Central Europe Itinerary 2 weeks: Munich Prague Vienna Budapest Bratislava
European countries are so very charming and they pull us like a magnet. We love visiting Europe for its history, culture, cobblestone lanes, food, and overall vintage vibes. Here is a look at our first Central Europe itinerary 2 weeks.
We chose Munich Prague Vienna Budapest Bratislava for a reason. Budget and history were the two main reasons. For a budget of $3200 USD per person, we were able to explore 5 countries and stay in Europe for 2 weeks. This Europe travel itinerary is also great for first-time visitors.
Central Europe Itinerary 2 weeks: Munich Prague Vienna Budapest Bratislava
Every year, we have been checking off a FEW European countries at a time. We look at the proximity of each country and how well they are interconnected by train or road or even day tours. We love maximizing our stay when we travel for a LONG distance from Canada.
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2 week Central Europe Itinerary: At a glance
- Day 1: Arrive in Munich and explore the city highlights. Stay overnight in Munich
- Day 2: Take a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle or Dachau + English Gardens
- Day 3: Visit Nuremberg, and start for Prague in the evening. Stay in Prague
- Day 4: Explore Prague old town
- Day 5: Take a day trip from Prague to Kutna Hora or Český Krumlov
- Day 6: Arrive in Budapest, explore the main highlights. Stay in Budapest
- Day 7: Explore more of Budapest, ruin bars, UNESCO sites
- Day 8: Head to Bratislava. Stay in Bratislava for the night
- Day 9: More time to explore Bratislava
- Day 10: Arrive in Vienna, check off a couple of city highlights. Stay in Vienna
- Day 11: Explore Vienna
- Day 12: Take a day trip to Wachau Valley from Vienna
- Day 13: Head to Salzburg, stay here for the night
- Day 14: Salzburg sightseeing and walking tour
There are so many reasons why you should take a trip to Central Europe for 2 weeks. It is better value for money spent – you can cover SOO much for a smaller budget.
As compared to popular European Itineraries for 2 weeks like those covering Paris, London, Amsterdam, French Riviera, Barcelona or Rome, Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre in Italy, by traveling to Central Europe you will be experiencing the MOST popular tourist destinations as well as the offbeat. Prices for hotels and sightseeing are cheaper than in countries of Western Europe.
Thinking of Charles Bridge or the Hungarian Parliament? Well, ghost tours, ruin bars, and concentration camp memorial sites are sure to keep you busy.
Flying to Munich is a money saver and also gives a lot of flexibility as there are TONS of flights available from the US and Canada to Munich Germany.
Local transport and sightseeing passes are affordable in all the 5 countries mentioned in this Central Europe Itinerary. (Average cost less than 2 USD for local bus fares.)
Food is cheaper too. And you will be trying different cuisines here – schnitzels, chimney cake or tradelnk, goulash, sachertorte, and BEER (lots of it). You will probably forget macaroons and red wine. Or pizza (no I love pizza)
Central Europe is an amazing region to explore and check off multiple countries from your travel bucket list. Here are the places that we will cover in 14 days in Central Europe Itinerary – Munich, Nuremberg, Prague Vienna Budapest Salzburg, and Bratislava.
By starting your trip in Munich, you are opening up to affordable flight options as well as a variety of flight schedules to meet your busy lifestyle. Although not the capital of Germany, Munich is a MAJOR European destination. You will find TONS of history, architecture, castles, and beer in Munich.
Day 1 Munich Germany Europe Itinerary
Start your first day in Munich by exploring the old town of Marienplatz. Head to Mary’s Square for a walking tour and walk the cobblestone streets and learn about the history of the Wittelsbach.
Pro Tip: Walking tours are for 2 hours or so and can be taken in the afternoon as well if you are arriving by noon in Munich. There are trains available from Munich airport to Marienplatz (station of the same name)
At the heart of the old town of Munich is Mary’s Square (or Marienplatz). A historical square in Munich, Marienplatz had witnessed the Thirty Years War and Hitler’s Purge. At the center of Marienplatz is Mary’s Column – this column was set up in 1638 to celebrate the end of the Swedish occupation during the Thirty Years War.
As you look around, you will see the New Town Hall of Munich. It is home to the singing clock Rathaus-Glockenspiel – a miniature knight show that enacts 2 stories from the 16th century. Odeonplatz is another square in old town Munich, located within walking distance from Mary’s Square. Odeonplatz was the site of many rallies and demonstrations in modern times Munich including Hitler’s Beer Purge of 1923.
Up next is the Munich Residenz hall and explore the former royal palace of the Wittelsbach Kings of Bavaria.
