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  • The Perfect 10 Day Austria Road Trip Itinerary

Gosauseen, Austria

With its outstanding natural beauty and sophisticated cities that fuse old with new, Austria is one of the most enchanting countries to visit in Europe. As there are so many pristine lakes, rivers, and mountain ranges to explore in between the urban areas, the best way to experience the place has to be with an epic Austrian road trip.

Renting a car and hitting the road in Austria gives you so much freedom to pick and choose which places you get to visit. No matter where you drive, you will find yourself surrounded by incredible landscapes the whole time, without even needing to leave the car.

If you’re not sure where to begin, then my 10 day Austria road trip itinerary is here to help! This guide contains all the practical information you need as well as the most impressive destinations that let you experience a bit of everything that Austria is known for.

* Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link. *

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The Perfect 10 Day Austria Road Trip Itinerary

Table of Contents

Useful Info for Your Austria Road Trip

How to get to austria .

This Austria road trip itinerary is designed to start in either Vienna or Innsbruck. My guide starts in the east, in Vienna, and concludes in the west, at Innsbruck. However, you can flip it and do it in reverse if that suits you better!

Both Vienna and Innsbruck are served by an international airport. As the Austrian capital and largest city, Vienna International Airport (Flughafen Wien) connects nonstop to the vast majority of European cities. You can also find direct flights from the US, Canada, the Middle East, and some Asian cities.

As a smaller airport, there are fewer direct flights to Innsbruck Airport (Flughafen Innsbruck). However, you can fly nonstop from other Austrian airports as well as from a select number of European destinations including Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.

Marktplatz Hallstatt

Best time to visit Austria 

Austria experiences the four distinct seasons as per the Northern Hemisphere and other Central European nations, so the best time to visit Austria really depends on the type of experience you are after. The climate and temperatures differ depending on the altitude, so during the course of this road trip in Austria, you should expect the weather to fluctuate somewhat. 

The peak travel season is the summer months of July and August when the temperatures are at their hottest, reaching typically 27-29°C (80-84°F) or sometimes even higher. Meanwhile, winter brings snowfall to the mountains and sees the ski resorts open up for the season.

In terms of the best time to visit Austria as part of a road trip, the shoulder seasons of late spring and autumn are the most pleasant overall. Temperatures are at their most comfortable, you will have less competition for accommodation and parking space, and tours and hotels will be a fraction cheaper. And to be honest, when you’re up in the mountains you will likely still see dustings of snow on the peaks.

Girl in a red skirt on the 5 Fingers Viewing Platform, Austria

Car rental in Austria

No matter which airport you fly to (Vienna or Innsbruck), there are car rental agencies located at both of the airports and in the cities themselves.

I recommend booking your rental well in advance to get the best deals. Prices can be pretty inflated during the summer months so the earlier you book, the better deals you can snag.

Driving tips for Austria 

Driving in Austria is a doddle, providing that you follow the rules and understand the local road rules. Naturally, you must wear a seatbelt at all times, not drive while under the influence, or when using your mobile phone. Here are a few more driving tips for your Austria road trip itinerary: 

  • During the summer season and warmer months, Austrian roads are a joy to drive. They are paved and well maintained. However, between December and March, snow and ice is likely at higher altitudes so you will need to ensure that your rental is fitted with winter tires and that you have snow chains in the boot. 
  • To drive in Austria, you must possess a full driving license from your home country as well as an International Driver’s Permit (IDP). You will need to arrange this documentation prior to arriving in the country to start your Austria road trip. If your driving license was issued by one of the member states of the European Economic Area, you will not need the IDP as your license is valid in Austria.
  • Traffic rules and regulations are comparable to other European countries. In general, the speed limit is 100 km/h (62 mph) on Bundesstraße (freeways) and S Roads (expressways) and 130 km/h (81 mph) on Autobahn (highways). When driving through residential areas and inner cities, the speed limit is usually 50 km/h (31 mph), but you should stay alert for signs.
  • In order to drive on the Austrian Autobahn and S Roads, your rental must display a vignette toll sticker. If your rental car doesn’t have one, you must purchase a vignette before hitting the highways. For this Austria road trip itinerary, purchasing a 10-day vignette is the best option which costs €9.90. You can buy the vignette at any of the petrol stations and then stick it to your windshield.
  • Driving with your headlights on is optional during daylight hours and compulsory at night in Austria. 
  • ÖAMTC and ARBÖ are the two major breakdown assistance services in Austria and both operate 24/7. The numbers are 120 and 123, respectively. As a non-member, you will be liable to pay a fee if you use this service. 
  • This itinerary for Austria includes a generous amount of hiking so it’s really important to have some sturdy hiking boots in your rental that you can throw on whenever you reach the trails. You should also have a significant stash of water ready for the hikes. 

View from Mitterberghof Jausenstation, Austria

Overview of Your 10 Day Austria Road Trip Itinerary

Breakdown of your 10 days in austria.

This is your itinerary at a glance, with details about where you will need to book accommodation for each of the 10 nights. Remember, you can do the route in reverse if it suits your travel plans better.

  • Day 1-2: Two full days in Vienna (overnight in Vienna)
  • Day 3: Grüner See, Admont Abbey Library, arriving in Hallstatt (overnight in Hallstatt)
  • Day 4: Full day in Hallstatt (overnight in Hallstatt)
  • Day 5: 5 Fingers Viewing Platform (Dachstein), Gosauseen, arriving in Salzburg (overnight in Salzburg)
  • Day 6: Full day in Salzburg (overnight in Salzburg)
  • Day 7: Gollinger Wasserfall, Bluntauseen, Hohenwerfen Castle, arriving in Zell am See (overnight in Zell am See)
  • Day 8: Stausee Mooserboden, Sigmund-Thun Klamm, Alpine Coaster Maisiflitzer Kaprun, Mitterberghof Jausenstation (overnight in Zell am See)
  • Day 9: Krimml Waterfalls, arriving in Mayrhofen (overnight in Mayrhofen)
  • Day 10: Olpererhütte, Innsbruck (overnight in Innsbruck)

Map for your Austria road trip

Below you can find a customized map that includes all the locations you’re going to visit on this Austria road trip itinerary. I marked the different parts of the road trip with different colors so you can easily see which places you’re going to visit each day.

If you open up this post on your phone and you click on the bracket in the upper right corner of the map, it will automatically save this map to your Google Maps app so you can always have it with you. Super convenient, right?

Day 1-2: Vienna

Number one on your Austria itinerary is Vienna, the capital and largest city in the country, located in the northeast. The oldest part of the city and its most central district is the Innere Stadt, which is contained by a ring road.

Within this neighborhood, you will find the majority of the key attractions and majestic architecture, including Baroque palaces and gardens, museums, and concert halls. No wonder that Vienna is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe !

Vienna is synonymous with classical music and was the home of musical masters including Mozart and Beethoven so you will find numerous references and recitals in town.

Two days in Vienna is plenty of time to explore the major landmarks of this elegant city. You will not need a car for these two days as it’s easier to get around the city via public transport and walking so you can pick up your rental car after your two days in Vienna are over.

Karlskirche surrounded by green trees in Vienna, Austria

Where to stay in Vienna

If this is your first time visiting Vienna then I recommend staying in the Innere Stadt. Hotels are more expensive but deals can always be found. Alternatively, you can choose accommodation in one of the outlying neighborhoods and connect to the Old Town easily by metro.

Trendy Wieden has affordable accommodation which is convenient for seeing the sights featured on this road trip in Austria. Landstrasse, to the east of the Innere Stadt, is another alternative for budget hotels. As you will not pick up your rental until the third day, you don’t need to worry about finding a hotel with parking.

Below you can find my suggestions for the best places to stay in Vienna for 2 nights.

Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna

LUXURY – Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna

Built as a hotel for the World Exhibition in Vienna in 1873, the luxurious Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna can be found right on the famous Ringstraße boulevard in the heart of the city. The hotel features 2 restaurants, a bar, and an exclusive spa and fitness center.

Hilton Vienna Plaza

MID-RANGE – Hilton Vienna Plaza

Located on the historic Ringstraße in the Innere Stand, the city center of Vienna, Hilton Vienna Plaza combines modern and Art Déco design elements. The elegantly decorated rooms come with marble bathrooms and offer amazing views of the city from their large windows.

K+K Palais Hotel

BUDGET – K+K Palais Hotel

Centrally located in the quiet part of Vienna’s city center, K+K Palais Hotel is a total steal. Boasting fully air-conditioned rooms and state-of-the-art amenities, the property is in close proximity to many major sights, such as the St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Best things to do in Vienna 

Explore the innere stadt.

Vienna’s old town is brimming with museums, monuments, and landmarks that you can explore on foot. Slip into your sneakers and spend a day touring the key sights.

Look out for the ornate Anker Clock, the commanding Rathaus (city hall), the manicured Volksgarten, and the Wiener Minoritenkirche which features a mosaic of Da Vinci’s Last Supper.

Girl in a red dress on a street with Votivkirche in the background


Perhaps the most unusual building you’ll see during your Austria road trip, the Hundertwasserhaus was conceived by the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser and architect Joseph Krawina in 1985.

The concept was to create a space in harmony with nature and highlights include the grass on the roof and the trees that grow freely through the floors. Thanks to its vibrant colors, it’s definitely one of the best Vienna Instagram spots !

Hundertwasserhaus in Vienna

Classical concert

In a city famed for its lineage of classic music, you might want to book tickets to catch a show for yourself. There are various concert halls scattered throughout the Innere Stadt.

Once you’ve confirmed the dates for your itinerary for Austria, check out what’s on at the Wiener Musikverein, Wiener Konzerthaus, and the Vienna State Opera House . The main season runs from September to June.

Schönbrunn Palace

This 18th-century palace and gardens are located southwest of the Innere Stadt. Once the summer residence of the Habsburg royal family, this colossal complex is now the star attraction in Vienna. Queues are always long so I recommend booking a skip-the-line tour of Schönbrunn Palace to save time.

Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna with flowers in the foreground

Hofburg Palace

Another palace for your list, this one was built during the 13th century and has been restored and expanded in the following centuries. Originally the winter home of the Austro-Hungarian Empire leaders, the property is now the office of the Austrian president.

Hofburg Palace in Vienna


One of the most fun things to do in Vienna at night is to visit the Prater amusement park. The star attraction is the giant Ferris wheel which has been rotating since 1897 but there are plenty of other rides to satisfy all thrill-seekers.

Swing at the Vergnügungspark Prater in Vienna

Where to eat in Vienna

  • Honu Tiki Bowls : Colorful cuisine in an equally colorful setting! You can select one of the signature bowls or customize your own. There are plenty of options to satisfy vegans, carnivores and seafood lovers.
  • Das LOFT : Dine high above the rooftops of Vienna at this upscale restaurant that serves contemporary Viennese dishes, quality wines, and delectable cocktails. They’re also open for breakfast.
  • Café Anzengruber : Located in the foodie haven that is Wieden, the 4th District, this is one of the best places for authentic schnitzel, goulash, and other traditional Austrian plates you must try during your 10 days in Austria.
  • Restaurant Ofenloch : Another option for classic Austrian food this time in the heart of the Innere Stadt. This historic venue has an irresistible ambiance and an expansive menu. 

Day 3: Vienna to Hallstatt

Pick up your rental and ready your playlist, your Austria road trip officially begins today as you journey into the mountainous state of Styria! The total drive time to today’s final destination, Hallstatt, is around 5 hours and the distance is 340 km (211 miles).

But you will stop along the way before reaching your hotel in Hallstatt so allow extra time to visit the destinations listed below.

Once in Hallstatt, you will need to book 2 nights of accommodation. Refer to the next day if you want to learn about my recommendations for where to stay in Hallstatt!

Grüner See

Driving time: 2 hours and 15 minutes (175 km/110 miles) from Vienna to Grüner See

Leaving the city behind, Grüner See in an unbelievably beautiful pool of water formed by the snowmelt of the surrounding karst mountains. Translating into ‘Green Lake’, the water is an ethereal emerald hue.

There is a huge parking lot at the entrance of the lake but since it’s a popular place among locals and tourists alike, it’s better to go early to secure a parking spot. Parking is €6 for a full day (there is no hourly parking option) and you can only pay with cash.

It takes around 20 minutes to reach the lake from the parking lot on a gravel road, the trail is completely flat and very easy. You can walk around the lake in its entirety in around 30 minutes to appreciate the viewpoints and take photos.

There is a small restaurant next to the lake if you need lunch or you can prepare a picnic to enjoy by the water. Note that swimming is not permitted in the lake due to conservation efforts.

Grüner See, Austria

Admont Abbey Library

Driving time: 1 hour and 40 minutes (87 km/54 miles) from Grüner See to Admont Abbey Library

The next scenic stop on today’s journey is a sensational library situated inside Admont Abbey. Stepping into the library feels as if you would enter the library from the Beauty and the Beast !

The archive represents the largest monastic library in the world and the works span architecture, frescoes, sculptures, manuscripts, and printed tomes. Constructed by the architect Josef Hueber, the library hall was completed in 1776.

It registers 70 meters (230 feet) in length, 13 meters (43 feet) in height, and features seven ceiling frescoes that represent the Enlightenment. These were composed by the painter Bartolomeo Altomonte who was 80 years old at the time!

70,000 volumes are stored in the hall while the abbey in total contains around 200,000 books and manuscripts, with some dating as far back as the 8th century AD.

The breathtaking Admont Abbey Library, a must stop on every Austria road trip itinerary

There’s a huge parking lot right next to the Abbey where you can leave your car while you explore the inside.

A ticket to Admont Abbey Library costs €16.50 and it also includes entrance to a bunch of museums such as the Museum of Fine Arts or the Natural History Museum. I’m not a museum kind of girl myself but I really enjoyed wandering around these museums so definitely give them a try!

Depending on how many museums you want to visit, you can easily spend 2-3 hours inside. If you happen to visit at 11 am or 2 pm, you can also take part in a guided tour of the library which lasts for 40 minutes (it’s already included in your ticket price).

Please note that the library only operates on a limited opening time. As of March 2023, according to the official website it’s closed and will be open from April to May between 10.30 am to 3.30 pm and it’s completely closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. From June to October it will be open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. In November you can count on the same opening hours as in April and May. From the second half of December the library is going to be closed.

The official website doesn’t get updated that much so if you want to go for sure, it’s worth calling them in advance about the current opening hours. We almost missed our chance to visit this masterpiece because of the incorrect opening hours on the website so if you want to avoid the struggle, make a call!

Outside of the library, it’s also worth taking a stroll around the beautiful gardens and popping into the Abbey itself (it’s free to visit). Admont itself is situated on the banks of the Enns River right in the middle of the Ennstal Alps so if you have more time, it’s also worth taking a wander around this picturesque town to savor the incredible scenery. 

Girl in a pink skirt inside Admont Abbey Library, Austria

Arriving in Hallstatt

Driving time: 1 hour and 30 minutes (78 km/48 miles) from Admont Abbey Library to Hallstatt

After wandering around Admont and taking in the scenic views, pop back into your car and drive all the way to Hallstatt. It takes around 1.5 hours to reach this fairytale town from Admont. In case you’re not staying directly in Hallstatt, you might need to calculate different driving times depending on where you’ll stay.

Day 4: Full day in Hallstatt 

Hallstatt is a quaint lakeside village located in the mountainous region of Salzkammergut. It is known for its salt mining heritage and historic center which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hallstatt’s setting on the shore of Hallstätter See (Hallstatt Lake) means that you have arresting views in all directions which really do look like something you’d see on a postcard. This is easily one of the prettiest places you’ll stay during your Austria road trip.

Cars are not allowed in Hallstatt Zentrum. So, you will need to leave your car at the parking lot suggested by your hotel while you carry on with your one day in Hallstatt . 

Panoramic view of Hallstatt from the Classic Postcard Viewpoint, a must visit place on every Hallstatt itinerary

Where to stay in Hallstatt 

As Halsttatt is a small village, accommodation options are limited and it’s essential to book far in advance. However, as you will have your own car you can also consider staying further out of the village in either Obertraun or one of the other nearby hamlets. These are my suggestions for where to stay in Hallstatt for your two nights.

Hallstatt Hideaway

LUXURY – Hallstatt Hideaway

This adults-only resort is located right on the waterfront and comprises a deluxe portfolio of suites that offer lake views. Modern interiors feature a rustic twist and the most decadent options come with additional features ranging from private patios to private spa pools.

Heritage Hotel Hallstatt

MID-RANGE – Heritage Hotel Hallstatt

All rooms and suites at this 4-star hotel provide lake views and are equipped with a private bathroom, coffee maker, and homely touches. The accommodation spans three buildings and there is also a restaurant and sauna on site.

Gasthof Bergfried

BUDGET – Gasthof Bergfried

This centrally located guest house features compact rooms with en suite bathrooms with the option to upgrade to a balcony suite. The property offers a shared relaxation area with a spa and sauna.

Alternatively, if you have a car, you might want to stay a little further out of town in one of the surrounding hamlets. One of the best options is Obertraun, from where you can reach Hallstatt within 10 minutes by car or you can also take advantage of the ferry.

We stayed at  Haus Salzkammergut  on our second visit to Hallstatt and absolutely loved everything about the hotel! Great location, amazing views from the balcony, lovely owners, cute doggie, and delicious breakfast. I can only recommend this place!

In case the hotel is full or you’re looking for something else, you can  check all the accommodation options in Obertraun here .

Best things to do in Hallstatt 

Hallstatt zentrum.

The center of Hallstatt is totally walkable and you can spend the morning exploring the main sites. Roam the Marktplatz Hallstatt with your camera, take in sweeping views from the top of Evangelisches Pfarramt and visit the ossuary (bone cemetery) at Michaelskapelle. You can also walk down to Small Island and head north of the village to appreciate the scenic viewpoints of Hallstatt.

Colorful houses at Marktplatz Hallstatt

Ride the ferry

Whether you stay in Hallstatt Zentrum or Obertraun‎, it is worth hopping on the ferry that connects the two towns in order to experience a different perspective of the river. The crossing takes around 25 minutes.

Hallstatt Skywalk

Ride the Salzbergbahn funicular up to this observation deck that rises 350 meters (1,148 feet) above the village and provides sensational views of the alpine landscape. You can also walk up but it is very steep and takes around 1.5 hours. The compromise is that you ride the funicular up and walk back down!

Girl in a yellow skirt at Hallstatt Skywalk

Salzbergwerk Hallstatt

Take a tour of this 7,000 year old salt mine which includes exploring on foot and by traditional mine train. The mine is only accessible via the 90 minutes guided tour which you can book online in advance to secure your spot. Access to the attraction is also via the funicular so you can plan these two activities for the same time.

Hallstatt Waterfall

A shorter waterfall option: you can walk to the Hallstatt Waterfall from Marktplatz in around 20 minutes. It gushes out from the vegetation and is a great way to warm up for a day of sightseeing or cool down in the spray during summer. 

Girl in a yellow dress in front of Hallstatt Waterfall

Waldbachstrub Waterfall Hike

It takes around 40 minutes to hike to the Waldbachstrub Waterfall from Parkplatz Echerntal or just over 1 hour from Hallstatt Zentrum. This is an easy trail with minimal incline and is a great way to experience the local nature and warm up for some more challenging hikes later in the Austria itinerary.

Gletschergarten (Glacier Garden) Hike

The Glacier Garden is another wonderful hike that you can do from Hallstatt or Parkplatz Echerntal. This assemblage of rocks and streams formed during the last Ice Age as the local glacier receded from the gorge. It takes 2-3 hours to cover the entire complex and it isn’t too demanding.

Glacier Garden in Hallstatt, Austria

Where to eat in Hallstatt

  • Restaurant Rudolfsturm : Located within a medieval tower, this place is worth it for the views alone. The menu is typically Austrian and they also do a great apple strudel. 
  • Restaurant Am See : This lakeside eatery offers charming views and the menu is rich with local dishes and fresh fish dishes. 
  • Pizzeria Kegelbahn : Situated across the lake in Obertraun, this Italian restaurant serves good quality pizza and pasta alongside soups, salads, and Austrian fare. 

Afternoon snack at Restaurant Rudolfsturm Hallstatt

Day 5: Hallstatt to Salzburg 

Today you’ll need to check out of your hotel in Hallstatt as it’s time to head to your next destination: Salzburg! You’re going to have two stops along the way so your driving time will be around 2 hours including both stops.

I recommend starting the day as early as you can as you’ll have some exciting plans for the day!

5 Fingers Viewing Platform (Dachstein)

Driving time: 10 minutes (7 km/4.5 miles) from Hallstatt to Dachstein Krippenstein

Your first stop today is going to be the slopes of the Dachstein massif, a dramatic glacial mountain range that rises 2,700 meters (8,858 feet) in the region south of Hallstatt. Once you reach the summit, you can explore the 5 Fingers lookout, an ice cave, and 360° views.

You can park at the cable car, Dachstein Krippenstein, and then hop on the gondola up the mountain to experience incredible views as you soar. The ticket price depends on which attractions you’re planning to visit, you can check the different options here .

For reference, if you only want to visit the 5 Fingers platform, you’ll need to purchase a Panorama ticket that costs €35.30, while the all-inclusive ticket costs €52.20 which includes a visit to the caves as well.

In a remarkable feat of engineering, the 5 Fingers observation platform protrudes 400 meters (1,312 feet) above the ground below and is shaped in the form of a hand with 5 ‘fingers’ stretching out to grasp the cool mountain air.

Once you leave the cable car at Krippenstein (section 2), you’ll need to hike around 25-30 minutes to get to the viewing platform.

The hike is really easy and well-marked so it shouldn’t be a challenge even if you’re not in the best shape. And the views along the way are out of this world!

5 Fingers Viewing Platform, Austria

Within the same area as the lookout, you will also find the Dachstein Giant Ice Cave. Entering this huge cavern, you will encounter stalactites of all different colors before you catch sight of the massive wedge of ice filling the chasm.

Guided tours of the ice cave last 50 minutes and require a 15-minute walk from the cable car station, Schönbergalm (section 1). If you do want to explore the cave, you will need to dress warmly as the average temperature inside is -2 °C (26.6 °F), even during summer. Make sure you pack layers for your 10 days in Austria!

You can find another cave at Schönbergalm (section 1) called Mammut Cave. It’s known as one of the largest karst caves in the world, hence the name. It takes around 15-20 minutes to reach the cave from the cable car station and as with the Giant Ice Cave, a guided tour lasts for 50 minutes as well.

Depending on how much time you have, you can visit either of the caves or both, or you can just go for the 5 Fingers platform for the panorama – it’s completely up to you!

World Heritage Spiral and Heilbronn Chapel at Dachstein Krippenstein, Austria


Driving time: 30 minutes (27 km/17 miles) from Dachstein Krippenstein to Gosauseen

Gosauseen is a cluster of three beautiful lakes located in the Alps of Upper Austria. You can drive to the Gosausee Parking lot and park your car here while you explore, or you can park near the Gosaukammbahn cable car station and ride up to the lakes this way instead if you prefer.

There are a series of hiking trails that connect the lakes and give you the chance to explore phenomenal nature.

The shortest option is to just walk around the first of the three lakes, Vorderer Gosausee, which takes around 1-1.5 hours in total. The more challenging options take you to the middle lake, Gosaulacke, as well as the third and final lake, Hinterer Gosausee.

To visit all three bodies of water, you will need to allow around 5 hours. As the drive time today is around 3 hours, this is feasible if you depart from Hallstatt as early as possible and skip the caves at Dachstein.

If you don’t want to fully drain your batteries, my recommendation is to visit only the first lake and rest a little bit after you arrive in Salzburg.

Gosauseen, Austria

Arriving in Salzburg

Driving time: 1 hour and 10 minutes (80 km/50 miles) from Gosauseen to Salzburg

After exploring the lakes, you’ll need to drive around 1 hour to get to Salzburg, which will be the next destination on your Austria road trip itinerary. Once in the city, you’ll need to stay for 2 nights to be able to spend one full day in Salzburg.

If you need recommendations of where to stay in Salzburg, check the next section for my tips!

Day 6: Full day in Salzburg

Salzburg presses its way up against the border with Germany in Western Austria and affords some of the finest views of the Eastern Alps. The Salzach River flows through the center of the city, with the Salzburg Alstadt (Old Town) resting on the left bank.

As the birthplace of the legendary composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, much of the culture of the city revolves around his lineage.

Fans will no doubt want to visit both Mozart’s Birthplace and Mozart’s Residence and catch a recital while in town. But Salzburg is also abundant in museums, galleries, stately residences, and gardens, restaurants, and shops, and it’s really not a place to skip off your Austria road trip.

You can easily spend one day in Salzburg exploring the delights of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and strolling along the riverside. 

The beautiful Mirabell Gardens that you have to visit even if you have only one day in Salzburg

Where to stay in Salzburg

As with Vienna, it makes sense to book accommodation as centrally as your budget allows. Hotels in Salzburg Altstadt are priced higher and you should expect to pay around €15 per day for parking so do factor that into your plans and budget.

If you stay further out in areas such as Itzling, Maxglan or Taxham then you will find that accommodation rates drop and you can transfer into the city center efficiently via bus.

These are my suggestions for where to stay in Salzburg for your two nights.

Small Luxury Hotel Goldgasse Salzburg

LUXURY – Small Luxury Hotel Goldgasse

All suites at this deluxe hotel are artistically presented and some feature a private terrace. The property is situated in Salzburg Altstadt within walking distance to all the major landmarks and has a wonderful restaurant on the premises. 

Hotel Wolf

MID-RANGE – Hotel Wolf

Colorful rooms are comfortably designed with eclectic furnishings and immaculate bathrooms. The hotel is positioned within a building that dates back to 1429 and is located in the heart of Salzburg Altstadt. A fantastic breakfast is included in the rate. 


BUDGET – Hotel-Flair

Rooms at this budget hotel in Salzburg are clean with plenty of space and each comes with a private bathroom. The property is conveniently located for walking to and from Salzburg Central Station and is a 30-minute walk into Altstadt Salzburg. 

Best things to do in Salzburg

Salzburg alstadt.

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Salzburg Alstadt is where you will find the most historic buildings and streets in the city, as well as museums, public squares, shops, and cafes.

You can call in at the shops on Getreidegasse, stroll down Sigmund-Haffner-Gasse, tour Mozart’s Birthplace, or dip into one of the Salzburg Museum institutions. 

Sigmund-Haffner-Gasse in Salzburg, Austria

Mirabell Palace & Gardens

This resplendent palace dates back to 1606 when the prince-archbishop Wolf Dietrich commissioned and gifted the residence to his mistress, Salome Alt. You can explore the sprawling gardens and peer into the public rooms of the estate.

If you are a fan of The Sound of Music then this place will be familiar to you already!

Girl in a floral dress twirling in Mirabell Gardens, Salzburg

Kapuzinerkloster Viewpoint

This viewpoint is accessible via a climb up 260 steps to the Aussicht Kapuzinerberg. Your reward is the scenic views across the city towards Hohensalzburg Castle from the deck and they are worth the effort, I’d say they’re the best in town. 

Panoramic view of Salzburg from the Kapuzinerkloster viewpoint

Hohensalzburg Castle

Ride the funicular up the mountain to get up close to the defining emblem of Salzburg, and one of Austria’s most iconic sights.

Hohensalzburg Castle, the largest fully preserved castle in Central Europe, is home to a portfolio of museums that you can take your pick from. However, it’s the views of the city and the looming alps that more than justify making the journey. 

Panoramic view of Salzburg from Hohensalzburg Castle

Where to eat in Salzburg

  • Imlauer SkyBar : Located on the sixth floor of the Imlauer Hotel, this swanky restaurant is the perfect place to start your day in Salzburg with brunch or wrap up a perfect day of sightseeing with a decadent dinner!
  • Café Bazar : After tackling the viewpoint climb, you can recoup your energy at this historic cafe that looks across at Salzburg Altstadt. Considered the home of artists and poets, the menu spans lunchtime specials, sweet treats, and moreish specialty coffees. 
  • S’Kloane Brauhaus : Slip inside this 400 year old building and you will be greeted with the scents of traditional Austrian delicacies. The friendly staff are on hand to guide you through the menu to find your perfect dish!
  • Lazarte : It might feel odd to dine on Latin American food during your Austria itinerary, but Lazarte delivers the real deal. Add a dash of spice to your trip and experience the flavors of Mexico, Peru, and beyond at this top rated restaurant. 

Breakfast at Imlauer Skybar, Salzburg

Day 7: Salzburg to Zell am See 

The distance from Salzburg to Zell am See via the specified attractions is 120 km (75 miles) and the drive time is approximately 2 hours. Tonight you will need to book accommodation in the little town of Zell am See-Kaprun for 2 nights.

Gollinger Waterfall 

Driving time: 35 minutes (28 km/17 miles) from Salzburg to Gollinger Waterfall

Head to Parkplatz Gollinger Wasserfall where you can leave your car and walk to this remarkable 75 meter (246 feet) waterfall which forms two tiers as it crashes down the cliff from the forest.

Between the months of May and October, you must pay €5 to visit the waterfalls on top of the parking fee which is also €5. You’ll need to drive around 35 minutes to get to the waterfall from Salzburg which makes it one of the best day trips from Salzburg.

There are different viewpoints along the waterfall and you can even hike to the top which I 100% recommend! It takes around 10-15 minutes to reach the lower viewpoint while it will take you approximately 35-40 minutes if you want to go all the way to the top.

The waterfall is super strong so be prepared to get a little bit wet! If you decide to go up, you’ll find a bridge that crosses over the water so that you can get very close to the water spray. It’s recommended to wear sneakers or hiking boots as the trail gets wet and slippery due to the mist.

