Getting done with all the tasks from covering all the attractions to finding the best hotels to stay in seems like a daunting task. Not to forget, the set limitations of budget for the 14 days to explore Austria. It looks like you might have to spend a lot of hours doing research for your Austria itinerary.
Do not worry! With our detailed itinerary for 14 days in Austria, you need to simply focus on what you’re going to wear to the trip and look amazing. Our ultimate Austria itinerary will help you with the day-to-day guides on where to visit with refreshment stops, hotel recommendations, and things to do.
When To Plan Austria Itinerary Road Trip?
We went to Austria several times. The summer months of June through August are ideal for outdoor adventures like hiking and boating in Austria. Although Austria has high temperatures in summer, it is advised to visit the country in early summer or late fall between May and September.
The weeks around the end of May and the start of June offer a delightful combination of nice weather and fewer tourists. In addition to experiencing the busy but not too crowded towns, you can take pleasure in trekking in the highlands or exploring lakes.
Driving in Austria
If you want the real experience of wading through Austria, the best way is a road trip. The open road and breathtaking scenery are the main attractions of road trips throughout Austria. Imagine looking out the window and witnessing wind-buffed meadows, silent lakes, and the beautiful Austrian alps. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
That is why you should get a rental car to explore the old town while enjoying the picturesque views of snow-capped mountains. However, there are some travel tips to keep in mind while driving in Austria.
Tips for Driving in Austria
- You should have a permanent driving license and a permit to drive internationally.
- To drive on the highways, you need a toll sticker (vignette) from the post office or any gas station you find on the way. Note that the vignette is not needed for other national roads (than the hightway)
- Austria offers numerous panoramic mountain routes, such as the Danube valley or Villach Alpine Road, etc. However, you will have to pay toll tax on visiting these places. Taxes vary from 5 to 18€. Google Maps mentions that as “Toll Roads”
- Make sure that you check the weather before you drive up there because it makes no sense if you can’t see anything.
- The roads along the way are generally very good, but you will come across a steep slope when driving through the mountains.
- Austria does not have a steady price for gas, so avoid getting the tank filled on highways or in small villages to avoid paying double the price.
Austria Road Trip Itinerary
This 14-day Austria road trip explores the best culinary and scenic landscapes. This itinerary is specially designed for those who wish to truly and profoundly experience Austria by road.
Day 1-3: Start from Vienna
We will start our road trip in Europe’s cultural center and the Austrian capital, Vienna, which is located on the banks of the Danube river. It is home to countless balls, imperial palaces like the Belvedere palace, and the sound of the music tour.
After stepping out of the Vienna international airport, you’ll explore all that this beautiful city has to offer and you’ll feel as though time has stood still. The best way to get to the city from the airport will be to take the City Airport Train which will take you to Wien Mitte in 16 minutes.
Day 1: The Classics of Vienna
First things first, you won’t need your car here since the public transportation in Vienna is commendable and convenient. Now, let’s move on to Day 1 of our 3-day trip to Vienna.
Tour of the Hofburg palace
The Hofburg palace of Vienna is one of the largest historic buildings in the world. It was the winter home to the Austrian dynasty of Hapsburgs for 600 years. Since 1946, this palace offers residence to the Federal President of Austria.
For cultural and historic information on the palace, you can visit the Sissi Museum which offers comprehensive details about the life of Queen Elisabeth. The museum consists of more than 300 of her personal belongings, including her popular dresses.
Don’t miss out on the best coffee house in the neighborhood, Cafe Central, for cake and coffee. The ambiance is dedicated to Franz Joseph and Sissi (Elizabeth I). After enjoying the sweet pastries, head on to St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
Climb to the top of St. Stephen’s Cathedral
The St. Stephen’s Cathedral tower has ruled Vienna’s skyline with its renowned colorful tiled roof since it was built. The Archbishop of Vienna resides in the Gothic church.
You can visit the church and climb to the top for unrivaled views of the city. After the grand tour, you can head for lunch at Settimo Cielo for an excellent menu and a splendid wine list.
Take a ride on Weiner Riesenrad
Now, it’s time to move on to Weiner Riesenrad.
Spend your evening on the Giant Ferris Wheel in Vienna which is 65-meter-tall. Enjoy the stunning sunset in the air while taking in the beauty of Vienna city. After that, you will enjoy your evening at the Vienna State Opera.
