Hi guys, in this post, I wanted to share with you my 7-day Austria and South Germany trip itinerary and some useful tips on hiring a car, getting a Schengen visa for Austria and Germany (if you need one) and driving in Germany and Austria. This road trip itinerary includes visiting cities like Vienna, Vienna Woods + Mayerling, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Berchtesgaden and Munich.
Here’s what you can expect to find in this post:
Let’s start with the things you need to know before planning your weeklong Austria and Germany road trip itinerary.
How to plan Austria and Germany road trip?
Getting a Schengen visa
First of all, if you’re planning to visit Germany and Austria from outside the EU, UK and the US, you need to check everything you need to know about Schengen visas in this handy guide from AXA. Getting a Schengen visa isn’t hard, but you need to make sure all your documents are in order and in some cases, you need to buy tickets and book hotels in advance and provide all the booking references in order to get a visa.
Hiring a car to drive in Austria and Germany
Unless you live in Europe and have your own car, you will probably need to hire a car to drive in Austria and Germany. Renting a car there is pretty straightforward, however, make sure to check if your car rental allows a different rental car drop off – as this road trip starts in Vienna and finishes in Munich. Some car rentals can change extra for that, so make sure you’ll find one, where the cost is minimal. I recommend checking Rentalcars.com – we always book our cars there. Also, you don’t need to have a car during the entire trip – you won’t need it for the first 2 days in Vienna and you definitely won’t need it for the last day in Munich as well.
Buying multi-city flights
Another important thing to outline in this itinerary – this road trip isn’t circular; as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, it starts in Vienna and finishes in Munich. It means, that you need to buy multi-city flights that arrive to Vienna and leave from Munich. You can check the flight prices on Skyscanner.net.
Can you do the same trip without hiring a car?
If you’re wondering whether it’s possible to do the same itinerary without hiring a car – yes, it’s possible, however, you might have some problems visiting Hallstatt. Also, you won’t be as flexible on the train /coach departure times; however, the itinerary is still perfectly doable without a car!
Alright, I think that we covered the most important bits of the FAQ, so let’s get started with the 7-day road trip itinerary around Austria and Germany, from Vienna to Munich.
Austria and South Germany in 1 week by car: the itinerary
Alright, let’s get started with the itinerary for Austria and South Germany in 1 week by car.
Here’s a short overview of the itinerary:
Vienna -> Wienerwald (Vienna Woods + Mayerling) -> Hallstatt -> Salzburg -> Berchtesgaden -> Neuschwanstein -> Munich
And here’s the overview of the itinerary by day:
Days 1 and 2: Exploring Vienna, night at Henri Hotel Wien
Day 3: Vienna Woods + Mayerling, night in Vienna
Day 4: Hallstatt and Salzburg, night in Salzburg at Motel One Mirabell
Day 5: Salzburg and Berchtesgaden, night in Berchtesgaden at Alpenhotel Denninglehen
Day 6: Berchtesgaden, Neuschwanstein and driving to Munich, staying at Munich rooms.
Day 7: Exploring Munich and flying back
Let’s start with the detailed overview of this itinerary for Austria and Germany in 1 week!
Days 1, 2 and 3: Exploring Vienna: best things to do in Vienna. Wiener Wald
Vienna is a very lovely city! I was lucky to visit this city 3 times during 3 different seasons, but I honestly liked it a lot during all seasons. If you’re doing this road trip in early winter, you will see dreamy Vienna with amazing Christmas markets. In spring, you will see trees and flowers blooming; in summer it will be hot and very pleasant, and Autumn is also stunning. I would probably recommend to do this road trip in winter, but I’m just biased because I love snow and also for me Germany and Austria have the best Christmas Markets.
During your 2 days in Vienna (or 1.5 days based on your arrival time in Vienna), I recommend doing the following things.
