Okay, all of you savvy travelers, our trip is upon us. We are leaving in a few weeks, looking forward to seeing our girl! I have watched videos and read the books but I'd like some advice from you guys that have visited these place in the last few months. In Austria, we will be in Innsbruck, Salzburg - day trip to Hallstatt -, and Vienna. Are there any experiences, whether a musical concert, a bike ride, a memorable meal, a great city... whatever you loved that you could recommend would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, fellow travelers!
How are you travelling--train, car? I am assuming you are going to Innsbruck, Salzburg and Vienna. How many days in each city?
When in Salzburg, another day trip would be to Obersalzburg for a bus ride up to the Eagle's Nest. The history, the views and a short hike, if you want, makes for a fun and interesting day. Get there very early in the day to avoid crowds.
Personally, I wasn't intrigued with Hallstatt. There's so much to do in and around (and closer) to Salzburg.
For any of the destinations in your 5-week trip, we recommend looking up food tours. We have found them to be lots of fun, informative about culture and history (not just food), and a great way to sample local cuisine (sometimes traditional, sometimes what is trendy now).
Denise, We thought about the Eagle's Nest. We are huge history buffs. We heard that they had torn down the original structure. We have rented a car for our 5 wk trip. It will give us lots of flexibility.
Food tours sound wonderful. I am a firm believer that food is a huge element of a country's culture. Looking forward to rooting out some great places to eat. I will definitely check on some food tours. Thanks for the tip.
"We heard that they had torn down the original structure." - This is at odds with your previous sentence in the same paragraph.
The Dachstein Mountains are just past Hallstatt and they have the five Fingers overlook and the ice caves accessible by gondola as well as St Wolfgang and the Lake of the same name with boat rides that will take you to the different towns on the Lake.
What are your dates for Vienna?
5 weeks = 35 days
35 days/10 countries = 3.5 days/country (on average)
Innsbruck, Salzburg, Hallstatt and Vienna in 3.5 days?
I hope not.
But I do like the Afro Cafe in Salzburg... good place for lunch or for a late-night coffee... best falafel I've ever had. The Salzburger Kulturvereinigung and the Mozarteum offer high-quality, non-touristy classical concerts.
There are forum members who know Vienna markedly better than I (uhh.. Salzburg for that matter, too). I've been in Vienna 3 times. The Subway across the Ring from the opera house was a part of every visit (yes... the US sandwich chain). While I fail on food recommendations, I will say that there are few places in the world better for seeing a classical concert than the Great Hall at the Musikverein.
The whole planned trip reminds me of an old joke:
"Darling, where are we?"
"What day is today?"
"Must be Belgium."
It's hard to know where to start...
Vienna is (to me) even more romantic than Paris. It's hard for me to chose between there or Prague when I go to Europe. But things I highly recommend are 1) Go to the Opera if you can. The inside of the Opera House is one of the most beautiful Art Deco interiors in the world. 2) Visit the Dorotheum if you have any interest in antiques or art. It's the best place for high end stuff I know outside of some very select places. Think Sotheby's but bigger. Every floor has different stuff (furniture, Modern Art, jewelry, etc...). I've never seen it in a guide book, but it shouldn't be missed. 3) The royal armor collection has to be seen if you're into that. 4) Likewise the Military History Museum. 5) The Roman ruins at Carnumtum are the best outside Italy.
Salzburg is one of the prettiest cities, and very easy to walk around. I spend more time walking the old fortifications (on both sides of the river) than bothering with the salt mines. One of the best cities I know to just sit and have a beer, outside, and listen to students playing music in the streets. If the weather is warm the crowds will be down by the river. Outside of the obvious tourist places the student population seems to keep the food prices down. If you have your hiking shoes go walk the Kapazunerberg (across from the fortress).
Innsbruck is too often just a place to pass through for tourist on their way to points further east (or south if they ski). Unfortunately it's been to long for me to recommend anything specific, but I have fond memories of walking around the old town and by the river.
We did a 2 week vacation many years ago...we went by train from prague to Vienna to Salzburg to munich to Zurich to bernese oberland (gimmelwald). Fabulous trip so I know it can be done.
We are again spending a week in munich and Austria. Do you know you can do a day trip to cesky krumlov from Salzburg? Thats what we are doing this time. Also one day driving the grossglockner highway (starting from zell aam see and ending at heilingblut)
Consider a one hour horse ride in a scenic place. Plenty of riding options available. Dont need to be a experienced rider
I would suggest given your time constraint skipping Hallstatt and Innsbruck.
There is also a night train connection between Munich and Vienna which ends in Budapest, the terminus. If you intend on sticking to 10 countries, (not really advisable), then you need to squeeze out more time. The night train option offers this.