An Epic 5-Day Austria Itinerary

WHAT TO DO IN 5 DAYS IN AUSTRIA – ITINERARY

Are you planning your perfect 5-day Austria itinerary and wondering about the best things to do? How to get around, where to stay?

Planning a trip to a country can be overwhelming, but I am certain that this is a great itinerary that covers many beautiful places and attractions.

Austria is small but extremely gorgeous! 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 probably say it is 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 pretty cities with their historic castles and fortresses, the pretty villages and towns combined with the Austrian Alps, and the gorgeous lakes surely deserve more than 5 days. 

However, given that most of us cannot travel endlessly, here are some of my favorite places and some travel tips.

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BEST TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR AUSTRIA ITINERARY

Let´s start with some travel tips. I will try to keep it short and sweet.

Best Way to Get Around

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 from 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 on your own, you will need a toll sticker (of course, you can also avoid toll highways).

Scenic drive from Salzburg to Hallstatt
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The cheapest is the toll sticker for 10 days, which costs around $10 (9€).

BUT more private streets 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 roads and avoid them, but if you are spontaneous, then this sucks.

However, these roads, side streets and roads, and highways are generally very good in Austria. They are modern, and it is fun driving in Austria (watch out for the speed cams).

Gas is quite cheap (some of the cheapest in Europe), so when you are in Bavaria or Italy, Switzerland before/after, try to refuel in Austria. Click here to check out rental prices in Austria.

By Public Transportation: Austria´s public transportation is quite good. When I researched, 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 in the (hotel) parking lot and then get bus tickets.

What is The Best Time to Visit Austria?

I personally enjoy off-season traveling but have visited some places during their peak-seasons before. 

  • If you are a winter sports lover, winter is the best time (or love Christmas Markets, which are big in Austria and especially in Vienna).
  • Austria in the summer months can be busy – like really busy. I would avoid the summer months if possible (especially July and August).
  • If possible, I suggest visiting somewhere between April and the beginning of June, September, or early October. In Central Europe, we can never be sure about the weather. But I guess, in general, the weather is mild and sunny in this period. Prices for accommodations also drop at that time (unfortunately, Austria can be really pricey).

Is Austria Expensive?

Austria is a quite expensive travel destination. Though it is a little more affordable than Switzerland or Scandinavian countries, it is – overall speaking – more costly than countries in Southern or Eastern Europe.

  • Accommodation and transport will probably be the main costs. Still, you can save money by staying outside the city center or traveling during the shoulder season (this Austria itinerary is great for any time of the year).
  • Dining out constantly might also eat into your budget, so if you need to watch your expenses closely, do book accommodations with kitchen access so you can prepare a few meals yourself. There are some affordable supermarkets where you can get your groceries.
  • Cutting back with your meat consumption and alcohol will also help you with your budget.
  • You will get free, delicious water from the mountains at many places throughout the country. My tip is to bring a good refillable water bottle so you do not spend any money on the water.
  • Also, city cards might help you save money. Depending on the number of activities you plan to do, I suggest calculating if they will work for you.

Is Austria Safe?

In general, Austria is a very safe country. Of course, life in the city tends to bring more crime with it.

  • I recommend keeping your wallet and purse very close to you in cities like Vienna because pickpocketing is common.
  • And avoid side streets in the dark – especially as a solo female traveler, you should always be more cautious.
  • If you road trip Austria, do not leave valuables in the car.

Of course, using common sense is important to any traveler, even in Austria. But there are no extra precautions I take when I am in Austria. Just be cautious.

HOW TO SPEND 5 DAYS IN AUSTRIA – ITINERARY

Okay, after the basic travel tips it is time to talk about the best places to visit in 5 days.

VIENNA – 2 DAYS

Vienna is one of my favorite cities in Europe. So pretty, so compact, and so romantic, and it is a great place to start your Austria trip (or to end it). Whatever you decide, DON´T skip this city.

Vienna where to stay in Austria
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I am no expert on architecture, but I was impressed by the numerous beautiful buildings everywhere in the city, and it is so much fun to stroll the streets and admire the facades. As mentioned initially, it can be very romantic, but it doesn’t have to be.

You should spend two full days here, to really understand how gorgeous it is and see the main sights. 

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 a more detailed Vienna guide, click here

Where to Stay in Vienna

SALZBURG – 2 DAYS

It takes about 2-3 hours to get to the next beautiful city – Salzburg.

Salzburg is one of the prettiest cities (or THE prettiest city?!) on this Austria 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, and so it does not surprise I recommend spending some of your 5 days in Austria here.

View from Museum der Moderne in Salzburg the best views
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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.

Best views in Salzburg St Erhard Kirche
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Where to Stay in Salzburg

  • HOTEL RADISSON BLU: 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 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. 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 stop, which was perfect for me. Check out the prices for the hotel here.

Depending on your arrival time, I suggest staying one or two nights 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 enjoyable.

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 the country, which is a must-see for any Austria itinerary, but you can also quite easily get there by train/bus/boat.

First view point of Hallstatt Austria
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Hallstatt is one of the most beautiful villages 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 that you can include a few more activities.

Things to do in Hallstatt

  • Stroll the Lake Promenade
  • Road the Streets and Visit the Market Square
  • Hike and See Hallstatt from Above at Skywalk
  • Learn About the History at Salzwelten Hallstatt
  • Pay a visit to the Cemetery and Catholic Church
  • Walk the Upper Stairs

Find my more detailed post on Hallstatt here.

Where to go in Hallstatt Market Square
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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.

Austria´s nature is stunning, but if you are only in Austria for 5 days, I will focus on these places (you’ll find the best scenery in Switzerland).

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. Check out hotel rates in Hallstatt here.

CONCLUSION: BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN AUSTRIA IN 5 DAYS

Personally, I think it is tough to give exact times because we all travel differently, and everyone has different focuses when traveling.

However, this 5-day Austria itinerary is how I would spend my time in this country. It is such a beautiful country and surely deserves more time. Still, realistically we all have only a limited time to spend in a country (especially in an expensive country like Austria), so I hope you enjoy your trip. If you have a few more days in the country, you can see more of this beautiful country.

PIN ME FOR LATER – 5-DAY AUSTRIA ITINERARY

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5-day Austria itinerary pin for Pinterest, places to visit and more tips for 5 days in Austria
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Safe Travels, Arzo
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