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8 days en route to Salzburg - help me plan my itinerary!

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Aug 1st, 2014, 12:52 PM
  #1
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8 days en route to Salzburg - help me plan my itinerary!

Hi fellow Fodorites,

I am traveling to Salzburg, Austria for work in September. Along the way, I'd like to take a few vacation days to do some sightseeing.

Here is a rough itinerary I have worked out. However, I can't figure out what city to visit!! I would love to see Prague, but am worried about going there in August. The thought of rushing around the city for 2 days, while fighting off hordes of (fellow) tourists, frightens me. I don't need to see all the sights, but I'd like to have a pleasant experience!

So I am also considering Munich or Vienna, and am open to other suggestions!

August 31: flight to Europe overnight
Sept 1: arrive around 1pm in _______, check into hotel, do a little sightseeing
Sept 2: sightseeing in _________
Sept 3: sightseeing in _________
Sept 4: travel via train to visit aunt, who lives near Regensburg
Sept 5: Regensburg
Sept 6: morning train to Salzburg, sightseeing
Sept 7: sightseeing Salzburg
Sept 8: Monday, get to work in Salzburg!

I would appreciate your thoughts on the best way to optimize this itinerary. I can shift the Regensburg dates around, but I do need to be in Salzburg by Sept 7.

My interests are architecture and history, more than anything. I also love art but don't intend to spend all my time in museums. I love just walking around beautiful places!

Thanks in advance for your help!!!
imelda72 is offline  
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Aug 1st, 2014, 01:27 PM
  #2
 
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Where does your flight land? Prague, Vienna, Munich would all be good. As you want to see Prague, I'd go there.

Also, as you're going to be working in Salzburg, you may want to spent Sept. 6 and 7 in another city--say Vienna for architecture and history. Salzburg is pretty compact so you can probably work in visits to the main tourist things during your lunch or after work. And just walk around whenever you get a chance.
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Aug 2nd, 2014, 06:04 PM
  #3
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Thanks! I'll actually only be working in Salzburg for 3 days, which is why I wanted at least an extra day for pure sightseeing. But maybe Sat and Sun is too much?

My flight is flexible, so it can land wherever I decide to go! Everyone says go to Prague, plus I'd love to see it. But I'm concerned about August crowds, and only having 2.5 days to see the city.
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Aug 2nd, 2014, 09:48 PM
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Since you want to see Prague, go. Two-and-a-half days of sightseeing is better than, "I wish I'd gone to Prague." By your travel dates most European families with school children will have returned home to prepare for the start of school; the international schools will already have begun their sessions, so that will reduce some of the crowds. And if the crowds get to you, pause at a cafe for some people watching.

The suggestion to go to Vienna for 6 and 7 September is good. A morning train from Regensberg will leave you almost a full 1.5 days to enjoy Vienna; the Westbahn runs hourly from Vienna so you can catch an evening train to Salzburg.
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 05:40 PM
  #5
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Thanks for the tips! Would you consider Vienna a much better choice than Salzburg, to spend the weekend? How similar are they?
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 05:58 PM
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Agree that Prague will be very busy that time of year - as will almost any city with a lot of tourist attractions.

What Prague has that very few places in europe do is architectural integrity - a city that grew organically and was NOT bombed to smithereens in WWII - with much of what you see now reconstrcutions - esp in germany and parts of austria.

One of the things we liked best was an architectural tour of the Old Town by a student from the university expert in this area of the city and how it grew and developed. Picked it up in the City Hall and it was practically free - I think about $5 each and there were only 7 of us. It was truly fascinating and I can;t think of any other major city in central europe where you can get that.
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 08:57 PM
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You'll find as many votes for Vienna over Salzburg as for the opposite. Vienna is larger, of course; and most if not all stores in Austria will be closed on Saturday evenings and on Sundays, so Vienna may still feel livelier by virtue of having more people. Salzburg is smaller and compact, and definitely easier to see more thoroughly in two days, or, as suggested, after hours or during your lunch breaks if possible.
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Dec 27th, 2014, 07:11 PM
  #8
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Hey all, I just wanted to come back and say thanks for the advice. I ended up going to Prague. My flight into Europe on Sept 1 was delayed, so I didn't get into Prague until late that first evening. But I put the two full days to good use.

The crowds, while sizable, were not overwhelming. They're worse near my parents' apt in midtown Manhattan. I even went on the Charles Bridge one morning around 8 or 8:30, and it was practically empty! Really nice.

Nothing saved me at the Prague Castle - especially at the cathedral, the crowds really ruined the whole thing. But I suspect that is always the case.

And Salzburg was a lot of fun! I stayed at the hotel where parts of Sound of Music were filmed, so I felt like I got the full experience.
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Dec 27th, 2014, 10:43 PM
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Thank you for reporting back! And, glad you went to Prague! I wish more posters would share how their ultimate itinerary worked out (or didn't).
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