Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Help on overnight stays between Vienna and Saltzburg

Help on overnight stays between Vienna and Saltzburg

Old Sep 4th, 2012, 06:46 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 254
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Help on overnight stays between Vienna and Saltzburg

Hello.

As part of a planned 6-week trip to Europe in June/July 2013, my wife and I plan to spend 9 or 10 nights in Austria.

So far the plan is to stay 5 nights in Vienna (after having come from Prague) and 3 nights in Saltzburg before heading to Munich for the final leg of our trip.

We have seen many, many posters mention the lovely Salzkammergut lakes district around an hour from Saltzburg. The towns most mentioned are: Hallstatt, Wolfgangsee and St Gilgen.

My question is:

Is there some way we could visit all those places - with overnight stays if need be - on the way to Saltzburg? Or would it be easy/better to travel directly to Saltzburg and take one or two day trips to that area. We hadn't planned on hiring a car because we found last time we spent time in Europe we didn't need one.

In this case is it not possible without a car or is there some other way we could get to see Salzkammergut without one?

Thanks in advance, Steve.
steve_Australia is offline  
Old Sep 4th, 2012, 07:21 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 516
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yes, sure, possible without a car, but generally much more flexible and efficient with one, for getting to those small towns in the countryside. From city to city, the train is better.

One suggestion - pick up the car in Vienna. You can try to eliminate most of the city driving by picking the car up at an office that's not right in the middle of town.

Drive up the Danube and stop in Melk. Not far at all from Vienna - about an hour away. See the abbey and have lunch.

Then drive to Hallstatt. This is a bit of a hike - maybe 2 - 2 1/2 hours. But you will be glad you did. Incredibly beautiful. Stay overnight here. I liked the Simony, right on the lake. Make sure you get a room with a balcony, although if you do, you run the risk of never wanting to leave it.

Next day, after spending the morning in Hallstatt (you could go up the Dachstein, see a salt mine, take the boat across the lake and back, etc), meander through the Salzkammergut. Lunch could be in St. Gilgen, St. Wolfgang, Mondsee. Basically spend most of the afternoon driving around. Then drive into Salzburg via Fuschlsee and drop the car off.

I would take away one of your days in Salzburg and stay another night in Hallstatt unless you are planning a day trip from Salzburg to say Berchtesgaden.

Have a great trip!
robertino is offline  
Old Sep 4th, 2012, 08:15 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,142
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I concur with all the above advice - especially picking up a car on outskirts of Vienna and dropping it off in Salzburg.

As implied, just because it may be physically possible to do without a car doesn't mean it's a good idea.
bardo1 is offline  
Old Sep 4th, 2012, 08:18 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hallstatt is a long way from Salzburg for a day trip and is so so awesome it would be at the top of my list

The Salzkammergut can be an easy day trip by postal bus or car from Salzburg - about an hour to St Wolfgang by bus and or bus and boat via St Gilgen.

If you based in a place like Bad Ischol it could be a nice base for both Hallstatt and the Sound of Music Country. Check out these sites for lots of good info on Hallstatt and the Salkammergut IMO - www.ricksteves.com and http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/si...s/rg011210.pdf.

I enjoyed taking the steam train up the mountain behind St Wolfsgang - we walked back down on gently sloping paths with the whole wonder Lake District in full view the whole way.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Sep 4th, 2012, 09:37 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 254
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Robertino:

Thanks for the fantastic suggestions. Although the opposite side of the road that I'm used to, you have just about convinced me to hire a car!

Hallstatt sounds absolutely wonderful, and as far as 2.5 hours being "a bit of a hike" Aussies are used to long drives. The best thing is that nothing has been booked yet so we are flexible enough to be able to spend two nights in Hallstatt and still not take any days away from Saltzburg.

We are also planning on spending 7 nights in Munich to cater for day trips, so we could possibly forfeit one of those nights if you think we would be better off seeing something like the Innsbruck/Tyrolean Alps/Kitzbuhel area?

Back to the car. What are the roads and signage like from Vienna --> Hellstatt --> Saltzburg?