If you are hungry, head to the Central Market – Viktualienmarkt, which is the oldest market in Munich. A food tour is a great idea to sample many Bavarian delicacies, before exploring the city further.
The Opera House is also located in Old Town Munich.
EPIC views of Munich should be one of the highlights of your visit and yes, we are getting there. St Pete Church in Munich towers are open to the public for 3 euros – to climb up 309 stairs to reach the top to view Munchen’s amazing city-scape and yes red and orange rooftops.
Did you know Munich is derived from the word, “old Monk” or Monken or Munchen?
Late afternoon or evening, you can head to the Hofbräuhaus or the Royal Brewery for a drink or two. If you are staying in the city centre (which is probably a good idea), you can opt for a Bavarian dinner at Haxnbauer. Or make your way to the Marienplatz for some live music, stroll, and street food.
We stayed at TRYP Munchen Hotel, now known as Hotel München City Center, and would definitely recommend it. Great location and the rooms were big and clean.
Day 2 Munich Germany – Day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle
For day 2 in Munich, take a day trip to Neuschwanstein castle. We recommend taking a day tour of 7-8 hours, which covers your return trip, a guided tour of the Castle interiors and a light lunch. Book your day tour to the Neuschwanstein Castle here
You can also drive to Fussen via the romantic road and explore the castle. Remember a guided tour is a must for accessing the castle interiors. Book early if you are visiting in peak seasons, from late May to August. Read about our day trip to Neuschwanstein
If the Neuschwanstein Castle is not your thing and you wish to stay close to Munich, then consider paying a visit to the Dachau memorial camp. You can visit Dachau via train or drive and spend 2-4 hours there learning about the dark history of Germany under Hitler’s regime. Free audio tours are available on site.
Read about our experience at the Dachau Concentration Campsite
Train: Central Munich to Dachau train station is 25 minutes.
Day tour: Book a half day tour to Dachau from Munich with a guide here
For the second half of your day, explore the beautiful English Gardens. Take a stroll and admire the Chinese Tower Beer Gardens, which houses the oldest beer gardens in the whole of Munich. Read our 5 days in Munich itinerary.
Day 3 Nuremberg Germany to Prague Czech Republic
Pack up your bags as today we will be leaving for country no 2. BUT…but before that, we will explore Nuremberg – a medieval town in Bavaria.
Munich to Nuremberg is –
- 2 hours by car
- 1.50 or less by train (fastest train will take you there in an hour). Fare $35 to $55 USD one way
- 2.50 hours by bus (Flixbus). $10+ USD one way
Spend time in the old town of Nuremberg. Explore the market square and the iconic Church of our Lady – Frauenkirche. This is a perfect example of brickwork in Gothic architecture. The market square here comes alive in December and is the host of the finest Christmas Markets in Europe.
Nuremberg Castle and the Museum of the Dolls are some of the other tourist attractions that are worth visiting. Definitely take a stroll along the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal to experience this medieval town and know why it is considered the unofficial Holy Roman Capital.
Find out everything that we did on a day trip to Nuremberg
After a late lunch, drive or take a train to Prague – the capital of the Czech Republic. Depending on when you arrive in town, if you are feeling adventurous, head to the Charles Bridge in the old town square or settle in for a quiet supper, as the next day will be LEGENDARY.
Before hitting Moravia from Bavaria, you will notice the change in landscape with wineries’ and windmills.
Day 4 Prague Czech Republic Europe Itinerary
Prague is still one of my favorite places on earth (and this is me saying after 4 years of travel to many European countries), so be EXCITED! (For me at least)
Spend the day in the historic UNESCO site of Old Town Prague on your first day. Cross over the Vltava river and arrive in the heart of the old town. At the old town square, explore the Church of Our Lady in front of Tyn, the Old Town City Hall and the Baroque church of St Nicholas, and more.
Explore the astronomical clock – a popular attraction in Prague. The clock showcases a musical show every hour, called the “walk of the Apostles”. In the old town, you will also find one of the oldest living Jewish synagogues. The Old Synagogue was built in the 13th century and has so much history to it.
Eat some chimney cake or Trdlnyk and go for some souvenir shopping.
Charles Bridge is a definite item to explore in Prague. It was built by King Charles IV over the Vltava river. The Charles Bridge was the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town and adjacent areas. The bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and figurines, originally erected in baroque-style but are now replaced by replicas.
The main bridge is protected by three bridge towers, 2 of them are located on the Lesser Quarter side and one on the Old Town side, which is the Old Town Bridge Tower. Take a one-hour tour over the Vltava river.
