First Solo Euro Trip -- August 2014

Old Mar 14th, 2014, 04:35 PM
  #21  
kja
 
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OK - thanks for clarifying!

"Vienna (and river trip from Krems to Melk) - 4 days" -- it depends on your interests, but I think you might be shortchanging Vienna. I think the city itself merits at least 4, if not 5, full days. But then I love art, and Vienna has a lot of that!

"Are there any other cities in Eastern Europe I should try to squeeze in?" -- IMO, no. With the exception of Vienna, I think you have laid out a very reasonable itinerary.

"Would train travel between all of these cities be best?" -- IMO, yes.

"Do you see any issues with a solo female traveler visiting any of the cities above" -- No. I am a solo female traveler and have been to all of these locations except Hallstadt by myself. Enjoyed myself immensely! As already noted, just take reasonable precautions.

Good luck on your finals!
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Old Mar 14th, 2014, 10:12 PM
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2). Depends on what you want to experience; lots and lots of visitors to Vienna fit both cities into one day. DDSG offers a train/ship/Abbey ticket that makes for a very full day. The train departs Viennat 09:00 and arrives in Melk in time for the first English-language tour of the Abbey (11:00) which runs ~90 minutes. The 14:00 river boat would get you to Krems at 15:30. The return train to Vienna departs from Krems at 17:00.
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Old Mar 14th, 2014, 11:09 PM
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Hi chellem22,

I'm not an Austrian expert, but I live just about 90 minutes north of Innsbruck and have been there a few times. It's not a favorite city of mine, and I don't think I would really go out of my way to see it. It's a nice enough city with a nice little river through town and a nice old town -- but most of your itinerary is already seeing cities.

I've never been to Hallstatt, but I personally would spend more time there, just from the photos I've seen. I always prefer to experience small towns or villages, and I'm a real sucker for a lake. I think staying in Hallstatt will give you more of a contrast to the rest of your itinerary.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Old Mar 15th, 2014, 08:25 AM
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2) Do you think I can fit in both Melk and Krems in the same day? If not, do you prefer one over the other?>

Of course - the famous boat ride goes between Melk and Krems - that said I think Durnstein, a cute wine village severalkns before Krems to me was the highlight of the Wachau Valley - the old ruined castle once was where Richard-the-Lion-Hearted was held for ransom after being nabbed coming from a return from some Crusade - beautiful town - then take the bus from there to Krems or the next boats.

Krems is a much much larger town I walked around - very pleasant but IMO not so much that it is a must, like Melk and its Abbey or Durnstein - take the train to Vienna from Krems and the train to Melk from Vienna- there is a ticket sold in Vienna stations that includes everything - abbey admission, boat fee, trains fees all on one combo ticket I think.
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Old Mar 15th, 2014, 09:59 AM
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I have been to Hallstatt -- though not to the salt mines. I think one day would be plenty there. Or do it as a daytrip from Salzburg. Hallstatt is a very pretty little village but you will exhaust it in a couple hours. Still I prefer the village experience to Innsbruck.

I'm sure you can find something to do with that extra day. In your itinerary are you allowing for travel time? It takes about a half day to check out of your hotel, get to the train station, travel to your new place and find your way to your next hotel. Not to speak of getting oriented in your new base.
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Old Mar 15th, 2014, 01:49 PM
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Thank you all again for your responses!

kja, I love art, too, so maybe I should plan 4 full days in Vienna and reserve 1 for a day/trip to Krems/Melk.

fourfortravel, thank you so much for telling me about DDSG's all encompassing ticket. Where can I purchase those? And is it something I should plan to buy in advance?

swandav2000, thanks for your feedback on Innsbruck. I prefer small town too, so will plan to skip Innsbruck and focus on going to Hallstatt instead.

PalenQ, you mentioned that Durnstein was a highlight. How long would you recommend spending in Durnstein? Is it a quick half-day getaway, or a full day trip?

Mimar, thank for you feedback on Hallstatt. Maybe I'll just spend two nights there (rather than two full days). The itinerary I outlined above is not currently allowing for train time, though you raise a good point about the amount of time it takes to check out, get to the train station, etc.

Thanks SO MUCH, everyone!!
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Old Mar 15th, 2014, 03:20 PM
  #27  
kja
 
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"The itinerary I outlined above is not currently allowing for train time, though you raise a good point about the amount of time it takes to check out, get to the train station, etc."

??? That's why janisj and I specifically asked about the number of nights. From what you said, I (at least) have been assuming that you WERE allowing time for travel in between your listed days. If not, then your itinerary is, IMO, too rushed -- you are going to lose 1/2 day each time you change locations and that will substantially eat into the time you have to actually see these places.
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Old Mar 15th, 2014, 09:21 PM
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My daughter is 22 and did a similar trip and she moved pretty quickly, much faster than I tend to move.

She went Budapest Prague as an overnight train trip.... I think you are ok if you take the advice on over night trains.

For that time of year, book those tickets in advance.
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Old Mar 15th, 2014, 10:20 PM
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chellem, since you may be considering adding Durnstein to your itinerary, I would suggest a look at the ticket packages offered to find the one that works best for you.
http://www.ddsg-blue-danube.at/eng/index.php

As for buying tickets in advance, I personally would not. It's easy enough to buy the tickets at either the pier or the train station; plus, I do not know if the tickets are transferable to a different date should the weather, or a newfound interest, change your sightseeing plans.
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Old Mar 16th, 2014, 07:28 AM
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I have done the Melk and Krems day trip and didn't feel rushed.

I think you are short-changing Budapest, where there is plenty to see, but I might reconsider the trip to Szentendre - it was hopelessly overcrowded with tourists when I did it, and that was back in 2004.

One full day is plenty for Hallstatt, very scenic but also a bit of a tourist magnet. Unlike several posters here I like Innsbruck, and I used it as a base for visiting the Ziller valey and the Stubai glacier. However, if you want another stop in Austria I also like Zell-am-See, which I used as a base for the Krimml waterfall and the Grossglockner road. (For pix see http://kwilhelm.smugmug.com/Travel/E...tt-Zell-am-See )

BTW, for train schedules see: http://www.bahn.de/i/view/GBR/en/index.shtml
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Old Mar 16th, 2014, 08:51 AM
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I too love or perhaps like Innsbruck - the Schloss Ambras - visit this interesting place and then hop the mountain climbing tram up to the old Winter Olympics Ski Jump area in a lovely sylvan forested area with many neat hiking paths, etc.

https://www.google.com/search?q=inns...=1600&bih=1075
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Old Mar 16th, 2014, 10:53 AM
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You're making very many stops on this itinerary. But I'd suggest reversing your itinerary to save money:
Start in London-4 days fly from Gatwick to Krakow cheap on EasyJet.com
Krakow- 4 days
Prague- 4 days
Budapest- 3 days
Vienna- 4 days
Hallstatt - 2 days
Salzburg - 2 days
Munich- 4 days Fly home from there.
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 07:53 AM
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Krakow- 4 days
Prague- 4 days
Budapest- 3 days
Vienna- 4 days
Hallstatt - 2 days
Salzburg - 2 days>

If doing that by train then the European East Railpass would cover all those trains - just hop on any train anytime with few exceptions - except the German portion from Salzburg. A n-brainer IMO if that is the itinerary.
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 09:31 AM
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Budapest 4 days, Hallstatt 1 day
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