Create an Epic 2 Days in Salzburg Itinerary

Salzburg in 2 days, best things to do and see in Salzburg

WHAT TO DO IN SALZBURG IN 2 DAYS

Are you planning your Salzburg itinerary and wondering about the best things to do in 2 days in Salzburg? Then this post is for you – here I am sharing my tips for your trip.

Salzburg must be one of the prettiest cities in Europe. I am quite sure after I visited. It is big enough to be home to many beautiful sights and attractions, but not so big that you feel overwhelmed.

The city is about baroque architecture, nice views (including of the gorgeous Eastern Alps), nature, the Salzach River, relaxation, history, the Sound of Music (a movie I had never heard of before my trip), and of course, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost for you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR SALZBURG TRIP

I will tell you about the best places to visit for your 2-day Salzburg itinerary, but first, here are some essential travel tips for you!

Salzburg Card for 48 Hours

The Salzburg Card for 2 days is a great way to explore Salzburg. I did not get one because I traveled with a dog and could not access many museums. However, I researched the Salzburg Card and its benefits.

  • I think that it is totally worth getting one if you want to visit at least two or three museums. 
  • You can also use public transportation for free with the Salzburg Card.

For this itinerary, I will mention if you get free access with the card or not, so you can see whether it makes sense for you. You can click here to find out about the prices and buy one for your Salzburg trip.

How to Get Around Salzburg

  • You can visit most of the places by walking because they are really close to each other. 
  • There might be one or two times when public transportation comes in handy – some attractions are located further away. The good news is that public transportation is good and easy to navigate through.
  • I stayed outside the town center and bought two affordable 24-tickets for 6€ each from the bus driver. If you buy them at the ticket shop, it is only 4€. Salzburg’s public transportation is excellent, so I would definitely prefer that over driving in the city.
  • With your Salzburg Card, public transportation is free. You will probably not need public transportation that often if you stay in the city center.

Walking is the best means of transportation in this city most of the time – just wear comfy shoes.

How to Avoid Crowds in Salzburg

  • Wake up early! The city is popular amongst tourists, and the main places quickly fill up with people. So, for some quiet time, I recommend being in the town center by 8 am (though, of course, it also depends on the weather; in winter, 9 am should be fine, too).
  • Visit in the shoulder season. I visited at the end of September and was lucky because the weather was perfect (around 20 degrees Celsius and sunny), and the crowds were not extreme, but it was still busy. I would definitely not recommend visiting in July or August, though. Also, December is quite busy because of the Christmas markets.

Where to Stay in Salzburg

In general, accommodations in Salzburg are pretty expensive. However, if you stay in the city center you can explore the city when the crowds are gone. Also, it saves you some travel time. 

Staying outside can help you save money – and thanks to the great public transportation system of the city, it is also easy to get around. That is why I stayed outside the city center. And it was fine, too.

Here are the recommendations for Salzburg.

Luxury Hotels in Salzburg

Mid-Range Hotels in Salzburg

Budget Hotels in Salzburg

If you are looking for a more budget-friendly hotel, you have to check out accommodations near the town center.

  • Ibis Budget Salzburg Airport. I stayed at the Ibis Hotel near the airport. It offered good value for money (I also mostly booked it because I wanted to park my car for free). It did not take long to get to the town center via public transportation which is cheap and good. Click here for more info and the best rates.

More Tips For a 2-Day Salzburg Trip

The Salzach River divides the left bank (the old town) from the right bank (the new town), and both areas are great to visit. My itinerary focuses (mainly, but not exclusively) on the old town on day 1 and on the new town on day 2.

Tourist Information Center in Salzburg: Since I have started blogging, I always try to check out tourism information offices and get some hidden gem recommendations that aren’t on the website or personal opinions. It is interesting what information you can get that isn’t necessarily available online. Unfortunately, the people in the tourism office here weren’t amiable, so I did not ask my questions. So, I advise that you stick to this awesome post because I have found the best Salzburg tourist attractions, nevertheless. 

Water Bottle: Bring an empty water bottle, so you can refill it and have good fresh water for free. There are water fountains throughout the city (even at popular spots).

Shoes to Wear in Salzburg: Wear comfortable shoes, especially if you decide to hike the upper area. Though the paths are not challenging, it might be a good idea to wear solid shoes, and as the streets are partly cobblestone streets, high heels are most likely not the best idea either.

PLACES TO VISIT IN 2 DAYS IN SALZBURG

Okay, here are the places to add to your Salzburg itinerary.

Day 1 in Salzburg

Day 1 in Salzburg is all about great views.

Admire the St. Erhard Church From Above

Start your itinerary with a less busy place – St. Erhard Church. The church was initially built as a hospital chapel and later became a church. It has a beautiful interior, yet its views of the church, with the mountains and the city as a backdrop, made me really fall in love.

You can either look at it from the other side of the town (meaning, you cross a bridge and have a lovely view from the distance) or you can enjoy the views OF it by looking at it from above. For this, you do not have to go inside the church. Best views in Salzburg St Erhard KircheImportant Information About St. Erhard Church

  • How to get there from Judengasse: Head to Nonntal. Climb the stairs. There are a few; my guess is around 150 or so and then keep left. If you keep right, you will find a restaurant and, later, the fortress. Head to the very end which takes about 10 minutes. There you can see the view – probably my favorite in all of Salzburg.

Then it is time to head to the next attraction. It is a 10-15-minutes walk away. 

Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress

Hohensalzburg Fortress is one of the biggest and best preserved medieval fortresses in Europe. It sits on a hill, the Festungsberg, and is one of the main attractions in Salzburg. Hohensalzburg Fortress in SalzburgLocated 506 meters above sea level (Salzburg itself is located 424 meters above sea level), it is visible from almost every place in the city. The fortress is open year-round, and you can visit the different rooms (like the princely chambers) and museums.

Important Info About Hohensalzburg Fortress

  • Opening times: depend on the season, but it is open all year. 
  • How to get there: Once you stand in front of the ticket center at “Festungsgasse“, there are two ways to get up. Use the funicular or hike.
  • Hike: From the ticket center, you could also follow the signs and take a 10-minute hike up to get there. 
  • Funicular: You can go to the “Festungsbahn“ funicular station in “Festungsgasse“ and use your Salzburg Card to get up for free. Without a Salzburg Card, you can just buy a ticket (with or without a ticket for the fortress). 
  • Prices start from around 13,30€ for adults (incl. a funicular ride) or 16,60€ for an All-Inclusive Ticket (this gives you access to all of the rooms). If you walk up and get the castle’s entrance ticket only, you pay around 10,30€ (saving you 3€).
  • Free entry with your Salzburg Card.
  • Flying drones at Festung Hohensalzburg are not allowed.

The next, quite unusual, stop is just a few minutes away.

Visit the Cemetery at St. Peters Abbey (Stift St. Peters)

If you are looking for unique things to do, then head to this cemetery – Petersfriedhof.

Cemeteries in Austria are popular tourist attractions. While I still think it is weird, the Austrian tourism boards actually advertise certain cemeteries, so I guess it is fine to visit one. Salzburg best places to seeHowever, whenever I visit a cemetery, I try to be very respectful and quiet. Even if it is a popular tourist spot in Salzburg, I can only advise respecting the place.

The St. Peters Friedhof is a lovely and well-maintained cemetery right in the center of Salzburg. According to some (I don’t feel like I could give a proper judgment on this), it is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world, where many famous people are buried.

Important Info St. Peters Friedhof

  • How to get thereI couldn’t see signs for the cemetery and ended up asking a nice local. Walk toward the Abbey, and there you will find a map hanging. Within a minute, you are at the cemetery.
  • Price: The cemetery is free. There are also catacombs you can visit for is 2€ (free with the Salzburg Card), but I did not enter with a dog.
  • I put my dog Puppygak in his bag for the cemetery and walked him around like that, though I did not see any “no dogs“ signs.

Then it is time for a nice walk. The shortest walk would probably be through the city center but I suggest walking the upper area (along Mönchsberg) and enjoy some incredible views. If you don’t take a break, it should not take more than 30 minutes.

Stroll the Area Around the Museum der Moderne

Before arriving at Museum der Moderne, make sure to enjoy landscapes because it is quite scenic! The area around the Museum der Moderne is a lovely, quiet place. You will forget for a moment that you are in a city because it is so green, lush, and hilly up there. View from Richterhöhe in Salzburg best views
Where to go in Salzburg AustriaAll places are very well signed, and you don’t have to worry about getting lost up in the hills.

Whenever you see the “view“ sign, it is definitely worth it to get to that vantage point (especially if it says it is only 100 or 200 meters) So, plan in some extra time for places “Richterhöhe“ and “Stadtalm.“

Enjoy the View from Museum der Moderne

Some of the best views in Salzburg are from Museum der Moderne. There are actually two locations, but we start with the one with the amazing views. The museum is located at the Mönchsberg and displays art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Due to its location on a hill, you have really nice views over the city. what to see in Salzburg attractionsYou can see the Kapuzinerberg on the other side, the river, and the Domsplatz (Cathedral Square). The views are worth the hike or the lift ticket.

I did not visit the museum because I really do not care about modern art (I just do not get it). However, if you plan to visit the museum, be aware that it is usually closed on Mondays.

There is also a restaurant (with a high price tag), where you could have your lunch/coffee.

INFORMATION

If you get to the museum via the upper area, you can just walk comfortably. However, if you get there via the old town, then you can either hike up or take a lift.

  • How to get there: You can buy a round trip or one-way ticket for the lift.
  • Prices: 2.40 € (3.70€ round trip). 
  • Free with the Salzburg Card (museum including lift).

After the museum, you might want to take the lift down or you just do the downhill hike and you are in the wonderful old town of Salzburg.

Stroll the Shopping Streets and Squares in the Old Town

Lovely, small, windy streets. Even though I “gave up“ shopping, I enjoyed walking the shopping streets in Salzburg, like “Judengasse“ and “Getreidegasse. “Beautiful buildings in Salzburg

Salzburg shopping streets best places to seePersonally, I loved the Getreiedegasse the most. It is just extremely picturesque, though busy at times. 

Many souvenir shops also sell the famous chocolate Mozartkugeln. But of course, you will also find of shops and boutiques.

Also, there are many lovely squares with classy, pastel-colored buildings, which were so pretty to look at. Alter Market, Cathedral Square, and the Mozartplatz (you´ll also find the Mozart statue here, as well as tourism information) are some of these squares.Mozartplatz in Salzburg and more things to see

Visit Mozart’s Family Home

Mozart, born in the 18th century, is one of the greatest musicians of all time! This makes the Mozart family’s birthplace (there is also the house he lived in, found in the new town) a popular tourist spot. Mozart Birth House in SalzburgHis birth house is now a museum and pilgrimage site where you will find exhibition pieces. If you are interested in classical music or Mozart, then add this to your Salzburg itinerary.

Important Info:

  • How to Get There: It is located in the Getreidegasse, one of Salzburg’s main shopping streets. There is no bus going, but you can walk from Doms Square or the fortress.
  • Price: Adults are 11€. Free with Salzburg Card.
  • If you want to visit the Mozart house, check out opening hours first. You might have to visit this place first, before roaming the old town.

I assume that the above-mentioned activities make it a busy first day in the city – if you actually visit the museums and spend time in them. You might even have to skip one or two places if you are not a fast traveler.

Day 2 in Salzburg

Start your second day in Salzburg by discovering the new town, the Salzach River’s right side. But don’t be mislead by its name.

New doesn’t necessarily mean modern in this case. It has its oldish charm in some ways, but, of course, it looks a bit different from the old town of Salzburg and is a great way to start the second day of your Salzburg itinerary.