Here is another tour with sightseeing and cruise over the Vltava. Try out some goulash in the old town or get a lunch cruise over the Vltava.
After a heavy belly, are you ready to walk up to Letna Park for some epic views? I am sure you are. Letna Park is a beautiful park located on a hill called Letna and it offers amazing views of the Old Town, along with the Vltava river. You will have to hike to hit the top of the hill to get to the park.
The John Lennon Wall is increasingly becoming a popular tourist spot in Prague. It is an interesting tourist spot in Prague. Prior to the death of John Lennon, it was a normal wall. But when John Lennon passed away in 1980, the youth of Prague grieved his passing by pouring their heart out on this wall.
In the evening, opt for a traditional Czech dinner of goulash, homemade bread or dumplings, beer, or wine at Czech Slovak Restaurant Lounge Bar.
Our hotel for the night’s stay was Hotel International. This is a vintage hotel. Very spacious and clean. There are grocery stores and restaurants close by as well. Read more on the best place to stay in Prague
Day 5 Day trips from Prague Czech Republic
For your second day in Prague, you can either make it fast paced or slow it down and relax a little. If you are like us and LOVE to cover more areas, then head to Kutna Hora for a half day trip. Kutna Hora is only an hour away from Prague and is popular for the two UNESCO heritage sites – St Barbara’s Church and the Cathedral of our Lady at Sedlec.
But the Kutná Hora Bone Church is what pulls tourists here. This church is actually made up of 40,000 bones. There are bone chandeliers inside too. You can explore the city on foot (cobblestone streets). Other attractions in Kutna Hora include – Italian Court, Silver Museum. Book your day tour to Kutna Hora here
For the second half of your day, relax and leisurely explore the Prague Castle grounds. Prague castle has a very intriguing past. Stories of traitors being thrown out of the castle windows, jewel crowns were stolen, a church named after dancing saints, and the list goes on. You can take a tour of the gardens, the Golden Lane, St. Vitus Cathedral, and the vineyards.
Strolling through the vineyards, was one of my favorite memories in Prague. The views from up there are marvelous.
Relax for the evening (we went back to the old town Prague for some drinks) or take a beer and dinner tour in Prague
A second option is to spend a full day in Český Krumlov. Cesky Krumlov is a UNESCO heritage-listed town in southern Bohemia in the Czech Republic. This stunning town is bisected by the Vltava River, and is dominated by a 13th-century castle. The castle has Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque elements, an 11-hectare garden, and an original 17th-century baroque theater. Book a full day trip to Cesky Krumluv with lunch.
Read our 2 day Prague itinerary and tips
Day 6 Budapest Hungary Europe Itinerary
A new day and a new country – arrive in Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Prague to Budapest is a 4-hour drive away. You can take the train as well. Fastest train will take you there in 6.50 hours. One option is to take an overnight train in Prague at 09:00 pm and arrive in Budapest by 6:30 am, this will give you a FULL day’s exploring if you are up for it.
Most likely you will arrive in the afternoon if you are driving. Today you only have half a day of exploration – so we will definitely check out the city highlights.
Budapest is divided into Buda and Pest and we stayed in the Pest area in the cutest hotel – Hotel Ibis Castle Hill
Before that, COFFEE FIRST! As we are checked into the hotel in the Pest area, it is the perfect opportunity to grab a coffee (and a bite to eat) at the stunning New York Café. The Budapest New York Café is the number one coffee place in the world. Their interiors are gorgeous and this place is vintage and has a long legacy.
The cafe was built in Renaissance style and has a hotel included in its vicinity (the hotel is called Boscolo Budapest Hotel). The New York Café was very popular among writers and influential people of the early 20th century. The cafe was ignored during the 2nd World War. Once the war ended, the cafe was used as a sporting goods store and later was renovated and restored to its original splendor. Since 1954, the cafe has remained open.
After coffee, head to Heroes Square. Heroes Square or Hősök tere is one of the major squares in Budapest and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is known for its iconic statue complex featuring the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important leaders.
This complex also hosts the Museum of Fine Arts and the Műcsarnok. Visit to the Square is absolutely free and is open 24×7 .
In the late afternoon, enjoy a relaxing time at the Széchenyi Thermal Bath. It is one of the must-do items in Budapest. These baths have medicinal properties, other than being of relaxation and entertainment value. They promote health and wellness. Get your 1 day pass to the Széchenyi thermal bath here
Budapest has tons of options for thermal baths. Other notable baths include – Gellért Baths, Király Baths, Lukacs Baths, Rudas Baths.