Gollinger waterfall, Austria

Driving time: 7 minutes (3.5 km/2 miles) from Gollinger Waterfall to Parkplatz Bluntautal

Another day, another magical lake nestled between mountains and forestry to add to your Austrian road trip! Bluntausee changes color depending on the time of day you visit and what the weather is doing, so it might be emerald or sapphire tinted.

You can follow the hiking trail around the perimeter in less than one hour however swimming in the water is forbidden.

Since it’s only 3.5 km (2 miles) from Gollinger Waterfall, you can easily walk from one place to the other but if you’d rather drive, you can leave your car at Parkplatz Bluntautal which is the closest parking lot to Bluntausee. From the parking lot you’ll need to hike for around 30 minutes to reach the lake.

The trail is completely flat so the hike itself is really easy and it goes through a beautiful forest and crosses a crystal clear river. It’s absolutely worth visiting Bluntausee just for the scenery alone!

Bluntausee, an unmissable stop on every Austria road trip itinerary

Hohenwerfen Castle

Driving time: 20 minutes (18 km/11 miles) from Parkplatz Bluntautal to Hohenwerfen Castle

In a country that is overflowing with beautiful castles, this one really takes the biscuit and is an essential sight during your 10 days in Austria! The hilltop fortress of Hohenwerfen Castle has stood in this spot for over 900 years and from the complex, you can look down at the Salzach River and across at the surrounding mountains and woodland. 

Access to the castle is via funicular or a short but steep 25-minute hike. Once at the fortress, you can observe a demonstration of the resident birds of prey in addition to exploring the museums.

There are always a number of temporary exhibitions which change throughout the year and seasonal events are hosted on the grounds. Entrance to the castle costs €10.40 and if you want to take advantage of the elevator, you can buy a combo ticket for €14.40.

Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria

Zell am See-Kaprun

Driving time: 50 minutes (57 km/35 miles) from Hohenwerfen Castle to Zell am See-Kaprun

Today’s final destination is Zell am See-Kaprun, a small town that sits on the shore of Lake Zell (Zeller See). The town is the gateway to the ski resorts and slopes of the Schmittenhöhe mountain that looms over the town and is accessible via cable car if you wish to take in the views.

You can go for a walk or hire some bicycles and cycle along the esplanade that begins at the southwest of the lake and skirts the circumference of the water.

Down at the south corner, you also have the option to rent kayaks or stand up paddleboard and float your way across the lake. There are a number of pretty parks dotted along the lakeside where you can enjoy a picnic and the town has a good spread of restaurants and hotels.

Where to stay in Zell am See

Zell am See-Kaprun is small but it does have a substantial number of hotels and guesthouses. As with Hallstatt, I encourage you to book accommodation way ahead of your Austria road trip and look further out of town if needs be.

Here are my recommendations for where to stay in Zell am See-Kaprun for two nights.

Salzburgerhof Wellness-, Golf- und Genießerhotel

LUXURY – Salzburgerhof Wellness-, Golf- und Genießerhotel

This luxurious, family-run spa, golf, and pleasure hotel offers unique holiday experiences in a beautiful location in Zell am See. Surrounded by a splendid natural landscape, the Salzburgerhof combines 5-star comfort with 4 lilies in the Relax Guide for its spa quality and the culinary pleasures of 3 toques by Gault Millau.

Hotel Neue Post

MID-RANGE – Hotel Neue Post

Only a 3-minute walk away from the Zeller Bergbahn cable car, which provides access to the Schmittenhöhe skiing and hiking area, Hotel Neue Post enjoys an exceptional location in the heart of the old town of Zell am See.

Hotel Glasererhaus

BUDGET – Hotel Glasererhaus

Just a 5-minute walk from the shore of Lake Zell in the heart of Zell am See, Hotel Glasererhaus offers individually furnished rooms, a wellness area, and free WiFi. Most rooms additionally come with a balcony featuring a seating area.

Day 8: Highlights of the Kaprun Valley 

Today you will explore the attractions of the Kaprun Valley before returning to your Zell am See accommodation for a second evening.

Stausee Mooserboden

Driving time: 20 minutes (16.5 km/10 miles) from Zell am See-Kaprun to Kaprun Stauseen Parkhaus

Stausee Mooseroden is one of two high-altitude reservoirs and dams in the Kaprun Valley that resemble fjords. At 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) above sea level, the water is a startling shade of turquoise that contrasts against the circling cliffs and snow-capped peaks.

The dam wall at the Moserboden is 107 meters (351 feet) high and almost 500 meters (1,640 feet) long.

Stausee Mooserboden, Austria

Unfortunately, you can’t drive all the way up to Stausee Mooserboden, so you’ll need to leave your car at Kaprun Stauseen Parkhaus (it’s free) and use the shuttle buses from there.

The parking house has 11 floors and if there’s enough free space, it’s worth driving all the way to the top because that’s the direction you’ll need to go in order to find the ticket office and the shuttle buses. If you park on the lower levels, you’ll need to climb up the stairs to get to the top of the parking lot.

Once you purchase your ticket, you’ll need to get on the shuttle bus which will take you to a very cool open-air lift. This is the largest open lift in Europe and it will take you up on the 431 meters (1,414 feet) incline within minutes.

After that, you’ll need to board another shuttle bus which will take you all the way to the reservoir. The whole process takes around 45 minutes and a return ticket costs €28 per person.

During your exploration, you can follow short hiking trails to get a full perspective on this dramatic landscape from the surrounding viewpoints. If you’re up for a challenge, you can also try some of the via ferrata routes but for that, you’ll need to have the proper gear.

If you want something easier, you can just hike up to the upper viewpoint which takes 10-15 minutes and it’s fairly easy. The route is quite narrow and steep so it’s best to wear sturdy shoes and watch out for your steps.

Stausee Mooserboden, Austria

Sigmund-Thun Klamm

Driving time: 6 minutes (4.5 km/3 miles) from Kaprun Stauseen Parkhaus to Sigmund-Thun Klamm

Once you’re reunited with your rental you can drive 5 minutes along the road to the next attraction on your Austrian road trip itinerary.

Sigmund-Thun Klamm is a stunning ravine with an excellent wooden track that lets you walk past the water that thunders through the narrow chasm before culminating in a massive waterfall that falls like a veil.

You’ll find a couple of parking lots near Sigmund-Thun Klamm, the closest one is right at the crossing of Kesselfallstrasse and Klammweg. Once you park your car, you have to follow Klammweg and around 5 minutes later you’ll come across the ticket office which marks the entrance of Sigmund-Thun Klamm (an entrance ticket costs €6.50).

It takes around 20-30 minutes to go through the gorge and it’s important to note that the wooden track is one way only, you will have to take another road to get back to your car.

Wooden stairway at Sigmund-Thun Klamm, Austria

At the end of the trail you will reach another gorgeous lake called Klammsee that you can then complete a lap around. The lake is quite small and the trail around the lake is only 1.8 km (1.1 miles) so you can walk around the whole lake in 30 minutes.

All in all, you should factor around 1.5-2 hours to fully explore Sigmund-Thun Klamm and Klammsee together. There are few places where you can experience such an extraordinary spectacle of nature and it’s worth taking the time to complete the full route.

Klammsee, Austria

Alpine Coaster Maisiflitzer Kaprun

Driving time: 6 minutes (4 km/2.5 miles) from Sigmund-Thun Klamm to Alpine Coaster Maisiflitzer Kaprun

The next item on today’s agenda isn’t one for the fainthearted but it’s great fun! The Alpine Coaster Maisiflitzer Kaprun is essentially a rollercoaster combined with a toboggan.

Once comfortable in your two-seater sled, you will charge down the track reaching speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph), and screaming is fully acceptable.

The ride is open year-round and you can opt for a single ride for €14 or pay for 5 for €59.50.

Dinner at Mitterberghof Jausenstation

Driving time: 25 minutes (15 km/9.5 miles) from Alpine Coaster Maisiflitzer Kaprun to Mitterberghof Jausenstation, then 15 minutes (9 km/5.5 miles) back to Zell am See-Kaprun

After a fairly strenuous and hair-raising eighth day of your Austria road trip, you might just want to flop into your hotel bed. However, if you can summon the energy to drive a little bit more, this awesome restaurant is worth the 15-minute drive, especially on a balmy evening.

From the outdoor dining terrace, you can drink up views across the Kaprun Valley and Zeller See. Although, on overcast days you might be seated above the clouds!

You’ll find wholesome Austrian fare on the menu as well as an excellent variety of desserts. The restaurant is actually part of a family-run inn and you could even choose to stay here rather than in Zell am See if you prefer.

In case you’re not hungry or you have other dinner plans, it’s still worth driving up to the restaurant for the view alone.

Dinner at Mitterberghof Jausenstation, Austria

Day 9: Zell am See to Mayrhofen 

The journey time from Zell am See to Mayrhofen via the below attractions is just shy of 2 hours, and the distance covered is 100 km (62 miles). You will need to book one night of accommodation in Mayrhofen for the penultimate evening of your Austria road trip itinerary.

Krimml Waterfalls 

Driving time: 55 minutes (55 km/34 miles) from Zell am See-Kaprun to Krimml Waterfalls

If you were impressed by the ravine yesterday then just wait until you clap your eyes on what is said to be the highest and most powerful waterfall in Europe!

You’ll find plenty of parking lots near the Krimml Waterfalls, the closest one is P4 so if you find free space there, go for it! There is a small tunnel going under the main road right next to the P4 parking lot, you’ll need to follow this road to get to the ticket office.

An entrance ticket costs €10.20 and if you want to visit the nearby Water Worlds Krimml museum as well, you can purchase a combo ticket for €13.90.

The Krimml waterfalls tumble over several layers and you can decide how far you want to hike. The first viewpoint is accessible via a 15-minute walk from the parking and this alone is impressive.

However, if you want to walk all the way to the summit of the falls, it will take 2-2.5 hours to complete the 380 meters (1,250 feet) hiking trail, and then you’ll need to climb back down so factor in a 5-hour round trip. It does get steep and slippery due to the spray, so excellent hiking boots and a reasonable level of fitness are required.

Aerial view of Krimml Waterfalls, Austria

Driving time: 55 minutes (44 km/27 miles) from Krimml Waterfalls to Mayrhofen

After an intense morning, you can look forward to checking into your hotel in Mayrhofen and taking a leisurely afternoon. It’s a further hour to reach Mayrhofen from the waterfalls if you take Gerlos Strasse.

Since this is a private road, you’ll need to pay €11 per car for the road usage. Sometimes this road gets closed due to weather circumstances so it’s worth checking it in Google Maps in advance before you go in that direction.

If the road is closed or you don’t want to pay, you can take a detour and use another road to get to Mayrhofen, but it will take you 2 hour and 15 minutes this way.

Situated in the Zillertal Valley, in the province of Tyrol, Mayrhofen is another feeder town for the local ski resorts. You can ride the gondolas from the town up to the resorts where you’ll find loads of hiking trails if you have the energy, but the views are lovely on their own.

The Pfarrkirche Mayrhofen is a cute church and you can take a stroll along the river in town.

Mayrhofen, Austria

If you need a restaurant recommendation for dinner, check out Goldkind . They’re the number one restaurant in Mayrhofen according to TripAdvisor and let me tell you, they’re not wrong! The restaurant caters to everyone from vegans and vegetarians to meat lovers.

All the meals we tasted there were super delicious and the prices were reasonable as well (nothing too fancy or expensive). Give them a try, you won’t regret it!

Dinner at Goldkind in Mayrhofen, Austria

Where to stay in Mayrhofen

As a lively ski town, Mayrhofen features a good spread of accommodation options. The following places are all centrally located and provide free on-site parking which is perfect for your one night in Mayrhofen.

Huber's Boutique Hotel

LUXURY – Huber’s Boutique Hotel

This stylish hotel comes with all the luxury trimmings including a pool, spa, and scrumptious breakfast. The top-tier suites feature idyllic freestanding bathtubs and spacious balconies.

Gutshof Zillertal

MID-RANGE – Gut Stiluppe

This beautiful lodge offers a spread of rooms and suites, including ‘Romantic’ and ‘Royal’ themed choices. There is a pool, sauna, spa, and garden terrace where you can unwind.

Brugger ApartHotel

BUDGET – Brugger ApartHotel

Rooms at this inviting hotel are decorated in traditional Tyrolean style with wooden furnishings and feature a balcony, a private bathroom, and a seating area. Breakfast is included and the price is happily affordable.

Day 10: Mayrhofen to Innsbruck 

Can you believe that it’s the final day of your Austrian road trip already? Today your final destination will be Innsbruck but first you’re going to take a little detour to reach one of the most epic viewpoints in Austria.

Once you get to Innsbruck, you’ll need to book a hotel for one night.


Driving time: 40 minutes (25 km/15.5 miles) from Mayrhofen to Parkplatz Schlegeis Stausee (Olpererhütte)

First up on the agenda today is a demanding hike up to Olpererhütte, a mountain refuge that sits 2,388 meters (1,273 feet) above sea level.

Olpererhütte is a 30-minute drive southwest of Mayrhofen. There is a parking lot marked as Parkplatz Schlegeis Stausee where you can leave your car as you tackle the Olpererhütte trailhead which starts a few minutes walk from the parking area.

This is another occasion where hiking boots are essential as the trail is steep and strewn with rocks and even some streams that trickle down the mountain which you’ll have to wade through.

The hike up will take between 2-2.5 hours and then you’ll need to make your way down carefully as well so you can factor in 4-5 hours for the whole hike. This is by far the most challenging hike on your Austria road trip itinerary but trust me, it’s so worth it for the views!

Olpererhütte hiking trail

Once you reach the summit you are rewarded with breathtaking views of the landscape. You can appreciate the scenery from the Panoramabrücke Olpererhütte, which is a suspension bridge that overlooks the valley and turquoise Schlegeisspeicher down below. And of course, you can get a much-needed drink and snack at the hut.

If you do not fancy the hike then you can enjoy a more relaxing walk around the shore of Schlegeisspeicher, or even head straight to Innsbruck and spend longer there.

Ps: Before you think I’m crazy, I just wanted to let you know that I obviously did not hike up to Olpererhütte in a skirt! I was wearing proper hiking shoes with leggings and a top and I just changed to this red skirt at the bridge for the photos. Don’t underestimate this hike and please don’t try to complete it in pretty dresses!

Girl in a red skirt sitting on Panoramabrücke Olpererhütte, Austria

Driving time: 1 hour and 40 minutes (92 km/57 miles) from Parkplatz Schlegeis Stausee (Olpererhütte) to Innsbruck

The final destination on your Austria road trip (or first, if you’ve flipped the itinerary) is the colorful city of Innsbruck, the capital of the Tyrol province. Most of the touristic attractions are situated within the Altstadt (Old Town) and you will find monuments, museums, and restaurants galore here.

Notable sights include the 16th-century palace, the Hofburg, and the Roman-style Triumphpforte which was erected in 1765. You can walk along the River Inn or hire a bicycle while a series of cable cars whisk you away high into the Nordkette mountain range which is situated in the Karwendel Nature Park.

If you completed the whole Olpererhütte hike then you’ll probably feel super tired so I recommend just casually strolling around the Old Town and finding a great restaurant for dinner.

My personal recommendation is Gasthof Goldener Adler, which is allegedly the oldest restaurant in Innsbruck. They have a really nice terrace right in the heart of the historic old town and their menu is full of authentic Austrian delicacies.

Colorful houses by the river in Innsbruck, Austria

Where to stay in Innsbruck

Innsbruck is teeming with budget-friendly and luxury hotels and you can find decent deals in the city or elect to stay further afield if you are keeping your rental for the final night. Here are my top picks for where to stay in Innsbruck.

aDLERS Hotel Innsbruck

LUXURY – aDLERS Hotel Innsbruck

Being the tallest hotel in Innsbruck, aDLERS Hotel Innsbruck offers a breathtaking panorama from its stylish rooms. There is also a spa area on the 11th floor and guests can dine at the Panorama Restaurant and Bar on the 12th floor.


MID-RANGE – Faktorei

Sophisticated rooms weave minimalism with a rustic touch and a number are equipped with a balcony. On site you will find a bohemian cafe and a lovely bar where you can toast the end of your trip!

Hotel Garni Römerhof

BUDGET – Hotel Garni Römerhof

Combining modern facilities with a traditional style, Hotel Römerhof enjoys a quiet location only 8 km from the center of Innsbruck. Stylish rooms offer amazing views of the surrounding woods and meadows and there is also a spa area on site.

Planning a trip to Austria?

Then you might want to take a look at all our other travel guides about Austria. I promise, they are just as awesome as this article was!

  • Where to Stay in Vienna: 7 Best Areas & Hotels
  • 2 Days in Vienna Itinerary: The Perfect Weekend in Vienna
  • 19 Stunning Vienna Instagram Spots You Can’t Miss
  • How to Spend One Day in Salzburg, Austria
  • One Day in Hallstatt Itinerary: The Perfect Hallstatt Day Trip
  • Hotel Review: Das Edelweiss Salzburg Mountain Resort
  • Hotel Review: Hotel Post Lermoos, Austria

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The Perfect 10 Day Austria Road Trip Itinerary

8 thoughts on “The Perfect 10 Day Austria Road Trip Itinerary”

Hi, we are planning to visit Austria from 26 Nov- 3rd Dec and kind of follow this itinerary. However, could you please tick-off routes and places to be avoided during this time of the year?

I’ve never been to Austria during that time of year so unfortunately I don’t have any first hand experience to help with.

Some good advice but all of these places can be visited by train without adding to green house gasses. I can only hope that this ridiculous trend of travel bloggers posing in long dresses and skirts is dead soon. Seriously, posing in a flowing dress on a hanging bridge or hiking trail just distracts from your articles. It also clogs up travel spots for the rest of us travelers as we have to wait around while you get the perfect photo. Isn’t this blog to serve other travelers? Help with our trips? You’re doing the opposite. Please. Just stop.

Well, yes, most of these places can be visited with a train but then you’ll need a lot more time and wouldn’t be able to complete this itinerary in 10 days. But if you have more free time, go for it! I’m sorry if the pictures bothered you but at the end of the day, did you find the information on this blog helpful? Did it help you to plan your trip? If yes, you are welcome, if you found it useless, then you can just click away and read another blog. I don’t think that by sharing some pictures I like makes the article unhelpful but again, sorry if you feel that way.

Hi! I have been to Austria a few time and I still learned a lot from this blog. Some I have done before and I totally agree with your suggestions so I trust the many suggestions and ideas that I have not heard of or tried. Thank you for your thorough research and clear, well thought out itinerary. I picked and chose what I liked from it and will definitely use it on my trip in May. Really great job. Glad I came across your page. Thank you. Thank you!

Thank you so much for your lovely comment, it really means a lot and I’m so happy I was able to help you plan your trip. Have fun in Austria in May!

Can You tell me please which time have you visited. Because the flow of waterfalls is insane. To witness the same experience I’m asking your travel month. And yes i love your article so much that everyday i come and read your blogs.

Sure! We’ve been to Austria multiple times but most of these photos were taken on a road trip in the middle of June. Hope that helps!

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The Trusted Traveller

Exploring Austria by Car: A 5 Day Itinerary

Today I am hosting the lovely Ellie from A Beautiful Elsewhere who recently returned from Austria and is sharing with you her itinerary.

Ahhhh, Austria. The land of beautiful music, breathtaking scenery, and jaw-dropping architecture. There is something so enchanting about this country. After just coming home from my second visit, I feel like I need to tell everyone I know that they NEED to make their next vacation to Austria. We traveled by car, not only for convenience and flexibility, but I feel you can get to see more of what this country has to offer than if traveling by train. For this trip, we started off in Vienna!


Day 1 & 2 in Vienna

Vienna is such an amazing city and was much bigger than I was expecting. With its elegant gardens and rich history, you will for sure need two days to see everything (or if you have more time you could see Vienna in 3 days ). I would suggest breaking the city up in half when planning. We split our exploring days by the northern and southern parts of the city. This makes it more manageable, as it is a very large city.

Where to Stay

We booked our stay just outside of the city center in the neighborhood of Josefstadt. This kept costs down and it was still walking distance to everything we needed. Be sure that you book a hotel with its own parking because city parking can get expensive.


Vienna Day 1

This is the day we chose to explore the southern part of the city.

Things to See & Do

  • Morning Visit To Schöbrunn Palace: Start the day out with this attraction as it is one of the city’s most popular sites and can get overcrowded as the day goes on. You can take the U4 subway line and it will stop right outside the palace. You can purchase your tickets before hand or purchase tickets at the kiosk once you arrive. There are a few different options for tours so choose which one you are most interested in. We took the shorter tour with an audio guide and I thought it was very thorough (We even walked through the room where Mozart gave his first concert). Be sure to explore the grounds of the palace and walk up to the Gloriette to enjoy the view. It is well worth the hike!
  • Lunch at Nachstmarkt: After visiting the Schönbrunn Palace jump back on the U4 subway line and exit at the “Kettenbruckeng” This will be right in the heart of the famous Nachstmarkt. Here you will find numerous vendors selling fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and bread. If it’s a nice day, buy a few things and have a picnic! If the weather isn’t working with you that is no problem. There are tons of great restaurants right there as well. Stop and have a bite!
  • Afternoon of Museums or Shopping: Jump back on the U4 line and head towards the city center for your afternoon activities. This is where you can decide what most interests you. Kevin and I decided to do a bit of shopping. There are a few brands I just adore, and I can’t get them as easily at home. I know not everyone likes to shop while traveling, and if that’s you, pick a Museum to visit in Vienna’s Museum quarter. If you don’t make it into a museum, a stroll through the grounds is exquisite as well.
  • Evening Classical Music Concert: Austria is well known for its classical music. Being that Mozart is from Austria, they pay a big tribute to that by having what seems like an opera house on every corner! The most famous of them being The State Opera House. There are multiple musical events going on everyday so it’s easy to get into one and have it be fairly affordable. Go ahead and book a concert. It doesn’t even have to be Mozart, there are several contemporary composers that will be playing from time to time as well. We booked our tickets with The Vienna Mozart Symphony at the Golden Hall. It was touristy, which was expected, but it was a reasonable price for two hours of fabulous live classical music. Concerts usually start around 8pm


Vienna Day 2

This is the day to explore the Northern part of the city.

  • Morning Bike Ride: They have made it easy to rent a bike in Vienna. A company called Citybike has bike “stations” placed all over the city and you can rent them just by stepping up to the automated kiosk and entering your information. Note that you can only rent one bike per credit card. The best part is that the first hour is free!! I would recommend biking around the famous “Ring Street” which is the street that circles all the way around the old city center.
  • Catch A Birds-Eye View of Vienna: At the very northern part of the city is the iconic Reisenrad. This giant ferris wheel has been around for more than 100 years and is an icon of the city. I will admit it was rather touristy, however the view was spectacular and in my opinion it was worth the 9 Euros to ride.
  • Stop for Cake: Jump back on the U1 Subway back to center of the city. Take a break and recharge with some cake and coffee at the famous Central Café.
  • Afternoon Visit to St. Stephens Cathedral: This is an absolutely stunning church in the center of Vienna. I would suggest taking a tour of the church. There are private guided tours and also audio guides available. Also, if you are interested, there are tours of the catacombs under the church!
  • Evening Drinks at Dochboden: This is a lovely rooftop bar located just outside of the center of the city. It is a little hard to find as it is on top of the 25 Hours Hotel, but follow the signs and they will lead you to the elevator that takes you up. The view is spectacular and the drinks are amazing! Stop by and watch the sun go down while sipping a fabulous cocktail. The city is absolutely beautiful at night!
  • Pack and Rest Up: It’s a beautiful city and you may feel like you never want to leave, however in the morning begins the trek to Berchtesgaden.

Extra Tip: Vienna sells a city pass that you can purchase online that gets you unlimited city commuting (bus, tram, subway ext.) it also gets your entrance to many of the attractions in the city. Take a look at everything you want to see, it could save you a few bucks! We all love saving buck.


Day 3 Berchtesgaden Area

Morning drive from vienna to berchtesgaden.

Today you will drive from Vienna to the Berchtesgaden area. This drive should take around 3 hours. Yes, I know this is actually in Germany, but it’s such a beautiful and important area that it would be a crime to miss it. Since the drive is a bit long and there is much to see I would suggest getting and early start. When arriving to the area there are two major sites that you can choose to explore. Pick the one that interests you.

  • Lake Königsee: If the weather is good, I would suggest you visit the lake. Boats come and go about every 20 minutes and it is pretty inexpensive to ride. There are two different routes that you can take, one is just a bit longer. At either destination you can take a hike and explore the beautiful scenery. Keep in mind that the shortest hike is about a three hour hike roundtrip. If you are not feeling like a long hike there are restaurants to sit and eat while enjoying the Mountainous backdrop. Absolutely beautiful!
  • The Eagle’s Nest: For the history buff, I would spend the day visiting Hitler’s Eagles Nest. As it stands today, it acts as a restaurant. However, if you do visit, you should book a tour because there is so much information that you don’t get if you just visit on your own. We took a short 30 minute tour that was only $5 and I thought it was a great deal. This tour cannot be booked ahead of time and you just pay when you get to the site. Otherwise, there are several other tours that you can book online ahead of time.

Extra Tip: After your tour, I would strongly recommend going to see the old WW2 bunkers under Hotel zum Turken (wear closed toes shoes as it is cold and VERY wet).

Drive up to Salzburg

After your day in Berchtesgaden make your way to Salzburg. The drive should only be about 30 minutes. Again make sure you book a hotel that has parking because it is quite difficult to find parking and city parking structures can be very expensive. Stay the night in Salzburg and enjoy dinner at one of their many fabulous restaurants.


Day 4 Salzburg

  • Visit the Salt Mines: There are several tours that will leave from Salzburg. You can choose to book a tour or you can catch a bus on your own. You will most likely pay a bit extra for the convenience of transportation to and from, however it might be worth it because sometimes parking can be difficult. If you arrive early this won’t be as much of an issue. The first tours start at 9am in the summer months.
  • Explore the city of Salzburg: After returning from the salt mines head to The Salzburg city center. Salzburg is actually much smaller than I expected and can be explored very easily by foot. The downtown area is strictly a pedestrian area so you will either need to park your car at your hotel or along the street. You can purchase street parking vouchers for three hours at a time. Spend the rest of the afternoon strolling around the cobblestone streets of Salzburg. Here are a few attractions that are notable:
  • The Salzburg Fortress: This is probably the most famous attraction in Salzburg and rightfully so! It is a beautiful white washed building up on a hill looking over the city. You cannot drive up to the fortress and it is a bit of a walk so bring your comfy walking shoes!
  • Mozart’s Birth House: This is another popular attraction in Salzburg. Kevin and I did not actually go in as we felt it was a bit touristy but it was fun to walk up and take a picture in front of the building.
  • Dinner in Salzburg: This city is buzzing with fabulous restaurants and cafes. Pick one that looks good to you!! Rest up for your travels to Innsbruck.

Extra Tip: for more on Salzburg visit The Trusted Travellers guide to Salzburg .


Day 5 Innsbruck

Drive to innsbruck.

This drive should take you about 2-3 hours. This city is most well-known for skiing and winter attractions. However, there is plenty to do in the city itself if you are visiting in the summer or if you are like me and don’t ski! The city is rather small and can be done by foot in a day.

  • Take In The View: One of my favorite sites in this city is the cable car ride up the Nordkette. The ride is a bit expensive, but to me, the views at the top make it well worth it. There is a ski lodge up at the top of the mountain and you can sit and have a beer and a bite while taking in the views.
  • Saint Jacob Cathedral: This little gem was one of my favorite churches in Austria. I think I loved it most because of its element of surprise. From the outside, it looks rather plain, but step inside and prepare to be blown away! It’s a must see!
  • Stroll around Old Town: Innsbruck has an absolutely charming city center. With its specialty shops and old medieval gothic arches it’s guaranteed to impress. As you explore be sure to stop for cake and coffee at Café Krö


This concludes your 5 day tour around Austria! This country remains one of my favorite in Europe. There is so much beauty and charm that every time I come I am even more blown away.

This itinerary obviously does not cover EVERYTHING that there is to see however it is a list of the sites that I feel are the most important and beautiful.

About the Author

Ellie is originally from the Southwestern part of the United States. She and her husband Kevin have always loved exploring new places and trying new foods. Over a year ago, the young couple packed up everything and moved to Germany. They have been enjoying life over the big pond ever since. She writes about life in Germany and shares her travel stories on her blog, A Beautiful Elsewhere .

Connect with Ellie on  Facebook ,   Twitter , Instagram and Pinterest .

Over to you!

What is your favorite city in Austria? We would love to hear your travel stories!

Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.

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32 thoughts on “Exploring Austria by Car: A 5 Day Itinerary”

I love Austria and I’m so happy to see a big juicy article about it! I’ve spent some time in Vienna and around the wine region (outside of Vienna) but still haven’t made it to Salzburg. After a couple big roadtrips this summer, however, I am FULLY on board with driving itineraries. It is so fun to have the control and also to get to places that are more difficult or complicated!

Road trips are my absolutely favourite way to travel. You have the ultimate amount of freedom to go where ever you like when you like. Ellie has really hit the nail on the head with this itinerary. Glad you enjoyed it Julie.

Thanks Julie! Traveling by car is always my go to. Especially now, living in Europe it has been so nice to be flexible with our adventures. I would love to go back and explore the wine country! That was the one thing we just couldn’t fit in.

Hi, I am planning a similar trip with my family starting from Munich, Innsburk, Salzburg, Vienna , Budapest & then Prague.

