5 days: 2 days in Linz + 1 day in the Wachau or Mariazell + 2 days in Vienna
Linz – Wachau (approx. 1 hr by car/2 hrs by train)
Wachau – Vienna (approx. 1 hr by car/2 hrs by train)
Linz – Mariazell (approx. 2 hrs by car/4 hrs by train & bus)
Mariazell – Vienna (approx. 2 hrs by car/3.5 hrs by train & bus)
Fancy a longer trip? Just combine this route with our Munich-Salzburg road trip!
Please check the current travel regulations in your state/country.
By the way, our flexible rebooking options mean you still have plenty of possibilities even if your plans change at short notice!
Stop 1 - Linz
In Linz, time-honoured tradition meets modern and contemporary. These two sides shape the entire city and both are worth a look.
But let’s start at the beginning: step out of the hotel and you find yourself in the heart of the baroque old town – it’s right on your doorstep and easy to explore on foot.
Add an extra fun element to your trip with the ‘Visit Linz’ app, where you can find all the latest information about landmarks, shops and other attractions in the city. The app also has recommended routes you can follow, puzzles to test your knowledge of Linz and a treasure hunt – but with Linzer torte (traditional local cake) as the treasure...
And speaking of which, make sure you leave enough time between all your sightseeing to stop at a café and try an original Linzer torte!
Some useful directions: If you’re interested in shopping, walk straight from the main square along Landstraße (THE shopping street) and all the way to Herrenstraße/Bischofsstraße (a local shopping hotspot) – you’re bound to find what you’re looking for. If you’re interested in art and culture, head straight to the Schlossmuseum or to the Donaulände park, a hub for cultural attractions such as the Lentos Art Museum, the Brucknerhaus event venue and – on the other side of the river – the Ars Electronica Center.
... OR STREET ART?
Nordico City Museum Linz: In the Nordico Museum, you’ll find exhibitions displaying various archaeological, artistic and cultural artefacts that tell the story of the region and, of course, the city of Linz. There are also changing special exhibitions that focus on various topics relating to the city. For example, the current exhibition, GRAFFITI & BANANAS - The Art of the Street by artist Marta Grossi (4 September 2020 – 21 March 2021), documents the development of graffiti and street art in Linz for the first time.
Mural Harbour: Linz’s commercial harbour is considered Europe’s largest graffiti and mural gallery, with more than 300 pieces of graffiti and mural artwork by artists from 35 countries on display here. It’s a real must-see for Motel One guests, as it also features artwork by the artist Skirl, who helped to design our hotel. Find out more about the artwork on a guided tour, or hone your own skills on a graffiti crash course. Advance booking required!
AEC: Linz wasn’t designated a UNESCO City of Media Arts in 2014 for nothing... The Ars Electronica Center, the Museum of the Future, is truly unique and has made a name for itself throughout Europe and beyond. Visitors are able to experience the technology of the future today.
Pöstlingberg: Linz's 539-metre-high local mountain can be climbed on foot or with the Pöstlingbergbahn, which has been comfortably chauffeuring visitors up to the top since 1898 (in summer, nostalgic carriages also run alongside the modern version). Starting from Linz's main square (line 50), it crosses the Danube, passes the Ars Electronica Center and in 20 minutes leads directly to this natural oasis on the outskirts of the city. Once at the top, you not only have a beautiful view over the city, but also a short walk to the landmark of Linz: the 18th century pilgrimage basilica "Seven Sorrows of Mary". By the way: Halfway up the Pöstlingberg you will also find the Linz Zoo.
The "Höhenrausch" lookout tower: can be climbed until October. At the top, in addition to the view, changing exhibitions await.
Castle Museum Linz: The castle park behind the imposing buildings offers the perfect sunset spot - with a view of the Danube, Pöstlingberg and Linz.
GET SOME WHEELS
Linz lies directly on the Danube Cycle Path, one of the most popular cycle routes in Europe. So, saddle up your (borrowed) bike and off you go: Day tours of various lengths and levels of difficulty are waiting for you - depending on how far you want to go.
For example, up the Pöstlingsberg, with or without the support of the railway, and back again. Or the Roman cycle tour with a detour to the supposedly oldest town in Austria.