For today’s dinner plan, opt for a Danube river cruise. Budapest’s beauty lies in the historic river Danube that flows through the city and splits the capital into Buda and Pest. Take a romantic dinner cruise and get introduced to Budapest! You will see the Hungarian Parliament, as you drink Tokaji wine and a three-course meal over the Danube.
Dinner cruises are for 2.50 hours. The cost of dinner cruises starts at 55 Euros or about 70 USD. Book your Danube dinner cruise here
Read about our Danube Dinner Cruise Experience
Day 7 More sightseeing in Budapest Hungary
For day 2 in Budapest, you will be busy. Probably very busy with all the sightseeing.
Take a trip to the Hungarian Parliament. Probably one of the stunning and iconic images of Budapest is the Hungarian Parliament building. Guided tours are available as well. If you are not interested in any tours, admire the beautiful building from the outside. Tons of photo opportunities here.
From the Parliament, head to the Jewish Synagogue – Dohány Street Synagogue. Also called the Great Synagogue (or Tabakgasse Synagogue) is the largest Jewish house of worship in the world. We highly recommend taking a walking tour that covers the synagogue, takes you to a ruin bar, and provides you with a history of the area and Budapest.
This 3 hours guided tour covers the Jewish quarters with a historian, a drink at the ruin bars, and an awesome street art exploration. Book your walking tour here
Ruin bars are a THING in Budapest. These bars popped up in dilapidated buildings, selling cheap/budget alcohol. You know places where cool kids hang out.
Up next is the St. Stephen’s Basilica – a Roman Catholic basilica, which is named in honor of Stephen who was the first King of Hungary. The basilica was once one of the largest churches in Hungary. At one point, it was also a theatre. Today, it is still the third-largest church in Hungary and often hosts music recitals.
From the St Stephen’s Basilica, head to the Buda Castle district.
The central area, in Budapest, along the Danube River is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes important sites like the Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, Gresham Palace, Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Matthias Church, Liberty Statue, and the Hungarian Parliament.
At the Buda Castle, you will be welcomed by the St Matthias Church. This church was built in Romanesque style in 1015 and the tiles on it are super stunning. A few steps away from the church is the Fisherman’s Bastion.
The towers in the Fisherman’s Bastion refer to the seven Magyar tribes of Hungary. From these towers and the terrace, you can get a spectacular view of the Danube, Margaret Island, Pest to the east, the Gellért Hill, and of course the stunning Hungarian Parliament.
The Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum are located at the Buda Castle. To learn more about the Buda Castle District, take a guided tour with a historian. Book your tour here.
From the Buda Castle, head to the Central Market Hall for souvenir shopping. Vasarcsarnok: Central Market Hall is a vibrant shopping area. Shop for paprika, embroidered knickknacks, crystals. You can shop for souvenirs for 1-10 Euros. You will find tons of restaurants here for dinner too. Learn about our 2 days in Budapest Itinerary here
Alternate sightseeing option: For culture and folklore lovers, you can visit the Hortobágy National Park, located only 2 hours away from Budapest.
Day 8 Bratislava Slovakia Europe Itinerary
Day 8 of your Central Europe Itinerary starts in Budapest but ends in Bratislava Slovakia. Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia with an incredible history. In Bratislava other than the old town, you will find remnants of historical figures from Germany, Hungary, and of course Slovakia. Bratislava is a small country, but it ranks higher for its wealth (third-highest GDP in 2017).
Many tourists visit Bratislava as a day trip from its popular neighbors – Vienna, Prague, and Budapest. Vienna to Bratislava which is an hour drive one way is the most popular, followed by Budapest which is 2 hours drive away one-way. With 2 days in Bratislava (well actually 1.50 days) you will be able to explore a lot in Bratislava.
Start early morning from Budapest to Bratislava. It takes 2 hours to reach Bratislava by car. There are trains and buses available as well. The main train station is located just 10 minutes from the Old Town and the bus station is close by as well (just in the opposite direction). Train fares are about $26+ USD and it takes 2.50 hours. Buses are a cheaper option – less than $10 USD and it takes 3-4 hours to arrive (depending on the schedule you choose).
As soon as you arrive in Bratislava, pat yourself on the back as this is your fourth country of visit in this Europe Itinerary and then head to W Cafe for some breakfast/brunch. After some fuel for the belly, head to the Old Town – this is where you will be spending the most time today.
Take a one-hour walking tour of Bratislava
The Old Town, although compact has tons of things to see. The Old town square – Hlavne Namestie is a must. The square will remind you of Prague, it is surrounded by historical (colorful) buildings. Hlavné Námestie is free to visit and explore. You will also see the Roland fountain at the square – it was built by Maximilian II, the king of Hungary. There is a national theater located in the same area.
