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Itinerary help!!! - Germany\Austria\Italy - So much to see!

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Itinerary help!!! - Germany\Austria\Italy - So much to see!

Old Jun 25th, 2006, 02:56 AM
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Itinerary help!!! - Germany\Austria\Italy - So much to see!

Hi,

My husband and I are heading through Germany/Austria/Italy for 24 days in October. I'm trying to finalize the schedule so I can start booking things but I keep seeing more things I'd like to add and I'm not sure what to cut.

Here's what there so far, the -> indicates where we'd spend the night:

Day 1 -> Rothenburg - Nightwatchmen's tour
Day 2 -> Rothenburg - drive to Wurzburg and other towns along the RR
Day 3 -> Ausburg - stopping in Dinkelsbuhl and Nordlingen
Day 4 - tour Ausburg, over to Dachau Memorial then -> Schwangau
Day 5 - Schwangau - Neuschwanstein\Hohenschwangau tour, to Wattens for Swarovski tour -> Innsbruck
Day 5 -> Werfen - Hohenwerfen castle, Eisriesenwelt Ice Caves
Day 6 -> Berechtesgaden - Eagle's Nest
Day 7 -> Hallstatt - Dachstein Ice Cave, Salt Mine, St.Gilgen, St. Wolfgang
Day 8 -> Salzburg - Mozart sites
Day 9 -> Salzburg - Hellbrunn Castle, Mirabell Palace, Hohensalzburg Castle
Day 10 -> Vienna - stop by Linz, Mauthausen: Concentration Camp
Day 11 -> Vienna - Lipizzaner practice, Hofburg Palace, Vienna Philharmonic
Day 12 -> Vienna - Schonbrunn Palace, Haus Der Musik, Theatre an der Wien (magic flute)
Day 13 -> Vienna - Mozart sites, Volksoper (marriage of figaro)
Day 14 -> Vienna - tour Staatsoper, concert at night
Day 15 -> Treviso - tour the town
Day 16 -> Treviso - day trip to Venice
Day 17 -> Treviso - day trip to Venice
Day 18 -> Treviso - day trip to Padua
Day 19 -> Sora - meet up with husband's parents
Day 20 -> Sora - tour the town
Day 21 -> Sora - tour the town
Day 22 -> Rome - tour the city
Day 23 -> Rome - tour the city
Day 24 -> to home

The first 10 days are my main concern. There's so much to see in those areas and staying only one night in so many places.

Also, for Day 10 itself I'm not sure if we should stay in Salzburg another day or head to Vienna? From Day 11-14 we have an opera or concert every night in Vienna so I thought it would be nice to get there on Day 10 but there's also much to do in the Salzburg\Salzkammergut area.

Any input would be much appreciated!!
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Old Jun 25th, 2006, 03:12 AM
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If your goal is to see as much as possible in the 1st 10 days then I think this itinerary accomplishes that.

For my travel style there is far too much transit (check out of hotel, pack up car, drive to town 1, drive to town 2, etc). I much prefer to have a single local base for at least a couple of nights at a stretch.

For me travelling around Europe is as much about soaking in the local sights, sounds, smells as it is 'hitting' all the tourist sites.

Morning stroll around town, following my nose to pastry shop/cafe, finding a nice food market mid day and packing a picnic lunch to enjoy on the town square, window shopping, finding the unexpected. After about day 2 I'd find myself road weary and ready for a day at the spa.

For some people your itinerary makes sense. Most posters on Fodors tend to be of the 'slow down a little and actaually enjoy where you are' ilk.
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Old Jun 25th, 2006, 03:22 AM
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I'll start: You have a lot of one night stays. When that happens, you really lose much of the day in packing, schlepping, unpacking and the like. Also, when you think about it, say you get to city X in the pm and leave the next noon: What can you really see or do that isn't rushed? Depending on your age and temperment, this can really turn a fun vacation into a "If it's Tuesday, I must be in ______" whirlwind. We shoot for at least two days in one spot, and prefer three.

That having been said, here are one person's comments on your itinerary:
--Rothenburg: assuming you're travelling overnight from the states, you will likely be a zombie that first night. Our experience is that making it to an 8/9pm tour is unlikely.

--Skip Innsbruck--hardly seemed worth our stop in comparison to other places on your list

--Rather than one night stays in Werfen, Berchtesgaden and Hallstatt, you might pick one place as your base (possibly Salzburg) and day trip to the others. Are you driving or training? If the latter, pick a spot with good bus and rail connections.

