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Routes and Stops over Alps Along Train Lines


I'm usually on the Italy forum, but need specific advice from the experts here. April 2021, we are taking 14-16 nights, starting in Munich and ending in Rome. Mostly along the train lines, because the journey's part of the enjoyment. And pretty much along the main train line is Hall in Tirol, just a few minutes from Innsbruck. This has been touted on the RS forum for years, and I'm wondering whether that (or Innsbruck) is a wise stop for 3-4 nights rather than some other classic Austrian location.

I don't mind going a couple hours out of the way, still on a regional train line, however. If someplace y'all recommend is really special, not just with RS, and worth the extra time to get there, I'd certainly like to hear about it.

Also, has anyone ever taken the OBB train line from Innsbruck over the Alps to Verona? Picturesque? Couple years ago we did Lucerne to Milan and even though it wasn't heralded as a scenic route, it sure was breathtaking to me!

Thanks all!

Posted by
561 posts

The Munich to Innsbruck to Verona OBB trip over the Brenner Pass is easy and relatively quick. Lots of time to stop in Innsbruck (visit Hall and the Zillertal), and Bolzano (visit Otzi the 5,000 year old Ice Man at the Archeological Museum) before Verona.

Check out the South Tirol website.

For a side trip from Innsbruck consider the Zillertal.

Another two possible fun scenic side trips from Bolzano are:
1) Take the gondola from Bolzano up to Oberbozen where there is excellent hiking and a little rail line for the tired of foot to use coming back -

2) From Bolzano it is an hour bus ride northeast to Castelrotto and from there local buses take you too the Alpe di Siusi for glorious high meadow hiking.

From Verona it is also a quick train or local bus trip to Lake Garda for a walk along the lake and a stop at a cafe in Bardolino for - Bardolino wine.

Have fun!

Posted by
1711 posts


D'Annunzio sounds like a piece of work, the precursor to Mussolini?

Yeah, we're still more than a year out, but I do love to plan, which gives me time to reserve the primo spots and make every stop on our journey memorable and different from one another. We won't be skiing, even if it's available in April.

This will be the first of hopefully many trips to Austria, but once we cross the Alps via train into Italy, I'm debating whether to stay in Verona or Sirmione on Lake Garda, which has the Aquaria Thermal Spa. It looks incredible:

Posted by
288 posts

I think Innsbruck is one of the great cities of Europe. 3 days here is easy. Hall in Tirol is nice, but nothing to flip out over. If you get the Innsbruck City Pass I think you still get a free half-day bike rental included. Use that as your transport to Hall in Tirol. Nice easy ride and very scenic. Consider hiking in Mudders and/or Igls, The view above Innsbruck at Hafelekar is outstanding. Many great hikes from there as well. Easy train to Seefeld and across Brenner Pass (boring). Day trip to Zugspitze on the German side is well worth it as well. There is also a great ride in Mieders south of Innsbruck on a fantastic downhill run. Easy bus ride, included in Innsbruck Pass. I could go ona nd on. If I ever expat it will be to Innsbruck.

There should be a couple trains daily from Innsbruck to Verona on ÖBB, but I have never made that specific journey. The trip over Brenner is pretty unpicturesque, but the rest down that way is fantastic. I don't think you will be disappointed. And make certain you book via the direct ÖBB route as you do not have to change trains that way.

Posted by
1711 posts

That's great to hear, Marc. All I've really known about Innsbruck is that it hosted the Winter Olympics a while back, and Rick's advice (now 13 years old) was to bypass Innsbruck & stay in Hall instead. I will read up & check logistics. Our plan for this trip--and we'll see if it comes to fruition--is for each stop to stay at hotels within walking distance of the train station. We did this on a previous trip in Lucerne, Switzerland and couldn't believe the ease of getting around, during the days on side trips, or when it came time to leave, when we'd have breakfast, check out of the hotel and meander over to the station, rolling our bags with us.