With its pure mountain-air, breathtaking beauty and adventures to escalate the thrill of this magnificent place, you will never run out of things to do here! Most importantly, you get to relive the scenes; you saw in the movie, ‘Sound of Music’ and walk along the footsteps of the Trapp family!
Come, travel with me to the top destinations of Austria.
Day 1&2: Innsbruck
Day 3: Salzburg
Day 4: Hallstatt
Day 5 & 6: Vienna
Day 7: Shopping & Flight back.
Innsbruck is the most beautiful city of Tyrol also known as the capital of Alps. It is an international tourist destination with extreme winter sports and adventures. This Tyrolean city offers age old history with its old wooden houses dating back to 16-17C.
P.S. The people here are quite friendly, you’ll never feel far from home.
The Goldness Dachl/Golden roof is at the center and was designed to serve as a royal box where the emperor and his people could sit and enjoy fests, tournaments and other events that took place in the city.
If you walk down the old town street, keeping the golden Dachl to your right, you reach the city tower (Stadtturm). This 51 meters tall gothic structure is an important landmark. It was built between 1442-1450 and is believed to have been used as an observation point for sentries who announced the hours of the day. Take your camera along to the top to capture the aerial views.
The street has branded shops but I found the products comparatively expensive. The city also has wonderful old, attic-made hotels which give wonderful views of the Alps.
After exploring the old town, take a break on one of the benches and sip on Cognac, before moving to the Dom St. Jacob- a grand 18th-century baroque cathedral with an ornate interior & an iconic painting of the Virgin Mary. The church is simply beautiful but you gotta hurry, it closes quite early.
Later I walked back to the Golden Dachl to the Hofkirche (Court Church) which is a Gothic church built in 1553. A few steps away from the church via Hofgasse leads to the beautiful gardens of Court garden-Hofgarten. The autumn had colored the leaves and it was a beautiful sight to behold.
A walk through the central road leads to the ski resorts. If you are ski lover this day could be dedicated for skiing as well as paragliding. Couple tickets are cheaper. You get to see the mesmerizing views of the beautiful snowcapped mountains with a fringe of greenery ending with the light blue color of the sea. It is surely a magical experience.
Note: Trams are available for moving from place to place.
Trains and buses are available from Innsbruck to Salzburg. It will cost you around €40 in train and €12 by bus. The train journey is a feast to your eyes.
Salzburg’s “Old Town” (Altstadt) is internationally renowned for its baroque architecture and is one of the best-preserved city centers north of the Alps. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Salzburg was the birthplace of 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
I took up the ‘Sound of Music Tour’ and on a snowy morning. I started my journey from the hotel to Mirabell Palace Gardens singing ‘Do-Re-Mi’ all the way watching the Hohensalzburg fortress in the backdrop. The first stop was at the Pegasus fountain and the musical steps. On passing The Dwarf Garden and the Vine Tunnel we were out of the Mirabell Palace Gardens after one hour and the snow fall was getting heavier by the minute.
The Van Trapp family is shot in three different mansions.
- We started off from the gardens to Leopoldscorn palace- (the Van Trapp family house in the film). The reflection looks awesome and if you can recollect, this is the place where Maria and the children tip out of a boat and into the lake while waving to Georg and the Baroness.
- From there, the van took us to Frohnburg Palace, which is now a music academy.
- Hellbrunn Palace- The song ‘16 going on 17’ was shot here in the gazebo. You cannot enter the palace anymore though.
- The evening grew darker with the snowfall getting heavier. We dragged our legs to Mondsee-The Collegiate Church in the town that’s worth a visit. This is where the wedding of Maria and the Captain took place in the film. Mondsee is around 15 km from Salzburg.
I hurried back to our van to keep myself warm and on my way back to the hotel room; I stopped by on a nearby restaurant to have an authentic Austrian dinner.
Hallstatt is just a 2-hour journey from Salzburg. You need to change 2 buses on the way. It is better, if you rent a car or take the tour to Hallstatt with only pick and drop-off facility. I’m sure you will love to explore the small village at you convenience.
The village on the lake owes its existence to the rich salt deposit in the mountain of Hallstatt. Till today, discoveries are still made in the salt mountain of Hallstatt. Among the most beautiful places of interest are the:
- Oldest salt mine in the world.
- Ossuary in Hallstatt
- Romantic boat ride on Lake Hallstatt.
