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Austria road trip itinerary 10 days

Austria is a hidden gem of Central Europe. Most travelers head to Switzerland or the Dolomites, but Austria also deserves more attention.

I spent 3 years living and traveling around Austria while studying at the University in Salzburg. So, I’ve created this road trip for you from a local’s perspective to explore this beautiful country’s hidden gems. It has adventure, interesting history and culturepicturesque towns, and stunning nature.

So, take this Austria road trip itinerary and have the best experience in Austria.

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Overview Of The Austria Road Trip For 10 Days

Here is an overview of what you can expect from this Austria itinerary each day:

DAY:DESTINATION:
1.Vienna
2.Vienna & Schönbrunn Palace
3.Day Trip: Wachau Wine Tasting
4.Vienna ⇒ Gmunden & Traun Lake ⇒ St. Wolfgang
5. St. Wolfgang ⇒ Salzburg
6.Salzburg
7.Salzburg ⇒ Hallein ⇒ Salt Mines Hallstatt
8.Werfen ⇒ Giant Ice Caves ⇒ Zell am See
9.Grossglockner High Alpine Road ⇒ Crystal Worlds ⇒ Innsbruck ⇒ Aqua Dome
10.Aqua Dome ⇒ Whitewater Rafting ⇒ Bregenz

Austria Road Trip Map

Here is a map of this Austrian road trip itinerary. Follow it so you don’t miss any highlights.

How To Get To Austria: Where To Start This 10-Day Austrian Road Trip

Our road trip through Austria starts in the capital city of Vienna.

It has great international connections, and the best way to reach the city is to fly to Vienna International Airport (Schwechat).

Vienna often has the best flight connections, and I always fly there, even when I go to visit my family in Slovakia.

Check out great flight deals via Skyscanner here.

How To Get To Vienna City Center From The Airport

You can get to the city center from Vienna Airport via high-speed train Cat, regular train S-Bahn, or a taxi/private shuttle.

The Cat high-speed train will only take you to the center in 15 minutes. It’s slightly more expensive (22 EUR) than the regular train but much faster and more convenient.

There are also regular S-trains connecting the airport to the city center of Vienna, which takes about 40 minutes and costs between 4 EUR to 8 EUR.

Or you can book this private shuttle from the airport directly to the hotel for the most convenient journey.

A taxi ride from the airport to Vienna center costs approximately 40 EUR and takes about 20 minutes, depending on the traffic.

Getting To Vienna Austria By Train

If you’re arriving in Vienna from a nearby European destination such as Prague, Berlin, or Budapest, you can also take a train.

The national Austrian railway is called OBB, and it has great connections to neighbouring countries. My favorite train is Railjet. So, if you’re booking a train to Vienna, look for this one.

Book your train ticket to Vienna via Trainline for the best deals.

Getting To Vienna Austria By Bus

Alternatively, you can take a bus if you’re on a budget. The main bus connections to Vienna are with Flixbus. If you’re arriving from the Czech Republic, you can also book a Regiojet bus (or train).

Check out the best bus connections to Vienna by clicking here.

Austria road trip itinerary 10 days
Me enjoying the Austrian Alps near Salzburg
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How To Get Around Austria & Make This Itinerary

The best way to explore Austria is by car. That’s why this itinerary is designed as a road trip.

Austria has many hidden gems that are hardly reachable by trains or buses. While it’s doable, taking public transportation often takes more time and doesn’t give you as much flexibility.

That’s why I recommend renting a car and making this Austrian road trip. You’ll need to rent it for 8 days, starting on day 3 to complete the entire itinerary.

You can rent a car and get the best deals by clicking on the box below:

RENT A CAR FOR YOUR ITINERARY

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0. DAY: ARRIVE IN VIENNA

At the beginning of our Austria itinerary, we’ll explore its capital, Vienna. This is a city full of history. It was the main residence of the Habsburg dynasty, a royal place with charm and elegance.

We’ll explore Princess Sisi’s apartments and beautiful gardens of Schonbrunn Palace, taste traditional Austrian desserts, and immerse ourselves in classical music.

Vienna was also named the most liveable city on the planet in 2022. It has a unique charm, so let’s go and experience it.

Where To Stay In Vienna: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

PRIVATE CENTRAL VIENNA Self Check-Inbudget-friendly hotel
STEIGENBERGER HOTEL HERRENHOFmid-range hotel
HOTEL IMPERIAL LUXURY COLLECTIONluxury hotel

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1. DAY: VIENNA

Good morning to Vienna. Today, you’ll have a full day in the city to explore its highlights.

Let’s start with an amazing museum, then see the Sisi’s apartments and the Habsburg Dynasty’s residences.

After, we’ll enjoy the Austrian atmosphere in a local market with fresh and delicious specialties in the evening.

Sightseeing In Vienna

🔅 Hofburg Palace
🔅
Vienna Natural History Museum
🔅
Esperanto Museum
🔅
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
🔅
Naschmarkt
🔅
Evening Performance At Opera House

🔅 Hofburg Palace

Hofburg Palace is where the Habsburg dynasty spent most of its wintertime for over 600 years. The complex dates back to the 13th century and, until 1918, was a residence to many Emperors, who continuously extended it.

