Best 1 Week Itinerary for Austria:
One week itineraries for Austria really depend on the mix of sights you want to see. Some visitors will want to spend their entire 7-10 days relaxing deep in the Alps, while others want to focus on some of Europes best museums, but we like to do a mix of both by using Vienna and Salzburg as base camps to explore the country. We’ve put together a core suggestion to spend one week in Austria plus options to extend your time to a full 10 days based on our own first-hand experiences.
Related: Itineraries For Salzburg
Related: Itineraries For Vienna
Flight & Arrival Flexibility:
One thing to note on our suggested itinerary for one week in Austria is that you will have flexibility with your flights and will not be limited to a round trip to and from Vienna. Salzburg has its own airport for inter-Europe destinations and is only 2 hours from both Innsbruck and Munich’s international airports.
Other major airports within striking distance include Prague and Budapest at a 3-4 hour train ride from Vienna and are worth an addon stop before or after Austria. We typically fly into one airport and out of another to help you avoid wasting time backtracking. The most common combination we do is into Prague for a few days, then train to Vienna, and fly home from Munich after Salzburg.
One Week In Austria:
The structure of how we suggest dividing a one-week itinerary in Austria is at a fairly moderate pace. There may look like you are seeing a lot per day, but because you are only switching hotels once you will maximize your time a lot better. Because both Salzburg and Vienna have compact pedestrian cores you see most of the main sights in each in two to three days without feeling exhausted. We like to stay one day longer in Salzburg than Vienna as it offers a few more easy day trips options of mountains, lakeside villages, ice caves, and castles that you’ll want to mix into your schedule. Below we also have some further suggestions on other cities you can blend in to bump you one week in Austria into a longer trip.
•Day 1: Vienna (Stay In Vienna): Begin your day by following our Free Vienna Walking Tour including Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, a Vienesse coffee, and time at the museums including the Hofburg. In the afternoon also work in some of our Vienna Tram Tour which is easy to hop on and off and makes a loop around Old Town (Stay in Vienna).
•Day 2: Day Trip From Vienna (Stay In Vienna): Leaving in the morning take a Day Trip From Vienna. In a half of a day, you can see either the Kreuzenstein Castle, Liechtenstein Castle, or Melk Abbey. You can also stretch a Melk visit into a full day affair by returning by boat to see some of the wine towns along the Danube River. We like to focus on days trips that are within two hours from Vienna, and typically avoid Bratslavia as there isn’t much to do there.
•Day 3: Vienna (Stay In Vienna): In the morning head to the stunning Schönbrunn Palace for a tour of the inside along with time strolling the grounds. In the mid-day through the afternoon pick up anything you missed day one and consider seeing Belvedere Palace & Other Additional Attractions (Stay in Vienna).
•Day 4: Salzburg (Stay In Salzburg): After breakfast in Vienna, take a morning train to Salzburg then follow our Free Salzburg Walking Tour. You’ll be able to tour Mozart’s Birthplace and the Salzburg Cathedral while mixing in Sound of Music Film Locations 1-11 and visiting the Augustiner Monks Brewery. Salzburg is very compact so seeing a lot on foot day one is easy to do without feeling exhausted. When we stay in Salzburg for more than a day, we like to see the entire core of Old Town at a comfortable pace and save visiting the High Castle above town for a separate day (Stay in Salzburg).
•Day 5: Day Trip From Salzburg (Stay In Salzburg): On your second day in town it is nice to take a short Day Trip From Salzburg. The first one you will want to choose between three of them including Berchtesgaden (45-minute bus ride), Werfen (45-minute train ride), or Munich (90-minute train ride). For us all three options are fairly equal with mountainous Berchtesgaden having Kings Lake and the Eagles Nest, Werfen having a stunning castle plus the world’s largest ice cave, and Munich has a wonderful old town and unique beer culture (Stay in Salzburg).
•Day 6: Visit Hallstatt As A Day Trip (Stay In Salzburg): One of the best things of staying in Salzburg is the chance to use it as a hub to fit in a number of great day trips. With 4 days to work with, using the middle days for back-to-back Day Trips From Salzburg is totally reasonable. The best of the day trips is Hallstatt, which we like to do second after you are more settled in as it is further away. Power travelers will be able to fit in both the Ice Cave with the 5 Fingers Lookout plus a tour of the Salt Mine. Slower pace travelers will have to decide between the two options for the first half of the day followed our Free Hallstatt Walking Tour and time strolling the lakefront in the afternoon (Stay in Salzburg).
