Planning to visit Austria for 8 day. Am inclined towards picturesque settings, experiencing culture and a bit of architectural splendour. Have planned as Vienna 3 days (reaching early morning), then 1 day/ night at Hallstatt + 2 days at Salzburg and then 2 days at Innsbruck. Is this a good option, or should I be restriction options or dividing days in a better manner. Also given my interest, are there better places than the one I mentioned.
Sounds like a great overall view of Austria. Are you renting a car? If so, there are some wonderful little places you can stop at on the spur of the moment as you make your way around Austria. Driving there is very easy and gives lots of freedom to explore and stop for a little roadside picnic with a view of the mountains.Enjoy. You will probably not need a car in Vienna, however a drive up to the Vienna Woods is beautiful, so you could pick up a car on your way out.
You should see Melk Abbey , it would be a good day trip while your at Vienna .
The only change you might consider is adding Melk for a night (to visit the abbey) and cutting Innsbruck. The abbey itself can be toured in a couple of hours, but the small town is pretty cool. Some of the pensions there rent bikes to guests...good opportunity to relax a bit. Personally, I just didn't think Innsbruck had much to offer. But that's just me. IMO, Melk Abbey is one of the most impressive sites in all of Europe...try to fit it in. I almost forgot to mention Mauthausen Concentration Camp. If you have a car, it's easy. It's totally depressing, but the museum there is excellent, the setting and views are incredible, and the experience itself is an important must for anyone who hasn't been to one of these places before.
Thanks for the suggestions from all. In view of these, have tried to fine-tune the itinerary (plus some more details within the day trips) - how does this look now 13th Aug: Explore Vienna Full day (from 11:00 AM) 14th Aug: Explore Vienna Full day 15th Aug: Drive to Vienna woods / Wachau OR Melk (Either stay overnight at Melk or drive back to Vienna and take evening stroll) 16th Aug: Hallstatt 17th Aug: Explore Salzburg Full day 18th Aug: Explore Salzburg Full day 19th Aug: Move to Innsbruck via Zell am See / Heiligenbut (Grossglockener). Stay overnight at Heiliginbut OR Innsbruck 20th Aug: Explore Innsbruck and surroundings 21st Aug: Catch flight back A few specifics: Is it OK to have Melk / Vienna woods as a day trip or staying overnight there?
Is it better to stay at Heiliginbut or go back to Innsbruck in night? Is it OK to keep Heiliginbut in plan or should drop it and stick to 2 days at Innsbruck
A wonderful extraordinary country....
I´m planning 2 days in Vienna too. Rick Steves' books had a great tips on public transport. You must to take coffee and cakes on the several Cafés arround the city. It exists an Architectural Society on the city for Architectural advice (Called AZ ) I´m focusing on Art Noveau on the city (My wife is architect) AZ means Architectural Centrum (Zentrum in German) Good trip!
Sorry I am here again. Last few queries - I thought I can count on you. Planning a day trip from Salzburg - am not being able to make out which one would be more scenic and experience-worthy (a) Grossglockener tour or
(b) Bavarian Alps tour. Seek your suggestion
WE did this a few years ago. If it were me I would do 2 days in Vienna (you like small country side not big cities) , take 2 days in Hallstatt. On the way there stop for a night in Durnstein (beautiful little river town) and perhaps visit Mathausen concentration camp. After Halstatt do Salzburg for at last 2 nights. This is my favorite city in Austria...then drive into southern Germany for a road trip. Bavaria is just great. You can't miss this. If you are stuck on Innsbruck (it was a bit boring at least to me..my wife liked it) you will have to skip Bavaria. If you go to Bavaria you can drive/train to Munich to fly home
If you still have some "kid" left in you train about 45 minutes west of Innsbruck to Imst and ride the steel alpine coaster.You'll feel like you're 16 again. After all, Europe doesn't have to be all about churches, museums, and beer halls.( Not that there's anything wrong with beer halls...)
I agree with Richard: I'd skip Innsbruck to spend more time in the "picturesque settings" ~ also agree with him about Salzburg ~ been through about 25 countries and gotta say that Salzburg is a family favorite!! Make reservation ahead of time for the Fortress dinner and strings concert ~ built in 1100's high on a hill overlooking the city. The Sound of Music Tour is also worth doing, as is renting bikes for biking along the Salzach River. Definitely check out St. Peter's Cemetary (in the Old Center) and the St. Peter's Restaurant near it (oldest restaurant in Europe, carved into rock face of the mountain). If you need a RS place to stay, we now stay at St. Sebastian Institut ~ very close to Old Center & best prices of anywhere. Hope you have an awesome trip!
Haus Gummerer in Hallstatt has a LOVELY room overlooking the lake, with a wonderful balcony, great breakfast, and Anne Marie Gummerer was so welcoming and generous. She offerred to not only wsh my jeans but also iron them!! Highly reccommended.
I agree that 2 nights in Innsbruck is a tad much. I enjoyed Innsbruck, but, IMHO, it just can't compare w/ Vienna, Salzburg, etc, (there's a reason why, in his Austria guidebook, Rick writes; I may be paraphrasing here a tad; "After Vienna and Salzburg, Innsbruck seems like stale streudel!"). That line from Rick has always stood out to me! In the western part of the country, in the Arlberg, I'd like to suggest St. Anton (officially, St. Anton am Arlberg). It's a legendary ski resort, but it's equally as popular (and beautiful) in the summer. From the center of the town, you take the cable car up and then from up top, there are additional lifts and cable cars to even higher peeks. I've been there in winter and summer and can't stress how stunning it is; the alpine views seem to go on forever! And there are endless hiking opportunities; if you're not much of a hiker, there are many easy-moderate hikes past fields, wild flowers, etc. The resort's site: http://www.stantonamarlberg.com/sommer I stayed at Pension Juen, which was great. Small, IMMACULATE! (in that typical Austrian way!), and comfortable. The owners couldn't be nicer/more accomodating and breakfast each morning was excellent: http://www.stantonamarlberg.com/en/sommer/unterkuenfte/accommodation-list.html Pension Juen Alte Arlbergstraße 64 6580 St. Anton am Arlberg Tel.: +43 5446 2501 Fax: 05446 2501
Have a great time. You'll love Austria; a truly beautiful country with so much to see and do.
I would spend the night in Heiligenblut. There is really not much to do unless you enjoy hiking but it is a great place to relax for a night and the scenery is beautiful. Views of the Grossglockner peak and the little church just begs you to take its photograph with the Grossglockner as a backdrop.
For a unique experience about 45 minutes from Salzburg are the Ice caves of Werfen. It is a bit of a walk up trails, but worth it. The caves themselves we awesome(cold though, but they did say they were ICE caves) as was the view as you walked up. Have a great trip
My wife and our 2 adult daughters and I just returned home from 2 weeks in Bavaria and Austria. After 2 nights in Munich, we rented car and drove to Vienna for 3 nights, then Salzburg (Hotel Sallerhof in Grodig just south). we made side trip to Melk (about an hour west of Vienna)
on the way from Vienna to Salzburg and loved both the Abbey and the town......easily can spend 4 hours there. Driving in Austria is very easy, but make sure you buy a highway pass just as soon as you enter the country....we bought ours at a Shell station at the border...and display it in your car window. mandatory!