Österreichische Nationalbibliothek - Vienna, Austria Vienna, Austria Salzburg, Austria

Essential Austria

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

The perfect introduction to Austria, Essential Austria is designed to introduce you to some of the sites you need to see on your first trip to the country, with the experience that only Exeter International can provide.

The Basics

  • Six nights in city’s top hotels, inclusive of tax and breakfast
  • Private airport transportation to and from your hotel
  • Private Exeter Guide at your service as described in the program
  • Entrance Fees to all the sites mentioned in the program
  • 24-hour, English-speaking local assistance in case of emergency or changes

For custom luxury travel and tours to Austria, please contact one of our travel experts.

 

PDF itinerary HERE.

Day 1
Munich- Salzburg | Munich- Salzburg Mirabell Gardens, Salzburg

Morning arrival, into Salzburg from Munich airport. Your driver will be waiting for you outside of baggage claim to transfer you south from Munich and over the border to Salzburg.

This afternoon, after time to freshen up, meet your guide at 2PM in your hotel lobby for an overview walking tour of historic Salzburg. Salzburg’s Old Town with its world-famous baroque architecture is one of the best-preserved city centers in Europe and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.   Begin with a journey to the “top” of the city. The Hohensalzburg fortress, strategically located on a hill overlooking the old town, is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. because the fortress actually never came under a military siege and was surrendered without a fight to Napoleon’s army, this is one of the best-preserved castles in Europe. 

You will also see the Salzburg Cathedral, a 17th-century Baroque building which was the site of Mozart’s baptism. St. Rupert also founded the Benedictine St. Peter’s abbey, the oldest monastery in Austria. The Romanesque abbey church, still in use today, was dedicated in the 12th Century.   

Salzburg’s most famous son is of course Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and you will get a chance to visit his birthplace, if you are interested. Later today, if time allows, you might also like to see the Mirabell Palace, located on the bank of the Salzach River, which was supposedly built by a local archbishop for his Jewish mistress. 

All throughout your sightseeing today, you’ll also be noticing sites from The Sound of Music, including Mirabel Gardens (Do-Re-Mi), the abbey and the cemetery where the family hid from the Nazis.

 

Exeter Services

Arrival Transfer; Guide (3 Hours)

Hotel

Sacher

Day 2
Salzburg | Salzburg St Wolfgang nr Salzburg

This morning your guide and driver will take you through Salzkammergut – the Lake District. This gorgeous region is dotted with picturesque towns, lakes and mountains and gives you a glimpse into the stunning landscape that has made this region so famous. Today’s exploration includes St. Gilgen, Lake Wolfgang, and the Sound of Music wedding church in Mondsee. This is Austria’s Romantic Road.  

St. Wolfgang is one of the most beautiful towns in the area. Here you will board a local boat with your guide and cruise along Wolfgangsee Lake to the neighboring town of St. Gilgen. Your driver will meet you after your cruise.

Finally, if you’re interested, stop by Mondsee to see its colorful market square and stop at the cloister church used as the wedding church in The Sound of Music.

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience

Head to the Mönchsberg mountain where you will find your private cooking school in one of the caverns at its base.  Your expert chef has traveled the world pursuing his craft and is now back at home in Austria to teach you the secrets of Austrian pastries.    Today you will create two iconic desserts – the very traditional apple strudel and the magnificent meringue creation of the Salzburg Nockerl.  Everything is very hands-on, so prepare to cook!  While your desserts are cooking, you will have a lunch of traditional goulash and then enjoy your creations for dessert.

 

Exeter Services

Vehicle, Driver & Guide (4 Hours); Chef (1.5 – 2 Hours)

Hotel

Sacher

 

Day 3
Salzburg | Salzburg EaglesNest, Salzburg

Today your driver and guide will meet you in the hotel lobby this morning for a relative early start to get the fewest crowds at your destination.

You will first head to the base at Obersalzburg.  From here you take a specially equipped bus to the Eagle’s Nest along the steep rock walls and deep gorges. There are gorgeous views along the ride. Afterwards, you take the original brass-lined elevator directly to the building of Eagle’s Nest, originally built as a teahouse for Hitler as a 50th birthday present. The building is now a restaurant (not a great one!) with panoramic mountain views.  The entire reason for coming here is the view and the story behind the building and the town.