Nowadays, its premises serve as offices for the Austrian federal president. You’ll see the Sisi Museum and learn about her inspiring life. It displays over 300 personal items of Empress Elisabeth and the dresses she used to wear.

You’ll also visit the Imperial Apartments and learn more about her life and marriage with Emperor Franz Joseph.

Get skip-the-line tickets to Hofburg Palace & Sisi Museum here.

Austria road trip itinerary 10 days Vienna Hofburg Palace
Hofburg Palace in Vienna

🔅 Vienna Natural History Museum

I’m not a big museum fan, but occasionally, I visit one. It must be that I genuinely feel it’ll be a good experience, or somebody tells me to visit it.

The Natural History Museum in Vienna was one of the surprising ones. I highly recommend you to see it. It has various natural elements inside, from fauna to flora, minerals, rocks, and stones to natural wonders.

Don’t forget to check out the digital planetarium. It’s really unique. You can book tickets on the spot (admission is free for those who are less than 19 years old).

🔅 Esperanto Museum

Learn about Esperanto in the center of Vienna. We, travel and language enthusiasts, seek opportunities to learn languages or something about them while we are traveling.

Esperanto is an artificial language; here, you can experience more about it and how it was created. And the admission is free.

🔅 St. Stephen’s Cathedral

The symbol of Vienna, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, has much to tell about the history. In fact, it survived World War II.

Let yourself take some time to admire its unique, dazzling roof. It has over 230,000 glazed tiles formed into various patterns.

One of the most important is the symbol of a double-headed eagle, the symbol of the Austrian Empire when Habsburgs ruled it.

🔅 Naschmarkt

Experience authentic local life on the Naschmarkt, get some nice food, and make new Austrian friends.

It’s a 1.5 km street market, where you’ll find anything from fresh fruits and vegetables to seafood and meat, and even some tiny restaurants. Take a seat and enjoy delicious food with a glass of local wine.

Book a food tour through Naschmarkt with a local here.

🔅 Evening Performance At Opera House

If you like performances, check some in the Opera House. Dress up nicely and enjoy the evening watching a spectacle or listening to opera in Vienna’s Opera House.

You can find available performances and tickets on the official site of the Vienna Opera House.

Other popular spots to enjoy a concert in Vienna are Musikverein or Karlskirche (Karl’s Church). So you can also check out these concerts and book one if you like.

👉 READ ALSO: Christmas In Austria: Full Guide With Traditions & Best Places

2. DAY: VIENNA & SCHÖNBRUNN PALACE

Spare your second day exploring one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe, or join a guided tour to learn more about the city.

You’ll have another full day to explore Vienna. So, get the most out of it.

Sightseeing In Vienna

🔅 Schönbrunn Palace
🔅 Cafe Residenz: traditional Apple Strudel preparation
🔅 Prater Amusement Park
🔅 Vienna Guided Tour

🔅 Schönbrunn Palace

This 1441-room Baroque Palace is one of the most significant buildings in Austria. Built in the 1700s by Empress Maria Theresa, it’s where many Austrian emperors were born.

It also used to be the Habsburgs’ main summer residence. Check out the Mirror Rooms, where Mozart gave his first concert when he was only six.

After, spend some time in its splendid gardens and feel the royal atmosphere. See the Great Parterre at the end of the gardens and take your time to walk further up to the Gloriette on the hill, where you’ll get amazing views of the Schönbrunn Palace.

💡 NOTE: There are always huge and long lines waiting for the tickets, so I highly recommend getting a skip-the-line ticket not to waste your time.

Get skip-the-line tickets for your Schönbrunn + gardens visit here.

Austria road trip itinerary 10 days Vienna Schonbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn Palace & Gardens

🔅 Café Residenz: Traditional Apple Strudel Preparation

Watch how Habsburgs prepared the authentic Apple Strudel and eat it as they did it with your afternoon tea.

Visit the Café Residenz, where it has been baked for centuries now. This is where you’ll get the best traditional Apple Strudel, an Austrian dessert dish. You can also take this traditional recipe with you.

💡 PRO TIP: Get it written in German and practice your German language skills following my method. Take the recipe and try to bake the Apple Strudle at home, following it in the German language.

➡ If you want to learn how to prepare Apple Strudel, join this cooking class, where you’ll make Austrian Schnitzel and Apple Strudel with a local.

traditional Austrian apple strudel
Traditional Austrian Apple Strudel – cooking class in Vienna

🔅 Prater Amusement Park

It used to be a hunting ground once, which evolved into a huge amusement park with many roller coasters, stands, a lot of fun, and adventure in the middle of the Austrian capital.

Enjoy a nice afternoon, seeing Vienna from the top of a roller coaster. You can buy tickets on the spot.

🔅 Vienna Guided Tour

If you like guided walking tour and want to learn more about the history and culture of Austrian capital, I recommend one of the following tours:

3. DAY: WINE TASTING IN WACHAU REGION

Today, we’ll make a day trip from Vienna to taste local wine and delicacies in the nearby Wachau region. I suggest these two options: 

With both, you’ll experience one of the most beautiful Austrian regions, its history and culture, visit the best family-owned wineries, and taste local products.

One is a biking tour, and the other offers a cruise on the River Danube.

With both of them, you’ll get a guide and be a part of a small group of amazing people.

Below, I’m giving you a short description of both guided tours so you can decide which one suits you better.