Cross the Mozartsteg

Okay, it depends on where you stay in Salzburg. If you stay in the city’s new town, there is probably no need to cross the bridge; but choose this bridge to get to the other side if you stay in the old town.

This bridge was built/opened in 1903 and is called Mozartsteg. It is not a highlight in 2 days in Salzburg, I admit that. However, getting there is actually part of the itinerary because you have some attractions to see on the way (more on this later), and it is a cute bridge.

Mirabell Palace and Garden

The Mirabell Palace and Garden was built in the 17th century by the prince-archbishop for his beloved. Today, the Palace is home to municipal officers and the mayor of Salzburg. Best places to visit in Salzburg in 2 days

Mirabella Garden in SalzburgTourists totally overrun the Mirabell Garden, but I clearly get why. The very well-maintained garden is a lovely place for nice walks, breaks, and of course, for taking amazing pictures.

With the cathedral and fortress in the background, it is even more picturesque. If you don’t want to share this place with too many others, head there early in the morning.

Important Info

  • There are different areas, and not all are open at the same time, but most of the area is open year-round (from around 6 am).
  • Price: Admission to the garden is free.

Stroll Linzergasse

As the main street on the right side of the river, the Linzergasse has many restaurants, cafes, and shops. While it is the modern part, it still has some classical charm.

Take a Rest at the Salzach River

On a sunny and warmish day, I recommend taking a break at the river, and with two days in Salzburg, you should have no time-issue enjoying it. Salzburg Salzach River to restJust at the Salzach River, close to the Linzer Gasse and Mirabell Garden, is a meadow where you can rest and chill. While doing so, you can listen to the river’s sound and marvel at the pretty buildings on the other side. 

I took a break and enjoyed the sun shining on me. After walking for more than 20 kilometers the previous day, I really deserved the rest – and most likely, so will you. So, this is for your feet, soul and eyes!

Do a Boat Tour

I suggest taking one because boat tours are normally amazing. I have not actually done that myself but as a boat cruise nerd, I am convinced of it.

The river is also clean, and a trip (Tour II, which is only once a day at 2 pm, and not in the winter) is also included in the Salzburg Card, so definitely take advantage of this free activity (well, if you have a card).

Visit Schloss Hellbrunn

If you have some time left, you can visit the Schloss Hellbrunn. It is an early Baroque villa, built in the early 17th century, near Morzg, a southern district in Salzburg, Schloss Hellbrunn in SalzburgWhy visit the Schloss Hellbrunn? If you love the color orange or yellow or are interested in history, or into beautiful baroque buildings or lovely gardens, you should definitely plan some time for this spot.

Important Information

  • How to Get There: From the town center, it takes about 20 minutes by bus. Hop on the 25 bus line to get there.
  • Prices: Around 12.50€ for adults. Free with your Salzburg Card. Park and Orangery are free (and dogs are allowed). Buy your Salzburg Card here.
  • You can visit it at any time of the year.

Enjoy the Views From Kapuzinerberg

Salzburg is also about great views. Kapuzinerberg is another great place to see stunning views over the city.

I waited for my visit until the last minute because I wanted to enjoy the sunset from there. Because of a broken laptop, I had to rush to the store instead. So, while I did not get to visit (which I really regret and makes my heart bleed), I recommend hiking up there and enjoying the view from 640 meters above sea level.

It is known as a great place to chill, enjoy some outdoor activities, visit churches, and soak in the views of the Salzach River and the old town of the city, and a good way to end your Salzburg trip. 

The sunsets from here are supposedly very nice!

Important Info

  • How to Get There: There are three paths to go up. But if you are in the Linzer Gasse, I suggest starting there (it is well-signed).
  • There is no entrance fee.

Day Trip From Salzburg For 3 Days

If you want to skip some of the activities above or have 3 days in Salzburg, you can consider doing a day trip to Hallstatt.

Hallstatt

If you want to visit extremely popular Hallstatt but don’t have a full day or longer. You could book a half-day trip from Salzburg to Hallstatt.

Here is my 1-day itinerary for Hallstatt.
Most beautiful places in Hallstatt

FINAL THOUGHTS ON SPENDING 2 DAYS IN SALZBURG

Salzburg is a beauty! Without a question. I enjoyed my 2 days in Salzburg and I cannot wait to visit this city again. It is one of the places I love to visit again just because it is so charming.

Hopefully, these 2 days in Salzburg itinerary helps you plan your trip to this beautiful city, and you now know about the best things to do. It is a lovely and fun city with so much history and pretty buildings that I believe it should be on any Austria itinerary.

I have visited Vienna, Austria´s biggest and more famous city, several times, but honestly, I cannot say which city is prettier. Both are extremely stunning (here is my 2-day itinerary for Vienna) and also romantic.  So if you want to spend time with your loved one, it could be in either one of the two cities.  

  • And if you plan to visit Austria and Switzerland, check out my itinerary for Central Europe.Safe Travels, Arzo

 

Best Things to do in Vienna in Winter

Best things to do in Vienna in the winter, Austria

Best Things to do in Vienna in Winter

Vienna in the winter is a wonderful idea! Yes, Vienna in the winter months can be cold, but it is still a gorgeous place to visit because it is magical and a must-see in Austria.

I have spent some time in the summer in Vienna, but also got to experience Vienna in the cold winter months. I must say that both seasons (actually, all four seasons) have their charms and this is why I suggest visiting one of the most romantic cities in Europe in winter.

So, here is my Vienna winter guide – find out about the best winter activities in Vienna, plus more travel tips so you can enjoy a beautiful winter trip to Vienna.

While many places in Austria in the winter are the perfect getaways for winter sports activities, Vienna is a city that offers a lot to those who do not want to do winter sports (at least not all the time).

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS I MIGHT EARN A SMALL COMMISSION WHEN YOU BUY A PRODUCT/SERVICE (AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU). MORE ABOUT IT HERE.

VIENNA – THINGS TO DO IN WINTER

Let´s talk about the best things to do in Vienna.

Christmas Markets

In Austria, Christmas Markets are big. And in Vienna, you will find some of the best Christmas Markets in all of Austria.

@Pixabay

Visiting them during the day is fun but visiting them in the evening is even more fun.

Indulge in mulled wine and plenty of food when strolling and exploring the illuminated Christmas Markets, which also have some rides for the smaller ones at Children’s World.

Christmas market in Vienna most beautiful place in winter

Here are some of the Christmas markets to visit in Vienna.

The most famous market is probably the Wiener Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz. It is centrally located near many other attractions, with lots of stalls to buy gifts and snacks and, of course, drinks like mulled wine. With around 150 stalls, this is a pretty large Christmas Market.

Vienna in winter
@shutterstock

Christmas Village on Maria-Theresien-Platz, between the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna and the Naturhistorisches Museum Vienna, is another popular Christmas Market that has more than 70 stalls where you can indulge, and you’ll also find Gospel choirs and music groups here.

Also visit the Christkindl Markt am Karlsplatz or the one at the Spittelberg.

You have quite a number of markets to choose from – so if you are into Christmas Markets, then Vienna is the place to go.

  • From the middle of November until Christmas, you’ll find the Christmas Markets open.

Naschmarkt

Since Christmas in Vienna is a lot about food, also visit the Naschmarkt. It is the most popular market in the city with rows of open stalls selling food from take-away, snacks to full sit-down meals.

Eat your weight in all kinds of specialties (I am not a fan of Austrian cuisine, but I loooove the desserts) and shop for the ones at home. It is also a good place to do some grocery and gift shopping (if you buy sweets and specialties).

  • Location: At the Wienzeile over the Wien River – it stretches over 1.5 kilometers (0.93 miles) 

Celebrate New Year´s Eve

If you visit Vienna in December – January then you could welcome the New Year here.

If you fancy an elegant ball, you can visit the New Year’s Eve Ball, held annually at the Imperial Palace (Hofburg). Or just do as most people do – celebrate outdoors, and watch the fireworks. Afterward, go to one of the bars, restaurants, or clubs to celebrate the new year.

I have never spent New Year’s Eve in Vienna, but I am pretty sure NYE in Vienna would be fun.

Coffeehouse and Sacher Cake

You can visit Hotel Sacher and have the famous original Sacher cake at the hotel restaurant. I know that is what many people love – I am not the biggest fan of it, but when in Vienna…

Hotel Sacher in Vienna, famous Sacher cake._
@shutterstock

On my first trip to Vienna, I made sure to try out one of the most famous cakes in Europe – Sacher cake. It is not my favorite cake, but since it is a pretty popular place for a cake, I still have listed it here. However, Vienna has a strong and good coffee culture, so make sure to warm up with a nice coffee in any of the cafes after taking a stroll.

Stephansdom Cathedral 

The Stephansdom Cathedral is one of the most important Gothic structures in Austria. It is one of the best places to visit in Vienna – whether you visit in December, January, or February.

It is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna – its creation started back in the 12th century, but new elements have been added throughout time.

Since it is centrally located, it is easy to see and also easy to visit. Make sure, you climb the towers (south and north tower) to admire the view of the city. If Vienna is covered in snow, it is probably even better – I have not gotten to experience that, but I imagine it must be a million-dollar view. 

  • Each tower charges a fee of around $5,50 and $6,50
  • You can also visit the catacombs and do a guided tour for about $6,5 (kids under 6 can enter for free). The tours take place several times a day and last about 30 minutes.

Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, is one of the best places to visit in the winter. 

Vienna, Austria Schonbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn) in winter
@shutterstock

The palace was built in the 18th century and is a beauty to this day. It was the former summer residence of the Habsburgs with imperial ceremonial rooms and magnificent gardens. 

You can do a tour and see the interior – even on bank holidays. It is probably the most popular tourist attraction with more than two million tourists visiting – annually! So, it might be busy, especially in December but it is worth visiting.

  • Ticket prices: Free with the Vienna Pass, and discounted with the Vienna City Card.
  • In the weeks before Christmas, you will find a beautiful Christmas Market here, which makes this place even prettier.

Schloss Belvedere

Schloss Belvedere, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also a place to add to your winter itinerary.

Belvedere Palace in vienna during christmas time
@shutterstock

Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736), a successful general and art connoisseur, had the Belvedere garden palace built as his summer residence.

It is in the southeastern part of the city and consists of two Baroque palaces (Upper and Lower Belvedere). It is now home to an extensive art collection.

Even for non-art lovers (aka me), it is gorgeous to visit in – just look at the pretty gardens which – with some luck – are covered in snow.

  • And you probably have an idea what you will find here before Christmas… Yes, you are right, there is also a Christmas Market.

Ice Skating

From the middle of January to the beginning of March, hop on the ice and do some rounds.

Ice skating rink in front Town Hall Vienna in winter
@shutterstock

Okay, while Vienna is not a paradise for winter sports lovers, you can do some winter sports here. So, head to the ice rink and skate in the beautiful surroundings of the City Hall (Rathaus).

There are also some more ice rinks if you visit before January, so make sure to check out different ice skating opportunities.

Tobogganing

Okay, here are a bit more winter sports activities in Vienna. If it snows, then you can also do some tobogganing in Vienna’s parks.

However, even if it does not snow, you can still visit the Jesuitenwiese meadow (in the Prater) or the Kaffeehausberg in Danube Park, which has snow-making equipment, so you can do some tobogganing.

If it is cold enough, some artificial snow will make these places a little heaven for sledding fans.

Museums Quartier

Whether you visit Vienna in December or at another time, the Museums Quartier is a good place to spend some time.

Before Christmas (almost throughout the entire months of November and December), there are events taking place here – like live concerts – and illuminated artistic projections.

But of course, you can also visit one of the numerous museums here. Honestly, it is also good to warm up and take a break from the cold when needed, but did you know that there are more than 60 cultural institutions to visit? 

