15 days in Austria, Switzerland & France Itinerary

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Vienna, Austria
— 2 nights
Salzburg, Austria
— 2 nights
Innsbruck, Austria
— 2 nights
Lucerne, Switzerland
— 2 nights
Zurich, Switzerland
— 1 night
Interlaken, Switzerland
— 2 nights
Train to Basel, Bahnhof SBB, Bus to Mulhouse, Fly to Paris
Paris, France
— 2 nights


Vienna, Austria — 2 nights

City of Dreams

The cultural, economic, and political center of the country, Vienna has developed from its early Celtic and Roman roots into a medieval and Baroque city, with an old town that was designated a World Heritage Site in 2001.
You'll explore and learn at Belvedere Palace and Albertina. Get a sense of the local culture at St. Stephen's Cathedral and Karlskirche. There's much more to do: see the interesting displays at Hofburg, admire the masterpieces at Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, make a trip to Graben and Kohlmarkt, and browse the eclectic array of goods at Vienna Naschmarkt.

For photos, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Vienna tour builder site.

Houston, USA to Vienna is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 7 hours traveling from Houston to Vienna. Plan for cooler temperatures traveling from Houston in September, with highs in Vienna at 24°C and lows at 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Salzburg.
Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping · Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Sep 24 — 26:

Salzburg, Austria — 2 nights

Rome of the North

Surrounded by mountain ranges and boasting a well-preserved city center, Salzburg melds culture and history.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Wed): don't miss a visit to Salzburger Altstadt, admire the masterpieces at DomQuartier Salzburg, then contemplate the long history of St. Peter's Abbey (Stift St. Peter), and finally explore the historical opulence of Fortress Hohensalzburg. Keep things going the next day: admire the striking features of Salzburg Cathedral, steep yourself in history at Mozarts Geburtshaus, then get a taste of the local shopping with Getreidegasse, then contemplate the long history of Mozart Residence (Mozart Wohnhaus), and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nonnberg Convent.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, use the Salzburg online journey planner.

Drive from Vienna to Salzburg in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or fly. In September in Salzburg, expect temperatures between 22°C during the day and 11°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Innsbruck.
Find places to stay Sep 26 — 28:

Innsbruck, Austria — 2 nights

Nestled in a valley between snowcapped peaks, Innsbruck evokes visions of a winter wonderland.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Fri): enjoy breathtaking views from Town Tower (Stadtturm), admire the striking features of The Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl), contemplate the long history of Altstadt von Innsbruck, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Dom zu St. Jakob, and finally admire the striking features of Innsbruck Hbf.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Innsbruck tour itinerary planning app.

Getting from Salzburg to Innsbruck by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a train. In September, daily temperatures in Innsbruck can reach 23°C, while at night they dip to 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Lucerne.
Find places to stay Sep 28 — 30:

Lucerne, Switzerland — 2 nights

In north-central Switzerland, Lucerne represents a small city boasting a well-preserved old town.
Visit Chiesa Parrochiale di San Martino and Basel Minster for their historical value. Appreciate the collections at Forum of Swiss History Schwyz and Bourbaki Panorama. Explore Lucerne's surroundings by going to Basel (Carolingian Outer Crypt & Basel's Old Town). There's much more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Mt Pilatus, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hofkirche, and visit Altstadt Luzern.

To find ratings, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read Lucerne trip maker tool.

Traveling by car from Innsbruck to Lucerne takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In September, daytime highs in Lucerne are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 12°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon) early enough to go by car to Zurich.
Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Winter Sports · Wildlife
Side Trips
Find places to stay Sep 29 — Oct 2:

Zurich, Switzerland — 1 night

Big Small Town

The financial hub of Switzerland, Zurich is most often associated with money and banks.
To find traveler tips, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Zurich trip maker website.

You can drive from Lucerne to Zurich in an hour. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. October in Zurich sees daily highs of 17°C and lows of 8°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue) early enough to go by car to Interlaken.
Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Shopping · Museums
Find places to stay Oct 2 — 3:

Interlaken, Switzerland — 2 nights

Nestled between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in the heart of the Jungfrau region, Interlaken became popular for its proximity to the mountains and lakes of the Bernese Oberland region.
On the 4th (Wed), fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, see the interesting displays at Zentrum Paul Klee (Paul Klee Center), and then look for gifts at The Mad Cow. On the next day, admire the local landmark of Zahringerbrunnen, then take some stellar pictures from The Cathedral of Bern, then wander the streets of UNESCO-Altstadt von Bern, and finally engage your brain at Einstein House (Einsteinhaus).

For maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Interlaken trip builder site.

Traveling by car from Zurich to Interlaken takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. In October, daily temperatures in Interlaken can reach 16°C, while at night they dip to 6°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can travel to Paris.
Shopping · Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods
Side Trip
Find places to stay Oct 3 — 5:

Paris, France — 2 nights

City of Light

A beautiful and romantic city fit for any itinerary, Paris brims with historic associations and remains vastly influential in the realms of culture, art, fashion, food and design.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Fri): head off the coast to Île de la Cité, steep yourself in history at Eiffel Tower, then steep yourself in history at Arc de Triomphe, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with Champs-Elysees.

To see traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Paris trip planner.

Do a combination of train, bus, and flight from Interlaken to Paris in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Traveling from Interlaken in October, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 10°C in Paris. You'll have a few hours on the 7th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling home.
Find places to stay Oct 5 — 7:

Austria travel guide

Situated in the Central European Alps, Austria combines an alluring bundle of elegant urban architecture, cultural centers, and dramatic landscapes. This German-speaking country of 8.5 million residents is known for its rich history, dating back to the Hapsburg Empire, as well as its art, music, and scenery. Along with the neighboring country of Switzerland, Austria serves as the winter sports capital of Europe and is home to some of the continent's most popular ski resorts. This landlocked nation draws visitors from across the globe to its mountains, historical villages, and culturally rich cities. Experience trekking in the Alps one day and drinking regional wine at a crowded pub after a day of sightseeing in the capital Vienna the next.

Switzerland travel guide

Bodies of Water · Mountains · Specialty Museums
Immerse yourself in a snow-capped mountain wonderland in Switzerland's serene Alpine setting. See the world-renowned Matterhorn, Switzerland's second-highest mountain at 4,478 m (14,962 ft) tall, or zoom down the mountains on toboggan, ski, or snowboard. In the warmer seasons hike around the rolling green hillsides covered with pine trees and picturesque aqua blue lakes. Luxurious cities dotted with cozy wooden chalets and colorful flowerbeds balance quaintness with first-class cultural offerings. Indulge in the country's opulence of milk chocolate, cheese fondue, and keg-carrying St. Bernard dogs.

France travel guide

France has been the world's most popular tourist destination for decades, and geographically, it is one of the most diverse countries in Europe. Its cities are holiday hot spots and contain some of the greatest treasures in Europe, its countryside is prosperous and well tended, and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions, like Paris, the French Riviera, the Atlantic beaches, the winter sport resorts of the French Alps, as well as the castles of the Loire Valley, Brittany, and Normandy. The country is renowned for its gastronomy, particularly wines and cheeses, as well as its history, culture, and fashion industry.

You'll find that the French people are very polite and may react coldly to you if you forget this. You might be surprised as you're greeted by other customers and the proprieter when you walk into a restaurant or a shop. Be sure to take your sightseeing off the beaten path in France. Besides the famous Eiffel Tower and the chic resorts of the Côte d'Azur (French Riviera) you'll find many places to visit in the form of museums filled with fine art, crafts, and archaeological relics, wonderful medieval villages and castles, diverse national parks, and local shopping direct from artisans themselves.

Whether you're touring the Christmas Markets or going skiing during winter, viewing the springtime influx of color in Provence, sunbathing on the Mediterranean coast in the summer, or watching the fall foliage against the backdrop of the châteaux in the Loire Valley, you're sure to find just the right place to be. Spring is a time when the tourist attractions are just starting to expand their hours, but it may still be cold in the mountainous regions and the north. Summer is the busiest time in France with the longest hours for many museums and attractions, but it's often when you will experience the most crowds. Winter in France is filled with winter carnivals, Christmas Markets, and of course, skiing. Fall is a time to celebrate the release of Beaujolais nouveau wine in November, as well as experience Nuit Blanche, a day in October when major attractions, museums, galleries, parks, and swimming pools remain open all night.