Can you guide me with the proposed plan considering i have never been to eastern europe?

Hi Adil, Thanks for your message. The order that you mention sounds perfect. How long are you going for? Cheers Jen

Including Berchtesgaden made so much sense, even though I was taken aback at first (yeah, Germany!). This is a great itinerary for first-time visitors to Austria, and I liked that it wasn’t overly Vienna-centric.

Thanks Betsy! I just couldn’t stay out of my beautiful Germany! It would be sad to come all that way and not see the area. LOVED Vienna, but there is so much else that the country has to offer that I decided to just hit the highlights… So much to see, so little time!

Berchtesgaden (Germany) is one of my favorite places! In fact, I’m going back to visit for the third time next weekend! Austria is so gorgeous, you really can’t escape it’s beauty! Thanks for sharing this suggested itinerary. My preference would be to get out of the larger cities and visit more of the small towns by the alpine lakes, though.

There is no other place quite like Berchtesgaden is there?! It is so beautiful! I too, typically prefer quaint small towns over large cities. You get a more authentic feel of the area. However, as a first timer, I felt like hitting the highlights was better for me in this particular adventure. Happy Exploring! Envious of your return trip. Enjoy!

Thanks for providing all the great information as I would be a first-time visitor. Seeing the area as part of a road trip sounds perfect! I could do the whole trip just as described.

Awesome Jennifer! Traveling by car is always so great because of all the scenery you would otherwise. The views are breathtaking to be sure!

Being a road tripper myself, respect is all i have for you. But man, where is the car and the roads. Please share more landscape pics. Lovely place.

Thanks for the input fellow road tripper! I always have several other pictures posted on my personal blog. There I share the story of our trip, where as this piece is more informational. You can visit the site by clicking the link below:

My husband and I have travelled many times around Europe, but never reached Austria. Such a shame! After reading this post I sure we are missing a stunning part of the continent. Travel by car is an amazing experience, gives you so much freedom and you can really experience the country you are visiting. Thanks for sharing this! Nat

Traveling by car has become my favorite method of travel. Especially in Europe, where you have the flexibility to make your our itinerary and not be confined to railway lines or bus stops. I hope you make it to beautiful Austria someday. Happy Exploring!

Awesome post with an info-packed itinerary! We haven’t visited Austria yet, but will definitely use this itinerary when we eventually do! The pictures really sell it!

Glad to hear it! Happy Exploring!!

Definitely going this route in 2017! Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck! Thanks for the tips. And we will have 5 days, too!

It sounds like a perfect fit. I am excited for you! Please ask if you have any travel questions. Happy Travels!

Me, hubby and kid are planning for Austria trip and finalised Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck as out stopovers. As you have mentioned travelling by car is better, could you please advise did you rent the car.. if yes from Where ? Or it was your own car. We will be travelling from London and was thinking of renting a car is easy and bit cheaper , we will also do that .

Hi Rain, Renting a car would be the best way to go. Which ever airport you fly into, you will find lots of car rental companies there to choose from. Budget and Europcar are my favourites if you want to book in advance. Have a great trip! Cheers Jen

Austria is also one of my favorite countries and Vienna is really stunning with all those historic Unesco sites!

Vienna has made it to my top 5 list for sure. I was blown away by its beauty!

Perfect timing for my Vienna and Salzburg travels in 2 weeks time, great tips here

I am so excited for you and your upcoming adventure. I am so glad the itinerary is of help to you! Happy Travels!

Wow. This is so comprehensive. Sounds amazing. I’ve never been to Austria.

Thanks Tara! Austria is amazing, it is really hard to fit everything in!

Thanks for sharing your great itinerary. Looks like it was a great trip!

Thanks Sanjana! It was a fabulous trip indeed!

Thank you for your blog! We are going to Europe for 2 weeks in Sept. Starting in Budapest and then getting the train direct to Salzburg (skipping Vienna as we will get enough city in Budapest & I’ve already been). We will hire a car in Salzburg and then make our way to Munich for Oktoberfest (not sure if we will take car to Munich or get train?). May you kindly suggest a 5 day driving route from Salzburg, possibly including – Berchtesgaden, St. Gilgen, Salzkammergut, Hallstatt, Badgastein, Zell am See, & Innsbruck? These towns seem the best quaint, picturesque towns based on all the things I’ve read. Just wondering the best way to go and best places to stay overnight?

You will love Budapest! It is so rich with history and the architecture is so different than that of Austria so that will be good to see a variety of things. I am so excited for you to expirence Oktoberfest as well. We have attended twice now and both times were great! Be sure to bring your Drindl! Taking the train to Munich might be best as parking in the city can be difficult due to the amount of visitors.

As far as suggesting the best places to stay. This will be a bit difficult as I have only personally been to Innsbruck and Berchtesgaden myself. I usually don’t like to reccomend anything that I haven’t actually done. However, I would love to help you find the best travel route possible!

Can you tell me what you are most interested in seeing on this trip? Hiking, sight seeing, or perhaps just exploring quaint towns? If I knew what you are wanting most to see I might be able to better suggest the perfect route for you!

Looking forward to planning with you!

I also enjoyed myself while I was visiting this kind of places.

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The Gap Decaders

Austria Road Trip: The Best Itinerary, Map & Tips

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An Austrian Road Trip from Vienna

Embarking on a scenic Austria road trip is the ultimate way to discover Europe’s most picturesque cities and towns. As you travel through Austria, you will encounter the majestic Austrian Alps, culturally rich cities, unforgettable outdoor experiences, and breathtaking lake and mountain views. 

This Austria itinerary takes you through some of Europe’s most stunning natural scenery, charming historic towns, and bustling modern cities. You’ll also find plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities within alpine mountain ranges and national parks, cultural experiences at UNESCO World Heritage sites, and culinary delights.

In this Austria road trip planner, we share travel tips, the best route between towns and cities, things to do and see along the way, and hotel recommendations to help you plan your perfect road trip through Austria.

Austria road trip

Where is Austria?

Austria is a small landlocked mountainous country located in east central Europe, most famous for gemutlichkeit which describes the Austrian’s characteristic way of enjoying life, its castles and palaces, and the Grossglockner peak, Austria’s highest mountain at 3,798 meters above sea level.

The Republic of Austria is a federation of nine states, one of which is the capital Vienna, the most populous city and state. Austria is bordered by  Germany  to the northwest, the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia to the northeast, Hungary to the east, Slovenia and  Italy  to the south, and  Switzerland  and Liechtenstein to the west, all of which lend a cosmopolitan culture and outlook to the country.

Map of Europe Austria marked with a red and white Austrian flag

Is this your first time visiting Austria? Get all the information you need in our Austria Travel Guide , including what to pack, the best time of year to go, getting there, and practical tips to help you have the best trip!

Getting to Austria

Whether you’re taking a road trip to Austria in a car, motorcycle, or campervan, self-driving is absolutely the best way to explore this spectacular European country.

You can stop whenever you want, try new activities, visit places you see along the route, and have the freedom to change plans at the last minute.

Fly into Vienna International Airport to start your roadtrip in Austria. With direct flights from America, Europe, and the UK, we recommend booking through Skyscanner for live deals and the best prices.

Are you planning to rent a car in Austria? As one of the largest car hire aggregator companies in the world, we recommend because they have massive purchasing power which enables them to secure the best car rental prices, which benefits you when you’re planning a roadtrip in Austria.

For a real adventure, hire a motorhome or campervan in Austria. We recommend Motorhome Republic , an aggregate booking site who pull together all the best deals from a number of rental agencies, to offer you a wide choice of options alongside an excellent English speaking expert motorhome Concierge Team.

Best Time for an Austrian Road Trip

March to may.

Spring is a fantastic time to visit Austria, with temperatures warming up across the country. Blooming wildflowers, vibrant greenery in the mountains, and cows heading out to pasture mean spring is a fantastic time to experience Austria by car. You’ll find the roads and cities less crowded, and most attractions will be open.

June to August

In summer, Austria enjoys beautiful weather and the prospect of outdoor adventures and extreme activities. This is when locals and visitors alike head to the mountains and lakes, meaning heavier crowds and more traffic.

September to November

Autumn is a fantastic time for an Austria trip . The grapes and crops are being harvested, food festivals celebrate the bounty of the land, and you might enjoy an Indian summer, with the fall colors of the vines aflame.

December to February

The winter months in Austria can be very cold, but most people come to Austria during the months of December to March for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. It’s not the best time for a road trip, as the spectacular mountain passes will be closed and roads can be challenging to drive.

RELATED POST: Driving in the Alps: Top Tips & Best Routes

wildflowers in a grassy meadow

Make sure you have travel insurance you can trust when visiting Austria. We recommend True Traveller for their 5-star TrustPilot reviews, variety of cover options, best activities cover as standard, great prices, and excellent service.

Austria Road Trip Map & Route

We recommend starting your two week Austrian road trip in Vienna and concluding the itinerary in Innsbruck. Our two week Austria road trip itinerary travels from the east to the west of Austria and is roughly 615km from start to finish.

As you leave Vienna, beautiful and quaint Austrian towns and villages will greet you as you travel south toward the foodie city of Graz, the next major stop on your Austrian itinerary. From here, its north to Hallstatt, a small, alpine village situated on the western shores of Hallstätter See, also known as Hallstatt Lake, that offers iconic views and outdoor experiences. 

Next up is Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We recommend leaving enough time in your itinerary to explore the Baroque architecture of the city and visit the Salzburg Fortress for stunning panoramic views. From Salzburg, head to Zell am See, a charming mountain town surrounded by the unforgettable mountain peaks of the Alps. 

Your journey will continue on to Mayrhofen, a popular skiing destination known for its vibrant nightlife, unrivaled winter sports, and stunning alpine scenery. 

Finally, finish your Austria road trip in Innsbruck, the capital of the Tyrol region. The city is surrounded by breathtaking mountains and is home to several impressive landmarks. Innsbruck is the perfect place to end your road trip and reflect on the stunning beauty of Austria.

  • Get the Travel Guides
  • Lonely Planet Austria
  • Fodor’s Vienna and the Best of Austria
  • DK Eyewitness Austria

Austria Road Trip Itinerary

Vienna – Graz – Hallstatt – Salzburg – Zell am See – Mayrhofen – Innsbruck

  • Distance 615km
  • Duration 10-14 days
  • Drive Time 9 hours

How to use this map – Use your fingers (or computer mouse) to zoom in and out. Click or touch the icons to get more info about a place, and click the arrow in the box top left to open the index. To add to your own Google Maps account, click the star next to the title of the map.


Allow at least 3 days in Vienna ( Wien in German, the official language of Austria) to discover the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. If you’re hiring a car, you should arrange to pick it up after you’ve explored Vienna – you definitely don’t need a vehicle in this city!

There are countless things to see and do in romantic Vienna, from visiting the Schönbrunn Palace, a formal imperial residence and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a Gothic cathedral that represents one of Vienna’s most recognizable landmarks. You must take the 343 steps to the top of the cathedral for breathtaking (literally!) views over Vienna from the south tower.

Other tourist attractions include the Hofburg Palace, Belvedere Palace , home to Klimt’s Kiss , the fabulous Naschmarkt food market , and the Vienna State Opera, one of the world’s most famous opera houses offering daily performances of classical operas and ballets. The Vienna hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour is a great way to see key attractions in the city.

Travel Tip: Vienna is famous for its coffee culture. Traditional coffeehouses are recognized for their interior and atmosphere. Coffees and pastries are served on small, marble-topped tables with Thonet chairs tucked into alcoves. Try the historic Café Central and we promise an authentic experience of Vienna’s coffee culture.

RELATED POST: Best Cities in Austria for an Amazing Visit!

  • Where to Stay in Vienna

Upmarket: Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna – | Agoda

Mid-Range: Jaz in the City Vienna – | Agoda

Budget: H+ Hotel Wien – | Agoda

city square with hostirc buildings and cobbled streets

Wachau Valley Side Trip

Roughly an hour northwest of Vienna is the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to rolling hills of grapes vines and apricot trees. A day tour from Vienna to the Wachau Valley is the ideal way to experience this world-renowned area.

If you don’t want to drive, this highly rated Wachau day trip from Vienna takes you on a bus and boat tour of the Wachau and Danube valleys, to the Benedictine Abbey of Melk and the old city of Krems in the heart of the Wachau wine-growing region. Your guide will share Austria’s imperial history as you cruise the famous Blue Danube on its route past picturesque villages and steep vineyards.

The drive from Vienna to Graz mostly takes the E59, S6, and S35 highways, and will take a couple of hours. It’s worth taking the slight detour to Semmering, famous for the UNESCO Semmering Railway, and Bruck an der Mur, one of the oldest cities in Austria.

Graz doesn’t make it onto a lot of Austrian road trip itineraries because its understated charm and lack of bright lights reputation mean people don’t make the effort to drive south.

But we love Graz for its fantastic foodie scene, strong architecture (no surprise that Graz is a UNESCO City of Design), and off-the-beaten-path vibe.

In Austria’s heartland of Styria, known as the “belly of Austria”, Graz’s food offer is legendary – think fried chicken, smoky bacon jam called verhackert , cold cuts, locally made beer and wine, and of course, chocolate.

Alongside the cuisine, this Habsburg city delivers palaces and castles, a UNESCO old town, and colorful squares like Hauptplatz in abundance. Don’t miss Schlossberg and its medieval clock tower called Uhrturm, and the man-made island of Murinsel in the Mur river, constructed to mark Graz being the European Capital of Culture in 2003.

  • Where to Stay in Graz

Upmarket: Kai 36 – Hotel zwischen Fels und Fluss – | Agoda

Mid-Range: Aiola Living Graz – | Agoda

Budget: Zur Steirerstub’n – | Agoda

View across terracotta tiled rooftops to a Baroque building with a spire

South Styrian Wine Road Side Trip

The South Styrian Wine Road is a round trip route that runs for 44km between Ehrenhausen, a 45 minute drive from Graz via Leutschach. The route follows mile after mile of vineyards, picturesque villages, wine taverns called buschenschank , and family-owned hotels and inns, and is well worth a few days of your time if you’re a wine lover.

South Styria is predominantly a white-wine-growing region, with the dry Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Blanc being the most famous Styrian wines. Visiting a winery, and tasting their wines in situ as you learn about how they’re made is a fantastic experience, and not to be missed in this beautiful part of Austria.

Looking for the best SIM card deals in Europe for your trip? Check out our guide to the best data SIMs in Europe and get the best deal for your trip to Austria.


The drive from Graz to Hallstatt will be the longest stint of your Austria road trip! At 176 kilometers, with a drive time of around two and a half hours, this part of your road trip passes through the picturesque landscape of Styria and the foothills of the Alps.

Hallstatt, a small picturesque town located in the Salzkammergut region of Austria, is a popular tourist destination for its natural beauty, which allowed it to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

We loved the Hallstatt World Heritage Skywalk, which reaches 1,148 feet and extends over the edge of a mountain, providing unforgettable views of the Hallstätter See. The Salzbergbahn funicular will carry you from the valley station of Salzwelten Hallstatt to the Skywalk.

If you’re up for an adventure, we think one of the best ways of experiencing the Skywalk is at sunrise when the light is perfect and there are way fewer people around! We highly recommend a dawn hike up Salzberg mountain to enjoy the incredible views from the Skywalk, with a pro photographer by your side.

Hallstatt is also known for its production of salt which dates back to prehistoric times. The Hallstatt Salt Mine is the world’s oldest salt mine and has been in operation since 4000 BC, and a guided tour through the underground tunnels to learn about the history of salt mining in the region is a must.

No trip to Hallstatt is complete without a stroll along the waterfront, to take in the stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Enjoy fresh fish from the lake itself at restaurants like Schirmbar Hallstatt situated along the water.

Travel Tip: From Hallstatt, we suggest taking a day trip to the Dachstein Ice Cave . You can take a cable car to the giant ice cave to enjoy a guided tour. Remember to wear warm clothing as the caves rarely reach above 4 degrees!

  • Where to Stay in Hallstatt

Upmarket: Seehotel Grüner Baum – | Agoda

Mid-Range: Fenix Hall Boutique Hotel Hallstatt – | Agoda

Budget: Pension Leprich Bad Goisern – | Agoda

A lake with a small town and church on the banks backed by densly wooded mountains

Don’t forget your road trip essentials! Our free road trip checklists help you remember everything, including road trip snacks , podcasts , and road trip songs for the journey!


The next stop on your Austria itinerary is Salzburg. Driving from Hallstatt to Salzburg will take just over an hour as you cover 75 kilometers of the beautiful Austrian countryside.

This section of your drive will take you through the Salzkammergut region of Austria, which is dotted with lakes and mountains. Along the way, there are several towns and villages worth stopping at, including St. Wolfgang im Salzkammergut, a picturesque town located on the shores of Wolfgangsee. As well as swimming in the lake, you can enjoy the historic St. Wolfgang Church and the famous Romantik Hotel Im Weissen Rössl am Wolfgangsee – in English, the White Horse Inn!

Salzburg, a city that borders Germany, is the birthplace of Mozart and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This city is well-known for its Baroque architecture, music culture, and stunning landscapes. 

While in Salzburg, we highly recommend taking the funicular up to the historic Hohensalzburg Fortress to enjoy panoramic views over the city. Additionally, experiencing a Mozart concert at Mirabell Palace is a must, even if you don’t consider yourself a classical music fan.

Salzburg Cathedral, featuring a magnificent organ, Mozart’s Birthplace, and Getreidegasse are also popular tourist spots. 

During your stay in Salzburg, why not enjoy a food tour to enjoy traditional Austrian dishes like schnitzel and strudel as you explore the old town with a licensed Salzburg guide to show you the way?

Travel Tip:   Want to practice your do-ray-me-fa-so-la-ti-do lyrics? One of the best things to do in Salzburg is the original Sound of Music tour . You get to visit the filming locations of the classic musical while learning about the history and culture of Salzburg. Book well in advance though, this one sells out quickly!

  • Where to Stay in Salzburg

Upmarket: Hotel Sacher Salzburg – | Agoda

Mid-Range: Altstadthotel Wolf-Dietrich – | Agoda

Budget: Urban Stay Salzburg City – | Agoda

An Austrian city on a river with a large palace in the foreground with verdis gris domed roofs

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Zell am see .

The drive from Salzburg to Zell am See is a scenic 80 kilometers, passing through the Salzach Valley and the foothills of the Alps. Along the way, there are several towns and villages worth stopping at, including the incredible Hohenwerfen, a medieval fortress located in the Salzach Valley, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains, and the picturesque village of Werfenweng.

Werfenweng is a charming alpine village known for its stunning natural beauty. If you stop here make sure to enjoy the local cultural attractions like the historic St. Sebastian Church.

Zell am See is a picturesque town located in the Austrian Alps making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. With numerous ski resorts in the area, it is the perfect place to try your hand at skiing or snowboarding, if you road trip Austria in winter.

Following a trip down the slopes, we recommend warming up by trying local cuisine like goulash and dumplings. If a summer visit is more your thing, you can still experience the stunning alpine landscape by hiking or biking along one of the many trails located in this region. 

A stroll through the old town, to experience the historic architecture of Zell am See, is a must. End a relaxing day with a boat ride on Lake Zell where you can enjoy views of the surrounding mountains.  

The Kitzsteinhorn Glacier (where you can still ski in summer) and Schmittenhöhe Mountain are both accessible by cable car from Zell am See. Taking a trip up to this glacier or mountain peak will allow you to enjoy the breathtaking views of the alpine peaks that Austria is famous for.

  • Where to Stay in Zell am See

Upmarket: Grand Hotel Zell am See – | Agoda

Mid-Range: Romantikhotel Zell am See – | Agoda

Budget: Gästehaus Karl Haffner – | Agoda

View across a town over a lake to large snow covered mountains

Grossglockner High Alpine Road Side Trip

During the months of May to early October, the Grossgockner pass will be open. As one of the best driving roads in Europe , we highly recommend you take a short detour south to drive this legendary road.

The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is actually route 107 which connects Bruck with Heiligenblut via the Fuscher Törl at 2,428m and the Hochtor Pass at 2,504m. The high road is 47.8km long and has 36 turns which snake between glorious alpine pastures, rocky terrain, and wildflower meadows.

Allow a couple of hours to drive this spectacular road, and then pick up the 108 north at Lienz to return to your original route. This fabulous alpine trip will add two to three hours to your day’s driving, but we promise it’s worth it!

Travel Tip: The road is not open 24/7 even in summer. From early May to May 31st, the road opens between 6am to 8pm daily. From 1st June to 31st August, its open from 5.30am to 9pm, and from 1st September its 6am to 7.30pm. There is also a toll charge of €40 per car.

Winding road over snow dusted mountains in Austria

Want to plan your own road tri p? Get our step-by-step road trip planning guide to help you organize the perfect trip, or check out our Europe road trip ideas .


The drive from Zell am See to Mayrhofen takes you through the Austrian Alps from the Salzburg region into Austria’s historic Tyrol region. You’ll pass through several picturesque towns and villages, including Kitzbühel and Wörgl. Along the way, there are also several opportunities to stop and take in the views, including at the Gerlos Pass in the Hohe Tauern National Park.

The Hohe Tauern National Park is the largest mountain range in the Austrian Alps, offering stunning natural beauty and a range of outdoor activities. With towering peaks, glaciers, and picturesque valleys, the Hohe Tauern is a must-visit destination on your Austria itinerary.  

Mayrhofen is a beautiful alpine village located in the Zillertal Valley of Austria. Here, you can ski on the Hintertux Glacier, visit the Zillertal Alps Nature Park, or take a scenic cable car ride up to the Ahorn Plateau. The Ahornbahn cable car , which takes you to the top of Ahorn Mountain, reveals unparalleled views of the Zillertal Alps. 

Additionally, the nearby Penkenbahn cable car , which takes you to the top of Penken Mountain, offers beautiful views of the surrounding area. In the winter, Penken mountain is the perfect spot for skiing and snowboarding while, in the summer, tourists can enjoy hiking and biking.

If cable cars aren’t your thing, the Zillertal steam train is another way to enjoy scenic views of the Zillertal Valley. Taking one and a half hours, the 119-year-old Zillertalbahn railway is an unmissable experience through the river Ziller valley.

Travel Tip: 12km north of Mayrhofen is Zillertal, a small town that comes alive in the fall every year when the September Almabtrieb  ( cattle drive) takes place. Almabtrieb is the homecoming of the cows, festooned with flowers and head-dress, from the high pastures where the herds have spent the summer.

It is a much-loved tradition and an important part of the Alpine farming calendar, and well worth planning a visit around.

  • Where to Stay in Mayrhofen

Upmarket: DasPosthotel Zell am Zimmer – | Agoda

Mid-Range: Der Siegeler B&B – | Agoda

Budget: das Cityhouse – | Agoda

A burbling river surrounded by trees with a vable car in the far distance

The drive time from Mayrhofen to Innsbruck is approximately one hour and covers 70 kilometers. We recommend visiting both Fügen and Jenbach along this driving route. Both of these charming towns are known for their stunning mountain scenery and historic architecture. 

Innsbruck is the capital city of the Tyrol region in western Austria and is known for its alpine scenery, rich history, and culture. A stroll through Innsbruck’s historic old town to admire the architecture and enjoy the cafes is the perfect way to start your time in the city. 

While visiting Innsbruck, you will be able to visit a range of historic landmarks. These include the Golden Roof, a balcony with a roof covered in over 2,500 gilded copper tiles; Hofburg, a historic palace complex that once housed the Habsburgs; the iconic Bergisel ski jump, and the Imperial Palace, built in the 15th century. 

From Innsbruck in summer , you can take the Nordkette cable car up to the top of the Nordkette mountain range and enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the city and the surrounding alpine landscape. At the summit, you can enjoy an unforgettable dining experience at the Seegrube restaurant . 

Finish off your Austrian road trip by delving into Austrian culture. The Tyrolean Folk Art Museum is an educational experience exploring the history and culture of the Tyrol region and its traditional art and crafts.

Tyrol also has a unique cuisine and experiencing dishes like Tiroler gröstl , a delicious bacon, onion, potato, and egg fry-up, and kaiserschmarrn , a sweet pancake served with apple sauce, is something you should definitely do in Innsbruck.

Travel Tip: From Innsbruck, continue your trip further west to Hoch-Imst and enjoy a unique experience aboard the Alpine Coaster , a summer toboggan run that travels 3,535m along the steepest tracks in the Alps!

To return to Vienna from Innsbruck will add six hours of driving time to your itinerary if you take the ‘quick’ rote back on the E45 and E60 autobahns. Alternatively, fly out of Innsbruck Airport to London Gatwick, Frankfurt Airport, or Amsterdam Airport Schipol, for an easy connection to pretty much anywhere in the world.

  • Where to Stay in Innsbruck

Upmarket: Altstadthotel Weißes Kreuz – | Agoda

Mid-Range: Hotel Grauer Bär – | Agoda

Budget: Meininger Hotel Innsbruck Zentrum – | Agoda

Innsbruck Austria view from nearby mountains

Austria Road Trip Resources

Here are the websites and services we personally use and recommend for traveling in Austria.

  • Search for affordable flights to Austria with Skyscanner
  • Search for availability and book hotels and accommodation in Austria with
  • Find and book the best campsites in Austria with Eurocampings
  • Book the cheapest and most reliable car rentals in Austria with
  • Find and hire your perfect motorhome or campervan with Motorhome Republic
  • Get highly rated, reliable, and trustworthy travel insurance with True Traveller
  • Check if you need a visa and arrange your documents with Visagov

Tips for Driving in Austria

The roads in Austria are well maintained and the drivers are courteous and measured. However, the Austrian roads are some of the narrowest in Europe and navigating this winding drive may be challenging for nervous drivers.

Whether you’re traveling in your own vehicle or flying in and renting a car, you need to follow these rules when you drive and travel in Austria;

  • You must have at least three months remaining on your passport (issued in the past ten years) at your intended date of departure from Austria.
  • You may need a visa to enter Austria, you can find out more on the Federal Ministry Republic of Austria European and International Affairs website .
  • You must have at least 3rd party insurance for your vehicle when you road trip in Austria.
  • Citizens of non-EU third countries may require an IDP, you can check here .
  • Motorists are also required by law to carry the following items when driving in Austria: reflective jackets for driver and passengers; a warning triangle and a first aid box.
  • All vehicles must pay a toll called a mautvignette to use the autobahns in Austria. Vehicles are required to display a toll sticker in the windscreen, which is available from border points and fuel stations, or you can buy a digital vignette online here . Rental cars will have the vignette already included and on display in the vehicle.
  • If you’re planning a winter road trip to Austria between November 15 and March 15, carrying snow chains in your vehicle is mandatory. Check with your car rental company if these are provided.
  • In Austria, motorists drive on the right and overtake on the left. As a general rule, priority must be given to vehicles coming from the right unless indicated
  • Radar detectors that interfere with police equipment are prohibited in Austria, although sat nav systems that indicate where fixed speed cameras are located are permitted.
  • Dashboard cameras are prohibited in Austria.
  • You may only use a mobile phone whilst driving with a hands-free device.

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Austria itinerary 14 days

Road Trip through Austria: The Best Travel Itinerary for 2-4 Weeks

Majestic mountains and picturesque valleys, kaiserschmarrn and germknödel, imperial flair and quaint mountain villages – all that and much more awaits you on a road trip through Austria. 

Spoiler: No other country in the world is as beautiful as Austria! We are possibly a little bias (we were born in Austria and grew up there), but one thing is for sure: You will have countless wow-moments on a road trip through Austria. 

In our travel blog we show you the perfect travel itinerary through Austria. It will take you to the greatest highlights of the country in two weeks but has many route options so that you could also easily extend it to four weeks. 

We also provide some useful planning tips in this blog article, such as maps with the most important places along our travel route, so that you can perfectly prepare yourself for your trip around Austria. 

1. Austria Travel Itinerary: Each of the Stops on our Road Trip 

2. map: overview of the travel route, 3. further travel tips for your austria road trip .

Austria Road trip

Something to note: Our route starts in Vienna but it is a round trip so you can start at any point you wish. So, if you enter from Germany, for example, then you could easily start in Salzburg or Tyrol. 

Our Austrian road trip starts in the heart of the country, in our home city, Vienna. Perhaps we are a bit partial because we have lived here for over 30 years but in our eyes, Vienna is simply the most beautiful city in the world. 

We love Vienna’s baroque, classical flair. The small, picturesque alleyways and the imposing constructions in the inner city look like a film backdrop. We recommend you plan to stay at 

Detailed blog article:  Travel Tips for Vienna Recommended length of stay:  2-4 nights Our hotel tip:  25hours Hotel

Michaelerplatz Vienna

Optional: Wachau

Our road trip starts from Vienna towards the west. The first stop is the beautiful Wachau – a picturesque river valley on the Donau between Melk and Krems. We love Wachau but marked this as ‘optional’. (There are just so many highlights in Austria!)

What can you expect from Wachau? One of the most scenic river valleys, sun-drenched vinyards, picturesque wine growing villages and impressive castles or castle ruins. You can take a wine tour, for example, or simply enjoy a bit of Austria’s wine culture. 

Getting from Vienna to Wachau:  This is a fairly short stage of the road trip. You drive about an hour out of Vienna before reaching Wachau. 

Detailed blog article:  Sights of Wachau   (coming soon) Recommended length of stay:  1-2 nights Our hotel tip:   Steigenberger Hotel & Spa

Burgruine Aggstein Wachau

Salzkammergut (Traunsee)

One of our favourite regions in Austria is not to be left off our travel route: The Salzkammergut. The combination of picturesque mountain lakes and rugged peaks is unparalleled. 