Day Trips From Vienna in the Winter

Hallstatt

Hallstatt is one of the most beautiful places in Austria! While I have not visited in the winter (I have only been there in fall), I have seen pictures of Hallstatt.

Hallstatt in winter as a day trip from Vienna
@pixabay

And I must say, Hallstatt in the winter seems like a perfect day trip from Vienna. Yes, it takes a while to get there, but if you have a day to spare, then I recommend investing the time to see this small village in the winter.

Salzburg

Salzburg is one of my favorite cities – I think it is even prettier than lovely Vienna.

Salzburg , Austria in winter is a fun day trip from winter
@shutterstock

However, like Hallstatt, I have only visited in summer/fall and not in the winter, but I am 1000% certain that Salzburg is another great place and a good winter day trip from Vienna.

VIENNA WINTER TRAVEL TIPS

Here are some quick travel tips for your winter trip.

How to Fet From the Airport to the City Center

  • The airport is just around 15 km outside of the city center, so getting from and to the Vienna airport is super easy.
  • Buses and trains are getting to and from the airport – of course. Buses are a bit slower, and take about 40 minutes, and cost less than $3 one way. The train takes just around 15 minutes, and prices are a bit more than $20 for return tickets.
  • You can book your private transport or hop on a taxi.
  • Still, unless you are exhausted, or money does not play a role, I suggest using buses or trains.

How to Get Around Vienna in Winter

  • Vienna is very walkable. Most attractions are located in the city center and only a few attractions are further away, so you might need public transport/taxis sometimes.
  • Public transportation is also extremely good (a 24-hour ticket is less than 7€).
  • There are also Hop On and Hop Off buses in Vienna, which is super convenient.
  • Driving in Vienna, even in the winter months, is possible. But you might stress out because it is busy and parking might be tricky. So, my tip is to rely on public transportation for the most part and also walk as much as the weather will allow you.

Where to Stay in Vienna

Safety Tips for Vienna

Vienna is quite safe, though pickpocketing is very common. It is good to be aware of your belongings and be attentive. Particularly when you visit the Christmas Markets, make sure to watch your belongings super carefully.

Weather in Vienna in the Winter

Vienna can get cold! No, not Siberia cold, but make sure to pack warm as it can be around 0ºC. The coldest it got was -21.7°C (-7°F) in the 1980s.

The chances of snow in the winter months are high though it is not a winter wonderland as you have it in the Austrian Alps.What to pack for Vienna in the winter

Vienna in winter is magical – especially December is a great month to visit! But as you can see, even the other winter months will have their charm. 

Wishing you a wonderful trip – and hope you’ll get lucky and experience some snow in Vienna! Check out my detailed 2-day Vienna itinerary. 

Safe Travels, Arzo

How to Create the Best Switzerland and Austria Itinerary

10 days in Austria and Switzerland

7-10 DAYS IN AUSTRIA AND SWITZERLAND

Austria and Switzerland are two of the most beautiful countries in Europe. So, if you plan a trip to Europe and focus on Central Europe, I highly suggest visiting these two places. And if you plan your trip, you´ll find the perfect Austria and Switzerland itinerary here.

Switzerland is the country with the most beautiful scenery. Austria has the prettiest and most romantic cities and towns. So an Austria and Switzerland trip is the perfect combination of outdoor fun and romance. This is why I have created this Switzerland and Austria itinerary for you guys. 

So, in this 7-10 day itinerary, you will find out what to do in Austria and Switzerland, the most beautiful places to visit,  how to get around, and more important travel tips for these two countries.

Salzburg. best places to see in Switzerland and Austria

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

TIPS FOR VISITING SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

Before discussing your Austria and Switzerland itinerary, here are some tips.

Visa For Switzerland and Austria

If you are a citizen of the European Union, you will not need a visa. Not even for Switzerland. Switzerland is not a member of the European Union (EU), but it is part of the Schengen Area.

If you have a Schengen visa, you can visit both countries. 

How to Get Into Switzerland/Austria

PLANE

  • For this itinerary, if you fly, I suggest flying into Zurich and leaving from Vienna – or the other way around.
  • Both cities have international airports that are well-connected to the city center.
  • From there, you can either pick up a rental car or use public transportation.

TRAIN

Again, I suggest starting in Zurich and leaving from Vienna (or the other way around).

  • Both cities are also easily reachable from many cities in Europe via train.
  • Arriving via train might be a good idea – because it means you are already in the city center. Buses are also available but trains are probably the better option.

How to Get Around Switzerland and Austria

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Both countries have a good public transportation system. I would go as far as to say Switzerland has the very best public transportation system in the whole wide world. 

  • However, public transportation is not cheap in these countries, and it limits your flexibility.
  • But still, it is a great way to get around. It can be less stressful, especially if you drive in towns and the city centers.

Then, public transportation becomes the hustle-free choice (in this case, pack light so that you don’t carry too much stuff around).

Lake Thun-Top Things to do in Interlaken, Switzerland

I drive in Switzerland and Austria, but I also use public transportation and like it both.

DRIVING

  • If you drive (in your own car), you need toll stickers for Switzerland and Austria. You can buy them at gas stations near the border or once you are in the country – but only use those roads once you have the sticker. If you have a rental car, they might (!) be already included.
  •  You can buy a 10-day toll sticker for around $10 (shortest period possible) for Austria. In Austria, there are a few private roads that charge extra. For this itinerary, however, you will not use them often.
  • For Switzerland, you would need to pay an annual sticker (about $40 or avoid motorways). 
  • While both countries are mountainous, they are quite easy to drive and a lot of fun. However, if you are not experienced in driving narrow mountain roads, this might not be the perfect choice for you.
  • Just watch the speed limit, only park when you are allowed to do so, and keep in mind that the streets can be narrow.

More Tips

  • Both countries are expensive – I mean like really expensive! However, Switzerland is way more expensive than Austria. Check out my detailed tips on how to save money in Switzerland.
  • You can save a bit of money by bringing a reusable water bottle and refilling it with fresh water from the water fountains (they are numerous in both countries and at all of the places I mention here).
  • Tips are not really expected in either country. You can, but there is no need. 
  • In Austria, people speak a German dialect, while in Switzerland, there are four official languages. But the places on this itinerary only include German-speaking areas.
  • Since all of these places are very popular amongst tourists from all over the world, most people speak basic English, and you should be fine even if you don’t speak German (learning a few words never hurt, though).
  • Life is uncertain. If you don’t have travel insurance yet, check out which travel insurance is perfect for you.

MAP FOR AUSTRIA AND SWITZERLAND IN 10 DAYS

Here are the places I mention in this itinerary:

  • Zurich + Lucerne in Switzerland
  • Salzburg + Hallstatt + Vienna in Austria

PLACES TO VISIT IN SWITZERLAND

Let´s start with the places to see. If you start in Switzerland, I suggest starting in Zurich – the unofficial capital of the country.

Zurich1,5 Days

If you fly into Zurich (or get there by train), then your trip starts with a beautiful city in the northern part of Switzerland.

Where to go in Zurich Switzerland

My tip is to stay in Zurich for 1.5 – 2 days. So you can visit not only the main attractions in Zurich but also do a (half) day trip to the Rhine Falls.

Switzerland best areas to stay

Travel Tips Zurich

Zurich has amazing public transportation, so I recommend getting around by tram/bus. If you are driving, then you might have difficulties parking in the city center. So, even with a car, I would try to get around to as many places as possible on foot or using public transportation. 

One of the fun things to do in Zurich is rent a bike and explore this beautiful town on two wheels – for free!

Where to Stay in Zurich

I recommend staying close to the city center, but since public transport is pretty good, you can also book a hotel a bit further away, and you will still be mobile.

  • Luxury Hotels in Zurich: Dolder Grand & Baur au Lac are some of the best-rated luxury hotels in Zurich.
  • Mid-Range Hotels in Zurich: Arlette am Hauptbahnhof is one of the best-rated mid-range hotels close to the city center.
  • Budget Hotels in Zurich Warning, there are not many budget hotels in Zurich. I stayed only once in a hostel in Zurich, and this was my choice. And it was good considering it is a hostel – central location and the rooms were okay, too.
  • You will find my accommodation guide for Zurich here.

Things to Do and Places to Visit in Zurich 

  • Lake Zurich
  • Bahnhofstrasse (the main shopping street in Zurich)
  • Lindenhof (offering nice views from a hill right in the heart of the city)
  • Uetliberg (Zurich´s “house mountains” – a beautiful green place close to the hustle of bustle of Zurich)
  • Rhine Falls & Stein am Rhine (day trip)
  • Appenzell & Aescher (day trip)
  • For a detailed 2-day Zurich itinerary (with more travel tips for the city), check out my itinerary here.

From Zurich to Lucerne, it takes about an hour by car (or by train). Whichever means you opt for, it is easy and a nice ride/drive.

Lucerne: 2 days

Then it is time for another Swiss gem: Lucerne.Chapel Bridge 2016 in Lucerne - Can you spot me and Puppygak on th bridge?

Travel Tips Lucerne

Lucerne is often called the prettiest Swiss city. If you ask me, then I would say that it is the city in Europe with the most stunning scenery. You are so close to the Alps and yet have a lively little city to discover – it should be on any Switzerland itinerary.

Best places to stay in Lucerne Chateau Gütsch

Book an official accommodation in Lucerne, so you will get a card that allows you to use public transportation in the city of Lucerne for free. Lucerne, like Zurich, is freakingly expensive, and so is parking in the city center (if you find a city hotel with free parking, you have hit the jackpot).

Public transportation in Lucerne is fast, reliable, and on time. But keep in mind that the guest card only allows you to use public transportation in the city center itself (and not to other destinations, like Mount Rigi, for instance).

Driving around is also a good option because there are some scenic streets (e.g., Axenstrasse). Still, parking in the town center will make your travel costs explode (free parking is available outside the city center).

Where to Stay in Lucerne

Lucerne is quite pricey – especially in the town center. However, I recommend staying in the city center.

Things to Do and Places to Visit in Lucerne 

  • Chapel Bridge
  • Town
  • Lake Lucerne

Head to at least one mountain peak:

Switzerland what to visit

From Switzerland to Austria – or From Austria to Switzerland: 1 Day

From Lucerne, it is time to head to Austria. I understand if you feel the urge to stay longer in Switzerland. It is just sooo beautiful, and you have just seen the tip of the iceberg. I never tire of it, even though I visit Switzerland each year and often stay four, five, or even six weeks there.

But since you have planned to visit Austria, you need to be strong and plan another, longer trip to Switzerland in the future because it is time to visit the pretty towns in Austria (if not in all of Europe).

You could go back to Zurich and then fly from Zurich to Salzburg, then either get around by train or car there.

However, you would really miss out on the amazing scenery.

  • So, I would not fly.
  • I rather rent a car and drive to Hallstatt (with a rental car, check prices for dropping off in a different country, etc.).
  • Or I would take a train from Lucerne to Hallstatt (my tip if you don’t drive yourself).

Whether you drive or take public transportation, it will take about 6-10 hours to get from Lucerne to Salzburg, so I would plan one full day just for traveling.

If you drive, you can stop as many times as you like. With all the amazing and breathtaking scenery, you will want to stop many times and enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature.

If you stayed in Zurich for 2 days and spent 2 days in Lucerne, then this will be Day 5 in Central Europe.

Check out more Switzerland travel tips.

PLACES TO SEE IN AUSTRIA

So, whether you use public transportation or road trip – here are places to visit in Austria.

Hallstatt1 Day

Hallstatt is Instafamous and has become one of the main tourist spots in Austria. Some people call it the most beautiful town in Europe, or even in the world. I don’t really agree, but it is stunning!

