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How many nights Salzburg and Vienna?

I have 8 nights between the two cities.

I was thinking 4 and 4, to give a chance for some day trips from Salzburg.

Does this seem reasonable?

Or is Vienna 5 nights, Salzburg 3 nights more appropriate?

Posted by
3747 posts

Hi, let your activities you choose determine how many days at each. You might want to check the activities available on the Salzburg Card. We did a lot of them during our last time there but maybe you have other interests.

If this interests you, the last time we were at Salzburg & Vienna, we stayed one night in between at Melk. Then we took the scenic boat ride the next morning down the Danube to Krems and caught the train to Vienna.

Posted by
769 posts

I like both cities, but there's more to do in Vienna. But a lazy day in Salzburg, hitting the markets, sitting in the square and listening to the various musicians while having a beer and a bite to eat is always good. But then there's pastry and coffee in Vienna. This could go either way....

Posted by
938 posts

Day 1 in Vienna – Hofburg Imperial Apartments and the Hofburg Treasury
Day 2 in Vienna – St. Stephens’s Cathedral, Kunsthistorisches Museum and take in an opera at the Vienna State Opera house and treat yourself to a piece of Sacher torte cake afterwards.
Day 3 in Vienna - Schönbrunn Palace
Day 4 in Vienna – daytrip to Bratislava by direct train (1h).
Day 5 in Vienna – direct train to Salzburg (2h 45m)
Day 6 in Salzburg – take Rick Steves self-guided walking tour.
Day 7 in Salzburg - direct train to Munich (2h) for the day.
Day 8 in Salzburg – rent a car and drive to Hallstatt for the day.

Posted by
18 posts

I traveled to both cities in June 2019, and we did 5 in Vienna and 3 in Salzburg. I thought this arrangement worked well, however there are things in both cities on my list for next time. You'll love both!

Posted by
50 posts

Consider doing a day trip to Bratislava from Vienna. It's a wonderful city to visit and so easy to get to and from Vienna. Very economical too because there is no VAT. Easy day trip.

Salzburg for 4 days will cost you other opportunities in that part of the world. I did the Sound of Music tour eons ago and I enjoyed it. That can take a day. We did a Rick Steves tour Munich to Vienna. Consider Hallstatt-- not a big town but it's pretty and you can do the salt mine tour if that is of interest. We enjoyed it and it was a nice stop between major cities. I wouldn't go back to Hallstatt on my own-- it was great on the tour. Melk is totally cool to visit. I personally think 4 days in each of these cities is too much time. You know what your interests are and do research accordingly. I am a city person and found 2 days in Salzburg and Vienna was just fine. 3 days would definitely give you opportunity to sight see and explore.

Posted by
2510 posts

The answer to your question depends so much on your interests. In 2013, I started planning my first trip to Europe and chose Austria. I debated how to split 9 nights between Salzburg and Vienna for a summer 2014 trip. I ended up going with 7 nights in Salzburg and 2 in Innsbruck. The decision was driven by my interests and the recognition that I could not do Vienna justice given all the things I wanted to do in Salzburg. So, I saved Vienna for later.

I am a city person and found 2 days in Salzburg and Vienna was just

I guess I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum 🙂. The diversity of opinions you get on this Forum is pretty cool, though, and can certainly help people find their own travel styles.

Posted by
4286 posts

Two cities in Austria can be boring considering the beautiful mountains. I think an even 4 split works well. The time of year is also a factor, which you don't mention.

Four nights in Salzburg would be fantastic, with two days exploring the city and two days for short excursions, such as Königssee, Wolfgangsee, Hellbrunn or ice caves. Hallstatt is even possible for a day trip.

Four days in Vienna is also a good number. I would avoid doing both Hofburg and Schonbrunn interiors as it is very repetitive. I'd choose Schonbrunn for that. Seeing both from the outside is very necessary and the National Library at the Hofburg is a must. Of course Vienna has wonderful art museums - I'd pick one and that would be the Belvedere. Markets, coffeehouses, heurigen, the city center will fill your time easily.

Posted by
882 posts

For what it's worth my only experience is an afternoon and overnight in Salzburg. Unless you do day trips or really want to bore in, Salzburg may seem like a been there done that place after 4 nights. I've considered but never thoroughly researched Vienna. Based on what I know from visiting other larger European cities, and our travel preference to move around, I would stay 3-4 nights in Vienna. There are some good day trip suggestions in this thread so perhaps 1-2 nights in a third location? May be easier and more exciting than backtracking to your base.

Posted by
44 posts

We are going in early October, as long as places don't shut down again.

The full itinerary is :
Vienna: 4-5 nights
Salzburg: 3-4 nights
Seefeld: 2 nights
Munich: 3 nights

We are now considering renting a car in Salzburg to do a couple of day trips.

I am wondering if maybe we spend 3 nights in Salzburg and then drive to Hallstatt or another Lake District locale for one night, if that would be more scenic. Then we’d have a car in Seefeld to tool around in.

Thanks for all the input, it really does help.

Posted by
400 posts

For car rental in Salzburg, I recommend the Avis near the Bahnhof.

Posted by
2700 posts

Renting a car and returning it in Germany may be cheaper. Rent in Freilassing near Salzburg and return in Garmisch close to Seefeld.

We LOVE Austria and Bavaria in Oct. Most of our 12 trips were in early to late Oct.

I’d stay 4 nights in Salzburg, but would not stay in Salzburg. We have based in Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden and Schonau am Konigssee for our trips “to” Salzburg. 30 min drive away. St. Gilgen would also make an excellent base for 4 nights “in” Salzburg.

Just wanted to add, over the course of all our trips, we’ve stayed a total of 18 nights outside of Salzburg. LOVE all the options for day trips. Plus being able to drive to Salzburg anytime we like for dinner and a stroll with the town lit up at night, that’s a bonus.