Traunsee (Lake Traun) is a great starting point to explore the Salzkammergut. The Gosau Lakes and Lake Altaussee are also undoubtedly worth a visit. And last but not least, you can also find one of the most well-known mountain villages of Austria here in the Salzkammergut: Hallstatt. 

Getting from Wachau to Salzkammergut: You can expect a two hours drive for this part of the roadtrip. Would you like to make a stopover on the route? Then we can recommend the small town of Enns – quite an insider tip.

Detailed blog article: The best things to do in Salzkammergut (coming soon) Recommended length of stay:  2-3 nights Our hotel recommendation: Seehotel Das Traunsee

Hallstatt getting there

Salzburg (City)

It wouldn’t be an Austria road trip without a visit to Salzburg! In our opinion, you shouldn’t leave Austria without having paid a visit to the city of Mozart. Yes, Salzburg is very touristy. However, the small city is also just so pretty and cute that we are simply amazed again and again. 

Paying a visit to the majestic Hohensalzburg Fortress is on the must-do list, and of course wandering through the picturesque old town. And please be sure to try an original Salzburger mozartkugel (mozart chocolate). These are only available in Salzburg – just delicious. 

Getting from Salzkammergut to Salzburg:  You can expect just a small drive for this part of the road trip. From Traunsee you will be on the road for just an hour before reaching Salzburg. (Warning: Parking in Salzburg can be a bit of a trouble. It’s best to contact your hotel in advance about a parking space.) 

Detailed blog article:  Salzburg tips   Recommended length of stay:  1-2 nights Our hotel recommendation:  Arthotel Blaue Gans

Kapuzinerberg Salzburg

Bad Gastein

Our travel route takes us out of the city now and in the direction of the mountains. There are countless great destinations in the Austrian mountains, but we dare to say that none are as hip and unique as Bad Gastein. 

Belle-Époque buildings, morbid charm & rugged peaks – either you love Bad Gastein or you will never warm up to it. One thing is for sure: There are countless spectacular hikes around Bad Gastein waiting just for you. The nature is really breathtakingly beautiful. 

Getting from Salzburg to Bad Gastein:  You should allow about 1.5 hours for this stage of the road trip. 

Detailed blog article:  Holiday in Bad Gastein (coming soon)   Recommended length of stay:  2-3 nights Our hotel tip:   Design Hotel Miramonte

Bad Gastein Travel Guide

Optional: Innsbruck & Bregenzerwald

Now you have two options for the onward journey of this road trip. Either you drive directly south to East Tyrol (then skip to the next chapter). Or you include the west tip of Austria – more precisely the North Tyrol and Voralberg regions. 

The bonus: This is one of the most spectacular scenic areas of Austria. The mountain landscape is unbelievably majestic and impressive. One disadvantage: The region is located a bit off the main route, so you need to allow enough time for it. 

As well as a stop-off in Innsbruck (the capital city of the Tyrol region) we very highly recommend the Bregenzerwald (Bregenz Forest) in Voralberg. The combination of picturesque mountain villages, lovely hills and rugged peaks is wonderfully beautiful. 

Detailed blog article:   Holiday in Bregenzerwald Recommended length of stay:  3-4 nights (better 5-6 nights with a stop off in Innsbruck) Our hotel tip:  Hotel Hirschen  


We’ll say it in short: We love East Tyrol! The rugged peaks and crystal-clear mountain lakes are breathtakingly beautiful. Therefore, we can only warmly recommend including East Tyrol in your travel route. 

If you love (high-)alpine hiking, this is the right place for you. There are countless peaks just waiting to be conquered. We would highly recommend East Tyrol to anyone who is looking for impressive mountains, picturesque valleys and rustic huts. 

Getting from Bad Gastein to East Tyrol:  Here you can expect to experience what might be the most spectacularly scenic stage of the road trip. Be sure to take the route over the Großglockner high alpine road. (Note: only passable in summer and subject to a toll.) The road is already a highlight in itself, so it’s almost worth spending one night along this stretch. The complete travel time is around 2 hours. 

If you decide to take our optional route to Voralberg, then the stretch will take significantly longer. In this case you should allow around 4 to 5 hours driving time. 

Detailed blog article:  Holiday in East Tyrol   (coming soon) Recommended length of stay:  3-4 nights Our hotel recommendation:   Hotel Waldruhe  

Karlsbader Hütte

Lakes of Carinthia: Lake Faak and Lake Weissensee

What would an Austrian road trip be without a visit to the lakes in the Carinthia region? Unfortunately, Austria is not located close to the sea but when the weather is good the lakes in the south of the country exude equally as much holiday flair. Therefore, the next stop on our route through Austria is perfect for anyone looking to cool down and refresh. 

We personally have two favourite lakes: One of these is the picturesque Lake Faak – a peaceful little spot for a wonderful beach holiday. And the other is the idyllic Lake Weissensee, which is unbelievably beautiful with its turquoise colour. 

Getting from East Tyrol to the lakes of Carinthia:  This stage is one of the shortest. Plan for around one to two hours driving time – depending on which place you leave from in East Tyrol and which lake you are drawn to. 

Detailed blog article:  The Most Beautiful Lakes in Carinthia (coming soon) Recommended length of stay:  3 nights (gladly more, if you visit both lakes) Our hotel tips:  Kleines Hotel Kärnten (Lake Faak) or Seehotel Enzian (Lake Weissensee)

Faaker See reed

South Styria

If you like wine, you cannot leave out South Styria. The region in the south-east of the country doesn’t have the nickname the Tuscany of Austria for nothing. 

A wonderful, soft rolling landscape, magical trip destinations, rustic taverns and great hotels await you in South Styria. In short: An enjoyable break and the best way to get to know Austria’s wine culture. 

Getting from the Carinthia lakes to South Styria:  You can comfortably drive this stretch of the travel route in around two hours. 

Detailed blog article:  South Styria Tips (coming soon) Recommended length of stay:  2-3 nights Our hotel tip:  Loisium Südsteiermark

Southern Styria Travel Tips

Optional: Graz

The last stop on our travel journey is Graz, Austria’s second biggest city. This pleasant university city is an unexciting but very worthwhile destination on a road trip through Austria. 

The city’s landmark is the Graz clock tower on the Schlossberg. A walk (or alternatively a drive) up to it is definitely one for the must-do list. As well as that, the inner city of Graz is really pretty. And last but not least, Graz offers a large range of art and culture. 

Getting from South Styria to Graz: This stage of the road trip is one of the shortest. It will take you less than an hour to reach Graz.  

Detailed blog article:   Graz Tips Recommended length of stay:  1-2 nights Our hotel recommendation:  Grand Hotel Wiesler

Österreich Reiseroute

We have marked the individual stops of our road trip on this map so that you can get a better overview of the roadtrip journey. The travel times of each stage are very manageable. You will usually be on the road for one or two hours. 

Austria Road Trip Itinerary

The best time for a road trip through Austria 

Our travel route is primarily designed for a road trip in warm temperatures (i.e. spring / summer / early autumn). We would like to take you through the pros and cons of each month. 

High season: summer months of July and August 

The most popular time to travel is clearly the summer months of July and August, and there are two reasons why: Weather and school holidays. 

  • July and August are ideal for a beach holiday. It is warmest in Austria at this time and the lakes also have the most enjoyable temperatures. (The disadvantage: Many hotels at the lake are booked out or the prices skyrocket – more about that soon.)
  • Summer is also great for hikes in the mountains. Many huts in the high alpine area open at the beginning or middle of June. Important to know: Thunderstorms occur in the summertime in the mountains. So, definitely keep an eye on the forecasts!
  • Staying in the city and going sightseeing can be really tiresome in the summer temperatures. We are mainly thinking about Vienna where it can get uncomfortably hot in summer. However, therefore they have some really great outdoor events such as the film festival at the Rathausplatz (town hall square) in Vienna. 

July and August are the busiest months due to the summer holidays. The Austrian school holidays last nine weeks. (Some regions begin a week later, so it’s actually ten weeks). And then let’s not forget the German holidays. In short: There are many families with children underway in Austria during mid-summer. 

Some regions (especially Austria’s lakes ) are booked to the brim in July and August and almost overcrowded. However, we don’t find it all that necessary to avoid the summer months. Or in other words: If you want to go on your road trip through Austria during the summer, go for it! 

Our tip: late spring / early autumn

If you would like to avoid the summer holidays, then we recommend spring for you. Personally, we find June to be a fantastic time of year for a road trip through Austria. It is usually less busy, and the weather can be quite stable. 

Good to know: Some huts in the high alpine region open at the beginning or middle of June (due to snow). Some roads, such as the Großglockner high alpine road, are also only open from around the beginning of May. 

The autumn season is equally as great. When the leaves are in colour, the atmosphere of some places is really like something out of a picture book. Of course, you also need to be prepared for changes in weather or unstable weather conditions (rain, cold). The weather is usually still quite pleasant in September. 

Booking a rental car

We ourselves always book our rentals through Sunny Cars . Sunny Cars is a platform that compares the offers from various rental car companies. You book through Sunny Cars and then pick up your car at the local company (e.g. Hertz). 

The big benefit of Sunny Cars (apart from the cheap price): You always have fully comprehensive insurance. More precisely, in the event of damage, Sunny Cars will reimburse the deductible. That way, according to experience, you can travel a lot more relaxed. 

You can book your rental car through Sunny Cars from many different locations in Austria – including Vienna and Salzburg. If you start your road trip in Germany, then of course you can also book the car from Munich, for example. (Note: Sometimes a small fee for border crossings may be added.) 

You can search for cheap rental cars here:  Sunny Cars  

Vignette & tolls in Austria 

All highways and expressways in Austria are subject to tolls. Therefore, you can’t get around purchasing a vignette for your road trip through Austria. 

You can get a vignette for 10 days, 2 months or 1 year. The price for 2 months is just under 30 euros. You can quite easily purchase the vignette right before the border crossing at a service station or store. 

Even better: You can purchase it in advance in digital form (‘digital vignette’). It’s important to know that you need to purchase a digital vignette at least 18 days before you start your road trip. (The Consumer Protection Act applies here, which is why the digital vignette is only valid after this period.)

You can purchase the digital vignette here:  ASFINAG (official webshop)

Important to know: Some roads/tunnels in Austria have additional tolls. This includes the Großglockner high alpine road and the Arlberg expressway (Arlberg tunnel). The drive over the Großglockner high alpine road is especially expensive, costing just under 40 euros. 

Book accommodation in advance or spontaneously?

If you really want to stay in your dream-accommodation, then we recommend booking your hotels in advance. That especially applies to certain regions during the main season. Popular hotels (such as those directly on the lake or many that have regular guests) are often booked out weeks in advance. Then it could easily be that your desired hotel is already booked out. 

However, we have also had the experience of still being able to spontaneously get a room somewhere even during the high season. Often you need to settle for your second (or third) choice, but you will always find a place to stay. 

We recommend you do a combination of both booking in advance and spontaneously. (We like to do this on road trips and find it to be the best way to still have some flexibility.) It’s best to book the hotels that particularly appeal to you some weeks (months) in advance. Then you can book the rest of your accommodation while on the road. 

East Tyrol Attractions

Disclaimer: Affiliate Links

This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we receive a small commission. This does not change the price for you at all. A million thanks from the both of us!

Have you already been on a roadtrip through Austria? What did your travel route look like? Are there other stops that you would add to the route? We look forward to hearing about your experiences in the comments. 

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Travel Blog

How to Plan the Perfect Road Trip in Austria

Are you planning to go on a road trip to Austria and still looking for some great itineraries? Then I got you covered!

Austria, is the land of the mountains and land of the lakes. I could not think of a more perfect country for a road trip than Austria.

The country is relatively small, so you can reach any place in no time. The streets are in great condition and driving in Austria is easy. If you are planning on taking a road trip through Austria and don’t have an idea yet on what to see – I got you covered.

I have lived the first 27 years of my live in Austria – and I know the country like my backyard.

I have created the perfect Austria road trip itinerary for 10 days, a week as well as just four days that will take you on the most scenic routes!

Keep on reading to find your perfect itinerary for Austria.

hallstatt austria in fall

Table of Contents

Driving in austria – things you need to know, how to get around austria, day 1: vienna, day 2: vienna – hallstatt – salzburg, day 3: salzburg, day 4: graz, styria, day 1: overnight stay in vienna, day 2: drive towards salzburg and stay overnight, day 3: salzburg – zell am see, day 4: zell am see – hallstatt – schladming, day 5: schladming – wörthersee, day 6: heading to graz for another night, day 7: return to vienna, day 3: spend the night in zell am see, day 4: innsbruck.

  • Day 5: Innsbruck – Hallstatt – Schladming

Day 6: Klagenfurt am Wörthersee

Day 7: south styrian wine route, day 8: graz, overnight stay, day 9: graz – vienna overnight stay, where to stay in austria on road trips, how much time do i need for a road trip in austria, what is the best time for an austrian road trip, how much does a trip to austria cost, more road trip itineraries, conclusion: road trip in austria, faq: road trip in austria, about the author.

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. Read my  disclaimer  for further information.

Hallstatt viewpoint from across the lake

🚗 Austria has a toll system on the highways. It is important to check if you are headed towards a road with a toll. Make sure to buy a pass at a gas station beforehand! Most rental cars however do have one anyway. You can also pay the toll online .

🚗 Driving in Austria is relatively easy. However, in winter the roads can be difficult.

🚗 Make sure to have snow chains in your car if you are planning on driving in the mountains.

🚗 During winter months, you are obliged to put winter tires on your car. If you have year-round tires, like we do, you are legally fine, but driving gets difficult.

🚗 Our max speed limit on the highway is 130 km/h. If there is no sign, then this is your limit (unlike in Germany, where you have no limit).

🚗 In most places in Austria you can easily park your car. In the bigger cities, such as Vienna, there is underground parking, but it will cost you.

View of the Leopoldsteinersee with impressive snowy mountains behind clear blue water

If you don’t have your own car, I suggest picking up a rental car at the Airport or the train station. Getting around Austria by train is not ideal, rural areas are not well connected.

We always book our rental car with the platform Discover Cars. They have reliable and cheap cars – or luxury vehicles.

You can find a great car for your taste and budget on that website. It is the best Austrian car rental search engine you can find.

Make sure to pick a car appropriate to the seasons – you need to be careful, especially in winter.

Do I need Travel Insurance for Austria? Yes, Travel Insurance is always recommended. While Austria per se is not unsafe, it is necessary to have Travel Insurance in case of sickness or accidents. EKTA offers worldwide coverage at amazing prices – without any hidden fees or clauses.

1. Four Days in Austria – Road Trip Itinerary

Four days is not a lot of time for a country like Austria, but I still feel like you can see plenty on a four-day road trip in Austria.

The most important places to see in four days are Vienna, Hallstatt , Salzburg, and parts of Styria .

A map of a 4-day road trip in Austria

Where to Stay

steigenberger hotel in vienna

Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof Vienna

  • 5 ***** Hotel
  • Amazing Location
  • Charming Rooms
  • Sauna & Fitness

Vienna is definitely the most important place to see during your road trip in Austria.

Spending a night in Vienna is enough time to see the most important sights, such as Schönbrunn Castle, the Hofburg , and the Belvedere .

Especially in Summer, Vienna is extremely beautiful and there are many amazing things to do! You can stroll along the Danube River, taste exotic dishes at the Naschmarkt, and enjoy an open-air concert.

In Winter, Vienna is also quite special. Christmas markets and sparkly lights everywhere make it totally worth a visit.

Make sure to spend at least one night in Vienna, as there is much to see.

Start your drive towards Hallstatt . The drive takes about 3 hours and will lead you through a fabulous landscape of rolling hills, impressive mountains, and stunning lakes.

At the end of your drive, you will reach the stunning city of Hallstatt. Going to Hallstatt from Vienna by car is the best option. You can find parking in the small town, just a couple of steps from the main square.

Hallstatt is a famous 16th-century town located right on the beautiful lake. You will roughly need three hours to tour the town and check out the Skywalk and the World Heritage Museum as well as the market square .

If you visit in winter, you can see the beautiful Christmas market in Hallstatt . The landscape in winter is especially beautiful, it is my favorite time to visit.

After Hallstatt, I suggest heading towards Salzburg, where you will spend the night. It is about an hour’s drive to Salzburg.

travel in austria by car

Boutiquehote l Amadeus

  • 4 **** Hotel
  • Uniquely Furnished Rooms
  • Parking Nearby

The beautiful city of Salzburg is definitely worth a visit and has a lot to offer.

Check out the Mozart house in the Getreidegasse and the castle Hohensalzburg .

You can even take the Sound of Music Tour, especially if you’re a movie buff. Otherwise, you’ll love a tour through the Old Town; it’s like a fairy-tale.

Mirabell Castle and Gardens in Salzburg are some of my favorite spots to see.

Make sure to buy some original Mozart-Kugeln when in Salzburg. They are a local delicacy.

In the evening you should be headed towards Graz. I have marked a route with a scenic drive through Austria below, that takes you right through the impressive Dachstein glacier area.

travel in austria by car

Palaishotel Erzherzog Johann

  • Stunning Location
  • On-Site Parking
  • Great Breakfast

Graz is a very picturesque city and the capital of the country Styria.

Graz is famous for its medieval town square as well as a clock tower on a small hill. Make sure to hike up there for an amazing view.

If you love shopping and rooftop terraces, head over to Kastner & Öhler. They have a great restaurant on the roof and some amazing shopping downstairs.

For people that have enough of Austrian cities, I suggest visiting the countryside in South Styria instead. You’ll find thermal spas and vineyards in this area.

Race fans will probably want to drive by Spielberg, to see the famous Formula 1 Race-Track.

In the evening of the next day, you will be headed back towards Vienna, where your 4-day Austria road trip ends.

The famous Graz clock tower with view of the city behind it

2. A Week in Austria – Road Trip Itinerary

Spending a week on a road trip in Austria is a great amount of time. You can add some amazing stops for the perfect Austrian road trip.

The extra days allow us to add some more stops to the 4 days in Austria itinerary, such as Zell am See and Klagenfurt am Wörthersee. Both are super picturesque places that are totally worth a visit.

Please refer to the 4-days in Austria Road Trip Itinerary for information on Salzburg, Graz, and Vienna.

A map of the ideal week in Austria by car

Elements Resorts Zell am See

  • Free Parking
  • Outdoor Pool

On the third day you will be heading towards the beautiful city on a lake, Zell am See . There you will also spend the night.

Zell am See is a famous Austrian town located right on a lake and nestled in between an impressive mountain range.

In summer this is a beautiful place to swim and hike , whereas in winter you have access to some of the finest skiing slopes in Austria.

Take the gondola up to Schmittenhöhe for panoramic views.

This is a great place to stay in a fabulous mountain spa hotel and do some relaxation before your next stop.

travel in austria by car

Falkensteiner Hotel Schladming

  • Impressive Location
  • Mountain View
  • Indoor & Outdoor Pool

Take the scenic route via Hallstatt to Schladming. Spend the day in Hallstatt before heading over to Schladming.

Stay overnight in Schladming. Make sure to add the Dachstein Glacier . It is one of the most impressive mountains in Austria. I prefer visiting the Dachstein over the Hohe Tauern National Park because it is more accessible.

You can visit an Ice Sculpture Museum, a Sky Walk as well as the Stairway into Nothing .

Schladming itself is a super cute town. You can have coffee in the town square and enjoy the beautiful view.

dachstein glacier mountains

Werzers Hotel Pörtschach

  • Seaside Location
  • Amazing Restaurant

Your drive will lead to Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, where you will spend another night.

The Wörthersee is a beautiful lake located in the south of Austria and is a famous tourist attraction. The water is clear blue, and there are many impressive castles located around the lake.

You can either explore Klagenfurt itself, which is a beautiful city, or spend the day at the lake. There are a couple of cute towns around the lake that are worth visiting.

Check out Velden, Maria Loretto and Pörtschach. If you love hiking, make sure to walk up the Pyramidenkogel for a stunning view.

beautiful Wörthersee in Austria at sunset

3. 10 Days in Austria – Road Trip Itinerary

10 days is an amazing time to spend in Austria for a road trip. In 10 days you can see most of the country, so I definitely suggest staying this long.

In addition to all the amazing stops you can see on the 4-day road trip in Austria and the one-week road trip itineraries, there are many more gems to be discovered. Please refer to the stops above for hotel suggestions and tour ideas.

Seeing the capital city of Tyrol, Innsbruck as well as the famous wine region of South Styria are on the agenda!

A map of the ideal 10-day road trip in Austria

Hotel Innsbruck

  • Great Location
  • Fabulous Spa
  • Nearby Parking

On the fourth day, head towards Innsbruck, the capital city of Tyrol.

Innsbruck is famous for its impressive architectural highlights as well as the proximity to the Nordkette Mountain range. Innsbruck is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You must stop by the Golden Roof as well as the Ambras Castle in Innsbruck. The Old Town and the Hofkirche are also super popular.

Stay overnight. On the next day, start driving toward Schladming.

You will pass by the famous town of Kitzbühel on your way back, where the legendary Ski race “ Hahnenkammrennen ” is being held.

The perfect road trip through Austria itinerary definitely has to include Innsbruck!

Day 5 : Innsbruck – Hallstatt – Schladming

south styrian wine route

Vitalhotel der Parktherme

  • Comfy Rooms
  • Free Spa Entry

Check out the South Styrian Wine Street. This is a great place to visit in Austria in the fall.

This area of South Styria is famous for its beautiful thermal spas and many vineyards. My favorite thermal spa is Parktherme Bad Radkersburg. Relax there for a day, and enjoy the regional delicacies.

Make sure to visit the Herzerlstrasse as well as a typical Buschenschank. Stay overnight.

You can find great accommodation anywhere in Austria online. Either refer to my suggestions above or find great deals via

Make sure to check if they have on-site parking ( Parkplätze ) available. In bigger cities, you might find that most hotels collaborate with the parking garages nearby. The rates will be reduced for hotel guests. is my preferred website for booking hotels in Austria.

The duration of a road trip in Austria can vary depending on your interests and the places you want to visit. Refer to my Austria self-drive itineraries above to get a rough idea of what you want to see.

The ideal amount of time to spend on an Austrian road trip is around 7 to 10 days. This gives you enough time to explore some of the must-see spots.

If you are short on time, you can see a few things in abou t 4-5 days in Austria . I think a 3-day road trip in Austria is not ideal, but you can see the basics: Vienna, Salzburg, and Hallstatt.

The longer you stay, the more time you will have for smaller villages and hikes or winter sports. 2 weeks or more is a great amount of time to spend in Austria.

travel in austria by car

The best time for a road trip in Austria is typically during the spring, summer, and early autumn months. The weather is pleasant, and most tourist attractions are open.

There is no such time as a bad time to visit Austria by car. But driving in Austria in winter does have its challenges. Only opt for an Austrian winter road trip if you are up for it.

Spring (April to June): This is a beautiful time to visit as the weather starts getting warmer, and the landscapes are lush with blooming flowers. You can enjoy outdoor activities and explore the cities without extreme heat or cold. On an Austrian spring road trip you will see many flowers for sure.

Summer (June to August): Summer is the high tourist season in Austria. The weather is warm, and it’s a great time for outdoor adventures like hiking, biking, and swimming in the lakes . However, be prepared for larger crowds at popular tourist spots. An Austrian summer road trip definitely has its charms.

Early Autumn (September to October): This is a fantastic time for a road trip if you prefer milder weather and fewer tourists. The fall foliage in the Austrian Alps is stunning, making it an ideal time for scenic drives and hiking. Plus, you can enjoy wine festivals in the wine regions (Especially in South Styria).

travel in austria by car

The cost of a trip to Austria depends on your travel style, duration of stay, choice of accommodations, dining preferences, and activities.

Here is a rough estimate of daily expenses for a mid-range traveler:

  • Accommodation: Expect to spend around EUR 80 to EUR 150 per night for a mid-range hotel or guesthouse. Luxury hotels are around EUR 350 per night
  • Food: Dining in Austria can range from affordable to upscale. On average, plan to spend around EUR 25 to EUR 40 per person for meals at restaurants. More expensive restaurants charge about EUR 80 per person.
  • Transportation: If you’re road-tripping, consider fuel costs, tolls, and parking fees. Gasoline is about EUR 1,50 per liter. Parking is usually included in the hotels. It is free in the countryside and about EUR 50 per day in cities like Vienna. Austrian Toll (Streckenmaut) is about EUR 30 including tunnel passes.
  • Sightseeing: Entrance fees to museums and attractions can vary, but the budget is around EUR 10 to EUR 20 per visit. Many cities offer sightseeing cards that provide discounts on multiple attractions.
  • Activities: The cost of activities like hiking, skiing, or guided tours will vary. Skiing is the most expensive activity in Austria. It costs you about EUR 80,00 per day (including passes and meals).

scenic picture of hallstatt in winter

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There are many possible ideas for your perfect road trip in Austria. Seeing Austria by car is amazing – and in my opinion, the best way to explore the country.

Whether you are looking for the best scenic drives in Austria or a great winter road trip itinerary, this blog post got you covered.

Some classics, like Vienna, Hallstatt, and Salzburg need to be on every Austria itinerary. They are beautiful in winter and in summer and are some of the best places to visit in Austria.

Whether you are going to Austria for four days, seven days, or even ten days – you will have a great time exploring in the car. I hope you enjoyed my Austria Travel Itineraries as much as I did – or maybe just checked in here for some Austrian vacation ideas.

Austria is a country with nice streets and even nicer destinations – perfect for a road trip. If you have not gotten enough of driving yet, why not do a Northern Italy Road Trip next?

No, 2 days is not enough for Austria. In two days you can cover the capital city of Vienna or perhaps the iconic village of Hallstatt. If you want to see more of the country, I suggest staying at least for a week in Austria.

The most famous road in Austria is the Grossglockner High Alpine Road.

Yes, you can drive in Austria without a vignette. However, as soon as you enter a motorway or an expressway, you need to buy a vignette. If you stay on smaller roads, you do not need the vignette.

The best way to explore Austria is by car. Many of the greatest spots in Austria are not reachable by public transport, so you definitely need a car. The car infrastructure in Austria is great, and you can find affordable parking everywhere.

The distance from Vienna to Salzburg is approximately 295 kilometers (183 miles) when traveling by road. Keep in mind that this distance can vary slightly depending on your specific starting and ending points within each city and the route you take. The road trip between Vienna and Salzburg typically takes around 3.5 to 4.5 hours by car.

Tyrol, which is a region in Austria, is approximately 400 kilometers (about 248 miles) west of Vienna when traveling by road. The specific distance can vary slightly depending on your starting point in Vienna and your destination within Tyrol. Driving from Vienna to Tyrol typically takes around 4.5 to 5.5 hours.

Driving across Austria, from its eastern border with Hungary or Slovakia to its western border with Germany or Switzerland, can take approximately 4 to 6 hours. I recommend taking your time and stopping in between Vienna, Salzburg, and Hallstatt.

You can either pay for it online in the Asfinag Mautshop (carefully, needs to be done 14 days in advance) or at any gas station. If you have a business, you can immediately validate it online. Austrian tunnel tolls can also be bought online or directly at the stops after the tunnel.

To put an Austrian Vignette on the car, you have to take the adhesive part and press it against the windshield. It needs to sit in the top part of the windshield, below any tinted areas. You may not have more than 3 vignettes there. You can also buy the digital vignette instead.

Yes, driving in Austria is quite easy. Roads are in great condition and parking spaces are freely available. Driving in Austria in winter can be a bit challenging, due to snow and ice. Be sure to have appropriate tires in that case.

To drive in Austria you need a valid driver’s license, vehicle papers, and registration, vignette (toll stickers), Reflective Vest, and Warning Triangle. First-Aid Kit, Winter Equipment, and Identification. Travel insurance is also a great idea.

blonde girl pink dress in front of blue door santorini

Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in New Mexico. She spends about half the year traveling to various destinations with her husband.

She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.

beautiful tayrona national park from santa marta

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Epic Austria Road Trip: 7, 10, 14 Days In Austria [2024]

  • Post author: Nicoletta
  • Reading time: 87 mins read
  • Post last modified: January 26, 2024
  • Post comments: 18 Comments

affiliate disclaimer

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 culture ,  picturesque towns , and  stunning nature .

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

✈ Travel Resources For Your Trip ✈

Here are some of my favorite travel resources I use for my travel adventures.

Overview Of The Austria Road Trip For 10 Days

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

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

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:


travel in austria by car

Rent A Car Via Discover Cars – best prices and big selection of car rentals. PRO TIP: Check ratings of the company you choose before booking ( ratings can be off ). Go on Google, see ratings of the car rental company, then book on Discover Cars.


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


Travel Itinerary Planning Services

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

🔅 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


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.

🔅 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

🔅 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

🔅 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 :


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: 

  • Wachau Valley Day Tour With Wine Tasting
  • Grape Grazing With A Biking Tour

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 tou r, 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.


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 lake – Traun 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

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 APARTMENTS – budget-friendly apartments HOTEL PETER – mid-range hotel LAKE VIEW APARTMENT – luxury apartment at the lakeside


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

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 CITY – budget-friendly accommodation BOUTIQUE HOTEL AM DOME – mid-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


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


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

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)

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.