Most beautiful places in Hallstatt

Travel Tips Hallstatt

You will arrive in Hallstatt in the late evening or late at night. Hallstatt does not have many hotels, and this tiny village by the lake has become incredibly popular amongst visitors from all around the world, especially from China. 

What to do in Hallstatt Austria. Hike with views like this

The Chinese tourists normally come in big groups and stay for a few hours, so if you want to experience Hallstatt without the crowds, it makes sense to stay overnight. This way, you can start your day before the tourists come.

Hallstatt is very small, and you can walk to all the attractions I mention. One day should be enough for this little beauty.

Where to Stay in Hallstatt

Hallstatt has very few hotels, which are quickly booked out. If you plan to stay overnight, book early.

While I believe that ten hours in Hallstatt is definitely enough to see all the (special) places, I can understand if you would like to stay overnight because you have one big advantage and be in Hallstatt when the crowds are not there.

Things to Do and Places to Visit in Hallstatt

  • Lake Promenade
  • Skywalk
  • Market Square
  • Salzwelten Hallstatt
  • Walk the Upper Stairs
  • Go on the Lake
  • Here is a more detailed Hallstatt guide I have written for you – with more travel tips and info on Hallstatt.

From Hallstatt, you head to pretty Salzburg – a city I fell head over heels in love with, and I am sure you will, too.

The drive (train ride) from Hallstatt to Salzburg takes about 1.5 hours and is quite scenic. I stopped several times along the way, and if you drive, too, I suggest leaving Hallstatt when it is still light so that you can enjoy the landscape as well.

Salzburg: 2 days

Most Americans might know Salzburg because of the movie The Sound of Music, which has made the city famous outside of Europe. However, as a European, I had not even heard of the movie before my visit, nor had many other people in Austria.View from Museum der Moderne in Salzburg the best views

Salzburg is such a charming city that it deserves at least 1.5 days of your time. If you are traveling to the city with your significant other, you will adore it. But even as a solo traveler (as I am), it was one of my favorite travel destinations in Europe. Best places to visit in Salzburg in 2 days

It is super easy to see most of the attractions in one day – you can easily walk as they are located quite close to each other (if you are used to a bit of walking).

Travel Tips Salzburg

However, I loved public transportation and sometimes used buses to get around (public transportation is quite cheap and reliable).

Salzburg Card: I did not get one because I traveled with a dog and cannot access many museums, etc., but I carefully read about the free admissions and such, and think that it is totally worth it if you want to visit at least two museums.

You can also use public transportation for free with a card. You can click here to find out about the prices and buy one for your Salzburg trip.

Where to Stay in Salzburg: 

In general, accommodations in Salzburg are pretty expensive. Staying outside can help you save money (and thanks to the city’s great public transportation system, it is also easy to get around). I stayed outside the city center, but these are the best-rated hotels in Salzburg:

  • Luxury Hotels in Salzburg; Hotel Sacher in the Old Town  is one of the best places to stay if you are looking for luxury accommodation– Click here to find out more and get the best price
  • Mid-Range Hotels in Salzburg: Arthotel Blaue Gans is a well-rated mid-range hotel right in the Old Town – Find the best rates here
  • Budget Hotels in Salzburg: If you are looking for a more budget-friendly hotel, then you have to check Ibis Budget Salzburg Airport – it was a good value for money. It did not take long to get to the town center, and public transportation is cheap and good (though it takes more than ten minutes to the bus station. Click here for more info and the best rates.

Things to Do and Places to Visit in Salzburg:

  • Museum der Moderne
  • Hohensalzburg Fortress 
  • St. Erhard Kirche From Above
  • Shopping Streets and Squares in the Old Town
  • Mozart’s Family Home
  • Mirabell Palace and Garden
  • Find my detailed Salzburg travel guide here.

What to see in Austria and Switzerland

So, from Salzburg, it is time to head to your final destination: Vienna. It takes about 2.5 – 3 hours by train or car.

Vienna: 2 Days

Vienna is one of the most romantic cities in the world. It would be one of the first picks for a romantic trip with all of its impressive baroque buildings and castles.

Vienna where to stay in Austria
@shutterstock

Vienna Travel Tips

But again: even if you don’t visit Vienna with your loved one, you don’t have to feel bad – Vienna is a great destination for any traveler.

Vienna is also the city of museums, Vienna is the city of international organizations, Vienna is the city of gorgeous buildings, Vienna is the city of Mozart, and Vienna is the city of Sacher cake (not my favorite cake, to be honest, though).

St. Charles's Church Vienna where to stay
@shutterstock

Like in all of the places mentioned here, I recommend using public transportation rather than driving in the center. All the places have a fantastic public transportation system, and parking can be tricky.

Vienna is also a perfect city for nice strolls – you will not even need to use public transportation often. Many places are located next to each other.

Accommodations in Vienna are quite expensive, but I suggest staying in the city center (in the first district, as you can get to most main attractions in a heartbeat).

The Vienna Pass gives you free access to more than 60 attractions around Vienna. You can skip the line entry to popular Vienna attractions, and it includes the Vienna Hop On Hop Off sightseeing tours.

Tickets are a bit more expensive than for the Vienna City Card, giving you unlimited free public transport in downtown Vienna and good discounts in Vienna’s major attractions. However, if you want to visit some of the palaces, then the Vienna Pass might be more useful.

Check out prices for the Vienna Pass and The Vienna City Card, and you can see if you can save money with it and if one of the cards makes sense to you!

Where to Stay in Vienna

Things to Do and Places to Visit in Vienna

  • Stephansdom Cathedral
  • Hundertwasser Village
  • St. Charles’s Church
  • The Hofburg
  • Schönbrunn Palace
  • Schloss Belvedere
  • Viennese Prater (2. District)
  • Museum District
  • Here is my detailed Vienna guide. Find out more about each attraction and more important travel tips.

From Vienna, it is time to end your 10 days in Switzerland and Austria.

Vienna´s airport is easily reachable by a shuttle bus or car and after these 10 days, I am sure you will have as amazing memories as I have from the two countries.

CONCLUSION: AUSTRIA AND SWITZERLAND ITINERARY

Austria and Switzerland have both amazing places to mention. Since I focus a lot on Switzerland, I could create a 2-month Switzerland itinerary and would still have to leave some gorgeous countries out. But for first-time visitors to both countries, this Switzerland and Austria itinerary is probably the best as it allows you to see many stunning places in a short time.

And, as I do it… Always have a reason to come back to see more of these two beautiful countries, but for the first ten days (or even one week), or you are good to go with this Austria and Switzerland itinerary for 7-10 days.

PIN ME FOR LATER

Pin me for later!

Austria and Switzerland itinerary, see the best of the country in 10 days- Pin me on Pinterest

 

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

Top Things to do in 2 Days in Vienna

Vienna in 2 days itinerary for summer or winter

HOW TO CREATE YOUR VIENNA 2-DAY ITINERARY

Are you planning your 2-day Vienna trip and wondering about the best things to do in 2 days in Vienna? Then this post is for you.

Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Renowned for its architecture, Vienna is home to some of the most beautiful buildings in Europe. It is also one of the most romantic cities I have been to. I actually go as far as claiming it is at least as romantic as Paris. It actually reminds me pretty much of Paris with all the wonderful buildings.

Vienna is also the city of museums, the city of international organizations, Vienna is the city of Mozart, and it is the city of Sacher cake. Nowadays, it seems that Vienna is also a “green” city (more at the end).

You could spend weeks in Vienna without getting bored – but most of us have a limited time, and so I share a great 2-day Vienna itinerary for first-time visitors.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means, I might earn a small commission when you buy a product or service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR 2 DAYS IN VIENNA ITINERARY

Before jumping to the best places to visit in 48hours, here are some travel tips.

Vienna: General information

  • Country: Austria
  • Location: Austria is located in the country’s east on the Danube River. It is close to the border of Slovakia (Bratislava is just about 70km away) and Hungary (Budapest is about 250km southeast of Vienna).
  • Language: German
  • Currency: Euro

How to get from the Vienna airport to the city center

  • The airport is just around 15 km outside of the city center, so getting from and to the Vienna airport is super easy.
  • Buses and trains are getting to and from the airport – of course. Buses are a bit slower, and take about 40 minutes, and cost less than $3 one way. The train takes just around 15 minutes, and prices are a bit more than $20 for return tickets.
  • You can book your private transport or hop on a taxi.
  • Still, unless you are exhausted, or money does not play a role, I suggest using buses or trains.

How to Get Around Vienna For 2 Days

  • Vienna is very walkable, but the public transport is also excellent and cheap (less than 7€ for a 24 hours ticket).
  • There are also Hop On and Hop Off buses in Vienna, which is super convenient.
  • Austria’s capital is the perfect place for nice strolls and endless walks – so I recommend walking as much as possible. This way, you will most likely not miss out on one of the many gorgeous buildings on the side streets.
  • Most attractions are located in the 1. district (city center), so you can explore Vienna mostly on foot. Only a few attractions are further away so that you might need public transport/taxi.

Is Vienna safe?

Vienna is quite safe though pickpocketing is very common. It is good to be aware of your belongings and be attentive. Avoid side and dark streets at night and exercise common sense.

Where to Stay in Vienna For 2 Days

2 Days Vienna Pass vs. Vienna Card 

  • The Vienna Pass gives you free access to more than 60 attractions around Vienna. In addition, you can skip the line entry to popular Vienna attractions, including the Vienna Hop On Hop Off sightseeing tours.
  • Tickets are a bit more expensive than the Vienna City Card but give you unlimited free public transport in downtown Vienna (public transportation is in general quite affordable in Vienna), and good discounts in Vienna’s major attractions.
  • Check out prices for the Vienna Pass and The Vienna City Card, and you can see if you can save money with it and if one of the cards makes sense to you!

PLACES TO VISIT IN VIENNA IN 2 DAYS

Vienna is geographically not very big and many sights are close to each other. Have I mentioned the great public transportation system in the city?. So, it might look like a very busy itinerary – and it is – but it is doable! Feel free to skip any activities that are not appealing to you.

DAY 1 OF 2 DAYS IN VIENNA

Here are some places to see on your first day in Vienna.

Stop 1: Stephansdom Cathedral

Start your day in the city and visit the Stephansdom Cathedral. Vienna sightseeing wouldn’t be complete without heading to Stephansdom Cathedral. The cathedral is located directly in the city center and is the seat of the city´s bishop. The creation started back in the 12th century, but new elements have been added throughout time.

Stephansdom Cathedral in Vienna @shutterstock
Stephansdom Cathedral in Vienna @shutterstock

Even as a non-Christian, I love visiting and admiring the beauty inside – and outside. While I often prefer the Baroque style over the Gothic style, it is well worth a visit.

  • Just remember to dress appropriately (cover shoulders and knees) and learn about its myth – and many more European myths.
  • You can even climb the towers (south and north tower) and admire the view of the city (each tower charges you a fee of around $5,50 and $6.50).
  • You can also visit the catacombs and do a guided tour for around $6.50 (kids under 6 are free). The tours take place several times a day and last about 30 minutes.

Timetable for guided tours of the catacombs:

  • Monday to Saturday from 10.00 am to 11.30 am and then from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm
  • Sundays and public holidays from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm.

Stop 2: The Hofburg

From the Cathedral, you can walk towards the Hofburg, which used to be a medieval castle and home of the Habsburgs (the Royal family). Until 1918 the extensive palatial complex was the political center of the monarchy.

Vienna Hofburg one of the best things to do on your Vienna itinerary

It dates back to the 13th century. The Hofburg was extended by each emperor and is now an area of over 240,000 m² consisting of 18 wings, 19 courtyards, and 2,600 rooms in which nearly 5,000 people still work and live today.

Now it is the national library and the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria.

