Innsbruck to Prague??

Feb 4th, 2004, 08:11 AM
  #1  
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Innsbruck to Prague??

I will be visiting Innsbruck with a tour group from Feb 21-28. We have several free days built into our schedule and I am interested in seeing Prague. I really will only have the one day but I would like to get an idea if this is somewhere that I would like to visit in the future. I want to take the train and leave really early in the morning and return late that night. This is my first trip to Europe so I am not familiar with the train system. Is it doable? One other question---I am a woman and may possibly be traveling alone. Other than taking the normal precautions, is it safe? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
NewbieTraveler is offline  
Feb 4th, 2004, 08:22 AM
  #2  
rex
 
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Take a look at http://www.raileurope.com/us/common/rail_map/czech.htm - - there's just no good and fast route to get from Innsbruck to Prague. I can't find any specific timetable for sure, but even from Munich, it's almost 7 hrs.

I wouldn't rule out a flight on CSA, but generally speaking this is not somethig you can do in one day, and I would really not even recommend it as a 36 hours excursion (i.e., stay in Prague overnight).

For what it's worth, Trento is a lovely city in Italy, just over the Brenner Pass - - and it would make an excellent day trip.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Feb 4th, 2004, 08:36 AM
  #3  
 
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I agree with Rex that it is not a feasible day trip. From what I can see, the shortest trip by train will take 10 hours and require 3 changes. (I used the Swiss Rail site, which I find easiest to use, rail.ch). You could fly, but the flight will take about 3 hours each way, so it would be hard to do in a day as well, as you need about 40 minutes to get to the city from the airport.

In any event, I am not sure you will get a feel for Prague on a one-day visit in February as it could be very cold and snowy, and although it would be beautiful in its own way, it would not be alive like it is in the summer or early fall months. Take our word for it (speaking for most people on this site), Prague is worth a trip, you don't need to test it out.

Salzburg would be a great 1-2 day trip. You can get to Salzburg by train in 2 hours with no changes (would be a very pretty trip).
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Feb 4th, 2004, 10:49 AM
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Hello, we were all new ones at one stage of our lives. I think we remember it, and that is why so many of us don't mind offering some good help.

I have travelled by train along that line from Zürich to Innsbruck to Salzburg to Vienna more than once.
It is doable. I was however, with my wife, but single women travel frequently. I would not be overly concerned. Normal precautions, of course. Switzerland, Austria, and Germany stike me as being safer to travel in by train than the US.

Let me say this up front, to relieve myself of my own biases. I cannot think of any reason to be a tourist in Innsbruck for a week. If I was attending a short course or a concert series or hitting the ski slopes a few times, that would be different. But to wander the museums and streets of Innsbruck -- 2 days is more than enough unless people know something I don't.

So I think you will be champing at the bit to go see something else rather quickly.

Prague is not feasible unless you stay overnight or travel over night.
To travel overnight, you could leave at
20:38 and arrive at 8:15.

Coming back, the schedule is not so good. Lv Prague 15:20 arr Innsbruck 1:33
Lv Prague 18:17 arr Innsbruck 2:38
The later train schedule amazingly indicates no changes!!I checked the route and it goes through Linz and Salzburg to Zürich. There does not seem to be a comparable one coming back.

During the day, the trip from Innsbruck to Prague will take you 8 hours & 48 minutes. On this connection, you change in Munich and Nürnberg. The trip from Nürnberg to Prague is the slow part. It takes nearly 5 hours. So out of 24 hours you would be on a train for 18 of them.

Coming back, the schedule seems to me to argue even more against attempting it unless you travel overnight. The best return is the train nto Innsbruck at 2:38 AM.

I hate to say to someone don't do it, but for me there is too little pay off time for too much expense and transit time.

Given that you have 3 closer alternatives that are all interesting cities, I would plan on a different objective. Munich is worth seeing too. So is Salzburg. So is Vienna. And, even better, all 3 are much closer.

Munich and Salzburg are very doable; Vienna is not totally out of reach, but it would stretch out to a long day.

Here are some sample schedules and you can make some conclusions based on them, courtesy of Die Bahn schedule website, which is reliable.

Lv Innsbruck 5:00 arr Wien West 9:46
Lv Wien West 18:30 arr Innsbruck 23:17

There is a later train that arrives in Innsbruck after 2 in the morning.

That would give you about 8 hours in Vienna. You could see the Schönberg Palace and have time for lunch and then the Kunsthistorisches Museum, if art interest you, or any of several other objectives in the Hofburg complex.

You could plan on eating on the train coming back. I have had several meals on Austrian trains and found them acceptable. I could pay with Visa or US$ or €.

Salzburg is about 50% closer.
You could follow this schedule:
Lv Innsbruck 5:00 Arr Salzburg 6:57
(time for breakfast)
Lv Innsbruck 7:30 arr Salzburg 9:30

Lv Salzburg 20:30 arr Innsbruck 22:30
2 hours, not bad.
You would have over 10 hours in Salzburg and I think you would be ready for a nap after wandering around that long. Although you might not see everything, you could see a great deal.
The Old City and the Fortress up on the hill are actually in a fairly compact area. The distance from Mirabell Gardens to the Old Town is walkable, and the fort up on the hill takes about 2 to 3 hours, depending on how much you want to linger.

The train station is far enough away from the Old City that you will not want to walk it. To save your endurance, you might want to take a taxi, but those are more expensive and you did not mention budget.

Munich is about 2 hours by train and service is frequent.
You could leave Munich as late as 21:03 and arrive back by 22:56.
Lv 8:38 and get in at 10:25.
or lv at 6:38 and arrive 8:31 before much opens for visiting.

So, to sum it up. Prague is an expensive stretch that really requires an overnight somewhere. Vienna, Salzburg, and Munich are much closer, more quickly reached, and fully interesting.
dixon is offline  
Feb 5th, 2004, 09:50 AM
  #5  
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Thanks so much to all of you for your response and suggestions. Actually, we will be using Innsbruck as a "home base" and have planned several day trips. I still have several free days and am definitely going to go to some of the places that you all suggested. Even though I have only just found this group, I have already gotten so much valuable information. Thanks again!!
NewbieTraveler is offline  
Feb 5th, 2004, 11:31 AM
  #6  
 
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I think you can find a lot of places of high interest within striking distance of Innsbruck.
You might even consider Bozen/
Bolzano in the south Tyrol. While part of Italy, it is bicultural, and the museum there has Ötzi in his ice box.
(If that name means nothing, then ignore it.)
The trip down and the trip back are about 2 hours each on the no change connections. The distance is not that far. If several people rented a car you might make it quicker and cheaper.
The train has to take it easy descending the Brenner Pass.
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