1. TOUR: Wachau Valley With Wine Tasting + Cruise On The River Danube

On the Wachau Wine Tasting Tour, enjoy the diversity of the Lower Austria region with its beautiful Danube valley, UNESCO heritage sites, and the best wine yards of Austria. Visit 3 different areas and learn about the history of the Wachau valley.

Explore the town of Dürnstein, which belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage, and enjoy the cruise from Spitz to Melk on the Danube River.

In between, we’ll stop in local wineries to taste local wine with delicious regional specialties.

2. TOUR: Grape Grazing – Wachau Valley Winery Biking Tour

You can also take the biking tour through Wachau, biking in the region and visiting the top wineries on the way.

You’ll visit small family-owned wineries, learn about the history and culture of this region, explore Dürnstein (the UNESCO World Heritage Site), jump into the River Danube, and refresh yourself a bit.

Enjoy your day in the Wachau region and immerse yourself in the Austrian culture. I’m sure you’ll love it.

Afterward, get some good sleep because tomorrow, we’ll drive towards even more beautiful Austrian regions.

💡 NOTE: From now on, you’ll have to rent a car for the Austrian road trip. So rent a car in Vienna for 8 days, and start driving on day 3 of this itinerary. You can do so today in the evening, or tomorrow morning.

4. DAY: VIENNA ⇒ GMUNDEN & TRAUN LAKE ⇒ ST. WOLFGANG

Today, we’ll continue our tour of Austria, driving from the capital city of Vienna to the spectacular Salzkammergut region, full of crystal-clear lakes and beautiful mountains.

It’ll take us 3 hours 30 minutes to reach our destination.

Distance Vienna ⇒ Gmunden: 2 hours and 40 minutes by car (236 km/146 miles)

Stop in Gmunden on the way, visiting Austria’s deepest lakeTraun Lake, 191 m/626 feet deep.

Gmunden & Gisela Steamboat

Gmunden has a charming town center with small cafes, so enjoy some of them. After, hop on the Gisela boat and enjoy the amazing drive on Lake Traun. Gisela is one of the oldest paddle steamboats in the world, constructed in 1871.

Then hop on the car again and drive slightly further.

On the way further, stop the car near Toscana Park and check out the Seeschloss Ort, a small chateau built on the lake, accessible by a wooden bridge.

It’s stunning with its beautiful scenery.

Austria road trip itinerary 10 days Gmunden Traun Lake
Me in Gmunden – at Traun Lake

After, hop on the car again and drive to our destination today.

First, you’ll drive along Traun Lake, then through Bad Ischl, and eventually reach another famous Lake and the main town, St. Wolfgang Im Salzkammergut.

Distance Gmunden ⇒ St. Wolfgang Im Salzkammergut: 50 minutes by car (50 km/31 miles)

Once you arrive, stroll through the town, have a delicious Austrian dinner, and rest well. Tomorrow, we have another exciting day ahead of us.

Where To Stay In St. Wolfgang Im Salzkammergut: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

WOLF & SCHAF APARTMENTSbudget-friendly apartments
HOTEL PETERmid-range hotel
LAKE VIEW APARTMENTluxury apartment at the lakeside

5. DAY: ST. WOLFGANG ⇒ SALZBURG

Good morning to the stunning Salzkammergut region of Austria. Today, we are going to visit the most beautiful town in Austria – Salzburg.

Schafberg Mountain & St. Wolfgang Lake

But before, take your time to explore the St. Wolfgang Lake & Schafberg mountain.

First thing in the morning, I recommend taking a funicular train to the Schafberg mountain (it leaves from the city center of St. Wolfgang town). The mountain offers breathtaking views of the entire region.

👉 READ ALSO: 11 Amazing Day Trips From Salzurg (incl. description of the Schafberg Mountain)

After, you can also cruise on Lake St. Wolfgang. Check the cruise timetable before and plan it accordingly. You can pay for the boat trip on the spot at the pier.

Best day trips from Salzburg Schafberg Austria
Schafberg, Austria – overlooking St. Wolfgang Lake & Salzkammergut region

Drive To Salzburg

Later, you can continue to Salzburg. Check-in to your accommodation and start exploring.

Distance St. Wolfgang Lake ⇒ Salzburg: 51 minutes by car (48 km/30 miles)

Enjoy your evening and first impressions of Salzburg. Have dinner, and after, go on a short walk alongside the Salzach River – it’s super romantic.

Where To Stay In Salzburg: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

JUFA HOTEL SALZBURG CITYbudget-friendly accommodation
BOUTIQUE HOTEL AM DOMEmid-range hotel in the Old Town
HOTEL SACHER – luxury hotel at the Salzach River

👉 READ ALSO: Where To Stay In Salzburg: Best Areas & Hotels For Each Traveler

6. DAY: SALZBURG

Good morning to Salzburg, the most beautiful Austrian city. I’m not even biased (I hope); I lived in Salzburg for 3 years during my University studies, and it’s truly a gem of Austria. I’m sure you’ll love it.

I have prepared a little Salzburg itinerary for you in a separate post, so check it out and follow it. It’s spread into 2 days, but you can easily see everything in Salzburg within a day.

Don’t forget to try all the delicacies and soak up the atmosphere of this unique Austrian city.