Afterwards, for something lighter, spend some time in the gorgeous town of Berchtesgaden. Its winding lanes and painted facades make it seem like a fairytale village. 

 

Exeter Services

Vehicle, Driver & Guide (4 Hours)

Hotel

Sacher

Day 4
Salzburg-Vienna | Salzburg-Vienna Vienna, Austria

This morning transfer to the train station for the 2.5 hour train to Vienna. Upon arrival in Vienna, your personal driver will welcome you for transfer to your deluxe hotel in the city center.  Train tickets are not included but will be quoted separately.  Austrian Rail has great rates for families traveling together.

This afternoon your guide will meet you at your hotel. Vienna is a wonderful city to see on foot, as most major sights are located very close together. During your walk this morning with your guide, you will see the soaring St. Stephens Cathedral with its unusual colored ceramic tile roof. Your guide will take you through the interior of the cathedral and, if you have the energy, you can climb to the top of the steeple for a spectacular view over central Vienna!  

Afterward, you can continue on your walking tour of the of this area. There are so many nooks and crannies to explore – each with unique architectural details from the ages. Today your guide will also show you some of the most famous coffeehouses of Vienna along with some of the grand buildings and monuments along Vienna’s storied Ringstrasse.

 

Exeter Services

Station Transfer (Salzburg & Vienna); Guide (3 Hours)

Hotel

Sacher

Day 5
Vienna | Vienna Schonbrunn Palace - Vienna, Austria

Today you will have an overview tour of the city. Begin with a drive along Vienna’s famous Ringstrasse.  This is where you find all of the most gorgeous buildings in Vienna – the State Opera House, the Hofburg Palace, the Fine Arts Museum and its mirror, the Natural History Museum.  Don’t miss a look at the imposing City Hall and the beautiful Burgtheater.  You will also have a glimpse of some of Vienna’s Art Nouveau architecture.  Look for the Vienna Secession Building and the Wagner-designed metro stations.

Then erase all of that imperial majesty from your mind as you stop by Hundertwasser House – one of the architectural highlights and an expressionist landmark.  It’s an apartment house designed by Friedensreich Hunderwasser and is eclectic, colorful and unique.

Afterward, head to the famous Schönbrunn Palace, the summer home of the Hapsburgs. The design of Schönbrunn is bound largely with the personality of Maria Theresa, one of the Hapsburgs’ greatest Empresses. Originally designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer Von Erlach, Maria Theresa gave Nikolaus Pacassi the contract to expand the summer palace. The palace stands today as a combination of Austrian Rococo and Classic Baroque symmetry.

 

Exeter Services

Vehicle, Driver & Guide (4 Hours)

Hotel

Sacher  

Day 6
Vienna | Vienna

Art Option

Today you will visit the Belvedere Palace and Gardens. This palace, built as the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy, is situated on a gently sloping hill. The two main palaces (upper and lower) are linked by formal French gardens and both now house wonderful art collections. Your visit today will focus on the Upper Belvedere. The permanent collection includes works by Schiele, Kokoschka and more. However, it’s best known for its collection of Klimt – one of the greatest collections in the world – including The Kiss.

Afterward, you might want to hop on the Ring Tram with your guide to take the short journey around the historic Ring that encircles Vienna. You’ll see all the most important buildings and monuments of the city in this one journey.

Exeter Services

Guide (4 hours)

 

Viennese Food Option

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience

This afternoon your local food insider will meet you in your hotel lobby. Today you will have a tour using public transport (and walking) of her favorite local markets and unique Vienna food producers.   These aren’t big productions, but local family-run businesses.  During the walk, you will not only taste samples of the food, you will learn more about Austrian every day life and food culture.   

 

Exeter Services

Food Insider (3 Hours)

 Hotel

Sacher 

Day 7
Vienna Onward | Vienna Onward St. Stephens Roof View, Vienna Austria

Today your driver will meet you in your hotel lobby for your transfer to the airport to meet your departing flight.

Exeter Services
Departure Transfer

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