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3 days in Austria between Budapest and Cesky Krumlov - Vienna or Linz day trips?


Our trip in September will consist of Budapest in the beginning (5 nights- 1 of which will be jet lagged) and ending in Prague (5 nights, 4 days - one of which will be leaving travelling home). In between we want to see Cesky Krumlov.

We need to decide on either:

A. Take a train to Linz. Three nights in Linz or similar type "homebase" and rent a car in Linz (with day trips to see Hallstadt, and other suggested small scenic towns with nice photo ops and moderate hiking, biking, etc.,), OR

B. Take train to Vienna (another large city) for three nights.

Our next stop is in Cesky Krumlov for two nights and then on to Prague for five nights.

We cannot decide which intermediate location would be best. Would we miss out skipping Vienna? How much trouble would it be to stay in Linz (or nearby) and do day trips from there. I did not get a great impression from some of the Linz descriptions but it seems central.

All comments are welcome, please!!!


Posted by
6570 posts

We made that general trip 2 years ago--Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Prague.
Budapest is now one of our favorite large European cities--more enjoyable and less expensive than Prague.
Bratislava was a rest stop for us, as we stayed in a great small and modern hotel downtown. It's only 39 mi. from Vienna--short bus ride.
We see Vienna as a 4 night stop as it's one of the really great cities of old, formal Europe. It was my 4th visit there.
It would be nice to cut a couple of days out of Prague and take a 2 hour train beyond Prague to Dresden, Germany--one of the prettiest cities in all of Europe. They've really been busy rebuilding the city, and their art museums are again incredible.
The C/K is a little out of the way, and would be good for a future trip to there, Hallstadt and Salzburg.

Posted by
4399 posts

If you seek beauty and photo opportunities, why are you thinking of staying in industrial Linz? By all means, skip Vienna, if you like, to get a break from the big cities. Just do yourself a favor and stay in a beautiful, quaint place instead. The Wachau, for example, is perfect in September as it is grape harvest and you can drink Sturm all day long. Or go ahead to HallstaTt and say there - or nearby. Gosausee, for example? Consider Gmunden or Steyr as well. Maybe stay on a farm.

Posted by
1067 posts

Hi lauridav. I would echo Emily's advice, with a little different spin. We stayed in Linz for two nights and had a memorable day biking along the Danube from there. But Linz is not in the mountains, or overly scenic. If you are interested in Hallstadt, Salzburg, etc., go there. Linz is not close enough to those for easy day trips, there is no reason to use it as a base. Also, I would suggest you lay out your itinerary on a daily calendar and plot timing. It's easy to think 'we have three days between x and y', but it's easy to use up much or most of those days in travel time. Plot the actual times / hours, including realistic travel times, to see what is practical. If you really want to fit in Salzburg, etc, you may want to cut a day or two from somewhere else. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
12794 posts

First time in the area? Go to Vienna. There is a reason more people go to Vienna than LInz. Take a day trip to Wachau / Melk then on Bean Shuttle to Cesky Krumlov. I say this and I am not even a huge Vienna fan, but that's something you have to judge for yourself.

Posted by
32 posts

Emily and all other posters, thank you.

Our schedule is such that we have to be in Cesky Krumlov by the 15th. We leave Budapest on the 12th. In between we are free and need to calculate travel times for wherever we go as well. Emily, how would you recommend getting from Budapest to the small towns mentioned in your response and then from there to Cesky?

My husband had come up with Linz because we could take a train there from Budapest and rent a car for day trips. We were planning on taking a shuttle from Linz to Cesky the morning of the 15th. I am exploring a better "base" for these pretty towns but we will need a car and also a way to Cesky.

So, taking Vienna out of the equation how can we explore the small towns and get to Cesky by the 15th if we leave Budapest on the 12th?


Posted by
4399 posts

Take a train to the nearest city with a car rental agency - we like Sixt. Rent the car, drive to the beautiful town, stay there and explore, return car to same larger city, take Bean or CK shuttle to CK.

The advice you are getting on Trip Advisor is also good.

Posted by
32 posts

I hope that I am not "overposting" as this is a new concept for me. As I get more information I think of new questions.

As posted before, we want a place where we could have some small town charm, photo ops, spa, pretty scenery and close day trips, but still be able to get to by way of a train from Budapest. We will need to rent a car (Linz?).

Since we want to definitely see Hallstatt and yet still be close enough to Linz (?) to return the car and catch a shuttle to Cesky in the morning of day 3 I am thinking of the previous advice of staying in Gmunden. It seems that Hallstatt is a little more than an hour away, and Linz is about an hour.

Another suggestion which I have not thoroughly checked out was Michael's advice of Steyr. (That on quick glance does not appear to be as scenic as Gmunden but about an hour out as well.) Opinions?

Any recommendations for a reasonable priced nice place to stay and comments regarding the choice of Gmunden, Steyr, or other ideas are appreciated!

Again, many thanks!

Posted by
32 posts

We have looked into Gmunden and found accommodations at Hois n Wirt which is midway down on the right bank of Lake Traunsee. This appears to be a longer commute to see Hallstatt but Hallstatt was fully booked. There were other options which were in Gmunden which would save time going to see Hallstatt, about 30 minutes or so, I think. Any suggestions regarding better route to Hallstatt rather than circling the lake north of Gmunden and then down to Hallstatt would be appreciated. Any posters have any feedback on accommodations?