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Austria Itinerary - Suggestions Appreciated

Hello All!

Planning a trip to Austria for my wife's birthday. Based on a number of RS posts/recommendations I have the following early draft in mind.

  • When: Early/Mid September
  • Transportation considerations - Trains and Buses. Not planning to drive but will reconsider this option based on recommendations
  • Enjoy scenic/outdoor activities mixed in with some museum visits. Also fond of exploring small towns and villages for "local" experience
  • Walking , biking, moderate hiking
  • Able to add up to 4 additional days to expand this itinerary

Day 1 - Vienna

Day 2 - Train/Bike day trip Melk to Krems and return to Vienna

Day 3 - Vienna

Day 4 - Train to St. Gilgen and ferry to St. Wolfgang - I've seen posts that say this is a day trip and others that recommend staying at St. Wolfgang and explore the lake area for 1-3 days using the local ferry. Thoughts?

Day 5 - 7 (Assuming St. Wolfgang is a 1 day trip) - Train to Salzburg ( must include a Sound of Music tour for my wife)

Day 8 - Return to Vienna (assuming this is the best airport to depart from)


Is Vienna the best airport to arrive to and depart from (convenience and cost)?

What other towns/cities would you consider a "must" to visit (perhaps Innsbruck)?

Am I planning enough days in Vienna and Salzburg?

St. Wolfgang - Day Trip or stay over for 2-3 days?

Make lodging reservations in advance?

As you can see I still have to work out the details for each location so feel free to include some of your favorite places to visit.


Posted by
16479 posts

Is Vienna the best airport to arrive to and depart from (convenience and cost)?

Only you can answer that when you have checked the schedules and prices. Certainly look at flying home from Munich if you end up in Salzburg for the end of the trip.

Posted by
6854 posts

Fly into Vienna. Fly out of Munich--after a 2 hr. train ride from Salzburg.

Vienna is a 4 day town for me. When in Austria, I always take in The Alps in Tirol--centered in the Innsbruck area. It's best done by rental car as we like to get up on the mountain side and visit village to village.
You probably would do best to make room reservations in the big cities, and Salzburg. If you have a tablet or some way to communicate, reservations can be made on the fly. is where we stay in Vienna for the last 20 years. Large and spotless rooms 5 minutes from the Ring. The underground entrance is 50' away.

Posted by
4364 posts

Since you're able to add some additional days, I'll share an itinerary we did in 2016. All of the transportation was easy. The boat ride from St. Gilgen to arrive at St. Wolfgang by boat was beautiful.

Fly into Munich (we had been here previously) - 2 nights
Train to Mittenwald - 2 nights
Train to Salzburg - (we had been previously & we stayed 4 nights)
Bus to St. Gilgen & Boat to St. Wolfgang - 2 nights
Train to Melk - 1 night
Boat to Krems & Train to Vienna - (we had been previously & we stayed 5 nights)
Fly home from Vienna

At St. Wolfgang, we stayed at Cortisen am See which is a very relaxing boutique hotel. No children are allowed, and I think they had a spa. It's on the lake.

At Salzburg, we stayed at Weisse Taube (White Dove) - great location and friendly staff. Consider buying the Salzburg Card for lots of nice activities.

Mittenwald had been recommended by a fellow Travel Forum contributor. It's a charming town with nice hikes, a wonderful violin/ community history museum, a gondola, etc.

Posted by
837 posts

I suggest you add one day just for Vienna (as Day 2) to recover from jet lag.

Don't think you have time for Tirol unless you have a car. Focus on Salzburgerland.

Depending on your stamina, less is more. Transitioning from one place to another with luggage is a pain in the neck.