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Prague - Vienna - Salzburg: Where else should we go?

Hi everyone!

My husband and I have eighteen days total, including our travel days. We are tentatively planning on doing Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg. Where else should we go? Hallstatt? Is Lake Como feasible? Český Krumlov? Are there any beautiful, scenic train rides that we should take? We don't know much about the area so we're looking for any options!

Thank you in advance!

Posted by
4370 posts

No question, unless you've been there, Budapest. Other ideas, Berlin, Munich, Bratislava. Those are great cities in the vicinity of the ones you've already chosen.

Posted by
1524 posts

krakow, Poland can be an option as well. it is not far from Czech Republic. Austria has three of the most scenic train rides in Europe.

Two of the scenic routes, the Semmering and the narrow gauge Mariazellerbahn are in Eastern Austria near Vienna, the third, Arlberg, is found in western Austria near Innsbruck. The routes offer fine opportunities for hiking in the summer and skiing in the Winter.

Posted by
5551 posts

Month of the year may be a factor. What are your two open-jaw air cities? We included Innsbruck on a similar trip, all by (non-scenic) rail. I think Munich was on that trip too. We did Prague/Budapest/Berlin on a different trip, with a plane to Budapest.

There are plenty of posts on CK here. I'd comment that if you are a higher-budget traveler, it can be useful to book a private car between Prague and another sleeping destination, with four to six hours in CK. (I like CK, I'm just saying it's not essential to sleep there.) I also connect Prague and Dresden, but I don't believe there is an absolutely direct (other than low-cost air) connection between them. The scenic boat rides from Dresden get very close to Czech Republic, but not a direct international service. And Saxon Switzerland is attractive. Perhaps you could sleep there and do some hiking, making the two-part land or water transfer possible. (I have not done that.) I also like Leipzig. We still have Poland on our future list.

Posted by
3485 posts

A second for Tim's suggestion of Prague to Dresden . Two hours between Dresden Hbf and Prague Hlavni Nadrazi by EC train .

Lake Como is beautiful, but a longer trip from the area you mention. What about the Tyrol or the Dolomites? Innsbruck is a quick train ride from Vienna, with easy connections to Seefeld in Austria and/or Bolzano/Ortisei in the Italian Alps. Either would make a nice change from the bigger cities you mention. But if you want scenic train rides, it's hard to beat the Bernina Express. Connecting from Salzburg, you could take it from Chur to St. Moritz to Tirano, and then you would be next door to Lake Como... You could then fly out of Milan.

Posted by
800 posts

In May of 2011 I spent 20 days in Europe with almost the same Itinerary. I flew into Munich. I know Munich very well, so I didn't stay in the city long. I went to Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague. Then I went to Nuremburg, Rothenberg odT, Nordlingin, Regensburg, and back to Munich for the flight home. I'd been to all of these places before, but I had no call on my time and just took the whole trip slow and easy with no major rush to get anything specific in. It was one of the best times I've had, just wandering around where my feet led me. I stayed in small boutique hotels, ate in everything from fancy set course meals to street dives, talked with shop keepers, students, and locals all of whom seemed to know a place I should see.

I highly recommend the Boutique Hotel am Dom in Salzburg and Domus Bathazer in Prague.

Posted by
15035 posts

Sounds like you have 16 days. Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Český Krumlov, Salzburg, Vienna (side trip to Melk, maybe Bratislava), Budapest flows nicely but I don't think you have enough time, so I'd pare it down by dropping Salzburg. Spend one night in Dresden (it's 2 hours from Berlin and from Prague). Or drop Germany.

Hallstatt has become a hot spot, too many tourists to make it worth the amount of time for the detour to get there. It takes too long from Krakow to Prague, though you could fly from Krakow to Budapest, then Vienna, Český Krumlov, Prague.

Posted by
887 posts

I think adding either Budapest or Krakow would be great. Lake Como is totally out of the way.

When are you going? Where are you flying into and out of?

Posted by
446 posts

We did a similar trip and included Krakow and enjoyed it immensely. I found Cesky Krumlov to be highly overrated and not worth the time or energy, even as a day trip.

Posted by
4637 posts

Lake Como is a little bit out of your way. I would put it logistically in this order: Prague to Cesky Krumlov by bus or train. C.K. to Salzburg by shuttle (you can also shuttle just to Linz then train. Salzburg to Hallstatt by train with one change. Hallstatt to Vienna by train with one change. I would not add anything more, I like leisure travel. If you like faster pace then add Budapest.

Posted by
1518 posts

Salzburg to Hallstatt by train with one change.

I'd prefer to go by bus #150 from Salzburg to Bad Ischl and take the train to Hallstatt from there. This route is much more scenic, and you have the opportunity to visit Bad Ischl as well.

Hallstatt to Vienna by train with one change.

There is one direct train per day.