Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest

Jul 30th, 2016, 07:00 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 246
Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest

Day 1: Arrive at Munich airport in mid afternoon. Check into hotel, Hilton Munich after arriving from airport. No definite plan for the rest of the day except a little exploring, a nice dinner and bed.
Day 2: Take the Royal Castles Tour of Neuschwanstein & Linderfhof. We have not chosen a tour company but I was thinking Viator.
Day 3: Explore Munich; Marienplatz, Hofbrauhous, Cathedral, maybe the Wittelsbach Palace all day. Would a hop on hop off tour be a good idea for this?
Day 4: Take train to Salzburg to arrive by late morning. Get rid of luggage at hotel and take the Sound of Music tour from 2:00-6:00. Eat dinner somewhere and go to Mozart Concert in Mirabell Gardens.
Day 5: Take the Eagle’s Nest tour from Salzburg all morning. Explore the town of Salzburg all afternoon and evening.
Day 6: Leave on the train for Vienna in the morning. Take the Red Line Hop on Hop off tour with Vienna Sightseeing Tours. The 14th stop is right near the Hilton Stadtpark where we are staying so we would start at that point. We have to decide which pass to buy, 24 or 48 hours in case we would want to use that system the next day. 72 hour passes are also available. Since we have never been to any of these places, one of my biggest questions is how large the whole area is for each city. For instance, if we are in the Ringstrasse area, is it a long walk back to our hotel? I am curious about other transportation options from wherever we may end up back to our hotel throughout the trip.
Day 7: Leave on Orange Line Hop on Hop off tour at 10:00 a.m. for the Esterhazy area which is 30 minutes away. I am a classical musician so I want to see the Esterhazy Palace and grounds where Haydn lived and worked. In the afternoon we would go to the Central Cemetery to look for some of the famous grave sites and spend whatever time we have left in the city center.
Day 8: Take the Schoenbrunn & Belvedere Palace Tour with Vienna Sightseeing. This tour company looked to have the tour that was most appealing for what we want to see. Spend the rest of our time in Vienna as we wish.
Day 9: Take the train to Budapest in the morning. Spend the rest of the day exploring Budapest. Take an evening Danube boat cruise. We are staying in the Hilton Budapest.
Day 10: Spend exploring Budapest.
Day 11: Fly back to the USA from Budapest.

We are assuming we will always go straight to our hotel each time we change cities and either check in or have our luggage stored until our room is ready. We are both planning to make do with a carry on size suitcase and an additional good sized cabin bag that will slide over the handles of our suitcases with wheels. We just invested in Briggs and Riley luggage for the ease of putting two bags together. We still plan to check the larger bags(domestic carry on size) so we won’t have to worry about any issues with taking too much on an international flight and we also wanted to keep in mind that we will be having to do some walking with our luggage to get to and from each train station.
One of the decisions I would like to get feedback on is whether to purchase a Eurail pass or buy another type of ticket, such as a ticket from each city to the next. We have no problem with buying first class tickets for the comfort, security, and to have a reserved seat.
My other learning curve is figuring out how to best get around each city if we need some transportation instead of walking or being on a specific tour that involves a bus as part of the tour. Taxi, subway, Uber???
We are more interested in seeing the overall sights, the castle and palace tours, scenery and just the ambiance of each city. We aren’t too big on museums but I am interested in seeing places related to composers as I mentioned before. This will be our first time to any of these places and we are in our early 60’s but in good shape. I appreciate any advice!
jet519 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2016, 07:10 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 246
I meant to say that we are planning the trip for September of 2017! Thanks
jet519 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2016, 10:07 PM
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I live in Vienna, is the caveat with which I offer my comments on that portion of your itinerary.

Vienna Sightseeing HOHO can be practical and efficient if you are no-nonsense, hit-the-ground running kind of travelers who can mesh sightseeing time with the bus schedule. Otherwise, it's just an expensive waste of time.

The Ringstraße is 5km around. For the price of one or perhaps two WienerLienen tickets (€2,30, maybe €2,50 now?) you can " hop off" the trams at any stop of interest for photos and a quick read of your guide book, then "hop on" and continue. With the HOHO bus you putter through Ringstraße traffic from one stop to another for the same photos, tied to a schedule, and at a much higher cost. Many of the "highlights" described on the Red Line HOHO are in the pedestrian-only area of the InnerStadt, or directly across the street, anyway, so this particular line seems a waste of money.

Esterhazy Palace is an hour from Vienna. If you catch the first Orange HOHO you reach the palace at 1100. The next connection to Vienna seems return at 1340. From your hotel you have a 30 minute U-Bahn/tram connection to the Zentralfriedhof, a cemetery of 620 acres. After searching for "famous grave sites," you'll likely have no time left for the city center.

I do not know what added value Vienna Sightseeing offers for Schloss Schönbrunn tours; the U4 goes right from Stadtpark to the palace, and if you book your ticket online you can skip the queue, pick up an audio guide, and tour the palace at your own pace. (And, strolling the gardens is always free.) From Schönbrunn connections on public are easy (and likely faster than puttering in traffic) to Belvedere, if you haven't yet discovered that Schönbrunn can easily take the better part of a day to enjoy.

I hope this is helpful.
fourfortravel is online now  
Jul 31st, 2016, 01:48 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,926
In Munich I took their free tour tipping 5 E at the end
It was very well done.
Rhea58 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2016, 06:07 AM
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Thank you very much, this is exactly the information I need to know.
jet519 is offline  
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