AJU presents, 15-day Summer itinerary in Austria

KwakMin-jung -() | Posted : July 6, 2017, 17:34 | Updated : July 6, 2017, 17:35

Belvedere Palace in Vienna, Austria. [Courtesy of Kwak, Min Jung / AJU Business Daily]

The air is already filled with summer excitement. The sun is blazing down, encouraging people to head to a nearby beach or take a dip in a pool to cool down. Many people are already flying out to summer destinations to enjoy summer to the fullest.

AJU 15-day itinerary in Austria is for people who didn't get to plan ahead or have a spontaneous urge for an adventure. This itinerary will work perfectly for people who will be renting a car to travel. 

If you are a fan of Mozart, the movie Sound of Music, or a history fanatic who always wanted to see the museums dedicated to the lives of Habsburg royals, this travel route can help you satisfy your adventurous and curious spirit. 

The map of Austria [Courtesy of Kwak, Min Jung / AJU Business Daily]

1. Vienna - 3 days

The journey begins with Vienna, the capital of Austria. It has the largest airport in the country and if you are flying in from overseas, Vienna International Airport is most likely where you will land. 

In Vienna, you can check out the historical sites like Hofburg Palace, Belvedere Palace, and other museums that show the history of Austria and its rich culture. You can visit major shopping streets and in the evening, you can lounge by the Danube Canal bars to sip wine, enjoy the summer breeze and watch the sunset. 

If you don't mind traveling a longer distance, you can check out Schonbrunn Palace and Hof Palace to see the royal summer residence.

Day 1: After arriving at your hotel, you can check out the major shopping districts like Landstrasse and Mariahilfer Strasse. Most of the shops close around 5 pm except restaurants, so be mindful of time.
Day 2: Full excursion day. You can begin with Inner Stadt district first and venture out. Hofburg Palace was the main imperial residence of the Habsburg rulers. You can check out exhibitions like Silver Collection, Sisi Museum, and the Imperial Apartments to peek into the lives of Habsburg royals. Don't forget to pick up an audio guide device to hear the full story behind the exhibition. Another must-check-out place is Belvedere Palace. It boasts a beautiful garden and architecture. It also houses the Gustav Klimt exhibition.
Day 3: Schonbrunn Palace was a summer residence of the Habsburg family. It has a vast ground with well-manicured gardens. It has splendid imperial apartments that show different characteristics and favored styles of different rulers and royals. Hof Palace belonged to Prince Eugene of Savoy and has a bigger ground. What makes this residence unique is that it has a zoo that houses exotic animals like Baroque Donkey. 

Natural History Museum in Vienna, Austria [Courtesy of Kwak, Min Jung / AJU Business Daily ]

2. Wachau region - 1 day

Durnstein is a lesser known city by Danube River but is often called the pearl of Danube. It has a beautiful cathedral called Stift Durnstein. The town is relatively small, so you can walk from the entrance of the town to the end in 15 to 20 minutes. To take in the full beauty of Durnstein, begin a

Krems is a wine village in Wachau region, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. It sits by the picturesque Danube River and has cute shops and restaurants to check out. 

3. Melk Monastery - Half day

This massive monastery is famous for its dazzling baroque interior. It exhibits many relics of saints. The library and church are the must-check-out sites in this monastery. The church boasts lavish frescoes and decor. It takes about a good half a day to see the inside of the monastery and its garden. 

4. Linz - 1 day

Linz is the capital of Upper Austria and is the third largest city in the country. Linz is nestled by Danube River. It is an important industrial center and was titled European Capital of Culture in 2009. It has the striking city center that dates back to 13 century. 

5. Wilhering Monastery - Half day

Whilhering Monastery's architecture and Rococo decor are more modest than Melk and other abbeys in the region because of its Cistercian background. This is located near Linz, so after a day in Linz, you can simply drive to Whilhering to check out this historical abbey.

6. Salzburg - 2 days

If you are a fan of Mozart or Sound of Music, this city must have been the top of your list to travel to. This small city by Salzach River has so many sites to visit and it is on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Give the city full two days at least. 

Day 1: You can check out Mozart's birthplace, residence, and family grave in St. Sebastian Church. Also, Dom Cathedral and Quartier, panoramic view from Imberg Mountain, Holy Trinity Church are the musts. 
Day 2: The second day can be dedicated to the Sound of Music theme. You can also do a four-hour tour offered by Panorama Tours. Try to go for a 9:30 am tour if you want to be back in the city to check out the site featured in the movie in detail. The movie sites are Mirabell Palace Gardens, Leopoldskron Palace, Gazebo in Hellbrunn Palace, Nonnberg Abbey, St. Gilgen, and Mondsee Wedding Chapel.

7. St. Wolfgang - 1 day

St. Wolfgang is in the Salzkammergut, which boasts exceptional beauty. This jewel of a city by Wolfgangsee, a scenic lake, has been a place of pilgrimage since 12 century. This city is perfect for nature lovers who want to soak in its beauty all day long.

Hallstatt, Austria [Courtesy of Kwak, Min Jung / AJU Business Daily]

8. Hallstatt - 1 day

Hallstatt is a must-check-out place if you are visiting Austria. It only takes up a day because it is a tiny town by Hallstatter See (or Hallstatter Lake) in Salzkammergut. This region was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. It boasts jaw-dropping beauty and salt mines in the mountains that date back to Neolithic Era. In the summer during tour season, cars are not allowed inside of the town, so you have to find a parking lot nearby.

Rent an electric boat to lounge on the lake and soak in its beauty if you do not like to be around a big crowd in a sightseeing boat. 

9. Innsbruck - 2 days

Innsbruck is the capital of Austria's western state of Tirol in the Alps. This alpine town hosted Winter Olympic Games twice. The city has perfect blends of past and future. 

The old town of Innsbruck has full of historical monuments to check out and if you are an avid hiker, don't forget to check out the hiking trails.

Day 1: Check out Old Town of Innsbruck that has a lot of historical sites including Imperial Palace and Golden Roof.
Day 2: Driver over to Stubai Valley that is perfect for hiking. Enjoy the alpine view and the breath of fresh air. 

10. Graz - 3 Days

Graz is the capital of southern province of Styria. The city's historic center was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 and it is easy to see why. The historical architectures are superbly preserved. 

Styria is known for its wine and cuisine, so don't forget to check out famous restaurants like Landhaus Keller.

Day 1: You can check out Hauptplatz, the historical center of Graz. The Medieval Quarter, Graz Museum, and Kunsthaus are located near the center. Mausoleum and Domkirche are the must-check-out sites in the inner district. 
Day 2: Visit Eggenberg Palace. The guided tour here is worth the money, but find out the schedule beforehand. The palace was registered UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the only palace in Austria that does not have modern accommodations and electricity installed in the apartments, so you can really feel what the life back in its golden days were really like. Don't be surprised to see the resident peacocks. They generally stroll around and mind their own business, but during the breeding and hatching season, they can be a bit sensitive. 
Day 3: Drive through the Vineyard Trail to see the wine villages. 

This itinerary is for people who will rent a car out because some of the sites that are mentioned here are hard to reach by train and other means of public transportation within the timeline. 

When you book a hotel, try to book a place in the old part of town or innerstadt if you want to explore the city on foot. Also, many of historical sites and famous restaurants are often located in the inner districts. 

Kwak, Min Jung = abiel@ajunews.com
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