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Austria Itinerary

Hello - I'd like to get some feedback on my Austrian trip. I'm in Austria from September 3 to 7, 2016. I'm traveling alone, in great shape, and like to see a lot. I love museums, but also love being active and outdoors. Here's my proposed itinerary:

Saturday, September 3 – Flight arrives in Vienna at 1:30 PM. After stopping at my hotel on Mariahilfer Strasse, spend the rest of the day taking Rick Steve’s Vienna City Walk and getting something to eat (sunset about 7:30 PM). See St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Sunday, September 4
• Going to church at 10 AM with friends

• Around noon, leave for Schonbrunn Palace (Grand Tour of the apartments and then the gardens) – open until 5:30
• Evening: Get standing room only ticket for the evening performance at the Opera House (stay 30-60 minutes). Then go to coffee houses: Café Central (open until 10) and Café Landtmann (open until midnight) – Cafes are 6 minutes walk from each other.

Monday, September 5

• Kunsthistoriches Museum (opens 10 AM)
• Ringstrasse tram tour (could also do this by bike), visiting sites in Old Town I've missed.
• Evening - relax and get ready for the next morning?

Tuesday, September 6 – Train from Vienna leaves at 6:24 AM and arrives in Salzburg at 9 AM (2.5 hours).

• Old Town Walk (includes Salzburg Cathedral, Getreidegasse, Rezidenz Palace). Visit Mozart birthplace or Mozart’s residence (both open 9-5:30)
• Monchsberg walk/bike and Hohensalzburg Fortress (open until 7, with a concert at night.

Wednesday, September 7
• Hitler’s eagle nest/Nazi sites OR drive a rental car to Hallstatt. From what I've read, Hallstatt sounds more interesting even though I'm a big history buff. I don't mind the crowds at Hallstatt.

Thursday, September 8 - Train leaves at 7:56 AM for Luzern, Switzerland.

Posted by
28 posts

Sounds like we have a lot in common (active, history buff, love being outdoors) so I'm not surprised a lot of your itinerary mirrored what we did in Vienna.

We were in Vienna for 3 full days plus the previous afternoon post arrival.

We toured Belvedere Palace because it was close to our hotel. Nice but not a must IMO.
We visited Schonbrunn for about 4 hours and loved every minute of it!
Spent 5 glorious hours at the Kunsthistorisches! The art! The architecture! Oh my!
Went on the viewing platform at St. Stephens. Worth the small amount of euros we paid.
Did a lot of walking around just seeing the buildings of the Ringstrasse
Toured the Sisi Museum and the Austrian National Library. So much to look at!

We then went to Krems for the weekend to run a marathon then proceeded to Salzburg for 4 days.

You don't have a lot of time in Salzburg but your plans looks good to me.
It had been a dream of mine to visit for at least 25 years and we did pretty much everything possible
in those 4 days. Too much to list.

I wish we had known at that time that the bus line we took to Untersberg could have also taken us to
the Eagles Nest. The history lover in me regrets that poor planning.

Hope you have a great time! We are from Canada and have traveled a lot in North America and
Bermuda but haven't traveled extensively in Europe (Ireland, Austria, Germany, Italy, London in a few
months)but my husband and I both agree that Austria is our favorite country to date.

Posted by
12970 posts

Walking from Salzburg Hbf you see Mozarts Wohnhaus first, much fewer tourists there, then you cross the small bridge to reach Getreidegasse and you'll see "Mozarts Geburtshaus." That street is packed with tourists.

Which hotel on Mariahilferstrasse?

Posted by
703 posts

last year were stayed in Hallstatt and Berchtesgaden area and visited eagles nest and surrounding area. from what you have said, I would skip Hallstatt. definitely do Eagles nest, the document centre and then get your 'lake' fix by doing the konigssee lake near by. you might even fit in the nearby rossfeld panorama road in the one day.
Hallsttat is definitely beautiful and the salt mine is very interesting, but if you are a history buff then the Berchtesgaden area might be of more interest and is certainly stunning.

hope this helps.

Posted by
103 posts

I'm staying at the K & T Boardinghouse in Vienna.

Posted by
4698 posts

A few comments on your time in Vienna:

  1. Coffeehouses are really not late night places. I'd try to fit those in during the morning or early afternoon. Yes, those two are open during those hours, but those two coffeehouses also serve full meals and are larger. While I like both of these cafes, I prefer the smaller ones leaning more on coffee and cakes, such as Demel, Hawelka, Diglas and Sperl.

  2. Notable omissions from your itinerary - Naschmarkt, a great place for breakfast; the Belvedere, I prefer it to the Kunsthistoriches.

  3. Vienna has a city center, but I wouldn't call it "Old Town" as most of the buildings are not really that old, in the European sense. I think that the Ringtram is a rip off as strolling the Ring from Schottentour to Stadtpark will give you a chance to savor and take pictures (and its free). I also really like the walking tour found on the Frommer's website, especially the ones through the city center.

  4. Eat schnitzel and have a Kasekrainer from a wurstelstand.

Posted by
103 posts

Great comments Emily. I'll check out the Belvedere and the other walking tours. Quick question: why do you say the coffee houses are not great to visit in the evenings? Or is it just better in the daytime?