Salzburg Mirabell Gardens
Salzburg Mirabell Gardens

7. DAY: SALZBURG ⇒ HALLEIN SALT MINES ⇒ HALLSTATT

As I mentioned to you in my article about Salzburg’s walking tour, there are many options for day trips from Salzburg. These day trips are super unique, with beautiful nature, picturesque towns, and salt mines. For our itinerary, I’ve chosen the top day trips from Salzburg.

Let’s explore these places today.

Distance Salzburg ⇒ Bad Dürrnberg (Salt Mines Hallein): 20 minutes by car (20 km/12 miles)

Salt Mines Hallein

In the morning, we’re going back to the Celtic times, visiting the Celtic village with salt mines in Dürrnberg, near Hallein, Salzburg region.

Drive up to Dürrnberg and enjoy the remote atmosphere of this small place.

The German word ‘Salz’ means salt. Salt used to be very important for the entire Salzburg region. The River Salzach was the main trade route between Salzburg and Venice, Italy. That’s why the city has the word salt in it.

One of the locations where the salt is produced in this region is the mountain Dürnberg. You can’t miss visiting them on this itinerary. Let’s learn the history of salt mining in the Salzburg region and how important it was to this place.

Walk through the 64 km-long tunnels inside the mines. Explore the history of salt mining and the importance it brought to the entire Salzburg region. You’ll also have a lot of fun sledding inside the salt mines.

You can buy tickets on the spot.

Hallein Salt Mines
Me guiding a group through Austria in Salt Mines

After the tour of the salt mines, let’s drive further to the picturesque village, which is very famous in Austria.

It’s a pretty touristy spot, but how would that be visiting Austria and not including Hallstatt town in our itinerary?

Distance Bad Dürrnberg ⇒ Hallstatt: 1 hour & 15 minutes by car (66 km/41 miles)

Hallstatt

This little Celtic village became a UNESCO WORLD Heritage Site in 1997. Hallstatt is more than 7000 years old and is one of the highlights of Austria’s famous Salzkammergut region.

Many say it’s one of Europe’s oldest still inhabited places. It’s also home to the oldest salt mine in the world.

Park your car and let the small walking tour of Hallstatt begin.

Hallstatt
Hallstatt

Take your time to stroll through its tiny streets without using Google Maps.

Just walk anywhere your legs take you; don’t fear getting lost. It’s so much fun, and you’ll explore many interesting things in this charming village.

Don’t miss the best INSTAGRAM SPOT from Gosaumühlstrasse, which is only 5 minutes from the town center.

You might also see the swans on the Lake Hallstatt. These swans weren’t always here. In fact, the Austrian Empress Sisi imported them here when she was on her vacation in Hallstatt.

💡 Sisi loved swans, and as she couldn’t imagine the stunning views of the Lake and mountains around without them, she decided to bring them here.

Hallstatt Skywalk

After, go to the Hallstatt Skywalk. It is a nice 1-hour hike from the town center. Enjoy the spectacular scenery of Lake Hallstatt, surrounded by beautiful mountains and Austria’s entire Dachstein region.

Alternatively, you can take a panorama funicular, which will take you up to 10 minutes.

I want to point out that Hallstatt is very touristy, and I by myself often avoid these places as they lose their charm.

It’s worth seeing, but if you want to skip it and visit anything else on this day, check out my article about the 11 amazing day trips from Salzburg. Visit the Hallein Salt Mines in the morning and explore something else.

Come to Hallstatt in the evening when all the tourists are gone.

Where To Stay In Hallstatt: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

PENSION CAFE ZUM MUHLBACHbudget-friendly accommodations
POLREICH B&Bmid-range accommodation at the lake
BOUTIQUE HOTEL STRAND HALLSTATTluxury hotel at the lake

8. DAY: WERFEN & GIANT ICE CAVES ⇒ ZELL AM SEE

Another natural beauty awaits us today on our Austrian road trip.

Let’s get on a real adventure today, visiting the world’s largest ice cave complex, which is accessible for tours. The place is officially called Eisriesenwelt Werfen.

In the morning, drive to Werfen to experience the incredible ice caves. Don’t forget to bring extra layers of clothes for this excursion. We are going to be walking through the ice.

Distance Hallstatt ⇒ Eisriesenwelt Werfen Parking: 1 hour & 6 minutes by car (60 km/37 miles)

Giant Ice Caves

Enjoy the 70-minute exploration of Giant Ice Caves near Werfen (Eisriesenwelt Werfen). Take a cable car near Dr. Oedl-Haus and let yourself be blown away by the ice cave world up in the mountains.

This is the largest ice cave complex in the world, so don’t miss out on it. Especially on a sunny day, you’ll get amazing views of the entire Salzach valley.

👉 You have to book entrance tickets to the Ice Caves beforehand.

Be aware that the Giant Ice Caves are closed in winter, from late October until May. So plan your visit in the summertime.

Werfen Castle

After, head to explore the stunning Werfen Castle.

Prince Archibishop started building this castle to protect his holdings from King Henry IV of Germany. It sits above the River Salzach, an important trade route in the past.

Werfen castle is also famous for being featured in many movies and TV shows, such as Clint Eastwood’s Where Eagles Dare to the Call of Duty and the famous Sound of Music.

You can buy entrance tickets to the castle on the spot.

