- Time: 7 days
- Expenses: less than $55 or 50€ per person per day (excludes airfare, rental car)
- Season: all year around
Money and time-saving tips:
- Find an accommodation outside of the city center, the prices are lower and public transportation is great and will get you to the center in no time
- If you’ll travel in the holiday season, book ahead, the cities are packed this time of the year
- Rent a car to get from city to city (it will save you time)
- Buy the cheapest flight to one of the cities and start from there
Here is our 7 day, city-hopping Itinerary through four major European cities. The traveling season is all year round but the best time to travel is for the Christmas holidays. Bratislava the capital of Slovakia, Prague the capital of Czech, Vienna the capital of Austria and Salzburg. Four so similar yet so different cities are brought to life during the holiday times. Carols, Christmas lights, snow, the smell of hot wine and chocolate are on every corner and make a great atmosphere.
The trip is around 669 miles (1077 kilometers) long, on average a 3 to 4-hour drive every other day. You will drive through 3 countries, so take into account the traveling costs for a plane ticket, car rental, gas and money for vignettes. A vignette for 7-10 days for each of the countries costs around $10- $12 (9€ to 12€).
Once in the cities, be spontaneous and get “lost”. Every corner has something interesting to see, let yourself go or where the smell of hot wine takes you.
Our 7-day itinerary:
- day – Bratislava
- day – Bratislava and Prague
- day – Prague
- day – Prague and Salzburg
- day – Salzburg
- day – Vienna
- day – Vienna
Day one – Bratislava
Start your day in the capital city of Slovakia, Bratislava full of medieval and romantic features. Walk through the old town and see the main attractions. Start with Grassalkovich Palace or the Presidential Palace, then continue into the city central trough Michael’s Gate to the Old Town Hall.
Find the Rollandova fontána and St. Martin’s Cathedral, walk through Hviezdoslavovo Namestie, the main square – don’t forget to take a picture with “Čumil” – Man at Work, Napoleon’s Army soldier, continue to the bridge crossing of the river Danube and finally walk to the Blue Church.Later in the evening enjoy a beer in a local pub and enjoy the city night lights.
Day two – Bratislava and Prague
In the morning hike up to the Bratislava Castle, wander around and enjoy the view of the city from the top.Later in the morning start your way to Prague, it will take you approximately 3 hours to reach Prague.
We recommend taking a half hour long detour to Kutná Hora, a city situated in the Central Bohemian Region. See the main attractions like St. Barbara’s Church, Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and Sedlec Ossuary. The last one is pretty interesting, while this is a small Roman Catholic chapel, it contains the skeletons of around 40.000 to 70.000 people. They used the skeletons to make the interior of the chapel. After exploring the city of Kutná Hora and its sights, head to Prague. You will arrive late in the evening.
Nighttime in Prague is beautiful! Walk through Old Town Square and find a nice pub to enjoy some delicious local beer and find a stand where they serve Trdlo – traditional holiday dessert (a dough that is wrapped around a stick, grilled and topped with sugar and walnut).
Day three – Prague
In the morning head to Petrín Park for a stretch and go on to the (Prague “Eiffel”) tower for a beautiful morning view.
Next up is the magnificent Prague castle which consists of multiple sections, the most famous one is St. Vitus Cathedral. Take the time and explore the whole castle grounds.
For lunch or dinner go to the Švejk Restaurant, from some traditional delicious Czech cuisine and beer. Try Goulash – a stew usually made from beef with dumplings. Delicious!
After lunch go to the Old Town Square, on the way you will cross the river Vltava on the famous Charles Bridge. You can also visit the Franz Kafka Museum if you have time to spare.
In the Old Town Square, you will find Tyn and St. Nicholas churches and the Astronomical Clock, a medieval clock, a very interesting thing to see. Your next stop is the Wenceslas Square where you will find Statue of Saint Wenceslasher.
Enjoy the last evening in the town and don’t forget to eat some more of that delicious dessert – Trdlo.
Day four – Prague and Salzburg
Before leaving Prague, take a stop in the Jewish Quarter and take a walk through the Jewish Town Hall, Josefov – town quarter, Spanish Synagogue and The Old-New Synagogue. These are one of the best-preserved complexes of historical Jewish monuments in Europe.
Early the evening start your trip to Salzburg. After a 2 hour drive, stop at the Budweiser Budvar, a national corporation and take the brewery tour. It’s worth your time, a great tour, with some of their beer to try. After the tour it will take you another good two hours, to reach your next destination, Salzburg.
Arriving late in the evening will not give you much time to explore, but be sure to go through city center nevertheless, find a place to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
Day five – Salzburg
The first attraction of the day is Mirabell Palace and Gardens a historical building. Then walk through the old town and find Mozart’s House or Mozart’s Birthplace, Residence Square, Salzburg Cathedral, St Peter’s Abbey and then head up to the Hohensalzburg Castle. The view of the city and surrounding mountains is amazing!
Don’t forget to buy yourself some of that delicious Mozartkugel – a round sugar candy made out of pistachio marzipan, nougat and covered with chocolate.
Late in the afternoon take a half hour drive and take a tour of the Salzwelten – salt mines. Its the oldest mine in the world open to visitors, where you will go on an adventure of the ancient miners.
Day six – Vienna
In the morning start your way to your next destination, after approximately three hours you will arrive to the capital city of Austria, Vienna.
Visit the amazing Schönbrunn Palace and Schönbrunn Zoo and the Schönbrunn park and maze. This will keep you occupied till the evening.
Day seven – Vienna
Enjoy the last day in the center of the city. Take a walk through the city by the Austrian Parliament Building, The Hofburg – former imperial palace, Josefsplatz a public square and St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
For lunch or dinner go to one of the restaurants and try some local food like Wiener schnitzel (veal coated in breadcrumbs and fried) and Apfelstrudel (pastry filled with apples).
Enjoy the afternoon in the park Prater, with a variety of activities to do, from pony rides to carousels, before you finally head home.
We absolutely recommend to take the trip in December to get the feel of the Christmas spirit. The cities bring out an amazing atmosphere. Four beautiful cities in just 7 days, what more can you want? We tried to cover the main attractions and a bit more and we were pretty amazed by each and every one of them.
If that is not enough you can include two more days and another capital city, Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, it is amazing this time of the year as well or any other time actually 🙂
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