Please sign in to post.

Three day road tour in Austria after a Vienna stay.

We are two first-time travelers heading to Austria in late summer, looking for road trip advice. After a 4 day stay in Vienna , our goal is to rent a car for 3 days, drive some beautiful scenic routes in Austria and find some nice smaller towns to visit or for overnight stays along the route. Finding a good castle or two is on our list. We will return the car to Vienna, then take a train to Budapest. Are we able to make good use of a 3 day car rental? Salzburg will be a separate trip in the future.

Posted by
8239 posts

There are two ways you can go on a 3 day excursion trip.

You could stay outside of Vienna--visiting cities in close proximity up and down the river to cities like Melk or Linz or Bratislava, Slovakia.

Or, you could go for it and head for the incredible Austrian Alps.
If you choose to "go for it," I'd tell you to take a train to Salzburg where you could pickup a rental car. You could take in Berchesgarden close by and then head south on the autobahn toward The Alps.

My favorite drive of all times is south of Zell-am-See. The Grossglockner High Alpine Road goes over the second highest mountain peak in Europe, and it's the most breathtaking scenery I've ever seen. You end up in Lienz, Austria, and there are some great hotel resorts there. Turn right, go thru Cortina d' Ampezzo and west where you'll catch a controlled access highway. It'll take you through the Brenner Pass into Innsbruck. It's an easy drive back up to Salzburg.
I would suggest you catch a train from Salzburg to Budapest--bypassing Vienna if possible.
We were in Budapest a year ago, and it's now one of our absolute favorite cities.

Posted by
12040 posts

I just did something similar, but I mine was a 6 day driving tour. I haven't finished it yet, but the initial summary is in the "Trip Report" section.

Correction, Grossglockner is the highest mountain in Austria and the eastern Alps. Not even close to being Europe's second highest peak, though. But driving the high Alpine road is an amazing experience, even in less than perfect weather.

Posted by
703 posts

Susan, I would second the idea of driving via Berchtesgaden area ( lots to see, beautiful scenery in the general area) and perhaps look at visiting the Hohenwerfen castle ( we did a tour and enjoyed it) we did not get to do the road south of Zell, but did the Rossfeld road, near Berchtesgaden.
Austria and the German area around Berchtesgaden has been a real highlight of our trip thus far.

Posted by
10 posts

Thank you David, Tom and Glennlorrainer! We are now planning on 6 days of car travel. And Tom, your trip reports are helping us decide on a few locations as well. Susan