Austria plan

Old Mar 15th, 2003, 11:08 PM
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Austria plan

Going to Austria for the first time for about 16 days--mid April to 1st week of May.

I want to visit Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck and salzburg.

Any suggestoins on how I should arrange my itinerary -- in terms of routing and number of days per area ? Any recommended sights/experiences that are NOT in the guide books / "off the beaten track" ?

Also, do I have time for a side trip to Prague and Cesky Krumlov ?

If you could, I would appreciate it if you could reply to my email address : [email protected]

Thank you.
Eric_B is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2003, 11:59 PM
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Will you have a car? Or will you be taking the train? We spend our summer vacations in the Steiermark and there are lots of things to see definitely off the beaten track, but you need a car.
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Old Mar 16th, 2003, 07:42 AM
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Having a car makes a considerable difference in how you approach your planning. You do not need a car in Vienna; in fact, it is more of a problem than it is a solution.
I am not sure about driving to Prague; some companies forbid it or want extra insurance payments.

The length of time you spend in Vienna is dependent on how much you like going to concerts and operas. If you like that kind of stuff, you could easily spend 6 days in Vienna.

I am a music buff and 3 or even 4 performances in Vienna in a 5 day period would be my goal.

Innsbruck is not a place I have ever been tempted to spend much time. I have been there more than once, but other than the Hapsburg Residenz, I quickly ran out of things to do other than eat and drink.

In a way, it is too bad you are there so early in the summer season because the high mountain roads will not be open yet. On the other hand, there will still be skiing. I know near the town of Sölden in the Ötztal west and south of Innsbruck, there is long-term skiing on a glacier. Places like Hochgurgl may well have snow into the first week of May or later. That pocket of the alps seems colder than some others. When we were there in mid September, Sept 10, 2001 to be exact, we were inadequately dressed for the mountain conditions. (Previously at similar altitudes at similar times in Switzerland we were fine.)

I think towns like Hallstatt and the lake area around Salzburg is worth exploring, but it takes a car unless you want to be totally bound by bus schedules.

Salzburg is worth perhaps 3 full days and 4 nights. Again, I think the music scene will help determine how long you want to be there. I personally enjoyed the Marionetten Theater and Schloss Heilbrunn. The squirting fountains at Heilbrunn may not be open that early in the season, however, and they are the primary attraction.

Graz is not a city I am familiar with. You might consider factoring in Linz. It is on the rail line between Vienna and Salzburg.

A side trip to Prague and Cesky Krumlov would become the tail that wags the dog. I don't think there is such a thing as a "side trip" to Prague. It is a main attraction and becomes a rival in terms of time to Vienna.

So if the sum of the days desired is 16, you could come up with this:
Vienna 5
Prague 3
Cesky Krumlov 1
Salzburg 3
Graz 1
Salzburg and area 4
Innsbruck would lose out on this schedule, but you could still get there by trimming a day or two off the others.

I also think you need to factor in your arrival point and departure points.
You will lose some time to travel, between place because Vienna to Prague is a 5 hour trip and Vienna to Salzburg is more than 3 hours. Your best connect time Vienna to Prague is 4:33 with a departure at 6:50. (No changes with this train.)

All in all, you have several options. For example, if you ruled out Prague, then Munich is suddenly an option because it is fairly close to Salzburg.
I think your problem is going to be deciding on the two biggies: Vienna and Prague. They can become the drivers of your time allotment formula.
bob_brown is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2003, 07:45 AM
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sorry, "are worth exploring".
Compound subject requires a plural verb.
My high school English teacher just arched an eyebrow.
bob_brown is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2003, 10:59 AM
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I have some familiarity with Graz and Carinthia. I would suggest you consider adding Carinthia to your itinerary. Here are links to 2 pages on the Frommers site that we found particularly interesting last year:

I found the most information about off the beaten path Austria in the guidebook, "Rough Guide to Austria".

Ask if you have specific questions.
elberko is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2003, 12:33 PM
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If you like classical music, the Festpielhaus and the Mozarteum in Salzburg are the best IMO.
Old Mar 16th, 2003, 03:26 PM
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Sure, you could fit in Prague. I found four days in Vienna sufficient, and two in Salzburg would be perfect. Two more in Graz and Innsbruck, and leaving you six days for getting to, and seeing, Czech. Four days in Prague and 2 in Cesky.
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Old Mar 16th, 2003, 03:27 PM
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Oh, and see Terezin, outside Prague.
RAR is offline  
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