Enjoy the Vienna State Opera
A night at Vienna State Opera is a must when visiting a city with such a rich musical and cultural heritage. With its stunning Neo-Renaissance architecture and interior that resembles a palace, the opera house is one of the best in the world. You can get 40-minute tour guides to understand the historical importance of the structure.
Day 2: Vienna’s Must-See Places
Stroll the pathways of Schönbrunn Palace
To start off our second day of sightseeing, we will visit the majestic Schönbrunn Palace, which will be just a 10-minute car ride from the city center. The 1,441-room Baroque palace is regarded as one of the most significant historical, cultural, and architectural structures built by empress Maria Theresa. The Hapsburgs have lived here as their vacation home ever since the 18th century.
You’ll visit 40 of the palace’s exquisitely decorated rooms as you do the tour of the place. One of those rooms will be the Mirror where 6-year-old Mozart performed his first concert.
Then, you will head on to enjoy the local market at Naschmarkt which is a 10-minute ride by car.
Enjoy the local colors at Naschmarkt
We’ll visit the Naschmarkt, one of Vienna’s most well-known marketplaces. It has some legacy, having been around since the 16th century. You can find anything here, including international fruits and vegetables, unique spices, all types of cheeses, and seafood.
The market hosts several eateries and food stands that offer Viennese specialties. It’ll be a great way to start your second day of touring Vienna! After you’ve enjoyed the local colors, you will head to the Spanish Riding School.
Give the horses a visit at Spanish Riding School
The Spanish Riding School is home to Lipizzan horses and it is one of the most famous places in Vienna. The horses and their riders perform training exercises for the visitors in classical dresses which will leave you amazed. Then, you’ll head on to the Schönbrunn Garden.
Relaxing scenery at Schönbrunn Garden
Once you’re done with the interior, proceed to the gardens. Since 1779, the garden has been accessible to everyone. Admire the 8 wonderfully symmetrical, well-kept areas of the Crown Prince Garden along with the Neptune Fountain.
Also, spend some time climbing the top of the hill of Gloriette for a fantastic sight of the palace and the main square of Vienna.
For an amazing dining experience, please visit the Schönbrunner Stöckl & Dinnertheater in its original setting with their staff dressed as famous characters from the old times.
Day 3: Vienna’s Hidden Gems
Tour of the Rathaus
Many visitors just walk by this great building but never go inside. The 1800s saw the completion of Vienna’s Neo-Gothic Town Hall, which now houses the mayor’s offices. The Rathaus featured five towers, the greatest of which was the middle one and was topped by a statue of the Rathausman which you can visit for a guided tour.
Then, you can head to Wachau Valley for learning the history of the area.
Hike through Wachau Valley
The Wachau is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Danube Valley. It features some of the pre-historic monasteries, castles, and ruins with urban planning. You can visit its towns and villages to see its agriculture, primarily for the cultivation of vines. Head on to take a hike in the valley.
Enjoy the Sunset at Danube Tower
The Danube Tower is a great place to go for a great view in Vienna because it is the highest building in Austria. You can enjoy a great view of the capital town. The best time to come here is in the evening, when you have a nice cup of coffee and enjoy the sunset. If that’s not enough, head on to the city river cruise.
Wade away in the City River Cruise
If there is a river cruise opportunity in a city, we always want to take it. The river cruises in Vienna are a peaceful way to see some sights while relieving your feet of the strain and possibly sipping a cold beverage. It will be the best way to end your 3-day trip in Vienna.
Vienna Hotel Recommendations
Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof: Mid-range
This hotel is a top pick owing to its ideal location in the heart of Vienna with many historic places within walking distance. The rooms at the Herrenhof are incredibly spacious with a touch of Baroque architecture and Art Déco.
Comfy apartments at Siebertgasse: Budget
Comfy Apartments at Siebertgasse is a pleasant, light-filled lodging. We adore these flats’ warmth, pastel accents, and minimalist aesthetic.
Day 4-6: Hello Salzburg!
It’s time to head to your next stop on your Austria road trip by train, which will take around 2 hours and 30 minutes. In Western Austria, Salzburg offers some of the best views of the Eastern Alps and the Salzach River, which runs through the heart of the city.
Day 4: Café Bazar & Architectural Attractions
Austro-Hungarian breakfast at Cafe Bazar
Start your day with the Cafe Bazar, a traditional Austrian café located beside the Salzach River. Here you will have a true Austro-Hungarian cafe experience. Then, you can visit the Mirabell Palace and Gardens.
