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Austria trip help

Traveling to Austria in the middle of August. Need help with deciding a few things.

Current Itenirary

First full Day: Vienna walking tour
Day 2: Vienna -Schonbrunn Palace/Belvedere Palace/Hoffsburg Palace, if time nearby castles
Day 3: Hallstatt Salt Mines and Walking tour
Day 4: Hallstaat Ice Caves & 5 Fingers (head to Salzburg)
Day 5: Salzburg Salzburg Walking Tour while mixing in Sound of Music Film Locations 1-8 (Stay in Salzburg)
Day 6: Salzburg Hohenwerfen Fortress and the world’s largest ice caves in Werfen south of Salzburg. On the way back make sure to check out the Sound of Music Movie Locations 9-12 which are just south of town. (Stay in Salzburg)
Day 7: Berchtesgadern Eagles Nest for sure Jennerbahn Mountain, King's Lake (too much for one day?) Really need some guidance on this to make the most of it.

Itenerary is flexible and would like input and help. We like to see grand things castles, landscapes, history.

Should we rent a car or use public transportation? Any and all suggestions welcomed!

Posted by
1518 posts

Very ambitious, seems to be stressful.
I doubt that you can even visit the three palaces within Vienna altogether on day #2 if you do it not only from outside, not to talk about nearby castles.
I got the impression that you underestimate the travel times between the different venues.

Posted by
4684 posts

I agree that there is no way you can do Schoenbrunn, the Belvedere and Hofsburg in one day unless you go incredibly fast and don't pay attention to much. Personally I'd drop Salzburg and spend the whole week in Vienna, with maybe a daytrip to the Wachau or Semmering.

Posted by
4 posts

I can adjust our Vienna sites that's fine I'll just do what I can with the two days there. More interested based on the itenerary if I should rent a car or use public transportation to go from place to place. Also if anyone has any advice on Berchtesgadern?

Posted by
58 posts

We did a similar trip backwards from this. Here is my two cents:

We did a similar trip in the opposite direction a few years ago.

If you are high energy you could do Schonbrunn in the morning, squeeze in a quick walkthrough at Belvedere and then see the jewels at Hofburg in one day.

In Vienna the public transportation is pretty easy. We were in a rental car from Bechtesgaden through Salzburg and Hallstadt. It was easy driving. We parked in the central parking garage in Salzburg and also in the big parking lot in Hallstadt and had no trouble with traffic or driving. Turned in the rental as soon as we got to Vienna.

I think your day 7 would be really hard to accomplish. We did Konigsee and Eagles Nest in one day, and then the next day Jennerbahn before driving to Hallstadt. If it were me I would choose Jennerbahn and Konigsee if the weather is good and Eagles Nest and Konigsee if the weather is marginal.

Your trip sounds great! We had a marvelous time in that area. Happy Travels!

Posted by
4 posts


Thanks for your reply. We were thinking about grabbing a rental after heading out of Vienna.
Technically we have 9 days, but the very first day would be mid afternoon before we got to our destination, and the very last day we have to catch a flight back to london (haven't booked yet but possible we could leave late evening). Is there a benefit to doing this trip in reverse?

Posted by
171 posts

I would cut out one day in Hallstatt. One day should be plenty and once you have seen one ice cave you have seen them all. I would assign that day to Vienna.

If you are staying overnight in Salzburg you can take the 4 hour Sound of Music Tour and see the rest of the city in one day. That would allow you to spend more time in Berchtesgaden. Salzburg and Berchtesgaden are 30 minutes apart. You could stay in a hotel in the Berchtesgaden or Salzburg area when visiting both towns.

A car would be a handicap in Vienna so I would take a train to Salzburg or Berchtesgaden and rent a car there.

Posted by
781 posts

In the Hallstatt area is the salt mine that was in the movie TheMonuments Men and they conduct a tour of the mine,very interesting.

Posted by
12040 posts

The attractions you listed in Berchtesgaden are somewhat weather depedent. Without the benefit of a short-term forecast, you'll be at the mercy of the always fickle Alpine weather gods to look favorably upon you. Only budgeting one day can set you up for disappointment if things get rained or fogged out. Also, Kiehsteinhaus (the proper name for what is known in English at the "Eagle's Nest", Jenner and Königsee might be a little too much for one day.

If you'll have a car, Berchtesgaden and Salzburg are close enough that you could stay in one and visit the other. Since enjoying Salzburg is less weather-dependent, consider visiting Berchtesgaden at the first good weather opportunity, then use the other days for Salzburg and Hohenwerfen.

Posted by
85 posts

The Jennerbahn is closed for renovations through May 2018. We booked a tour of the Eagle's Nest, bunkers, and documentation center (museum) with the Berchtesgaden tourist office. It was a good decision, as the museum and bunkers contain information only in German (as of 2013) and the significance of these sites plus the Eagle's Nest would have lost a significant amount of context had we gone it alone. The tour included bus transportation to and from, and our guide gave a ridiculously detailed history of all the houses on the hillside that were owned by members of the Nazi Party. I think we paid about 50 euro/person.

Konigssee needs a half-day to enjoy, and Eagle's Nest/museum/bunkers needs a half-day as well.

Having been to most of these places before, I would suggest cutting out the move to a different city every night. You'll waste more time than you realize moving from town to town, and your group will only be as fast as the slowest member. Whatever you decide, enjoy!

Posted by
12964 posts

"...grand things, castles, landscapes, history." My suggestion requires dropping something while in Salzburg....Sound of Music Tour, or Hallstatt, or another activity in Salzburg to free up a day. Take the bus from Europaplatz at Salzburg Hbf to Bad Ischl, a direct shot. The Kaiservilla is about a 20 mins walk from the train station, the bus drops you off there too, ie across the street from it.

Bad Ischl was the summer residence of the Habsburgs, the Kaiservilla was where the Emperor Franz Joseph stayed as a retreat from Vienna, the desk where he wrote his "An meine Völker" speech on the eve of the outbreak of war in 1914 is part of the tour of the Kaiservilla. You can only see the Kaiservilla by tour, no self exploration allowed.

Posted by
498 posts

This sounds like a horrible trip to me. Just running from one tourist site to the next.
I agree that Day 2 (Schönbrunn, Belvedere, Hofburg) isn't possible in one day. I'd just be a sweaty cranky mess if I tried that.