Austria,  Destinations,  Europe

How to Plan the Perfect Road Trip in Austria

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

Austria, 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

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Hallstatt viewpoint from across the lake
Austria Basic Facts
💵 Currency: EUR
👧 Language: German (Austrian)
⚡ Voltage: 230 V
🕥 Time Zone: GMT+2
🌆 Capital: Vienna

Driving in Austria – Things You Need to Know

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

How to Get Around Austria

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 the 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 Austria 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
Credit: Google Maps – 4 Days Austria Road Trip Map

Day 1: Vienna

Where to Stay
steigenberger hotel in vienna
Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof Vienna
  • 5 ***** Hotel
  • Amazing Location
  • Free WiFi
  • Charming Rooms
  • Sauna & Fitness
  • Terrace

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.

Day 2: Vienna – Hallstatt – Salzburg

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.


Day 3: Salzburg

Where to Stay
salzburg hotel
Boutiquehotel Amadeus
  • 4 **** Hotel
  • Amazing Location
  • Free WiFi
  • Uniquely Furnished Rooms
  • Parking Nearby
  • Terrace

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 one 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.

Day 4: Graz, Styria

Where to Stay
graz hotel
Palaishotel Erzherzog Johann
  • 4 **** Hotel
  • Stunning Location
  • Free WiFi
  • Uniquely Furnished Rooms
  • On-Site Parking
  • Great Breakfast

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

Graz is famous for the 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 an 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.

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
Credit: Google Maps – 7 Days Austria Road Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Overnight Stay in Vienna

Day 2: Drive Towards Salzburg and Stay Overnight

Day 3: Salzburg – Zell am See

Where to Stay
zell am see hotel
Elements Resorts Zell am See
  • 4 **** Hotel
  • Stunning Location
  • Free WiFi
  • Free Parking
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Sauna

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.

Day 4: Zell am See – Hallstatt – Schladming

Where to Stay
schladming hotel
Falkensteiner Hotel Schladming
  • 4 **** Hotel
  • Impressive Location
  • Mountain View
  • Indoor & Outdoor Pool
  • On-Site Parking
  • Great Breakfast

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 and 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

Day 5: Schladming – Wörthersee

Where to Stay
drone shot of wörthersee
Werzers Hotel Pörtschach
  • 4 **** Hotel
  • Seaside Location
  • Great Spa
  • Indoor & Outdoor Pool
  • On-Site Parking
  • Amazing Restaurant

Your drive will lead to you 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

Day 6: Heading to Graz for Another Night

Day 7: Return to Vienna

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
Credit Google Maps – 10 Days in Austrian Alps Road Trip Map

Day 1: Overnight Stay in Vienna

Day 2: Drive Towards Salzburg and Stay Overnight

Day 3: Spend the Night in Zell am See

Day 4: Innsbruck

Where to Stay
innsbruck amazing view
Hotel Innsbruck
  • 4 **** Hotel
  • Great Location
  • Fabulous Spa
  • Indoor & Outdoor Pool
  • Nearby Parking
  • Breakfast

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

Day 6: Klagenfurt am Wörthersee

Day 7: South Styrian Wine Route

Where to Stay
south styrian wine route
Vitalhotel der Parktherme
  • 4 **** Hotel
  • Comfy Rooms
  • Fabulous Spa
  • Free Spa Entry
  • Free Parking
  • Great Breakfast

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

Day 8: Graz, Overnight Stay

Day 9: Graz – Vienna Overnight Stay

Where to Stay in Austria on Road Trips

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.

How Much Time Do I Need for a Road Trip 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 on 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 about 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.

What Is the Best Time For an Austrian Road Trip?

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).

How Much Does a Trip to Austria Cost?

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 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

More Road Trip Itineraries

Conclusion: Road Trip in Austria

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 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?

FAQ: Road Trip in Austria

Is 2 days enough for Austria?

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.

What is the most famous road in Austria?

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

Can you drive in Austria without a vignette?

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.

What is the best way to explore Austria?

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.

How far is it from Vienna to Salzburg?

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.

How far is Tyrol from Vienna?

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.

How long does it take to drive across Austria?

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 in Vienna, Salzburg and Hallstatt.

How to pay toll in Austria?

You can either pay for it online in the Asfinag Mautshop (careful, needs to be done 14 days in advance) or in 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.

How to put Austrian Vignette on the car?

To put 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.

Is driving in Austria easy?

Yes, driving in Austria is quite easy. Roads are in great conditions 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.

What do I need to drive in Austria?

To drive in Austria you need a valid drivers licence, 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

About the Author

Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in the Netherlands. She spends about half of the year traveling to various destinations together 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.

blonde girl pink dress in front of blue door santorini

About the Author

Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in the Netherlands. She spends about half of the year traveling to various destinations together 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.