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Vienna in May

I'm just starting to plan a trip to Vienna in May -- my husband and I will have 10 -12 days with our 21 year old daughter. We will start in Vienna but where to next? We prefer country-side and little villages to big cities -- hiking to museums.

Would you do Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck to Munich? Or something different?

We can rent a car and/or train or any combo?

I'd love to see Rottenburg and Black Forest - but too far away right?

Posted by
6543 posts

You could fly into Munich and take a train over to Salzburg. Upon leaving Salzburg, pickup a rental car and drop south into The Alps (around Innsbruck.) Swing back north to Salzburg after your mountain vista fix. Turn in the rental car in before taking a train over to Vienna. You could fly home from Vienna.
The Black Forest doesn't hold a candle to the beauty of the Alps and it's far to the west of Munich.
We've taken this loop a number of times, and it's a really nice trip.

Posted by
567 posts

Probably best to see if you can fly into Vienna and return from Munich or vice versa to cut down on doubling back. For myself, the Vienna to Salzburg to Innsbruck to Munich circle would be a fun full 12 days (nights). Salzburg can include a side trip by bus or train to Berchtesgaden, and hiking along the front range of the Alps. Innsbruck can include the Ziller and Stubai valleys (just south of Innsbruck) that have lots of scenery and hiking opportunities (with half a dozen ski areas whose lifts will probably be operating - check locally), and finish within bit of city life and beer in Munich (not that there isn't excellent Zillertal Beer in Austria). All easily done by train. Hall near Innsbruck is smaller and still easily reached. Mayrhofen at the head of the Ziller Valley has lots of places to stay and is easy to reach from Innsbruck even for day trips using the Zillertalbahn. Garmisch-Partenkirchen is part of the way back to Munich from Innsbruck, with a cog railway to the highest mountain in Germany..

Have great time!

Posted by
11 posts

Thank you both -- excellent suggestions.

I poorly over planned a Portugal trip last year and really want advice to make sure I make this one more fun and less time driving/traveling in a bad attempt to see "everything"!!

We are leaning toward flying into Munich (2 days), travel to Salzburg (5/7 days w/ side trips to St. Gilpen?, Berchesaden, any other?), then 2/3 days in Vienna.

I'm planning to use airbnb for bookings -- unless folks tell me they have lodging they prefer -

We don't ski -- so I'm not rushing to get to Innsbruck in early May? I'd rather easy hiking and quaint towns -- maybe a Halstatt but less touristy recommendation?

Thank you so much for the help!


Posted by
17 posts

Hi Kelly,

My wife & I did a 12 days trip through Austria in Aug/Sep. There were 2 things I wanted to avoid: Big cities & Big crowds. Landed up achieving that through most of the trip.
Flew in to Vienna
3 days in Vienna.
Rented a car after finishing Vienna. It was a Manual shift and was the best thing i did. I live in Australia and drive an Automatic. Also, Manual is cheaper and more fun to drive.
Vienna > Wachau Valley (Durnstein, Krems an Danube, Overnight at Maria Taferl - we stayed at Hotel Rose.)
Melk Abbey and then drove on to St. Gilgen (that was our base for the next 4 days). Stayed at this amazing "Farmstay" that was a 10 min walk from the ton centre. Absolutely loved it. Every morning, we had the most amazing breakfast of local produce.
Using St Gilgen as a base, we did day trips to Salzburg, Bad Ischl, Post Alm, Altauzee. every night, we used to walk into St Gilgen town for a nice dinner and caught some local band or something else. The lake is stunning.
From there, we drove down the Grossglockner High Alpine Rd (via Zell am Zee) - most incredible drive.
Landed up at Lienz. Spent 1.5 day there enjoying the surroundings. This was also our downtime.
From there, we drove up to Hohe Tauern and Krimml waterfalls. Landed up in Seefeld (just north of Innsbruck). Spent 3 days there. Did day trip to Innsbruck (was so busy! least fave) and also across to Germany to Mitenwald (gorgeous).
Returned the car in Seefeld and flew out to London from there.

Hope that helps. Feel free to message me if you need specific details.


Posted by
11 posts

Thanks traveling___aussie!

Great suggestions -- would you be willing to share a link to the farmstay you had in St. Gilpen?


Posted by
227 posts

You can fly nonstop from New York, Boston, Chicago and Washington DC to Vienna. To learn more go to
While staying in Vienna you want to take a train to Bratislava (1h) for the day and stroll through the old town and have a drink at the Sky bar for the views.
From Vienna you can take a 4h train to Munich and make that your base. Salzburg is a 2h train ride away making it another great place to visit for a day. I would also take a 15m train to Dachau for a half day.
I would skip Rothenburg and the Black Forest and see the Bavarian Alps that's more convenient, but you'll need a car.
To learn more, visit RSEs website and pick up his Vienna, Salzburg & Tirol guide if going to Bratislava, if not then his Pocket Vienna will be sufficient. A new Pocket Vienna becomes available in Feb. I would also buy his Pocket Munich & Salzburg guide that's out now.
From Munich you can fly nonstop to Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Denver, Detroit, Houston and Seattle.