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12 Days to travel from Prague to Austria and Germany

We fly from Denver (USA) to Prague on May 9th 2020 and need to be in London on May 21st and want to explore Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, maybe Munich, and Stuttgart. (12-13 days) We would be traveling by train or other public transportation and thinking of flying out of Stuttgart to London.
We don’t mind a lot of walking or the hop-on-hop-off city tours or private tours but also don’t want to cram so much in that we don’t enjoy it because I’m not sure when or if we will be back in this part of Europe again as we are mid 60’s and still have lots on our bucket list.
We enjoy outdoors, art, history and getting a feel for the culture through good food and beverages.

We would appreciate any suggestions of how many days in each city as well as how much time to allow for travel between cities. And, if there are any we should skip or include and your must see site recommendations.
Thank You,

Posted by
4696 posts

OK, if you fly out May 9, you'll arrive in Europe May 10 and that will be your first night- and your last night on the continent will be May 20. That's eleven nights. (I find going by nights, not days, makes it easier to plan travel.)

So you could do this:

Prague (3 nights)
Vienna (3 nights)
Salzburg (2 nights)
Munich (2 nights)
Stuttgart (1 night)

Whether this is the optimal split depends on your interests, not mine. I actually spent four nights in Prague and two in Vienna on my first trip, and that was about right for me. I loved Prague (though it was very touristy) and found Vienna pleasant but not very captivating - but I didn't go for the music or museums. I had only a few hours in Munich on the way to Salzburg; I didn't really regret my limited time in Munich, because what I saw didn't excite me much. But I found Salzburg a beautiful, charming city and loved it.

But...that's just me.

Figure out what YOUR interests are in each place and make your plans based on that.

Posted by
6544 posts

I agree with Andrew above. After going to both Prague and Budapest on one trip (with Vienna in between), I'd rather substitute Budapest for Prague. The cities are very much alike in many ways, but Budapest is less expensive and I just like the atmosphere better. Those weekend U.K. revelers in Prague are sometimes difficult to deal with.

Posted by
4696 posts

Actually, although I liked Budapest, I found it more interesting than charming. I just fell in love with Prague and didn't want to leave, despite all the tourists. (I kept hearing about these wild UK weekend tourists, but I never actually saw any on two trips to Prague.) I liked Prague and Budapest better than Vienna, though - again, just me. Some people love Vienna.

Posted by
600 posts

Stuttgart is the geographic outlier here and you have set yourself a rapid pace. If you can miss Stuttgart then finish in Munich and get a flight to London from there. That saves a travel day to be spent enjoying being in Europe.

I prefer Prague over Budapest despite how crowded it is. Prague is one of those places you always want to come back again. As for your trip you should count how much time the road will take if you choose Andrew's plan. Prague is required min 3 days and Vienna 2 days (including transferring). Salzburg is charming and calmer so I think you'll enjoy it and I recommend you going to Hallstatt from Salzburg for one day cutting time of stay in Prague if you don't want to cram. custom writing

Posted by
613 posts

Skip Munich & Stuttgart. Add Budapest. So far, I've spent 9 travel days in Prague, 11 in Vienna (going back for 12 days this year), 7-9 in Budapest, 4 in Munich. I'd return to any of them except Munich.

To see: walk the streets.
Prague: view of Prague Castle & Charles Bridge at night from the Old Town side
Budapest: Castle Hill, Holocaust Memorial on the river bank near Parliament; Imre Nage Memorial
Vienna: Schoenbrunn, National Library, Main Art Museum,

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for all your suggestions! I’m trying to add a couple more days to this part of our trip so we can take advantage of some of your suggestions. Unfortunately Budapest will have to wait for the Viking River Cruise we are hoping to do in 2 years. Since we are already booked to fly into Prague it only makes sense to enjoy the experience even if it gets a little crazy.
Now we just need to hope and pray the Coronavirus is under control by May!

Posted by
2529 posts

I would skip Munich and add a day to Vienna, which has several wonderful museums and was a lot more important at one time than many of us realize.

Posted by
4418 posts

I lived in Stuttgart for a while, its key places to visit are the Mercedes-Benz Factory, or the Porsche Factory. If not interested in that, suggest eliminating Stuttgart. Stuttgart is spread out all over the place and difficult to get around with public transportation without spending a lot of time. It has no subway (at least it didn't when I lived there), just streetcars.

With 12 days, I suggest picking three cities, like Prague, Vienna and Munich, with perhaps a day in Salzburg between Vienna and Munich.

Posted by
753 posts

Stuttgart has the S-trains for local travel.

Posted by
228 posts

Sat / Sun / Mon May 9 thru 11 - sleep in the old town and explore its square. You also want to cross Charles Bridge and roam the Little Quarter before moving on to Prague Castle. Go inside St. Vitus Cathedral to admire the best stained glass I’ve ever seen.
Tue. May 12 - direct train to Vienna and enjoy a picnic lunch while en route. If there’s one city to see an opera this is it. You can purchase tickets for 3EUR, 1h 20m before a performance. I found a place to sit down and read the English sub-titles in the seat in front of me. The opera that might be performing while you’re in Vienna is Don Pasquale (May13). You may want to listen to some of it before deciding to go. If you don’t want to stay for its entirety, leave during intermission.
Wed. May 13 - Hofburg Imperial Apartments, Treasury, St. Stephan’s Cathedral followed by a meal at the Buffet Trzesniewski located in the Ringstrasse where St. Stephan’s is.
Thur. May 14 - Schonbrunn Palace and visit a wine garden afterwards.
Fri. May 15 - take a 1h train to Bratislava (Slovakia). I highly recommend taking RSs self-guided walking tour that can be found in his Vienna guide. You can download an electronic version from his app.
Sat. May 16 - Kunsthistorisches Museum followed by an afternoon train to Salzburg (2h 30m).
Sun. May 17 - follow RSs self-guided walk.
Mon. May 18 - direct train to Munich and store your bags in a locker. Take a direct 15m train to Dachau. Continue on to Stuttgart.

Posted by
11778 posts

Vienna has the most to see and do. I'd take the time from Prague instead of Munich. Two nights Prague, four nights Vienna.

I'd want at least a full day and one evening in Salzburg. It's one of the most beautiful cities and very walkable. For a fantastic view, look back at the lighted old center, in the evening, from one of the walking bridges over the Salz river.

Depending on what interests you Munich has plenty to see for two full days (the old, new, and/or modern art galleries, English Garden, Nymphenburg, Marienplatz, Residenz, German Museum, beer halls, etc.).

I'm assuming Stuttgart for the Mercedes Museum. I'd budget a half day (all morning or all afternoon) for that.

Posted by
2909 posts

Obviously a trip that's not happening now, but in case anyone comes across it for future planning - all the Public transit in Stuttgart is excellent and everything in the downtown (mitte) is underground, both U-and-S-bahns. Driving in Stuttgart can be frustrating due to traffic, construction, and parking, but all easily avoided via public transit. The Mercedes Museum is the best automobile manufacturers' museum in Europe according to my car-loving husband. I love the museum and I am NOT a car person. That, along with the wonderful cozy Swabian wine culture, unique food, and beautiful scenery of hills, vineyards, and forest do make it a place worth visiting, especially with the great festivals that will hopefully resume in 2021.

Gotta set the record straight on my adopted city is all!