Austria Itinerary – Day One – ViennaVienna is located in the east of Austria on the Danube River and the best way to kick off 10 days in Austria.
Take a Vienna City TourWhen it comes to the best places to visit in Austria Vienna is high on the list! One of the best ways to get the feel for a new city is to take a tour. There are several different ways to initially explore Vienna via a tour:
⇒ Take a Vienna City Walking Tour
⇒ Take a Cycling Tour around Vienna
⇒ Hop on a Segway and tour Vienna
⇒ Try the Vienna City Exploration Game
⇒ Or take a Private Tour of ViennaThe Vienna City Card is fantastic value. It allows you to prepay and save on all Vienna public transport. And you’ll get discounts at more than 200 museums, shops and restaurants.
Vienna by HollywoodIf you’ve seen the films The Third Man or Before Sunrise you will want to take a turn on Vienna’s 212 feet tall Ferris Wheel or Wiener Riesenran. Vienna’s Ferris wheel was built back in 1897 and is not only one of the best places in Austria but one of the oldest Ferris Wheels in the world. Winer Risenran is located in lovely Prater park and not only does the Ferris wheel provide a movie experience it also provides some fairly amazing views over Vienna.
Classical Music ViennaVienna is often heralded as the capital of classical music. So whilst in Vienna, you must take in at least one classical music experience:
⇒ Enjoy Kursalon Vienna: A Johann Strauss and Mozart Concert
Vienna Restaurant PickStay classic on your first night in Austria by enjoying dinner at the wonderful Wratschko Gastwirschhaft. This historic pub dates back to the 1800s and was a bit of a local secret until it was discovered by Anthony Bourdain and declared the best restaurant in Austria! Don’t miss the dumplings.
⇒ Check out some of the other best places to eat traditional food in Vienna from Australian turned Vienna local Carly.
Vienna Boutique HotelsVienna has a lot of boutique hotels!!! Go super hipster and somewhat trippy and check in to one of the 25 hours Hotels Hotel Lamee and Topazz
Austria Vacation Day Two – Vienna
Start your day with Classical Music and HorsesHead to the famous Spanish Riding School to watch the morning exercises. Watch the training of grey young stallions as well as the fully trained stallions in the stunning Winter Riding School, all with the soundtrack of classical Viennese music. The public training takes place over 2 hours which allows guests to see four different sets of horses. When it comes to where to go in Austria, the Spanish Riding School should be high on your list.
Visit Schonbrunn PalaceFor me, the stunning Schonbrunn Palace is one of the places in Austria not to miss. Over 300 years old, this beautiful palace was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers. Since the 1950s its 1,441 rooms have been a major tourism attraction in Austria. Schonbrunn Palace has much to explore including its beautiful gardens. It is also home to stunning Christmas markets if you are visiting Vienna in the winter. Grab a beat the queue ticket and you’ll also be able to see Austrian Parliament, City Hall, Burgtheater, the Museum of Art History and Hofburg Palace (where Marie Antoinette was born) along the way.
Vienna DinnerPace yourself on the schnitzels and strudels by choosing a modern dinner location tonight. O Boufes is known for small plates, natural wines and an industrial-chic style aesthetic.
Tour Austria Day Three – Head to SalzburgThe train journey between Vienna and Salzburg takes about 2.5 hours. Head to Salzburg in the morning for maximum exploring time. Did you know it was salt that financed Salzburg? It was mined in the nearby mountains and created enormous wealth for the residents of the area – who then lavished it on the palaces, churches and castles of Salzburg! It is a stunning city – and this was possibly one of the reasons it was chosen to appear in the iconic Sound of Music movie – more on that to come!
Salzburg RestaurantsSalzburg has a higher concentration of Michelin stars than any other city in Austria! Go high-end fusion tonight with Restaurant Ikarus. Some of the world’s best-known chefs jet in and spend a month or so cooking here.
Salzburg Boutique HotelsThe charming boutique Hotel & Villa Auersperg has been family owned for 3 generations and is just a five-minute walk from Linzer Gasse. Blaue Gans may be Salzburg’s oldest inn (600 years old) but it is now one of its most artistic and stylish boutique hotels located close to the city’s most popular shopping street Getreidegasse
Day Four – SalzburgToday is all about the Sound of Music! When it comes to what to see in Austria, the Sound of Music tour is high on the list of many visitors! The major scenes for the movie were shot in the city centre, just outside and then further afield. In the city centre is the Palace of Mirabell where the Do-Re-Mi scene was shot, St Peter’s Cemetery was where the tension-filled shots towards the end of the Sound of Music were filmed and Nonnberg Abbey is not only oldest female convent north of the Alps it was home to the real Maria AND where the movie was filmed! There are then 3 more locations in the city centre, 3 close by and 4 locations further afield. The best way to see it all is definitely a tour. This will also provide far more context with stories about the filming itself and insider gossip. Plus when you join the bus trips they tend to play the movie so time to sing!!! As you might expect there are quite a few options when it comes to Sound of Music Salzburg tours!
