We’ve been thinking of sharing the itinerary of our Austrian-Bavarian road trip for a long time. We have already written about some of our experiences there in several posts, but we wanted to summarize in this post the route that we followed and to prove that you don’t need much time or to leave Europe in order to enjoy of an amazing trip. In just seven days, we discovered part of Austria and Bavaria in a road trip that took us from Vienna to Munich through a magnificient alpine landscape.
Day 1: Barcelona – Vienna
Our trip started in Vienna, one of the essential capitals in Europe. Vienna, with all those beautiful palaces, had always been in my wish list. We arrived from Vienna coming from Barcelona in the afternoon, but we had sufficient time to walk around the Belvedere Gardens, the Ringstrasse (the main avenue of Vienna) and the city centre. We had a traditional dinner (Wiener Schnitzel) there, near St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
Day 2: Vienna
This day we visited one of the main tourist attractions in Vienna, the Schönbrunn Palace, a former imperial summer residence. We got lost among its gardens and Baroque rooms, while thinking of the lifes of those who used to stay there. The palace has become famous worldwide thanks to the story of the Empress Elisabet of Austria (Sissi) and her tragical end. Later, we had lunch in the Naschmarkt, which is one of the best markets in Vienna, with a good offer of street food and restaurants. That day we also entered the Kunsthistorisches Museum, one of the most relevant art museums in the world.
Day 3: Vienna – Salzburg
On the third day of our trip, we picked up our rental car and drove towards Salzburg in a three-hour jorney. We made a stop in Melk, where we had lunch at the feet of its impressive Benedictine abbey, just next to the Danube river. We would have loved to visit the inside of the abbey but we couldn’t because we wanted to arrive at Salzburg with enough time to enter the Salzburg Fortress before it was closed. Salzburg is one of the most charming cities we’ve been to. With its beautiful streets and the amazing views that visitors have from the fortress, we understood why the hometown of Mozart is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Day 4: Salzburg – Gosau
From Salzburg we crossed the border to Germany in order to visit the Königssee, which is considered the cleanest and most beautiful lake in Germany. We crossed to reach Salet, and from there we hiked up to the Röthbach waterfall. You can read our experience there in this post. Afterwards, we visited one of the most beautiful villages in the world, or at least in Europe. Hallstatt, with its architecture and its mountain lake, is of course among our Top 5 villages in Europe. We ended our day in the Gosau valley.
Day 5: Gosau – Grossglockner Road
Early in the morning we left Gosau to visit the Eisriesenwelt ice cave. The Eisriesenwelt is a cave labyrinth with a total length of more than 40 kilometers. However, it is only possible to visit 1km. You will find more information of this visit in our post. There we could see huge ice formations and we enjoyed of a traditional lunch with amazing views to the mountains. After lunch, we headed towards the Grossglockner Road, with its famous Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Höhe glacier. You can read our experience sleeping there in a hut in this post.
Day 6: Glossglockner Road – Munich
We got up in the hut and it was cold despite it was August. But we were looking for more adventure, so we drove to the Krimml waterfalls. There we could feel the energy of the water by walking through a beautiful trail, as you can read in this post. Later, we continued our trip until we reached Innsbruck, the capital of the Tyrol state. From the city tower (Stadtturm) we could have amazing views of the city and its surroundings. The golden roof that you can spot in the picture below is a symbol of Innsbruck. That roof was decorated with gold to mark the wedding of Emperor Maximilian I. Our final destination was on the other side of the border, in Munich.
Day 7: Munich
I don’t know what is our thing with Munich but we both have been there twice. In 2014, for me (Laura) it was my second visit, but for Dídac it was the first time there. Our flight departed from Munich to Barcelona in the afternoon, so in that occasion we could only have a walk around the city centre and taste the Bavarian gastronomy. Being in the Marienplatz is always a pleasure, specially when you have the chance of looking at the Rathaus cuckoo clock (called Glockenspiel) in movement.
If we had spent more days in the zone, we would have loved to visit at least the salt mine of Hallein (in the Salzburg area) and the Neuschwanstein Castle, in the German side of the border between Austria and Germany. But we know that we will return to the area in some years, specially taking into account that it is a true family friendly destination.