Posted by
183 posts

I have gone to cafes at night to watch World Cup matches, but yeah, not much doing. The 'scene' will be much more interesting mid morning or midafternoon. They sometimes have a 'marzipan potato' at Landtmann that is awesome--a little bit of an old fashioned treat.

The Belvedere grounds are wonderful and worth it for a walk (I like going from the top at the Gurtel and walking down to Schwartzenbergplatz), but before you skip the KHM you'll have to weigh if you prefer the Klimts to the Breugels.

Totally agree with Emily about the Ring tram. Just ride the regular red ones if it's raining. If it's dry, cycling here is awesome.

Posted by
4684 posts

Yes, no point getting the Ringtram as normal service trams will be much cheaper. Note that no normal service route goes all the way round the Ring - routes 1 and 2 both cover a large portion of it but you'll have to change from one to another at some point.

Posted by
18373 posts

I absolutely loved Hallstatt, but by the time you get there and back, it's probably not worth the time to get there. Not that I don't think it's worth visiting, I just think it takes more time to do it justice. I arrive in late afternoon, spent the evening and the entire next day there, then left the following morning. On the other hand, Berchtesgaden is just a 50 min bus ride from Salzburg.

Posted by
4698 posts

Well, coffee houses obviously serve coffee and not many people like to drink coffee at night, thus they are kinda dead after dark. People go earlier to spend 2-3 hours reading the paper, having a melange or two, and watching the world go by.

Posted by
3078 posts

A friend and I followed Emily's recommendation on the Frommer's walking tours, doing Walking Tour 2. We really enjoyed it.

Posted by
4588 posts

Tuesday evening in Salzburg, you might also want to walk around the neighborhood where the Gasthof Alter Fuchs restaurant is located. It's just across the river from the Old Town.

Posted by
12970 posts


K &T is good place, I stay at a hotel on Mariahilferstrasse too. "...I'm a big history buff...." If you're a real student of history, then I would heartily suggest the Army Museum at the Arsenal, ie the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum A tram stops almost in front, ca 2-3 mins. Signs point the way. See the elaborate and newly opened WW 1 exhibit. I think it's # 18, but ask at K&T.

Posted by
613 posts

Drive from Vienna to Salzburg so you take in the Abby Church at Melk, & Wilherring Abby.

Hallstatt town is spectacular seen from a distance, but once in town, its an overrun tourist trap. Approaching from the south offer the best views. To get there, take the expressway east from Salzburg to the Salzkammergut. Take the road from Bad Ischl to Bad Ausee. About 2/3 up the first mountain, pull into the deserted parking lot on your left, inside a curve in the road. Go to the downhill corner of the parking lot closest to the road and pass trough the tunnel to the terrace of the defunct cafe. The views between the trees offer the most impressive of all views of Hallstatt and of the Hallstattersee, with the Mighty Dachstein's glacier sparkling in the sun at the far end of the lake.

But if you like scenery, forget Hallstatt and go a bit west to the Gosausee.

Hitler built the Eagle's Nest for the view, so good weather is essential. For history, go back to my suggestion to drive & see Melk & Wilherring Abby (reek of history) & throw in St Florian Abby where the composer Bruckner was the house organist. Bruckner is buried in the church crypt, along with 10,000 skulls of dead religionists who once lived here.

You can also cross the river to visit the Nazi Mauthousen Death Camp which ran up a 100% death rate for Soviet POWs in WWII.

The best view of Salzburg is from the Mariellen Garden across the river.

For a night in Vienna, go Grinsinging. You can get to Grinsing by tram.

See the National Library in Vienna.
There are two tours of Schoenbrun. The long tour is best. Also see the Carriage House museum.
History note: there are two metro stops for Schoenbrunn. The first was originally the private metro stop for the Royal family. It is not decorated like the stations for the commoners.
Best view of the palace is from the Gloriette.

Some history within the Ring, in the CC. to the west is the house where a penniless Haydn lived after he was kicked out of the Vienna Boys Choir. To the east is the mansion where Haydn died, the richest musician in history up until the Beatles. Haydn died when Napoleon occupied Vienna. Napoleon gave orders to post an armed blockade at the end of the block where Haydn was living with orders to shoot to kill any rabble rousers whose racket might disturb Haydn's rest.

Two must have meals: 1] Wiennerschnitzel. Not schnitzel with might but pork, but the real thing, veal (kolb)
2] Backhendle. This how KFC would cook chicken if KFC knew how to cook chicken. Good restaurant for Backhendle in the basement of the town hall.

Posted by
12970 posts


When you check out the Belvedere, (aside from the great art), look for the rooms where Franz Ferdinand lived with his wife and kids before moving to Schloss Konopischt.

Posted by
5697 posts

At the K&T, ask Tina for the address of the nearby schnitzel restaurant she recommends -- and believe her when she says two can split one serving! And in Salzburg, agree with the suggestion about Alter Fuchs. Both are favorites.

Posted by
12970 posts

I would suggest the restaurant "Schnitzel Wirt" on Neubaugasse, usually very crowded, copious portions, and inexpensive.