Hallstatt Village and Hallstatter See lake in Austria
Destinations

10 Easy Road Trips in Austria – What to See & Do

Vienna is a fairytale capital city bursting at the seams with culture, known as a centre for music, art and cuisine. However, there are several exciting road trips in Austria that travellers should also add to their itinerary, offering access to some of Austria’s most charming towns and picture-perfect landscapes.

Typical Austrian wooden roof

Photo| Typical Austrian wooden roof| GETTYIMAEGS – MIGUEL SOTOMAYOR

With over 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve narrowed down the best road trips in Austria. From UNESCO-listed sites and opulent palaces to the picturesque countryside and an inviting wine region, Austria has got it all. Organised by closest to furthest destinations from Vienna, this guide highlights the best things to do and where to stay.

Melk (1 hour from Vienna)

St. Peter and Paul Church in Melk Benedictine Abbey, Wachau

Photo| St. Peter and Paul Church in Melk Benedictine Abbey, Wachau Valley| GETTYIMAGES – RUSM

spiral staircase in the abbey of Melk.

Photo| Spiral staircase in the abbey of Melk| GETTYIMAGES – GIULIA ROSSI FERRINI

One of the shortest road trips in Austria from Vienna, Melk is set where the River Danube meets the Wachau Valley. Famous for its beautiful Baroque monastery that sits above the water on a cliff, with guided tours offering access to its elaborate frescoes and a marble hall. The charming city is a delightful spot to explore with a preserved old town and tranquil surrounding countryside.

Top Things to Do in Melk

  • Step inside the Melk Abbey to explore its rich history dating back to 1089.
  • Meander through the narrow streets of Old Town Melkto see its collection of historic buildings.
  • Take a tour of the 900-year-old Schloss Schallaburg, only five kilometres away.

Where to Stay in Melk

Hotel Restaurant zur Post

Hotel Restaurant zur Post, hotel for road trips in austria

Photo| Hotel Restaurant Zur Post| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Hotel Restaurant zur Post is a hotel-restaurant that has been family-owned for four generations. In addition to top hospitality, the hotel boasts cosy rooms with flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi, with some including balconies. Planning a romantic getaway? Stay in one of the spacious suites.

Some perks of staying here include free loaner bikes, parking and a breakfast buffet, while there’s also a laid-back restaurant serving local specialties and a wine cellar. Alternatively, opt for a frozen treat at the ice cream parlour.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 131 – USD 207
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: Linzer Straße 1, 3390 Melk, Niederosterreich, Austria

Wachau (1 hour from Vienna)

Rathausplatz square with Johannes Nepomuk monument, steeples of Frauenbergkirche Church and the Church of St Nicholas, Stein, Wachau valley, Waldviertel region, Lower Austria, Austria, Europe, destination for road trips in austria

Photo| Rathausplatz square with Johannes Nepomuk monument| GETTYIMAGES – MARTIN SIEPMANN

Aerial panorama of Durnstein town. Wachau valley, Austria

Photo| Durnstein town. Wachau valley| GETTYIMAGES – RUSM

Next, go deeper into the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its rich wine-growing area with 1,350 hectares of vines set on the hills and mountainsides. Blanketed with picturesque vineyards, rolling hills, ancient ruins and charming villages, the 38-kilometre stretch is picture-perfect. There’s enough history and famed Austrian white wines to keep you busy for a few days.

Top Things to Do in Wachau

  • Join a cycle tour along the river, past vineyards and through quaint villages.
  • Sip your way through the award-winning Wachau Valley wineries, including Domäne Wachau.
  • Venture to the fairytale medieval town of Durnstein to browse small shops selling chocolate, apricot jam and artwork.

Where to Stay in Wachau

Hotel Schloss Durnstein

Hotel Schloss Durnstein, hotel fo road trips in austria

Photo| Hotel Schloss Durnstein| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Hotel Schloss Durnstein is a lavish 5-star hotel with opulent rooms. Choose from single rooms with flat-screen TVs and air conditioning or Superior Balcony rooms with private balconies with Danube River views. For groups of four, stay in a Deluxe room with up to 60 square metres of space.

