Best Austria Itinerary – 5-10 Days in Austria
Are you planning your perfect Austria itinerary and wondering about the best things to do in Austria in 5 days, 7 days, or 10 days?
It can be overwhelming planning a trip to a country but I am pretty certain that you have a great itinerary for Austria that covers many beautiful places and attractions – whether you stay one week or longer in Austria (or shorter).
Austria is small, but extremely beautiful! The country has stunning scenery, as well as beautiful towns and romantic cities. If I had to name the most romantic country in Europe, I would suggest Austria.
Well, I am aware that no one asked me, but I still think that this country is bursting with romance. But, no worries! I mostly visited as a solo traveler and never felt out of place.
Austria´s beautiful cities with their historic castles and fortresses, the pretty villages and towns in combination with the Austrian Alps, and the gorgeous lakes surely deserve more than 5 or 7 days.
However, given that most of us cannot travel endlessly, here are some of my favorite places – the most beautiful places in Austria – and some travel tips for Austria in a week.
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TRAVEL TIPS AUSTRIA
Let´s start with some travel tips. I will try to keep it short and sweet.
How to Get Around in Austria
Austria is a small country, so getting around is quite easy, whether you opt for public transportation, going by car, or taking guided tours.
You can get from one side of the country to the other quite fast – and though getting around is easy, plan in enough time for traveling place to place.
This is especially true if you travel by car. I stopped many times to soak in the beautiful scenery and snap pictures along the way.
By Car: Whether you rent a car or get there in your own, you will need a toll sticker (of course, you can also avoid toll highways).
The cheapest is the toll sticker for 10 days, which costs around $10 (9€).
BUT there are more private streets that cost extra – I was not aware of that (and thought I was all set with my toll sticker). I paid around $11 twice more for two private streets (which seriously annoyed me).
You can find out about the private streets and avoid them, but if you are spontaneous, then this sucks.
However, the streets, side streets, and highways are generally very good in Austria. They are modern, and it is fun driving in Austria (watch out for the speed cams).
By Public Transportation: Austria´s public transportation is quite good. When I did some research, I found it to be a bit expensive though – at least train rides from one place to another.
However, public transportation in city centers, like Salzburg or Vienna, is very cheap. So, even when you are getting around by car, I suggest leaving your car when in the city center.
Best Time to Visit Austria
If you are a winter sports lover, then of course winter is the best time (or if you love Christmas Markets, which are big in Austria).
I personally enjoy off-season traveling, but have visited some places during their peak-seasons before.
Austria in the summer months can be busy – like really busy. So, if possible, I suggest visiting somewhere between April and the beginning of June, or in September or October.
In Central Europe, we can never be sure about the weather, but I guess, in general, the weather is mild, sunny, and nice between April and June, and September and October.
Prices for accommodations also drop at that time (unfortunately, Austria can be really pricey).
You will get free, delicious water from the mountains at many places throughout the country. So, my tip is to bring a good water bottle and enjoy the free water.
Also, city cards might help you save money. Depending on the amount of activities you plan to do, I suggest calculating if they will work for you.
Safety in Austria
In general, Austria is a very safe country. Of course, life is the city tends to bring more crime with it. In cities like Vienna, I suggest keeping your wallet and purse very close to you – and avoid side streets in the dark as a solo female traveler.
But there are no extra precautions I take when I am in Austria.
Up to 10 Days in Austria: The Best Austria Itinerary
Okay, here is the first part of the itinerary – if you have around five days to one week in Austria these three places are must-sees in Austria.
Vienna – 2 Days
Vienna is one of my favorite cities in Europe. So pretty, so compact, and so romantic.
Vienna is a great place to start your Austria trip (or to end it). Whatever you decide, DON´T skip this city.
I am no expert on architecture, but I was impressed by the numerous beautiful buildings that are everywhere in the city. You have to experience Vienna. You should spend two full days here, to really understand how gorgeous it is.