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 MUHLBACH – budget-friendly accommodations POLREICH B&B – mid-range accommodation at the lake BOUTIQUE HOTEL STRAND HALLSTATT – luxury hotel at the lake


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

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 BICHLHOF – budget-friendly apartments ALPIN DAS SPORTHOTEL – mid-range hotel SENSES VIOLETT SUITES – luxury apartments


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

👉 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)

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

🔅 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 – LÄNGENFELD – including entrance to the thermal springs


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

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

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

Where To Stay In Bregenz: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

JUFA HOTEL BREGENZ – budget-friendly accommodation ZENTRALES APARTMENT PFÄNDERBLICK – mid-range apartments SEEBLICK BREGENZ – luxury 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 :

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.

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:

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) . I’ll gladly help you plan.

Happy Travels!

More Tips For Austria Travel

Looking to visit more places in Austria? Check out my related articles:

Best Of Salzburg Itinerary: 3 Days In Salzburg

11 Amazing Day Trips From Salzburg

Where To Stay In Salzburg: Best Areas & Hotels

Switzerland Vs. Austria: Which Is Better To Visit?

Christmas In Austria: Full Guide With Traditions & Best Places

Magical European Christmas Markets In Europe By Train: Full Itinerary

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 :

Austria Travel Page

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This post has 18 comments.

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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.

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

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Amazing Road Trip itinerary . I highly recommend it.Thank you for the post

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

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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.

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.

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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!

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

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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.

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

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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. 🙂

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.

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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!

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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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  • By Ceasar Cotting 26 November 2022 - 4 min read
  • Tags: car hire , driving , travel guide
  • Destination: Austria

Common Questions

Driving in austria - a guide for visitors.

  • By Ceasar Cotting
  • 26 November 2022 - 4 min read

Alpine road

The content on this page includes affiliate links. While clicking on these links won't cost you anything extra, we may earn a modest commission from any purchases you make.

We visited Austria in the summer of 2021. Hiring a car was a practical choice because it gave us the freedom to move around. For example, we visited Salzburg and also a few places in Germany. In addition, we drove on Großlockner High Alpine Road. In this article, we share information about driving in Austria based on our experiences.

Covered in the Article

Road network, alcohol limit, driving license, speed limits, speed and dashboard cameras.

  • Driving Culture

Driving in Salzburg

Mountain driving tips, where to hire a car in austria, bottom line.

Austria is a beautiful mountainous country located in the heart of Europe. The country is moderately small so driving a car is a practical way to explore its beautiful natural sights and cosy villages. Austria is known for its well-working train network but exploring the country by car gives more freedom. You can set your schedules or even cross borders to neighbouring countries. In this article, we share practical information about driving in Austria based on our road trip in 2021.

Austria has an extensive and well-maintained road network.

Motorways in Austria are called Autobahn (Bundesstraßen A) or Schnellstraßen (Bundesstraßen S). In addition to the motorways, there are federal highways called Bundesstraßen B.

Autobahns are considered the best roads in Austria. There are 18 of them stretching almost 1,800 km. The autobahns are in excellent condition and the maximum speed limit is 130 km/h. Autobahn road numbers are marked with the letter A .

Schnellstraßen are very similar to autobahns. However, on these roads, the speed limit is lower usually 100 km/h, and the roads are more cheaply built compared to Autobahns. Schnellstraßen road numbers are marked with the letter S. In practice, these roads are also motorways and there are 500 km of them in Austria.

Regular federal highways (Bundestrassen B) are simpler and narrower roads. They have usually only one lane towards each direction. The default speed limit is 100 km/h.

Autobahns are the best roads in Austria.


Traffic Rules in Austria

In Austria, you drive on the right side of the road and pass from the left. The priority rules are the usual: You need to give way for vehicles coming from the right.

Curve road in the Alps

Do not drink while driving. You will get fined if you have more than 0.5 per mil alcohol in your blood. Professional drivers have a lower limit, 0.1 per mil.

When driving in Austria, you must have a valid driving license issued in the EU or EEA countries or you're a holder of an international driving license. A passport or an ID must be carried together with the license.

Speed limits are marked with clear signs. The default speed limit in urban areas is 50 km/h. Outside towns, you can drive up to 100 km/h. On autobahns, the limit is 130 km/h.

Speed limit may vary also depending on the weather conditions. In poor weather conditions like when it's raining or snowing, a lower limit may be set by a traffic sign. It is important to learn to recognize the extra information which is marked below the speed limit signs.

How to Hire a Car Abroad

There is a road toll system in Austria on all motorways and expressways. The toll can be paid in the form of a vignette, lorry toll or route toll. This money is utilized to maintain the roads in good condition.

Cars up to 3,500 kg must display a toll sticker or have a digital version purchased. The rule applies when driving on motorways and expressways. The sticker and its digital version are called vignette . Heavier cars have a different toll system.

Six motorways require you to buy a separate toll ticket to cover their even more expensive construction and maintenance costs. Official information is available on ASFINAG website .

When hiring a car in Austria, make sure it has a vignette.

Refuelling in Austria is as simple as in other European countries. There are so many petrol stations almost that one is always near you. Only if you are heading to the Alps, it is wise to reserve some extra fuel because a car consumes more and the nearest petrol station may be quite a long distance from your location. In many petrol stations, you refuel the car yourself and then pay the cashier. Some stations are fully automated. Almost all payment cards are widely accepted in petrol stations.

The fuel in Austria is moderately priced compared to other countries in Europe.

Fuel pump near Vienna Airport

Parking in the countryside is simple. You will easily find free parking places and no special parking skills are required. In the cities, parking is more complicated.

Parking in the Alps

In big cities, it is sometimes challenging to find a free parking spot and parking costs. Usually, you need to pay parking fees on weekdays while parking during weekends is free. The rates are moderately low. We advise learning the parking rules and signs before driving in Austria as the fines are expensive.

Our Driving Experiences in Austria

After making flight comparisons at Skyscanner , we found the most suitable flight schedule and best rate for our flight. We flew from Helsinki to Vienna and we planned to explore the western parts of Austria near Salzburg . In addition, we crossed a border with Germany a few times during our trip.

Car Hire Our initial plan was to fly directly to Salzburg. By comparing flight prices on Skyscanner, we found out that flying to Salzburg is more expensive than to Vienna. Also, car hire prices in Salzburg were higher. We decided to book a flight to Vienna because the driving time from Vienna to Salzburg was only 3 hours. Even though this extra driving cost, the overall price became cheaper. We compared hire car prices on Discover Cars . We selected an inexpensive car hire company near Vienna Airport. A company representative was waiting for us after the landing and took us with a van to their office nearby. At the office, we accomplished the car hire papers and also paid a border-crossing fee. We were unsure whether to visit Germany during our trip but because the border is so close to Salzburg, we didn't want to take the risk of accidentally crossing the border. That would have caused an expensive penalty fee. Since Germany and Austria both are Schengen countries, there is no border inspection between them. In just 30 minutes after arrival at the airport, we were ready to start driving our car hire which was a hybrid Suzuki Swift. Our first driving route was from Vienna to Salzburg. The driving took unexpectedly more than 3 hours because there were heavy thunderstorms on the way and we could not keep the full speed all the time. We hired this Suzuki Swift. In the beginning, we didn't know how to use all the assisting technology correctly because the car hire company didn't provide us with any introduction. Driving Culture

Quite soon, we noticed that drivers in Austria are friendly but driving speeds are high. Many drivers also tend to keep very short safe distances from other cars. Especially on autobahns, passing cars returned to our lane too soon after overtaking and we had to brake now and then to keep enough distance. Otherwise, driving on autobahns was smooth.

Speed limits are high. Even on dark federal highways, the speed limit was often 100 km/h even though there were many curves and no street lights at all. We recommend driving a little slower if you aren't familiar with the road.

According to our experience, drivers in Austria obey the traffic rules well.

We stayed in Best Western Plus Amedia Art Salzburg . The hotel was a perfect choice in the city centre but we also had to drive on the busiest streets every day. Driving was not more challenging than in other big cities because there were many traffic lights, clear traffic signs and roads had many lanes. Naturally, it still took a little time to get used to the local habits. Finding a free parking place in the evening was the annoying part.

Near Salzburg Old Town, you need to be careful. The Old Town area is closed to cars during the daytime. If you enter the area early in the morning, you are not allowed to exit anymore before the evening without special permission. We experienced that ourselves.

On a sunny morning, we drove to Old Town to explore some sights. Later when we tried to exit Old Town, the roads were closed. There was no way to drive out. We had to ask for assistance from a policeman who advised us to go to the police station. That visit led to a fine because we should not have driven our car to Old Town at all. The only way to exit the area was to pay a fine at the police station and wait for a report to be created. That was our most expensive Old Town visit.

A friendly policeman told us that the traffic signs are unclear and the same mistake happens to many visitors.

Großlockner High Alpine Road

If you are visiting western parts of Austria, we recommend you try Großlockner High Alpine Road as we did. It is the highest surfaced road in Austria connecting Bruck an der Großglocknerstraße, Austria and Heiligenblut am Großglockner . There is no need to have a destination because driving on Alpine Road itself is a rewarding experience as the views along the way are stunningly beautiful.

Bruck an der Großglocknerstraße

It took about 90 minutes to reach Bruck village from Salzburg. We enjoyed lunch there and explored this idyllic Austrian town. After a good meal, it was time to head to Alpine Road.

Großlocknerlockner Mountain Road

We had to pay a toll to access the road. A day ticket is almost 50 euros for a personal car but it gives value for the money. The road is in very good condition. Since the road was leading to the mountains, it had countless curves. The views are amazing and there are many places to stop by to enjoy the spectacular scenery and take photos. Along the way, you can also stop to buy souvenirs or just have a cup of coffee.

Großlockner Alpine Road

We drove to Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe at 2,369 metres. It is almost the highest point on the road. Unfortunately, the centre was already closed when we arrived but the destination was not the most important thing for us but the journey itself.


Do not forget to reserve at least a day in the Alps.

Because Großlockner High Alpine Road is in good condition and it is not too busy, driving on it is moderately easy. There are steep down and uphills so it is important to keep the speed low. Engine braking is important so as not to overheat the brakes. For example, we got a brake overheating warning a few times even though we used much engine braking with our hybrid car. That is why we also stopped not and then let the car cool down.

We advise reserving enough time for the trip. Time goes faster than you can imagine when driving in the beautiful Alps. You will surely want to have many breaks as the views are breathtaking.

Hiring a car in Austria is simple. Compare prices and select a car that you prefer. We recommend comparing prices on Discover Cars and booking a car well in advance to get a cheaper rate.

Hire cars in Austria are in good condition. The risk of getting them accidentally scratched is low but we still recommend buying full insurance to reduce the risk. That is a way to avoid unpleasant surprises if someone else damages your car.

Make sure the car has a vignette and necessary insurance. Pay a cross-border fee in advance if you have even a small intention to cross a border of another country. Otherwise, the insurance is invalid and you may also get a high penalty.

We recommend hiring a car already at the airport. Car hire companies inside a terminal are more expensive than companies whose offices are located nearby. To save some money, we recommend using 30 minutes more time and using a more distant company.

Cows in the Alps

Austria is a great summer destination. When the weather is warm and there is much daylight, driving around the country makes the experience perfect. Austria is one of the best places to have a road trip in Europe since the roads are in good condition and the country offers a lot of picturesque landscapes.

Exploring Austria by car gives you more independence. It is important to hire a car from a reliable company. Understanding the basic traffic rules and differences between the road types makes driving smoother. As a careful driver, you will survive well in Austria's traffic.

Have you driven in Austria? Share your best tip below!

Tags: car hire , driving , travel guide Destination: Austria

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Enjoy Austrian hospitality and award-winning service on board. Fly from numerous cities around the world non-stop to Vienna with Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines is Austria’s largest carrier and operates a global route network of around 130 destinations and 220 flights per day. 305 million passengers have used the airline since 1957. Thanks to its favourable geographical location in the heart of Europe, the company’s hub at Vienna International Airport is the perfect gateway between East and West. New this year are the so-called green fares , allowing passengers to reduce their CO2 emissions by 20% on European flights.

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Brexit and Travelling to Austria

One thing’s for certain: You can still travel to Austria after Brexit – and we look forward to welcoming you. However, there are a few things travellers might want to consider to be on the safe side.

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Flying to austria, airport transfers, austria by rail, austria by road, austria by coach, passport & visa for austria, entry and customs regulations.

In order for you to enjoy a relaxed journey, we have compiled important information here about customs regulations, border formalities and entering Austria with pets.

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Danube deep, mountain high: The 12 best places to visit in Austria

Kerry Walker

Nov 2, 2021 • 12 min read

Hallstatt Village and Hallstatter See lake in Austria

From mountain-rimmed Hallstatt to culture-packed Vienna, here are the best places to visit in Austria © zhuyufang / Getty Images

Imagine Austria and your mind might well drift to the lavish palaces and coffeehouses of Vienna , the snow-white peaks of the Tyrolean Alps, the serpentine romance of the Danube and Mozart symphonies ringing out in the baroque concert halls of Salzburg. And if this is your first visit, you’ll undoubtedly want to see all the whole darned lot and more besides. But there is far more to this pocked-sized, landlocked country than at first meets the eye. 

Whether you are heading gleefully high into the glaciated mountains of Hohe Tauern National Park, tuning into the latest tech wizardry in future-focused Graz, hiding away in the little-visited wilds of the Bregenzerwald, or tripping along the vineyard-draped wine roads of southern Styria, which have more than a whisper of Tuscany about them, Austria richly rewards those who dare to deviate from the well-trodden track. Here's our take on the 12 best places to visit in Austria.

Few cities move so effortlessly between past and present as Vienna , where Hapsburg emperors ruled the roost for 600 years. The pomp and splendor can be almost overwhelming, as you waltz through vast, exuberantly gilded palaces like the Hofburg and Schönbrunn , tour Klimt-filled galleries like the Upper Belvedere , stroll grand baroque streets, and saunter past follies and Greek gods in landscaped gardens that gaze down upon the city with a kindly eye.

The music of Mozart, Beethoven and that old romantic devil Strauss reverberates in some of the world’s most feted and opulent concert halls: the Musikverein and Staatsoper . And even going for a coffee can be a regal affair at the likes of chandelier-lit Café Central , where all the 19th-century bigwigs once hung out. 

But Vienna isn’t all about show. Venture beyond the big-hitters of the Innere Stadt and the Gothic whack of Stephansdom and you’ll find a liveable, loveable capital that moves to its own urban, edgy beat: in parks sprawling along the banks of the Danube, at the MuseumsQuartier , delivering a serious hit of culture in the former baroque imperial stables, and at food markets like Naschmarkt , where Vienna embraces the world in street food and spice. 

Two kids leap into the water of a lake on a sunny day, surrounded by lush mountain scenery

Zell am See

Perfect for dipping into the ravishingly mountainous Hohe Tauern National Park , the cheerful Alpine resort of Zell am See sits smugly on the shores of a bluest-blue lake, buttressed by lofty peaks, including the glacier-capped 10,509ft (3203m) Kitzsteinhorn , where you can embark on a glacier trail, kick back on a snow beach, spend the night in an igloo, and ski well into summer. 

The resort has a real outdoor buzz in summer, with people rocking up to swim, boat, windsurf and stand-up paddleboard on the lake, cycle around or paraglide above it. If you’re a hiker, you’re in for a treat, too: A cable-car zips up to Schmittenhöhe to hook onto the Pinzgauer Spaziergang , one of Austria’s most memorable day hikes, with exhilarating views of the country’s highest peak, 12,461ft (3798m) Grossglockner. The resort also makes a terrific springboard for the Grossglockner High Alpine Road , a head-spinning, helter-skelter drive, with on-high views of waterfalls, lakes, glaciers and a sea of snowy Alps. 

Other Austrian cities flick on the fairy-tale charm, but not Linz . This is where Austria leaps headfirst into the 21st century. With its gaze fixed firmly on the future, this tech-mad trailblazer has an ever-evolving cultural scene, and is making pioneering waves in avant-garde art and architecture, with a flurry of galleries and buildings at the cutting edge of design; all of which helped it snag Unesco City of Media Arts status back in 2014. 

At the top of any itinerary is Ars Electronica Center , zooming in on technology, science and digital media. Here you can interact with robots, animate digital objects, print 3D structures, turn your body into musical instruments and (virtually) travel to outer space. Its over-the-Danube rival is the rectangular glass-and-steel Lentos , a vast repository of modern art, with a stash of Warhol, Schiele, Klimt and Kokoschka originals. Both museums have a face-off of illuminations when they strikingly change color by night.

A person in full ski gear snowshoes her way through thick snow in a mountain region as the sun sets


Everyone raves about the mountains of Tyrol and Salzburgerland, but there’s a lesser-known region that deserves a look-in. Huge swathes of Austria's far west, Vorarlberg , remain deliciously off-the-radar, with narrow, silent valleys carving up mighty peaks and forests. It is here that the Alpine heights of the Silvretta-Montafon give way to the wavy hills and lush dairy country of the Bregenzerwald, which in turn fall to the Bodensee (Lake Constance), where Austria rolls into Germany and Switzerland. 

The Bregenzerwald, in particular, is an incredibly peaceful and deeply rural corner of the country to slip off the map for a few days, whether hiking, cycling or cross-country skiing. Roads here unzip through cow-nibbled pastures, passing limestone peaks and one ludicrously pretty timber chalet-lined village after the next. 

The dream is Schwarzenberg, where you can visit the Angelika Kauffmann Museum before lunch in the wood-panelled parlor at Gasthof Hirschen . The village is a highlight on the region’s KäseStrasse (cheese road), linking up cheese-makers, farm shops and Schoppernau’s show dairy .

Bad Gastein

Smuggled away in a wildly romantic valley in the glacier-capped Hohe Tauern mountains, Bad Gastein is an instant heart-stealer, with belle époque villas that evoke the grace of a bygone age clinging to sheer, forested slopes, and a 1119ft (341m) waterfall plummeting over cliffs. Over the centuries the town has beguiled everyone – from beauty-conscious Romans to romantic souls such as Schubert and Klimt and royals like Empress Elisabeth – for the miraculous healing powers of its radon-laced thermal hot springs. 

Today you can take these same waters at the grotto-filled Felsentherme and architecturally innovative Alpentherme baths. Or, for greater impact, go deep into the bowels of the Gasteiner Heilstollen , a medieval gold mine turned health center, to absorb the radon (taster sessions are available), said to cure all manner of ills from arthritis to fibromyalgia. 

One look at the mountains that fling up above the valley and you’ll be itching to head higher. A gondola swings up to 7218ft (2200m) Stubnerkogel , where you can hike across a 459ft-long (140m) suspension bridge for out-of-this-world views deep into the snowy Hohe Tauern peaks, or ski in winter.

The jagged Nordkette Alps rise like a theater curtain above Innsbruck , Tyrol’s knockout of a capital. Here mountains whoosh up above the turquoise Inn River and seem to sneak into every picture. Can’t decide between city and slopes? Here you get the best of both, with a space-age funicular designed by Zaha Hadid winging you up to the Alpine heights of 7657ft (2334m) Hafelekar in mere minutes. 

Innsbruck is perhaps unique in the fact you can spend the morning carving powder, hiking or dashing downhill on a mountain bike, and the afternoon with a serious hit of culture. Begin by wafting around the swanky imperial state apartments of the cupola-topped Hofburg palace. Nearby the Goldenes Dachl catches your eye, a late-Gothic oriel shimmering with 2657 fire-gilded copper tiles. But all that glitters here is not gold: just a quick bus hop from of town, Swarovski Kristallwelten in Wattens delivers some serious crystal sparkle.

To ramp up the adventure, head to the neighboring village of Igls for a pulse-quickening ride on the Olympiabobbahn , where you’ll pick up speeds of 68mph (110km/h) as you pinball around 10 curves.

A horse-drawn carriage in the central square of a city. A fortress-like building looms above on a clifftop

Salzburg looks freshly minted for Hollywood. From the moment you arrive, you’re forced to gaze up in wide-eyed wonder: at the soaring spires of its brilliantly baroque Altstadt, home to the Residenz palace , where prince-archbishops once held court, and the copper-domed cathedral ; at its high-on-a-hill, 900-year-old fortress, Festung Hohensalzburg ; at the cliffs of 1772ft-high (540m) Mönchsberg flinging up above the city; and at the white-wisped peaks of the Alps that pucker up on the horizon. Walking along the banks of the fast-flowing, turquoise Salzach River, it’s hard to fathom a more perfect city.

Salzburg has churned out many a legend, most notably Mozart, who was born in a bright-yellow townhouse on Getreidegasse, which now harbors a museum that’s an ode to the virtuoso. His high-note-hitting rival is Maria of The Sound of Music  (1965) fame. Boundless tours and bike rides whizz around the film locations, or devise your own self-guided spin of them. 

There’s no avoiding the fact that Salzburg gets swamped in peak season. Give the selfie stick-wielding crowds the slip by taking a spirit-lifting hike along the wooded cliffs of Mönchsberg to Augustiner Bräustübl , a 400-year-old, monk-founded brewery, with Oktoberfest flavor, vaulted parlors, and a 1000-seat beer garden for quaffing foaming beers under the chestnut trees. Or for a breath of fresh Alpine air and trails weaving deep into the mountains, take the cable car up to 6079ft-high (1853m) Untersberg on the border with Bavaria.

There is a certain poetry to the way the Wachau opens up, with orchards and vineyards ribbing terraced slopes staggering down to the meandering River Danube, and trails waltzing through field and forest to medieval castles romantically poised on hillsides. With an exciting food and wine scene, paths that are a joy to explore on foot or by bike, and landscapes that unravel as harmoniously as a Strauss symphony, this stretch of the Danube Valley is so darned scenic that it has been granted Unesco World Heritage status.

The big-hitter culturally is Stift Melk , a twin-spired, onion-domed baroque stunner of an abbey, with a sunny yellow facade and flamboyantly frescoed monastery church. Beyond this, you’ll want to see the fairy-tale that is Dürnstein’s ruined castle , where Richard the Lionheart was locked up in the late 12th century for insulting Leopold V, and the low-key village of Spitz, topped off by the 1000-Eimer-Berg, so-named for its ability to fill 1000 buckets of wine each season. 

Graz and the Styrian Wine Roads

With a castle high on a bluff, an Altstadt that’s a jumble of Renaissance courtyards and baroque palaces hinting at nearby Italy, and some strikingly avant-garde galleries, Graz is an endearingly laid-back, cultured city for dipping deeper into the oft-overlooked region of Styria in southern Austria. 

Using the city as a base, you can easily strike out onto the Weinstrassen (wine roads) that vein the gently rolling hills, flower-stippled meadows, forests and vineyards that carpet the south of the province. With vineyards marching up steep hillsides and even the odd poppy and cypress tree, this is Austria’s answer to Tuscany (minus the crowds) and perfect road trip territory . As you make your way through towns like Leutschach, Ehrenhausen, Gamlitz and Berghausen, you’ll find wineries opening their doors for tastings and farmhouses offering rustic respite. On the last weekend in September, the region pops many a cork at its Weinlesefest (wine harvest festival).

Salzkammergut Lakes

If you’ve ever swooned over a lake scene in The Sound of Music it was probably filmed in the Salzkammergut , a fantasy region of jewel-colored Alpine lakes, wildflower-strewn valleys and peaks topping out near the 9845ft (3000m) mark. Should you only have time to see one lake, make it the sublimely gorgeous one in mountain-rimmed Hallstatt , whose Unesco World Heritage salt mines look back on 7000 years of history and once produced the region’s "white gold". 

But you would be wise to allow longer so you can soak in thermal baths in spa town Bad Ischl, bathe in the warm waters of crescent-shaped Mondsee , follow in pilgrim’s footsteps to Wolfgangsee, and explore the icy underworld of the Dachstein Caves in Obertraun.

While July to early September are ideal for lake swimming (the water can get mighty chilly at other times of the year), you might prefer to visit in the shoulder seasons – spring and autumn are glorious – to escape the throngs and enjoy the lakes at their peaceful best. 

Steyr and Nationalpark Kalkalpen 

So you want to go properly off piste? Upper Austria is the place to do just that. Somehow this region has managed to slip under the tourist radar – and what a shame that is. This province has its own quiet, lingering beauty, with golden wheat fields giving way to patchwork fields and apple orchards that in turn rise to mountains rolling to the Czech border. It’s a joy to explore on foot or by bike, with cycle paths hugging river banks, rambling farms selling homegrown Most (cider) and mellow autumn mists. 

The fairest town by far is Steyr, which composer Franz Schubert called "inconceivably lovely" and used as the inspiration for his sprightly Trout Quintet . At the confluence of the swiftly flowing Enns and Steyr rivers, this pretty town of cobblestones and pastel-hued baroque houses makes a brilliant base for diving into the rest of the region. For hiking, mountain-biking and rock climbing action, the Nationalpark Kalkalpen ’s limestone peaks, gorges, and high moors are within easy striking distance. 

St Anton am Arlberg

In the beginning there was St Anton am Arlberg... In the place where the country’s first ski club was founded in 1901 and downhill skiing was born, the Austrian Alps take a huge leap into wilder heights. Overshadowed by a real beast of a mountain called Valluga (9216ft/2809m), this resort makes even veteran skiers quiver in their boots with some of Austria’s steepest on- and off-piste skiing . The ultimate challenge is the Run of Fame. One of the longest circuits in the Alps, this 53-mile (85km) marathon ski wraps up the entire Arlberg arena and covers 11 vertical miles (18km). With 190 miles (305km) of slopes to pound , the skiing here is the stuff of legend. And the après-ski scene is bonkers – people here like to party as hard as they play.

While winter is the big deal for most, there’s plenty of action in summer too, with hiking trails heading from peak to glorious peak, and adventure pros H2O taking you white water rafting on the fast-flowing Inn River, canyoning in the surrounding gorges, tubing, and mountain biking.

You might also like: From palace to peak: the 10 best things to do in Austria    Austria's national parks are an Alpine playground    18 top things to do in Vienna   

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Happy to Wander

20+ Austria Travel Tips for First Timers & Must Knows Before You Go

Last Updated: July 6, 2023

*FYI - this post may contain affiliate links, which means we earn a commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase from them. Also, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Check out our Privacy Policy and Disclosure. for more info.

Despite its relatively small size, Austria is a country packed to the brim with sights – from majestic mountains and opulent palaces to elegant cities and more stunning cakes than you could ever eat in one lifetime.

… it’s also full of potential culture shocks and silly travel mistakes.

I used to live just across the border in Munich, so over the years I’ve gotten to know Austria fairly well… the hard way! Namely by bumbling around, committing the faux pas and embarrassing myself in the name of research.

But luckily, you’re here just in time to prepare for Austria the easy way – by reading my full list of Austria travel tips, collected over years of first hand experience (and many a starry-eyed day trip from Munich to Salzburg ).

So, from avoiding saucy schnitzels to preparing for naked saunas, here are a few weirdly specific must-knows before you visit Austria. I hope you find it helpful!

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Save this list of Austria Travel Tips for later!

You’ll be very glad you did.

1. Remember: Austria ≠ Australia

We’ll start with a silly Austria tip, and one that I (frankly) cannot believe needs saying.

But from US presidents to famous news outlets , it’s a gaffe that pops up time and time again, so, just to make sure we’re all on the same page… Austria is a country in Central Europe, and completely different to Australia, the Southern Hemisphere country famed for its kangaroos and koalas.

Walk around Austria for even a few minutes and you’ll come across silly souvenirs mocking this confusion, and probably a tour guide or two telling a joke about it.

So, again, before you start planning that Austria trip, make sure it’s mountains, schnitzel and Sound of Music you’re looking for, not the Outback, Didgeridoos, and giant spiders that hide in your shoes.

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2. Never mistake Austrians for Germans

Just as Austria and Australia are (shockingly) not the same country, the same goes for Austria and its neighbour, Germany.

A very important Austrian etiquette tip I must shout from the rooftops is simply this: Austrians don’t take kindly to being mistaken for German.

So, remember to never say that Germany and Austria are the same, or make jokes about Germans and Austrians being the same. At best, they’ll laugh it off, at worst, you’ll cause legitimate offense.

Sure the two countries share a language and there are (admittedly) similarities, but Austrians are really proud of their country and don’t love it when people just dismiss them as the exact same as Germany, so keep that in mind.

As a Canadian who’s frequently mistaken for American, I totally get it.

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3. Be sure to add Austria’s nature spots to your itinerary

Now in terms of where to go in Austria, I find that overseas visitors often gravitate towards the country’s most famous cities, Vienna and Salzburg.

But there is SO much more to explore beyond that, especially Austria’s natural marvels, which many overseas visitors miss. In fact, it’s often Austria that Europeans choose for their nature-forward holidays (whether it be for skiing or hiking), so don’t miss out!

Filled with soaring mountains, glimmering lakes, and charming swathes of countryside, Austria is (in many ways) a more budget-friendly version of Switzerland, so I highly recommend extending your time and expanding your itinerary to include at least a day trip or two to take in some of these incredible natural landscapes.

There’s the valleys and waterfalls of Salzburgerland, the alpine majesty of Tyrol’s nature parks, the beautiful lakes of Carinthia, along with more under-the-radar picks like the Bregenzerwald in Vorarlberg (which offers amazing mountains and cute alpine towns).

All that to say – there’s plenty of amazing nature to be enjoyed in Austria, so don’t just limit yourself to cities.

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4. Seek out new destinations by reading Austrian websites

On that note, if you are open to visiting more offbeat places during your Austria trip, one thing I can highly recommend is doing your research on local Austrian websites.

In my opinion, there’s quite a big difference between the Austrian destinations that international tourists visit and the destinations that domestic tourists visit.

Both are great, but if you want to explore beyond the most famous sights, then reading Austrian blogs to see where locals vacation is a good starting point.

