Austria trip advice

Old Sep 11th, 2006, 12:49 PM
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Austria trip advice

Hi, This will be our first trip to Austria. My husband is attending a conference and we weill be in Vienna during those 4 days. We want to explore some nearby areas for the next 3-4 days. Salzburg is a definite possibility. Anywhere else? Also would it be a good plan to rent a car in Vienna and drive to Salzburg or use public transport? I would also welcome hotel/restuarant suggestions. Our 11 year old son will be traveling with us. Thanks!
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 12:53 PM
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You could do a lot with public transport. Why not a day trip to Sopron in Hungary, just an hour away by train? And Bratislava, the Slovakian capital, is no further. Both are fine places, well deserving of a day trip.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 12:55 PM
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Salzburg is kind of far from Vienna (4 hours by train). Since you don't have much time, why don't you concentrate on Vienna and the areas around it? You can explore Vienna for the 4 days of the conference (there's a lot to do), and then take day trips into the countryside from there (people like Melk and Krems and Eisenstadt, for example). I'm obsessed with Durnstein, but that might just be me.

But if you really want to go to Salzburg, the train is pretty convenient; it isn't really worth getting a car unless you want to stop at different places along the way.

Make sure you take your son to the Spanish Riding School. Eleven sounds like just the right age to think it's amazing.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 12:56 PM
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We will have a Schengen visa so cannot travel to Slovakia. Any other scenic places? We will be there in late Oct/early Nov
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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city to city go by train as cars are useless and even a liability to me in cities.
But you could have a dreamy drive to Salzburg thru the Sound of Music country and Lake Walfgang - even Halstatt the perfect Alpine hideway on its pristine lake.
Closer to Vienna i would strongly recommend doing the boat trip thru the fabled, justly so, castle- and vineyard-studded Wachau Valley quite close to Vienna.
A great day - train to Melk, see the famous abbey in this cute small town on the Danube, hop a boat to Durnstein, trek up to a ruined castle where Richard-the-Lion-Hearted was once gaoled on his way back from a Crusade after being waylaid and held for ransom. Durnstein is a cute wine town around which swirls a carpet of vineyards in the heart of the Wachau Valley. then boat or walk or train onto Krems, a larger wine center town and return to Vienna by train (about an hour each way Vienna - to Melk and back from Krems. Boat cruise is just a few hours - many boats give out bikes so you can cycle on Danube side cycle paths between boat stops. for boat info - not expensive but don't expect a Blue Danube, but a muddy brown one!
anyway one of the finest short boat trips in all of Europe IMO. Kid will love it.
Or hop the Hydrofoil or train to Budapest about 2-3 hours by train.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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I looked up Spanish Riding School. it sounds wonderful but unfortunately there seem to be no shows during the period we are there. Thanks for the suggestion though
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 01:03 PM
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I would definitely include a trip to Salzburg. While the train is a good option, driving will allow you to capture some of Austrias beautiful scenery.

As mentioned above, about an hour from Vienna is the Wachau Valley, a beautiful wine-growing section of the Danube filled with quaint villages. We drove to Krems, rented a bike and biked to Spitz and then hopped on a boat and rode it back to Krems. Afterwards we drove to Melk to visit the spectacular abbey. What a wonderful day!

Salzburg is certainly worth a day or two. The Salzkammergut makes for a wonderful daytrip away from the city, and I think a car would be very beneficial in this area. I would visit Hallstatt, St. Gilgen and St. Wolfgang. Also close to Salzburg is Berchtesgaden an the Berchtesgadenland region in Germany, a quick 20 minute drive from Salzburg. You could visit the Eagles Nest, Mt. Jenner and the Konigssee. Berchtesgaden itself is a pleasant town, and the small churches in Maria Gern and Ramsau are picture perfect.

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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 01:34 PM
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<We will have a Schengen visa so cannot travel to Slovakia.>
A visa? Are you not a US citizen, although you live in Massachusetts? If you are one, you don't need a visa, and can visit SR or HU.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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If you decide to go to Salzburg (which I really recommend) you might consider flying into Vienna and out of Munich. Spend a day and a night in Munich while you are there.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 03:54 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. To tomboy: we are US residents but not citizens. tcreath: will all these places work out in early Nov or will be mountainous regions be too cold? And will snow be a problem for driving?

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Old Sep 12th, 2006, 06:18 AM
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Pipry, I'm topping this message for you because unfortunately I can't give any advice on Austria in November, as we were in the Salzburg area in May. I'm certain the mountains are gorgeous any time of year, but hopefully someone who has experience visiting in November can answer your question for you.


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Old Sep 12th, 2006, 09:00 AM
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How about a trip to Graz? This is a beautiful city greatly overlooked by tourists.

The old medieval town is still intact and that made UNESCO place it on their World Heritage List. Recently, Graz was the Culture Capital of Europe.

I've been to Graz last year and I liked it so much. I also visited Vienna and Salzburg and I wrote a trip report here (Swaying on the Rhythm of the Danube):

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Old Sep 12th, 2006, 09:42 AM
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Old Sep 13th, 2006, 01:42 PM
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Thanks all for the tips. As we have decided to fly in/out of Munich I am creating a new thread
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