Take a walk through Mirabell Palace and Gardens
Prince Wolf Dietrich built this magnificent castle in 1606 and gave it to Salome Alt, his mistress, as a present. You can stroll through the extensive gardens and peek inside the estate’s common areas.
Magnificent sightseeing at Residenzplatz
Then, head on to Residenzplatz for some beautiful sights.
After admiring these magnificent sights, make your way to Salzburg’s central plaza, Residenzplatz. Here, you will find the Salzburg Museum, the Salzburg Glockenspiel, a clock tower, and the ancient residence of the Archbishop of Salzburg around a lovely fountain.
We suggest visiting the adjacent Mus Deli after all the sightseeing for the local cuisine at reasonable pricing from 9 €-24 €.
Go up the Hohen Salzburg fortress
Then, go on to visit the HohenSalzburg fortress.
This structure is the most distinctive feature of the city’s skyline and is regarded as one of the best-preserved examples of its kind in all of Europe. It is perched on a hill with a view of the city. The fortress includes a variety of museums and observation decks where you learn about the background of this renowned fortress.
Pay a visit to the Salzburg Cathedral
It’s time to move on to Salzburg Cathedral.
In the early 19th century, Salzburg was governed by the Catholic Church, and it wasn’t until 1816 that Salzburg joined modern Austria. Because of this, there are several Catholic churches scattered across Salzburg, but the Salzburg Cathedral stands out above the rest.
Day 5: Traditional Markets & Nature
Wander around Schrannemarkt
Take a trip to the Schrannemarkt if any of your three days in Salzburg falls on a Thursday. Open-air markets are something you’ll really enjoy exploring. This enormous market, which is right next to Mirabell Palace, is filled with several vendors selling locally made goods and seasonal, fresh fruit.
Visit the famous Salzburg Museum
Spend some time visiting a museum or two to find out more about Salzburg and its most well-known resident, Mozart. You can choose to go to either Mozart House, the Museum of Modern Art, or the Salzburg Museum.
Walp up Kapuzinerberg
Take a quick lunch break at Gasthaus Zwettler and head on to Kapuzinerberg.
It’s time to be a little active and walk up Kapuzinberg, the second significant peak defining Salzburg’s skyline. It offers a view of the Hohensalzburg Fortress and the city around it. Then move to Die Weisse for some fresh beers.
Enjoy a Cold Drink at Die Weisse
The Die Weisse Brewery offers locally brewed wheat drinks along with some seasonal brews. With a full kitchen and a sizable and welcoming beverage garden, it’s a terrific spot to unwind on warm days. If you’d like, you could even stay for dinner there.
Day 6: A Taste of the Alps & Nature
Relaxing walk by Mondsee & Wolfgangsee
The lakes Mondsee and Wolfgangsee are your best options if you want to relax or engage in some water sports in the Alpine lake. These are both conveniently close to Salzburg’s city center and are beautiful to visit with a mere 45 minute drive. Enjoy the picturesque views at the lake before heading to the Werfen Ice caves.
Explore the Werfen Ice Caves & Hohenwerfen Castle
Explore the Werfen Ice Caves if you’re seeking an amazing and engaging experience. These ice caves, which can be found in Werfen, about 40 kilometers south of Salzburg, are simply amazing. You can look for amazing ski resorts in Werfen to enjoy skiing as well.
Hohenwerfen Castle, a historic fortress perched atop a towering hill overlooking the town of Werfen, is close to the ice caves and can be reached within 15 minutes by car.
Hike through the Gollinger Waterfall
Then, you can head to enjoy the beautiful Gollinger Waterfall.
The Gollinger Waterfall is the ideal destination for a day of hiking. This waterfall, which is about 30 km south of Salzburg, is incredibly spectacular and can be seen after a brief stroll from the parking lot.
Although the waterfall is nearly immediately visible, there is a clearly defined and well-maintained trail that you may use to observe it from vantage angles.
Salzburg Hotel Recommendations
Hotel Wolf: Mid-range
In the center of Salzburg Altstadt, the hotel is housed in a structure that was constructed in 1429. Hotel Wolf features comfortably designed colorful rooms with quirky furniture and spotless bathrooms.
