A Detailed Tour Guide of Italy and Austria
Starting location: Bangalore
Tour Duration: 13 Days
Travel Month: Oct'22
Number of People: Total 2 families 6 people, 4 adults, 1 young adult, and 1 child.
Austria is excellent and picture-perfect, an amazing place to drive. Public transport is not as good as in Italy or Switzerland. Italy is rich in history and lot of things to explore, history lovers will enjoy Italy, and a guided tour is recommended to uncover the history. Lot of things we listened to from the guide which you will not find in a history book.
Expenditure of the tour Italy and Austria:
Planning was the most important and exciting part of our Italy and Austria tour. It imbibes a lot of positive energy. You must plan your holidays for at least 6 months. This time we started our planning well in advance. After COVID this was our 1st International trip. We chose Europe once again and would like to say that Europe is our favorite holiday destination whatever may be the reason and whatever may be the occasion doesn't matter we love to travel in Europe.
As our Italy and Austria trip was well planned, air tickets were not very expensive. We booked our Air tickets for April.
- BLR – Vienna- BLR via Qatar Airways
- Vienna – Venice via Austrian
- Vienna – Rome via Eurail
- Rome – Vienna via Austrian
Qatar Airways is good at 8/10, and Austrian is good as expected at 7/10. From Bangalore to Doha I got the flight from Indigo, during ticket booking I have not checked the flight details. But the next 3 flights (Doha-> Vienna, Vienna-> Doha, and Doha-> Bangalore) were from Qatar airways. No special action (COVID Related) is to be taken for going out, but for coming back to India you need to fill out the form at the Air Suvidha portal. During that time, I realized that I needed an RTPCR -ve certificate for my child (applicable for the kid above 5 years) as he had no vaccination certificate.
I like booking.com and I am a genius L3 member, I get a good discount on selected hotels/apartments.
- Vienna: Vienna Hauptbahnhof Arsenal Apartments 1bhk for 1 night, very good apartment huge space, good sleep, Excellent location, metro access (200 meters), breakfast and parking not available but pay & park is available near to the apartment. Highly recommended
- Salzburg: Pension Heisel-Villa Untersbergblick – Anthering for 1 night, it was inside a village 1BHK, possible to reach if you are traveling by car, huge space, good sleep, and good breakfast. recommended
- Liechtenstein: Hotel Restaurant Kulm for 1 night. With free parking, provided an extra bed for a child, good sleep, a good location, excellent breakfast, and the location of breakfast floating on the valley, excellent view. Highly recommended.
- Innsbruck: Hotel Goldene Krone, for 2-nights, good location, provided an extra bed for child breakfast was average. Parking is not available in the hotel but outside pay & park is possible.
- Hallstatt: Apartmenthaus Hinterer, for 1-night, it was inside a village 3BHK, possible to reach if you are traveling by car, colossal space, sound sleep. Highly recommended, excellent view from the apartment. We thought we could have only stayed one more day here for this apartment.
- Venice: Hotel Montecarlo, for 1-night far from the rail station, and the location is not good. Challenging to reach with luggage as a water taxi will leave you 500 meters from this Hotel. Average breakfast, Not recommended.
- Rome: Redseven Rome Apartment, for 4-nights, 2 BHK, sufficient for 6 people, good location, 400 meters from Roma Termini. Breakfast is not available. Average
- Vienna: Hotel Graf Stadion, for a 1-night good location, Metro access (1km). Average
Guideline for Schengen visa: Nowadays it is very difficult to get a Schengen visa from India. As we started planning very early, we applied in May'22 and got the appointment in June'22. But in the present situation, it takes more than 3 months to get the appointment. You will get all relevant guides from the VFS website for the visa application process.
I booked the car at Vienna Airport for 7 days from Europcar. Pick up and drop at the Vienna Airport. It was easy and convenient.
The following documents are required to book the car
- Driving license (Home Country)
- International driving permit (IDP) or International Drivers License
Till my last visit, I found IDP is an optional document and the rental company doesn't ask for this document. But this time Europcar asked me for this document, and I did not have it. Then they asked me to go to “ÖAMTC Schwechat” to translate DL into German. This place is 8 km away from the airport and they work from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Fortunately, we reached 2:30 pm and were able to manage this document. My other friend was traveling from Istanbul and his arrival time was @ 6:30 pm. I asked him to send the soft copy of his DL and able to manage his document as well.