--You really only have one day in Rome, depending upon when you arrive from Sora. Since you have 5 nights in Vienna and four near Venice, you might cut a night from one of those and add to Rome--or drop one of your other places like Innsbruck, Augsburg.

Hope this helps.
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Old Jun 25th, 2006, 06:24 AM
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Ditto everything above.

(you have listed TWO Day 5's so I'm a bit confused) In any case, between Day 3 and day 8 you are sleeping in 7 different town. That is simply nuts.

And I especially ditto the issue of the night time tour if this is your first night after flying transatlantic.
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Old Jun 25th, 2006, 07:28 AM
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Hi P,

Ditto the above.

This is not a vacaton, it is an expedition.

Slow down a little.

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Old Jun 25th, 2006, 07:42 AM
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Hmmm ! It seems you have read too much of Rick Steves. I see a max of 7 hotels in this itinerary if done well. Any more in not neccessary. It has real potential if you do not go crazy. I love the basic trip.
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Old Jun 25th, 2006, 07:52 AM
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Hi Pliant - You might want to start with Wurzburg, otherwise you will be backtracking. If I'm wrong on this I trust other fodorites will correct me. I personnaly did not find Ausburg worth the time my first time around the area and have skipped it since. Ditto on what others have said about Innsbruck.
You seem to be a Mozart afficiando as I am. In that case, consider the Best Western Tigra Hotel in Vienna. Its building is where Wolfgang and Leopold stayed for his Vienna debut and where Wolfgang later had an apartment as an adult. The hall where his debut took place is just around the corner. The hotel itself is quite nice, in a convenient inner ring location. The street itself is nothing special. It has one of the best breakfast buffets in my travel experience.
If you plan to see the Vienna Philarmonic you should already be getting your tickets. They usually sell out far in advance.
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Old Jun 25th, 2006, 08:28 AM
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Salzburg as a base for days 6 to 9 is my suggestion as well. All of those sites are very close to town and an easy day trip. There are tours out of Salzburg that could encompass both.

Few more comments on Salzburg portion:

The fortress can be done in two hours, maybe more if you walk up rather than take the funicular.

Mirabell gardens can be done in one hour unless you linger at the cafe.

Do you really want to do two ice cave tours?
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Old Jun 25th, 2006, 08:32 AM
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Yipes, this is way too much, in my opinion. I'm assuming that you will have a car?
You can combine your Munich(Dachau) and Salzburg and Berchtesgaden items and stay in one spot for quite a few nites. I would pick somehwere on the outskirts of Salzburg or B'gaden. From there, you can take the train to Munich (or drive if you want to) and you can drive into Salzburg, Mauthausen and Hallstadt very easily. Are you good hikers? The Dachstein caves require some hiking and this could be tough (and slippery) in October - depending upon the weather.Also, I personally would allow more time for the Konigsee and other spots in and around Berchtesgaden. I would allow more than 2 days in Rome
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Old Jun 25th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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Just reading your itinerary got me tired. Too many changes of hotels, too much pakcing and unpacking.

Skip Innsbruck. Not that exciting.

We usually stay in Berchtesgaden and drive over to Salzburg. This is a short trip and we enjoy the smallness of Berchtesgaden to Salzburg, but either town is a good base.

Venice: Day trips are not the way to enjoy this town. The days are crowded there due to the daytrippers. In the evening Venice quietens down and you can really begin to enjoy the city without all the people. If you only day trip Venice you will not like the experience.

Rome: Two days? Wow! Good luck on this one.

Bottom line: Slow down and eliminate some things to see. This way you will actually enjoy the trip and not be packing and unpacking all the time. Dachau is interesting, but a real downer. Would not be on my list as a must see for your trip.
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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 04:47 AM
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Recipe for an emotional breakdown of some sort. Change DAY 6: do nothing, read a book, nap, relax, nap, take a walk, nap, but most of all do nothing stressfull. And I agree with everyone else. Pick a base for at least 2 nights (3-4 better) and try to eliminate 1 nighters. Weather may impact plans also. Be prepared for disruptions to the plan. Its way to tight as you have it. Try Rothenburg - Fussen - Salzburg - Vienna - etc. We stay at the Zum Ross in Eibelstadt. Its midway between Wurzburg and Rothenburg. Enjoy your trip!
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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 07:27 AM
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Thanks for all the advice and suggestions!

I should have mentioned that we are flying overnight from Canada but on Day 0, so we are arriving in the morning on Day 1. I thought we would nap and then be ready for the tour in the evening.

