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13 nts Austria, Germany, Switzerland by train

My husband and I are planning a train (ugh!) trip through Austria, Germany and Switzerland in early June. Neither of us wants to drive. We would like to spend roughly 3 nts in Vienna (with day trip to Melk, Krems, Durnstein, Danube cruise). Then we would like to go to Hallstatt, Salzburg, Neuschwanstein castle, and Munich before heading to Switzerland for a few days possibly to Chur and St. Moritz. Does this plan sound do-able for 2 weeks. Can anyone suggest an itinerary which must include beautiful alpine scenery? Is it possible by train? Thank you in advance!

Posted by
17979 posts

"Is it possible by train?"

You are in a great area for travel by train. From Munich to St. Moritz it's about 7 hours by train via Lindau.

If you have some time in your itinerary, stop in the Oberallgäu - Oberstdorf and Kleinwalsertal.

Posted by
2700 posts

Seems like too many places stretched far apart for 13 nights. After 3 nights in Vienna, you have 10 nights total for Hallstatt, Salzburg, Munich, Fuessen (Neuschwanstein), Chur and St. Moritz, plus a night near where you will fly home from. Not seeing this.

Paul

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks Lee and Paul for the advise. I am looking more closely at reorganizing the trip and either adding a few extra days or unfortunately, leaving out Switzerland on this trip.

Posted by
1 posts

Hi draheim, yes maybe you should re-organize a little;) Maybe it´s a good idea to drop Switzerland for this time - not just saying that because I am Austrian, but its just not worth the stress due to the fact that (especially the landscape) it´s not too different from the Austrian alpine regions. From Vienna it´s very easy to get to Salzburg (new train company "Westbahn" , faster and cheaper, approx. 2,5 hours direct trip). Hallstadt is very small and touristic, but still lovely and worth a few hours, but wouldn´t necessarily stay overnight. Krems is also very nice, especially in Summer, and also very easy to reach from Vienna (direct connection, appr. 45min). From Salzburg you have a lot of possibilities with the train to see some magnificent mountain settings! It´s just surrounded by mountains and lakes. Especially early June its just the best time for hiking in Austria

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks, Arno. If we decide to skip Switzerland this trip, we could use some suggestions on visiting the Tyrol region of Austria with beautiful mountain scenery and lovely towns!

Posted by
2700 posts

Hi again,

Just an off the top of my head suggestion:

Nights 1-3 Vienna
Nights 4-7 Salzburg or vicinity
(include a day in Hallstatt, Berchtesgaden area, Salzburg and the Salzkammergut/Wolfgangsee area)
Nights 8-11 in Garmisch, Mittenwald or Fuessen (less than 1:30 apart) Garmisch and Mittenwald have beautiful alpine scenery.
(include Neuschwanstein, Linderhof Palace, the Zugspitze trip in Garmisch and/or the Karwendelbahn in Mittenwald)
Nights 12-13 Munich

Paul

Posted by
6332 posts

I would only make one suggestion. Use your days in Vienna for Vienna rather than doing a day-trip from there for Melk/Durnstein/Krems. Do these on your transfer day to Salzburg area. Take an early train to Melk, visit the Abbey, take the boat cruise to Durnstein or Krems (or both if you have time), then take the train from Krems to Salzburg. Train from Vienna to Melk is just over an hour, train from Krems to Salzburg is about 3 hours, I think the boat from Melk to Krems is about an hour and 1/2 or maybe a little longer. Days are long in June so you can stretch your sightseeing day further.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you for your ideas, Paul and Nancy. I have actually set up a phone consultation with a Rick Steves consultant! Your responses have given me some good talking points for the consultation. Thanks again!