  • It is also home to the Sisi Museum (you probably have heard of the famous Empress Elisabeth that still fascinates fans worldwide) that you can visit.
  • It conveys a complex picture of Sisi with many, partly very personal objects on display that give you insights into the official and private worlds of Sisi.

Stop 3: Museum District

From the Hofburg walk towards the Museums District. It is a 15-minute walk, but I suggest taking your time and even make some small detours and visit places like the Burggarten, which is on the way. The area is so beautiful in the city that you will not think it is wasted time to stroll.

Vienna - Museum District is a must in 2 days in Vienna
@Pixabay

I am not into museums, but I remember pretty well that I enjoyed strolling through the museum district, and it is worth walking around there, even if you are not a museum kind of person.

  • I did not visit any museum, but you can enjoy some of the finest art museums in Vienna in this area, including the Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna (MUMOK) or the Leopold Museum.
  • So choose the museums you are interested in, and with 2 days in Vienna, you have time to visit a museum or two.

Stop 4: Austrian Parliament

If you are okay with more walking, I recommend doing another 15-minute walk towards the parliament. I have always had a thing for this beautiful yet simple Austrian parliament. 
Vienna Parliament

The Parlamentsgebäude, built in the 19th century, is located in the Dr. Karl Renner-Ring 3 in the first district. The Austrian Parliament Building is where the two houses of the Austrian Parliament conduct their sessions. 

While I have never gotten to see the inside of the building, it is worth a photo stop.

Stop 5: Hundertwasser Village

You can either take public transportation to get to the Hundertwasser Village and Hunderwasserhaus or walk for about 30-45 minutes to get there (it is about 3,5km).Hundertwasser Village in Austria

The Hundertwasser Village was built, both on the inside and the exterior, by the concepts of artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser in 1990 and 1991. You´ll find shops, cafes, and restaurants – with a little forest on the roof where 30 trees have grown up to 15 meters high.

  • Though it is an unusual attraction – or maybe because IT is an unusual attraction – about 1,2 million people visit Hundertwassers every year.
  • Opposite the Hundertwasser Village, you will find the Hundertwasserhaus – this colorful building can only be admired from outside.
  • Free of admission for the Hundertwasser Village.

Stop 6: Viennese Prater (2. District)

For the late afternoon/evening, I suggest heading to the Prater (either walk from Hundertwasser or take public transportation). The Prater is a kind of amusement park. The huge ferries wheel is the flagship – at the time of its opening (1897), the Ferris Wheel was the tallest of its kind at 64.75 meters. In addition, there are some more carousels and lots of snack stalls. Prater in Vienna in AustriaIt is probably one of the best places in Vienna with younger kids.

  • The entry is freeYou have to pay for each roller coaster/snack, etc. 
  • If you spend more time in the Museums’ district or travel a bit more slowly, you can skip this and head to the next area.
  • While the Ferris wheel is open all year, most stalls are only open from March to October. 

Stop 7: Karlskirche / St. Charles Church

EXTRA TIP: If you have more time, I recommend doing a little detour and visit the Karlskirche.

St. Charles's Church Vienna where to stay
@shutterstock

This beautiful Baroque church is located on the south of Stephansdom.  It serves as a religious site, but you can also enjoy church concerts there, like Mozart’s Requiem.

If you have only two days in Vienna, chances aren’t very high that a concert occurs during that time, but you might be lucky. Also, it is just a stunning building, so it is worth a visit regardless of the concert.

DAY 2 OF 2 DAYS IN VIENNA

For your second day in Vienna, I suggest exploring two of the most impressive castles in Europe.

Stop 1: Schönbrunn Palace

Okay, this is probably one of the prettiest palaces in the country: Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. It is probably the most popular tourist attraction with more than two million tourists visiting – annually!

Schönbrunn Palace @shutterstock
Schönbrunn Palace @shutterstock

The palace was built in the 18th century, but the beauty is still enchanting. It was the former summer residence of the Habsburgs with imperial ceremonial rooms and magnificent gardens. Maria Theresa, Emperor Franz Joseph, Empress Elisabeth (Sisi), and others once resided at Schönbrunn Palace.

Looking at it is impressive – doing a tour and seeing the interior is even more impressive. Schönbrunn Palace has a total of 1,441 rooms, and you can visit 45 of them. 

  • The palace is open daily, even on bank holidays.
  • No, wait, the very best is that the Schönbrunn Palace park is free of charge. However, you have to pay an entrance fee if you visit the Palace only.
  • You can do different kinds of tours.
  • However, as fascinating as it is, I suggest spending max. half a day here as there is another fantastic castle that awaits your visit!
  • Ticket prices: Free with the Vienna Pass and a discount with the Vienna City Card.

Stop 2: Schloss Belvedere

Schloss Belvedere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most famous sights in Vienna.

Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736), a successful general and art connoisseur, had the Belvedere garden palace built as his summer residence.Vienna Schloss Belvedere

It is in the south-eastern part of the city and definitely worth being checked out. It consists of two Baroque Palaces – Upper and Lower Belvedere. And it is home to an extensive art collection. Even for non-art lovers (aka me), it is a fun place to visit  – look at the pretty gardens! 

Ticket prices: Free with the Vienna Pass and a discount with the Vienna City Card.

Stop 3: Sofitel St. Stephansdom (Best View of Vienna)

More or less spontaneously, I ended up at Sofitel St. Stephansdom, which supposedly has one of the best views over Vienna. And I can assure you it has – as you can see from the pictures. Beat View of Vienna at Loft SofitelThe restaurant is the perfect place to end your 2 days in Vienna. If you are lucky, you have better weather than I did and the view should be even better.

If you visit during high season and want to be sure to get an extra good view, call and book a table with a view in advance, so you do not end up with a semi-good table/view.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THIS 2-DAY VIENNA ITINERARY

2 days in Vienna is a decent amount to get a good glimpse of the beautiful city with stunning architecture and loads of history. I admit, this itinerary is quite busy, and if you do not want to stress, you might want to skip one activity or two, but it is doable.

PIN ME FOR LATER – HOW TO SPEND 2 DAYS IN VIENNA

Here is a pin – save it to Pinterest to find this post whenever you need it again.2-day Vienna itinerary pin for Pinterest. places to visit and more tips for 2 days in Vienna

Stay safe and enjoy!Safe Travels, Arzo

 

PACKING LIST FOR EUROPE IN SUMMER

Summer packing list for Europe

WHAT TO PACK FOR A EUROPE SUMMER TRIP

Are you wondering about a perfect packing list for Europe in summer? Then read on, as I share my tips which hopefully will be helpful for you, too.

If you have decided to spend your summer (or at least some time of it) in Europe, you will have plenty to look forward to. Europe in summer is definitely a good choice – whether you head to the beautiful beach in Greece, busy cities like London, or hike in places like Switzerland.

You definitely cannot go wrong with Europe – find out what to pack for your summer trip to Europe.

Click on this link to find a checklist with all the important things to do before your trip.Hastings Beach Points of Interest

WHAT TO PACK FOR EUROPE TRAVEL

Here is what to pack – of course, it depends whether you are a light-packer or tend to pack a bit more and on many other things, but hopefully, this Europe packing list will help you remember the important things for YOUR Europe packing list.

Luggage in Europe

  • Suitcase: Though it depends, where exactly and for how long you travel, I recommend taking a good, light, and quality suitcase with you where all your clothes and most of your toiletries fit in. If you are a backpacker, you´ll find plenty of your equals in Europe.
  • Carry-On: I normally always have extra carry-on luggage with me. I normally research if a destination in Europe is considered as safe (meaning, I do a quick research about the crime rate, and while it is probably totally safe to take out your fancy luggage in some parts of Europe, other areas are less safe, and robbing is more common. So, if you plan to bring your brand luggage double-check.
  • Laundry bags are great if you travel for longer and don’t want your dirty and clean clothes to mix up. I prefer them over plastic bags.
  • Packing Cubes: Packing Cubes are the new must-items when it comes to traveling, they are convenient, and they also come in cool colors. I recommend using packing cubes that make packing and organizing easier. And let´s do not forget a laundry bag.
  • I choose a cross-body handbag with a zipper (to be safe) and several extra pockets for my handbag.
  • Passport Holder, I need a passport when I travel (when an ID is not enough), so I need a bigger wallet (aka a passport holder), and I love the fun colors here.
  • If you go on a beach vacation, you should also take a light and (ideally foldable) beach bag or a cotton bag instead.

London Eye at night - what a beauty.

Clothing in Europe in Summer

Summer in Europe can be a dream destination. Beautiful beaches, lovely cities and towns, charming villages, and amazing landscapes.

Summer means sun – most of the time. It can also be cold and rainy, and to be well prepared for your Europe trip, scroll down and learn more about the perfect Europe Packing List.

As you probably know, I never list any single item or say how many items to take (7 panties, etc.) because it clearly depends on the length of your stay and on you. It depends, whether you like to pack light and wash your clothes, or wear everything just once and do the washing part back home.

It also depends, where exactly you are heading to because there is no “European” style.

People in Italy are the best and fanciest dressed (in my eyes) people, while clothes are not important in other parts of Europe.

However, I recommend packing clothes that are comfortable and versatile so you can easily mix and match not to have to overpack.Dubrovnik should be on every Croatia road trip

Clothes to Pack for Europe

  • Hats: A hat is more than just an accessory in summer, so my must-have item is a stylish hat.
  • Sunglasses: Another must-have item on a sunny day: Sunglasses. Ray-Ban seems to be always a great choice, but the most important thing is the quality (sunglasses are an investment in healthy eyes)
  • Maxi Dresses: Summer means wearing cute dresses, and Europe is made to wear maxi dresses.
  • Skirts: You can wear short skirts in most places. Some shopping malls actually have dress codes and do not allow too short skirts or shorts (though many do not follow the rules)
  • Tops: The more, the merrier – my rule for hot destinations. I love skirts/trousers which I can wear with tops that are easy to change and are made from cotton are other light materials.
  • Blouses: Some cute blouses should be on your list (for the evening, some places that do not allow naked arms, or for the winter).
  • Cardigans and jackets: It can actually get chilly in the afternoon – not only but also after the sunsets. So definitely take at least 1 or 2 cardigans or jackets.
  • Linen Trousers: Though I love maxi dresses, the best thing to wear when it is hot is probably linen trousers – combined with a cool tank top and nice flat sandals, it can be super chic.
  • Denim is big in Europe and depending on where you visit in Europe. You might need some warmer clothes.
  • Sweatpants – for hiking, walking and feeling comfy and cozy (and yes, you can look great in sweatpants).
  • Shorts: Shorts are okay for most places – I love them, especially for the beaches.
  • Footwear:  flat sandals, flip flops, and ballerinas. But a pair of sneakers are almost always a good choice, too.

what to pack for Europe

Toiletries to Pack for Europe

If I travel for 10 days or shorter, I take travel-sized toiletries that I refill with my natural and organic beauty products from home (shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, cleaning water, and cleansing milk). Of course, you could buy toiletries here as well, but if you do not want to waste your time in drug stores or supermarkets, use this checklist for Europe.

Forget all the different small bags for shampoo etc. – get them all packed in a Toiletry Kit and have them super organized with you.