Palen:

Nice to hear from you again. Firstly, we would like to thank you for all the help you gave my wife and me prior to our last 8-week trip to Europe. We visited Amsterdam, Brugge, Paris, Switzerland and finaly four weeks in Italy. It was even better than we'd hoped. So thanks again for your input for that trip

And for this trip - the link you gave me for the BudgetEuropeTravel PDF is brilliant. What a great reference for any country in Europe. I'm looking forward to reading it cover to cover.
steve_Australia is offline  
Old Sep 4th, 2012, 10:22 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,003
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi Steve, from a fellow Aussie, bite the bullet and hire a car! It is a little daunting to start with but soooo worth it. If you have a spotter in the passenger side who is reminding you to stay right and helping to look out for signage etc. it is not too bad especially if you start out on smaller roads and towns. Having a GPS and an auto are extra expenses but just remove another stress when you are concentrating on everything being on opposite sides.
We have visited Hallstatt and also drove the Grossglockner Alpine Road which was spectacular. We were based in Berchtesgaden, a beautiful spot in Bavaria and only 20 mins from Salzburg (without a 't'
It is a beautiful area and such a contrast to dry Australia!
ozgirl is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2012, 01:58 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 254
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi Ozgirl - thanks for the encouragement, I need it! It was kind of nice and virtually stress-free just catching trains last time but I don't want to miss out on the lakes district in Austria. It sounds unreal.

Thanks for pointing out my spelling error, too ;-) It never occurred to me that it was misspelt. I knew it had something to do with SALT, lol.

Can you recommend a hire car company? Did you stay overnight in Hallstatt?
steve_Australia is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2012, 04:24 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,003
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi Steve, we have usually done a lease car with Citroen - usually comparable with rental if you are doing 17+ days. Lots of advantages with lease but obviously if you are looking at less time, rental.
We didn't overnight in Hallstatt as we did it as a day trip from Berchtesgaden but it was certainly worthy of an overnight. (Do consider Berchtesgaden, I could recommend some great accommodation there! Email me at [email protected] if interested in any further info.)
ozgirl is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2012, 07:29 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 516
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi Steve -

Don't worry too much about signage. Mostly very clear and contextual. For example, if you see a sign that says Einfarht, with a picture of an entrance ramp, you know that Einfarht means entrance ramp.

Einbahn means One Way Street. A band of screaming children taught me that.

Getting out of a city can be a little tricky. Sometimes it's best to pay a little extra and pick up the car at an airport. That way, you're on the outskirts of town already and don't have to worry about urban traffic.

Vienna's Schwechat airport very easy to get to from the city. It is on the opposite side of town from where you are going but a good map and a navigator next to you will show you how to get around it.

Since Schwechat is very close to the river, you may just be able to follow the river all the way from the airport to the Wachau valley - beautiful - to Krems, then a series of very charming small riverside villages like Duernstein, and then to Melk. Again, the map is your friend.

Signage for Hallstatt - I am not sure that there is a special sign for Hallstatt but you will need to exit - Ausfarht, with a picture of and exit ramp - at Traunstein or Traunsee. Bad Ischl may be posted.

Signage from Hallstatt eventually to Salzburg - you will be on small fun roads, all with decent signage.
robertino is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2012, 12:18 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bad ischl has one stellar site or bizarre site - some Franz-Josefs old hunting lodge - literally stuffed with stuffed carcasses and hunting trophies - from hallstatt you could take a train to Bad ischl then buses to St Wolfgang/lake Wolfgang and onto Salzburg - or a nice motoring route as well.

steve - thanks for your nice comments!
PalenQ is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2012, 11:29 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 254
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi Robertino,

Again thanks for the info. The Danube stretch between Krems and Melk sounds wonderful. I was planning a trip to Germany with a "bit" of Austria on the side, but I am now seriously rethinking that. Sounds like such a lot to see in Austria.

Hi Palen - the hunting lodge sounds intriguing. Looking forward to seeing as much of Austria as we can now.

Regards, Steve
steve_Australia is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2012, 03:28 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,225
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
From another Australian - try and drive the Grossglocknerstrasse if you can. It took us all day, starting and ending in Zell am See, and you have to pay a fairly hefty entrance fee but well worth it. Great views, lots of places to stop, and lots of cyclists so be careful!

Also loved tiny Durnstein, up towards Melk Abbey, if you want to spend the night, sleep and eat here - great place run by a lovely family. Maybe lunch?
http://www.saengerblondel.at/

We stayed in Hallstatt but didn't like it, though the surrounding scenery is gorgeous. We have driven in Europe and the USA quite a lot and one thing that helps is to have the passenger watch out for the driver and repeat at frequent intervals 'keep right, keep right'. It works for us, well except for the times my husband decided to drive on the left in America this year.

If you want a recommendation of a place to stay in Zell am See, yell out and I'll fish out the details of where we stayed. Very hospitable people and lovely views.

Lastly, no 'T' in Salzburg. Have a great trip.

Kay
KayF is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2012, 03:30 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,225
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I just remembered Bad Aussee. You have to go there just for a photo of the sign.