The on-site restaurant serves local specialties, including Afternoon Tea on its beautiful riverside terrace. Enjoy wine tasting in the cellar, visit the spa’s sauna, steam bath and infrared cabin or relax poolside with a cocktail.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 178 – USD 696
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Dürnstein 2, Durnstein, Niederosterreich, Austria

Salzburg (3 hours from Vienna)

View of cityscape of Salzburg Cathedral, Fortress Hohensalzburg, and old castle in center of old town with river and road along the river at sunset time with milky way in Salzburg, Austria, Europe and also view of snow on alps mountain in background, destination for road trips in austria

Photo| Salzburg Cathedral, Fortress Hohensalzburg, and old castle in the center of old town| GETTYIMAGES – K’NUB

Young woman sitting on bench and enjoys view on big Bischofsmütze, Dachstein mountains, alps

Photo| Woman sitting on bench with a view of big Bischofsmütze| GETTYIMAGES – DIETERMEYRL

The birthplace of famed composer Mozart, Salzburg is one of most beautiful cities in Europe. Its romantic Old Town offers narrow medieval streets with merchant homes from the 15th and 18th centuries,  as well as old courtyards, galleries, boutiques and outdoor cafes. Also, film buffs will love exploring the filming sites for “The Sound of Music”.

Top Things to Do in Salzburg

  • Visit top attractions such as the Salzburg Cathedral, Mirabell Gardens and Hohensalzburg Fortress.
  • See archaeological treasures, artefacts and artwork, including 360-degree panorama paintings at Salzburg Museum.
  • Stop at Mozarts Geburtshaus to see personal exhibits housed in Mozart’s childhood home.

Where to Stay in Salzburg

Hotel Sacher Salzburg

Hotel Sacher Salzburg, hotel for road trips in austria

Photo| Hotel Sacher Salzburg| Provided by BOOKING.COM

A short walk from Old Town, Hotel Sacher Salzburg offers luxury living with elegant rooms and suites. Junior Suites boast Salzach River or Salzburg Theater views, while lavish Presidential Suites measure at 150 square metres. Alternatively, stay in the Sacher Sky Suite with a private roof terrace.

Enjoy gourmet dining at Restaurant Zirbelzimmer, which offers traditional dishes and river views. In addition, Sacher Bar serves pre-dinner aperitifs. Afterwards, enjoy a slice of Original Sacher-Torte at Sacher Cafe or book a massage at the spa.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 255 – USD 1,633
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: Schwarzstrasse 5-7, 5020 Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria

St. Gilgen (3 hours from Vienna)

Austria, Salzburg State, Salzkammergut, St. Gilgen, Christmas Market at night, destination for road trips in austria

Photo| Salzburg State, Salzkammergut, St. Gilgen, Christmas MarkeT| GETTYIMAGES – WESTEND61

Austria, Salzburg State, Salzkammergut, St. Gilgen, Wolfgangsee, Zwoelferhorn cable car

Photo| Zwoelferhorn cable car| GETTYIMAGES – WESTEND61

One of the most popular road trips in Austria, St. Gilgen offers a scenic lakeside setting with quaint wooden buildings adorned with colourful facades and elaborate floral arrangements. The picturesque town is a great alternative to the more popular Hallstatt, where its landscape is quintessential Austria with alpine mountains and turquoise lake.

Top Things to Do in St. Gilgen

  • Stop for ice cream or coffee in the main square or go antique shopping.
  • Join a boat tour of Lake Wolfgang and take in the stunning vistas.
  • Ride the St. Gilgen cable cars to the summit of Zwölferhorn Mountain for beautiful views over the Salzkammergut region.

Where to Stay in St. Gilgen

Gasthof Zur Post

Gasthof Zur Post, hotel for road trips in austria

Photo| Gasthof Zut Post| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Set in a historic building dating to 1330, Gasthof Zur Post is an upscale hotel with modern rooms. Mountain and city-view rooms feature flat-screen TVs, desks and antique furnishings while upgraded rooms include balconies. Stay in a Family Studio for an extra bedroom with twin beds and panoramic views of Wolfgangsee Lake.

