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One week in Austria - a sin to miss Vienna?

One week in Austria - a sin to miss Vienna?

Old Nov 17th, 2000, 07:59 AM
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One week in Austria - a sin to miss Vienna?

We only have a week, early in July, and the one certainty so far is Salzburg. (We will be crossing paths with our two sons half-way through their 17-day boys' choir tour of Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and Italy. They have two nights in Salzburg.)

Would it be a travesty to miss Vienna? I'm torn between a trip that takes us west of Salzburg into the Alps and one that takes us to Vienna as well. I'm very conflicted on this. We like natural scenery and non-strenuous hiking, but also old cities and culture. We don't like to rush around, however, changing hotels a lot.

Old Nov 17th, 2000, 08:18 AM
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Been to Austria several times and have yet to visit Vienna OR Salzburg!!!
I keep ending up in and around Innsbruck, which is a lovely mountain town, as are the many alpine villages nearby. You have your choice of the Alps/Brenner Pass or further south, towards Cortina, Italy, the Dolomites.
I understand Vienna is wonderful though!
(I WILL get there eventually!)
Hard decision.
Old Nov 17th, 2000, 08:23 AM
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Salzberg is one of the most charming cities I've ever been in. Vienna has some beautiful castles/palices with beautiful gardens and grounds and worth seeing, but there are so many beautiful areas around Salzberg, I'd probable spend more time there and save Vienna for another trip.
Old Nov 17th, 2000, 08:37 AM
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The seccession / art-noveau / jungdesteil (sp?) architecture in Vienna is amazing. While I haven't been to Vienna yet - I studied architecture in grad school and am very intranced with the fin-de-seicle (sp?) architecture of Prague (not yet visited), Vienna (not yet visited) and Budapest (visited and going back). All three cities have their own style in relation to secession / art noveau. A friend of mine, who went to Vienna, really enjoyed himself (even though it rained every day he was there - he went in the early spring I think). It does get very hot in Central Europe in the summer so staying in the mountains might be more desireable. Hope my 2 cents have helped.
Old Nov 17th, 2000, 09:00 AM
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My wife and I did 10 days in Austria this september. Vienna rivals Paris as one of Europe's great cities. There is so much to do there, and it has a wonderful ambiance. What we did was spend 3 days in Vienna, one night in a tiny village on the Danube in the heart of wine country (wonderful bicycling and hiking), two nights in Hallstatt, and two nights in Salzburg. Salzburg is very beautiful, and very near the eastern Alps. There are many hiking and outdoor activities in the Salzkammergut area which is within an hour of Salzburg. Even if you miss Vienna, Austria is a wondeful place. Just realize that Vienna to Salzburg can be driven in about 3 1/2 hours!
Old Nov 17th, 2000, 10:59 AM
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I agree with Art. On our trip last month we were really charmed with Salzburg. Vienna offers some really beautiful, interesting things--unfortunately, between and among them there's a lot of just "big city." One of the few things we would change about out trip would be to add one night in Salzburg and subtract one in Vienna.
Old Nov 17th, 2000, 11:27 AM
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Bill, Not a problem--I would forget Vienna. But, I would not miss these places if you love natural beauty as much as I do. I assume Salzburg.
Hallstatt--St. Gilgen--Berchesgarten--
Konigsee--Oberammergau. That will keep
you busy and properly awe struck.
Old Nov 17th, 2000, 11:37 AM
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Bob -
Interesting you should memtion Oberammergau. My sons' choir will be staying there the night before they get to Salzburg. And they'll be seeing Berchtesgaden as a daytrip after singing at the Salsburg Dome.
Old Nov 17th, 2000, 11:46 AM
Bob Brown
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We were in Salzburg and Vienna last summer, after spending a week in the Swiss Alps south of Interlaken.
I think three full days should give you a good chance to see the premier sights around Salzburg. I discourage a Gray Line Sound of Music Tour because I thought it was a rip off. We mostly rode a bus and saw stuff through the window. We stopped at Mondsee, scene of the wedding church, and St. Gilgen. We had too little time in both places!
Vienna is a very interesting city.
If you are a music buff, you might have a chance to hear some great music. We went to a performance of Die Fledermaus at Die Volksoper. It was first rate!
We also saw a performance by the sylized horses at the Spanish Riding School.
The art museum was interesting but crowded because of a special exhibit on Charles the VI (I think that is who it was.)
Schönbrunn Palace was interesting. To me, it was more of a place where real monarchs lived and worked than was Versailles. But that is of course a personal view.
I am not sure I can tell you what to do, but if the choice is between Vienna and the mountains, I think I would save Vienna for another trip when I could include Budapest and Prague in the package.
Old Nov 17th, 2000, 01:11 PM
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Hi Bill -

