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Vienna - Salzburg - Paris - Best way to fit in Melk, Wachau Valley, Mauthausen?

Hi all:

I'm driving myself crazy trying to decide on the best way to fit what I want to see into my itinerary. Land in Vienna July 6, fly out of Paris July 16th. I've been to Paris, only need two days there so my sister can see the major highlights.

We'd like to not only see Melk Abbey, but spend a day biking and/or boating the Danube through the Wachau Valley. We'd also like to see Mauthausen on the way to Salzburg. We will be traveling by public transportation. Would it be easier to just do a day trip to Melk from Vienna, and then take a train to Salzburg from Vienna with a stop at Mauthausen, OR should we stay a night in Melk or Krems on the way to Salzburg? If we do the latter, would you recommend we stay in Krems or Melk?

Finally, any recommendations on getting to Paris from Salzburg? It looks like the train would take about 8 hours, but I would be willing to do that if the train ride was scenic, OR if we could do it at night time and get some sleep.

Thanks all -


Posted by
16883 posts

I don't think the Salzburg-Paris train ride is especially scenic, but there is no longer an overnight train alternative departing Salzburg or Munich.

Stopping at Mauthausen on a travel day with luggage can be inconvenient (the luggage part) but if you stay overnight at Melk, you could drop luggage in your hotel and daytrip from there to Mauthausen.

Posted by
904 posts

Best, rent a car and drive anywhere you want. It isn't that expensive, particularly if you are only going to be there once in your life.

Posted by
216 posts

Getting to Paris: The Man in Seat 61 advises that the train trip Salzburg-Zurich-Paris is a very scenic day time trip. You can't buy tickets on the DeutchesBahn website because you don't go to Germany. Check the Austrian trains site:

I believe another option is an overnight train through Stuttgart. It requires one change; some itineraries require more. Check the DeutchesBahn website for your dates: Availability may not show up until 92 or 60 days prior. Cheap tickets are often available but go fast.

Check the Austria page of and see the options.

We are doing this same journey in early September and still mulling over the options. Please report on your experience if you get a chance although I will have committed by then!

Posted by
216 posts

Ixnay on the TuttgartSay. It's during the day on Sunday.

Most, if not all, of the overnights involve changing in the middle of the night. It will mess with Paris. Never mess with Paris.

Trains take a minimum of 8:40 hours. Going via Zurich is an hour longer.

Check the and Both sites are in English.

Posted by
12882 posts


You can even do the entire route Vienna to Paris all in one day, transfering once in Frankfurt. Take the early ICE Wien Hbf to Frankfurt Hbf, then Frankfurt Hbf to Paris Est. You'll be in Paris shortly before 9 pm. This assumes you're willing to skip the places in between.