Hotel Flair: Budget
The rooms at this inexpensive hotel are tidy, spacious, and offer a nice view of the city. The hotel is close to Altstadt Salzburg and Salzburg train station, both of which can be reached by walking in 30 minutes.
Day 7-8: Time for the Amazing Hallstatt
With 2 days to spend in Hallstatt, you don’t need to skip any attractions in the city.
Read Also: How Enjoy Hallstatt in Winter (Budget-Friendly!)
Day 7: The Ice Cave & Heilbronn Cross Loop
We advise fully covering the Alpine scenery on Dachstein mountain during the entire morning and into the afternoon by road.
After breakfast, enjoy the views from the 5 Fingers Lookout or have lunch on the balcony of the Krippenstein Alpine Lodge. You can take the cable car from the second-level station. You don’t get to eat lunch overlooking a glacier on the summit of a mountain every day.
Spend the day after lunch either trekking between the Alpine lodges or completing the three-hour Heilbronn Cross Loop Trail before heading back to Hallstatt’s main square.
Grab a leisurely lakeside meal at Heritage Cafe in the evening, but save your appetite for exploration of the town for the day the next day.
Day 8: Hallstatt Hidden Gems
You can fully concentrate on the in-town attractions on your second day. Start the day by taking the funicular with glass walls up Salt Mountain. Move on to Rudolph’s Tower Restaurant for breakfast and then to Hallstatt Skywalk lookout sights.
Next, take the Salt Mine’s entire 2-hour tour and think about returning to town by way of the Salt Brine Trail, which descends a hill. It is the oldest brine pipe in Europe and dates back to 1670. It takes you through wonderful woodland areas and past a waterfall with breathtaking views of the town.
After returning to the town’s center, visit the Bone House Chapel, take a round trip, and enjoy a nice lunch in Market Square.
Consider spending a leisurely afternoon by the lake in the Hallstatt style before dinner and renting a boat for the whole experience.
Hallstatt Hotel Recommendations
Fenix Hall Boutique Hotel: Mid Range
Fenix Hall is situated in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Hallstatt, about 800 meters from the center. The rooms have oak floors and an earthy vibe. They are decorated in a contemporary country style and have mountain views.
Salzhaus offers lodging with views of the mountains in Hallstatt. It also has water sports amenities.
Day 9-10: Mayrhofen
All seasons are wonderful in Mayrhofen, with winter and early spring offering traditional Alpine skiing and a developing ski touring culture.
Day 9: Krimml Waterfalls
If the ravine yesterday amazed you, wait until you see what is the most spectacular waterfall in all of Europe! You can choose how far you wish to travel to see the Krimml waterfalls as they cascade across a number of levels. It is amazing in and of itself that the first sight is a 15-minute walk from the parking.
You might enjoy getting into your hotel and spending a relaxing afternoon after a demanding morning. You can take another hike in the evening in the vicinity of your hotel by enquiring at your hotel reception.
Day 10: Zillertal Valley
Another feeder town for the nearby ski resorts, is located in the Zillertal Valley in the Tyrol province and you can take a rental car up there. If you have the energy, you can take the cable cars from the city up to the resorts, where there are many hiking routes, although the scenery is beautiful on their own. Spend the day enjoying the snow activities in your ski resort.
You can wander along the river in the city. Check out Goldkind if you need a suggestion for a dining venue.
Mayrhofen Hotel Recommendations
Hotel Berghof Mayrhofen: Mid-range
This hotel features Chalet-style housing along with a restaurant serving traditional Austrian cuisine and a beer garden. For summertime dives, there is also a spa and outdoor pool. The distance to the closest ski lift is approximately ten minutes by foot.
Gasthof Zillertal: Budget
The Gasthof Zillertal provides lodging with the best views. The on-site bar is open to visitors and private parking is cost-free. Some of the rooms at the Gasthof Zillertal have a mountain view or a river view.
Day 11-13: The Inevitable Innsbruck
Going to Innsbruck will be an overwhelming experience given its rich history, breathtaking scenery, and unique culture. You can take a train to Inssbruck or for the complete road trip experience, you can take the 1 hour drive to the place.
Day 11: Panorama Day
Check out the Beautiful Golden Roof
The Old Town will captivate history buffs with its ability to transport visitors back to the era of the Habsburg Emperor Maximillian I. The spectacular Golden Roof, composed of 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles, is a unique vantage point. When exposed to sunshine, it gleams brilliantly gold, therefore its name. Then head on to enjoy the views from Nordketter cable cars.