NOTE: This is also a great way to discover more offbeat things to do in individual cities as well. For instance, if I wanted to find more alternative things to do in Graz , I might browse local blogs/event websites to find pop-up events or unique festivals.

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5. Don’t miss Austria’s Christmas markets

I know that neighbouring Germany is probably the best known country in the world for Christmas markets, but Austria has a fair few incredible gems too, often with far thinner international crowds.

So, if you’re looking for a magical winter destination in Europe, consider pencilling in some Austrian Christmas Markets between mid November to Christmas.

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6. Learn the basics in German

In terms of which language to panic-learn before your trip, German is the official language of Austria, so that’s what everyone will speak.

In larger cities, it won’t be tough to get by with English, but it may be more difficult in the countryside.

In any case, it’s good to at least know the basics, like…

  • Hello – Hallo (Ha-low!) or Grüß Gott (Grewss-got!)
  • Thank you – Danke (Dahn-keh)

NOTE: The German spoken in Austria can sound very different depending on where you are because there’s a lot of different regional dialects, so don’t be surprised if you have trouble understanding locals (or vice versa). It’s all part of the fun!

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7. Only rent a car if you plan to do nature trips

If your trip mainly consists of city to city travel, then I’d advise relying on public transport to save yourself the headache of driving.

Public transport is amazing in Austria, so you’ll have no trouble getting around, both from place to place and also within cities themselves.

But, if you plan to do a lot of more offbeat nature spots to see mountains, lakes and national parks, then having a car would be ideal. Be sure to check out my considerations before renting a car in Europe if that’s the case.

Of course, a more convenient alternative would be to book day tours to nature spots from the city you’re staying in – that way you can simply drool in the back seat while you see all the landscapes, without the stress of navigating.

travel in austria by car

8. Get a vignette if you’re driving

If you do plan to rent a car however, one important Austria must-know is you’ll need a vignette.

This is a sticker that you must buy for your car in order to use the country’s motorways. Failure to procure one means an aggressive fine in the mail weeks after the fact. (Ask me how I know that).

IMPORTANT: Make sure this sticker is purchased and adhered to the car before you enter the country because there are automatic scanners that look for them at the border… so you may get fined even if you buy one upon entry. (Again, ask me how I know that)

travel in austria by car

9. Understand that public transport is on an honour system

Unlike other countries which have fare gates and other measures in place to ensure you pay, public transport in Austria works on a very trusting honour system where you are responsible for buying your own ticket, and only need to show it if you are asked to (via random controls).

So, make sure you always buy the right ticket and validate it properly in case you get checked!

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10. Learn the tricks to saving money on Austrian trains

Train travel is one of my personal favourite ways of getting around Austria. If you are new to train travel in Europe, then be sure to read my step by step guide to get acquainted, and scope out my favourite scenic train rides while you’re at it.

After you’ve decided that you do want to glide elegantly across the country by rail, then there are a few different ways to save money on tickets:

  • Einfach-Raus-Ticket: A group ticket that gives you unlimited travel for a day on all local/regional trains across Austria. The more people you have, the cheaper it works out to be per person. Great for group day trips!
  • Regional Tickets/Offers: Special passes that give you unlimited travel for a day on local/regional trains for a particular region/area. Great for day trips in a smaller area!
  • Eurail: A rail pass that covers train travel across most European countries. Great only in certain instances, i.e. when you are visiting many countries and want flexibility/spontaneity. I explain more in my full Eurail review.

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11. Sorry – Austrians do not know the Sound of Music

I hate to be the bearer of bad news.

And trust me – as someone who grew up watching the Sound of Music religiously every Christmas, this fact is definitely not one of my favourite things, but here goes…

Austrians do not really care about the Sound of Music. It’s not a classic film for them, they have no nostalgia tied to it, and (frankly) many of them don’t even like it.

So, when you head to Salzburg for your big Sound of Music pilgrimage, just know that your enthusiasm is probably best shared among your fellow tourists, rather than among locals.

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12. Remember “W” is pronounced like V

In terms of language, a good thing to remember is that the letter W in German is pronounced like a V so if you’re saying any words or names, say it with a “Vuh” sound.

In Austria, the most prominent example would be the German name of Vienna which is spelled Wien, but pronounced “Veen”.

You’ll catch this pronunciation trap in the city’s most popular dish too -Wiener Schnitzel. So remember: if you do decide to indulge in this fried slab of goodness during your trip, order it as a “Veen-uh” schnitzel and not “Weeeeee-ner” schnitzel.

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13. Avoid catching locals in photos/videos without their consent

Upon arrival in Austria, your first instinct may be to whip out your phone and capture as many of those beautiful sights as possible, to the chagrin of your 52 Instagram followers.

But just a quick note before you do that – Austrians can be very private people who don’t like having their photograph taken without consent.

So, a very important Austrian etiquette tip is to be mindful of others’ privacy and try not to blatantly take photos that might accidentally catch someone’s face head on. 

travel in austria by car

14. Don’t be alarmed if you catch people staring at you

While taking photos of others’ faces is considered very rude, one thing that isn’t is… staring.

To the shock of many first time visitors, Austrians don’t mind staring. So you could very well be sitting on the bus, minding your own business, only to feel the stony stare of a stranger who is (rather shamelessly) staring at you while you just try to peacefully exist.

Can it be jarring? Of course! But don’t worry – it’s just a cultural difference where they don’t consider staring to be a rude practice. Think of it as just them perceiving you (or if it helps your confidence, pretend it’s because you’re wowing them with your stunning face).

travel in austria by car

15. Learn how to tip in Austria

In terms of tips, tipping culture in Austria is definitely not as aggressive as in North America.

For good service you’ll tend to tip 5-10%, usually rounding up to a number that makes sense so if your meal was 45 euro, you might hand them 50. 

What’s worth noting though is that tipping works a little differently here.

For instance, you wouldn’t just leave money on the table after the meal. Instead, you have to tell them how much you intend to pay in total (including tip) as you hand over your cash or card.

So let’s imagine that (including tip), you want to pay 40 euro. In this instance, you would say “40” as you hand over your cash or your card, and then they’ll give you the appropriate change.

If you want them to just keep the change, then you hand your cash over and say “Stimmt So!”, and they’ll know to just keep the whole thing.

travel in austria by car

16. Be prepared for a different style of customer service

Now in terms of culture, it is often said that Austrians can seem cold and direct. I personally haven’t had this experience as much, but maybe I’ve just been lucky. (And tend to surround myself with the drunk ones ).

Anyways, what I will concede though is that Austrian customer service is very different from typical North American customer service.

In contrast to typical North American service which involves being bright, cheery, friendly and hands on, Austrian customer service is usually a lot less animated, and to someone who’s not used to it, it may even seem like you’re being ignored on purpose.

The way I’ve had this explained to me though is that Austrians just really value their privacy, hence why they take such a hands-off approach.

At a restaurant for example, the server will come, take your order and then leave you alone, hence why you need to flag them down if you want anything, because they consider constant check-ins a rude interruption.

So, don’t take ‘colder’ customer service personally – it’s just another one of those cultural differences.

travel in austria by car

17. Prepare for nude saunas and public nudity areas

Another fun cultural difference? The Austrian approach to nudity!

Namely, that they’re very into it.

If you go to a sauna in Austria for instance, it’s very much expected that you go naked (for sanitary reasons), and there’s often designated nude (FKK) zones at lakes and swimming areas as well.

Add on the fairly common occurrence of both men and women alike sunbathing topless, and you have a sure recipe for culture shock. So, if you’re from a part of the world where this kinda bare-it-all attitude isn’t common, just remember it’s normal here, so adapt accordingly.

travel in austria by car

18. Eat as much dessert as humanly possible

An easier thing to adapt to perhaps is the absolutely WONDER that is Austria’s sweet scene.

Truly, Austrians are masters of dessert.

While North Americans will have no doubt heard of strudel or the famous Sacher Torte, there are SO MANY more options than those. My personal favourite is the Esterházytorte which is originally Hungarian but is commonly found in Vienna these days too, or the almighty Kaiserschmarrn, shredded pancakes served with jam or apple sauce.

With hundreds of options and special regional desserts all over, I’d recommend you simply go to a coffee house or bakery and let your senses guide you.

travel in austria by car

19. Try regional specialties wherever you are

While overseas visitors often think of Austrian food as simply schnitzel and not much else, the truth is there’s a lot of culinary variety across the country, so choose your eats accordingly.

For instance, Styria is known for its crispy fried chicken (Backhendl) and delicious pumpkin seed oil. Some alpine regions are also known for their hearty eats like Käsespätzle, bouncy little dumplings slathered with cheese and onions.

Other regions do a lot of fish dishes, others work miracles with potatoes – all to say be sure to try the local specialties wherever you are.

travel in austria by car

20. Don’t miss out on Austrian wine

Despite its proximity to Germany, Austria is definitely more of a wine country than a beer country, so take advantage of all the crisp and delicious wines that they have to offer.

Or better yet – book yourself a trip to a wine region to enjoy it close to the source! South Styria is one of my favourite areas of Austria.

travel in austria by car

21. Try Almdudler

And if you’re looking for a soft drink to try in Austria, make sure you grab yourself a refreshing Almdudler.

Besides being fun to say, it’s a remarkably tasty soda made with alpine herbs, and is often considered the national drink of Austria.

travel in austria by car

22. Don’t order schnitzel with sauce

A proper Austrian schnitzel requires little more than a quick squeeze of lemon juice. Anything more is often considered akin to sacrilege, so keep that in mind before your slather your schnitzel in mushroom sauce (which I fear to admit was actually a common thing I did in Germany).

And for my fellow Sound of Music fans, no, sadly ‘schnitzel with noodles’ is not a thing. Why is it in the song then? I imagine it’s likely because few things rhyme with “potato salad”.

Schnitzel Steinheil 16

23. Bring cash 

While many more places accept card payments these days in Austria, paying with cash is often still the norm, especially for smaller purchases, so having cash is always a good idea, preferably in smaller denominations like 50 euro bills or smaller.

travel in austria by car

24. Prepare to pay for public bathrooms

Another important Austria travel tip is to bring coins with you wherever you go.

That’s because public bathrooms usually charge a small fee of 50 cents or a euro, so make sure you have some coins with you in case of an emergency.

travel in austria by car

25. Do not jaywalk

In Austria, the only crime worse than saucing up your schnitzel is crossing the street when you’re not supposed to.

No – really – jaywalking is not only illegal in Austria, it’s actually enforced (albeit kind of randomly), so err on the side of caution and avoid it if possible.

travel in austria by car

26. Remember that most shops are closed on Sundays

Last but not least, a very important Austria travel tip if your visit coincides with a Sunday is that Sundays are considered a day of rest in Austria so shops (including grocery stores) are closed.

That said, be sure to stock up on any shopping before Sunday, although in a pinch, bakeries, restaurants, gas stations and shops in transit hubs will usually still be open.

travel in austria by car

I hope this list of Austria travel tips was helpful!

If you’re here after all those Austrian travel tips, congrats – I’m beyond proud of you! Hopefully by now, you’ll feel much more prepared for your big Austria trip, but if you have any more questions, let me know in the comments.

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Your Guide To Renting A Car In Austria

  • Why should you rent a car in Austria?

When should you go to Austria?

Where should you pick up a car in austria, how easy is it to travel around austria independently.

  • How safe is it to travel around Austria by car?

What languages are spoken in Austria?

  • Three underrated travel destinations in Austria that you can reach by car
  • What are the best places to rent a car in Austria?
  • What about filling up in Austria?
  • How expensive is gas in Austria?
  • How much does a rental car cost in Austria?
  • Which car rental supplier is best for you? Are the rental conditions important?
  • What else should you keep in mind when renting a car?
  • How can I choose the right insurance for my rental car?
  • What type of rental car is the cheapest in Austria?
  • Which is the best car rental company in Austria?
  • What is the process of picking up and dropping off a rental car like?
  • Can I add extras for the rental car when booking?
  • What are the traffic rules in Austria?
  • What are the speed limits in Austria?
  • Are there speed cameras in Austria?
  • What are the drunk driving laws in Austria?
  • Are there toll roads in Austria?
  • Austria is not the cheapest country in Europe for renting a car, but there are several ways to reduce the costs, such as booking early, picking up a car at the airport, traveling for multiple days instead of just one, and picking a smaller vehicle.
  • Austria gets relatively fewer tourists in the spring and autumn months which also brings the rental car prices down — why not visit the country in September?
  • Austria is as famous for its charming cities like Vienna and Salzburg as it is for its mighty mountainous scenery . The relatively small size of the country means you can enjoy both on the same trip!
  • German is the main language of the country and learning some phrases will go a long way, but many people also know English .
  • As punctual as their neighbors, Germans, Austrians are strict about speeding and drunk driving , and the fines are steep.

Your Guide to Traveling Around Austria with a Rental Car

How safe is it to travel around austria in a rental car.

  • Full-to-full You are given a car with a full tank of fuel and are expected to also return it with a full tank which means that you need to fill up the tank right before dropping off the car.
  • Same-to-same You are given a car with a certain amount of fuel and are expected to return the car with the same amount.
  • Full-to-empty You pay in advance for a full tank of fuel when picking up a car and are allowed to return the car with an empty tank; in these cases, you may or may not be compensated if you return a car with some fuel left in the tank.
  • The minimum and maximum age of the driver
  • A potential young or senior driver extra fee for drivers under or over a certain age (e.g. 25 or 65 years old)
  • Driving experience (e.g., at least two years)
  • A credit card in the name of the main driver
  • An international driver's license (might not apply to driver's licenses that are in Latin alphabet)
  • Meet & Greet . With this type of pickup location, you'll be met by an employee of the car rental company in the arrivals hall of the airport which you normally enter right after leaving the baggage claim area. The employee will usually have a printed sign with your name on it. The employee will take you to the company's office to proceed with signing the rental contract and collecting the car's keys.
  • In the terminal. In this case, you will have to find your rental car company's desk yourself. The desk will be usually located in the arrivals hall. Once you've found the desk, you can present your documents and continue with the pickup procedure. Do keep in mind that you might have to wait in line.
  • Shuttle bus. In certain cases, the car rental company's desk might be located outside the airport's terminal. Sometimes you can reach it on foot, but in most cases, you need to take a shuttle bus. For this, you'll need to find the shuttle bus stop inside the airport, the location of which will be given to you when making the booking. Sometimes, the shuttle bus is shared by multiple car rental companies while others have their own shuttle service just for them. Look for the name and the logo of your rental company to make sure you take the right shuttle bus.
  • Delivery service . This type of pick-up is similar to Meet & Greet but takes even less time to complete as you won't need to go to the car provider's office to sign the agreement.
  • Car rental center . This means that your car rental company shares its location with other companies. The car rental center is located in the arrivals hall, in another part of the terminal, or in a separate building next to the terminal.
  • Outside terminal . This pick-up location means that your car rental company has an individual desk located outside the airport's terminal, but within the larger airport complex, that can usually be reached on foot
  • Austria drives on the right-hand side of the road.
  • Proof of insurance and the car's documentatio n need to be in it whenever you're driving.
  • When driving, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
  • The use of the mobile phone while driving is only permitted with a hands-free system that has a loudspeaker and a fixed microphone.
  • All travelers from outside the European Union are required to show an International Driving Permit . Not having one can lead to the rental company refusing to provide you a car and the loss of any payment made.
  • The nationwide emergency number , like elsewhere in the Euroopean Union, is 112.

Aleksandrs Buraks

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Getting Around in Austria

Rail travel is superb in Austria, with fast, clean trains taking you through scenic regions. Trains will take you nearly every place in Austria except to remote hamlets tucked away in almost-inaccessible mountain districts. Many other services tie in with railroad travel, among them car or bicycle rental at many stations, bus transportation links, and package tours, including boat trips and cable-car rides. Inter-City Express trains connect Vienna with all major cities in the country, including Salzburg, Klagenfurt, Graz, and Linz. A train trip from Salzburg to Vienna takes about 3 hours.

Rail Passes -- Adults can purchase first- or second-class passes. In first class the charge is $229 for 3 days in 1 month; $265 for 4 days in 1 month; $295 for 5 days in 1 month; $329 for 6 days in 1 month; $359 for 7 days in 1 month, and $395 for 8 days in 1 month. In second class charges are $159 for 3 days in 1 month; $179 for 4 days in 1 month; $205 for 5 days in 1 month; $229 for 6 days in 1 month; $255 for 7 days in 1 month; and $279 for 8 days in 1 month.

The Eurail Austria Youth Pass is available for second-class travel, and can be sold to travelers who are 25 years old or younger on their first day of travel. Charges are $105 for 3 days in 1 month; $119 for 4 days in 1 month; $135 for 5 days in 1 month; $149 for 6 days in 1 month; $165 for 7 days in 1 month; and $179 for 8 days in 1 month.

Other Railway Data -- For information on short-distance round-trip tickets, cross-country passes, and passes for all lines in the individual provinces, as well as piggyback transportation for your car through the Tauern Tunnel, check with the Austrian Federal Railways (tel. 01/930-000;

Driving, of course, is the best way to crisscross Austria, going up and down its scenic mountain valleys and along its vast mountain passes. It's one of the greatest countries in the world for scenery. That applies only to the summer months. Driving conditions in Austria can be difficult in winter.

Renting a car is not the most economical way to see the country; by train or bus is cheaper.

Some mountain roads require a toll. The good news is that there is almost no delay at border crossings. Motorists zip about casually -- say, between Germany and Austria -- but in the wake of worldwide terrorism, conditions could often change at a moment's notice for reasons you will not be aware of.

All main roads in Austria are hard-surfaced. There's a four-lane Autobahn between Salzburg and Vienna; and between Vienna and Edlitz the Autobahn has six lanes. Part of the highway system includes mountain roads; and in the alpine region drivers face gradients of 6% to 16%, or even steeper in some places. When driving in Austria, always plot your course carefully. If you have had no experience in mountain driving -- much less alpine mountain driving -- you might want to take a train or a bus to get to some of the loftier mountain alpine retreats.

In summer, driving conditions are good, but in winter, December through March, motorists must reckon with snow on the roads and passes at higher altitudes. Roads at altitudes of up to 1,700m (5,577 ft.) are kept open in winter, although they can be temporarily closed because of heavy snowfall or avalanche danger. If you're planning to drive in Austria in winter, you'll need snow tires or chains.

Don't take chances. Ask about road conditions before you start on a trip. This information is available in English 7 days a week from 6am to 8pm from the Österreichischer Automobil-, Motorrad- und Touringclub (ÖAMTC), Schubertring 1-3, A-1010 Vienna (tel. 0810/120-120;

Rentals -- Drivers in Austria must have been in possession of a valid driver's license for at least 1 year before renting a vehicle. They must also present a valid passport when they sign the rental agreement. Drivers not in possession of a major credit card must pay in advance a minimum deposit, plus the estimated rental cost and the estimated tax. Cars rented from most rental companies can be dropped off in major cities of Germany for no additional charge. Drop-offs in Switzerland or Italy require an extra charge, which can be quite high.

Be aware that car rentals in Austria are taxed at a whopping rate of 21.2%. This is in addition to a 15% municipal airport tax added to the cost of any car rented at an airport. Clarify in advance whether the rates you're quoted include the taxes. Tip: You might consider taking a taxi to your hotel upon arrival and then renting your vehicle from an inner-city location to avoid the 15% airport surcharge.

When you reserve a car, be sure to ask if the price includes insurance. The rental outfits offer an optional insurance policy known as a loss-damage waiver (LDW). If you accept it, you'll be charged from 25€ ($40) per day. It allows you to waive all financial responsibility for any damage to your car, even if it's eventually determined that you were the driver at fault. In some instances, certain credit card companies offer free insurance if you use their card to pay for the rental. Check directly with your credit card issuer to see if you are covered.

Budget (tel. 800/472-3325; is among the least expensive options in Austria. It maintains more than a dozen locations throughout the country, including branches at all the major airports and at downtown locations in most of the provincial capitals.

Hertz (tel. 800/654-3001; maintains offices in about 18 cities throughout Austria. During limited periods, it sometimes publicizes price promotions worth inquiring about, depending on the season, as well as discounts to employees of some large North American corporations.

Avis (tel. 800/331-1084; operates offices in 19 Austrian cities, at airports and downtown, as well as at some of the country's larger ski resorts. Avis usually offers 10% discounts for members of such organizations as AAA and AARP. Like Budget and Hertz, it offers seasonal price promotions.

Kemwel Drive Europe (tel. 877/820-0668; has offices in about 10 cities throughout Asia.

AutoEurope (tel. 888/223-5555; operates 12 offices in Austrian cities as well as airports.

Gasoline -- Regular-grade unleaded (blei-frei) motor fuel is generally available in Austria. Skyrocketing gasoline prices vary from place to place but are somewhat lower at discounted or self-service gasoline stations. Austrian service stations don't accept U.S. oil company or general-purpose credit or charge cards.

Driving Rules -- Traffic regulations are similar to those in other European countries where you drive on the right. Driving under the influence of alcohol is severely punished. The permissible blood-alcohol level is very low -- two beers or 8 ounces of wine can put you over the mark. The minimum fine is 350€ ($560) and possible loss of a driver's license.

Use of seat belts is compulsory, and children under 12 may not sit in the front passenger seat unless a child's seat belt or a special seat has been installed. The use of hand-held cellphones is prohibited while driving, and a right turn at a red light is not permitted. Effective in late 2005, headlights must be on at all times day or night.

Automobile Clubs -- The leading auto club of Austria is the ÖAMTC (Österreichischer Automobil-, Motorred- und Touringclub), Schubertring 1-3, A-1010 Vienna (tel. 0810/120-120;, which works in association with AAA. ARBÖ (tel. 050/123-123; is another.

Breakdowns/Assistance -- If your car breaks down, foreign motorists can call the two auto clubs mentioned above. Call ARBÖ (tel. 123 ) or ÖAMTC (tel. 120 ) anywhere in Austria. You don't need to use an area code for either number. However, if you're not a member of either of these clubs, you'll pay for emergency road service.

Motorcycles -- The same requirements for operating cars in Austria hold for operating motorcycles. Both drivers and passengers of motorcycles must wear crash helmets. Lights must be kept on when the vehicle is being driven.

In large Austrian cities, taxis are equipped with officially sealed taximeters that show the cost of your trip in euros. If a rate change has recently been instituted, a surcharge might be added to the amount shown on the meter, pending adjustment of the taximeter. Surcharges are posted in the cab. A supplement is charged for luggage carried in the vehicle's trunk. Zone charges or set charges for standard trips are the rule in most resort areas. Tip the driver 10% of the fare.

Austrian Airlines (tel. 800/843-0002 in the U.S. and Canada; offers flights that link Vienna to the country's leading cities. Outgoing flights from Vienna are carefully timed to coincide with the arrivals of most of the company's transatlantic flights.

Tyrolean Airways (same telephone number and website as Austrian Airlines), an airline partially owned by Austrian Airlines, offers a very useful airborne network whose home base is the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck. Its regular flight network consists of up to four flights per day between Vienna and Innsbruck, and four flights each between Innsbruck and both Frankfurt and Zurich. The airline also offers about five flights a week between Innsbruck and the Styrian capital of Graz. Reservations on Tyrolean Airways can be made through Austrian Airlines. Its fleet consists almost entirely of turbo-prop planes containing no more than 49 seats. The airline specializes in domestic flights and commuter runs to destinations close to the border, including Munich and Budapest.

It's easiest to get around Austria on the country's excellent rail network, but many Austrian villages are not near rail lines. Reaching some of these areas can be best accomplished by car or bus. To facilitate travel, the Austrian government maintains two different bus networks: those maintained by the Austrian Postal Service (whose vehicles, in most cases, are painted a reddish-orange) and those maintained by the Austrian Federal Railways (which, in some, but not all, cases are painted blue and white). In recent years, efforts have been made to merge both of these systems into one overall administration identified as the Bundesbus System, but many Austrians continue to make a distinction between the two networks. There are also a limited number of privately owned bus companies that specialize in long-haul transits to major cities outside Austria.

Buses (some of which also carry mail) cover a network of almost 30,500km (18,952 miles) of often very remote secondary roads. One of their primary functions involves retrieving passengers at railway stations for the continuation of journeys. Bus departures are usually timed to coincide with the arrival of trains from other parts of Austria. Buses are particularly helpful at the bottom of alpine valleys, where transit is needed to carry passengers from the local railway station up toward ski resorts and hamlets at higher altitudes. Children under 6 travel free on many of these buses, and children under 15 usually receive a 50% discount.

Information about bus schedules and routings is available at most post offices, at the reception desks of most hotels whose business relies on clients arriving by bus, and at travel agencies. Specifics about routes and schedules are in the Kursbuch (Austrian Motor Coach Schedule), a timetable that is usually updated annually and that forms part of the basic library maintained by virtually every tourist office in Austria. Bus information is usually also merged into the thousands of railway timetables that are posted at train stations throughout the country. An especially convenient way to find out about bus schedules, if you're heading to a hotel in a remote area, is to call the hotel and ask.

From April to the beginning of November, you can rent a bicycle at some 120 rail stations across Austria. Charges vary but are nominal, with a 50% discount if you present a rail ticket for the day that you're renting a bike. Photo ID must be presented at the time of rental. You can reserve a bicycle in advance, but you can almost always get a bike without making reservations. The vehicle can be returned to where it was rented or to any other Austrian railroad station during business hours.

Note : This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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What are you looking for?

10 best car rentals in austria in 2024 [for all budgets].

Cazzy Magennis

From the bustling streets of Vienna , to visiting scenic villages like that of Hallstatt , or even going skiing in the Alps; road tripping Autsira makes for a truly memorable adventure!

We have driven through the country 3 times now, each time in our own vehicle, and it makes for the most unforgettable time.

Not only are the roads in great condition, you’ll also have full independence and flexibility too (you can stop-off anywhere to get those incredible mountain photos - and yes, it will happen more than once!). 

We even lived here for a full month a few years back as a base to explore more of the country, but also get a lot of work done in the cool mountain air.

Choosing the best car rental Austria has to offer can be challenging, with so many options available.

In this comprehensive article we’ll explore the best car rental companies in Austria. 

Based on our own experience renting cars from the top rental companies across Europe, and coupled with online research of other people's experiences as well.

To hopefully help save you a lot of time, and money! Let’s get into it…


How to Book your Chosen Rental

Discover Cars Austria car rentals

So you’ve bought your flights to Austria, and have decided that renting a car will be your best option for getting around. Great choice! Now comes the more difficult part of finding the right rental company and vehicle for you. 

Whilst it can usually be quite a tedious process, DiscoverCars makes this all very simple and straightforward. As well as listing vehicles of all kinds of styles and budgets, we can also see any additional bonuses that may be included too such as an additional driver for free or unlimited mileage.

Here are some of the other advantages of using DiscoverCars:

  • Intuitive Search System - It’s really easy to narrow down on what you’re looking for, and you can also directly compare various car rental brands to see why each one is advantageous in their own particular way.
  • 24/7 Professional Support - Not only do DiscoverCars make it easy to find your perfect rental, they continue to support you throughout your trip for any concerns or issues you might have.
  • Highly Flexible Rentals - With free cancellation or date-changes up to two days before your trip, you can feel relaxed knowing that there will be no extra fees in case you need to cancel or modify your trip dates. ‍
  • Zero Hidden Fees - One of the best reasons to use DiscoverCars is the fact that everything is transparent and upfront - so you won’t be surprised by extra fees which were not previously mentioned.

1. Zippy7 Autorent - Our top pick for rental cars in Austria

  • Pick up/drop off location/s - Vienna
  • Price range - $-$$
  • Best suited for - Travelers who plan on staying in Vienna
  • Availability - Check here

Zippy7 Autorent Austria car rental

Rental Overview:

Firstly we begin this list with local Austrian company Zippy7 Autorent , who have pick-up locations both in Vienna and Vienna airport. 

They are a great choice for those who are looking for an affordable rental in the capital , who also have flexible pick-up options even outside of their operating hours (this includes on-site delivery).

As such, they offer some of the best car rentals in Austria!

Zippy7 Autorent Austria cars for hire

Vehicles On Offer:

Travelers who prefer to keep things cheap can select between their Mini and Economy options (you’ll get a Toyota Aygo, Opel Corsa Hatchback or similar). 

Next we have their mid-range Compact and Compact SUVs (rental vehicles are usually an Opel Astra, Nissan Juke or similar). 

Lastly we have their luxurious models, which include the Standard, Standard SUVs and the Intermediate SUVs (you’ll get either an Opel Insignia Sedan, Nissan Qashqai, Suzuki SX4 S-Cross or similar). 

Zippy 7 Autorent also does various kinds of van rentals too.

2. Fox Autorent - Best for budget car rental in Austria

  • Best suited for - Travelers who prefer low cost rentals, Travelers who want local know-how

Fox Autorent Austria

The largest Hungarian rental company in the market, Fox Autorent have been in business for over 35 years and have now grown across Central Europe.  

They are a great choice for local know-how , and have a dedicated 24/7 team ready to help you with any questions or troubles you may have during your trip.

They also offer some of the cheapest car rentals in Austria!

Fox Autorent cars for hire in Austria

Although they have much less variety in rental vehicles, Fox Autorent are a great option for low cost rentals. 

Firstly we have their introductory Economy model (where you’ll get a Hyundai I20 or similar). 

Next we have their Compact vehicles, which are a good mix of comfort whilst not breaking the bank (you’ll get an Opel Astra or similar). 

Those looking for a more elite model will want to choose from their Intermediate SUVs (where you’ll get a Suzuki Vitara or similar). 

Fox Autorent also does Standard and Full-Size van rentals too.