Italy and Austria Tour Description
This time our Italy and Austria tour was divided into two parts.
1. Drive tour for 7 days in Austria (approximate 1800 km driving)
2. Travelling using public transport for 4 days in Italy and 1 day in Vienna.
Our flight was from Bangalore to Vienna via Doha. Our flight was on time from Bangalore to Doha. In Doha, there was no immigration only a security check and it took 5-10 minutes to pass through. We reached Vienna on time and took the car from the car rental office (@P4 ground floor). It took 1 hr extra for me to go to “ÖAMTC Schwechat” and come back.
We checked in @ 5:00 pm and found parking very near to the apartment (within 100 meters). 25€ for overnight parking. Thus started our Italy and Austria tour.
After breakfast in the apartment, we started @ 8:30 am. It was 3 hour drive from Vienna to Salzburg. We parked our car at “Tiefgarage Barmherzige Brüder, 5010” and started our walking tour. We went to Fortress Hohensalzburg. It was a 10-minute walk from the parking place. A good amount of energy is required to walk as need to walk uphill. The train is also available for uphill rides, and you can avoid that walk. Excellent view from the top and the weather was good.
After that, we covered Friedhof St. Peter, Salzburg Residence, Mozart Residence, and Mirabell palace, all are nearby and easy to walk. Then we drove to The Eagle's nest. It's a hill station and very good view. From there we went to our Apartment. We ate at a very nice restaurant at night “KERNEI'S MOSTHEURIGER”. This is located in the village and the food was awesome. Most of the customers are known to each other. We were strangers there and got a warm welcome from the restaurant as well as a few more people.
After breakfast in the apartment, we started @ 8:30 am. It was 2 hour drive from Salzburg to Munich. We parked our car at “Parkgarage Senefelderstraße” and started our tour via “Big Bus” from Munich Central station. We covered 2 lines (red and blue) and got a quick look at the city. We finished our bus tour @ 5:00 pm and started our journey to Liechtenstein.
We stopped at Landsberg for filling up the petrol for the car and refuel ourselves. It was a 2 Hrs 40 minutes drive but we took approximately 1 hour 30 minutes more with a break. We drove slowly along the uphill section as it was dark. We reached the hotel around 9:00 pm and decided to take dinner at 10:00 pm. The hotel kitchen was closed at that time but they made alternate arrangements for us (Green Salad, Bread, Egg, etc), and it was good.
After taking breakfast at the hotel, we started @ 10:00 am. We did sightseeing and covered a few points like Vaduz Castle, Malbun, Liechtenstein Centre, The main Square, Cathedral of St. Floron, etc. It's a beautiful city with an excellent landscape. Throughout the day we enjoyed the beautiful sights of Liechtenstein. We ended our day @ Lichtenstein around 5:00 pm and started our journey towards Innsbruck. It was a 2hrs 30 minutes drive and we reached on time to Innsbruck. We had dinner @ “Himalayan Nepali Kitchen” which was very near to our hotel. The food was good and non-spicy.
There are 2 types of parking lines, white line, and blue line. The white line is for temporary parking (stopping loading luggage etc) and the blue line is for long-time parking. We didn't know this and parked at the white line and when we were coming back from dinner, we found we got a parking fine slip for 21€.
After breakfast in the hotel, we started @ 9:00 am. We went to Stubai glacier enjoyed the ropeway ride and touched the ice. In general, people go there for skiing. Perfect place and has a beautiful landscape. From Stubai Glacier, we went to Swarovski Kristallwelten. On the way, we stopped at Grawa waterfall to take some quick photos. Though Swarovski Kristallwelten was not very interesting to me, but ladies in the group enjoyed and did their shopping. After that, we came back to the city in the afternoon and had late lunch. It was drizzling in the afternoon, and we explored the city in the afternoon.
We started our day @ 10:00 am for Hallstatt. It was approximately 3 hrs drive, we chose the route via Wolfgangsee Lake. Other than the highway part, the view was awesome. We took some quick photos at Wolfgang and reached our Apartment at 1:30 pm. Our Apartment was approximately 12 km away from Hallstatt. Car is not allowed inside lake road. There are dedicated parking locations, and you can see the availability on the board once you are entering Hallstatt. Based on the availability you can decide which location you can park your car. We parked at P2 and from there the lake was 400 meters walk. We had late lunch at a lake-facing restaurant. The view and feeling were very good.