Things to do in Vienna:
- Visit the Stephansdom Cathedral
- Head to the Austrian Parliament
- Stroll the Museum District
- Have fun at the Viennese Prater
- Marvel at Schönbrunn Palace
- Enjoy the Hundertwasser Village
- Visit The Hofburg
- Learn about history at Schloss Belvedere
Unfortunately, Vienna is quite expensive, but I think it is worth it! To read more detailed Vienna guide, click here. I also have a more detailed guide on the best accommodations in Vienna which you can check out.
Where to Stay in Vienna
HOTEL SACHER: Find luxury at its best at Hotel Sacher near Hofburg. The hotel is rated the best in the city and its central location is perfect if you want to limit driving around or using public transportation. Find out more about the rates for staying in this hotel here.
MERCURE VIENNA FIRST: One good medium priced accommodation to stay in Vienna is Mercure Vienna First – it was the place, I stayed when I visited Vienna the last time. Find out more about that particular hotel by clicking here.
To find out prices for accommodations in Vienna please click here.
From Vienna, it takes about 2-3 hours to get to the next beautiful city – Salzburg.
Salzburg – 2 Days
Salzburg is one of the prettiest cities on this itinerary – and home to several really stunning castles and fortresses. I am not ashamed to admit it, but I have a little crush on this city.
Accommodations are quite expensive, but with your Salzburg Card, you can at least save some money on activities.
Things to do in Salzburg:
- Stroll the old town
- Visit Hohensalzburg Fortress
- See the St. Erhard Kirche
- Admire the Mirabell Palace and Garden
- Visit the Cemetery at St. Peters Abbey
- Enjoy the Views from Kapuzinerberg
- Visit Schloss Hellbrunn
These are a few of my favorite activities in Salzburg. I also have a more detailed post on Salzburg where I have more info on prices, duration, and attractions.
But as you can see, your 1-week itinerary should have Salzburg on it!
Where to Stay in Salzburg
HOTEL SACHER SALZBURG: If you want to stay in the old town – and prefer a luxury hotel – then the Radisson Blu most likely is the perfect choice for you. The location is convenient because from there you can easily walk to most main attractions and it is one of the best-rated hotels in Salzburg. Check out rates for the hotel here
STAR INN PREMIUM SALZBURG
If you are looking for a good but more affordable hotel in the city center, then the Star Inn Premium Salzburg would be a good pick. Its location makes it easy to discover Salzburg on foot. Check out rates for the hotel here
IBIS BUDGET AIRPORT SALZBURG: I normally opt for hotels in the city center – however, since I was driving my own car, I decided to stay outside the main city center. I wanted to avoid driving in the city center and also did not want the hassle that comes with finding parking spots in the city center – if you do not want to pay too much.
So, I ended up at Ibis Salzburg Airport. There was enough free parking, and I had to walk for about 7 minutes to the bus station which was perfect for me. Check out prices for the hotel here.
Depending on the time of your arrival, I suggest staying one or two nights (I seriously recommend at least 36 hours in Salzburg before heading to the next pretty place in Austria. If you are in a rush you surely can visit the main attractions in one day – but it would be less fun.
Hallstatt – 1 Day
From Salzburg, you can get to Hallstatt quite easily – and the drive there is really scenic.
It takes about two hours (with some stops) to get to one of the most famous places in Austria.
Hallstatt is one of the most beautiful places in Austria – and is particularly popular with Chinese tourists, who come for a day (or even just a few hours). Hallstatt is extremely small, so you could “finish” it in two hours. But I suggest planning a full day, so you can include a few more activities.
Things to do in Hallstatt:
- Stroll the Lake Promenade
- Stroll the Streets and Visit the Market Square
- Hike Hallstatt and See it from Above at Skywalk
- Learn About the History at Salzwelten Hallstatt
- Pay a Visit to the Cemetery and Catholic Church
- Walk the Upper Stairs
There are not many hotels in Hallstatt – so if you want to stay overnight, it is advised to book early. Find hotel prices in Salzburg here.