Breakfast is complimentary, while the on-site restaurant serves freshly caught fish and traditional wild game. Step inside the wine cellar for a personalised tasting or take advantage of the spa’s sauna and wellness treatments.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 232 – USD 252
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Mozartplatz 8, 5340 Sankt Gilgen, Salzburg, Austria

Hallstatt (3.5 hours from Vienna)

Hallstatt Village and Hallstatter See lake in Austria

Photo| Hallstatt Village and Hallstatter See lake| GETTYIMAGES – DIETERMEYRL

Chalets at marketplace, Hallstatt destination for road trips in austria

Photo| Chalets at marketplace, Hallstatt| GETTYIMAGES – WOLFGANG WEINHAEUPL

Hallstatt has it all – a tranquil lake, soaring peaks and storybook traditional houses along cobblestone streets. Arguably the most iconic road trips in Austria, this quaint Austrian village is a UNESCO-listed site and one of the most photographed sites in Europe. There are plenty of things to do in Hallstatt, from lakeside strolls to exploring ice caves.

Top Things to Do in Hallstatt

  • Take the funicular ride up to the Hallstatt salt mines and the oldest wooden staircase in Europe.
  • While at the salt mines, walk across the free-floating Skywalk that sits 360 metres above the beautiful alpine scenery.
  • See underground ice sculptures, ice curtains and giant icicles at Dachstein Ice Caves.

Where to Stay in Hallstatt

Seehotel Grüner Baum

Seehotel Grüner Baum, hotel for road trips in austria

Photo| Seehotel Grüner Baum| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Located on the market square, Seehotel Grüner Baum is beloved for its gorgeous lake views. A hotspot for celebrities, its rooms boast flat-screen TVs, mini bars and coffee makers. Upgrade for a private balcony or terrace with lake views, large living room and Nespresso machine.

For the best views, visit the lakeside lounge and terrace directly on Lake Hallstatt. Further, its on-site restaurant Zum Salzbaron serves both local and Mediterranean dishes. After an eventful day, relax in the steam room or sauna.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 246 – USD 472
Guest Rating: 8.8
Address: Marktplatz 104, 4830 Hallstatt, Oberosterreich, Austria

Carinthia (3.5 hours from Vienna)

Heiligenblut Alpine village with beautiful pilgrimage church in autumn, destination for road trips in austria

Photo| Heiligenblut Alpine village with beautiful pilgrimage church| GETTYIMAGES – DIETERMEYRL

Aerial panorama of Kaprun high mountain reservoirs Mooserboden Stausee dam in the Hohe Tauern, Salzburger land, Austria.

Photo| Kaprun high mountain reservoirs Mooserboden Stausee dam| GETTYIMAGES – RUSM

Carinthia is one of Austria’s best-kept secrets, featuring hundreds of alpine lakes and sweeping valleys as well as the Grossglockner, the country’s tallest mountain. The location is a hotspot for skiing and spa getaways, with picturesque walled villages such as Friesach and Gmund two of the region’s biggest highlights.

Top Things to Do in Carinthia

  • Relax on the shores of Lake Worthersee in the beautiful town of Klagenfurt.
  • Take a step back in time at Hochosterwitz Castle, historic gem surrounded by majestic mountain scenery.
  • Drive the world-famous Grossglockner High Alpine Road to Hohe Tauern National Park, one of the top road trips in Austria.
Grossglockner high alpine road. destinations for road trips in austria

Photo| Grossglockner high alpine road| GETTYIMAGES – CARLOS SANCHEZ PEREYRA

Where to Stay in Carinthia

Seepark Wörthersee Resort

Seepark Wörthersee Resort, hotel for road trips in austria

Photo| Seepark Wörthersee Resort| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Set on the banks of a lagoon, Seepark Wörthersee Resort is a peaceful getaway in Klagenfurt. Standard Rooms come equipped with mini bars and flat-screen TVs, while Superior Rooms add private balconies. Stay in the posh Master Suite for a lake-view terrace, sauna and bar area.