💡 NOTE: It was the meadow near Werfen castle, where Von Trap’s children with Maria ran down singing the song Do-Re-Mi.

Austria road trip itinerary 10 days Werfen Castle
Werfen Castle

Zell am See

After your excursions, I recommend you drive further to the beautiful Zell am See region, where you can stay overnight.

Zell am See is a charming Austrian town famous for its hiking trails, skiing slopes, and great vacation spots.

Distance Werfen ⇒ Zell am See: 55 minutes by car (57 km/35 miles)

Paragliding In Zell Am See

Zell Am See is a picturesque town with stunning views of the Alps. I recommend soaking up the atmosphere and walking around the lake. Take some time to relax.

If you need some more adventure, it’s also one of the best spots for paragliding in Austria. So book this paragliding experience and enjoy the breathtaking views of the area:

Where To Stay In Zell Am See: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

CHALET DER BICHLHOFbudget-friendly apartments
ALPIN DAS SPORTHOTELmid-range hotel
SENSES VIOLETT SUITESluxury apartments

9. DAY: GROSSGLOCKNER HIGH ALPINE ROAD ⇒ CRYSTAL WORLDS ⇒  INNSBRUCK ⇒ AQUA DOME (LÄNGENFELD)

Today, we continue our itinerary, driving to the magical atmosphere of Tyrol in Austria.

It might seem like we have a lot scheduled, but it’s manageable. You can skip the Crystal Worlds Swarovski or some activities in Innsbruck to make it all.

But what you can’t miss is driving through Austria’s most scenic road – the Grossglockner High Alpine Road.

It’s a bit of a detour from Zell Am See, but it doesn’t matter because it’s worth it.

Grossglockner High Alpine Road

So in the morning, drive from Zell Am See via the Grossglockner High Alpine Road to Crystal Worlds Swarovski or directly to Innsbruck.

Grossglockner is the highest mountain in Austria (3798 m/12460 feet). It was inaccessible to get closer to a road until they built the beautiful 48-km long road in 1935, now famous as the Grossglockner High Alpine Road.

You’ll be driving through the Hohe Tauern National Park, which undoubtedly has some of the most breathtaking scenery in Austria. So take your time and enjoy.

You can drive it starting in Zell Am See direction Lienz. Then, change to the road leading to Mittersill and continue driving towards Innsbruck.

Grossglockner High Alpine Road Austria road trip itinerary 10 days
Grossglockner High Alpine Road

👉 NOTE: The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is closed in the winter. Check the road status on the official website before driving.

Distance Zell am See ⇒ Grossglockner High Alpine Road Swarovski Crystal Words: approx. 3.5 hours by car (150 km/93 miles)

Swarowski Kristallwelten – Wattens

Before visiting Innsbruck, you can stop at the famous Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Watten. Learn something about crystals and then continue to the picturesque city of Innsbruck.

Visit the museum and art gallery of Swarovski Crystal Worlds, one of the most famous companies founded by Daniel Swarovski in 1895.

See the 17 chambers showcasing beautiful crystal art.

Get a skip-the-line ticket to the Swarovski Crystal Worlds by clicking on the image below:

After the excursion of Swarovski Crystal Worlds, continue to Innsbruck.

Distance Swarowski Kristallwelten ⇒ Innsbruck: 20 minutes by car (19 km/12 miles)

Innsbruck

Welcome to Innsbruck, the Capital of the Alps. The city is located at the foot of the Tyrolean Alps on the River Inn.

Inn is the name of the river it sits on, and the location perfectly reflects its name- and ‘Brücke’ in German means a bridge.

So this city is a beautiful bridge on the River Inn. Let’s explore its hidden gems.

Sightseeing In Innsbruck

Pick a few sights you want to explore in Innsbruck from this list. I’ve described them all below, but you don’t have to visit everything.

You can also just walk around the city, see the Golden Roof, enjoy the river, and then head to Aqua Dome as soon as possible to enjoy its thermal springs.

🔅 Golden Roof
🔅
Stadturm – City Tower
🔅
Walk Alongside River Inn
🔅 Top of Innsbruck (Nordkette)
🔅
Hungenburg Funicular
🔅
Bergisel Ski Jump
🔅
Alpen Zoo

🔅 Golden Roof

The Golden Roof is a symbol of festivities that were celebrated on the square below the roof. It was built in 1496 to commemorate the marriage of Emperor Maximilian I. to Bianca Maria Sforza.

🔅 Stadtturm – City Tower

Climb the 148 stairs until you reach the top of City Tower and get beautiful city views.

Get tickets to the City Tower here.

🔅 Walk Alongside River Inn

Take a walk alongside the crystal-clear River Inn and enjoy the atmosphere of Tirol.

Austria road trip itinerary 10 days Innsbruck
Innsbruck

🔅 Top Of Innsbruck (Nordkette)

If you want to explore the ultimate views of the Alps around Innsbruck, make an excursion to the Top of Innsbruck.

Take a cable car up and walk around for a while. Have lunch, and come back to Innsbruck. It’s incredible.

Get tickets to the Top of Innsbruck here.

🔅 Hungenburg Funicular

Hop on the Huhenburg funicular, which will take you to the Alpine Garden. You’ll drive through a tunnel, on the bridge over the River Inn, and get other great city views.

