Together with my wife we are planning our December 2015 2 weeks vacation, I know it is still early, but we need to make plans especially for hotels. 5 years ago in May we visited Austria and based ourselves in Innsbruck, Salzburg and Vienna. We really liked Austria, and I love Vienna. We are thinking of going back there again this time, do you think if I use the same bases it will be nice? This time I would like to take some day trips by trains, any recommendation? Also apart from doing the same thing, what about Munich > Salzburg > Vienna, or Salzburg > Graz > Vienna. We are not into skiing, but if there is a nice easy day trip to some mountains we can do. I will travel by train.
Good morning. So December will obviously be very different from May. Will be interesting to compare seasons. Your main attraction during that time of year will be the Christmas Markets. If you really liked Vienna, then keep it as one of your bases. Instead of Salzburg, maybe consider a town on Wolfgangsee in the Salzkammergut region. Ambiance galore during Christmas. Graz or Munich would be good (and probably more interesting) alternatives to Innsbruck. Have you considered Ljubljana?
There was a recent thread on day trips for Vienna in May, but the recommendations will be different in colder months. From Vienna, you might want to consider a visit to Melk or Bratislava.
For trains, always use the www.oebb.at website.
Hi Emily thanks for the suggestions. With regards to Wolfgangsee it looks nice, but I think it will not be suitable for 4 days, unless there are good day trips to take from there by train, what do you recommend? I though about Ljubljana, but we are leaving Slovenia for another time.
Many day trips from Salzkammergut - Salzburg, Hallstatt, Bad Ischl, the salt mines...and don't forget the Christmas Markets. All of these are easily done on public transportation.
Keep in mind the Christmas markets in St. Gilgen, St. Wolfgang etc. (Wolfgangsee, Salzkammergut) are open Thurs.- Sunday. The lake ships run during those days also. Same for Berchtsgaden, Hallein, etc. Salzburg, Innsbruck, Munich, etc. have them open everyday.
I have to say we had visited Salzburg and Innsbruck many times during the last 12 years, but visitng during the Christmas markets is like visitng them for the very first time, only so much better. We went for the Christmas markets in Dec. 2010 and loved it, so did it again in Dec. 2013. We did days trips into Italy from Innsbruck (we actually stayed in Hall in Tirol at the Gasthof Badl, for the 5th time). Sterzing/Vipiteno, Brixen/Bressanone and Bozen/Bolzano are all charming old towns with daily Christmas markets and easy day trips from Innsbruck or Hall in Tirol.
We also loved our day on the Wolfgangsee lake ship visiting St. Gilgen and St. Wolfgang. We especially liked St. Wolfgang.