I would suggest 2 nights in Salzburg, one night in Hallstatt, and 4 in Vienna. Next time, see Munich, the castles, and the Tirol.

Don't miss Hallstatt.
Old Nov 17th, 2000, 02:24 PM
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I just returned from Vienna for the third time there.

You stated you liked some hiking and scenery. I would save Vienna for a separate trip. It is nice, but it is a large city with large city traffic.

With one week you would enjoy more time in the Salzburg area and especially Berchtesgaden. Then drive the Alpine highway to Garmisch and see Oberammergau, Linderhof, the Alps and all that beauty. You could do this by one hotel in Salzburg area and one hotel in Garmisch area. That would solve you not wanting to spend the week switching hotels every night.

The Alpine road is very scenic. Stop at Reit Am Winkl and all along the way for great photos. We usually stay at the Watzmann in Berchtesgaden and the Hilleprandt in Garmisch. Both are nice small quaint hotels. Have fun, skip Vienna till you have more time.

Another fun thing to do in this part of Germany is to buy the small shields for your walking stick at each town. They are curved to nail on the stick and each town has them for their town. They run about $1 each. I have two sticks full. If you are a hiker, that is a fun thing to collect.
Old Nov 17th, 2000, 02:28 PM
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Having been to both those places and around Austria, I would leave Vienna off this trip if I were you. I just didn't like Vienna that well, it was okay, but I wouldn't rearrange my trip to go there especially. I would definitely not recommend you spend four days there. I just didn't think their museums were that great in comparison to other cities, the main pedestrian street area (Karntnerstrasse?)was very ugly, I couldn't believe it (around St Stephans cathedral), and I'm not big on palaces much. It was horrible weather when I was there, too, so that didn't help (rained every day and was rather cold, and that was in July). I liked Salzburg very well, I'd stick to that area. I kind of got tired of Vienna after seeing the highlights that I was interested in during the first two days, and I was supposed to be there four days, so I went to Hungary. They eat an awful lot of meat there, also, which sort of grossed me out, and I'm not even a vegetarian (ie, one sample retaurant meal I saw on a menu was veal cream soup as an appetizer, followed by wiener schnitzel as main dish, accompanied by a salad with bits of veal in it-- I'm surprised they don't all fall over dead from a heart attack). However, I found Vienna very reasonably priced even though I had heard/read tons of comments as to how expensive it was; it was cheaper than Paris, and a lot cheaper than London.
Old Nov 17th, 2000, 02:56 PM
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Christina -
I'm sorry to hear that you did not enjoy Vienna. I recently returned to Wien this past summer and was amazed at how different it looked and felt (maybe because I went during the month of June). I had lived in Wien for 12 years and found it to be an amazing city. Kaertnerstrasse looked a lot better back then - more sophisticated shop, fewer people, and no gawdy glass building in front of the Stephansdom.
I was just amazed at how much Wien has grown and how modern it has become. I didn't feel the "old-charm" anymore.
The food, however, stayed the same!
Old Nov 19th, 2000, 06:55 PM
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The Alps are definitely a good bet for your entire week. After a couple days of the Salzburg area, head to Innsbruck. There are some fantastic hikes in this very scenic alpine region. There are also some charming little villages. Get a car!
Old Nov 19th, 2000, 07:47 PM
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I had to make a similar decision once & chose Salzburg only. I do not regret it. Salzburg is so charming & just fascinating. There is so much to see and do. Just to absorb the whole city, one week would be wonderful. I definitely would return to Salzburg & if I again missed Vienna, it would be ok. Although someday I hope to see it!

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