Get tickets for the Hugenburg funicular train here.

🔅 Bergisel Ski Jump

Innsbruck is also famous for its ski jump, which brought the Olympic Games to the city in 1964 and 1976. Walk around the area and get to see the ski jump in real.

You’ll get other stunning views of the city and the mountains around.

🔅 Alpen Zoo

If you want, you can also visit Europe’s highest-altitude Zoo in Innsbruck.

Overall, I think 3 to 4 hours is enough to explore the city. Just walk through the city center and enjoy its atmosphere. Have some meal before driving to your hotel.

Get tickets to the Alpen Zoo (incl. Hungenburg Funicular train) here.

Drive To Aqua Dome In Längenfeld

I don’t recommend you stay overnight in Innsbruck. We are in Austria, and we should enjoy its nature and beauty.

Therefore, I suggest you drive south today and stay in one of Austria’s famous wellness resorts in the heart of Ötztal Alps, Aqua Dome.

The resort also has the only thermal springs in Western Austria, and it’s fabulous.

Distance Innsbruck ⇒ Längenfeld (Aqua Dome): 1 hour by car (75 km/46 miles)

Where To Stay Near Innsbruck: My TOP TIP For Accommodation

AQUA DOME – LÄNGENFELDincluding entrance to the thermal springs

10. DAY: AQUA DOME ⇒ WHITEWATER RAFTING ⇒ BREGENZ

Good morning to the beautiful Austrian Alps. Today, you can also stay the entire day in Aqua Dome, enjoy the spa facilities, go hiking or walking in the area, and stay one more night.

If you don’t want to spend an extra night, feel free to continue our itinerary :). 

Whitewater Rafting

Tyrol is specifically known for its great whitewater rafting spots. And I’ve found a great one to experience it. This rafting adventure is 14-km long, starts in Imst and ends in Roppen.

Rafting is so much fun, and I highly recommend you do it. If you’re staying an additional day in Aqua Dome, do it that day.

If not, just do it in the morning once you check out from Aqua Dome before heading to Bregenz. Or skip rafting and head to Bregenz after checking out from Aqua Dome.

Rafting is an unforgettable experience. You don’t have to be afraid; it’s easy and fun.

Book rafting via this website and get further instructions for starting point, etc.

Austria road trip itinerary 10 days white water rafting
Me guiding a group on whitewater rafting

This marks the last day of our road trip. We’ll end our journey on the border with Germany and Switzerland so that you can continue exploring other amazing countries.

But first, drive to Europe’s third largest freshwater lake, Constance Lake and Bregenz.

Distance Längenfeld (Aqua Dome) ⇒ Bregenz: 2 hours by car (164 km/101 miles)

Bregenz & Constance Lake

Welcome to Bregenz, a small city next to the borders of Germany and Switzerland. It’s a perfect place to finish your itinerary and continue your journey to the bordering countries.

Bregenz has that vacation feeling, thanks to Lake Constance. It’s the third-largest freshwater Lake in Europe. You can go kayaking on it, ride a boat, and walk alongside the lake on the promenade. You can also take bikes and bike on the promenade around it.

It’s a nice place to chill and reflect on your Austrian trip and everything you’ve seen.

Lake Constance Europe
Lake Constance: Europe

Visit Pfänder

Besides enjoying Lake Constance and doing many activities there, you can also go to Pfänder. 

Take a cable car up to the mountains and enjoy the stunning view of Lake Constance and the Alps rising behind it. There are many hiking trails you can enjoy and also a restaurant. 

You can buy tickets for the Pfänder cable car on the spot.

Bregenz views Pfander Lake Constance
Bregenz Views

Where To Stay In Bregenz: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

JUFA HOTEL BREGENZbudget-friendly accommodation
ZENTRALES APARTMENT PFÄNDERBLICKmid-range apartments
SEEBLICK BREGENZluxury apartments

7-Day Road Trip In Austria

If you only have a week to explore Austria on a road trip, here is what I recommend.

Take my basic 10-day Austrian itinerary and shorten it based on your interests and preferences. I recommend you do the following.

Start in Vienna, but spend only 1 day in the city. On the second day, enjoy wine tasting in the Wachau Valley.

Continue the itinerary by visiting Gmunden and St. Wolfgang Im Salzkammergut. Then, visit Salzburg for 1 day and continue to the Salt Mines in Hallein. After, drive via the Grossglockner High Alpine Road directly to Innsbruck. Visit Innsbruck and sleep the last night in Aqua Dome.

Here is an overview of a 7-day Austrian road trip:

DAY:DESTINATION:
1.Vienna
2.Day Trip: Wachau Vally & Wine Tasting
3.Vienna ⇒ Gmunden ⇒ St. Wolfgang Im Salzkammergut
4.St. Wolfgang Im Salzkammergut ⇒ Salzburg
5.Salzburg
6.Salzburg ⇒ Salt Mines Hallein ⇒ Grossglockner High Alpine Road ⇒ Innsbruck
7.Innsbruck ⇒ Aqua Dome (Längenfeld)

14-Day Road Trip In Austria

If you have 2 weeks, that’s perfect. You can extend the basic itinerary I provided and stay a few more nights in some locations. Here is what I suggest to do.