I choose Rothenburg instead of Wurzburg for the first 2 nights since I really like the hotel we are staying at there. I figure either way we'd have to backtrack, either back from Rothenburg to visit Wurzburg or back from Rothenburg to spend the night in Wurzburg.

I'm considering cutting the night in Augsburg and doing 2 in Schwangau instead, but I'm not sure.

I have decided to cut Innsbruck tho and make Salzburg the base for day 5 - 9. How long do you usually drive to make day trip? Is 1.5 hours ok or is that too long?

basingstoke1, I looked into the hotel that you recommended but its out of our budget. We were planning on getting an apartment outside of the main area (district 21) that someone else on this board had recommended. It about a 30minute into the city by transit. Do you think this will be a hassle? Haven't got the Vienna Philharmonic tickets yet as they are not on sale. But i'm hoping to be able too!

chicagolori & EmilyC, one ice cave tour would be fine, just not sure which to pick! have you visited either of them that you could recommend?

traveldawg, in Treviso there is a train that takes 20mins to Venice and runs til midnight so we would be staying in Venice into the evening. I was considering doing one night in Venice but was having problems finding a place that fits our budget and is available.

There is another day in Rome, I messed up the days when I was entering the itinerary and had 2 day 5's but no 25.

Anyways, here is the updated itinerary:
Day 0 -> overnight flight from Canada
Day 1 -> Rothenburg - arrive in morning, Nightwatchmen's tour in evening
Day 2 -> Rothenburg - drive to Wurzburg and other towns along the RR
Day 3 -> Augsburg (or Schwangau) - stopping in Dinkelsbuhl and Nordlingen, other RR towns
Day 4 - tour Ausburg, towns along RR -> Schwangau
Day 5 - Schwangau - Neuschwanstein\Hohenschwangau tour, to Wattens for Swarovski tour -> Salzburg
Day 6 -> Salzburg, day trip to Berechtesgaden, Eagle's nest, Munich(Dachau Memorial)
Day 7 -> Salzburg, day trip to Werfen - Hohenwerfen castle, Eisriesenwelt or Dachstein Ice Caves, Hallstatt, Salt Mine
Day 8 -> Salzburg, day trip to St. Gilgen, St. Wolfgang
Day 9 -> Salzburg - Mozart sites, Hellbrunn Castle, Mirabell Palace, Hohensalzburg Castle
Day 10 -> Vienna - stop by Linz, Mauthausen: Concentration Camp
Day 11 -> Vienna - Lipizzaner practice, Hofburg Palace, Vienna Philharmonic
Day 12 -> Vienna - Schonbrunn Palace, Haus Der Musik, Theatre an der Wien (magic flute)
Day 13 -> Vienna - Mozart sites, Volksoper (marriage of figaro)
Day 14 -> Vienna - tour Staatsoper, concert at night
Day 15 -> Treviso - tour the town
Day 16 -> Treviso - trip to Venice
Day 17 -> Treviso - trip to Venice
Day 18 -> Treviso - trip to Padua
Day 19 -> Sora - meet up with husband's parents
Day 20 -> Sora - tour the town
Day 21 -> Sora - tour the town
Day 22 -> Rome - tour the city
Day 23 -> Rome - tour the city
Day 23 -> Rome - tour the city
Day 25 -> to home

any better?

bobthenavigator, i haven't checked out any of rick steve's recommendations...most of this itinerary came from reading trip reports on this message board...after every one i'd read i'd want to add more stuff since they'd make it sound so great!
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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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"after every one i'd read i'd want to add more stuff" -- but you probably also noticed on most of those threads the advice was "slow down, you are trying to do too much"

The comments about the nightwatchmen's tour still stand. After an overnight transatlantic flight you most likely will be in no condition to do any night time activities. Taking a nap might help you make it through the tour (probably not though) - but it will also mean your body clocks will be so messed up that it will take days longer to get over the jet lag.

People are different - but for most it is best on the first day to stay outdoors in the fresh air, eat light lunch/dinner, and get to bed by about 9:00 or 9:30. That way you are on "Europe time" by the next morning instead of several days later.

Museums, galleries, concerts, and late night activities just usually don't work out the first day.
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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 09:26 AM
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I think the Nightwatchman's tour should be something left open until you see how you feel. We took the Nightwatchman's tour the same day we arrived in Europe and we had no problems whatsoever. I think a lot of it will depend on how well you handle jetlag. We handle jetlag pretty well, and also took about an hour long nap in the afternoon so we were more than up for it.

