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Vienna/Salzburg/Munich- How to budget time?

My boyfriend and I will be in Europe next April and I'm having trouble with a specific part of our itinerary. We are flying in/out of Amsterdam due to a very cheap flight deal. Here's the plan so far with the 9th and 10th days in question. It seems we don't have enough time to truly experience Vienna, Salzburg and Munich so I'm trying to figure out what to eliminate. Should we skip Salzburg so it'll be 2.5 days in each Vienna and Munich? If we choose to go to Salzburg on the 9th instead of spending more time in Vienna, it will be a Sunday and some places will be closed. Thoughts?

April 2nd- Arrive in Amsterdam early morning
3- Amsterdam
4- Budapest
5- Budapest
6- Budapest
7- Morning train to Vienna
8- Vienna
*9- Vienna OR Salzburg?
*10- Salzburg OR Munich?
11- Munich (Would like to fit in a day trip to Dachau)
12- Munich- 10pm flight to London
13- London
14- London
15- London
16- London
17- Fly or train back to Amsterdam
18- Fly home

Posted by
2388 posts

Disclosure - I have never been to Salzburg except to change trains. Unless Salzburg is a place that you really really want to see, Vienna and Munich have so much to offer that I would skip Salzburg.

Posted by
487 posts

I disagree with the previous poster somewhat. Having been to Vienna and Salzburg, my husband and I both really enjoyed Salzburg more. Salzburg is fairly small and compact so it is easy to cover the highlights in one long day or 2 days if you are short on time. Have you looked at a guide book for each city to determine what interests you in each city? If one has a much longer list that might make your decision easier.

Posted by
969 posts

Either way, I would not cram 3 places into those days. Something has to go. Logistically it makes sense to ditch Salzburg. You also could always day trip to Salzburg from Munich, but still... overkill I think. You are already covering a lot of ground....


Posted by
16883 posts

I would spend day 9 in Vienna, for sure. If you get an early start on the next travel day, you can arrive to Salzburg by 11:00 or 12:00 and visit the old town for the afternoon, leaving bags at the station. Depart to Munich as late as 21:00 (RailJet arrives Munich at 22:40).

Posted by
646 posts

Your trip looks like way too much travel between places and not enough time anywhere. Two nights anywhere really only gets you a day or day and a half of touristing. You will be on the ground in Europe just 15 nights giving you 14 days of real time. You will spend 6 of them on trains or flying even if you don't stop in Salzburg.

Are your tickets purchased--because Amsterdam is rather out of the way, if you don't intend to visit it? As is it eats up two days while providing only one day of travel enjoyment. Also how are you getting to Budapest? Even flying, that's going to take the better part of a day.

I would not visit Salzburg just to cut out another travel day. Add the day to Vienna which is worth way more than two days.

Given the amount of time you have, I recommend choosing just two or three cities. Paris, London, Amsterdam is very workable if you are coming and going from Amsterdam. Or you could fly to Vienna or Budapest, train between them and fly back to Amsterdam.

Posted by
2316 posts

I vote for an extra day In Vienna, lots to do there. I did Salzburg as a long day trip from Vienna and while it's worth a couple of days (depending on what you want to see) I felt I got a great overview by arriving at 10 am by train and leaving at 5 pm. I used a HoHo bus to get around as many sites are well beyond the old town, got off and explored Hellbrunn and Mirabell then focused the rest of the afternoon in old town, touring Mozart's gebursthaus was my #1 priority. You're correct that on a Sunday the traditional stores are closed, though touristy ones were open. I was thrilled to find a craft fair that stretched along the river. I like Laura's suggestion to hit Salzburg on the way to Munich.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you for the suggestions! It sounds like skipping Salzburg is the best option. I suppose we can always leave Vienna a day early if we get there and feel so inclined. In response to Jen- I know it seems strange to go in/out of Amsterdam but the tickets were $360 round trip and I couldn't pass it up. We have been to Amsterdam and nearby countries before so that's why I have chosen to go further away. We'll be flying from Amsterdam to Budapest arriving at 9:20am...definitely going to be consuming a lot of coffee! Now my last decision- 9th evening or 10th early morning train to Munich?

Posted by
16883 posts

Vienna deserves the extra night for an unstressed day of sightseeing. The train ride is also fairly scenic by day.

Posted by
1482 posts

Vienna deserves more time than Budapest or Munich. So I would go on day 6 to Vienna, and visit Salzburg on the way to Munich on day 10. If you take the first RailJet from Vienna, you arrive in Salzburg at 8am. As posted before, the last RailJet to Munich departs from Salzburg at 9pm. So you have a full day for visiting Salzburg.

The cheap return ticket of $360 to Amsterdam looks appealing, but you must add the hassles (and the costs) of travelling criss-cross. We recently had a return ticket JFK-Vienna (with one stop-over) for $450 (Air Berlin).

Posted by
4677 posts

My two cents worth - you are doing large cities, so mixing in something smaller would be a nice change. I'd cut Munich and travel to the Munich airport from Salzburg. So:

8- Vienna
9- Vienna
10- Vienna - travel to Salzburg
11- Salzburg
12- Salzburg to Munich airport

Posted by
4417 posts

Just read Emily's comment which is what I was also going to say. Everything you've chosen will be large cities. We absolutely love Salzburg and I feel it would be a nice change from the rest of your itinerary.

Posted by
259 posts

I agree with the others above about too much traveling. My wife and I did London, Florence and Lake Como in 12 days this past September and we felt like we were always traveling around.

Posted by
12875 posts


How are you going from Amsterdam to Budapest if you stick to the original plan as shown above? You don't say. You could fly if that is the preferred option. You also have the night train option by taking the EN night train, change twice in Düsseldorf and Vienna ( ie, Wien Hbf), if flying is not an option. I've done that entire route partially by night train. I do it to squeeze out another day.