GET SOME WATER
Harbour tour: an "oldie but goldie": lean back, relax and experience the unique triad of culture, industry and nature that the city represents. The tours depart from the Danube Park and pass many sights in the most comfortable way.
Sandburg: After culture comes cocktail: In the first beach bar in Linz, right in the Danube Park, you can relax on a sandy beach in deck chairs and hammocks while having your food and drinks needs well covered!
Music Pavilion: Also located in the Donaupark, music is played in the "Musikpavillion" from the beginning of July up to 23 August, from Wednesday to Sunday with free admission. A varied mixture of folk, pop, blues and singing. On Thursday, various Linz brass bands play, and on Sunday the hearts of jazz lovers will beat faster. You can find the programme here.
Donaustrandbad Alt-Urfahr: Would you like to cool off with a view of the Linz Castle? A small pebble beach awaits you here, shade is provided by branches of old poplars and there is also food and drink!
Pssst: If you like it even quieter, go downriver to the Winterhafen (winter harbour).
The Wachau is a real treasure trove. The winding Danube valley, stretching from Melk to Krems, is full of rugged rocks, terraced vineyards and fruit orchards, with imposing monasteries, fortresses and ruins towering among them. No wonder it was named the UNESCO Wachau Cultural Landscape in 2000.
Enjoy the local wine: Riesling, Grüner Veltliner and Neuburger are just some of the local wine specialities. You can try them for yourself at the ‘Heuriger’ wine taverns or at Winzer Krems Sandgrube 13, where you can discover the secrets of the wine’s journey on a specialist guided tour. Don’t worry, non-drinkers and designated drivers! There’s also a delicious, non-alcoholic treat for you to try: the ‘Wachauer Marille’ is such a special type of apricot that the name is actually protected – don’t miss a chance to try it here in its purest form in apricot dumplings, jam or cake.
Great views guaranteed: This area has an almost infinite supply of historical buildings with fantastic views. There’s a whole range of castle ruins to explore, from the 12th century Aggstein Castle to Hinterhaus Castle and Dürnstein Castle (both of which are free to enter!) – perfect for a medieval adventure. As well as their historical significance and thrilling heights, each of these castles also provides panoramic views across the river valley.
Stopover – Mariazell
Whether you’re down in the valley or up on the mountainside, whether you’re walking, hiking or climbing:
In the region surrounding Mariazell, there’s something for every kind of outdoor explorer. For example, you can discover the Gemeindealpe Mitterbach mountain resort, which you can ascend via various paths (or two chairlifts), before cooling off in Erlaufsee, a lake just round the corner.
The Rax hiking area, which is a little further to the east, is also a perfect starting point for an adventure in the natural landscapes around Vienna. At a height of almost 2,000 metres, it boasts a breathtaking view – and thanks to the Rax cable car, you don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy it!
Stop 2 – Vienna
VIENNA MAKES IT EASY
In 2019, Vienna was ranked the most liveable city in the world for the 10th year in a row. Once you get here, it won’t take you long to find out why – here are just a few good reasons...
All the classic sightseeing stops are positioned practically one after the other: for example, if you’re a guest at Motel One Vienna-Staatsoper, you can take a walk through history, starting right on your doorstep. All you have to do is follow the Ringstraße, which entirely surrounds Vienna’s 1st district, i.e. the city centre. Start at the Vienna State Opera, then stroll in a clockwise direction past the Hofburg, the Art and Natural History Museums, the Austrian Parliament Building, the Rathaus (City Hall), the Burgtheater and the main university building. From there, you can head further down to the Danube or turn off into Schottengasse and walk towards St. Stephen’s Cathedral – Vienna’s number one landmark. Be sure to climb the 343 steps to the top of the South Tower – the view is worth it!
Staying at a different Motel One hotel? No worries! Simply head to the ‘Stephansplatz’ stop and set off from there – after all, the tour works just as well in the other direction.
And speaking of which, Vienna has a fantastic public transport network that you can use to explore the city. On rainy days, take the Ring Tram (or ‘Bim’ in Viennese slang), which stops at every attraction around the whole ring. Get the Citymapper app for a quick overview of how to get from A to B.
