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Dachau or Mauthausen? Munich/Salzburg or Vienna?

My 10 year old daughter, 20 year old son and I will be in Prague this summer. My daughter and I visited Sachsenhausen last year and I want my son to have a similar experience. Would you choose Dachau or Mauthausen? Depending on which camp we choose, we will travel to either Vienna or Munich/Salzburg for a few days at the same time.

Posted by
239 posts

Beverly, We went to Mauthausen last summer with my kids (8 & 12). It is a very moving place and there were not many people so we were able to take our time and it did not feel touristy. I did not go into the museum, because I did not want to take my daughter in there, but the gas chambers, barracks, etc were evocative enough for me, as were the stairs of death. I have not been to Dachau, but friends that went said it seemed more sterile. If you do this with Vienna, you get the added stops of the Wachau between Vienna and Mauthausen, which is a beautiful area with vineyards and small picture perfect little villages.

Posted by
9363 posts

I would second the vote for Mauthausen. Besides the fact that the buildings at Dachau are reconstructions and the buildings at Mauthausen are original, the beauty of the area around Mauthausen makes it all the more poignant.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks for the information. Mauthausen definitely appears to be the better choice. I appreciate the replies!

Posted by
430 posts

My short answers...

Mathausen is the more 'personal' -- Dachau more 'sterile'... so... if you can handle a grittier experience, I recommend Mathausen. If you are prone to images getting stuck in your head, opt for the more palatable Dachau.

Munich/Salzburg is just a more personal, warm, and intimate view of Germanic/Austrian culture.

Vienna is 'high culture' and formal. Go for Munich/Salzburg when comparing those destinations.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks everyone! You have been very helpful....Mauthausen and Munich/Salzburg it is!

Posted by
81 posts

We've done Munich/Salzburg twice-once going to Dachau and once to Mauthausen.

Dachau was easier to get to, but to me they were both moving experiences. I agree that Mauthausen has a much heavier feeling.

Either one you would chose, you will be glad you went.

Posted by
47 posts

What is the easiest way to get to Mauthausen from Munich? Does anyone know how long this would take, could you even make this a day trip from Munich or is that too much?

Posted by
2 posts

Having done all of the above, here is my recommendation: IF you have a car at your diposal, go to Mauthausen. It is not very convenient via public transportation. By train from Prague, you might be better off going to Munich-Dachau-Salzburg. Either Vienna or Munich are probably 5-6 hrs by train. Enjoy!

Posted by
357 posts

Unless you have an unusual interest in the subject matter, I would not think that the choice of camp should determine whether you visit Munich or Vienna.

Nonetheless, for what it is worth, decades ago I visited Munich and saw Dachau. Last June I visited Vienna and Salzburg and wanted to see, but didn't see, Maulthausen.

Based on what I have read about Maulhausen, it is a more moving experience than Dachau. However, of the places I visited, Salzburg was my favorite--we clearly like it more than Vienna--and I am not being critical of Vienna.

I would opt for Salzburg. And if you determined to see a camp, see about setting aside a day to travel to Maulhausen.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks, everyone. The information is very helpful! I will have a vehicle, so am planning to visit Mauthausen on the way to Salzburg. Currently have reservations for two nights in Salzburg and am planning to stay two nights in Munich. Then it is back to Prague on Friday night for a Sat. morning flight to Paris, so may pick up Terezin on the drive back.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a reasonable hotel in Paris?

Posted by
1203 posts

If I understand the post, the choices are Dachau/Salzburg or Mauthausen/Vienna. I have been to all four places. I would choose Dachau/Salzburg. While Mauthausen was very good, it is not worth giving up Salzburg and Munich to see it. I saw the 2 camps on back to back days and they are both educational and worthwhile. But Salzburg is in my top 5 of cities I love in the world.

Posted by
386 posts

I don't see why not Salzburg/Mauthausen!
It is less than two hours by train via Linz. Salzburg to Dachau takes a little bit longer.

Posted by
1203 posts

Yes Corinna...and I missed Beverly's post where she had already picked Salzburg and Mauthausen..my mistake. Beverly..Corinna is your "go to" person in this area. I wish I had "met her" online before we visited Melk and Krems in 2008.

Posted by
62 posts

Since Prague is the starting point, to get another view of the impact of the holocaust, I would suggest Terezin as an alternative or addition to Mauthausen.

Posted by
386 posts

Yes, David

I was just about to post the same alternative, to think about visiting Terezin while in Prague, which is incredibly moving as well. There are bus tours from Prague, which will take you directly to Terezin.

And also to rethink Vienna as a destination if time should be an issue. There is a fast, comfortable and relatively cheap (€29) train twice a day between Vienna and Prague, which only takes a little bit over four hours.

http://www.pamatnik-terezin.cz/showdoc.do?docid=164

http://www.wien.info/en

Posted by
80 posts

Having just visited all of these places last fall, I would agree with the others except for one thing. You are taking a 10 year old who I think would enjoy Munich/ Salzburg much more than Vienna! And Mauthausen is more difficult to get to as opposed to the ease (a quick train ride) of reaching Dachau. Just thinking of your 10 year old!

Posted by
386 posts

Marla, Beverly has already decided on Mauthausen and Salzburg, and she is traveling by car.

I just wanted to state quickly that I know both Vienna and Salzburg well, and I love both cities very much. I do however disagree with you about Vienna with kids.
It is a simply marvelous city for children! My 8 year old grandson adores it. There are so many fantastic things especially for children, all throughout the city :-))