Hello: I will be in Vienna in Sept. and plan on visiting Mauthausen concentration camp before going to Salzburg and Berehtesgaden. What is the best itineray. Should I rent a car in Vienna and make it a day trip or take the train from Vienna to Mauthausen and then continue by train to Salzburg. Or should I rent a car in Salzburg and go to Mauthausen drive back to Salzburg and take the car to Berehtesgaden. Or can this all be done by train? Thanks for your help
I went to Mauthausen from Vienna last month. I took the train from Bienna to Linz, but you can also go through San Valentin. I took a taxi from the stop nearest the memorial (it was about 5 kilometers, not expensive). The visitor center will call a taxi for your return to the train station, and will try to set you up with a shared taxi to lower the cost. It was a very simple trip, but if you prefer to drive, there is adequate parking. The memorial is a profound experience. You are not required to take a guided tour.
First place, it's Berchtesgaden. Spelling it properly might help when looking for train schedules. There are several options for getting to Berchtesgaden from Salzburg. There is a bus, the Watzmann Express (RVO 840) that makes the trip by highway in about 45 min. It leaves from in front of the Salzburg Hbf and makes several stops near the old town, including Mirabell Platz, on its way out. The fare is about 4,50€/pers each way. If you purchase an RVO Tagesticket (all-day pass), for 9,50€, it will cover your round trip from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden and all other bus travel in Berchtesgaden (except for the special mountain buses up to the Eagles Nest). Warning, the last bus of the day back to Salzburg leaves Berchtesgaden Hbf around 6 PM, so if you plan to stay late, take the train instead. The train connection from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden goes through Freilassing, Germany, sometimes with a change there. It takes a little longer, over an hour, but the return train is late, around 10 PM. If you don't want to leave Salzburg before 9 AM, you can use a Bayern-Ticket (22€ first person, 4€ each added persons up to 5, total). The Bayern-Ticket is also valid for all the buses in Berchtesgaden as noted above for the Tagesticket.
Mauthausen is just northeast of Linz (Austria's third largest city). It can easily be reached by regular trains running from Vienna to Salzburg (Westbahn). From Linz you would need to take a bus, taxi, or rent a car for the short trip to Mauthausen. Another option would be to get off the train at St. Valentin or Enns, where you'd cross the Danube. Check train schedules at www.oebb.at for best option.