Take a ride of the Nordkette cable cars
You have to take the Nordkette cable cars in Innsbruck to enjoy the scenic views of the city. It is a funicular that features stations that also feature works of art by the late architect Zaha Hadid.
Let your eyes sparkle at Swarovski Crystal Worlds
Next, take a toll in the Swarovski Crystal Worlds.
The crystal company Swarovski is well-known to everyone. But not many people are aware that you can tour a museum, theme park, and exhibition area that showcases everything Swarovski! You must visit Swarovski Crystal Worlds to appreciate it, since some of its exhibits are simply extraordinary!
Day 12: Ambras Castles and Alpenzoo
Visit the famous Ambras Castle
Innsbruck can also pride itself in its magnificent collection of royal palaces and Medieval architecture. One such building that supports this is the Ambras Castle. While entering the Ambras Castle will undoubtedly be a memorable historical experience, it is undoubtedly a pleasure to view.
Say Hi to the animals at Alpenzoo
The Alpenzoo is distinctive in that it exhibits Alpine animals in a setting that is similar to their natural habitat. Even when the animals are curled up in their winter caves, you can see them through viewing windows.
Enjoy the Bergisel Ski Jump
You may already be aware that the Winter Olympics were held in Innsbruck twice. It shouldn’t be surprising that the Bergisel, one of the most recognizable ski jumps in the world, is located in this popular area for skiing and other outdoor sports, which makes it a must-visit.
Return to Old Town Innsbruck after a strenuous day of hiking, and locate the Stiftskeller. Locals and visitors enjoy eating at this sizable restaurant in the form of a Biergarten. It’s a fantastic way to meet people because the tables are lengthy and are shared by different groups of people.
Day 13: Discover Bad Ischl
It’s time to visit Bad Ischl, a city in Upper Austria that is also known as a spa town. Stroll along the Esplanade to take in the town’s royal splendor. Sit outside on a café patio to take in the opulent mountain views and majestic palaces.
The Museum of Bad Ischl offers a glimpse into regional history. Look for historical sites like Trinkhalle and the St. Nicholas Church, which is built in the Baroque style, in the town center. Kaiserpark has other artifacts from Austria’s imperial past on exhibit. Visit the lavish chambers of Kaiservilla, the summer residence of the Habsburg family.
If none of that appeal to you, then you can spend the day relaxing in one of the best spas in Austria.
Innsbruck Hotel Recommendations
The Salzkammerguttherme Thermal Spa is directly attached to this 4-star hotel in the center of Bad Ischl. The five dining rooms of the Hotel Royal provide traditional Austrian cuisine. The bar offers a large selection of cocktails and other high-quality beverages.
The Sonnhof is a hotel near to the Bad Ischl train station and across from the Salzkammerguttherme Spa Center. It is surrounded by a park with old trees. The Sonnhof’s beautifully decorated rooms all come with balconies and a scenic view.
Bonus 1 (Extra Stops) Bavarian Alps
The Eastern Alps, more especially the Bavarian Alps, are a portion of the Alps that are located in Germany with spectacular views of the Alps. A lovely country like Bavaria is one that you should definitely visit.
If not for the weather, then at least for the breathtaking scenery. Couples can enjoy some of Germany’s most beautiful scenery and a genuinely romantic experience in Bavaria.
Day 14: Back to Vienna
It’s the last day of your road trip and it’s time to get back to Vienna. But that doesn’t mean that your trip has come to an end. There’s still time to visit two more attractive places.
Bonus 2: Day Trip from Vienna to Bratislava
The city of Bratislava has had many different identities over the course of its history, but it has ultimately evolved into the vibrant and eccentric capital of Slovakia that you see today.
Read Also: Vienna to Bratislava by Bike: An Amazing Journey!
For your one-day trip from Vienna to Bratislava, here are some things that you would enjoy:
- A walk to the Bratislava Castle
- Old town hall museum
- Wander around the charming medieval streets
- Spend time at the Blue Church and Pink Palace
- Skim through the Bratislava Christmas markets
- View the sunset at Ufo Tower
Final Thoughts about Austria Itinerary
Your ultimate 14-day itinerary for a road trip through Austria is now complete! You’ll be able to take in all the natural beauty and cultural richness that Austria has to offer with this itinerary. So, what are you waiting for? Book your tickets and head on to visit the best places in Austria.