Your 72 hour Austria itinerary! Being someone who calculates PTO, I have to be strategic in using my days and what I can see in those days. Typically this results in a few days in a few destinations before heading back to work. However, along the way I have learned that you can see quite a lot in just a few days!
**We flew into Munich in the late afternoon on this trip. Therefore, we stayed in Munich one night and did a walking tour of Munich in the morning before heading to Austria**
Day 0.5: Innsbruck
After doing a walking tour of Munich, we drove 2 hours from Munich to Innsbruck.
If you are driving from Munich to Innsbruck, take the slightly longer route through Garmish-Partenkirchen to see gorgeous mountain views and stop in Garmish if you have the time!
Arriving in early afternoon, we were able to explore and have dinner in downtown Innsbruck. You’ll notice the vibrant and colorful architecture as soon as you turn on the the central pedestrian street and it’s beauty is only magnified by the backdrop of the Austrian Alps. Take your time exploring the shops and boutiques around the town square.
The day was topped off with dinner downtown and a walk down the Inn River back to our bed and breakfast.
Day 1: Innsbruck/Zell am See
Day 1 consisted of finishing up what we wanted to see in Innsbruck before heading to Zell am See. We covered a lot of ground in 1 day!
Itinerary for day 1:
- Early morning views from the restaurant Licktblick in Innsbruck
- Free to walk around the ledge of the restaurant
- Bergisel Ski Jump
- Whether you are a skier or not, go up to the top for even higher panoramic views of Austria!
- “Painted ladies” of Innsbruck
- I don’t think the colorful houses located along the Inn River are actually called the “painted ladies,” but they are worth seeing and have become an identifying landmark for Innsbruck
Click here for more information on maximizing your 24 hours in Innsbruck!
4. After seeing the colorful house row of Innsbruck, we began our 2 hour journey to Zell am See. Getting there before nightfall, we were able to check into our private room of a locals house found on booking.com, explore downtown Zell am See and visit the Grand Hotel and its gorgeous landscape before having dinner!
Side note: Zell am See is a ski town located on a gorgeous lake. Like any other ski town, it is bustling in the winter for skiing as well as in the summer when there is outdoor fun like hiking and enjoying the lake. So, while we visited in October, Zell am See was a ghost town! Many stores weren’t even open, so the options for dining and things to do in town were slim this time of year.
Day 2: Kitzsteinhorn Gondola
The main purpose of adding a pitstop in Zell am See was to ride the gondola up to Kitzteinhorn and see the glacier at the top. It was one of the highlights of this trip! I recommend it for ANY Austria itinerary. However, we had quite the time trying to plan our trip to include the views at Kitzteinhorn. We weren’t exactly sure what it was called or what town it was located in. I’ll try to clarify some things to make it easier on you when you’re planning.
Click here to learn everything you need to know about visiting Kitzsteinhorn!
After finishing at Kitzteinhorn, we drove 2.5 hours to Salzburg to spend two nights. We arrived about 2 hours before nightfall and spent the remaining daylight hours walking along the river before having a great dinner at a local restaurant and beer garden called Sternbrau.
Day 3: Salzburg
Salzburg’s hills really are alive (iykyk)! Day three was spent exploring Salzburg. We traveled in a group of 4, so our morning was split in two, with two people going on a “Sound of Music” tour while my (now husband) and I took a self-guided tour around Salzburg using our headphones and an app with information about the main sights to see around Salzburg.
There is a lot to do and see in Salzburg, so click here for a list of recommended activities in Salzburg!
Austria Itinerary Recap!
This is a fast-paced Austria itinerary. However, we felt like we got to see a lot of Western Austria! Our end-goal of this trip was to travel down to Croatia, so we decided to leave out Vienna on this particular trip and fit it into our future trip to Hungry and Slovakia 🙂 Also, with more time we would have added a stop in Hallstatt on our drive from Zell am See to Salzburg. However, exploring Kitzsteinhorn took us longer than we expected it so we took it off the itinerary. Add it to yours if you have time!
I hope you love Austria as much as we did; we have every intention of returning again!