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To Tyrol, or not to Tyrol

OK this is an odd question, I'm looking for the Alpine experience in Austria. As in, similar to Switzerland. It sounds like Vienna is pretty flat so I was planning to go as far west as Salzburg, but now I'm wondering if I need to keep going to Innsbruck or points beyond. I watched some videos on the Tyrol and it seems pretty cool.

Or perhaps the Salzkammergut region will give me what I seek? Advice please.

Posted by
849 posts

You cannot compare them (Schweiz und Österreich). You need to experience them. Austria is not that large. Many valleys off the Inn. You can dip into Osttirol and into Italy Sudtirol with time. You won't be disappointed.

Posted by
1287 posts

Phred, I just got back from Switzerland and am thinking the same thing. 😊 I’m starting to look at Austria for next Fall and have been looking at Salzburg and Innsbruck and even possibly dipping into the Dolomites.

Looking forward to reading what responses you get.

Posted by
2073 posts

Me, too, Carrie. The problem with a Swiss trip is topping the scenery and the Swiss efficiency. Also, transportation options in other countries aren't as smooth as in Switzerland. Austria works well, but Italy can be unpredictable.

Posted by
4685 posts

Yeah, Vienna is not even close to the Alps. The further west and south you go in Austria, the grander the mountains. But there is charm in lower (but still high) elevations. The Salzkammergut is charming. Salzburg is iconic.

Posted by
2580 posts

I've done CH and it will be hard to beat, but as the saying goes, Austria is where the Swiss go on vacation! Plus, cheaper.

Posted by
847 posts

When are you planning to go? How much time will you allocate to this area?

Transportation is not as developed in Tyrol/Sudtirol as in Switzerland. Also, bear in mind that these mountains are not as high as those in Switzerland. I have been to all three areas and can give you some insights.

Posted by
849 posts

I do not want to compare them. Today I was in the Virgental and then went over to Kals. Fantastic blue sky October day. This is it. Around Virgen was great, green with villages and mountains. Fruehschoppen with the locals in Greis. Kals am Grossglockner in the mountains surrounded by the highest in Austria. No trains to get here. Regional bus maybe. Really need a car. Almost want to keep it a secret. On a blue sky day it doesn't get any better. Been to many many places in the Austrian Alps, but today was tops.

Posted by
498 posts

Alps in Austria are not as towering and imposing as in Switzerland or as phantastic as in Dolomites. Still, I find them more relaxing than both (Austria is cheaper and ofter nicer than Switzerland and less crowded than Dolomites) so it is my first choice.

Salzkammergut is very beautiful but not much Alpine in character. Peaks are not so high. Also Salzburg lies nicely in a mountain surrounding but not truly Alpine in character.

Posted by
849 posts

Sorry phred, I did not intend to monopolize your thread and mine should have been a trip report, but I'm in Zell am See today. First time I went up on the Schmittenhöhebahn. Best Alpen Panorama I've ever seen from the top. I've been to Switzerland, Sudtirol and all over Austria, but on a clear day this is really something else. I have been fortunate with an Indian Summer/Altweibersommer the last days. It's hard to plan for good weather years, months, weeks ahead. Be flexible and go with the weather. Don't wait for tomorrow or even latter that day. Just do it. Good luck with your trip.