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Austria September and Other Sites

We are a senior couple planing to visit Austria this Sept. We will have a car outside Vienna.

We are interested in hiking, architecture, museums, beautiful scenery, regional cuisine and generally exploring places we have never visited. We will visit the traditional highlights: Vienna, Wachau Valley, Salzburg, Hallstatt. We are not limited by time, usually spending a month or more and are looking for suggestions of maybe 3-4 places to base ourselves for day trips.

Our initial thoughts are to fly Ottawa /Gatwick/Innsbruck. Usually our cheapest one stop flights are to Gatwick where we can pick up an EasyJet flight to Innsbruck. We will also visit Prague and Budapest so will investigate the feasibility of flying home or back to Gatwick from one of those two cities.

Since Austria is bordered by so many countries we would like to take the opportunity to border hop and visit interesting sites/towns either as a day trip or longer stay. We have been to southern Germany, Slovenia, nearby Croatia but never, Switzerland, Northern Italy, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. For research we have used various Austrian web sites, this Trip Forum, Trip Advisor Austrian Forum, Lonely Planet and we have Rick Steves’ Germany book for Salzburg.

Initial Itinerary:
1. Innsbruck - 4 nights, then rent a car and head East to Tyrol/Voralberg and stay in Bregenz;

  1. Bregenz - 3 nights;

  2. Bolzano or Vipiteno Italy - 2 nights;

4 Zell am See - 3 nights - sightsee in area;

  1. Salzburg - 4 nights;

  2. Bad Ischl - 3 nights - sightsee in area

  3. Linz - 3 nights - sightsee in area;

  4. Cesky Krumlov - 2 nights;

  5. Krems - 4 nights - sightsee in area;

  6. Vienna - 5 nights - day trip to Bratislava

  7. Budapest - 4 nights; and

  8. Prague - 4 nights - fly to Gatwick.

  9. Thoughts on itinerary, too ambitious; length of time in sights or alternates?

  10. Recommendations for day trips into Hungary, Italy, Czech Republic and Slovakia from the above areas?

  11. The various cable cars sound fantastic but seem expensive, so if you could only do 1 or 2 which would be your choices?

4.Our accommodations requirements are moderate between 80-120 euros so if you have any recommendations please pass them on. We prefer to stay close enough to walk to dinner;

  1. Nothing is booked yet so we are open to all suggestions. Hope to begin booking accommodations soon.

Thank you for taking the time to read this long request and we will appreciate any comments and recommendations you may wish to give.

Posted by
1209 posts

Bregenz is west of Innsbruck. If you go that way it is a good idea to spend a week around Bodensee ( if you have not previously). Just the way I travel. Check out the local website: If the weather is nice, it is a gorgeous spot, a bit of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Feldkirch is a nice working town close by.

Vipiteno is a splendid little place, we were there on our honeymoon many years ago. Heading back east, I can recommend Stift Stam, Hall in Tirol, Tratzberg Palace, Hallstatt, Alpbach, Zell am See, Kufstein for sure, and remember liking Steyr and the tiny Durnstein. I preferred St Gilgen and the lake area around it as opposed to Bad Ischl. The only cable cars I have taken are in southern Germany, away from your intended destinations. Can't help with the rest, and I would aim for fewer bases.

Posted by
227 posts

Thank you for your reply. Just the kind of information we are looking for. I knew Bregenz was to the West somehow East crept in. I looked into Bad Ischl and St Wolfgang more and I think we will take your suggestion and stay in St Wolfgang instead. We can still cover the same area from there.

Unsure yet whether to head South to Bolzano or opt for Vipiteno. Glad you liked Vipiteno.

Posted by
1209 posts

I never made it to Bolzano, it is much larger than Vipiteno. If I remember correctly, three nights in Vipiteno in a BnB, no idea of the name. A beautiful drive to Merano one day, another drive to the Castelrotto area. There are some beautiful spots. Now I think of it, I have no idea why I have never been back. It's not a case of trying something new, as some areas I have revisited 2 or 3 times. Apart from Rome, my wife has no interest of returning to Italy but there may still be enough of a German influence in the Dolomites to persuade her. I'd also like to return to Vienna, spent our last week there on our honeymoon. One of my life's little pleasures, I rode cabin number ten on the ferris wheel.

Posted by
578 posts

We stayed in Castlerotto on a RS My Way Alpine tour and loved it. We took the cable cars into Alpe de Siusi and did an amazing hike -- not too difficult, stunning scenery and a fabulous lunch at a full-on restaurant they call a "hut." I highly recommend exploring this area. I would go back in a heartbeat.

Posted by
502 posts


Great plan. We (also seniors) did a somewhat similar trip in September 2017 (only 3 weeks; no Italy; no Budapest).

Just one thought to eliminate a lodging relocation: For the Salzburg/Salzkammergut area we used a single base (an Airbnb in Mondsee) for 7 nights. Salzsburg was an easy drive (Rick's book has a useful parking strategy) and we felt we saw as much as we needed in a single day; 4 nights might be generous depending on your interests. Hallstatt and Gmundn were easy day trips as well. I'd agree with Gunderson about St. Gilgen (as well as St. Wolfgang) as a base; nice to be on a lake. Those two are more charming than Mondsee, but the Airbnb fit our budget and needs. (If Mondsee looks interesting to you, shoot me a PM and I'll forward info on the Airbnb there. It was a 5 minute drive to the restaurants; never walked, but I'd guess 15 minutes.)

Posted by
227 posts

Gundersen: Thank you again. We aren’t fully committed yet to Bolzano but have to make a decision soon. Made note of Merano and Castelrotto.

padams: Thank you, now really interested in Castelrotto,I’ll look into that hike.

rca: that sounds like an interesting way to see Salzburg, I must look into some of the outlying areas, perhaps accommodations might be less expensive. We really don’t want to drive at night or be tempted to have a beer. Walking is great with us. I’ll send you a PM if we decide to go the AirB&B route.

Thank you all for the great feedback.