⇒ Take a private tour with breakfast at key site Schloss Leopoldskron – 6-hour durationIf for some strange reason you don’t want to take a Sound of Music tour there are quite a few other fun places to see in Austria nearby: Download the ultimate Sound of Music Guide to Salzburg
Salzburg DinnerAfter a very high-end dinner last night head to the other extreme and go with a much more casual Austrian dining experience at Restaurant s’Herzl. Enjoy Austrian classics like dumplings, bratwurst, and strudel.
Day Five – Head to InnsbruckThe average train journey between Salzburg and Innsbruck is about 2 hours and there are around 18 trains daily. Start your time Innsbruck my exploring its lovely old town. Even better, why not take a City Walking Tour?
⇒ Read my post on Innsbruck Highlights
Innsbruck RestaurantsKick-off your stay in Innsbruck with a wow dinner at Ottoburg. Not only does it have some of the best Innsbruck views, but it is also in one of the oldest buildings in the Innsbruck old town and it is known for outstanding gourmet Austrian food!
Innsbruck Boutique HotelsOffering high style and a great location is Hotel Nala, it also has a modern fitness centre and great views of the mountains. Hotel Adler.
Day Six – InnsbruckStart your day by heading to the fantastic Nordkette. Nordkette kicks off from a Hadid designed station that is already instagram worthy. There are then 3 options or stops to get to the very top. There are great views and food and drink options at all three stops. This is one of the essential Austria places to visit. half-day food tour of Innsbruck, visit the Bergisel Ski Jump or check out all that glitters at Swarovski Crystal World,
Innsbruck RestaurantsKick back at an Austrian beer garden in the heart of the old town at Stiftskeller. This is the place to go for food from the local Tyrol region. Try roasted pork, goulash or of course schnitzel and wash it down with some Austrian beer.
Day Seven – GrazIn the morning drive or take the train from Innsbruck to Graz. The Innsbruck to Graz train journey takes about 6 hours. Driving from Innsbruck to Graz takes about 4.5 hours. Why isn’t everyone talking about/going to Graz? I absolutely loved this city and there are so many fantastic things to do, places to eat, stuff to experience. When it comes to where to visit in Austria, Graz and the surrounding area are at the top of my recommendations list!
Graz Boutique HotelsAs you would expect in a City of design, boutique hotel lovers are spoilt for choice in Graz. First up for me is Hotel Grand Wiesler. This airy and stylish boutique hotel has a great location about a 5-minute walk from the centre of the Graz old town. It mixes shabby chic with minimalism and pulls off a very comfortable boutique hotel. Lend Hotel. This contemporary hotel is full of modern art pieces and has the most fantastic roof terrace with glorious views of Schlossberg.
Day Eight – GrazStart your morning with a trip to futuristic-looking Kunsthaus and check out the latest exhibitions. Then visit one of the nearby Farmer’s markets for some lunch. Next up is the fantastic Schloss Eggenberg Palace. Don’t miss the peacocks! Finish off your day by heading to Graz Airport and the fantastic Austrian Sculpture Park, home to more than 70 works of modern art. And for dinner somewhere different! Get ready for an amazing meal in the nearby town of Frohnleiten at the Beef Bar. This amazing little restaurant prepares extraordinary versions of beef – salted, tartare, burger – using just coal and a bbq. Great local beers and wines, a fantastic atmosphere – this is a don’t miss!
Day Nine – GrazTime to explore the area around Graz! Start the day by heading to the fantastic Monastery Stift Rein. Founded in 1129, this is the oldest Cistercian monastery in the world. The art nouveau interiors are amazing. Make sure you get there for one of the monastery tours so you are able to see the extraordinary library. Have lunch at the fantastic Lurgrotte Pegau limestone caves. Then enjoy the hour-long guided tour. The highlight for me was the extraordinary light and sound show in the cavernous centre of the caves. Definitely, an experience to remember!
Day TenIf time permits have breakfast at the super cute Omas Teekane cafe. Then fly out of Graz or head to Vienna for further connections.
Suggested Itineraries – Different Options for Austria HolidaysUse my Austria travel Itinerary for a base to create your own itinerary. The above can work as an Austria self-drive itinerary. Cut out one day in Graz for an Austria 9 days itinerary. Cut out Salzburg and Graz for a Vienna and Salzburg Itinerary. If you only have one week then cut out Innsbruck. And for a great Austria Itinerary 6 days just visit Vienna and Graz. If you’re after a short trip Austria then I would just visit Graz.
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