St Martin Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church and it is located in the western part of old town Bratislava. Above the cathedral is the Bratislava Castle.
Historically, Bratislava Castle had witnessed many pages of history including the coronation of the king in the 1670s, a fire in the 1880s, and had functioned as the seat of administration. The castle grounds are open for visitors and you can access the castle from 4 gates. Due to its location (and elevation), you can view the Danube river valley, parts of Bratislava, and even Hungary.
There is a Slovak National Museum located close by if you wish to learn more about their history.
After the Bratislava Castle, proceed to the eastern part of the city – to view a beautiful Blue Church. The St Elizabeth Church is a secessionist church located on Bezrucova Street in the old town. It is a superb example of nouveau architecture and the color blue just adds to its beauty.
For the last sight seeing item of the day, head to the UFO Bridge – yes, you heard it right. Named the Slovenske Narodne Povstanie Bridge – it is the most iconic landmark in Bratislava. There is a UFO-like observation deck. You can also dine here for the evening. This bridge reminds me of the Esplanade Riel Bridge in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Stay at Hotel iBis Bratislava in the city center. Book your stay here.
Day 9 Bratislava Slovakia Central Europe Itinerary
For day 2 of the Bratislava itinerary, let’s venture outside of the old town and explore the Presidential Palace. The Presidential Palace was built in 1760 in late Baroque (Rococo) style. Entry to the inside of the castle or palace is not allowed, but you can explore the gardens and view the architecture from the outside.
For the afternoon, drive about 15 kilometers away from Bratislava to the winery town of Svatly Jur. You will see the Slovak countryside and their architecture and taste some fabulous food and wine – this is a perfect lunch date!
In the late afternoon/evening, wander the neighborhood of Petrzalka. A colorful neighborhood, this is a photographer’s paradise. There are SO many stunning buildings to see here.
Head to Modra Hviezda for supper and bid adieu to the Slovak capital of Bratislava.
Day 10 Vienna Austria Europe Itinerary
For day 10 of the Europe travel itinerary, off we go to the fifth country – Austria. Vienna is one of the stunning European cities we have been to. Bratislava to Vienna travel time is less than one hour. There are many options to take a day trip to Vienna from Bratislava and vice versa.
You can also take trains to Vienna from Bratislava for 11 euros one way. Drive also takes the same travel time – 1 to 1.25 hours.
Once you arrive in the morning, head to the inner city. This is where most of the sightseeing attractions are located in Vienna and it is also perfect for coffee fix and breakfast.
Let’s start the day with the Hofburg Palace. The Hofburg Palace was the imperial seat of the Hapsburg Dynasty in Austria. The outside of the palace is as beautiful as the inside.
There is a lot of history that has happened in this palace and had served as the prime residence for Empress Maria Theresa, Emperor Franz II, and, for a while, even the German Emperor. The complex is spread over 59 acres and comprises 18 groups of buildings, close to 20 courtyards, and around 2600 rooms.
This is definitely an iconic landmark of Vienna Austria.
Heldenplatz is a public space located in front of the Hofburg Palace. This square was set up as a Heroes Square. Take a walk and spend time at the complex grounds.
Up next is St Stephen’s Cathedral. It is one of Vienna’s most iconic landmarks. The Cathedral is located at Stephenplatz, 1010 Vienna, providing visitors with the stunning architecture of the Hapsburg and other Austrian rulers. The cathedral has stood the test of time. It has watched over the city for more than 300 years.
There is the Giant Gate, which dates back to the 13th century and is one of the oldest parts of the cathedral. The cathedral is decorated with Baroque altarpieces in the name of St. Stephen, the first martyr of Christendom.
After St Stephen’s Cathedral, a few blocks away is the Graben Vienna. It is an upscale and trendy shopping street in the heart of the inner city. This is a perfect place to shop or rest for lunch.
If you are interested to learn more about the history of Vienna, then you can take this guided walking tour.
After lunch, venture to view the Hundertwasserhaus. The Hundertwasserhaus is an apartment building located in Vienna. This is unique as it was built after the idea and concept of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The outer landscape is multi-colored, hap-hazard, and uneven, making it an interesting piece of art.
This evening in Vienna will be EPIC. Today we will spend time at the Prater amusement park in Leopoldstadt, the 2nd district in Vienna. Prater park has one of the tallest Ferris wheel called the Wiener Riesenrad, or Riesenrad. It is one of Vienna’s most popular tourist attractions and is quite iconic to the city and the district.