Okay, by now you have around 5 days in Austria. Austria´s nature is stunning, but if you are only in Austria for 5 days, then I would focus on these places (the best scenery is in Switzerland).
You will experience the best of Austria‘s cities and towns with this itinerary.
Where to Stay in Hallstatt
Unfortunately, there are not many hotels in Hallstatt and hotels can be booked quickly – check out which hotels are available for your dates (p.s. if you book via Booking.Com you can often cancel up to 24 hours before your arrival without any costs).
More Places to Visit in Austria – 7 -10 Days in Austria
However, if you have a few more days, say 7 to 14 days in Austria, I suggest a few more places below.
I must say that I did not visit all of the places mentioned below (just a few of them), but these were places that I added to my Austria itinerary. However, I spontaneously decided to head to Switzerland (not because I think that Austria is not pretty, but because my blog focuses heavily on Switzerland).
Kössen – 1 Day
I stayed for two nights in this little paradise. I actually only booked it to take a rest and come down from the previous weeks. I did not expect much distraction here.
But what can I say: Kössen is extremely beautiful. It was probably one of the most peaceful places and peaceful moments during my almost 8-week European road trip.
It is a paradise for outdoor lovers. It is a picturesque area to go hiking in and for paragliding. Given its proximity to Germany, you could also do a day trip to Bavaria.
Check out hotel prices in Kössen here.
Kitzbühel and Schwarzsee Lake – 1 Day
Kitzbühel is known as a winter paradise, and while I normally dislike places for the “pretty” and rich, I took a chance and visited Kitzbühel for a day.
The town center is small – like really small – but pretty, and if you combine it with a trip to Schwarzsee Lake, you can have a great day in Kitzbühel.
Okay, now you have about one week Austria. If you have more days, then check out the next recommendations, or skip one of the above-mentioned tips (except Salzburg, Hallstatt, or Vienna) and visit one of the places mentioned below instead.
Kitzbühel is home to some super luxurious hotels – so, if you aren’t on a budget, you can check out accommodation prices in Kitzbühel here.
If you are lucky enough to have around 10 days in Austria, then you can visit all of the suggested places (doesn‘t that sound dreamy?).
Innsbruck – 1 Day
Innsbruck is another city that is located in the more western part of Austria. Getting there from Hallstatt or Salzburg is time-consuming and will take about 3 hours.
So, it makes sense to bundle it with a few more places close by.
Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol, is a colorful place that is great to visit in the summer and winter months.
I guess it is one of the typical, pretty Austrian towns that we all love.
Here are a few attractions and activities in Innsbruck:
- Visit the Hofkirche and the Emperor’s Tomb
- Marvel at the Golden Roof
- Pay a Visit to the Hofburg
- Stroll the Old Town
I think that one day in Innsbruck is enough, and I would then head to a beautiful lake and enjoy some outdoor time in nature.
Click here to find out about hotel prices in Innsbruck.
Zell am See – 2 Days
From Innsbruck to Zell am See, it is not that far and I would spend about 1.5 days here before heading back to Vienna – or whatever my next destination might be.
Here are a few things to do in Zell am See:
- Enjoy the Old Town
- Go Hiking
- Visit Kaprun
As you might know, I am chasing lakes all over the world. I have found the prettiest in Switzerland and the Dolomites so far (I really need to see more of Canada´s lakes to make my final conclusion), but Austria also has some stunning lakes.
Find your cozy hotel in Zell am See click here.
If you actually have 14 days in Austria, you can stay one more night in any of these destinations, and of course, you can tweak the Austria itinerary however you like.
Personally, I think it is really hard to give exact times because we all travel differently. However, this Austria itinerary is how I would spend my time in Austria – whether I stay 5 days in Austria, 7 days or 10 days.