24 hours in Salzburg worth it?

Old Oct 20th, 2015, 08:49 PM
  #1  
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24 hours in Salzburg worth it?

We'll be going from the Interlaken area in Switzerland (3.5 days) to Vienna (2.5 days) via train. Is it worth is to stop for one night in Salzburg on the way or should we just extend our trip in Vienna by a day? On one hand it seems like such a short time and a hassle going to/from the train station and checking into/out of the hotel. On the other hand I heard 2 days in Vienna is plenty and thought it might be fun!

If f we go straight to Vienna- does anyone have any advice on the overnight train? Do you actually get any decent sleep? We're in our late 20s and pretty good at adapting, but I am a super light sleeper.
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 08:56 PM
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Most definitely! We spent 3 nights in Salzburg including Christmas day and it was spectacular. You can take the funicular or walk up to the castle where you will get a great view of all of Salzburg.
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 09:09 PM
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I think the most useful learning at this point is to drop "I heard" as a credible input to your planning process. In most cases, you can easily fact check what you have "heard" and sort out its relevancy.

Do you like iPhone? The following speech, at minutes mark 12:42 might be relevant to how you approach this type of situation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc

Is it worth it? It is totally up to you. In the end you are the only one who would kick your self in the future for letting go with the opportunity. All the places you mentioned have reason to spend more days than you have indicated. You will be forever tossed from one opinion to another by relying on what you "heard" on where to spend more time.

I found trains are way too noisy to have a good night sleep. But if you want to explore, just plug in your destinations at www.sbb.ch. You will find there is a night train for the Zurich-Wien section.
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 09:58 PM
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kja
 
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It really depends on what YOU want to see and experience! For MY interests, I found 4 full days barely sufficient for Vienna; I thought 2 full days about right for Salzburg. YMMV. Bottom line: None of us can say what YOU will want.

I recommend that you consult a few good guidebooks (always a worthy investment IME, but you can also go to a library), identify the things that YOU most want to see and experience, check their opening hours (preferably on-line, so you can get the most up-to-date info), and mark up a calendar.

I actually like sleeping on trains -- but I can (and, unfortunately, do) sleep through just about anything.
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 10:11 PM
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Salzburg is beautiful - I am not into classical music concerts or museums, but I enjoyed Salzburg more than Vienna. Two nights in Vienna was plenty for me. Salzburg's river setting with the castle on the hill is certainly more stunningly beautiful than the center of Vienna.

I'd definitely do 24 hours in Salzburg if it's not too far of a detour or you are passing through. It's not a huge town that takes lots of time to explore. Half a day is enough to get a basic lay of the land, if you just want to check it out. At worst, maybe you could stop for a few hours off the train instead of staying overnight, so you could at least say you saw it.
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 11:17 PM
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I have always preferred Salzburg to Vienna - it's smaller and more intimate, for a start.

This breaks up the journey, too - though the ride through the Arlberg Pass from Zurich is lovely. As I hope you know already, book Zurich-Salzburg from €29 at Austrian Railways www.oebb.at

For Salzburg-Vienna just hop on any of the hourly Westbahn trains (www.westbahn.at) and pay the €24 fare to the conductor on board. Easier than pre-booking an OBB train way in advance from €19 (no refunds, specific train only) or paying OBB's €45 on-the-day full-flex fare.
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 11:48 PM
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I think Greg's response is spot-on. Only you can decide what is "worth" adding to your itinerary. I have "heard" that, "Lady with an Ermine" is a special painting worth seeing when in Cracow. Four, and soon to be five, visits later, I still have not seen the painting, yet I love each and every visit to Cracow.

One comment above thought Salzburg was spectacular on Christmas Day; a second, two days in Salzburg was sufficient; a third, the views from the fortress are more beautiful than the Vienna city center; and the fourth expressed a preference for the intimacy of the city.

For fun, I will counter the above with "Vienna in the autumn is spectacular, when the vineyards at the northern edge of the city and the palace grounds are ablaze with color;" "Four days in Salzburg will give you time to explore the Salzkammergut, as well," or, "Skip Salzburg and spend the entire time in Vienna, perhaps adding a day trip to Melk;" "The views from the vineyards, overlooking the Danube, the city, and toward the hills of Slovakia are more stunningly beautiful than seeing the rooftops of Salzburg from atop the fortress;" and "The intimacy of Salzburg means you suffer through spirit-crushing crowds along Getreidemarkt and the tour groups tromping from the Pferdeschwemme to Mozart's Geburtshaus."

See?
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 12:16 AM
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kja
 
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@ fourfortravel -- well said! And I do hope you get to see the Lady with an Ermine some day -- she truly is very special.
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 05:20 AM
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IMHO Vienna needs 4 days and Salzburg 2 - but you need to figure out what works for you.

As for the night train - it's from Zurich to Vienna -although there are at last 2 changes to get from Interlaken to zurich before that train. If you are a very light sleeper you might find yourself getting off the train exhausted.
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 05:30 AM
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I would. It is a beautiful place. Still smell chestnuts roasting when I think of Salzburg.
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 09:55 AM
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I would spend a day in Salzburg. I think it is a lot easier to do that kind of thing in a small town. I also wasn't crazy about Vienna, although I did spend several days there.

I don't know what you mean about the hassles with the train station, it's only about 2 km to the center of town, the fare is probably less than 10 euro.
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 10:43 AM
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In my opinion, yes its worth it. We spent about 2.5 days in Vienna and 1 full day in Salzburg. We loved Salzburg. Quaint walled walkable city. We also preferred it over Vienna.
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