  • TSA Approved Clear Travel Toiletry Bag
  • Sunscreen
  • Travel bottles to refill – I refill them with my own organic products that I normally use. I do not use shampoo & conditioner provided by hotels for several reasons.
  • Electric Hair Removal Epilator (only if you stay longer than a week or if you remove your body hair with it) – otherwise, a razor or whatever you prefer.
  • Face cream. I also use it as a hand cream, so I do not have to take another cream.
  • Refillable Travel Size Perfume Bottle
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste and mouthwash plus Dental floss
  • Only use it when traveling: dry shampoo- (check size, and choose the small travel si ze)
  • Tissues
  • Deodorant
  • Refreshing towelettes
  • Magnifying make-up mirror
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover
  • My favorite hairbrush (especially for longer hair) – or if you have less space take a comb
  • Hair ties
  • A small cosmetic bag with the following items:
  • Mascara
  • Rouge
  • Eyebrow powder (Taming & Shaping Kit For Brows)
  • Tweezer
  • Eyelash curler
  • Eyeliner – I sometimes use black eye shadow as an eyeliner
  • Make-up brushes
  • Glass nail file
  • Cotton swabs

Here are a few more items that I personally do hardly use but which might be important to you, so I added them here:

  • Hair spray
  • Hand cream
  • Foundation
  • Powder
  • Lipstick
  • Sanitizer

What to pack for Europe

What to Pack for a Day at the Beach in Europe

  • Swimming Suits: bikinis (though you might find some nudist beaches as well in some places).
  • I love kaftans and think, it is best to wear from the beach back to the hotel room etc. Luckily, they look super cool these days.
  • Beach Bag:  I recommend one of the cool beach bags, which are light, affordable, and stylish.
  • Flip Flops are my must-have for beach days.
  • If you have a great hotel with a private beach section, you probably do not need a towel. If this is not the case not it should also be on your list. If you do not have any beach towel yet, click here to get your beach essentials.
  • Do you prefer lying at the beach all day, or do you like to be more active? Bring your beach ball (click here to get yours), or a floating unicorn.
  • A reading book / Kindle is also a great idea for a day at the beach.

Click here to find my complete list: What to pack for a day at the beachEurope packing list

Tech Stuff to Pack for Europe

  • I have my laptop with me whenever I fly. Find the best laptop for travelers
  • A while ago, I thought my tablet  is the most useless item I bought in a while – since I can download from Netflix (and thus watch my shows offline), I have found one good argument bringing my tablet with me whenever I travel
  • My phone- without doubt one of my most useful and important (travel) item
  • Camera – Europe has so many great spots that need to be photographed.
  • I have to admit that I still don’t have a kindle, so a “real” book is often an essential
  • A day at the beach or pool would not be perfect without my iPod
  • Power Charger- how long does your phone battery last? Not long? neither does mine, so this  is an essential
  • Check if you need an International Travel Power Adapter

Random Things to Pack for Europe

  • Umbrella (in many countries, like Germany, Switzerland, or England is can still rain quite a lot in the summer)
  • Guides
  • Medicine (headache pills etc.)

Read my: Packing guide for carry-on essentials.

Depending on where you travel in Europe, you could buy all or most of the items here in Europe – maybe even for a better price than in your country. Still, to avoid spending time shopping, I suggest coming to Europe and having your Europe packing list complete, so you can fully focus on discovering the beautiful places here in Europe.

best things to do in Switzerland

Safe Travels, Arzo

Best Things to Do in Hallstatt in One Day

Hallstatt in one day, best things to do and see

WHAT TO DO IN HALLSTATT – ITINERARY FOR 1 DAY

If you plan your Hallstatt itinerary, you might be wondering about the best things to do in Hallstatt in one day. If so, then this post is for you – find out what to do in Hallstatt.

Thanks to Instagram, I came across pictures of Hallstatt. Then, digging a bit deeper, I found blog posts about this tiny village located on Hallstatt Lake’s shores, close to Salzburg. This Austrian town seemed to be one of the most beautiful places in Europe. Everyone seemed to think so. Or at least that is how it felt when reading all the posts.

I wanted to find out whether Hallstatt is really THAT stunning and worth the hype.

After one day in Hallstatt, I have come to a conclusion. I will tell you later about my thoughts. First, here are my recommendations for what to do in Hallstatt, and some important travel advice.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR ONE DAY IN HALLSTATT

Before discussing your one-day Hallstatt itinerary, here are some tips for your first trip to Hallstatt.

Hallstatt Information

  • Hallstatt is located on Lake Hallstatt’s western shore in Austria’s mountainous Salzkammergut region.
  • The village has a long and impressive history and is considered to be one of the oldest still inhabited settlements in Europe.
  • Hallstatt’s UNESCO-recognized salt mines date to prehistoric times, possibly even to 5000 B.C. So, they are probably the oldest salt mine in the world. Because of the salt industry, the town quickly became wealthy since salt was a valuable commodity. These days, salt is still important, but also tourism plays a major role for the economy.
  • The Alpine houses in Hallstatt mostly date back to the 16th century – making it picture-perfect with the mountain and the lake as a backdrop. Especially amongst Chinese, Hallstatt is extremely popular.

Where to Stay in Hallstatt For One Day

Hallstatt has very few hotels, which quickly book out. So if you plan to stay overnight, book early.

While I believe that six to eight hours in Hallstatt is enough to see all the (special) places, I can understand if you would like to stay overnight. Then you can experience Hallstatt in the morning or late afternoon when all the crowds are gone.

When to Visit Hallstatt

  • Hallstatt is extremely popular – and crowded at (almost) any time of the year.
  • So, if you come here, plan an early arrival or come later, so you have the evening with fewer people. If you stay overnight in Hallstatt, you can experience this town without the crowds.
  • Most tourists come by bus and just stay for a few hours – so anytime between 10 am and 5 or 6 pm is extremely crowded.
  • I guess that Hallstatt is a great place to visit year-round. Every time of year has its own charm. However, it might be even busier in June and August. I visited in late September, and it was still busy. December must also be a great time to visit it. Imagine it in winter with the snow-capped roofs! Also, then there is a Christmas Market for some time.

Things to Keep in Mind For Your Hallstatt Itinerary

  • Money: Credit cards are often not accepted, so bring cash. The currency in Austria is €.
  • Drones: Drones are not allowed.
  • Water/Budget Tip: Bring your water bottle and refill it with fresh water from the water fountains in Hallstatt.
  • Clothes: If you plan to hike a bit, make sure to wear appropriate shoes and bring a jacket. Even on a sunny day, it can get quite chilly in the mountains 
  • (Austrian) German is the main and official language, but most people speak basic English in Hallstatt.

How to Arrive in Hallstatt From Salzburg

CAR

  • A very scenic and beautiful way to arrive in Hallstatt is via car from Salzburg. First, drive to Bad Ischgl and then to Hallstatt. It takes a little more than an hour, and we took some breaks. The journey is the reward! This is definitely true for the drive from Salzburg to Hallstatt.
  • Park your car in the car park. You cannot miss it. You will come across it if you are “in front” of Hallstatt. You are not allowed to drive into Hallstatt with a car. Then walk 10 minutes to the town center. There is also a shuttle bus, but I recommend just walking, as it is just a few minutes and the buses don’t run often.

BUS / TRAIN / FERRY

  • There are buses/trains from Salzburg to Hallstatt. It takes a bit more than 2 hours by bus – or 2.5 hours by train plus a short ferry ride.

GUIDED TOURS

THINGS TO DO IN HALLSTATT IN 1 DAY

Okay, you have finally made it to the best things to do in Hallstatt.

Stroll the Lake Promenade 

One of the first things you will see – most likely – is the church. Located right on Lake Hallstatt’s shores, this is the most prominent building that dominates the skyline of the town.

Hallstatt in 1 dayThis is the first view, where many people take their pictures.

Keep walking this way until you get to the market square. As mentioned, the town is tiny, so it just takes a few minutes. You will find many cute buildings on your way, but the market square is probably the place with the most colorful buildings. 

Stroll the Streets and Visit the Market Square

The promenade of Hallstatt is charming. However, the little side streets and the market square have their own charm.

The market square is a popular place for gatherings – for locals and visitors alike. Where to go in Hallstatt Market Square

What to see in Hallstatt Market Square

In the center of the market square is the statue of the mighty Holy Trinity. Around the statue, you will find many cute buildings.

There are also restaurants and shops (including souvenir shops) made for tourists. I hardly shop these days and, thus, the shops weren’t appealing, but you can buy dirndls, souvenirs, and so on. Tourists seemed to love the shops. They probably spend tons of money on gifts for their loved ones at home (and also on presents for themselves).

Stroll the town of Hallstatt Austria

The restaurants seemed to be tourist traps to me. I ended up in a restaurant with a nice lake view and okay food, but I am sure you don’t come to Hallstatt for the food.

Hike Hallstatt and See it From Above @Skywalk 

Another top thing to do in Hallstatt is to see it from above. The Skywalk is a panoramic bridge 360 meters above the rooftops of Hallstatt. You have incredible views of the town, Lake Hallstatt, and the mountains. View from above and more points of interets in Hallstatt

12 meters of the bridge extending out into the void like the points of a star. The views are just amazing! The skywalk isn’t long, but it’s good enough to see the place from an incredible perspective.

Welterbeblick from the Hallstatt skywalk

  • How to Get There: Head to the Salzwelten Hallstatt (towards the other end of town).  There either buy a funicular ticket (20€ round trip, 11€ one-way) or hike up.
  • You can combine a funicular ticket with a ticket to Salzwelten Hallstatt.
  • Enjoying the view from the skywalk is free. 

Then you can either hike down or visit a museum first and then hike down.

Learn About the History @Salzwelten Hallstatt

Close to the skywalk, you have the Salzwelten Museum. The mine is the largest active salt mine in Austria.

Once you are in the museum, you can slide down and arrive in the mountain of Altaussee, where you can find out more about salt mining via a sound and light presentation. It is probably an interesting way to learn about Hallstatt´s history.

However, I did not visit because I was there with my dog and could not have enjoyed it the way it was supposed to be enjoyed.

Also, the entrance fee seemed too high to me, so I wasn’t sure it was worth the money.

  • How to Get There: Head to the Salzwelten Hallstatt funicular station (towards the other end of town). There you can buy funicular tickets to bring you to the museum.
  • If you are fit, you can easily hike up and avoid the funicular.
  • Prices: 25€ for adults (36€ including the funicular tickets).
  • Dates and Opening Hours Salzwelten: 27.9.2021 – 9.1.2022 – 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. It is closed on 24.12. and 31.12.2021.

Hike Down From Skywalk

If you skip the museum, you can hike down from the Skywalk Viewing Platform. 

I loved my hike down because I got more impressive views along the way. This easy and downhill hike was definitely one of the highlights of my Hallstatt trip.

What to do in Hallstatt Austria. Hike with views like this

On your way down, you can head to Mühlbachschlucht and see the waterfall in front of you. This makes the hike even prettier. If you are short on time, you can skip it.

Waterfall in Hallstatt town

  • I bought a one-way ticket for the funicular and hiked down. Hiking down took me about 30 minutes; hiking up should take about 60 minutes. 
  • If you are fit, you can easily hike up and down. However, if you prefer less sporty activities, I recommend getting up via funicular and then hiking down at least.
  • Wear solid shoes.

Visit the Catholic Parish Church Hallstatt and the Cemetary

You will also find a little catholic church situated amidst the mountains (it is not the one at the promenade!). It is also famous for the Ossuary and its mountain cemetery.

As in Salzburg, the cemetery in Hallstatt is a popular tourist attraction. It is a tiny cemetery, and it feels too weird to me to openly “explore“ a cemetery. Hallstatt cemetery visit in one dayHowever, I put my little dog into his bag and carried him around while quickly and quietly walking through the cemetery, looking at the graves and views.

The front is assigned to the Evangelist Christians, and following the rules of the cemetery, there are no family graves. Instead, above each grave is the sign of Christ – a cross that is made either of wood or wrought steel.

  • How to Get There: The Catholic Church (which is not the main one on the lake) is visible from far but is nestled in the mountain. If you are in front of the church, you will see the cemetery as well.