For a night’s stay, choose the Trend Austria Hotel. We loved the location as it is close to the city center and be can be accessed via the Rathaus Underground Station (public transportation). Book your stay here
Pro Tip: For sightseeing, you can either opt for public transport or use Vienna pass for 2 days. Using a hop on and hop off service is also an option.
Day 11 Explore more of Vienna Austria
On your second day in Vienna, it’s time to explore their gorgeous palace – one of Europe’s finest – the Schonbrunn Palace. Schonbrunn Palace is the most popular tourist spot in Vienna. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and rightly so because of its rich cultural history and association with the Hapsburg royalty. Built in the early 18th century, this gorgeous yellow-colored palace reflects the changing styles and interests of the Hapsburg dynasty.
You can easily spend 3-5 hours at the Schonbrunn Palace complex. There is a guided tour available to explore the interior of the beautiful palace. Keep in mind, they have 1441 rooms! The sculpted garden is beautiful and is adorned by 32 sculptures of deities.
Book a guided tour of the Schonbrunn Palace
After the Schönbrunn Palace, head to the Belvedere Palace. It is a historic building complex consisting of two Baroque palaces – the Orangery and the Palace Stables. These buildings are set in a Baroque park landscape in the third district of the city, on the south-eastern edge of its centre.
The palace also houses the Belvedere museum. The palaces were built in the 18th century.
Get the entrance tickets to the Belvedere Palace
For the evening and dinner, pay a visit to the Wiener Staatsoper or the Vienna State Opera. This opera house is one of the busiest in the world with over 350 performances. It was opened for the first time in 1869 with a performance of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”.
The Vienna State Opera is particularly unique as it caters to children’s performances. The opera house used to showcase children’s productions, in the bygone era, which was performed in a tent on the roof of the Staatsoper. Presently the opera house has an opera school for boys and girls. Here is a Mozart concert and dinner option for Vienna.
Get the 2 day Vienna Itinerary
Day 12 Vienna Austria (Wachau Valley)
As a day trip from Vienna, Wachau Valley is a great option to explore more of the Austrian countryside. Wachau Valley is known for its vineyards, ancient ruins, Benedictine Abbey, and the mesmerizing Danube River.
You can reach Wachau from Vienna in 1.50 hours by car or take the train. We did the Wachau Valley tour with a local guide and enjoyed a full day of nature, history, and relaxation. Book a tour here
Some of the things that you can do in Wachau are
- Explore the vineyards and wine tasting. Wachau Valley is very popular for its wine. Learn more about the wine tours here
- Visit the Benedictine and the Melk Abbeys and the ancient ruins for some amazing views of the river valley
- Take a bike tour across the river valley and admire the nature surrounding you. Book a bike tour here
- Danube River Cruise with lunch to the Melk and Dürnstein. Take the tour here
If you are driving to Wachau, then refer to this handy post about all the activities we did on a day trip from Vienna to Wachau Valley.
Day 11 Salzburg Austria Europe Itinerary
This is your last city in the Central Europe Itinerary agenda. Salzburg is a medieval town with beautiful views of the Austrian Alps. It is definitely a romantic destination, perfect for a weekend getaway.
Vienna to Salzburg is a 3 – 4 hour drive. You can take a direct train in the morning from Vienna and arrive in Salzburg in 2 to 2.50 hours and then start exploring the city. Train fares start at 28 euros one way.
The train station is located very close to the old town, so head to the old town for a quick bite to eat or take rest from the train journey and relax. There are TONS of options to eat in Old Town. Some of our favorites are Gasthaus Schachlwirt, Meet2eat Salzburg, Uncle Van. You can also eat 3 euros chilly pretzels in the old town (and they are quite filling).
Take a walking tour of Old Town Salzburg
For easy access to the old town, proceed to the statue of Mozart, located in the heart of Salzburg. Mozart was born in Salzburg and this statue is a contribution to his work. You will also find souvenir stores, the Salzburg information center, and other shops in and around Mozart Square.
There is a Mozart house located at house no. 8 in Mozart Square, just a few blocks away. This house belonged to Mozart’s wife – Constanze Mozart-Nissen and it is a testimony to his work and life. It is worth visiting the house.
Salzburg’s joyous lanes – Geteidegasse is filled with unique decorations all along. The shops are very beautiful with a vintage vibe to them. Imagine how it will look around Christmas time – very wonderful right?
