg- 5 fingers, lake wolfgangsee..what else can i explore on these lines? and any budget hostels to stay a night probably in or near Hallstatt?



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