Charnel House in St. Michael’s Chapel

One of the best places to visit in Hallstatt is something rather unique. Next to the church is the St. Michael´s chapel dating back to the 12th century.

These days, the chapel attracts a high number of visitors because of the 600 artistically painted skulls. Yes, you read correctly. Those are real skulls that were decorated at the end of the 18th century, but a few are from even the 20th century.

Why do you find decorated skulls in the chapel? Well, skull painting belonged to a cultural area that mainly consisted of the eastern Alpine region.

  • Entrance fee: 1,50 Euro, opening hours differ.

Walk the Upper Stairs

With one day in Hallstatt, you will have enough time to walk the upper stairs. While most people are busy discovering the town from the ground, I recommend climbing a few stairs and walking the area so that you can enjoy some of the best views of the church and market square this way.Hallstatt in 1 day itinerary

What to see in Hallstatt itinerary 1 dayJust keep an eye out for stairs that take you up, or head to the cemetery, and start your walk from there.

Go on Lake Hallstatt

There are several options for going to the lake. A boat cruise (running several times a day, with the starting point near the beginning of the town) costs about 10€. You can rent paddle boats, do stand-up paddling (starting from 8€ for 30 minutes), and do more water sports activities.Stroll Hallstatt and more tourists points

Hallstatt things to do

On a sunny and warm day, you can also swim in the lake (you could do that on a cold day, too, actually).

Things to Do in Hallstatt in Winter

I visited Hallstatt in the fall, but I think that Hallstatt is beautiful at any time of the year. And especially in the winter months. So, what to do in Hallstatt in the winter? If you visit Hallstatt in December, make sure to visit the Christmas Market. Given the size of Hallstatt, the Christmas Market is only open for a few days. 

Other than that, a few special events take place – like the lantern walk at the beginning of December.

However, even without all the Christmas atmosphere, Hallstatt looks gorgeous in December, January, and February with all the snow-capped roofs and mountains.

So, whenever you visit, you will easily find activities to have a wonderful day in Hallstatt.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THINGS TO DO IN HALLSTATT

Is Hallstatt the most beautiful town or lake town in Europe?

While Burano in Italy, for example, could totally live up to the hype, in my opinion, Hallstatt was not as amazing as I thought it would be.

Yes, it is beautiful and picturesque. Yes, it is lovely, and the church right on the lake and the nice houses make it pretty nice. However, I wouldn’t go as far as naming it one of the most beautiful places in Europe, and probably not even in Austria. 

I still believe, Hallstatt is worth a visit and you should definitely add Hallstatt to your itinerary – for one day.

I hope this post has inspired you and you learned about the best things to do in Hallstatt (whether you stay one day in Hallstatt or even longer).

Check out my Salzburg itinerary.

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

An Epic 5-Day Austria Itinerary

Austria in 5 days, itinerary for summer or winter

WHAT TO DO IN 5 DAYS IN AUSTRIA – ITINERARY

Are you planning your perfect 5-day Austria itinerary and wondering about the best things to do? How to get around, where to stay?

Planning a trip to a country can be overwhelming, but I am certain that this is a great itinerary that covers many beautiful places and attractions.

Austria is small but extremely gorgeous! The country has stunning scenery, as well as beautiful towns and romantic cities. If I had to name the most romantic country in Europe, I would probably say it is Austria.

Well, I am aware that no one asked me, but I still think that this country is bursting with romance. But, no worries! I mostly visited as a solo traveler and never felt out of place.

Austria´s pretty cities with their historic castles and fortresses, the pretty villages and towns combined with the Austrian Alps, and the gorgeous lakes surely deserve more than 5 days. 

However, given that most of us cannot travel endlessly, here are some of my favorite places and some travel tips.

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST MIGHT CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS – THIS MEANS I MIGHT EARN A SMALL COMMISSION WHEN YOU BUY A PRODUCT/SERVICE (AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU). MORE ABOUT IT HERE.

BEST TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR AUSTRIA ITINERARY

Let´s start with some travel tips. I will try to keep it short and sweet.

Best Way to Get Around

Austria is a small country, so getting around is quite easy, whether you opt for public transportation, going by car, or taking guided tours.

You can get from one side of the country to the other quite fast – and though getting around is easy, plan in enough time for traveling from place to place.

This is especially true if you travel by car. I stopped many times to soak in the beautiful scenery and snap pictures along the way.

By Car: Whether you rent a car or get there on your own, you will need a toll sticker (of course, you can also avoid toll highways).

Scenic drive from Salzburg to Hallstatt

The cheapest is the toll sticker for 10 days, which costs around $10 (9€).

BUT more private streets cost extra – I was not aware of that (and thought I was all set with my toll sticker). I paid around $11 twice more for two private streets (which seriously annoyed me). 

You can find out about the private roads and avoid them, but if you are spontaneous, then this sucks.

However, these roads, side streets and roads, and highways are generally very good in Austria. They are modern, and it is fun driving in Austria (watch out for the speed cams).

Gas is quite cheap (some of the cheapest in Europe), so when you are in Bavaria or Italy, Switzerland before/after, try to refuel in Austria. Click here to check out rental prices in Austria.

By Public Transportation: Austria´s public transportation is quite good. When I researched, I found it to be a bit expensive, though – at least train rides from one place to another.

However, public transportation in city centers, like Salzburg or Vienna, is very cheap. So, even when you are getting around by car, I suggest leaving your car in the (hotel) parking lot and then get bus tickets.

What is The Best Time to Visit Austria?

I personally enjoy off-season traveling but have visited some places during their peak-seasons before. 

  • If you are a winter sports lover, winter is the best time (or love Christmas Markets, which are big in Austria and especially in Vienna).
  • Austria in the summer months can be busy – like really busy. I would avoid the summer months if possible (especially July and August).
  • If possible, I suggest visiting somewhere between April and the beginning of June, September, or early October. In Central Europe, we can never be sure about the weather. But I guess, in general, the weather is mild and sunny in this period. Prices for accommodations also drop at that time (unfortunately, Austria can be really pricey).

Is Austria Expensive?

Austria is a quite expensive travel destination. Though it is a little more affordable than Switzerland or Scandinavian countries, it is – overall speaking – more costly than countries in Southern or Eastern Europe.

  • Accommodation and transport will probably be the main costs. Still, you can save money by staying outside the city center or traveling during the shoulder season (this Austria itinerary is great for any time of the year).
  • Dining out constantly might also eat into your budget, so if you need to watch your expenses closely, do book accommodations with kitchen access so you can prepare a few meals yourself. There are some affordable supermarkets where you can get your groceries.
  • Cutting back with your meat consumption and alcohol will also help you with your budget.
  • You will get free, delicious water from the mountains at many places throughout the country. My tip is to bring a good refillable water bottle so you do not spend any money on the water.
  • Also, city cards might help you save money. Depending on the number of activities you plan to do, I suggest calculating if they will work for you.

Is Austria Safe?

In general, Austria is a very safe country. Of course, life in the city tends to bring more crime with it.

  • I recommend keeping your wallet and purse very close to you in cities like Vienna because pickpocketing is common.
  • And avoid side streets in the dark – especially as a solo female traveler, you should always be more cautious.
  • If you road trip Austria, do not leave valuables in the car.

Of course, using common sense is important to any traveler, even in Austria. But there are no extra precautions I take when I am in Austria. Just be cautious.

HOW TO SPEND 5 DAYS IN AUSTRIA – ITINERARY

Okay, after the basic travel tips it is time to talk about the best places to visit in 5 days.

VIENNA – 2 DAYS

Vienna is one of my favorite cities in Europe. So pretty, so compact, and so romantic, and it is a great place to start your Austria trip (or to end it). Whatever you decide, DON´T skip this city.

Vienna where to stay in Austria
@shutterstock

I am no expert on architecture, but I was impressed by the numerous beautiful buildings everywhere in the city, and it is so much fun to stroll the streets and admire the facades. As mentioned initially, it can be very romantic, but it doesn’t have to be.

You should spend two full days here, to really understand how gorgeous it is and see the main sights. 

Things to do in Vienna

  • Visit the Stephansdom Cathedral
  • Head to the Austrian Parliament
  • Stroll the Museum District
  • Have fun at the Viennese Prater
  • Marvel at Schönbrunn Palace
  • Enjoy the Hundertwasser Village
  • Visit The Hofburg
  • Learn about history at Schloss Belvedere

Unfortunately, Vienna is quite expensive, but I think it is worth it! To read a more detailed Vienna guide, click here

Where to Stay in Vienna

SALZBURG – 2 DAYS

It takes about 2-3 hours to get to the next beautiful city – Salzburg.

Salzburg is one of the prettiest cities (or THE prettiest city?!) on this Austria itinerary – and home to several really stunning castles and fortresses. I am not ashamed to admit it, but I have a little crush on this city, and so it does not surprise I recommend spending some of your 5 days in Austria here.

View from Museum der Moderne in Salzburg the best views

Accommodations are quite expensive, but with your Salzburg Card, you can at least save some money on activities.

Things to do in Salzburg

  • Stroll the old town
  • Visit Hohensalzburg Fortress
  • See the St. Erhard Kirche
  • Admire the Mirabell Palace and Garden
  • Visit the Cemetery at St. Peters Abbey 
  • Enjoy the Views from Kapuzinerberg
  • Visit Schloss Hellbrunn

These are a few of my favorite activities in Salzburg. I also have a more detailed post on Salzburg where I have more info on prices, duration, and attractions.

Best views in Salzburg St Erhard Kirche

Where to Stay in Salzburg

  • HOTEL RADISSON BLU: If you want to stay in the old town – and prefer a luxury hotel – then the Radisson Blu most likely is the perfect choice for you. The location is convenient because you can easily walk to most main attractions, and it is one of the best-rated hotels in Salzburg. Check out rates for the hotel here.
  • STAR INN PREMIUM SALZBURG: If you are looking for a good but more affordable hotel in the city center, then the Star Inn Premium Salzburg would be a good pick. Its location makes it easy to discover Salzburg on foot. Check out rates for the hotel here.
  • IBIS BUDGET AIRPORT SALZBURG: I normally opt for hotels in the city center – however, since I was driving my own car, I decided to stay outside the main city center. So, I ended up at Ibis Salzburg Airport. There was enough free parking, and I had to walk for about 7 minutes to the bus stop, which was perfect for me. Check out the prices for the hotel here.

Depending on your arrival time, I suggest staying one or two nights before heading to the next pretty place in Austria. If you are in a rush, you surely can visit the main attractions in one day – but it would be less enjoyable.

HALLSTATT – 1 DAY

From Salzburg, you can get to Hallstatt quite easily – and the drive there is really scenic.

It takes about two hours (with some stops) to get to one of the most famous places in the country, which is a must-see for any Austria itinerary, but you can also quite easily get there by train/bus/boat.

First view point of Hallstatt Austria

Hallstatt is one of the most beautiful villages in Austria. And is particularly popular with Chinese tourists, who come for a day (or even just a few hours). Hallstatt is extremely small, so you could “finish” it in two hours. But I suggest planning a full day so that you can include a few more activities.

Things to do in Hallstatt

  • Stroll the Lake Promenade
  • Road the Streets and Visit the Market Square
  • Hike and See Hallstatt from Above at Skywalk
  • Learn About the History at Salzwelten Hallstatt
  • Pay a visit to the Cemetery and Catholic Church
  • Walk the Upper Stairs

Find my more detailed post on Hallstatt here.

Where to go in Hallstatt Market Square

There are not many hotels in Hallstatt – so if you want to stay overnight, it is advised to book early. Find hotel prices in Salzburg here.

Austria´s nature is stunning, but if you are only in Austria for 5 days, I will focus on these places (you’ll find the best scenery in Switzerland).

