Two weeks 12/6 -12/21 (arriving in Vienna 12/5). Only speak English & Spanish. Did Solo Road trip France, Spain & Portugal this Summer. Not good driving in the snow. Shall I book a tour? Rent a car? Or take train/bus to go to Salzburg...undecided whether to go Prague & Berlin. Never been to these cities. Please help!
I haven’t been at the time of year you are going, but Vienna is super easy to get around. There are lots of wonderful museums (inside) and good public transportation. You can easily take the train to Salzburg, as well. Days will be shorter, as well as colder, than summer. So cities are probably a good choice.
You could also do a week in Vienna and a week in Budapest - they are an easy train ride apart. I loved my very short time in Budapest, also! I haven’t been to Berlin yet, so can’t speak to that.
Tour or solo depends upon your inclinations and how you feel about it. There are pros and cons for each options (several great threads fairly recently).
The train is very handy to go to Salzburg. And, I would recommend taking the bus from Salzburg out to St. Wolfgang for at least a day trip. We stayed two nights there after being in Salzburg for several days; hated to leave, and would love to see it with snow!
I haven’t been to Prague or Berlin, so can’t give advice for that decision.
THANK YOU Travel Mom & Jean. Put me at ease about Vienna & Salzburg. Considering Prague & Budapest instead of Germany...Any suggestions about hotels?
"Not good driving in the snow." - Indeed, it can get very slippery. Edward Lear recommends Bridgestone Blizzak's. I'm not sure I totally agree.
Bravo on deciding to go solo and choosing these cities!! I would not drive in the snow either...forget renting a car.
I would use public transport for going to Berlin, Prague, Salzburg and in Vienna itself. Weather-wise, expect Berlin to be cold.
I am a year older than you, still I go solo to Germany and Austria, using trains and trams, and subways, ie public transport.
We are your age. While we enjoy driving, we are oriented more and more to public transport in Austria, Germany, France. If you are going to rural areas, cars are good. But since you don't enjoy driving in the snow, why bother? Simply stick to Vienna, Salzburg, etc, using trains and buses. Much less stressful, and for a single person, less expensive.
I agree with others that you will do fine traveling solo. I also agree that public transportation is the way to go. Language should not be much of a problem; in the big cities, it's pretty easy to find English speakers. As I'm sure you know, it's good to be able to say in the local language the typical greeting as well as something like "I don't speak ___. Do you speak English?"
Berlin and Salzburg are two of my very favorite places in Europe, but Vienna and Budapest are high on the list, too. I have not yet made it to Prague. You can't go wrong with any of those places.
If you use the Search bar at the top of the page, you can find old posts like this one that have hotel recommendations for towns/cities of interest to you.
Edit: If you give us a price range for lodging (as well as what you like in places where you stay), we may be able to make recommendations that are more specific to your needs/wants.