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Munich vs Vienna

Hi all. We are doing the My Way Alpine tour at the end of August. It starts in Salzburg and ends in Chamonix. From Chamonix we will go to Nimes to visit family. We'd like to fly to Munich or Vienna for 3-4 days before taking the train to Salzburg to start out tour.

I have been to both Munich and Vienna, but it's been close to 40 years since I've seen either of them. My husband hasn't been to either city. We like history, architecture, strolling in lovely parks and music. I am leaning toward Vienna because my vague memories of being there are lovely. As I've aged, I find it takes me much longer to adjust after our flight to Europe. Is one of the city's "easier" than the other? I want a place where we can find a not too pricey simple hotel in the city center and stroll through parks, see a few sites, maybe see an outdoor concert, and settle in.

Any thoughts on the two cities?

And if anyone has any advice on getting from Chamonix to Nimes, I'd appreciate it. We rented a car on our last trip to Nimes, but we were trying to avoid that this time. But the train journey looks a bit complicated.


Posted by
5538 posts

It’s been a while since I’ve been to either, too, but I’d tend to say Vienna.

As for Chamonix to Nimes, I don’t have departure or arrival times or other specifics, but have you looked at taking a bus from Chamonix to Annecy, then train from Annecy directly to Nimes?

Have a great trip/tour/trip!

Posted by
2424 posts

Watch YouTube videos about each city, including Rick natch. Munich should be smaller and quieter, Vienna has much more going on.

Posted by
2475 posts

We went to Munich and Vienna in 2015, and if I had to choose, I would pick Vienna for the art and music. As for food, I would also pick Vienna over Munich. With that said, I would happily go back to Munich.

I think Vienna is "easier" than Munich, and much easier than Paris, with equal art, IMHO.

If I was going to Chamonix to Nimes by train, I would break up the trip by spending a night or two in Lyon.

Posted by
3222 posts

For what you have described, and as much as I enjoy Munich, I'd also pick Vienna as your start.

Posted by
3892 posts

For the limited amount of time I spent in both, I’d choose Vienna. I thought the historic center was very walkable and not overly large.

Posted by
500 posts

I second Vienna. Palaces, residences, parks, history, lipizzan horses, children's choir. Also you can day trip to Bratislava. (My opinion)

Posted by
198 posts

Wow, tough choice ... been to both and each would be a great place to get acclimated ... might give the edge to Munich since you have, if desired, fairly easy day trips to both Neuschwanstein and Berchtesgaden ... otherwise pretty even in my book ...maybe decide based on flight costs and scheduling? ...

Posted by
959 posts

My experience before My Way Alpine was different and in neither of the cities you asked about, so pls disregard if this is not to your taste. I landed in Munich and took the train to Innsbruck for a few days and then again from Innsbruck to Salzburg. Innsbruck may not have the range of museums and architecture that Munich and Vienna have but it is a delightfully manageable city with markets and mountains. I was able to join a morning qigong class in one of the gardens and then there was a free evening concert in one of the church courtyards. I stayed in the Altstadt area.

I wonder if you are giving any additional time to Salzburg other than the tour time? Might also be worth a consideration.

Posted by
1767 posts

The sights are better in Vienna than Munich, but if you like parks the English Garden in Munich may suit your interest. Munich is also closer to Salzburg (1h 45m)) than Vienna (2h 30m).
Taking a train from Chamonix-Mont-Blanc to Nimes Pont du Gard takes 7h 15m and requires three transfers. According to Rome2rio you can take a bus that takes just as long as the train but requires one transfer. The bad news is the bus from Chamonix-Mont-Blanc runs once a week.

Posted by
3142 posts

I haven't spent time in Munich, but I was amazed at how much I loved Vienna-It's one of my top 5 cities in Europe. And two families we know who have lived in Europe also mentioned Vienna as one of their favorite places to visit. I have been to Neuschwanstein and wasn't a fan.

Posted by
12794 posts

Much as I like Munich, given the choices here, I would pick Vienna also.

Posted by
4645 posts

I would pick Vienna, and not because I live here. Vienna would be my choice because it is culturally and geographically different from your Alpine Tour, whereas Munich is Bavarian - something you'll get plenty of on your tour.

I mean what's better than staying in a nice First District Hotel, visiting some of the finest museums in the world around the corner, having a leisurely coffee at a famous coffeehouse and wandering through the roses at the Volksgarten? Add in a stroll over to the annual Food and Film Festival at the Rathaus - no question.

Posted by
2297 posts

I have visited both--Munich once and Vienna three times...I will go to Vienna again long before a return to Munich, it just speaks to me. Vienna was much easier to navigate on foot and I found their U and tram system very simple to get familiar with.

Posted by
98 posts

Thanks everyone! I think it will be Vienna.

And I like the idea of breaking up the Chamonix to Nimes trip with a couple days in Lyon. Another thought was taking the airport bus to Geneva, spending a couple days in Geneva and taking a more direct train or two to Nimes.

Posted by
107 posts

We visited both cities during the same trip a few years ago. We liked both but Vienna is our choice.