Where to Stay in Hallstatt

Unfortunately, there are not many hotels in Hallstatt, and hotels can be booked quickly – check out which hotels are available for your dates. P.s. if you book via Booking.Com, you can often cancel up to 24 hours before your arrival without any costs. Check out hotel rates in Hallstatt here.

CONCLUSION: BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN AUSTRIA IN 5 DAYS

Personally, I think it is tough to give exact times because we all travel differently, and everyone has different focuses when traveling.

However, this 5-day Austria itinerary is how I would spend my time in this country. It is such a beautiful country and surely deserves more time. Still, realistically we all have only a limited time to spend in a country (especially in an expensive country like Austria), so I hope you enjoy your trip. If you have a few more days in the country, you can see more of this beautiful country.

PIN ME FOR LATER – 5-DAY AUSTRIA ITINERARY

Here is a pin for Pinterest – pin me, so you find this post quickly.

5-day Austria itinerary pin for Pinterest, places to visit and more tips for 5 days in Austria

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

ULTIMATE PACKING LIST FOR EUROPE IN WINTER

What to pack for Europe in winter

WHAT TO PACK FOR WINTER IN EUROPE

If you are want to find out what to pack for Europe in winter, then this post is for you.

While you might have to think about which places to visit in Europe in winter, you will also need to plan what to pack for the cold winter months in Europe.

While Europe might not be the biggest continent, weather conditions strongly vary. It does make a big difference whether you visit North countries like Iceland or Norway, Central Europe like Switzerland or France, or Southern Europe with places like Valencia in Spain.

If you head to Southern Spain, you will not need all the super warm winter clothes – and you will be happy with some warm pullovers and jeans. In the Nordic countries, you will definitely need to pack differently.

In this post, you will find one general part of what to pack in Europe for winter. You will find out what to pack for warmer countries like Spain or Malta, what to pack if you visit “cold” countries like Switzerland, Estonia, or Iceland in winter.

First ski experience in Verbier, Switzerland what to pack in winter

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

Winter Weather in Europe

Before talking about what to bring to Europe in winter, we should talk about the weather in Europe in winter. Your packing list depends on where you visit.

Southern Europe is much milder and warmer than Eastern Europe or Northern Europe. While you could wear a light jacket in Southern Spain in the winter months, you surely have to dress very warmly in countries like Norway or Iceland.

If you come to Europe in winter – come prepared. 

Be advised that the average temperature can reach as low as -10° degree Celsius in countries like Iceland and Norway and while it gets up to 15° degree Celsius in other countries.

Climate change has lead to a much warmer climate in many countries. I remember the years – as a little child – where we had many days with freezing temperatures in Germany. And a lot of snow – but nowadays, snow is no longer the rule for many parts of Europe. But it can be.

What to do in Alicante, Costa Blanca

What to Bring to Europe in Winter – General Items

So, the first part of the post is a general packing list. Then you will find an additional packing list for winter.

Luggage for Europe

Here is what luggage/bags you might need for your winter Europe trip.

  • Suitcase: Though it depends, where exactly and for how long you travel, I recommend taking a good, light, and quality suitcase with you where all your clothes and most of your toiletries fit in.
  • Carry-On: If you visit for longer and aren’t a minimalist, then you might need extra carry-on luggage.
  • Laundry bags: They are great if you travel for longer and don’t want your dirty and clean clothes to mix up. I prefer them over plastic bags.
  • Packing Cubes: They are the new must-items when it comes to traveling, they are convenient, and they also come in cool colors. I recommend using packing cubes because it makes packing and organizing easier.
  • I choose a cross-body handbag with a zipper (to be safe) and several extra pockets for my handbag. My tip: The size of the handbag is important: do you carry a camera with you? A water bottle? Keep that in mind when you decide on one handbag.
  • Passport Holder: since I have become more minimalistic, I prefer not to use a passport holder, but if you need a passport (and an ID is not enough), you might want to have one.
  • I recommend a beach bag or a cotton bag for a day at the hotel pool or some shopping. Plastic bags – fortunately – do cost money in many parts of Europe…and plastic sucks anyway, so with a cotton bag you use for years, you do the environment a favor. And it looks much better than carrying your shopping in a plastic or paper bag.

Toiletries to Pack for Europe in Winter

Lately, I have reduced the care products. Less is better if you ask me. However, in winter, our skin is also subject to stress. You will find a detailed list – even if I do not use all products below throughout the year, you might use more products.

If I travel for 10 days or shorter, I take travel-sized toiletries, which I refill with my natural and organic beauty products from home. To pack light, shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, cleaning water, and cleansing milk are all in small bottles.

Of course, you could buy toiletries in Europe as well, but if you do not want to waste your time in drug stores or supermarkets, use this checklist for Europe.

  • (TSA Approved Clear) Travel Toiletry Bag (if you fly)
  • Sunscreen (even in winter – depending on where you travel to. If you go for a ski trip, then take it, but you most likely will not need it for most other winter trips).
  • Travel bottles to refill – I refill them with my own organic products that I normally use (I do not use shampoo & conditioner provided by hotels)
  • Electric Hair Removal Epilator (only if you stay longer than a week or if you remove your body hair with it) – otherwise, a razor or whatever you prefer.
  • Face cream – (which I also use as a hand cream, so I do not have to take another cream).
  • Refillable Travel Size Perfume Bottle
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste and mouthwash plus Dental floss
  • Tissues
  • Deodorant
  • Magnifying make-up mirror
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover + glass nail file
  • My favorite hairbrush (especially for longer hair) – or if you have less space, take a comb
  • Hair ties
  • A small cosmetic bag with the following items: Mascara / Rouge / Eyebrow powder (Taming & Shaping Kit For Brows) / Tweezer / Eyeliner and Eye Shadow / Make-up brushes/ Cotton swabs

Here are a few more items that I personally do hardly use but which might be important to you, so I added them here:

hair spray, hand cream, foundation, powder, lipstick, sanitiser

Tech Stuff to Pack for Europe

  • I have my laptop with me whenever I fly – however, I do work online while traveling, and I also watch Netflix on it.
  • My phone is, without a doubt, one of my most useful and important (travel) items.
  • My camera is a must – because Europe has so many great spots that need to be photographed.
  • I have to admit that I still don’t have a kindle, so a “real” book is often an essential
  • Power Charger – how long does your phone battery last? Not long? Neither does mine, so this  is an essential
  • Do you need an adapter? It depends on where you travel to Europe, so please check if you need one for your destination.

Random Things to Pack for Europe

  • Umbrella (in many countries, like Germany, Switzerland, or England is can still rain quite a lot in the winter)
  • Guides
  • Medicine (headache pills etc.)
Cycling in London in winter

Clothes to Pack for Europe in Winter

The key is dressing in layers for Europe in winter. The temperature can reach freezing levels, and yet the sun can be deceptively strong. Dressing in layers allows you to keep warm without compromising on comfort. 

Also, it really depends on where exactly you travel. As I mentioned before, Southern Europe has mild weather in winter where you will not need a super warm jacket and gloves plus a hat.

Depending on where you travel, the wind might make you feel much colder than the temperature actually says.

In the worst-case scenario, hypothermia and frostbite will result if you’re wet and not appropriately dressed.

Your items should be versatile in function. For example, pack a jacket that is both waterproof and warm. Also, comfortable walking shoes are essential.

December in Iceland, Golden Circle with Arzo Travels

Everyday Attire Essentials For Europe In Winter

At the top of your Europe winter packing list should be the following versatile, essential items. Using these items to dress in layers will keep you both stylish and warm. 

  • Coat – Warm And Waterproof: A warm, waterproof jacket should be one of the very first items that you think to pack. Avoid choosing a bulky jacket that takes up a lot of space. This can make you feel uncomfortable when you have layers underneath. Instead, opt for a lightweight, trench raincoat that will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable. 
  • Hat: Science tells us that we lose up to 10% of our body heat through our heads, meaning that it’s essential to keep this area warm. A knitted beanie is a perfect solution for keeping the warmth in while you venture out.  A hat will keep you toasty warm whether you’re on the slopes, sipping coffee, or exploring the sights. 
  • Gloves: Have you ever tried to use your phone with frozen fingers? It’s a nearly impossible task. A pair of gloves can do wonders for your mobility, dexterity, and comfort. This makes it one of the most important items on your Switzerland packing list. When selecting your options, it’s worth investing in a pair that can dry quickly and are touch-screen compatible.
  • Scarf Or Turtleneck: A warm scarf and/or turtleneck sweater are key items for keeping your neck covered. Not only do these items keep you warm, but they also prevent you from getting ill (and thereby ruining the fun). A turtleneck sweater is perfect as a garment to wear underneath your jacket, while the scarf can be removed easily. 
  • Leggings: There’s a reason that almost every woman owns a pair of leggings. They are both comfortable and snug. Leggings are an essential item to pack as you can dress them up or down. You can even wear them underneath your denims as an extra layer of warmth. 
  • Socks: When it comes to packing socks for your Switzerland trip – the thicker the better. Chances are that you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors in the snow, and you’ll want your feet to be warm and cozy. If you plan on hitting the slopes at any stage, then you’ll want your socks to be extra-thick or padded for increased comfort. 
  • Thermals: A quality set of thermals is your key to enjoying the winter weather in Switzerland. They provide the extra layer of heat that will allow you to spend an extra hour on the slopes, or to pack fewer items on your road trip instead of excess clothing.
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes: If you can only pack one pair of shoes, then make sure that they are a trusty pair of waterproof snowshoes. You’ll want your shoes to be as versatile as possible. Snowshoes allow you to enjoy a variety of activities while keeping your feet warm and dry. 
Verbier in Switzerland in the winter

WInter Sport Clothes to Pack

One of the best top reasons to visit e.g. Switzerland during the winter months is winter sports opportunities. While most ski resorts will offer rental equipment, there are a few essentials to pack for yourself. 

  • Ski Jacket: When choosing the perfect ski jacket, you need to consider warmth, level of waterproofing, and freedom of movement. A jacket that is adjustable in fit seals effectively and dries quickly is the perfect apparel for snowboarding, skiing, and other winter outdoor sports.
  • Ski Pants: A trusty pair of insulated ski pants are the next essential item for all winter sports fans. Make sure that your choice of pants is breathable, warm, and waterproof. These details will keep you dry, warm, and comfortable on the slopes.  
  • Winter Protection: There are a few items that will make your winter vacation all the more comfortable. The last thing you want is to be soaked on your first day or get a migraine from snow blindness. 
  • Umbrella: Regardless of what time of year you visit Switzerland, it’s always a smart move to pack a foldable umbrella. The nifty item doesn’t take up too much space. It can be the difference between a stroll in the city streets and getting caught in a flu-inspired downpour. 
  • Chapstick: Visiting Switzerland in winter will most likely find you spending hours of fun on the snow-covered slopes. This can quickly dry out your lips and burn your skin. In this instance, you’re going to be grateful that you’ve packed your moisturizing stick of Chapstick. 
  • Sunglasses: The best days on the slopes are the ones accompanied by clear, sunny skies and good conditions. These circumstances also increase the sun’s glare on the white snow, making it close to unbearable on your eyes. A pair of polarized sunglasses or ski goggles can protect your eyes from the wind and bright light.

CONCLUSION: WHAT TO PACK FOR EUROPE IN WINTER

Europe in winter is a fantastic travel destination. Whether you come for a ski trip in Switzerland, explore the Christmas markets in London or want to have a weekend trip to a warmer place like Valencia – Europe is so diverse and has something for every taste.

Just be aware of what to pack for Europe in winter, and you can enjoy a fantastic time in Europe.

Stay safe and enjoy!

Safe Travels, Arzo

Pin It on Pinterest