Honestly, you could see most of Salzburg in one full day. Its a fairly small and compact city. This would give you the next few days to daytrip. I think a drive of up to an hour and a half for a daytrip is more than fine. I think you are shortchanging Berchtesgaden and its surrounding area though. You have a visit to the Eagles Nest and then going up to Munich, but there is much to see in the area. The Konigssee is a gorgeous crystal-clear lake in a fjord-like setting that I highly recommend. Bertchtesgaden itself is a pleasant town worthy of a few hours.

Tracy

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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 09:26 AM
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I typically like to choose a city and spend an entire week there. However, quite a few years back (when we were traveling without kids) my husband and I stayed with friends just outside of Heidelberg for a couple of days, then drove around Bavaria/the Romantic Road, staying in a different little town every night. Although I would probably say it was insanity if I read our itinerary now, it was really relaxing. The factors that made it a nice trip: There were only two of us; we had a car; we made hotel reservations by the day, so we weren't tied to a specific itinerary; it was off season (February), so we didn't need to worry about lines or crowds anywhere we went. It was sort of a "drive around Germany and end up back in Heidelberg by Friday" type of trip and it was actually very pleasant.
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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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We will be travelling with a car and are young and handle jetlag quite well. We were in Ireland last year for our honeymoon and didn't find it that bad. After a nap on the first day we were ready to go!!

Not sure if I could just book hotels the day of though. I like to have things planned, at least where we're spending the nights.

I've been looking into Berchtesgaden more and it does look very beautiful and like there is a lot to do there. I keep shifting the Dachau Memorial around. It's kind of out of the way for our trip no matter where we are but my husband really wants to see it even though we are going to stop by Linz, Mauthausen: Concentration Camp as well. Can anyone comment on either of these and if its worth a stop at both?
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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 10:24 AM
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"Can anyone comment on either of these and if its worth a stop at both?"

That's a tough question. I had family on both sides of the war and have traveled to Germany many times. I've never been to a concentration camp and really have no desire to go. Maybe that says less of me. I don't know. I have watched many films of the Holocaust and have studied it and Stalin's massacres amd the atrocities of the Japanese including the "Rape of Nanking". These events should never be forgotten and it should never be assumed that they couldn't happen again. But I don't care to see it while on vacation, I guess because it would make me feel guilty that I'm here and they are not. If I could go there without feeling a high level of pain and anguish, I may one day. In the meantime I won't.
I said all that to say this:
It's a very personal matter that you need to decide for yourself.
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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 11:49 AM
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Good for you---that is better.
You are going to a wonderful area and you want to have time to enjoy.
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 01:09 PM
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Day 6 -> Salzburg, day trip to Berechtesgaden, Eagle's nest, Munich(Dachau Memorial)

This is way too much for one day!

Day 6 - A day trip to Berchtesgaden with a trip to the Eagle's Nest and the Konigsee is pretty much a full day and you didn't leave time to see the town..



Day 7 -> A day trip to St. Leonhardt and take the cable car up to the caves. This is nearly a full day and involves hiking.Finish the day by taking a drive over the Rossfeldstrasse or over to the Konigsee


Day 8 -> Salzburg, day trip to St. Gilgen, St. Wolfgang
This is OK

Day 9 -> Salzburg - Mozart sites, Hellbrunn Castle, Mirabell Palace, Hohensalzburg Castle
And this is OK

Sorry to chop up your itinerary but you've got too much crammed in.
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Old Jul 4th, 2006, 05:32 AM
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Thanks Emily. I've changed things again for the days you were concerned about:

Day 1 -> Rothenburg - Nightwatchmen's tour
Day 2 -> Rothenburg - drive to Wurzburg and other towns along the RR
Day 3 stop in Dinkelsbuhl, Nordlingen, Augsburg, Weiskirche -> Schwangau
Day 4 -> Schwangau - Neuschwanstein\Hohenschwangau tour, Tegelburg Mountain
Day 5 -> Schwangau - to Wattens for Swarovski tour, Alpine road -> Hallstatt
Day 6 -> Hallstatt, salt mine tour, boat on Hallstattsee, hike around the area
Day 7 -> Salzburg - day trip to Werfen - Hohenwerfen castle, Eisriesenwelt
Day 8 -> Salzburg - Mozart sites, Hellbrunn Castle, Mirabell Palace, Hohensalzburg Castle
Day 9 -> Salzburg - day trip to St. Gilgen, St. Wolfgang, horseback riding

I cut out Berechtesgaden because it seemed something had to go or no matter how I rearranged it things were rushed. Now I thinks its a little more relaxed.


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