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Austria Itinerary suggestions (family of 4 with kids 9/12)

Hello everyone,
I'm in the beginning stages of planning a two week trip (June 2019). We are currently planning to start in Venice and come up to Salzburg. My kids are ages 9 and 12; my husband and I have been to Europe twice (trains/rented a car etc) but not with our children. We love smaller places, but obviously we want to hit the highlights of Salzburg/Vienna. We also like to do outdoor things like biking, hiking etc. I love the idea of a short Danube boat ride too. We plan to leave out of Munich. Any itinerary suggestions would be most appreciated. We also enjoy small B&Bs where we can meet local folks (although with children this may/may not work with room/bed sizes etc). Thank you all in advance.

Posted by
1524 posts

How many nights do you plan on spending in Austria ?

Posted by
4645 posts

Once you arrive in Salzburg, rent a car and base yourself in the Wolfgangsee area. Return the car in Salzburg and take the train to Vienna. Great hiking, summer toboggan runs, salt mines, swimming, etc. Make a day trip to Salzburg to see Hellbrunn Palace and the fortress. Stay in a farm - https://www.farmholidays.com/.

In Vienna, I would suggest an airbnb as family rooms are not really that available. Stay in districts 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 or 9.

The only stretch of the Danube worth the time and effort is in the Wachau Valley. But, honestly, I'd suggest skipping that for this trip and maximizing your time in the Wolfgangsee area as anything there is about ten times more spectacular.

Posted by
6854 posts

Coming out of Venice, the best way to see Northern Italy and Austria is by rental car. However dropping off any rental car in Austria or Germany will have very expensive drop off fees.
If I understand you, you want to see Venice, Vienna, Salzburg and Munich? The trip from Venice to Vienna is very difficult--requiring a train to a bus to a train--350 miles and a full day's trip.
The best way for your itinerary would be to fly into Vienna, see the city and then pickup a rental car. Head west to Salzburg and Munich. Then head south into the Alps and drop the rental car in Innsbruck. Take the train to Venice and fly home from there.
Even then, Vienna and Munich are 4 day minimum cities, Salzburg is a 2 day city and Venice is a 3 day city. The first and last day of any trip is wasted, and you lose a day everytime you move. If at all possible, take a few more days on your trip as these are all very important cities to see.
We have traveled this region many times, and we stay at K&T Boardinghouse in Vienna--where Rick Steves used to stay--for 70 Euros.

Posted by
3412 posts

Considering your planned itinerary , returning from Munich would involve a five hour train trip ( including an hour from Munich Hauptbahnhof to Munich airport ) from Vienna . Better to go in a straight line , and fly home from Vienna .

Posted by
4645 posts

With five days in Austria, skip Vienna and focus on Venice, Salzburg/Wolfgangsee and Munich. 5 days is too short for Salzburg and Vienna, taking into account kids and transit times.

Posted by
1464 posts

The trip from Venice to Vienna is very difficult--requiring a train to a bus to a train--350 miles and a full day's trip.

There are three direct trains from Venice to Vienna per day, two day-time, and one over-night.

Posted by
1464 posts

Given that you have two kids with you, maybe you should consider not to spend too much time in Venice which is well known for its unique architecture, the layout of canals, historical buildings and churches, etc., maybe not so appealing to kids.

Posted by
351 posts

As regards the biking and Danube cruise, there is a spectacular apartment for rent at the Hotel Restaurant zur post in Melk. They also have loaner bikes, but you might need to check about kids bikes. You can spend a day biking down alongside the Danube, then bring your bike on the boat at Krems and have the boat cruise back up. We had a late lunch on the boat that was good. This was a lovely day. We stopped to see the Venus of Willendorf in a tiny museum and there are other stops you can make, but keep an eye on your schedule for the return boat. Doing this makes for a very full day.

Melk is also just an interesting place - I enjoyed the Abbey and walking in their gardens, and we had some very nice meals, enjoyed live music outdoors, etc...

In Salzburg, Hellbrun Palace was a big hit with my 11 year old son.

In Vienna, we also did a bike tour. The one we did wasn't the best (we had more fun on Bikes in Paris and Munich), but it's been many years and worth looking into. At 11, my kids preferred a bike tour to a walking or any other kind of tour.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks everyone for your input. I’m now thinking of narrowing this down more. I think we’ll just do Austria and northern Italy (Verona/Venice). I might even save Vienna for another trip except to fly in/out. I think Munich might be too much as well...would you agree? Perhaps Dachau is too much for kids ages almost 10 and 12 so I’m skipping that until they’re older. Planning on a car for Austria only. Itinerary suggestions now? Castles, hikes, ice caves, salt mines, country and some city adventures? We have about 16 days. Also, we typically stay in Airbnb type places but in looking for a family... this seems hard as most have one room and one bed! Any family accommodation suggestions welcome...I do like the farm idea (again though they seem to have one room/bed avail). Thank you all for your time and opinions! So helpful!

Posted by
8 posts

I’m thinking fly to Venice (2-3 days), train to Verona (2 days), train to Innsbruck (get a car and stay nearby for 1-2 days), drive to St Wolfgang (stay for 5 days to explore Salzburg, Hallstatt etc), drive to Vienna (2-3 days where we drop car and fly home).....how does this sound?

Posted by
4645 posts

I think you are doing the farm search wrong. Nearly everything available is family rooms or apartments. What dates and what location - so I can help you?

Posted by
8 posts

I’d like to stay at a farm while near Innsbruck for 2-3 nights June 19-21 (approx)...

Posted by
4645 posts

I found dozens of farm apartments with your dates. I put Tyrol in as the location as that is where Innsbruck is located. I put in two adults and two kids. Under the “any rooms” filter, I selected “holiday flat.” Came up with many...