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how much time in Salzburg/Vienna?

Hello all!
Im taking a trip to Czechoslovakia/Austria/Hungary next month and here is my itinerary:

days 1-3 Prague

day 4 bus to cesky krumlov - stay the night

day 5 shuttle to salzburg - stay the night

day 6 train to vienna

day 7 Vienna

day 8 Vienna

day 9 train to Budapest

day 10-12 Budapest

day 13 flight home

I was wondering when I should schedule my Salzburg-Vienna and Vienna-Budapest train rides given the amount of time in each location. For instance, I only arrive in Salzburg around noon so should my next day train to Vienna be later? I also am only in Vienna for like 2.5 days so should I schedule the train to Budapest later in the day also?

Any advice is really appreciated since I’ve never been to any of these places and am only studying up on them now.

Posted by
2354 posts

I wouldn't even go to Salzburg for that short of a time. We will have 3 1/3 days in Vienna in Sept, and I don't think it's enough-but we really love museums.

Posted by
30 posts

I agree, I would skip Salzburg. There is so much to do and see around Vienna, you will need more than 2.5 days!

Posted by
18 posts

Thanks for the replies.
i can take an evening train from Vienna to Budapest and then pretty much have 1 day Salzburg 3.5 days Vienna and 3 days Budapest... Vienna isn't necessarily shortchanged.

Regardless, even if I should have done it differently, I already booked/paid for hotels already so if I'm stuck with that itinerary and only have train schedules to play with, what would you recommend? Just take a late train from Vienna to Budapest?

Posted by
1106 posts

The only way we determine our itinerary to locations we have never been is to list out what we desire to see.

Then you will see if you need more time in one particular town/city.

Posted by
10859 posts

Make it a morning train to Budapest, and I think its a fine plan.

days 1-3 Prague
day 4 bus to cesky krumlov - stay the night
day 5 shuttle to salzburg - stay the night
day 6 train to vienna
day 7 Vienna
day 8 Vienna
day 9 train to Budapest
day 10-12 Budapest
day 13 flight home

Actually do this. Dont purchase the Vienna to Budapest ticket in advance. If you are having the time of your life in Vienna; take the last train out. If you have as good a time in Vienna as I did, you can always catch the first train out. Admittedly I am extremely biased. I "discovered" Budapest when after two days I just had to get out of Vienna and I have been going back to Budapest time and time again for almost 15 years. But everyone is different and you .....

Posted by
18 posts

thanks so much for the reply and info James. It's a great suggestion on holding off on the train ticket and just deciding once I'm in Vienna. As for the Salzburg-Vienna train, I'm thinking of taking one at around 1 PM so that way i have about 24 hours in Salzburg and hopefully will be able to fit in Fortress Hohensalzburg, and Mirabell Palace

Posted by
823 posts

We devoted 3 1/2 days to Salzburg and felt we could have spent 2 or 3 more days. Your trip looks too rushed for my taste.

Posted by
18 posts

thanks for the reply work2travel. im debating changing the day allocation to (after travel time is removed) 2.5 Salzburg, 3 vienna, 2 budapest. Would that make more sense? From your response im guessing you like spending a lot of time in one place but i definitely think your ideal 6-7 days in salzburg would be way too much for me. The main Salzburg day trip that looked good to me was the Werfen ice caves. Did you go there?

Posted by
1903 posts

People's response to Salzburg is interesting. There are people like me (and apparently Work2Travel) who adore it, and there are people who view it more as a "Meh." I spent 7 nights there in 2014 during the Salzburger Festspiele and filled every day. I also spent 4 nights there during Advent 2016 and filled every day. Others on the board have reported not being so impressed.

OP--- I'm trying to understand how you are changing your schedule to get more time in Salzburg. What are you dropping?

Posted by
18 posts

Budapest will go to 2 days, Vienna to 3 days and then Salzburg 2.5. Originally, it was something like 4 days Budapest, 2.5 Vienna, 1 Salzburg, i can't even remember anymore

Posted by
18 posts

to clarify, you're saying that with only 2 days in budapest i'm better off skipping it and only focusing on austria?

Posted by
12086 posts

There is no night train Vienna to Budapest. The night train to Budapest is from Munich or Berlin (for that matter). As James suggested, take the early morning EC train to Budapest

Posted by
10859 posts

dayexday, you know it's all subjective, but sadly, yes. It takes at least 3 full days to scratch the surface in Budapest. So save it for another trip. Something I have noticed (and I am one) is that people who love Vienna are not as impressed with Budapest and the same holds true in reverse. It's why I said if you love, love, love your time in Vienna, just stay there. If not, leave. It's what happened to me about 17 years ago. Vienna bored me and rather than waste 3 more days of a rare and expensive vacation I packed up and moved on. The decision turned out to be the right one for me and I now keep a home in Budapest. BUT, one isnt better than the other, just different. Stay in Austria and give it time to really enjoy it.

Posted by
10859 posts

Oh, and you seem to be having a planning brain fart. Relax, 90% of enjoying a trip is your attitude once you get there. Know it will be good, and it will be .... no matter what you finally end up doing.

Posted by
1280 posts

Something I have noticed (and I am one) is that people who love Vienna are not as impressed with Budapest and the same holds true in reverse.

How true!

Posted by
1903 posts

dayexday--

Thanks for the clarification. I misread the original schedule.

I love Salzburg and its environs, but I think it is much more conducive to a quick "blow by" visit than Budapest. I actually like your plan in the original post better than the revised plan. I will also join James in encouraging you to relax. You will find great things to do in Europe no matter what your itinerary.

Posted by
18 posts

thanks for the replies everyone. This is my first time in Europe (I'm American) and I'm already in my 30s so who knows if/when I'll be back so i want to plan it as good as possible

Posted by
10859 posts

You say next month? I'll be in Budapest from the 24th till the 8th (with a short fishing trip in the middle).

Posted by
1903 posts

I love everything James E and wmt1 post and find both of them extremely knowledgable. But they demonstrate the challenge of asking questions here... you get conflicting opinions!

You're in your 30's... you have decades to return! Don't worry about planning the perfect trip... that's too much stress. I'm a compulsive planner. Often I find more to do in a place than I can reasonably do, so I have to cut some things. It's part of the process.

Just plan something that looks fun to you, and you will have a great time.

Posted by
18 posts

Thanks again everyone, I'm really looking forward to both Vienna and Budapest. James, I might PM you later for any food recommendations in Budapest!

Posted by
10859 posts

But I am more correct!!

dayexday; when you have your accommodations in Budapest send me a note and I will give you some ideas.

In case you see my old posts about where to stay in Budapst. Most of them will not apply to your trip. For a short shallow trip I think you will be better off on the river front or very close to it.

Posted by
2 posts

After all these suggestions I would say: GO WITH YOUR ORIGINAL IDEA
People have different ideas and different likes. I was born in Vienna and am taking two of my daughters to visit the city for two weeks this coming September, so of course I would say: stay in Vienna enough to see for two weeks, but really you just want to get a taste and then come back and see what most interested you. You will go back! I am 83 and I will go back for as long as I can!

Posted by
10859 posts

After all these suggestions I would say: GO WITH YOUR ORIGINAL IDEA

Ditto