Get the party started in GIG Bar or book a massage or body treatment at the luxe spa. When hunger strikes, sit on the waterfront terrace of Laguna restaurant and choose from a menu of regional specialties and international cuisines.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 99 – USD 258
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: Universitatsstrasse 104, 9020 Klagenfurt, Carinthia, Austria

Bad Gastein (4 hours from Vienna)

Austria, Salzburg State, Gasteinertal, Bad Gastein, View Gastein Waterfall

Photo| Gastein Waterfall, Bad Gastein| GETTYIMAGES – WESTEND61

 Austria, Bad Gastein, destination for road trips in austria

Photo| Austria, Bad Gastein| GETTYIMAGES – MICHAELA KOTZMANN – EYEEM

A picturesque Austrian spa and ski town, Bad Gastein offers romantic Alpine landscapes and countless outdoor activities year-round. It’s the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation, where visitors can enjoy skiing, hiking and golfing, then retreat to luxury spas with panoramic mountain scenery or dine on schnitzel and other Austrian specialties at cosy restaurants.

Top Things to Do in Bad Gastein

  • Admire sweeping mountain views from the Glocknerblick lookout, then cross the 140-metre-long Stubnerkogel Suspension Bridge.
  • Try unique winter activities such as ski mountaineering on Stubnerkogel or family-friendly rides on the Bellevue toboggan run.
  • Learn more about local history and its natural wonders at the Gasteiner Museum.

Where to Stay in Bad Gastein

Hotel Salzburger Hof

Hotel Salzburger Hof, hotel for road trips in austria

Photo| Hotel Salzburger Hof| Provided by BOOKING.COM

In addition to gorgeous views of the Hohe Tauern mountains, Hotel Salzburger Hof boasts a stylish ambience and central location. In-room amenities include flat-screen TVs, mini bars and Wi-Fi, with Large Double Rooms accommodating up to four guests.

There are multiple on-site restaurants to choose from, including the finest steaks in town at Restaurant Wildbad. Alternatively, Hofkeller offers a vaulted cellar, live music and fondues. In the wellness area, there’s a steam room, saunas, whirlpool and swimming pool.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 123 – USD 186
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: Grillparzerstrase 1, 5640 Bad Gastein, Salzburg, Austria

Zell am See (4.5 hours from Vienna)

Zell am See, Austria, destination fr road trips in austria

Photo| Zell am See with the mountain range Hohe Tauern| GETTYIMAGES – WALTER GEIERSPERGER

Man paragliding above alpine water reservoirs above Kaprun, Zell am See, Salzburg, Austria

Photo| Man paragliding above alpine water reservoirs above Kaprun| GETTYIMAGES – COBERSCHNEIDER

Nestled next on Lake Zell, Zell am See is a pocket-sized city famous for its snow-capped peaks. The family-friendly destination is popular with winter sports enthusiasts, with runs to suit all levels. In warmer months, you can cruise the lake, ride an alpine coaster or follow one of the numerous mountain-view hikes.

Top Things to Do in Salzburg

  • Stroll the traffic-free Old Town to see brightly-painted chalets, quaint shops and local cafes.
  • Take the cable car up to the summit of Schmittenhohe for skiing and gorgeous alpine hiking paths.
  • Ski the slopes or snap photos of the stunning mountain scenery from the viewing platforms at Kitzsteinhorn Glacier.

Where to Stay in Zell am See

Grand Hotel Zell Am See

Grand Hotel Zell Am See, hot for road trips in austria

Photo| Grand Hotel Zell am See| Provided by ICE PORTAL

The upscale Grand Hotel Zell Am See offers a unique location on a private peninsula, directly on the shores of Lake Zell. With unparalleled lake and mountain views, lavish suites boast private balconies, saunas and fireplaces.

The hotel’s posh spa has a wealth of pampering services, as well as an indoor pool, sauna and Jacuzzi. Satisfy your palette at one of the on-site restaurants with outdoor seating overlooking the lake or sip cocktails by the fireplace at Grand Bar.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 171 – USD 567
Guest Rating: 8.1
Address: Esplanade 4-6, 5700 Zell am See, Salzburg, Austria

Innsbruck (5 hours from Vienna)

Anna Column At Maria Theresien Strasse, destinations for road trips in austria

Photo| Anna Column At Maria Theresien Strasse| GETTYIMAGES – DUNCAN GEERE – EYEEM

Buildings Against Blue Sky During Winter

Photo| Painted buildings in Innsbruck, Austria| GETTYIMAGES – ANDREAS KASTNER – EYEEM

Innsbruck is not only one of the best road trips in Austria, but it’s also one of the country’s true alpine gems. The colourful, picturesque city nestled in the Austrian Alps offers unbeatable views of the snow-capped mountains. While skiing is a top activity in this city, travellers will be lured in by the pastel-hued houses, quaint Old Town and range of cultural attractions.