Follow the itinerary as written until you reach Salzburg. Then I recommend staying 3 nights in Salzburg and making various day trips within the region.

After Salzburg, drive via the Grossglocker High Alpine Road to Zell Am See within a day to enjoy it fully and make several stops.

After Zell Am See, follow the itinerary and stay one night in Innsbruck. I recommend staying 2 nights in Aqua Dome and enjoying the thermal springs with its surroundings. You can go hiking or rafting in the area.

Then, make it to Bregenz on the last day of the itinerary as suggested.

DAY:DESTINATION:
1.Vienna
2.Vienna
3.Day Trip: Wachau Valley & Wine Tasting
4.Vienna ⇒ Gmunden ⇒ St. Wolfgang Im Salzkammergut
5.St. Wolfgang Im Salzkammergut ⇒ Salzburg
6.Salzburg
7.Day Trip: Salt Mines Hallein & Hallstatt
8.Day Trip: Giant Ice Caves & Werfen Castle
9.Day Trip: King’s Lake or Sound Of Music Tour
10.Salzburg – Grossglockner High Alpine Road – Zell Am See
11.Zell Amm See – Crystal World Swarovski – Innsbruck
12.Innsbruck – Aqua Dome
13.Aqua Dome (hiking/rafting/thermal springs & relax)
14.Aqua Dome – Bregenz
Austria driving tips and Austrian lakes

Practical Tips For Road Tripping Austria

I’ve got more tips for you to help you plan your road trip through Austria. See when the best time to visit is, how many days to stay, get driving tips, and budget your trip in this section.

Passport & Visa To Austria

Check the expiration date of your passport. Most airlines don’t even take you on board if your passport expires in 6 months. Avoid issues with boarding and on the road. Ensure your passport won’t expire in the next 8 months.

Check if you need a Visa to Austria. iVisa will give you detailed information on whether you need a Visa and other necessary documents you might need to travel to Austria.

Click here to see what kind of travel documents you need for Austria. iVisa will help you with Visa.

How Many Days Do You Need In Austria?

I recommend spending between 7 days up to 14 days in Austria.

7 days is the minimum time you should spend in the country. You’ll have the right time to explore what it offers, but you might be in a rush.

10 days is the perfect time to explore Austria. You’ll see all the highlights and still have time to soak it all up and relax in between.

If you want to stay more nights in some locations, spend 2 weeks in Austria. If you have that much, I recommend spending two more nights in Salzburg to explore more of the region and make some day trips.

Spend one more night in Zell Am See to enjoy the Grossglockner High Alpine Road and one more night in Aqua Dome.

Best Time To Visit Austria & Make This Road Trip

The best time to visit Austria is late May, June, September, and October. These months are the least crowded, the weather is usually beautiful, and everything is open (including the Grossglockner High Alpine Road).

I don’t recommend making a road trip through Austria in winter because the scenery is more beautiful in late spring, summer, or autumn.

Winter is great for visiting Austrian Christmas markets, which is beautiful. You can also experience traditions like Krampus. But it’s time to make a road trip.

Tips For Driving In Austria

Below are a couple of tips for road-tripping in Austria and the driving situation.

🚔 Maximum speed limit on highways in Austria is 130 km per hour.

🚔 You cand rive maximum 50 km per hour in the cities and towns in Austria.

🚔 Austria has a compulsory toll everyone must pay when driving on the highways. The best thing is to purchase a vignette. It’s available for 10 days, 2 months, or 1 year. So purchase one for 10 days online or in a petrol station once you’re in Vienna.

🚔 In winter, you must have winter tires, and if you drive to the mountain towns, always have snow chains in your car.

🚔 Roads in Austria are quite narrow, especially in the mountains and the mountain towns. So be careful and drive slowly.

Austrian countryside

Is It Easy For Americans To Drive In Austria?

Yes, it’s easy for Americans to drive in Austria. You guys don’t have to be worried. The main difference might be that the roads are smaller and narrower than in the US. But you’ll be fine.

When driving through the alpine roads, go slow and take it easy. They might seem scary at first if you’re not used to them. But it’s worth driving through to experience the scenery.

Cost Of A Road Trip In Austria

The budget for a 10-day road trip to Austria per person (mid-range traveler) is $1695. This is a very realistic budget for mid-range travelers who want to stay in nice hotels, rent a car and travel conveniently, enjoy the mountains, and each location’s activities.

Here is a breakdown of this Austrian itinerary budget for each travel category:

Accommodation: $85 per night in a nice mid-range hotel = $850 per person
Car Rental: $580 for 8 days (Vienna – Bregenz) = $290 per person
Gas: approx. $1.5 per liter = approx. $350 for the entire trip = $175 per person
Food & Drinks: $28 per day p.p. = $280 per person
Activities & Attractions: approx $15 per person per day = $100 per person

So the total budget for a 10-day trip to Austria, without restricting yourself too much and enjoying everything the country offers, is $1695 per person.

Budget Breakdown For Different Traveler Styles

Here is a quick overview of the budget for every type of traveler:

➡ 10-day itinerary budget for backpackers and travelers on the budget: $650
➡ 10-day itinerary budget for mid-range travelers: $1695
➡ 10-day itinerary budget for luxury travelers: up to $3000

NOTE: This is an approximate budget based on my calculations and spending during my 10-day trip to Austria. The budget will vary based on every traveler’s preferences.

