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Itinerary advice for Vienna/Hallstatt, Salzburg, Munich

My husband & I are doing a 10 night trip Flying Munich to Munich. We are not planning to rent a car.
I am planning on flying into Munich and taking the train directly to Vienna to start the trip and work our way back. Do you recommend taking a day trip to Melk or staying there on the leg to Hallstadt? Any comments o the flow of the trip or unrealistic travel plan?
Day 1 fly into Munich
day 2 train to Vienna
Day 3 Vienna
Day 4 Vienna (day trip to Melk?)
day 5 Vienna train to Halstatt
Day 6 tain to Salzberg
Day 7 Salzberg
Day 8 train back to Munich
Day 9 Munich day trip to Zugspitz
Day 10 Munich
fly home

Posted by
7738 posts

Why not fly into Vienna and out of Munich on an open jaw fare? That would give you an extra day not riding on a train. If you compare costs you have to add the cost of the train onto the balance sheet.

PS this is posted in Austria Reviews where people report things post-trip. Perhaps you can move it to the straight "Austria" forum

Posted by
5719 posts

I agree with Stan - definitely either fly into Vienna or Munich and fly out the other one. Your trip is short, so you don’t want to waste time on a train heading to the opposite location. Even if it costs more, vacation time is valuable!

For your question about Melk. It’s a nice stop, and we stayed there overnight on a trip where we went Munich, Mittenwald, Salzburg, St. Wolfgang, Melk, Vienna. We took a boat from Melk partway down the Danube River, and then took the train the rest of the way to Vienna. For your amount of time, I would pick Hallstatt or Melk but not both. You don’t want to rush your time in Vienna. If you absolutely want to see Melk, you might want to just stay overnight there and then take the trains to Hallstatt. We also really have enjoyed seeing Salzburg several times, so I would say your day and a half there is a minimum.

Have a great time!

Posted by
47 posts

Too much train time for a 10 day trip. It looks like you are on a train on 7 of your 10 days. You'll be seeing lots of farms, factories, and small towns out of your window, but not much else.

If you can, do an early AM train to Melk, see the Abbey around opening time and then continue on to Hallstat to spend the afternoon and night. Abbey is wonderful, but the grounds are nothing special. They are easily matched by garden walks in either Vienna or Munich.

If it's rainy or cloudy on Day 9 skip the trip to the Zugspitz. When the mountian is weathered-in there is really nothing to see or do.

Posted by
3007 posts

What time of year? I ask, because during shoulder seasons, everything may not be open in Melk/ Krems and Hallstatt.

I agree, you have too many day trips and too much time on trains.

Also, with the current travel chaos, you can't count on arriving on the day you had planned, you need to build an extra day in at the start. For my past two trips post COVID, one flight was canceled which resulted in a 24 hour delay, and for the next trip, we had a 4-5 hrs delay, which resulted in a missed connection. We checked into our Munich hotel at 1:00am. There was way we could have gotten to Salzburg that day.

Have a great trip and safe travels!

Posted by
14 posts

I might amend jkh's comments on Zugspitze and weather, if only to say 'weigh options' rather than 'don't bother'. We were traveling through the area in 2015 and only had time on that one day for a stop at Zugspitze on our way to Füssen & Neuschwanstein from Innsbruck. The weather did not cooperate for a lovely day BUT we nearly had the cable car to ourselves. The ride up in a light rain still provided incredible views, and we ascended through the clouds to a sunny, frozen landscape at the summit. While weather-impacted, the ascent & descent provided a singular experience and the photos & video memories are often revisited. Still, lots to see and do in and around Munich, so weigh your options accordingly should weather impact a planned visit to Zugspitze. Good luck and safe travels!