Salzburg’s iconic landmark is the Hohensalzburg Fortress. It was built by an archbishop to protect the city from enemies in the 11th century. You can take a funicular to reach the top of the fortress and explore. The funicular ride is 8 euros round trip. We decided to hike and walk up to the fortress and to access the fort, there is an entry fee of 15 euros.
It is definitely worth it, as you will be welcomed by amazing views of the town of Salzburg, the mountains and the valley. There are many look-out points to view the mountains and the city-scape. There are a restaurant and many souvenir shops within the fortress grounds. As you walk through the corridor of the fortress you will see cannons and information about the fort itself.
There is a church and a museum inside too.
In the evening, you can relax at a restaurant by the Love Locks bridge.
If you wish to combine a tour of the fortress, a cruise, and dinner, then book this tour.
For Salzburg accommodation, we stayed at the Salzburg Austria Trend – it is a mid-budget hotel and is very clean and spacious. Breakfast was included in our stay. There is a premium outlet mall located nearby if you like to shop.
Day 14 Salzburg Austria
For your final day in Salzburg, take a musical tour of the city – the Sound of Music tour. The movie, Sound of Music was exclusively shot in Salzburg. In this tour, you will not only learn about the movie and the on-scene locations but also explore the countryside and the town of Salzburg beyond the old town area.
Book the Sound of Music and surroundings tour
The tour lasts 2-3 hours. You can also extend sightseeing with salt mines combined tour with the Sound of Music tour. Learn more about the tour here.
Depending on the timing of your return flight, you can either leave today or the next day to Munich. Salzburg to Munich is 2 hours only. Or you can book a flight from Salzburg airport – Salzburg Airport W. A. Mozart – to your home country. Close to the Salzburg airport is the Red Bull and Formula one museum and exhibition hall. Definitely visit if you are a fan and have some time before catching the flight back home!
Optional: You can also take a 6-hour tour to Hallstatt in Austria from Salzburg. Book your Hallstatt day tour here
Central Europe Itinerary 2 Weeks – More Itinerary Samples
This 14 day Central Europe travel itinerary can be customized to fit any traveler. You can skip a few cities to fit travel Europe plan to a week trip. Here are some European itinerary options for less than 2 weeks.
10 day – Prague Vienna Budapest
10 days are enough to explore the 3 capital cities plus take 1-2 day trips of your choice. You can stay in each of the 3 cities for 2-3 nights.
7 day – Prague Vienna Budapest or Bratislava Vienna Budapest
You can do Prague Vienna Budapest in as little as 7 days or one week in Europe by spending 2 days in each city. Or a combination of 3 countries among Vienna Budapest Prague and Bratislava
3 – 5 days Central Europe Itinerary
If you have 3 – 5 days in your hands, doing 2 countries will be easy.
For 5 days, opt for Munich (2 days), Prague (1.50 days), and Bratislava (1-day trip) or Munich (1.50 days), Prague (1.50 days), and Salzburg (1.50 days). This way you are covering 3 countries.
For a 3 day visit, explore Munich for 2 days then take a day trip to Salzburg. Or visit Vienna or Budapest for 2 days and then take a day trip to Bratislava.
More 2 week Europe Itinerary samples
Read our 2 week European itinerary samples to other regions,
- Balkans Itinerary: 2 weeks in Balkans itinerary, with or without a car
- Spain, Portugal & Morocco: Spain and Portugal itinerary, with Morocco and/or other European nations
Planning tips for 2 Week Europe Itinerary
For your Central Europe trip Itinerary for 2 weeks, here are some of the important travel tips to remember. If you are traveling to Europe for the first time, read our Europe planning tips here
Flights and Travel
Because all the 5 countries are located close to each other, you can pretty much start your trip in any country where you find the cheapest flights to. We found it easier to fly to Munich as flight connectivity and schedule options were great from Canada to Germany, as compared to the other countries.
Length of stay
Munich Germany and Austria are not cheap for staying long-term if you are planning for a budget vacation. But Prague, Budapest, and Bratislava are. We would recommend extending your stay to Prague or Budapest if you do not wish to spend a lot on accommodation in Austria or more than 2 days in Munich. But spend at least 2 days in each to enjoy the city to the fullest. One day will be an injustice to both places.
Tours, Trains, and Driving
Many of the cities mentioned in this Central Europe Itinerary 2 weeks can be done as separate day tours from one city to another. We have included the list below so that it is easier to review and book. You need not book a packaged tour, this way it is cheaper and you can better control your trip with some local guidance.