Kay
KayF is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2012, 06:10 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 254
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi Kay,

I looked up Bad Aussee and it looked like a nice town - apparently it is said to be the geographical midpoint of Austria and has a lovely stone monument in the town's centre depicting that fact.

I am curious, what didn't you like about Hallstatt? Until your comment I've heard nothing but superlatives for this village icon.

We are definitely planning to see Durnstein as part of day trip to Melk, Durnstein and Krems from Vienna. Looks fantastic but not sure if we will be able to interrupt a 5-night stay in Vienna.

Regards, Steve
steve_Australia is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2012, 07:01 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 516
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yes, I am curious about Kay's comment on Hallstatt also. Really, i cannot think of another place on Earth that is (until now) unanimously loved. Maybe Ravello.

Steve, if you are looking to extend your time in Austria, I totally agree with Kay that the Grossglocknerstrasse is amazing. Fun drive with spectacular mountain scenery. We started at the very charming town of Lienz at the southern end and drove north tho Salzburg but you could obviously flip that around. Overnight in Lienz - quiet, almost no tourists, a very good castle, dramatically set in a valley with the Alps to the north and the spiky Dolomites to the south.

From Lienz you could drive via Italy, the Brenner Pass, and Innsbruck, to Fuessen or Garmisch. But remember that you need to drop the car off in Austria to avoid high extra fees.
robertino is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2012, 07:52 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 959
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
As to robertino's original suggested routing, I second that. Exactly the same drive we took Vienna to Salzburg a few years ago. We loved Halstatt, and still think about it as one of the most beautiful places we have been. Lunched at one of the other lakes on our way into Salzburg after a night in Halstatt. Kay's comment is a bit bewildering. Don't think I've heard of anyone not liking Halstatt. Oh, well, that's why there's chocolate and vanilla.
BillJ is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2012, 08:48 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Zell am Zee to me was also a special place - no real Alpine wonderland scenery like in Hallstatt but a pleasant pleasant town on a lovely lake - we walked around the lake on footpaths though you can take boats as well or do a mixture of both.

Hallstatt IMO is much much more awesome and thus to folks not used to dramatic glacier-strewn Alpine vistas unique whereas Zell is just another of many very very pleasant towns in the foothills of the Alps.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2012, 02:16 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
"can't fathom someone not liking Hallstatt'?

Well she did say the area around it was gorgeous and I can see why someone may not always like the town itself - I loved the area but thought the town itself only so so as these types of resort towns go - yes on a lovely lake but the town itself rather uneventful IMO. But you do not go to Hallstatt for a town but for scintillating environs and using it as a base to go to Salt Mine tours or higher up Alps.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2012, 01:16 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,225
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Not everyone likes every place. I'm always amazed when people say they don't like Venice. It's my favourite place in the world.

Nothing seemed right in Hallstatt. There was a big storm brewing when we arrived and it seemed to make the town threatening. That sounds a bit fanciful I know but it added to the fact that we didn't think much of the place we stayed, the manager was unfriendly and it was nowhere near as nice as other Austrian hotels/pensiones.

Also we had trouble finding somewhere to eat dinner, one place just about shut the door in our face which seemed rude at the time. So nothing positive about the stay. Overall though, we did love Austria and particularly the mountain scenery. (It gets very flat towards Slovakia.)

Kay
KayF is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2012, 02:21 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 254
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi Kay, thanks for the explanation. BTW, I didn't intend to sound accusing, I was simply curious And I know what you mean "Not everyone likes every place". I'm appalled to admit that my wife is one of those Venice detractors. C'est la vie!

Palen and Robertino - it just dawned on me that I should take advantage while I have the doyens of this Forum posting!

I'm sure there is a technical term for this (hijacking or somesuch) but I started an earlier thread regarding my entire trip but didn't get too much response. Possibly because we are starting our trip in Denmark and that was tag.

Anyway, I though I should share our planned itinerary following Denmark to get your thoughts. You many be able to suggest different locations or revised base durations etc.

So here it is:

Hamburg - 3 nights
Berlin - 4 nights
Dresden - 3 nights
Prague - 3 nights
Vienna - 5 nights
Hallstatt - 2 nights ??
Salzburg - 3 nights
???????? - 3 nights
Munich - 7 nights

The "????" listing is because we had planned for a six-week tour and we have 3 days still to fill.

The main reason we have 7 nights in Munich is due to the number of day trips that are possible from there (as well as the fact that it is charming). I was there many, many years ago during my single days and also was able to experience Oktober Fest on another occasion.

Any suggestions/changes in the itinerary would be welcome.

Regards, Steve.
steve_Australia is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO