A week in Austria
You have decided to make a tour in Austria during your next vacation?
You are at the right place, we have prepared a week-long itinerary to Austria to see some of the most beautiful cities! Discover Vienna , Salzburg , Hallstatt and Graz and visit some places of interest such as the Melk Abbey or the Salzkammergut lakes.
Follow all our steps to visit Austria in 6, 7 or 8 days. Also find our selection of the best accommodation for each city as well as our tips and advice to facilitate your stay.
So what to do and see in 1 week in Austria?
Day 1-3: Vienna
To start your one-week trip to Austria, the easiest way is to land in Vienna . The capital of Austria is the best served city in the country.
Depending on your arrival time, I advise you to go directly to your hotel to leave luggage and rest. You can make a first tour around the surrounding area to immerse yourself in the Austrian atmosphere.
The next day, for your first full day of sightseeing, I advise you to start with Vienna’s main tourist attraction, Schönbrunn Palace. This magnificent Baroque building is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site . During your visit, you will discover the ceremonial rooms and the imperial apartments of this building which was once the Habsburg summer residence.
Schönbrunn Castle is also famous for its huge and beautiful park, a very pleasant place to walk.
If you are interested, you can also visit the greenhouse, the zoo or the Imperial Coach Museum in Vienna, all within the grounds or near the castle. All these activities are to be paid in addition to the entrance ticket to the castle.
At the end of the morning, join it Naschmarkt, the permanent market of Vienna . It is the ideal place to have lunch of good fresh and local products.
Then continue the day by Karksplatz to see the Church of St. Charles Borromeo. I also recommend you to enter to experience something quite new in a church! You can take a panoramic lift to take a close look at the ceiling frescoes. Personally, I had never seen it in a church and it is quite surprising.
For the rest of the afternoon, take a leisurely stroll in the historic center of Vienna to discover the main sights such as the Opera House or the Rathaus , the Vienna City Hall.
And to end the day in style, go to St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna or Stephansdom . Climb the 343 steps of the tower to enjoy an exceptional panorama of the whole city . To do at sunset, preferably! And to be sure not to wait too long in the queue and miss this moment, I urge you to buy your ticket in advance here .
For your second day visiting Vienna, head for the Vienna Riding School . And there you say “riding” but what he’s talking about, not very Austrian all that? Do not worry you will not have to ride a horse, you just have to watch and admire!
Every morning, this world renowned institution in the art of horse training , opens its doors to spectators to attend the training session . In addition to the show, the place where the session takes place, the imperial winter carousel , is really worth the detour! To attend the training, you must at all costs book your tickets in advance on this site .
For the rest of the morning, I invite you to visit the Hofburg Palace. Like Schönbrunn Palace , the palace served as a residence for the Austrian imperial family, but this time in winter.
The visit will allow you to see the bedrooms or the office of the Emperor . There is also a part of the imperial palace which houses the museum of Sissi the Empress and an impressive collection of silverware. Everything is included in the ticket that you can buy directly here .
Then, for the afternoon program, make a tour through the largest Baroque library in Europe, the National Library of Austria. The ceremonial room, with its 200 000 old volumes is splendid.
Then, visit the Albertina Museum . You can admire an important collection of works by Monet and Picasso as well as 20 ceremonial rooms, all recently restored.
Finally, to end the day, I suggest you go to the Prater, the large public park in Vienna . Feel free to go on a Ferris wheel, one of the symbols of the city and the best way to watch the sunset over Vienna.
And if you’re not a fan of rides or a bit dizzy, I recommend a softer but equally classic option in Vienna, attending an opera or classical music concert . Several venues such as the Staatsoper , the Musikverein , the Volksoper or the Orangery of Schönbrunn Palace offer this type of show at various prices.
One of the unforgettable experiences to do during this week-long stay in Austria.
To have a complete list of things to do and see in Vienna, it is in our article: Visit Vienna.
To stay in Vienna
- Wombat’s CITY Hostels Vienna – Naschmarkt : Hostel next to the Naschmarkt. Bed in dormitory from € 18, breakfast € 4.90. Pros: the ideal location to reach the main points of interest on foot, cleanliness, spacious rooms, good breakfast.
- Debo Apartments Schönbrunner Strasse : Ideally located between Schönbrunn Palace and the Naschmarkt market. All apartments are modern, spacious, bright and composed of a living room, a bedroom and a fully equipped kitchen. Night from 45 € (provide 30 € extra for the cleaning fee per stay). Most: the situation with subway and shops nearby, the cleanliness and size of the apartments. Even with the cleaning fee, it’s still a great choice for a cheap stay in Vienna.
- Urban Stay Hotel Columbia : Hotel located just 5 minutes walk from City Hall. Modern double room, comfortable and cozy from € 100 a night, breakfast included. Goodies: the location to visit Vienna on foot, friendly and welcoming staff, varied and hearty breakfast with good local products. This is our favorite in Vienna for its benefit / price ratio!
- The Harmonie Vienna : 4 * Hotel located 10 minutes walk from the city center. Comfortable room, design and warm from 180 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the comfort of the rooms, the excellent breakfast, the atmosphere and the calm of the hotel, the tea and the cupcakes in the late afternoon, the geographical situation. To make you a little pleasure in a beautiful hotel, I highly recommend you book at The Harmonie!
I then propose a small selection of apartments that I could not separate because quite similar in terms of characteristics and budget. Prices vary between 110 and 140 € per night, cleaning fees included. They are all modern, fully equipped and very well located.
- Vienna Mariahilfer Apartment : 70m² for just € 110 a night.
- Apartments Spittelberg Gardegasse : from 120 € the night.
- HeyMi Apartments in City Center : several apartments all more beautiful than each other, from 130 € per night. Big favorite for their benefit / price!
- HeyMi Apartments Opernring : Same chain as before, but in a different neighborhood.
Day 4-5: Salzburg
For the second leg of this 6, 7 or 8 day trip to Austria , I will take you to Salzburg.
For that, you will have to rent a car , clearly the fastest way to get around during this week-long road trip to Austria. In addition it allows stops on the road to visit some places that you would not have seen by taking the train for example.
I recommend you to go through Rentalcars.com for 3 reasons:
- All rental companies are listed, so you can easily compare prices.
- Comprehensive protection insurance is much cheaper than that offered by the renters. And, additional point, super efficient in terms of refunds! I speak knowingly after having resorted to it sometimes during my holidays in Sicily .
- Cancellation is often free.
If you know your dates of travel, I advise you to book your car now , to get the best price possible! To compare prices and book your car, click here.
Once you have your car rental (rent it preferably at the airport, it’s easier for the return), take the road to Salzburg. It takes about 3 hours 15 minutes from Vienna to Salzburg.
On the way, I recommend 3 stops to visit some of the most beautiful sites and natural landscapes to see in Austria:
- At 1h20 from Vienna , you will pass by the famous Melk Abbey . Overlooking the Danube on its rocky outcrop, you will not be able to miss it. I recommend you take the time to visit it especially not to miss its huge library whose fame is worldwide. The place is just superb. Outside, you will enjoy a view of the Danube and its surroundings.
- Before arriving in Salzburg , about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Melk , you will also pass the Salzkammergut Lake District , known for its beautiful alpine lakes. Certainly one of the most beautiful Austrian landscapes. First stop at Lake Attersee , the largest in Austria. Then continue to Lake Mondsee, a lake very well laid out and conducive to water activities. You can easily spend an afternoon in the area and enjoy it for a picnic and hiking around.
You arrive in Salzburg at the end of the day.
The next day, for the rest of your 1-week holiday in Austria, the day will be entirely devoted to visiting Salzburg.
Start the morning by climbing to the fortress of Hohensalzburg, the landmark of the city. Serving to protect the principality and the archbishops from attacks, it is one of the best preserved castles in all Europe.
To join it you can choose the sport option by climbing the hill on foot, or the softer option by taking the funicular from Festungsgasse. This option also allows you to enjoy a nice view during the climb.
In the fortress you can visit:
- The golden room and the golden room, all with beautiful wooden carvings
- The dungeons and the chamber of tortures for the sinister version
- The Festungmuseum , a museum dedicated to the life of the prince-archbishops
- The Rainermuseum and its collection of Austrian weapons
At the exit of the fortress, go down again through the Abbey of Nonnberg, about ten minutes on foot. The place is world famous for having served as a model for the very popular movie “The melody of happiness” . It’s here, that the heroine Maria, was a novice before marrying the Baron!
Fans of the film will know what I’m talking about! Every day, guided tours of the city are organized to follow in the footsteps of the film’s location. For amateurs, I put the link right here.
After this little interlude, go back to the historic center of Salzburg to visit the DomQuartier , a cultural tourist attraction of the city. The entry ticket to the Dom gives you access to several historical sites such as St. Peter’s Church , the residence of the prince-archbishops and the cathedral . A great way to combine the city tour and learn more about its history.
After a well-deserved lunch break after a busy morning, I recommend going to No 9 Getreidegasse . Here you will find the birthplace of Mozart, today transformed into a museum. If this interests you, you can of course visit it.
At the exit, do not hesitate to walk on the Getreidegasse to admire its traditional houses and the wrought iron signs of the shops, an originality of the street. It is also the ideal place to do some shopping or have a drink.
Finish your day in Salzburg by discovering the Mirabell castle and especially by strolling through its sumptuous gardens. You can reach it by following the street Getreidegasse. The gardens offer a grand view of the city and the cathedral . You will be able to admire many fountains, the rose garden , the orange grove or the garden of the dwarves composed of garden dwarfs in white marble, rather unusual not?
To stay in Salzburg
- Stadtalm Naturfreundehaus : Youth hostel located near the Salzburg Museum of Modern Art. Bed in dormitory from € 25, breakfast included. The access is not very easy because at the top of a hill and the rooms are a little small but the view against, is extraordinary. This is the best price for a hostel in Salzburg . The others start at 50 €, which is a bit expensive for a bed in dormitory.
- Motel One Salzburg-Süd : Hotel located 4km from the center of Salzburg. A bus stop right in front of you will allow you to get to the center in just 10 minutes (and remember, with the Salzburg Card it’s free). Spacious and modern double room from 80 € per night, breakfast at 9.5 €. The most: the quiet location, the comfort of bedding, the excellent breakfast. This is our heart stroke for its benefit / price ratio.
- H + Hotel Salzburg : Located a 15-minute walk from Mirabell Castle. Modern and comfortable double room from 120 € per night, breakfast 17 €. Most: the breakfast room overlooking the mountains, the comfort of beds, shops and restaurants nearby.
- Altstadt Hotel Stadtkrug : Small, typical hotel located in the very heart of Salzburg’s old town and the pedestrian area (so no car noise!). Comfortable double room with typical Austrian charm from 190 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the central location for everything to visit on foot, the very friendly staff, the very good bedding, the excellent quality breakfast and hearty, the terrace for dinner on the roof and enjoy the view.
Day 6: Hallstatt
For the third leg of this week-long trip to Austria, drive back to Hallstatt, about an hour and a half away by car.
Hallstatt is a tiny village, considered one of the most beautiful in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site , a real postcard setting! The ransom of success is that it is really very touristy and you will have to share the place with a lot of people including many Chinese tourists! They found it so charming that they even made a replica of it in southern China .
Start by walking around the village and do not hesitate to venture into the narrow streets and climb the various stairs. Also visit the Catholic Church whose cemetery offers a beautiful view of the lake below.
You can also visit a rather amazing place: the ossuary. It contains hundreds of decorated skulls of people who died in Hallstatt. We bury people normally, and then after about ten years, we come to take the skull to expose it. This tradition is still perpetrated in Hallstatt.
After visiting the village, I advise you to go to Hallstatt Skywalk. You can go on foot (it climbs a lot but it’s not too difficult) or take the funicular. Arrived at the top, the panorama on Hallstatt and the surroundings is to cut the breath!
For the afternoon, I propose 2 programs according to your desires:
1. For the quiet version :
Visit the oldest salt mine in the world , located near the Skywalk. Enter the mines and discover one of the main tourist activities in Hallstatt. After your visit, go down to Hallstatt and enjoy a walk on the lake or a short cruise.
2. For the slightly sportier version :
After going up to the Skywalk, go down to Hallstatt and take the car back to Obertaun , a few kilometers away . The village is the starting point for visiting the ice grottoes of the Dachstein Massif. You will also need to take a cable car to get there. There are 2 caves: the giant ice cave and the mammoth cave.
You can choose to visit one or both. Allow about 1 hour of visit for each. Then, take the cable car to the second landing to reach “The 5 Fingers”, a panoramic platform clinging to a cliff 400 meters high! Needless to say, the view is just incredible on the massive and lower Lake Hallstattersee .
Accommodation in Hallstatt
Hallstatt is a very small village and moreover, ultra tourist, you can well imagine that there is not so much accommodation and that the prices are quite high. So I suggest you book your accommodation in Hallstatt now!
- Heritage Hotel Hallstatt : Hotel located in the historic center of Hallstatt. Modern and bright double room from 190 € per night, breakfast 17 € . Most: the location just in front of the pier for boats (practice if you have luggage), the calm, the size of the rooms.
- Fenix Hall: Double room combining a rustic and modern decor from 200 € per night, including breakfast. The most: the comfort of the place, the very friendly welcome and the good advice of the owner, the location. It’s our heart stroke for its benefit / price ratio!
- Wallner Apartments: Large modern apartments, very clean and fully equipped! One of them even offers a superb view of the lake. From 210 € the night. Pros: location, free private parking (very convenient to Hallstatt!), Availability of the host.
- Seehotel Grüner Baum : Hotel located in the historic pedestrian center of Hallstatt. Double room warm, comfortable and spacious from 300 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the location, the lake view rooms, the lakeside terrace, the beautiful surroundings, the excellent breakfast, the quality of the welcome. It’s simply the best hotel for an upscale stay in Hallstatt.
Accommodation in Obertraun
If you do not have as much money to spend on a hotel night or if all the hotels in Hallstatt are already booked, I recommend staying in Obertraun, a pretty village on the lake and only 10 minutes away. by carfrom Hallstatt.
In addition, from Obertraun you can also take the river shuttle to Hallstatt. It’s fast, cheap and you’ll enjoy a boat trip on the lake!
- Haus Marie: Suites and apartments with views of the Dachstein Massif from 90 € per night. The most: the view, the free private parking, large garden with barbecue and picnic area, spacious accommodation, welcoming guests.
- W & S Executive Apartments – Obertraun: Located 2km from the lake, in Obertraun. All apartments include a seating area, a kitchenette and a private balcony. They are very well equipped with even washing machine and dishwasher. They are very modern and design. From 95 € per night + 25 € cleaning fee per stay. It is a big heart stroke for their benefit / price ratio . I highly recommend you to sleep in Obertraun and visit Hallstatt easily!
- Seeblick Krippenstein: Hotel offering double rooms recently renovated and therefore modern and comfortable from 100 € per night, breakfast included. Most: the view of the mountain, the location near the cable car to ice caves, good breakfast, very friendly owners.
- Dormio Resort Obertraun : Modern and fully equipped chalets from 130 € per night (price for 4 people!). Each one has a balcony and a terrace. The Dormio also features a wellness center with indoor pool, sauna, steam room and a large garden with children’s playground. This is the ideal place for a family holiday in Austria.
Day 7: Graz
After discovering Vienna, Salzburg and Hallstatt, Graz now heads to the penultimate stage of this 1-week car tour in Austria.
The journey between Hallstatt and Graz takes about 2h20. I advise you to leave early in the morning to enjoy a good day in Graz.
Arriving in Graz, start the visit with a climb to Schlossberg, the hill overlooking the city. 3 options to access it: on foot, by elevator or funicular . From there you will have a beautiful panorama of the whole city and will be able to see the 2 symbols of the city: the clock tower and the bell tower.
Then continue your morning walk in the historic center of Graz . Start at Hauptplatz , the main square and the busiest in Graz, then stroll down Herrengasse Street . Along the main shopping street you will find many shops, cafes, but also beautiful historical buildings like the Gemaltes Haus or the Landhaus.
This is where you have to visit the must-see museum in Graz: the Landeszeughaus. It presents the largest collection of weapons and armor in the world: 32,000 pieces on 4 floors! If you have already visited the Armory Royal in Turin , in Italy or the Palace of the Grand Masters in Valletta , in Malta , you have a small idea of what this can mean! It’s really THE visit I recommend to you in Graz.
Leaving the Landeszeughaus, go through the cathedral of Saint-Gilles de Graz and the Mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II , 2 places whose interior is worth a look.
After this morning of tourism in Graz, rich in discovery, and a good lunch break to regain strength, I suggest you cross the Wall (the Graz river) to go to the other side. For this, go through the Murinsel , a kind of giant shell connecting the 2 banks. The artistic work was created in 2003 when Graz was elected European Capital of Culture . Today it is one of Graz’s major sights.
You will arrive next to the most unique and futuristic architecture monument in Graz, the Kunsthaus , the museum of contemporary art. Also created in 2003, its design is not unanimous with its blue color and its species of tentacles on the roof, but it is one of the things to see. If this type of art interests you, do not hesitate to visit it .
I can not tell you what you will be able to see because the exhibitions are only temporary and last only 1 to 3 months. This will be the surprise!
Finally, to finish visiting Graz in 1 day, go to Eggenberg Castle . Take the No. 1 tram line to reach it, it is not located in the city center.
The castle was built according to a very specific logic, relative to time and seasons: 365 windows for every day of the year, 4 laps for 4 seasons etc. Inside you can visit the famous Planets Room or the old gallery. There are also 2 museums: Archeology and the Mint.
I also advise you to add a walk in the huge park of the castle (in addition to the visit of the interior, about 2 €).
To stay in Graz
Like all cities in Austria, Graz is no exception, and accommodation is quite expensive. So we will never repeat enough but book as soon as possible to prevent the best accommodations are taken!
- Ibis Budget Graz City : Hotel of the famous chain located just 5 minutes walk from the city center. Functional and clean double room from 60 € per night, breakfast at 6.90 €. The most: good value for money, calm and geographical location.
- Roomz Graz : Located 15 minutes walk from the city center. Modern and bright double room from 100 € per night, breakfast 15 €. The most: the very welcoming staff, the comfortable bedding, the choice and the quality of the breakfast. This is our heart stroke for its benefit / price ratio.
- Augarten Art Hotel : Located 1km from the historic center. Tram station nearby to reach the center. Elegant double room and design from € 180, breakfast € 15. Most: the decoration of the hotel with many works of art, the comfort of the rooms, the swimming pool, the kindness and the availability of the staff. Our favorite, the ideal for a luxury stay in Graz.
Day 8: Back to Vienna
And here you are at the last stage of this 6-7-8 day trip to Austria, it is unfortunately not the most interesting because it is to join Vienna . From Graz, travel 2 hours.
Depending on the time of your return flight, go directly to the airport or make a last trip to Vienna . You still have things to see including the MuseumsQuartier or the crypt of the Capuchins . You can also do some shopping on Kartnen and Graben streets , if you miss some souvenirs.
Feel free to give your opinions and suggestions on our one-week itinerary in Austria!