Hello, my two kids and I are going to Europe this summer because my son is in two music competitions. His first competition is in Sion, Switzerland for 10 days, then we have a 10 day break, and then his second competition is in Budapest, Hungary. For the 10 day break, we are hoping to travel east through Switzerland and Austria and into Budapest. For the break, we have a couple of needs and preferences, and I am hoping someone can point us in the right direction.
First, we plan to use the trains, but we will have more luggage than if we were merely vacationing (my son needs dress clothes, music, etc, on top of the normal clothes), and we will have two violins with us. For that reason, I think we might be smarter picking only one or two stops along the route (and not too difficult to get to from the train station) and doing day trips if desired. My son will be practicing a lot during the 10 days, so it will likely be my daughter and I for the longer sightseeing things, and I'll attempt to drag my son out as much as possible for breaks during which he can hopefully absorb some of the new culture surrounding us, even if in smaller doses than I would like. And since he needs to practice, we plan to go the Airbnb route rather than hotels, but we are open to other suggestions.
In terms of preference, I am hoping to find places that are not very touristy. I would love to find smaller cities or villages with lots of cafes, interesting neighborhoods, markets, etc. We have gone to Europe with the kids before a couple of times and gone the more structured tourist route, and I think that can be great too, but I feel like this time, it will be less tiring and more interesting to try to blend in with the locals, practice our German, go for long walks, sit out at cafes, etc. Given this preference, and our restrictions in terms of the luggage, what do you all suggest? My initial inclination was to definitely spend some time in Vienna, but are there neighborhoods or suburbs that would fit our preference more than just staying city center? Or is city center fine and not too touristy? Also, I know Switzerland is expensive, but would it be worth the extra money to spend some time there on our way to Austria or do you think 10 days in Sion is enough? We are very open to suggestions.
There is also a chance that my daughter and I will have some time during the competitions to do some sight seeing. So any recommendations for the Sion or Budapest area are greatly appreciated. And while I said we are trying not to go the normal tourist route, if there is something fabulous we should not miss, but that might be considered touristy, please recommend it anyway. Hope this request is not too confusing! I am excited to hear what you all might recommend.