We started our day @ 11:00 am for Vienna. It was approximately a 3 hrs 20 minutes drive. Our flight was at 8:30 pm to Venice. We chose our route via Traunsee. It is also a lake district. We spent a good time there and then went to Vienna airport. On my other trips I always had difficulties finding the location to drop the car off, but this time it was very easy. I did not face any challenges to find the location. Now started the next venture in out Italy and Austria tour.
We took the flight to Venice and reached Venice on time. But at the Venice airport, I found difficulties, in how to reach the hotel. I spoke to a taxi. First, they said they can drop us off at Venice railway station (Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia). From there 2.5 km walk to our hotel. Then one more taxi driver was helpful and told us to take a water taxi. It will leave us at Rialto which is 500 meters away from our hotel. From the airport to the water taxi stand is 600 meters walk. We took the water taxi and reached the hotel. The experience of a water taxi was good, but the experience of walking with luggage through the narrow stinky lane of Venice was not good. The weather was relatively hot compared to Austria.
Venice is a very small place, lot of historical places to explore and you can explore Venice by walking. We started our day at 9:30 am, and breakfast in the hotel was average. I found Venice a shopper's paradise, but everything is expensive. We went for a Gondola ride, it was 80€ for 30 minutes. I feel it is hyped and nothing special. We took lunch at a seafood restaurant and the fish was good. Our train to Roma Termini was at 5:30 pm. We finished our day at 4:00 pm and went ahead to the Railway station.
We booked a private water taxi which was closer to the hotel (around 100 meters walk) and reached Venezia Santa Lucia railway station. We had Eurail pass but you need to do the seat reservation to travel from Venice to Rome. We did the reservation, but it was for the train which leaves at 4:30 pm and we thought we did it for 5:30 pm. We reached the railway station at 4:45 pm and explained our situation at the railway counter. They were kind enough to accommodate us for the 5:30 pm train without any additional charges. We reached Rome at 9:40 pm and our Apartment was 400 meters away from Roma Termini. Walking from the Railway station to the Apartment was easy with luggage.
We started our day at 9:00 am weather was pleasant. We took the “Big Bus” from Roma Termini station. We had an entry ticket to Colosseum @ 10:00 am. It is recommended to skip the line and book tickets well in advance. We booked it from GetYourGuide. It takes a lot of time to explore Colosseum, view from Palatine Hill is very good. After Colosseum, we had to skip the line ticket for Vatican City @ 3:00 pm which was stop number 6 of the Big Bus. But from there it is a long walk (1.1km) to Vatican City. By evening we were there and then we went to Trevi Fountain late evening. Good experience in the city and enjoyed the day. We tried Pizza at dinner, and it was good.
We started our day at 5:30 am from Rome as we booked a day trip from Florence @ 8:00 am through GetYourGuide. The tip was for Pisa, Siena & San Gimignano with lunch and wine testing. We have Eurail pass so no problem moving around Italy via train. The trip was excellent. It was 12 hour trip and we enjoyed the view and lunch. They dropped us at Florence @ 8:00 pm and we reached Rome @ 10:15 pm.
We started our day at 7:30 am from Rome as we booked a day trip from Rome @ 8:15 am through GetYourGuide. The tip was for Pompeii, Amalfi Cost and Positano. The trip was excellent it was 13 hours trip and we enjoyed the day. Positano is excellent. We came back @ 9:45 pm.
We started our day at 6:30 am from Rome as we had a flight to catch @ 9:45 am for Vienna. You can use UBER @ Rome; we found it convenient and cheaper. We reached Vienna @ 11:45 am. My son is 11 years old, and we need to do his RTPCR test, I found a place within walking distance from the Airport and did his RTPCR test. We reached the hotel at @2:00 pm and after that, in the afternoon we went to an Opera. Public transport is very good in Vienna we used a day pass. It can be used for the Metro, Bus, and tram. Our Italy and Austria tour was coming to an end.
Time to say bye-bye to our Italy and Austria tour. Our flight was at 9:35 am to India. UBER also works here, and it is convenient to get early in the morning.
A full time hard core professional and an avid traveller, exploring the world in his unique fashion. Loves visiting places to excavate the hidden treasures.