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Three week Germany/Austria Itinerary

My husband and I are flying into Munich from Toronto on Sept. 12 and depart from Vienna on Oct 2 which gives us three weeks to explore. We will be travelling by train to get to major centres and using public transportation while we are there. We like to explore cities, towns and villages but prefer to stay longer at each destination and do days out rather than moving too frequently. We have the Rick Steves’ Guide book – Vienna, Salzburg and Tirol and usually follow his recommendations to the T!
I’d be interested to hear opinions on our proposed itinerary. Also, should we stay in Hallstatt overnight then continue on to Vienna or do it as a day trip from Salzburg? Any suggestions are welcome.

Munich: 5 nights with day trips to Neuschwanstein/Hobenschwangau Castles and Herrenchiemsee Palace
Innsbruck/Hall: 2 nights
Salzburg: 7 nights with day trips to Salzkammergut lake area, Berchtesgaden/Konigssee, and possibly Hallstatt
Vienna: 6 nights with an outing to Melk/Danube Valley

Posted by
12040 posts

We have the Rick Steves’ Guide book – Vienna, Salzburg and Tirol and usually follow his recommendations to the T!

I guess that explains wanting to stay two days in Hall. I spent an hour there, and my reaction was "Why did I bother?" It's an attractive town, but there's not much there except other Rickniks and it doesn't take long to see. I'd personally rather spend time in one of the mountain resorts nearby.

7 nights sounds excessive for Salzburg, even with daytrips. The Altstadt of the city is very compact, about the size of a large shopping mall. I didn't take a Sound of Music Tour, but I saw most of what I wanted to in a few hours.

Posted by
2716 posts


I'll just say we have stayed at the Gasthof Badl in Hall in Tirol 18 nights, during 5 trips, and still look forward to going back, hopefully this year. Love it and the entire area.
We've also stayed 18 nights, over 5 trips, in the Berchtesgaden area and have included Sazlburg, Hallstatt, Wolfgangsee, etc.

I'd suggest staying in the Salzkammergut and visitng Salzburg. Depends if you prefer to stay in a city like Salzburg or a village on the Wolfgangsee like St. Gilgen. We always have a car and stay near Berchtesgaden. We prefer to "come home" to peace and quiet and alpine views at the end of a day.


Posted by
3 posts

Actually, we were planning on staying in Innsbruck and doing a quick bus trip to Hall rather than staying there. Since the transport links are easier from Salzburg, I think we'll stay there and do the day trips to the Salzkammergut area rather than the other way around. Thanks to both of you for your comments.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks Perry! That is very helpful and looks like a great site. I think with local attractions and several day trips, we can probably find plenty to do in Salzburg.

Posted by
12804 posts


Good you're staying some days in Salzburg. I would do a day trip to Bad Ischl by bus from Salzburg Hbf., very doable and a historical site worthy of your time, if you're interested in Austrian history. I would not use the RS guide.

Posted by
4645 posts

To me, what is missing is some substantial time in a more rural setting. I know day trips are on your agenda and I know that you plan to use public transportation, but please consider staying outside of a city for a few nights. For example, look at Seefeld instead of Innsbruck. Consider a farm stay in the Salzkammergut area (yes, you might need a car, but it is so nice to have a car sometimes).

Overall, though, I like your pace. Slower is always better.

From Vienna, you also might want to consider Sopron or the Neusiedlersee as a possible day trip as well. There are many festivals in September, so keep you eyes out for those as well.