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A "lean-and-mean" schedule is called for if you want to experience the best of Austria in a relatively small amount of time. An alpine country, Austria is small, but because of its mountains and back country roads -- and most definitely winter driving conditions -- getting around and seeing everything can be time consuming. All the major cities are linked by express highways known as autobahns, but you don't see Austria from these arteries. If you're a time-pressed traveler, as many of us are, you'll find the 1- or 2-week itineraries helpful in getting you around quickly to the highlights. Use the following itinerary to make the most out of a week in Austria, but feel free to drop a place or two to save a day to relax. One week provides just barely enough time to see the highlights of Austria. There are those who will argue that the glory of Austria lies in its mountain scenery and small villages. That is true to some extent. But if you're skimming the highlights, Austria has two of the most historic attractions in Europe, the imperial cities of Vienna and Salzburg, which are treasure troves that few first-time visitors would want to miss.

As a third contender, the Tyrolean capital of alpine Innsbruck is a potent lure. This trip takes in all those three cities, but allows some time for drives along the Danube and an invasion of the Salzkammergut, the famous lake district around Salzburg where that classic, The Sound of Music, was filmed.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.