We will be traveling between the above mentioned areas in May 2014. Any upside to driving as opposed to taking the train? From Salzburg we will be moving on to Munich...train or driving preferred? Thanks so much!
We did your itinerary backwards in Sept. We did not take the train, but I can tell you what I liked about having a car. We rented the car when we left Munich and returned it when we arrived in Vienna, so didn't have too much city navigation to do. What it allowed us to do was to drive around in the Hallstatt region based on our own schedule. In the days that we spent there we got around to see a lot more than we would have without the car. We also drove from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden twice, and loved having the flexibility of the car. My husband and I really liked having a GPS.
Before renting a car ($$$) I would recommend you thoroughly explore the public transportation option. The extra time to get there by public transportation is more than offset by the freedom of doing anything you want to (reading, sleeping, watching the scenery) in spacious seats while getting there at a much lower cost. From Vienna go to Attnang-Puchheim and take a connecting train to Hallstatt Bahnhof (across the lake from town) via Bad Ischl. Come back to Attnang-Puchheim and continue on the line to Salzburg. Salzburg to Munich is easily done in just over 2 hours on regional trains using a Bayern-Ticket for 26€ (for two).
Thank you so much...such good information :)
Nancy - we live in Vienna and have been to Hallstatt and Salzbury by train and by car. We don't own a car, but anytime we want to get out to the west we rent from www.sixt.com and have had nothing but good experience with them. I would recommend renting the car. We love getting into the back roads around Salzburg. Dirk