3. Dryyve - Best for car rental at Vienna Airport

  • Best suited for - Travelers who prefer luxurious and reliable rentals

Dryyve car rentals Austria

Another Hungarian player who has entered the Austrian market, Dryyve are the least expensive of all rental companies on this list. Despite this, they offer a large fleet which can suit all tastes and vehicle specifications. 

Dryvve are a great pick for those who like customisable packages, as they strive to tailor each experience to each individual customer.

So if you're after a rental car in Austria, then make sure you check out this company, especially when it comes to airport car hire in Vienna.

Dryyve Austria cars for rent

Firstly we begin with their smaller Mini and Economy vehicles, which are perfect for solo travelers or couples (rentals are usually a Fiat Panda, Opel Corsa or similar). 

Next we have their mid-tier Compact and Standard classes (you’ll get an Opel Astra STW, Suzuki S-Cross or similar). 

Finally we have their more luxurious Intermediate and Intermediate SUVs, which are best for those who want a more premium and spacious vehicle (rentals are usually a Kia Ceed STW, Opel Crossland X or similar).

4. Mega Drive - Offers some great car rental deals

  • Pick up/drop off location/s - Vienna, Innsbruck
  • Price range - $$-$$$
  • Best suited for - Travelers who plan to travel all around Austria

Having now been in operation for over 60 years, Mega Drive is a popular Austrian car rental company which is a favorite partner choice for many larger firms. 

Whilst amongst the more expensive rentals, they do offer one-way journeys without an extra fee , which is great for those planning to travel around Austria and potentially leave elsewhere instead of Vienna.

The other benefit is that you can pick-up and drop-off in various locations around Austria, this includes places like Innsbruck , which is known for its breathtaking mountainous landscapes.

Those looking to keep costs low will love their Mini and Economy models (you’ll usually get a Suzuki Swift, Fiat Punto or similar). 

Next we have their mid-range Compact Models (rental vehicles are usually a Ford Focus or similar). 

Lastly we have their premium Standard and Intermediate vehicles, which are best for larger groups and those who don’t mind paying that little extra for a more comfortable ride (you’ll get a Ford Mondeo, Opel Crossland X or similar).

5. WheeGo - Another top pick for low-cost Austria car rentals

  • Best suited for - Travelers who prefer low cost rentals

travel in austria by car

A large German car rental company, WheeGo , has been around for over 30 years and has also expanded into the neighboring Austrian market. 

Not only are they a great low-cost rental provider, they also have their own intuitive app which means you can rent and pick-up without having to wait in queues!

For future reference, WheeGo is also a fantastic option for car rentals in Greece .

Wheego available cars for rent in Austria

The Mini and Economy models are the cheapest options you can rent with WheeGo, however they still offer great quality too (you’ll get a Fiat Panda, Opel Corsa or similar). 

Next we have their mid-range Compact and Standard vehicles (you’ll get a Hyundai i30 STW, Suzuki S-Cross or similar). 

Those looking for a deluxe upgrade can choose between their Intermediate and Intermediate SUVs, which offer more space and style without breaking the bank (rental vehicles are usually a Kia Ceed STW, Opel Crossland X or similar).

6. Europcar - Great for car rental in Salzburg and Innsbruck

  • Pick up/drop off location/s - Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck
  • Best suited for - Travelers who like extra perks on top of their rental

Europcar Austria car rentals

One of the larger rental companies found in Austria, Europcar has over 70 years experience and is one of the biggest rental providers in Europe (offering rentals in the United Kingdom , Sweden , and France among others).

One of the best advantages of renting with Europcar is their Privilege Loyalty Program, where upon sign-up you can have perks such as premium pick-up and free weekend rentals.

Europcar Austria cars available for rental

Firstly we have their most affordable options, which include the Mini, Economy and Compact models (rentals are usually a Fiat 500, Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen T-Cross or similar). 

Then we have their mid-range vehicles which are a good balance of cost and comfort, and include the Standard and Intermediate models (you’ll get a Skoda Superb STW, Skoda Octavia or similar). 

Those after a higher-quality rental can choose between their Premium and Luxury models (you’ll get a Mercedes E Class STW, Audi A6 STW or similar). 

Europcar also provides a variety of large van rentals across Austria.

  • Pick up/drop off location/s - Vienna, Salzburg, Graz, Weiz, Villach-Fuernitz, Kitzbühel (and more)

Sixt car hire Austria

SIXT is a world-renowned rental company with branches in over 105 countries (they offer car rentals in Malta and Spain , among a host of other destinations).

In Austria they have a large fleet with all kinds of vehicle styles and classes, and are renowned for being 100% transparent with all costs . They also have a large variety of car rental locations across the country.

Sixt Austria cars available for real

Those looking for a no thrills and simple ride will want to choose from their Economy and Compact models (you’ll get a VW Polo, VW T-Cross or similar). 

Next we have their Standard and Intermediate classes (rental vehicles are usually a VW Arteon, MINI Countryman or similar).

If you want to treat yourself then you can pick between their Luxury, Luxury SUVs and Special models (you’ll get a BMW 5 Series Touring, BMW X3, BMW 7 Series or similar). 

SIXT also does Full-Size van rentals too.

  • Pick up/drop off location/s - Vienna, Salzburg, Graz, Innsbruck
  • Price range - $$-$$$$

Addcar Austria car rentals

Established just a couple of decades ago in Latvia, AddCar has grown from strength to strength and is now operating all over Europe and the Americas. 

They are known for their impressive fleet size in Austria, and also for having high levels of satisfaction from customers.

Addcar Austria cars for rent

Firstly we have their introductory Economy and Compact models, which are great for those looking to keep costs low (you’ll get a Hyundai i20, Citroen C4 or similar). 

Then we have their mid-level classes which include their Intermediate, Standard SUVs as well as Intermediate Elite SUVs (you’ll get a Skoda Octavia STW, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Volkswagen Tiguan or similar). 

Those looking for extra comfort can choose their Luxury models (usual rentals include a BMW 5 Series STW or similar). 

AddCar also does a range of van rentals too.

  • Price range - $$

Alamo Austria cars for rent

Now we move into some of the more recognised global brands. Alamo is one of these giants, who operate in all continents all over the world. 

Whilst they are on the more expensive side of things here in Austria, the benefit of renting with them is that you’ll also earn points towards partnered flights and hotels in the process.

Alamo car rentals in Austria

Alamo’s Economy and Compact models are perfect for those traveling solo or on a budget (usual rentals include a Volkswagen Polo, Opel Astra or similar). 

Next we have their mid-tier Intermediate and Compact SUVs (you’ll get a Skoda Octavia, Toyota C-HR or similar). 

Those who want extra class can choose from Alamo’s Standard and Full-Size SUVs (rentals include a Opel Grandland, Citroen DS7 or similar).

  • Pick up/drop off location/s - Vienna, Salzburg, Linz, Graz, Innsbruck (and more)
  • Best suited for - Travelers who want to rent with a highly reputable company

Hertz car rental Austria

With offices in over 160 countries worldwide, Hertz remains one of the most popular rental choices for travelers heading abroad. 

As well as guaranteeing reputability and quality rentals, the main benefit of choosing Hertz is the variety of benefits received through their Gold Plus Rewards program (such as free car upgrades).

Hertz Austria cars for rental

Hertz offers a wide variety of vehicle rentals. 

Firstly we have their Mini and Economy models (you’ll get a Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta or similar). 

Next we have their mid-range classes which include the Compact, Compact Elite and Intermediate vehicles (usual rentals include a Ford Focus, Volkswagen ID.3, Mercedes B Class or similar).

Lastly we have their Premium, Luxury and Luxury SUVs for those after more comfort and class (you’ll get a Mercedes Benz C Class, Mercedes Benz E Class, BMW X5 or similar). 

Hertz also does Standard Van rentals too.

Car Rental in Austria FAQ

How much does it cost to rent a car in austria.

Having used DiscoverCars to browse all kinds of car rental companies (both local and global giants), we’ve found that costs can really vary. 

This depends on many factors, such as which rental company you choose, how luxurious the vehicle is, whether it’s high-season or if adding extras to your booking. 

Overall car rental costs in Austria can be anywhere from $20-570 per day.

Although you can pick up a rental for a great price, just be aware that Austria certainly isn't one of the most affordable destinations in Europe so other costs can quickly add up!

How Old Do You Need To Be To Rent A Car In Austria? 

The minimum age to rent a car in Austria is 18 years old , however you may also find some companies that only allow drivers who are 21 or over to rent with them. 

Many companies may also add a young drivers surcharge for those who are under 25, so it’s important to keep this in mind when budgeting for your trip (if you fit in this age group).

Is It Safe to Drive in Austria?

In general, driving conditions are pretty safe in Austria. 

The reasons for this include well-maintained roads as well as their respectful attitude behind the wheel (which you will especially notice if you have driven in other areas of the world such as Latin America!).

However it’s not completely safe, and there are a few things to be aware of. The main one is that ice and snow regularly cause accidents , so you’ll need to drive slow in these cooler zones.

Is Renting A Car In Austria Worth It? 

Many travelers find it difficult to choose between independent travel and using public transportation during their travels. 

However in Austria we think that renting a car is a great idea. Not only are the roads organized and drivers respectful of rules, road conditions are also really good too. 

Of course snow and ice can make things slightly complicated, however this is a small minus compared to the mountain of positives. 

The other main advantage that driving brings is the extra freedom, where you can head wherever you want when you want (and not being dependent on bus schedules).

Are you ready to explore Austria?

This European nation is a must-visit on any itinerary through central Europe.

Here you can explore some truly memorable mountain sceneries , visit charming villages like Hallstatt and Alpbach as well as dive into the historic culture of Vienna.

One of the biggest considerations for your trip to Austria is working out how best to get around. 

We think that renting a car is a great idea here, given the range of rental providers (which works for all budgets) as well as the extra freedom it gives you.

Now over to you…

Are there any providers you think we missed?

Or do you have any other questions about renting a car in Austria?

Just drop a comment below and we will help in any way we can!

Here are some other car rental guides you may find helpful:

  • The Best Car Rentals In Germany
  • The Best Car Rentals In Croatia
  • The Best Car Rentals In Italy

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train versus car for Austria

My friend and I are traveling Europe this summer starting mid August. We hit Austria mid Sept for 18 days. This time frame will also include Switzerland and Slovenia(northern area only). We will train to Vienna from Budapest and stay a few days. From there, my plan is to motor to Wachau Valley, Melk, Salzburg, Hallslatt area, parts of Switzerland, then down to Slovenia on the way back to drop the car. First, I am wondering if we should by-pass Switzerland in order to see all of Austria/part of Slovenia. Second, can we do pretty much everything we want via train versus renting a car? We head to Italy after this. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks for any help. Michelle

Michelle, if I were you I'd rent a car and really see the areas you mentioned. I just rented from AutoEurope for 17 days in Austria and Germany in August and it only cost $25 Canadian a day (get your own insurance coverage through your Visa card and rider on your home car insurance). Get a small car; the driving is very easy in Austria (I suggest GPS - we have a North American Garmin model and purchased a European chip which works great). Melk Abbey and Hallstatt (do the salt mine tour) are fantastic. Haus am Moos is a fabulous bed and breakfast in Salzburg (about 56 Euro a day for a couple including big breakfast). Personally, I find Austria and Slovenia better than the hyper-expensive Switzerland.

Thanks, for your reply. Looks the car wins out over the train. Did you by any chance spend time in Veinna? Suggestions on places to stay? Also, what city did you pick up your car? Did you reserve from home?

Thanks MIchelle

If you're renting in Austria and want to drive into Slovenia, then drop the car in Slovenia:

-Make sure you are permitted to drive the car in Slovenia.

-Double-check the drop charge for returning the car in a different country. On this forum, we've seen figures ranging from €100 to €500. If it's too high for you, you may need to drop it in Austria and take a train or bus to Slovenia.

My choice of this trip would be to rent a car and drive. Switerland is expensive but I'd never pass up a chance to visit if I could. If you can comfortably fit it into you itinerary and budget, I would.

I certainly suggest you get a good European map and see where all the places on your itinerary are. Your most efficient way of travel is to travel in a straight line in an effort to avoid expensive backtracking. You really should have started your tour in Munich and caught a train to Salzburg or just fly into Salzburg. You could then pickup your rental car and drive to Wachau Valley/Hallstadt and Melk on the way to Vienna. Then take the train down to Budapest. I hate to tell you, but that's enough territory to see in 18 days. If you'll look closely at a map, travel from Budapest thru Slovenia and into the Venice area is very, very difficult. Roads are bad and the mountains are very difficult to cross. Unless you have more time, forget Switzerland and Italy.

Thanks all for your replies. We are actually flying into Brussels to begin our European adventure. Then on to Prague, Budapest, Vienna. Hence, the starting point for Austria. Any suggestions on places to stay in Vienna? B&B's are great, but, other suggestions welcome. Also, I will be picking up a car for our tour of Austria, etc. Are there locations outside of the city for pickups? A little concerned about "big" city driving.

Another question regarding the Austria drive. I have been looking at pros/cons of purchasing a GPS for this trip. The cost of renting one as well as a purchase is high. Will I be ok just having the regular road maps vs the GPS? Thanks

You can certainly do it with just road maps - that's how people got around Europe for years before GPS was available. Having a GPS will make your life easier, though. To save on the cost of purchasing the GPS we borrowed one from a friend and paid to load the European maps on that. Chances are you will end up with a rental car that has GPS anyway, though. That's what has happened to us on 80-90% of our visits.

For what it is worth, we have always rented from Sixt and had good cars and excellent service. I would note, however, that I have never had a GPS standard in a rental - it always costs extra. The idea of bringing a pre-loaded one from the US is good.

Just a reminder -- Vienna has excellent transportation so you might want to wait to rent thr car until you are leaving the city. K&T Boardinghouse is right next to U-bahn and walking distance to the ring trams

Train vs. car is fairly simple. Driving in Austria is easy once out of the big cities and the cost of a car shared by two people is not that much more than a train. The fantastic things to see in the alps are our of the way and the train service is not always that frequent. The trains are very punctual and if you are one-minute late, the train will be gone but your faithful car will be sitting there waiting for you. If you do decide to rent a car remember you must get an International Driving Permit, they are easy to get for about $10 or 15 from AAA ... getting caught without one get very expensive on the spot.

Regarding a GPS. Buy or borrow one, get a European map card and learn how to use it before you go. For that matter you can also load in destinations before yo leave. The drawbacks to renting a car with a GPS are; 1) yo will have to learn how to use it in a rental car parking lot supported by a manual that will not be written in English and 2) when you park in a large town or a city you can designate your parking place as home and put the unit in your pocket. More than once wee have gotten lost and I had to pull the GPS out, turn it on and have Ms. Garmin lead us back. The GPS should also be backed up with some good paper maps since the GPS is great for telling you exactly where you are but not generally where you are in the large picture.

I would eat the expense and add Switzerland, specifically the Lauterbrunnen valley in the Berner Oberland, it is in a class by itself. I have heard it called, "Just a little piece of Heaven.", so many times by people who seriously meant it. Austria is beautiful but when you try to see all of it, it will start to get a bit repetitious.

This topic has been automatically closed due to a period of inactivity.

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Austria Itinerary questions (Train vs. Car)? - Austria Forum

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Austria Itinerary questions (Train vs. Car)?

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' class=

We've booked our flights into Munich (arrive late morning April 17) so that we could start in the west of Austria (targeting Salzburg and Hallstatt ) and will move our way east to Vienna , where we fly out late morning April 25th. Our expectations were to spend the first 3 days or so visiting western Austria, then spending the balance of time based in Vienna, and time permitting, we'd trying to catch one or two day trips to neighboring areas in Czechia, Slovakia, or even Hungary. We enjoy sight seeing and walking through towns of course, but would love to build some time into our agenda for a couple of memorable (but moderate) hikes, especially if there's a stunning view to be had along the way : )

Questions for the experts:

1. Would you recommend driving or taking the train from western to eastern Austria?

2. Are there any "must see" stops between Salzburg/Hallstatt and Vienna that are easy/convenient to make happen (like Graz for instance)? We'd be open to another night along the way if the case.

3. We know there are plenty of must sees in Vienna. But if we can carve out some time for a day trip or two, what are recommendations from Vienna in Czechia, Slovakia or Hungary that are really worth it and easy to get to? I have friends who have said that Bratislava is nice, but that Brno, Czechia, or Sopron and Gyor, Hungary might be even better. As well, we understand the wine regions east of Vienna are special (we are big wine fans).

Thanks in advance for any feedback!

9 replies to this topic

' class=

1) Take the train

2) With only seven full days just have two bases

travel in austria by car

Hallstatt is best done as a day trip from Salzburg.

(2/3) Graz is not between Salzburg and Vienna, and a detour in your case. You could though include the picturesque Wachau Valley of Danube River (between Melk and Krems), but I would rather want to do that as a day trip from Vienna.

Rail travel in Austria and Germany is easy and connections are seamless. Trains run on time and are safe and efficient with connections planned and timed so that in most cases you just cross the platform, or have a short walk.You will find that Austrian railways website : will give you full information, a journey planner, early booking discounts and also allow you to buy and download your tickets.

OP Don’t let kb put you off. He has very idiosyncratic views but they are very likely to be completely different to yours.

Also be aware that driving is actively discouraged in many European cities, parking in Vienna and Salzburg for example is very tightly restricted and a car is a liability. Most city centres are largely pedestrianised but as the majority of the tourist sites are within a compact area, walking is in any case the best way to explore.

KB is at it again with incorrect and meaningless comments. Trip advisor needs a new reason for removing comments---incorrect and misleading

Many thanks to all of you for taking the time to share your thoughts and suggestions!

“Separately we learned that Kőszeg would also make for a nice day trip“

Why Köszeg? Do you have any family ties to this place?

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travel in austria by car

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The 5 best car rental companies in Austria

Best car rental company for corporate travel, 1. travelperk: perfect for corporate trips.

Travelperk The 5 Best Car Rental Companies In Austria 1024x401

  • Partnerships with leading car rental companies
  • 24/7 customer service with a target 15-second response time
  • Intuitive booking tool and all-in-one platform
  • Available in four languages: English, French, Spanish, German
  • VAT-friendly invoices for VAT reclaim
  • Bonus feature GreenPerk to offset your carbon emissions
  • Paid extra FlexiPerk , enabling passengers to cancel up to two hours before a journey starts and receive at least 80% of their money back
  • A vast number of software integrations

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Start saving money on business travel for your company today!

Best car rental companies for leisure travel, 2. buchbinder: a broad fleet of cars and cost-effective travel solutions.

Buchbinder The 5 Best Car Rental Companies In Austria 1024x445

  • Eco-friendly choices with electric vehicles to keep your carbon footprint low and your sustainability efforts high
  • Tailored individual contracts designed specifically to meet your needs for flexibility and convenience
  • Protected insurance rates in case you find yourself in a self-inflicted road accident
  • Free cancellation and discounts when booking vans or cars

3. Europcar: best for personalized services and cover packages for added peace of mind

Europcar The 5 Best Car Rental Companies In Austria 1024x550

  • Tailored mobility solutions for businesses of all sizes
  • Go green with electric car rentals and save time and money
  • Enjoy the Privilege loyalty program, delivering a 10% discount on rentals of 3+ days , no strings attached
  • Explore a diverse range of vehicles, with competitive rental prices

4. Austria Car Rental: your all-in-one navigator for the perfect ride in Austria

Austria Car Rental The 5 Best Car Rental Companies In Austria 1024x424

  • A treasure trove of vehicles, including Minis, SUVs, Economies, Compacts, and more
  • Secure the best price rates by comparing offers from various rental agencies in Austria for both one-way car rental services and more
  • Partners with well-known car companies, including Hertz, Alamo, Europcar, Sixt, and many more

5. Sixt: enjoy numerous car-sharing options to enhance your travel experience

Sixt The 5 Best Car Rental Companies In Austria 1024x401

  • A vast selection of pick-up locations and drop-off points, daily deals, and car-sharing options enhance your rental experience
  • Personal cars and chauffeurs for executive travel
  • Sixt+ Car Subscription plans for BMWs, Cadillacs, Ford, Mercedes, and Volvo

Get the perfect car rental experience in Austria

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Travel to Austria

an independent travel guide about Austria

5 stunning viewing platforms in Austria accessible by cable car

travel in austria by car

You do not necessarily need hiking boots to enjoy stunning views in Austria. Some stunning viewing platforms are easily reachable by cable car.

Austria boasts a number easy accessible viewing platforms, where you simply board a cable car. To truly appreciate the Alps, you have to get up on the mountains.

1. Dachstein Skywalk

Dachstein Skywalk, Styria, Austria

From Ramsau, in Styria, you can pick up the cable car to the Dachstein massif. You can enjoy the stunning view from 2 spectacular viewing platforms, that take you over the edge. With only an inch of glass, between you and the abyss, these are some of the most breathtaking viewing platforms in Austria. At 2,700 meters (8858 ft.) above sea level, the views of the surrounding valleys and mountains are magnificent. If these viewing platforms are not exciting enough, you can also hitch a ride on the roof of the cable car gondola. You can enjoy the view on your way up or down the 900 meters, between the mountain and the valley. For more info see: Dachstein Gletscherbahn

2. Kitzsteinhorn

Kitzsteinhorn, Salzburgerland, Austria

The Kitzsteinhorn is a 3,203 m high mountain in the state of Salzburg , more or less in the middle of Austria. The trip to the top takes about 30-40 minutes and three separate cable cars. The rewards are several eateries and bars, a wide range of pistes, and non-less than spectacular views from the +3,000 m viewing platforms. There are several platforms and restaurants etc. on the mountain. For more info see: Gletscherbahnen Kaprun


3. nordkette by innsbruck.

Nordkettebahn, Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria

Innsbruck has made it easy for visitors to enjoy the view of the city and its surroundings. Right outside the old city center, you can pick up the Hungerburgbahn (a hybrid funicular railway), that takes you to the Nordkette Cable Car . The gondolas take you either up to Seegrube, at an altitude of 1,905 m / 6,250 ft, or the Hafelekar at 2,256 m / 7,401 ft, with mesmerizing views. Both at Seegrube and Hafelekar you can find restaurants. Going all the way to the top takes about 20 minutes.

4. Zugspitze

Zugzpitze, Tyrol, Austria

Austria and Germany (the country’s highest mountain) share the Zugspitze mountain. From the Austrian side, you can reach the viewing platforms at 2,962 meters with the Tiroler Zugspitzbahn cable car. The gondola cabin with a capacity of 100 people and rides an impressive 1,725 vertical meters from valley to peak, in just 10 minutes. At this altitude, you can expect an incredible view. On clear days, Zugspitze Peak will leave you breathless as you take in amazing 360-degree views as far as the Grossglockner (the highest mountain in Austria with 3,798 m / 12,461 ft), Piz Bernina (Switzerland) or the Television Tower in Munich, Germany.

Karren, Vorarlberg, Austria

In Vorarlberg, in the far west of Austria, the Dornbirner Seilbahn takes you to the Karren at 976 meters (3,202 ft) above sea level. The view from the platform, which almost seems to hang in the air, is indescribable. The view includes the eastern part of Lake Constance, Austria, Switzerland at the horizon, and across the lake, Germany. The restaurant next to the cable car station on Karren is open all day as well as evening. Hence, you can enjoy a snack after a hike, a hearty lunch, or a nice evening dinner on the mountain. The image on top of this page shows the view from the platform at Karren.

Astonishing viewing platforms, Karren, Vorarlberg, Austria

Austria boasts a number easy accessible viewing platforms, where you simply board a cable car. To truly appreciate the Alps, you have to get up on the mountains. 1. Dachstein Skywalk From Ramsau, in Styria, you can pick up the cable car to the Dachstein massif. You can enjoy the stunning view from 2 spectacular […]

travel in austria by car

  • Wintersports

Ski resorts near Vienna accessible by train

Are you looking for some excellent ski resorts near Vienna that you can easily access by train? We’ve got you covered! Check out these fantastic ski destinations that offer excellent family-friendly slopes and unforgettable skiing experiences. Hop on a train and get ready for an adventure. Stuhleck ski resort – Spital am Semmering At Stuhleck in […]

Sking on the Planai, Schladming, Styria, Austria.

Schladming: A Ski Destination with a World Cup Flair

The historic small town in the Styria region of Austria, with about 4500 inhabitants, is surrounded by the majestic Dachstein mountains. The winter season usually starts at the beginning of December and runs until the beginning of April. Skiing day and night Schladming offers 123 km of slopes spread over four interconnected ski areas: Planai, […]

Railjet from the Austrian State Railway in a winterlandscape

6 cool ski resorts reachable by train in Austria

Austria’s airports are well-connected to major cities and central train stations. Therefore, we have put together a list of excellent ski resorts that are easily reachable by train, including some info on how to get there from the airport. Moreover, many ski resorts offer inexpensive or free transfers to and from the nearest train station […]

Vienna Residence Orchestra

Vienna Residence Orchestra – Classics accompanied by opera and ballet

It is impossible to visit Vienna without experiencing one of the city’s most famous attractions: classical music. The choice of venues and performers is enormous, and it wasn’t easy to decide where to go, but we had a personal recommendation for The Vienna Residence Orchestra. Hence, we bought the tickets and enjoyed a lovely, intimate […]

Hking in Southern Styria

Hiking among the vineyards in Southern Styria

Hiking in wine regions has become popular in Austria. Many people enjoy the rolling hills and soft landscape as a contrast to the fantastic opportunities for alpine hiking in the Alps. We, therefore, ventured out on a 5.8 km (3.6 mi) long hike in southern Styria through vineyards, forest groves, and open farm landscapes. Nature […]


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Written by Ana Lucia Marcos

travel in austria by car

Ana Lucia has traveled the world, but fell completely in love with Austria. She loves the dramatic mountain landscape, the phototastiske lakes and the captivating castles. Moreover, a real Wienerschnitzel is always on the menu when she explores the alpine country.

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Suvs also dominate, with the addition of three new categories.

travel in austria by car

ORLANDO, Fla. (Apr. 4, 2024) – AAA awards the 2023 All Electric Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4MATIC SUV with the overall top score for the 2024 Car Guide. This year, all category winners are either electric, plug-in electric hybrids or hybrids. Additionally, the SUV category was divided into small, midsize, and large due to popularity among car buyers.   

“SUVs are a popular choice since they are a great option for families and offer loads of additional compartments for storage,” said Megan McKernan, the Automotive Research Center manager at AAA. “To help distinguish between the overwhelming number of options available, we introduced new SUV categories to make the decision process easier for consumers.”

Category Winners  

E ach of the AAA Car Guide winners has numerous ADAS safety features and performance capabilities. Announced today, the 2 023 EV Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4MATIC SUV earned the top score overall, best large SUV, and best car over $60k. Researchers noted that the Mercedes-Benz has a very comfortable ride, a quiet cabin, and excellent headlight coverage. 

The Ford F-150 Lightning ranks 1st in the pickup category. With its cutting-edge design, advanced technology, and energy efficiency, US drivers now can have everything they know and love about an F-150, designed for the electrified lifestyle. Researchers noted that the Ford F-150 Lightning has plenty of interior room for passengers and lots of standard ADAS features.   

Highest Scoring Ranked by Category:

McKernan further added, “Our research is tailored to guide consumers in making informed decisions when purchasing a new vehicle. The 2024 AAA Car Guide is here to help consumers navigate this evolving automotive marketplace by ranking and rating the newest vehicles.”

The AAA Car Guide includes comprehensive reviews of each vehicle based on 13 criteria, including the number of ADAS safety features, fuel efficiency, emissions, braking, handling, ride quality, and acceleration. These vehicles are tested, scored, and placed in one of seven vehicle type categories by the Automotive Research Center (ARC) of the Automobile Club of Southern California.    

AAA Efforts in EV Education   

If you’re an EV owner or someone interested in making the switch or trying a rental, AAA has got you covered with a range of resources and services. Since its establishment, AAA has been dedicated to advocating and educating people on mobility topics, and electric vehicles (EVs) are no exception. Don’t miss out!  

  • EV 101: Online resource for anyone interested in going electric, whether shopping for new OR used.   
  • #AdultingwithAAA: Car Care Electric Vehicles – Low Maintenance – No Problem: AAA series for young adults providing helpful tips, advice and life hacks on all things “#Adulting”.  
  • Mobile EV Charging Pilot & AAA EV Member Benefits: Available in select cities, this service is now part of our roadside assistance and will get EV owners back on the go if they run out of charge. That’s just one of the many benefits and services we offer our EV members.  
  • EV Research : AAA in-house experts conduct research about consumer sentiment around EVs and their functionality.  
  • AAA Car Guide Website: For those in the market for newer used EVs, the online resources also contain links to the two prior editions in 2022 and 2023.  

AAA also provides consumers with other resources like the Y our Driving Costs calculator, estimates of the cost to own a vehicle based on financing that vehicle, owning and driving it for five years, and trading in that vehicle at the end of those five years.   

The 2023 AAA Your Driving Cost analysis revealed that EVs have the least expense associated with annual ownership costs in the categories of maintenance, repair and tire costs, fuel and licenses, registration and taxes. Check back in August for the 2024 analysis.

Overall w inners, detailed evaluation criteria, vehicle reviews, and an in-depth analysis of the ADAS technology can be found at .   

About AAA  

Started in 1902 by automotive enthusiasts who wanted to chart a path for better roads in America and advocate for safe mobility, AAA has transformed into one of North America’s largest membership organizations. Today, AAA provides roadside assistance, travel, discounts, financial and insurance services to enhance the life journey of over 64 million members across North America, including over 57 million in the United States. To learn more about all AAA offers or become a member visit .  