If you prefer to travel by bicycle or e-scooter, extra pop-up cycle lanes are in place in Vienna until the beginning of September!
ART AND CULTURE – BUT SUUUPER CHILL
There’s so much to do in Vienna – but if you can’t stay for very long, here are two great hotspots that you can explore for as long (or as short!) as you like.
Schönbrunn Palace is easy to reach by bicycle or public transport (approx. 30 min. by public transport/approx. 45 min. by bicycle): fans of royalty can explore inside the imperial family residence on a palace tour – or just take a stroll through the palace gardens (Schlosspark). A particular highlight is the Gloriette terrace, a beautiful structure with a stunning view of the palace and Vienna in the background.
The MuseumsQuartier (MQ) is one of the largest cultural complexes in the world. In one 60,000 m² space, it conveniently combines several arts institutions, such as the mumok, the Kunsthalle exhibition hall and the Leopold Museum, with restaurants, cafés and shops. If you need a little break in between all the museums, why not stop for a rest on one of the colourful ‘Enzi’ seats and just soak up the post-modern combination of baroque buildings and modern architecture?
YOU CAN’T GET MUCH GREENER THAN THIS
Vienna is one of the greenest cities in the world: almost half of the city consists of parks, meadows, forests, vineyards and...
Vienna has its own jungle! Yes, really – the Lobau! In eastern Vienna (approx. 20 min. by car/40 min. by public transport), you’ll find the ‘Wasserwald’, which measures 2,300 hectares and makes up almost a quarter of the Danube-Auen National Park. Go for a hike or a cycle in this area and, with a bit of luck, you might spot a sea eagle, a beaver or a kingfisher... Or you can explore the area by water: the National Park boat travels directly along the Vienna Danube canal and into the jungle (advance booking required).
The 21 km long Donauinsel is not just Vienna’s most popular recreational area, it’s also an oasis for tourists to cool off or do some exercise. You can travel to the island from the city centre in just a few minutes via the U1 or U6 underground lines. Its extensive network of trails are great for hiking, jogging, cycling or skating. The swimming bays are perfect spots to relax, with all sorts of fun activities on offer, such as a trampoline site, a climbing park, a white water route and boats for hire – needless to say, you’re spoilt for choice!
The Prater public park covers 6 million m2 – and there are so many different ways to explore it! On foot, by rickshaw, on the Liliputbahn, by bicycle… And to round off your trip, why not have a ride on the world-famous Giant Ferris Wheel?
Grinzing, located in Vienna’s 19th district, has retained all its original charm of a traditional wine village to this day and, with its stunning landscape and historical buildings from the 12th to 18th centuries, it’s a popular destination for both locals and tourists. A walk in the vineyards followed by a drink in one of the many ‘Heuriger’ wine taverns – that’s classic Vienna (approx. 20 min. by car/approx. 40 min. by public transport)!
THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING GOING ON
Stopping at a coffee house for a ‘Melange’ coffee, served with a generous helping of pure ‘Schmäh’, the sarcastic Viennese sense of humour, is an absolute must. But this summer, there’s even more to discover:
Donauinselfest – On the third weekend in September, the Danube Island will once again be the venue for music and culture for all generations and all tastes with free admission. In addition, the Danube Island Festival will once again offer a summer tour starting in August, which will bring the colourful programme directly to the Viennese people in their neighbourhoods.
Kultursommer ‘Wien dreht auf’– until mid-August: 2,000 artists, over 40 venues and locations. With a diverse programme - from cabaret to concert - the whole city becomes a stage at the Kultursommer. Admission is free. Click here to view the programme.
Summerstage – until the end of September: Come on down to this hub of cultural and culinary delights (Roßauer Lände/U4) and round off a balmy summer’s evening with a glass of wine and some great music, right by the water – and yet in the heart of the city.
Filmfestival #soWIENie – until the beginning of September: Every summer for 30 years now, the city of Vienna has hosted a programme of free cultural events on the Rathausplatz square. For 65 days, visitors can enjoy a wide range of musical performances, from opera to modern dance, along with some delicious food – all under an open sky. Click here to view the programme.