How to Spend a Week in Austria

view of hallstatt

We’ve just come back from a lovely week in Austria, where we saw both snow-capped mountains and lush, green vineyards, stayed in a village with 860 residents and a city with 1.7 million, and bought beer from a vending machine (no juxtaposition there, it was just awesome). 

beer vending machine in hallstatt

Why Austria? While on our honeymoon a few years back, we met a lovely Austrian couple who were seated next to us at lunch one day. While our conversation wasn’t heavily focused on Austria, we came away that afternoon wanting to go there one day. Once we made the decision to go to Oktoberfest, a week traveling through beautiful Austria seemed like an obvious way to decompress after the festival. Here’s where we went:

Day Zero – Travel from Munich to Salzburg, stopping at Hitler’s Kehlsteinhaus in Berchtesgaden

Day One – Salzburg

Day Two – Salzburg to Hallstatt

Day Three – Hallstatt

Day Four – Hallstatt to Dürnstein, by way of Admont Abbey and Melk Abbey

Day Five – Dürnstein

Day Six – Dürnstein to Vienna

Day Seven – Vienna

Planning the Trip

How did we decide where to go and what to see? Like most trips, I started planning by reading a travel guide – this time, Lonely Planet’s Austria – and then scrolled through some travel blogs and Pinterest. I didn’t dive into much of Austria’s history, like I did for our Scotland trip.

With a list of must-sees in hand, I marked out a general route from Munich, Germany (where we would be for Oktoberfest) to Vienna, from which we would fly back to Austin by way of London. As you can see, we didn’t venture into the western part of the country, but the route from Salzburg to Vienna took us through many different regions, each with their own scenery and culture.

route through austria

Packing for the Trip and What to Expect

As usual, we both packed only a carry-on suitcase and a personal item – check out Packing for Oktoberfest and Austria for details on what we took with us.

Weather-wise, early fall was a gorgeous time to be in Austria. We enjoyed mild days in the upper 50s and low 60s, with overnight temperatures in the 40s. We had a couple of rainy days to contend with, but otherwise the weather was lovely.

Being heavy on the meat and potatoes, the food didn’t particularly jump out at us, though I had a few meals of delicious spaetzle and also enjoyed a few cheese platters along the way. As a non-meat eater, Austria was a tough place to get a good, well-rounded meal. However, the calories I may have lacked from a meal I made up with glasses of grüner veltliner which was fine by me.

Check out Austria: What to Know for travel tips and what to expect on your own Austrian adventure.

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