Things to do in Vienna in 2 days:
Climb on top the Vienna cathedral
Visit the Belvedere Museum
Visit the Schonbrunn Museum
Admire the strange and unusual Hundertwasser House
Visit Vienna Opera (if you manage to buy tickets)
Walk around the city centre and enjoy the city
In summer, take the Donau river cruise
On the day 3, I recommend heading to Vienna Woods + Mayerling. This could be a perfect 1/2-day trip and for this trip, you’ll need a car. Some of the things you can do in Vienna Woods region is driving through Helenental Valley (and stopping everywhere to take photos); visiting Mayerling as well as the Cistercian Heiligenkreuz Abbey. Finally, you can drive to the super pretty town called Baden and explore the city centre by foot. It’s especially nice in summer, as it’s a spa town, however, you can enjoy it in winter too.
In the afternoon, you can return to Vienna and explore the last bits of the city.
Where to stay in Vienna for 3 days:
Day 4: Visiting Hallstatt and Salzburg
On your 4th day in Austria, you can drive to Hallstatt – the most instagrammable town in Austria. I have a separate post about Hallstatt on Tripsget, so feel free to check it out if you need more photos and inspiration on what to do in Hallstatt.
Driving to Hallstatt from Vienna takes around 3.5 hours, so make sure to wake up early and leave Vienna by 9 am. In Hallstatt, you can easily spend a few hours – even though the town is small, it’s insanely photogenic! If you want to spend more time in Hallstatt, you can surround the lake on foot!
After you’re done with Hallstatt, head to Salzburg, another famous city in Austria and the birthplace of Mozart. It takes 1.5 hours to reach Salzburg from Hallstatt, so you will probably arrive there late, hence, I recommend spending the next 1/2 day in Salzburg as well to see the main highlights.
I visited Salzburg 6 times and every single time I found something to do in the city (in case you’re wondering why I visited Salzburg so many times – well, my brother lives 30 minutes away, in a very small town, so it always makes sense to visit Salzburg for shopping and walking around (as well as eating out).
Some of the best things you can do in Salzburg:
Visit the Birthplace of Mozart
Visit the Fuerst Cafe
Walk around the city centre
Visit the Salzburg castle
Day 5: Salzburg and Berchtesgaden
When you finish sightseeing in Salzburg, you can head to Berchtesgaden, a very photogenic town in Germany located just 30 minutes away from Salzburg! Berchtesgaden is a lovely Medieval spa town with painted buildings, amazing Therme (spa – and very affordable, too), great brewhouses and cheerful atmosphere. If you’re visiting before Christmas, it also has a lovely Christmas Market.
If you’re interested in dark history as well, Eagle’s Nest (Hitler’s former residence) is also located close to Berchtesgaden.
There are plenty of lovely guesthouses and hotels in Berchtesgaden like Alpenhotel Denninglehen, for example; however, if you want to splurge, you can stay in stunning Kempinski located on the top of a mountain.
Day 6: Neuschwanstein and Munich
The 6th day of the Germany and Austria road trip will be packed with driving, so make sure to leave Berchtesgaden no later than at 11am, so you arrive to the Neuschwanstein castle before 2pm. If you’re planning to visit the castle (definitely recommended), make sure to buy tickets in advance. Neuschwanstein is definitely one of the most Instagrammable castles in the entire Europe.
After visiting Neuschwanstein, drive back to Munich. Once you arrive in Munich, you can return your car and check in at your hotel. I recommend staying somewhere close to the city center and these two hotels are a great option: fab Hotel and Munich rooms.
For you evening in Munich, I recommend visiting one of the famous breweries: Paulaner, Franziskaner, Hofbrauhaus – the experience there is unforgettable!
Day 7: Munich and flying back
On the last day of your Austria and South Germany road trip, you can explore Munich. I love Munich – it’s such a fun and vibrant city. You probably know that Munich is home to the biggest and best beer festival in the world – Oktoberfest. However, there are plenty of things to do in Munich besides drinking beer:
- Walk around the city centre to visit the Rathaus and the famous Marienplatz as well as the new Town Hall
- Visit the beautiful Nymphenburg Palace
- Visit the BMW museum
Summary of 7-day road trip itinerary around Austria and Germany
I hope you found this 7-day Austria and South Germany trip itinerary useful and got some exciting ideas on the best places to visit. I honestly think that road trips are the best way to discover Europe, so I hope you enjoy this itinerary!