Top Things to Do in Innsbruck

  • Climb the 133 steps up the 31-metre-tall Stadtturm (Town Tower) for a picture-perfect, birds-eye view over the town.
  • See the famed Golden Roof, then visit the Goldenes Dachl Museum to see artefacts from the era of Emperor Maximilian I.
  • Take the Nordkette funicular to Hungerburg, Seegrube and “Top of Innsbruck” at 2,256 metres high.

Where to Stay in Innsbruck

Stage 12 Hotel By Penz

Stage 12 Hotel By Penz, hotels for road trips in austria

Photo| Stage 12 Hotel by Penz| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Stage 12 Hotel By Penz is an artsy hotel in Innsbruck, just five minutes from the city’s top landmarks. Perfect for families and groups, it boasts Family Rooms with bunk beds and Triple Rooms with three beds. However, all rooms include air conditioning, insulated windows and mini fridges.

Fuel up with breakfast favourites at the complimentary breakfast, then return for a post-sightseeing drink at the trendy bar or visit one of the saunas in the relaxation zone. Alternatively, burn off energy in the fitness room.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 134 – USD 313
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: Maria Theresien Straße 12-14, 6020 Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria

St Anton am Arlberg (6 hours from Vienna)

Saint Anton, destination for road trips in austria

Photo| The town of Saint Anton| GETTYIMAGES – ROGER CRACKNELL PHOTOGRAPHY

Langer See and mountains, St. Anton am Arlberg, Tyrol, Austria

Photo| Langer See and mountains, St. Anton am Arlberg| GETTYIMAGES – HELMUT_F

One of the furthest road trips in Austria from Vienna, St Anton am Arlberg is well worth the drive. Located in the Tyrolean Alps, this legendary Austrian village is a gateway to the Arlberg ski region and is called the “cradle of alpine skiing” for its role in creating the sport. For non-skiers, it also boasts a lively apres-ski scene as well as winter hiking, tobogganing and ice skating.

Top Things to Do in St Anton am Arlberg

  • Take a guided tour of the Museum of St. Anton am Arlberg to hear fascinating stories about the village’s rich ski heritage.
  • Hit the slopes of Valluga Mountain or ride the gondolas up for 360 views of the surrounding mountains in Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
  • Visit St Anton’s famous apres bars such as Mooserwirt and Crazy Kangaruh.

Where to Stay in St Anton am Arlberg

Hotel Tannenhof

A lavish getaway in Tirol, Hotel Tannenhof boasts 5-star services and stylish suites. Each suite has its own character with contemporary decor, custom-made beds and crackling fireplaces. The Master Suite is the most opulent choice, offering grand views of St. Anton am Arlberg and the Verwall group.

The chic on-site restaurant offers a feast for your senses with gourmet cuisine paired with wines from the cellar. Experience pure relaxation at the spa’s hot tub, sauna and indoor pool, or take advantage of the chauffeur-driven Maserati car service and helicopter shuttle.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 1,054 – USD 6,479
Guest Rating: No Rating
Address: Nassereinerstrasse 98, 6580 Sankt Anton am Arlberg, Tirol, Austria

Hotel Locations

Hit the Road With These Best Road Trips in Austria

Happy friends celebrating Oktoberfest and toasting with beer

Photo| Happy friends celebrating Oktoberfest| GETTYIMAGES – WUNDERVISUALS

Road trips from Vienna are packed with adventure, as the vibrant capital city offers an excellent home base for exploring Austria’s most spectacular sites. Create the perfect itinerary with the help of our guide and see this postcard-worthy country at your own pace. Afterwards, retreat to one of these top hotels with inviting amenities.

Which are your favourite road trips from Vienna? Let us know in the comments below.

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