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Budapest,Vienna and Salzburg in 7 days

We will be visiting Budapest, Vienna and Salzburg in May from Chicago. We only have 7 days. Will travel Friday night and get there Saturday. We will leave the following Saturday. What is the most efficient way to travel to these places? Thank you

Posted by
18827 posts

Arrive Budapest, 4 nights in Budapest.
2.5 hour morning train to Vienna. 2 nights in Vienna.
2.5 hour morning train to Salzburg. 1 night in Salzburg.
Fly Home from Salzburg

This way you are staying half to 2/3rd of what each stop usually gets.

(SKIP Salzburg or Vienna)

Posted by
10402 posts

Do you already have your airline tickets?

Posted by
338 posts

First, it's important to know where you are flying into and out of. To save time, most recommendations, such as Mr. E's excellent post, will focus on on traveling east to west or west to east without backtracking.

Second, you have to decide what is important to you in order to set the number of days per city. Budapest and Vienna are both great cities, but are different expereinces. For example, I enjoy Impressionist art. Vienna has a great museum for this, Budapest does not.

Posted by
8243 posts

Budapest and Vienna are both large, great European cities, and they're worthy of 4 days or longer each.

It all depends on where you're flying out of. People in Salzburg that are flying back to North America usually go through the Munich Airport. Just getting to Budapest Airport is not the easiest.

I would suggest visiting Budapest and taking a train up to Bratislava. Then take a train over to Salzburg and flying home from Munich Airport (2 hr. train ride from Salzburg.)

Posted by
884 posts

In reality, you only have 6 full days, (Sun-Fri.) And even at that, it is less because of checking in and out of hotels and travel times. Hopefully you have an open jaw ticket. I agree with Mr. E. that you need to drop either Vienna or Salzburg, as you do not have enough time for those three cities. I would suggest you do more research and consolidate your trip to a maximum of two locations.

Posted by
18827 posts

Don't get me wrong, no criticism of the pace. Not my trip. Just trying to help make it work. The OP mah love it.

Now if it were me, I would do one night in Vienna, then off to Sslzburg. But my taste is peculiar.

Posted by
7 posts

Hi.... Can i revive this thread and add a few more days :)

I'll be traveling in August mom + 3 older sons. We are landing late on a sunday night and leaving the following friday morning. So we have 11 full days.

We love cool cities, cafes, lakes to cool off in, amazing scenary. We are not going to spend time in restaurants as we are all basic eaters (Gluten free, vegan, mediterranean diet etc). Yes to some museums and cool castles but will only visit churches from the outside.

Please help me! (and see my limitations)

Sunday night - land in Budapest
Monday - BUDAPEST
Tuesday - BUDAPEST
(what should we do those 2 days)
I have not yet scheduled but will plan to take a train Tuesday evening to Vienna. We NEED to be in Vienna on that specific Wednesday. We could sleep in budapest tuesday night, but i prefer to give us lots of time and wake up in Vienna.
(Note: I thought one day budapest and one day bratislava but i quickly dropped that when i realized it was not really on the way. Especially if going by trains).
Wednesday - VIENNA - we have some morning time, but are busy with a scheduled event prob from around 2-3 pm that day for the remainder of the day.
Thursday - VIENNA (what to do)
Friday - Vienna to Salzburg. Meant to get a rental car that day. Must arrive to Salzburg by 6-7 pm ish
options this day:
1. More Vienna (since we really ONLY have thursday)
2. Drive through the wachau valley. We dont want to go inside the Melk Abbey but can see from outside. I've read about Krems and Durnstein (sp?) would love to see the castle, perhaps go on the ferry?
3. Head straight to Salzburg to give us more time in Salzburg
Saturday - SALZBURG - this day we will do all walking the city activies.

Here's where it gets more tricky. How to spend the next 4-5 days
Sunday - Move from SALZBURG to St. Gilgen
What do we do this Sunday? Salzburg or something on way to St. Gilgen

Monday - Thursday - Based in St. Gilgen is the current plan.
How do we spend each day and somehow still feel as if we're enjoying the local area?
Items I've heard recommended to do:
Hallstat (we for sure want to do this) + 5 fingers + Ice Cave (can we do it all in one day?)
Bad Ischel / St. Wolfgang
So many cable cars! The cog railway, the cable car in st. gilgen, in bad ischl - how do you decide?
Zell Am See / Kaprun (is that nice in the summer?)
Eagles Nest (would love to say we were in Germany too)...
Innsbruck - (too ambitious for a day trip?)

Thursday - Based on the above - we can either drive back to Vienna via the Wachau Valley (if we didnt do it on the way in), or see more of Vienna (that we didn't have time for) or stay in Wolgangsee region to do one of the list above or just enjoy our surroundings.

Alternative to the wolfgangsee is using INNSBRUCK as the base for that week - heading on to Innsbruck and passing through Hallstat on way and then still doing some of the above, just different cable cars, different regions, different lake (zell am see?)

Thoughts? Thanks if you made it this far

Posted by
18827 posts

Sunday night - land in Budapest. Night? Most of the flights from the US arrive between 11am and 3pm. Wander Vaci utca and Vorosmarty ter, the basilica and the Pest River Front.

Go straight to your hotel or Airbnb. With so little time location will make a big difference. Stay either at Deak Ferenc ter or on the Pest river front.

Monday – Pest river front from Great Market hall to Parliament, then cross to Buda and do that waterfront from the Gellert to Margrit Island. Half way, take the Funicular up to the Castle Hill District for an hour or two. Maybe Hospital in the Rock and Fisherman’s Bastion.

Tuesday – 47/49 Tram from Great Market Hall to Andrassy ut. Stop for the Dohany u Synagogue… do the tour. Walk up Andrassy ut, to Opera Hose, Heroes Square and then the Bath House (do the bath). Change into travel clothes in the bathhouse locker room. Pick up your bags and go to train station for 8pm train to Vienna

This is very rough, because where you are staying will dictate the exact itinerary so you don’t back track.

Posted by
4351 posts

AndreaMLY, although you have an excellent reply, I might suggest starting your own thread for this. You may get more help, plus the OP is getting notification of replies instead of you.

Posted by
7 posts

thank you! I will do my own thread - you're correct, i missed these replies :)

but i would love to hear how it worked for the OP ! - if they are seeing this

(and thank you sooo much for the amazing 2 days Itinerary for Budapest)

I will be arriving from Europe, so that's how I'm arriving late at night. Not from USA