- Trip to the breathtaking cave world in Obertraun
- Visit to the Lake Gosau with the mighty Dachstein glacier.
The road which takes you to the top of the church is the only street present. You will remember this walk for a lifetime! There is so much beauty concentrated in this one place. It is quite enthralling!
Ossuary/The catholic parish church in Hallstatt is a beautiful gem amid the cultural heritage village. the small Roman church dates back to 1181, its powerful tower dating back to the 12th century bears witness to this fact. The rocky grounds of the parish church became the Hallstatt cemetery. The front is assigned the Evangelist Christians
N.B: The boat rides are a must. You can plan your visit in autumn to enjoy the gorgeous colors of the season!
The train journey from Salzburg would cost you around €50 and around €12-15 by bus. It was almost mid-night when I reached Vienna. The snowfall was heavy but hats off to the taxi drivers who were kind enough to drop me to the service apartment and help me with my luggage. The next morning, I was amazed to see the city covered in snow! However, the most commendable things about this town is their transportation channels which are very convenient and easy-to-use.
I started from the Opera. Musical luminaries including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Ferdinand Ries, Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Robert Stolz and Arnold Schoenberg have worked there.
Innere Stadt is the inner district of Vienna. Its historic Centre dates to Roman ages and has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It is encircled by the:
- Ring Road (Ringstraße), a grand boulevard constructed along the old city walls, which were torn down starting in 1858. Along the Ringstraße are many famous and grand buildings.
- City Hall (Rathaus),
- The Austrian Parliament,
- The Hofburg Palace,
- The Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum),
- The Museum of Art History (Kunsthistorisches Museum),
- State Opera House (Wiener Staatsoper).
- The famous St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom), perhaps the most recognizable symbol of Vienna. As the renovation was going on, I could not visit the inside of the Cathedral L
- Josefsplatz – A public square located at the Hofburg Palace named after Emperor Joseph II considered one of the finest courtyards in Vienna.
- The Emperor Franz Monument. The four women located around him at the corners signify faith, peace, justice and power.
- Heroes’ Square is a public space in front of the Hofburg Palace located in the Innere Stadt borough, the President of Austria resides in the adjoining Hofburg wing. Many important actions and events took place here, most notably Adolf Hitler’s ceremonial announcement of the Austrian Anschluss to Nazi Germany in 1938.
You might spend more than 6 hours moving around the place which is walkable and you will reach the shopping market. It is also referred as the ‘Golden Circle’. As the Christmas sale was around, there were umpteen shops offering tempting prices.
The following day. I started my trip from the Belvedere-a historic building complex consisting of two Baroque palaces (the Upper and Lower Belvedere), the Orangery, and the Palace Stables. The buildings are set in a Baroque park landscape which includes decorative tiered fountains and cascades, Baroque sculptures, and majestic wrought iron gates. The palace garden which has a wide collection of sculptures link both the palaces. The journey took about 2.5 hours and I was terribly hungry and tired as the snow was heavy and it was freezing cold.
Took the blue line tram to reach the palace and gardens of Schonbrunn. I relaxed for a while admiring the beauty of the spectacular 18 century magnificent architecture.
Note: You must try the pasta here! It tastes heavenly.
All the Bollywood movies shot at this spot flashed in and quietly as I walked to collect my tickets to the baroque palace of 1441 rooms. Do not to forget to click a picture in the frame with the palace in the background!
You can also customize your day trips to the following UNESCO heritage sites in Austria.
Click on the link to customize your trip. ( Number 1.2.3 and 7 have been included in the itinerary)
- Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg
- Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn
- Hallstatt-Dachstein / Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape
- Semmering Railway
- City of Graz – Historic Centre and Schloss Eggenberg
- Wachau Cultural Landscape
- Historic Centre of Vienna
- Fertö / Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape *
- Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe *
- Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps *
- Visit in autumn to capture the spectacle of autumn colors. Visit in winter for the snow.
- If you’re visiting in winter as I did, carry layers of warm clothes as it is going to get very chilly.
- If you’re visiting in summer, you can enjoy the lush greenery around.
- Travelling is easy but make sure you’re travelling light because you will be walking a lot.
- Food is more or less hassle-free and is pocket-friendly.
- There are a lot of Bed & Breakfast Inns to check in.
- Buses are cheaper than trains but train journeys are more scenic.
“Take only memories, leave only footprints.” -Chief Seattle