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Vote for your favorite rental car company!

USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice Awards

When it comes to hitting the road, whether for business or pleasure, the choice of rental car company can make all the difference. With a plethora of options available, each boasting unique benefits and services, how do you decide which to choose? From the ease of booking to the quality of customer service, and the condition of the vehicle itself, every aspect counts. With that in mind, an expert panel has nominated their top picks for the best rental car companies. Which rental car company do you favor? Vote once per day until voting ends on Monday, May 6 at noon ET. We'll announce the 10 winners on Wednesday, May 15.  Read the official  Readers' Choice rules .

When it comes to hitting the road, whether for business or pleasure, the choice of rental car company can make all the difference. With a plethora of options available, each boasting unique benefits and services, how do...   Read More

Best Rental Car Company Nominees

ACE Rent A Car

Photo courtesy of mixetto / E+ Getty Images

ACE Rent A Car

Founded in 1966, the Indianapolis-based ACE Rent A Car began their operations with just 10 Volkswagens. Today, the company has expanded far beyond the Hoosier State, with several hundred outposts currently operating in close to 50 different countries.

Alamo Rent A Car

Photo courtesy of Hispanolistic / E+ Getty Images

Alamo Rent A Car

In business for half a century, Alamo Rent A Car now serves four different continents and the Caribbean, and it even holds the distinction of being the first rental car company to roll out an online booking and check-in system.


Photo courtesy of Ocskaymark / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Stemming from humble origins with a three-car fleet in 1946, Avis ballooned into the second-largest vehicle rental company in the United States less than a decade later. Today, the enterprise has expanded far beyond North America with a presence in more than 150 different nations.


Photo courtesy of Paul Bradbury / OJO Images / Getty Images

For any vacationers in need of a low-cost vehicle, the aptly-named Budget is armed with a large and diverse fleet of cars. Customers can find roughly 2,700 rental locations scattered across more than 120 countries.


Photo courtesy of Dollar

Dollar Car Rental made its California debut as Dollar Rent A Car in the 1960s. In the modern era, this budget-friendly rental service now operates all throughout the United States and multiple other countries, offering a wide variety of cost-conscious options to customers.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Photo courtesy of RossHelen / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Equipped with thousands of locations, Enterprise Rent-A-Car serves as the one of the largest vehicle rental companies in all of the United States. Though rentals are available to any form of customer, the company is popular with consumers in need of a replacement vehicle while theirs is in the shop.

Fox Rent a Car

Photo courtesy of Rostislav_Sedlacek / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Fox Rent a Car

Equipped with a wide fleet of vehicles that spans from family-friendly SUVs to high-speed sports cars, Fox Rent a Car is able to service customers in multiple U.S. states as well as a wide array of countries around the world.


Photo courtesy of Hertz

Operating for more than a century, Hertz has developed into one of the planet's largest car rental companies, equipped with hundreds of thousands of vehicles and multiple rental facilities located on all six inhabited continents. 


Photo courtesy of Prostock-Studio / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Rather than forcing customers to travel to a far-off rental facility, Kyte skirts the process by delivering a vehicle straight to their home while a streamlined app provides updates and instructions along the way.

National Car Rental

Photo courtesy of gehringj / iStock / Getty Images Plus

National Car Rental

While National Car Rental is available to all forms of traveler, the company is particularly popular with frequent fliers due to the Emerald Club. The loyalty membership allows participants to quickly attain their vehicle without many of the typical steps that come with rental agreements.

Payless Car Rental

Photo courtesy of Jacob Wackerhausen / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Payless Car Rental

Operating more than 100 different venues across both the Americas and Europe, with many locations at major airports, Payless Car Rental is a go-to option for those looking for a budget-friendly vehicle for their vacation.

Priceless Car Rental

Photo courtesy of deepblue4you / E+ Getty Images

Priceless Car Rental

Priceless Car Rental has been serving budget-conscious renters since the tail end of the 1990s, offering sedans, vans, trucks, and even RVs for customers embarking on a lengthy road trip.


Photo courtesy of baona / iStock / Getty Images Plus


Rather than purchase new vehicles, Rent-A-Wreck has carved their niche in the industry by obtaining used cars, vans, and trucks — a strategy that's allowed the company to establish a strong presence in both the United States and Scandinavia.


Photo courtesy of SIXT

German rental company SIXT made its debut in the state of Bavaria in 1912, ultimately amassing a diverse portfolio of vehicles and a presence across many major U.S. and European cities.


Photo courtesy of Thrifty

A popular option for budget travelers snagging a vehicle at the airport, Thrifty has amassed a wide range of sedans, SUVs, and trucks since their initial launch in 1958.

About 10Best Readers' Choice Awards

Nominees are submitted by a panel of experts. 10Best editors narrow the field to select the final set of nominees for the Readers’ Choice Awards. Readers can vote once per category, per day. For any questions or comments, please read the FAQ or email USA TODAY 10Best .

The Experts

Allison tibaldi.

Allison Tibaldi

Allison Tibaldi is a travel and food writer based...   Read More

Allison Tibaldi is a travel and food writer based in New York City. She has lived in Rome, Tuscany, Melbourne Australia, Toronto and Los Angeles.  She studied early childhood development in graduate school and firmly believes that travel is the best education.  She writes for numerous publications including CNN, Travel Channel, HGTV, am New York, Emirates Open Skies, Family Traveller and Travel Weekly. 

Allison Tibaldi

Chez Chesak

Chez Chesak

‘Chez’ Chesak is Executive Director of the Outdoor...   Read More

‘Chez’ Chesak is Executive Director of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, an adventure travel writer, board member of the Society of American Travel Writers and 22-year veteran of the outdoor and travel industries. While he’s lived all over the U.S. and traveled to more than 30 countries, he has the most fun when he’s exploring with his wife Sally and two daughters. An avid outdoors person, he’s happiest on a trail, on skis, or nestled into a sleeping bag. Learn more about him and his work at .  

Chez Chesak

Jacky Runice

Jacky Runice

Born in Bucktown when bulletproof was a home...   Read More

Born in Bucktown when bulletproof was a home safety choice and not a coffee order, Jacky Runice has been knocking around Chicago as a professional print, online and broadcast journalist and editor specializing in separating the riff from the raff in culture, entertainment, food, travel and pure unadulterated fun. Jacky is a member of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA). In her best Chicagoese, Jacky asks, "Who has the time or money to blow on hotels, attractions, restaurants, exhibits and activities that blow?"

Jacky Runice

Jamie Davis Smith

Jamie Davis Smith

Jamie is a travel writer who has visited over 50...   Read More

Jamie is a travel writer who has visited over 50 countries, many of them with her children in tow. She loves visiting everything from theme parks to ancient ruins and packs strictly carry-on-only. Jamie can be reached at [email protected].

Jamie Davis Smith

Jenny Peters

Jenny Peters

Jenny Peters – aka Jet Set Jen – is a Los...   Read More

Jenny Peters – aka Jet Set Jen – is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist, editor and party columnist specializing in travel, entertainment, film, food, wine, fashion and the other good things in life. She is a founding/voting member of the Critics Choice Association, who present the Critics’ Choice Awards every January. Her favorite places to be are on the beach in Southern California playing volleyball, scuba diving with the sharks in warm tropical waters or strolling the streets and soaking in the atmosphere of one of the world's great cities (New Orleans and Florence are her favorites).

Jenny Peters

Kyle McCarthy

Kyle McCarthy

Kyle McCarthy is the co-founder and editor of...   Read More

Kyle McCarthy is the co-founder and editor of Family Travel Forum, the trusted resource for family vacation planners since 1996. FTF’s award-winning publications: , America’s Most Popular Family Vacations and  The Family Vacationist  e-newsletter  provide destination reviews, tips and  seasonal roundups  for all aspects of travel. Ms. McCarthy, author of a dozen Frommer’s guidebooks, also contributes to US News, CNN and other publications. She can be found on most social networks @familytravelforum.

Kyle McCarthy

Melanie Reffes

Melanie Reffes

Melanie is an island girl at heart . Born in...   Read More

Melanie is an island girl at heart . Born in Manhattan, she now lives on the sunny island of Montreal and covers  the Caribbean for a variety of publications  including  USA TODAY 10Best, and  A journalist with a boatload of writer awards under her belt, Melanie's affection for the Caribbean started  young when her family vacationed in Puerto Rico.   An avid fan of spicy food,   Melanie enjoys the diversity of Montreal - especially during the warmer months -when she's not en route to the Caribbean. She  holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Toronto. 

Melanie Reffes

Olivia Christine Perez

Olivia Christine Perez

Olivia Christine Perez is an outdoor + travel...   Read More

Olivia Christine Perez is an outdoor + travel wellness expert, author, and the creator of  O. Christine : a travel and wellness platform inspiring thousands of people to travel more and get outdoors for their wellness. Living with an autoimmune disease herself, Olivia helps people find wellness through the outdoors, self-care adventures, and mindful travel experiences. You can follow her work at  and

Olivia Christine Perez

Rob Taylor is the author of  The Road Trip Survival...   Read More

Rob Taylor is the author of  The Road Trip Survival Guide  (being released May 25, 2021) and  the founder of 2TravelDads , the original LGBT Family Travel blog. Focusing on ecotourism and education, 2TravelDads inspires LGBT families (and traditional families also) to go beyond their usual getaways and use travel to learn about and be part of a bigger world. 2TravelDads blazes the way for other two-dad and two-mom families to travel to previously overlooked destinations or places we as gay people would normally avoid. We share the struggles we've faced and the surprising gems and welcomes we've had along the way. Traveling as a family is one thing, traveling as an LGBT family is completely something else.

Rob Taylor

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith, Readers' Choice Awards...   Read More

Catherine Smith, Readers' Choice Awards Production Manager and Social Media Director for USA TODAY 10Best, has a special interest in unique culinary experiences and  off-the-beaten-path adventures. Catherine is the founder of  Her Bags Were Packed  where she focuses on helping  women release emotional baggage through solo travel and self-discovery.

Catherine Smith

Flying cars are coming! Here's how they could change the way you travel.

If you'd told me a few weeks ago that flying cars will change the way we travel, I probably would have laughed at you. 

But when Elon Musk hinted there might be a flying Tesla soon, the internet started buzzing with flying car news. And now people are talking.

“There's absolutely a sense that the time has come,” said aviation industry investment banker Joey Smith at Cassel Salpeter & Co . "Numerous well-funded companies are racing to build a viable production vehicle, and they could take to the skies as early as next year."

Check out   Elliott Confidential , the newsletter the travel industry doesn't want you to read. Each issue is filled with breaking news, deep insights, and exclusive strategies for becoming a better traveler. But don't tell anyone!

What's more, attitudes toward Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) – that's a fancy term for flying cars and other personal flying vehicles – have shifted. A new study suggests Americans, and particularly younger urban consumers, are warming to the idea of flying to their next destination. Even so, the definition of a flying car is a little hard to pin down. I'll explain in a minute.

Don't expect to open your apartment window and see a scene out of a sci-fi movie like "Minority Report" anytime soon. (You know, lanes of flying vehicles lining the sky.) It'll be a slow rollout, but it has the potential to change the way we travel like we haven't seen since the introduction of the jet engine.

'Flying feels different': Here's how air travel has changed recently

Air travel smells worse than ever. Here's how to fix it.

What kind of flying vehicles are out there?

Personal flying vehicles defy simple classification, which may be part of their allure. There are STOLs and VTOLs, quadcopters, octocopters and hexacopters. Some are electric, some are gas-powered. 

Don't be confused by all the acronyms. I think it's OK to just call them flying cars.

Right now, the ones generating the most noise are electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles (eVTOLs). These aircraft take off and land like a helicopter. For example, Joby's air taxi service in Manhattan plans to use its eVTOL , which looks like an oversized drone, to shuttle passengers from New York to JFK Airport next year.

My categorization is a little unconventional, but here's how I see it: There are really just two types of flying cars. The first are cars that can drive on the road and fly, just like the ones in "Back to the Future." 

One of the most high-profile of these is the Model A being developed by Alef Aeronautics . It's an eVTOL that looks like a sports car. But once it takes off, the passenger cabin pivots and the vehicle flies sideways, which looks a little jarring but very cool.

The second type of flying vehicle doesn't even bother with the road. For example, the Lilium Jet is both a fixed-wing aircraft and an eVTOL. But you won't see it on the highway unless it's making an emergency landing – so technically, it's not a flying car.

Like I said, these flying vehicles aren't easy to categorize. And it hasn't really mattered until now because you could only find them in aviation magazines and science fiction movies. But now there are serious discussions about flying cars, and developers have started taking orders. The future is almost here.

Flying cars aren't cleared for takeoff – yet

Don't get too excited. A few things still have to be worked out, say experts. For example, eVTOL manufacturers have struggled with several challenges. It's not just how to design lightweight aircraft made from the right composite materials and with adequate battery life. It's also piloting the flying car. Issues such as autonomous flight capability and pilot training have proven to be big barriers. 

There are also regulatory roadblocks. The Federal Aviation Administration, which has oversight of these new vehicles, has adopted a "crawl-walk-run" approach. And it's still in "crawl" mode. Last year, it laid down some rules for flying cars. Among them: They have to use existing heliports and they must have a human pilot. But there are no special traffic lanes in the sky for these vehicles yet.

The UK is also preparing for flying cars. In March, the government said it envisioned eVTOLs taking to the skies within four years . 

Observers are skeptical of the proposed timeline. Charles Leocha, president of the consumer group Travelers United , has worked on regulations for low-level unmanned aerial vehicles for the last decade. He said the wheels are turning slowly.

“The FAA is at least a decade away from allowing or approving any kind of flying car," he added.

All of that has made people reluctant to order a flying car – if they can afford one. Most vehicles can range from $150,000 to as much as $10 million.

"Prospective buyers are likely to hold off until regulatory barriers are dismantled," said Francesco Cerroni, a mobility expert at the design firm Buro Happold .

Pay less to fly: New strategies for finding cheap airfares now

Air travel may be about to get better. Here's what it means for your next flight.

Where to find personal flying vehicles now

If you want to see a flying vehicle for yourself, here's where to find them (outside of the movie theater):

  • Lift Aircraft , which manufactures a single-seat eVTOL called Hexa, is offering test flights on its single-seat Hexas this spring. It's scheduled to be in Lakeland Linder International Airport in Florida in April and Austin in May.
  • Early next year, you'll be able to hail an air taxi from Abu Dhabi and Dubai on a four-passenger Midnight aircraft. The eVTOL, operated by UAE-based Falcon Aviation , will cover the 81-mile trip in just 30 minutes. By road, the drive can take a few hours in traffic.
  • There's even a flying car driving school. Netherlands auto manufacturer PAL-V will show you the ins and outs of flying a car. They even have a flying car showroom in Munich where you can buy your own gyroplane/car combination. (It'll cost you about $550,000.)

Bottom line: Flying cars remain rare. But change is on the horizon.

How flying cars could change the way we travel

High prices and continued doubts about the viability of zipping around town like George Jetson haven't stopped people from thinking about the future. Experts seem to agree that safe VTOLs with FAA approval could change travel forever.

"It would reduce congestion by removing some traffic on the road and create a new aviation sector, with new jobs," said Raj Rajkumar, professor of computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

Flying cars could dramatically cut the drive time between destinations typically served by short-haul commercial flights. So instead of catching a shuttle flight from Washington to New York, you'd just fly there in your own car in a fraction of the time it used to take to drive.

But that's just the beginning. As these vehicles become faster and more affordable, they hold the promise of competing with commercial aviation. Imagine flying your family car from the suburbs of an East Coast city to Florida for your next vacation in less time than it would take you to go to the airport, get through security, wait for your departure, fly, land, collect your luggage and rent an earthbound car?

The thought of ditching airlines, with their awful customer service and addictive loyalty programs, may be the greatest promise of the AAV revolution.

If you'd asked me a few weeks ago if such a future was possible, I would have been very skeptical. Now, I'm just a little skeptical.

This is the second of a two-part series on the future of air travel .

Christopher Elliott  is an author, consumer advocate, and journalist. He founded  Elliott Advocacy , a nonprofit organization that helps solve consumer problems. He publishes  Elliott Confidential , a travel newsletter, and the  Elliott Report , a news site about customer service. If you need help with a consumer problem, you can  reach him here  or email him at  [email protected] .

A major west-side road is getting a face-lift, but the travel lanes won’t go on a diet

The road that divides fairpark and rose park has seen 139 crashes and two pedestrian deaths in the past five years. new plans would preserve the corridor’s two lanes in each direction..

(Salt Lake City) A screenshot of a video showing how 600 North could look as the city presses forward on improving the corridor for different types of travel.

Salt Lake City is scrapping a proposal to cut down car lanes on a major west-side road.

Initially, the city proposed reducing the travel lanes along 600-700 North from two to one in each direction, but walked back the concept after some residents said in a survey and meetings that they still often get behind the wheel to get around.

New plans for the stretch that runs from Redwood Road to 800 West were released last week and call for taking advantage of the corridor’s width.

“We’ve used that extra space to create a design that adds high-quality infrastructure improvements like bike lanes and wider sidewalks that better support people who walk and bike while maintaining existing travel lanes for drivers,” city transportation engineer Kyle Cook said in a news release. “It’s not every day that we can do almost everything the community is asking for on a road project, but we have enough room to build the best of all options.”

The road’s redesign comes as the city works to improve alternate transportation options like biking and walking and reconnect the east and west sides. When it’s built, it will join a pedestrian bridge over the train tracks at 300 North and a future public art trail along 400 South as an upgraded west-side corridor.

Besides the two travel lanes in each direction along 600-700 North, the new plans show bike paths separated from the road, new landscaping and enhanced crosswalks with flashing lights. The proposal also calls for replacing aging pavement on the road and preserving on-street parking spaces.

In hopes of limiting crashes and slowing down cars on a road that currently sees at least 15% of drivers going at least 10 mph over the 35 mph speed limit, the design includes extended curbs and a median.

“I’ve had two kids involved in crashes on that road,” said Rose Park Community Council chair Kevin Parke. “We need to slow down that traffic.”

Fears about safety on the road are not unfounded. In the past five years, there have been 139 crashes and two fatal collisions with pedestrians along the busy street.

Respondents to a 2023 city survey largely agreed with Parke. Safety along the road and speeding were the most persistent concerns residents shared.

Those who responded to the survey also said they wanted additional trees, landscaping, better bike routes, upgraded sidewalks, traffic-calming measures and more lighting.

The city’s project team will be refining the design for the rest of the year. Construction is slated to begin next year.

While the city-led project won’t improve access across Interstate 15, a state-led proposal to widen the freeway does include pedestrian- and bike-friendly upgrades to the oft-maligned 600 North overpass .


Donate to the newsroom now. The Salt Lake Tribune, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity and contributions are tax deductible


Utah and slc wanted to punch a hole through i-15. west-siders fought back., a 9 line for 400 south salt lake city is building one and wants it to be a ‘beacon of connection.’, new 300 north pedestrian bridge opens, connecting salt lake city’s east and west sides, this utah hospital will close after state licensers brought ‘one of the strictest sanctions’ against it, bagley cartoon: animal house, mark pope at kentucky here’s why it would make sense, and why it wouldn’t., gordon monson: look out, latter-day saints, patrick kearon is a hard-charging, hard-not-to-like apostle, utah girl, 6, killed in possible drowsy-driving crash with semitruck, utah could look to these countries to outlaw “coercive control” in intimate relationships, featured local savings.


  1. 10 Prettiest Towns In Austria Out Of A Fairy Tale

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  2. Austria Road Trip Itinerary: A Complete Guide to 2 Weeks in Austria

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  3. Austria Car Hire Driving Tips from DriveAway

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  4. Your Guide to Traveling Around Austria with a Rental Car

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  5. Exploring Austria by Car: A 5 Day Itinerary

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  6. Driving in Austria

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  1. Exploring Austria's Captivating Beauty: Must-See Destinations


  3. 10 Best Austria Locations

  4. Crossing into AUSTRIA from HUNGARY. Crossing The Border By Car

  5. Driving from Pinggau to Aspang-Markt, via Zöbern, Lower Austria

  6. Austria


  1. Austria by Car Start Your Road Trip to the Alps Here

    In general, Austrian traffic regulations and traffic signals are similar to those enforced in other European countries. It is approximately 1,035 km (647 mi) from the UK to the Austrian border, and the drive takes between 10 and 11 hours. Please be aware that you need a "vignette" toll sticker to drive on Austria's motorways and expressways.

  2. The Perfect 10 Day Austria Road Trip Itinerary

    Renting a car and hitting the road in Austria gives you so much freedom to pick and choose which places you get to visit. No matter where you drive, you will find yourself surrounded by incredible landscapes the whole time, without even needing to leave the car. ... The peak travel season is the summer months of July and August when the ...

  3. Exploring Austria by Car: A 5 Day Itinerary

    Explore the city of Salzburg: After returning from the salt mines head to The Salzburg city center. Salzburg is actually much smaller than I expected and can be explored very easily by foot. The downtown area is strictly a pedestrian area so you will either need to park your car at your hotel or along the street.

  4. Austria Road Trip: The Best Itinerary, Map & Tips

    Fodor's Vienna and the Best of Austria. DK Eyewitness Austria. Austria Road Trip Itinerary. Vienna - Graz - Hallstatt - Salzburg - Zell am See - Mayrhofen - Innsbruck. Distance 615km. Duration 10-14 days. Drive Time 9 hours. How to use this map - Use your fingers (or computer mouse) to zoom in and out.

  5. Austria Road Trip Itinerary: A Complete Guide to 2 Weeks in Austria

    Itinerary Overview. 1 Night in a Thermal Spa Hotel. 2 Nights in Gamlitz, South Styria (or Wachau Valley, Lower Austria) 2 Nights in Filzmoos, Salzburg. 2 Nights in Matrei in Osttirol, East Tyrol. 2 Nights in Mayrhofen ,Tyrol. 2 Nights in Lech am Arlberg, Vorarlberg. 2 Nights in Brandnertal, Vorarlberg.

  6. Road Trip through Austria: The Best Travel Itinerary for 2-4 Weeks

    1. Austria Travel Itinerary: Each of the Stops on our Road Trip. Something to note: Our route starts in Vienna but it is a round trip so you can start at any point you wish. So, if you enter from Germany, for example, then you could easily start in Salzburg or Tyrol. Vienna.

  7. Best road trips in Austria

    Whether you drive a sports car, a camper van or a Tesla, here are the seven best road trips in Austria. Gerlos Pass Best for bird's eye views. Königsleiten to Wald im Pinzgau - 18km (11 miles) One of Austria's most scenic high mountain roads, the Gerlos Pass climbs through epic alpine valley scenery on the Salzburg and Tyrol border. At the ...

  8. Getting around in Austria

    Rail travel within Austria is fast, comfortable, reasonably priced and reliable, ... Car. The road network in Austria is very good and the roadside scenery can be epic. Motorways operate on a toll system, and vehicles are required to display a toll sticker known as a vignette. Vignettes can be bought to cover 10 days (€9.50), two months (€ ...

  9. How to Plan the Perfect Road Trip in Austria

    2. A Week in Austria - Road Trip Itinerary. Day 1: Overnight Stay in Vienna. Day 2: Drive Towards Salzburg and Stay Overnight. Day 3: Salzburg - Zell am See. Day 4: Zell am See - Hallstatt - Schladming. Day 5: Schladming - Wörthersee. Day 6: Heading to Graz for Another Night. Day 7: Return to Vienna.

  10. Epic Austria Road Trip: 7, 10, 14 Days In Austria [2024]

    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.

  11. Driving in Austria

    Austria. Austria is a beautiful mountainous country located in the heart of Europe. The country is moderately small so driving a car is a practical way to explore its beautiful natural sights and cosy villages. Austria is known for its well-working train network but exploring the country by car gives more freedom.

  12. Your Trip to Austria: Getting There & Around

    Enjoy Austrian hospitality and award-winning service on board. Fly from numerous cities around the world non-stop to Vienna with Austrian Airlines. Austrian Airlines is Austria's largest carrier and operates a global route network of around 130 destinations and 220 flights per day. 305 million passengers have used the airline since 1957.

  13. Best places to visit in Austria

    Here you get the best of both, with a space-age funicular designed by Zaha Hadid winging you up to the Alpine heights of 7657ft (2334m) Hafelekar in mere minutes. Innsbruck is perhaps unique in the fact you can spend the morning carving powder, hiking or dashing downhill on a mountain bike, and the afternoon with a serious hit of culture.

  14. 20+ Austria Travel Tips for First Timers & Must Knows Before You Go

    23. Bring cash. While many more places accept card payments these days in Austria, paying with cash is often still the norm, especially for smaller purchases, so having cash is always a good idea, preferably in smaller denominations like 50 euro bills or smaller. 24. Prepare to pay for public bathrooms.

  15. Advice for driving in Austria

    Visitors must be aged 18 or over and hold a full, valid driving licence to legally drive in Austria. Riders of motorcycles up to 125cc must be aged 16 or over, while moped (not exceeding 50cc) riders must be aged 15 or over. Driving licences issued in EU and EEA countries are accepted. International driving permits are recognised, but not required.

  16. Your Guide To Renting A Car In Austria

    Austria is not the cheapest country in Europe for renting a car, but there are several ways to reduce the costs, such as booking early, picking up a car at the airport, traveling for multiple days instead of just one, and picking a smaller vehicle.; Austria gets relatively fewer tourists in the spring and autumn months which also brings the rental car prices down — why not visit the country ...

  17. Getting Around in Austria

    The Eurail Austria Youth Pass is available for second-class travel, and can be sold to travelers who are 25 years old or younger on their first day of travel. Charges are $105 for 3 days in 1 month; $119 for 4 days in 1 month; $135 for 5 days in 1 month; $149 for 6 days in 1 month; $165 for 7 days in 1 month; and $179 for 8 days in 1 month.

  18. 10 Best Car Rentals in Austria in 2024 [For all Budgets!]

    Fox Autorent - Best for budget car rental in Austria. 3. Dryyve - Best for car rental at Vienna Airport. 4. Mega Drive - Offers some great car rental deals. 5. WheeGo - Another top pick for low-cost Austria car rentals. 6. Europcar - Great for car rental in Salzburg and Innsbruck.

  19. train versus car for Austria

    07/14/14 07:10 PM. 11294 posts. If you're renting in Austria and want to drive into Slovenia, then drop the car in Slovenia: -Make sure you are permitted to drive the car in Slovenia. -Double-check the drop charge for returning the car in a different country. On this forum, we've seen figures ranging from €100 to €500.

  20. Austria Itinerary questions (Train vs. Car)?

    Greetings Experts - My wife, son (18) and I are planning a trip to Austria from April 17 - 25 and would love some ideas.. We've booked our flights into Munich (arrive late morning April 17) so that we could start in the west of Austria (targeting Salzburg and Hallstatt) and will move our way east to Vienna, where we fly out late morning April 25th.Our expectations were to spend the first 3 ...

  21. The 5 best car rental companies in Austria

    Partners with well-known car companies, including Hertz, Alamo, Europcar, Sixt, and many more. The price for renting a five person car for a pick-up date in mid-October from Vienna Airport starts at $76.51. 5. Sixt: enjoy numerous car-sharing options to enhance your travel experience.

  22. 5 stunning viewing platforms in Austria accessible by cable car

    The Kitzsteinhorn is a 3,203 m high mountain in the state of Salzburg, more or less in the middle of Austria.The trip to the top takes about 30-40 minutes and three separate cable cars. The rewards are several eateries and bars, a wide range of pistes, and non-less than spectacular views from the +3,000 m viewing platforms.

  23. 2024 AAA Car Guide

    ORLANDO, Fla. (Apr. 4, 2024) - AAA awards the 2023 All Electric Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4MATIC SUV with the overall top score for the 2024 Car Guide. This year, all category winners are either electric, plug-in electric hybrids or hybrids. Additionally, the SUV category was divided into small, midsize, and large due to popularity among car ...

  24. Can you drive during a solar eclipse? How to stay safe on the road

    Keep your vehicle's headlights on. Put the sun visor down to block your view of the sun. Don't wear eclipse glasses while driving. Don't try to photograph or video the eclipse while driving ...

  25. This solo traveler drove from London to Lagos in a tiny car

    CNN —. On January 24, content creator Pelumi Nubi, who grew up in London, set off on a solo drive from the UK capital to Lagos, Nigeria in her beloved purple Peugeot 107. Over two months and a ...

  26. What is the Best Rental Car Company for 2024?

    Avis. Stemming from humble origins with a three-car fleet in 1946, Avis ballooned into the second-largest vehicle rental company in the United States less than a decade later. Today, the enterprise has expanded far beyond North America with a presence in more than 150 different nations. VOTE NOW READ MORE. Advertisement.

  27. Explore Global Getaways

    Global escapes pricing is offered on flights in Economy & Premium Economy class only. Travel has to originate in the US. Promo is valid on bookings April 3, 2024-April 30, 2024 for travel on September 1, 2024-November 30, 2024. Each award is subject to taxes and carrier-imposed fees starting from $5.60 per person, each way.

  28. How flying cars could change the way we travel

    Early next year, you'll be able to hail an air taxi from Abu Dhabi and Dubai on a four-passenger Midnight aircraft. The eVTOL, operated by UAE-based Falcon Aviation, will cover the 81-mile trip in ...

  29. A major west-side road is getting a face-lift, but the travel lanes won

    Salt Lake City is scrapping a proposal to cut down car lanes on a major west-side road. Initially, the city proposed reducing the travel lanes along 600-700 North from two to one in each direction ...