Best Places to Visit in Austria: An Epic Alpine Drive

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The Best Places to Visit in Austria

Western Austria treats visitors to some of the most stunning alpine views in the world, and on this alpine drive road trip you’ll discover a few of Europe’s most amazing roads and alpine villages.

While Europe is famous for its art, food, culture, and curiosities, the stunning majesty of the alps is not to be overlooked, and is a destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. While this route begins and ends in Munich, Germany, it will take you to some of the most fascinating cities to visit in Austria, including Arlberg, Innsbruck, and Kufstein, with views of the Zugspitze (the highest mountain in Germany on the Austria-German border).

Print this itinerary!
 
Driving Itinerary Distance Driving Time
Munich to Kufstein 56 miles 1 hours 3 minutes
Kufstein to Innsbruck 46 miles 54 minutes
Innsbruck to Arlberg 79 miles 2 hours 31 minutes
Arlberg to Munich 114 miles 3 hours 13 minutes
Total Distance Covered: 296 miles 7h 41m


Read on to Drive to Discover the adventures that await you in Austria!



1. Begin Your Alpine Drive in Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany Munich, Germany
While there are plenty of airports in Austria, it’s generally less expensive to fly into Munich and pick up your rental car at MUC international airport. Since this is a round-trip rental in Europe, you won’t have to pay a drop fee, saving you money when compared to planning a trip with a one-way car rental.

While there are a number of fun things to see and do in Munich, we’ve allowed for you to spend as much time in the city as you like at the end of this Austria road trip itinerary, when you return. Depending upon when you arrive, you may choose to decompress after your flight and spend the night in a Munich hotel before hitting the road, but as soon as you’re ready it’s a charming 56 mile drive south to Kufstein, just across the Austrian border.

 

Next stop: 1 hour & 3 minutes


2. An Amazing Day in Kufstein

Kufstein, Austria Kufstein, Austria
While you may not have heard of Kufstein, we think it’s one of the best places to visit in Austria – one you’ll find equally charming, scenic, and romantic.

Nestled in a quiet alpine region which has been heavily disputed by Bavaria, Tyrol, and the Habsburg Empire, Kufstein lies at the foot of the majestic Kaiser mountain range, halfway between Innsbruck and Salzburg. This charming medieval town will appeal to history buffs, who will note its rich 30,000 year-old cultural roots.

We recommend touring Riedel Glass, the world’s pre-eminent wine-glass manufacturing company which offers amazing tours to visitors. Once you’re sufficiently inspired by how fine barware is crafted, head to Stollen 1930, a speakeasy bar which will transport you to the 1930s. It’s carved right into the side of the mountain! If you can, try to plan your trip during July, as there is a summer program of amazing classical music performances hosted at the Tyrol Festival Erl each July, and the music, paired with the historic alpine setting is truly one-of-a-kind.

 

Next stop: 54 minutes


3. Southwest to Beautiful Innsbruck

Innsbruck, Austria Innsbruck, Austria
The next stop in your Austria rental car road trip is beautiful Innsbruck, the capital city of the majestic Tyrol region in western Austria. Hidden at the confluence of the Inn and Wipp valleys, Innsbruck is the launching point for adventures into the stunning Brenner Pass, and is a well-known playground for winter sports enthusiasts, hosting the 1964 and 1976 winter Olympic games.

How you spend your day in Innsbruck will really be determined by the time of year you’re visiting. If you’re on a summer Alpine drive in Austria, consider capturing views of the city from one of the many excellent hiking and mountaineering trails in the area. If you’re visiting during a season when skiing is available – don’t miss your chance to hit the slopes, it’s a world-class city for Nordic-sport enthusiasts.

 

Next stop: 2 hours & 31 minutes


4. True Austrian Alpine Adventure Awaits in Arlberg

Arlberg, Austria Arlberg, Austria
From Innsbruck, you’ll enjoy one of the most beautiful drives in Europe, heading west to the Arlberg region. This two and a half hour drive will take you to an oft-overlooked part of Europe. You’ll be treated to true Austrian alpine hospitality and inspired gastronomy, which may make this mountainous European destination your new favorite corner of the globe.

When staying in Arlberg, we recommend that you spend at least one day, and with so many excellent hotels to choose from, you may want to plan more than one evening here. Austria.info provides a terrific guide of the best of the Arlberg region by season, and we whole-heartedly endorse the excellent recommendations you can find here.

 

Next stop: 3 hours & 13 minutes


5. The Best Alpine Drive in Europe? Your Return to Munich

From Arlberg, the scenery gets even better. The last leg of your alpine drive through Austria takes you north to Munich. This 3+ hour drive offers stunning views of the Zugspitze, the highest peak in southern Germany which juts from the German/Austrian border with enthusiasm. As you continue into Germany, you’ll have the opportunity to stop for lunch when the mood strikes you in one of the countless charming villages in the Bavarian Alps.

As your Austrian alpine road trip comes to a close in Munich, we encourage travelers to unwind with a leisurely one or two day tour of this amazing German city. Drop your German car rental off and take a walking tour of Marienplatz, tour the BMW museum, or enjoy a picnic lunch in the English Garden – a beautiful natural oasis in the heart of the city.

Break up your day by imbibing at a Munich Biergarten, or hop into a Munich rental car for a day trip to the fairytale castle, Neuschwanstein.

Why Drive Austria’s Alps with Auto Europe

20,000 Pickup Locations WorldwideAt Auto Europe we have over 60 years of experience helping clients book driving tours of Europe’s most exciting cities and destinations. Not only do we work with the most reputable local suppliers, negotiating industry-best rates on European rental cars, but we also have the knowledge to help our clients save money on car rental insurance, and ensure that travelers are fully aware of local driving laws and regulations which can impact their trip.

When you’re ready to book your driving tour of the best places to see in Austria’s alpine region, trust Auto Europe to find you the perfect vehicle to suit your needs. Whether you need an SUV for winter driving, or a spacious van rental to accommodate a large party, we’ll save you money and time, making the booking process hassle-free.

 

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