Salzburg or Vienna

I'm trying to plan an alternate itinerary. For those who have visited Vienna and Salzburg which one.....only One would you visit again and Why. I can only choose one city in Austria. Your feedback will be greatly appreciate it. Thank you

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1708 posts

Is there any chance you would consider Linz. We liked it better than the other two.

Posted by Alex
Longmont, CO, USA
519 posts

More info many days/nights do you have to spend. If it only a day or two I would say Salzburg. Vienna is a major city and we spent many visits there, with a MINIMUM of 7-10 days up to a month on each visit (anybody tells you less than 5 does not have any idea of what this city has to offer). I would go to either again any time!!!

Posted by Robert
Happy Valley, PA
250 posts

If I could only choose one city in Austria, it would be Vienna, with Graz second. But, the reality of the situation is that you only have two days. Salzburg is much smaller than Vienna and you could visit most of the major sites in the old town (on foot) in two days without rushing too much. In contrast, in two days, you would only skim the surface of Vienna. I lived in Vienna for 15 months and have been to Salzburg several times. Go to Vienna when you have more time and enjoy Salzburg this trip. Also consider Graz when you come back another time. Eisenstadt is also worth a day trip from Vienna for it's proximity to Hungary and the scenery (and wine) of Burgenland.

Posted by Roy
Fredericksburg, VA, USA
406 posts

Just visited both cities in July (10 days in Vienna, 6 days in Salzburg). Tough call, but I agree with the previous poster - too much to see in Vienna, and you could get a nice feel for Salzburg in 2 days. Compact enough that you can see everything on foot and in a reasonable amount of time. Try to stay in the old center if you can to maximize your visit.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
2026 posts

I have been to both and I agree with Robert, with only 2 days I would pick Salzburg. But, it also would depend somewhat on where you are before these 2 days and where you're going from there. The two cities are at somewhat opposite ends of Austria (not totally, but far enough apart that travel time could have an effect). I agree that Linz which is about in the middle between them is another option, I liked Linz a lot.

Posted by mike
shingle springs, CA, USA
152 posts

I have been to both cities many times as well as this year and I agree that for two days Salzburg is your best choice,lots to see and great restaurant scene.
Enjoy your stay.

Posted by Eilean
Monroe, Washington, USA
8 posts

Salzburg. No question. If you want charm and a less hectic pace, with incredible churches and architecture and history, and wonderful squares with cafes where you can sit and watch the city live, you have to visit Salzburg and 2 days is never enough for me. I never tire of its beauty and its atmostphere. Be sure to tour the Kapuzinerberg area. The views of the city are beautiful. Vienna was awesome, but Salzburg stole my heart. Have a great visit, whatever you decide.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
3919 posts

Hi, Both cities are worth repeat visits. My two favourites in Austria are first Vienna and second Graz. I've been to Salzburg a couple of times. In each of the three cities is a different feel. For the two days you have, I choose Vienna, a city you never tire of returning.

Posted by Robert
700 posts

I've stayed in both and liked both. If I were to return, I'd probably give the nod to Salzburg, maybe because it's smaller and more "charming." On the other hand, you can spend a huge amount of time exploring Vienna, and the public transportation system is fantastic. For example, you can explore the wine villages on the outskirts, have dinner or drinks at a heurige in one of them, and the trams back to the center of the city run frequently at all hours.

Posted by Alexandra
Hoboken, NJ, USA
8 posts

Definitely Salzburg! I visited both cities recently, and enjoyed both, but LOVED Salzburg. I spent 4 days in both cities and wished I could have done more in and around Salzburg. It's just got an added charm that I didn't find in Vienna. Also the biggest things to do in Vienna are museums and music, which you can also do in most big cities. Old town in Salzburg is small and can be seen in a day, but there are so many options for 1/2 day or full day trips near Salzburg (i.e. ice caves, salt mines, untersberg hiking, eagles nest, lakes, Hellbrunn, zoo, sound of music tour-if you are interested).

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7870 posts

Two days only, visit Salzburg. It's easier to get to and can be enjoyed in two days. Vienna, like Rome or Berlin, has too much to see and do to appreciate in two days. My first trip to Germany I planned to stay inside the German border. A friend talked me into Salzburg and I was really glad I went. I always include it on my itinerary now when I'm in the area, it's a very walkable and beautiful little city. The view from one of the walking bridges across the river toward the old center at night, when it's lit, is one of the nicest views anywhere.

Posted by LaRae
494 posts

Loved Salzburg but my heart goes out to Vienna. Nice city center and so much to see. Also depends on what time of the year. If its raining Salzburg will be hard to find things to do without getting soaked.