Taking hop on and hop off tours for 24 or 48 hours is a great option and we recommend that as we have found these tours to be a convenient way to hit all spots in a short period of time. We also ignored bus services, where hop on and hop off services were located near our hotel (as it was convenient for us). In some cities, you might have to choose a combination of the tour, bus, and a walk.
|Book Day Tours|
|Munich to Salzburg|
|Vienna to Salzburg|
|Vienna to Wachau|
|Budapest to Bratislava|
|Vienna to Bratislava|
|Vienna to Wachau Valley|
|Munich to Neuschwanstein|
Driving is always an option. You can use this itinerary for a road trip as well and can extend it to one month and travel at your pace.
Throughout the itinerary suggestions, we have included train options as well. This was our first trip to Europe and we didn’t utilize much of the inter-country trains, except for the trains in Munich city and intercity. We explored using a combination of guided tours, day trips and hop on and off tours, and individual sightseeing like Danube cruise or Schönbrunn Palace entry, etc.
Train travel guide – To connect to the Central European countries like Prague, Vienna, and Budapest you will not find any Thalys (high speed) trains. These trains are mostly inter-city or regional trains. They are clean and spacious.
You can travel from Vienna – Prague – Budapest – Vienna or Vienna – Prague – Salzburg – Vienna with a Rail Triangle Pass. These tickets can be purchased online and tickets will be shipped to you. It is issued as a second class ticket only. The train ticket costs $189 USD per adult traveler.
Prefer a packaged tour? Here are the best Prague Vienna Budapest tours
Travel Documents and Travel Insurance
Non-visa exempt passport holders can apply for Schengen Visa to travel to all the 5 countries mentioned in this post – Central Europe Itinerary 2 weeks. If you are visiting only these countries and not leaving the Schengen area to explore London or some of the Eastern European countries, then a single-entry Schengen Visa with the right amount of days will be sufficient. Learn about the Schengen Visa application
Ensure you book the flights, hotels, and activities ahead of time and prior to applying for a visa. Include medical insurance as well, as it is a requirement. Get travel insurance quotes for your trip here
Passport holders of the European Union can travel without any restrictions. The U.S and Canadian citizens can travel visa-free for up to 90 days. From 2022 onwards, an ETIAS, which is an online travel authorization system has to be applied prior to traveling to the Schengen zone of countries.
Here are some of the additional Europe Travel resources that you will find useful in planning your trip
- More Europe itineraries: Get itinerary samples for one week in Europe
- Prague in March: Read all about visiting Prague in Spring – March, and April
- Vienna in a day: One day in Vienna
- Austria Destinations: Most beautiful places in Austria
- Budapest in a day: One day in Budapest itinerary
- Hungary Destinations: Best places to visit in Hungary
- Europe in winter: Beautiful places to visit in Europe in winter
- Other Europe Destinations
I did the same itinerary (minus Budapest) in two weeks and felt so rushed! Especially in Vienna and Munich, there’s just so much to see! I would love to return to Vienna and stay for a whole week 🙂 (with a side trip to Budapest, of course!)
Your photos are INCREDIBLE. I already wanted to go, but after seeing your pics now I want to go even more! Thanks for including so many helpful details, too.
This is great! I’m doing a two month road trip through Europe and this basically….just solved half of my problems! haha
This Central Europe itinerary is so charming! Love the mix between cities, smaller towns, and destinations I haven’t heard of before. And I love the idea of focusing on a particular region/close set of countries. I’m so excited for my next Europe trip!
I have just booked and wondered what my itinerary would be? and now I have it thank you. Have you gone from Salzburg to Italy we have 4 weeks in total. I will do the first 2 weeks of your itinerary then make our way to Rome. Open to suggestions. Thank you
Hi Tania – thanks for stopping by. I am glad the itinerary was helpful. You can travel from Salzburg to Venice (Italy) in less then 7 hours, via fast train. We have not explored Venice yet, but its on our list, which is our next trip. We thinking of flying to Venice,then Rome. Keep Rome as a base for take day trips to Florence or Naples.
I’m still learning from you, as I’m making my way to the top as well.
I certainly enjoy reading everything that is written on your site.Keep the posts coming.
I loved it!
That’s great! Thanks so much
Hello! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!
This is exactly what we plan on doing next May. Thank You for this post!
I have a question if I may…We are a family of 4: 2 adults, 2 teens. Would we do better just renting a car from Munich and returning it in Salzburg, the last stop? It seems that a car would give us the most flexibility to travel between countries…
Yes, you can. Car rental companies charge a ‘cross-border’ fee (it is a different amount for different companies), so I would ask and confirm with the provider. 10 – 20 euros per rental is the usual fee when requesting this option.
Hope this helps! Have a great trip 🙂