•Day 7: Salzburg (Stay In Salzburg): For most visitors, the last day for your one-week itinerary in Austria is best served as a relaxing day to finish up any remaining sights in Salzburg to end your trip feeling refreshed. Picking up from our first full day in Salzburg you can visit one of the delightful cafes like Sacher, tour the High Castle above Old Town, and see the Sound of Music Film Locations 12-14 along with the trick fountains at Hellbrunn Palace (Stay in Salzburg).
With 10 Days In Austria:
If you are able to stretch your one week in Austria out to 10 days, there are a number of great options to re-work your suggest itinerary and get more out of your time. Overall, we like to add one additional day to Vienna from the 7-day option, stay overnight in Hallstatt in the middle, and still finish out vacation in wonderful Salzburg.
•Days 1-3: Vienna (Stay In Vienna): See our one week in Austria info above with one of the castles as your set Day Trip From Vienna, (Stay in Vienna).
•Day 4: Day Trip From Vienna (Stay In Vienna): Stay in Vienna one day longer and take a second day trip by visiting Melk Abbey followed by a cruise down the Danube River through the Wachau Valley before returning to Vienna in the evening, (Stay in Vienna).
•Days 5: Hallstatt (Stay In Hallstatt): Instead of seeing Hallstatt as a day trip from Salzburg, having just over a week in Austria lets you stay overnight and really experience it. Because it is nearly a 4-hour train ride from Vienna, you’ll have to leave early so you have time to drop off your bags at your hotel and Tour The Salt Mine. in the early afternoon along with the World Heritage Skywalk. In the evening you will be able to stroll the village, the option to rent a boat, and a lakeside dinner is a must. (Stay in Hallstatt).
•Days 6: Hallstatt (Stay In Salzburg): Walking up in Hallstatt on day you’ll want to leave your bags at the hotel after breakfast and head up to Dachstein Mountain. Here you can Tour The Ice Cave, visit the 5 Fingers Lookout, and have lunch at your own pace at the Dachstein Lodge Alpine hut. In the afternoon, make sure to see anything you missed in the village including the Bone Chapel and then grab your bags to take an evening train to Salzburg, (Stay in Salzburg).
•Days 7-10: Salzburg (Stay In Salzburg): See our one week in Austria info above with the same 4 full days in Salzburg minus the day trip to Hallstatt since you already visited there. If your extra day, you can visit a different Day Trip From Salzburg. in the place of Hallstatt so you end up fitting in two of the three between Berchtesgaden (45-minute bus ride), Werfen (45-minute train ride), or Munich (90-minute train ride), (Stay in Salzburg).
Branching Out With 10 Days In Austria:
One of the greatest things about visiting the centrally located Austria is how easy it is to combo your stay with stops in some of Europes other great nearby cities. Cities like Prague, Munich, and Budapest are all within a couple of hours of either Vienna or Salzburg and make for a great 3-day addition to our suggested itinerary for one week in Austria.
You could even get creative with it by flying into Prague, working through Vienna and Salzburg, then fly home out of Munich for an amazing 2 weeks with little to no wasted time backtracking. Below are the three best add-ons for our suggested itinerary for one week in Austria in surrounding countries without needing a flight or night train.
•Days 1-3: Prague (Stay In Prague): Prague is the best Medieval city to visit in Europe and only a 4-hour train ride from Vienna making it easy to add to the front of your one week in Austria. You’ll be able to fill your time walking the historic Old Town, to Prague Castle towering above the Little Quarter, stroll Charles Bridge, and have a couple of Medieval tavern dinners. Make sure to check out our Suggested Itineraries For Prague. (Stay in Prague).
•Days 8-10: Munich (Stay In Munich): Munich is a very easy extra city to add to the end of your one week in Austria as it’s only 90 minutes from either Salzburg. Munich is a great city to visit with a lot to do over 2-3 days. You’ll be able to explore the beautiful city center, join in at the fun at Germany’s best beer halls, and relax in a beer garden. We would also highly suggest using the middle day to take a side trip to Europe’s best fairytale castle Neuschwanstein Castle (book 3-7 days ahead) in Fussen. Make sure to check out our Suggested Itineraries For Munich. (Stay in Munich).
•Days 1-3: Budapest (Stay In Budapest): Just like Prague, Budapest is a nice city to add to the in front of your one week in Austria as it is only 4 hours away by train. Walking the sights around old town Pest along with the Jewish Quarter, City Park, and Buda Castle Hill lets you see the best of another great capital further down the Danube River from Vienna. Make sure to check out our Suggested Itineraries For Budapest. (Stay in Budapest).