FAQs: Road Tripping Austria

I’ve also answered some of the most common questions about Austria. Check my answers below:

What Is The Most Scenic Drive In Austria?

Grossglockner High Alpine Road is the most scenic drive in Austria. It stretches between Zell am See and Lienz and takes about 1 hour to complete. It’s 48 km long and offers breathtaking scenery of Austria’s highest mountain and beautiful Hohe Tauern National Park.

What Is The Most Scenic Place In Austria?

The most scenic place in Austria is the Salzkammergut region. It offers endless activities for every traveler, and the views of the lakes and the mountains are breathtaking. Don’t miss it when visiting Austria.

Is Austria A Cheap Country To Visit?

If you compare it with other Alpine countries like France, Switzerland, and Italy, Austria is a relatively cheap country to visit. You’ll need approx. $160 per day (including all costs) as a mid-range traveler in Austria and $65 as a budget traveler.

If you’re looking for the cheapest alpine country, visit Slovenia as it’s equally beautiful and cheaper than Austria.

Is 4 Days Enough In Austria?

No, 4 days aren’t enough in Austria. You need at least 7 days to explore a few Austrian beauties. The best number of days to spend in Austria is 10 to 14.

WRAP-UP: Austria Itinerary

This is your ultimate 10-day road trip itinerary for Austria. It’ll show you all the highlights this stunning country offers. I know some people might confuse Austria with Switzerland. They’re similar, yet each of them offers different beauties.

If you can’t decide which to visit, check out my article about Switzerland vs. Austria.

If you like this itinerary and want a customized travel itinerary based on your preferences, contact me at info(at)voicesoftravel.com. I’ll gladly help you plan.

Happy Travels!

voices of travel about me photo

About the author: Nicoletta is a travel enthusiast and passionate language learner. While traveling, she loves to connect with locals using her language skills to learn about new cultures. Look for her skiing, hiking in the mountains, or exploring new destinations as she designs travel itineraries for her clients.

AUSTRIA: Interested in more articles for Austria?
Check out my Austria Travel Page:

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. What a fabulous itinerary to explore Austria. My favorite parts would definitely be Hallstatt and its Skywalk to see such beautiful scenery, followed by the Alps around Innsbruck and Constance Lake. Austria just has so many wonderful natural gems to see and experience.

    1. Nicoletta

      I am glad it inspired you, Nicole. Austria is a beautiful country worth a visit even every year.

    1. Nicoletta

      Thank you, Planet Hopper Girl. I am happy you enjoyed it. 🙂

  2. We were in Austria for about 10 days too and struggled with where we would stop. We are sorry to have missed the Wachau wine region for sure. And the giant caves in Werfen and white water rafting will definitely go on the list for our next trip.

    1. Nicoletta

      Hi Linda, thanks for commenting. I am sorry to hear that you missed some of these spots. But I am excited to hear from you again once you come back to Austria. Glad that this itinerary inspired you.

  3. Nina

    Wow this is such a detailed guide to Austria, I love it! I only did Vienna and a small mountain town where I worked years ago when I was there. I need to see more of it!

    1. Nicoletta

      Happy to hear you like this itinerary, Nina. Let me know once you’re back in Austria and what your favourite places were.

  4. Lorry

    Austria offers so many fantastic places to see. We explored Lake Constance when we stayed in Germany. I agree with you. It’s a wonderful place to vacation.

    1. Nicoletta

      Awesome, Lorry. I am happy you got to enjoy Lake Constance. It’s a beautiful place.

  5. Jan

    Thank you for a comprehensive road trip itinerary for Austria! Your images are simply amazing. I particularly like the image of Hallstatt. I have visited Austria some 20 years ago and covered most of the places but I would love to do another trip visiting places I missed such as Innsbruck and the lakes. I am bookmarking your blog post. 🙂

    1. Nicoletta

      Hi Jan, I am happy that my itinerary inspired you for your next visit to Austria. Let me know once you’re there and which places you decided to visit.

  6. Renata

    Ten days in Austria seem like a good amount of time since the country isn’t that big. However, I know only Vienna really well and from there I did some day trips. Hence, I got to know the Wachau in Summer and it was like vacationing in a picture postcard – so beautiful and idyllic!

    1. Nicoletta

      You’re right, Renata. Austria isn’t a big country… still, it offers so many stunning places, so sometimes it’s hard to put them all together into 1 itinerary. But I’ve included the top places and highlights of Austria. Happy to hear that you visited Wachau in the summer. That’s amazing.

  7. We did a train tour of Austria but stayed only a day each in Vienna and Salzburg and spent much of the week in Inmsbruck. We missed the Eaychau Region and the Giant Ice Caves!

    1. Nicoletta

      Great Carol. Hope you can come back to Austria one day and keep exploring more places. It is an amazing country.

  8. Nicole

    What a great post I definitely need to head back to austria a few more times and a road trip sound like the best way to see this stunning country. I’ve only managed rail trip to Innsbruck and general transfers to a ski resort in Tyrol. It’s such a charming part of europe to visit.

    1. Nicoletta

      You’re totally right, Nicole. Austria is one of the most beautiful places in Europe. I am glad this itinerary encouraged and inspired you to come back. Your skiing experience in Tyrol must have been amazing.

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