Opinions on Austria/Prague

Feb 11th, 2008, 08:25 AM
  #1  
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Opinions on Austria/Prague

I would like to get some opinions on our itinerary for an Austria/Czech republic trip in early September. The number of days in each place has not yet been decided (Likely around 11 or 12 days). Here is what we have so far:

PHL to MUC
Salzburg
Hallstatt
Vienna
Prague
PRA to PHL

What I would like is some opinions on Vienna to Prague. While I do not think that we can go wrong by going to Prague, I wonder if I am missing anything else in the vicinity of Austria? We have already done much of Bavaria including Munich, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the castles area and really did enjoy that area. It seems that despite all my reading, I still do not know enough about Prague to have anything in particular draw me there. Can anyone share their experiences in and around Austria and/or recommend going on to Prague?

Thanks,


Rich
rcasper73 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2008, 10:09 AM
  #2  
DAX
 
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Your itinerary looks good to me though somewhat ambitious for a 11/12 day trip. Assuming you're going to Salzburg directly from MUC airport, then:

Salzburg & Hallstatt 3-4 days
Vienna 3-4 days
Prague 3-4 days

Prague is worth a visit even though I don't have any desire to return after two visits. Beautiful architecture but no longer cheap for an eastern european city. Comparable hotels cost a lot more than in Germany. I've been to Vienna & Salzburg multiple times and am planning to return this summer. I like Hallstatt but personally a day trip is enough since I'm not a hiker.
DAX is offline  
Feb 11th, 2008, 10:25 AM
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Well, Austria has very different areas. Salzburg is in the mountains, a very cute town with a couple of days worth of things to do, including the surrounding mountains.

vienna is on the central european plain and is essentially flat - no mountain scenery - a fairly large city much of which is 19th or 18th century.

Prague is completely different. Also on the plain - but the city and surroundings are somewhat hilly (NOT mountains). But is is an almost perfectly preserved central european city - with remains from the middle ages on up. (Since Chamberlain gave Czechoslovakia to Hitler before WWII to try to shut him up it never had armies fighting over it - and unlike most of central europe - is original, not 20th century reconstructions. To me it is so much more authentic - seeing the various neighborhoods and how the town grew from the castle district and old town (with well-preserved and incredibly moving ghetto) to the mala strana and then the "new town".

It also has an incredibly active - and inexpensive - music scene of all types - from chamber music to opera, operettas, symphonies,church music, jazz, popular music and clubs playing the latest hits.

And although in the last 5/6 years areas around the old town are starting to look more like western europe - with every chain and designer store - many areas are untouched. Also, we found the food wonderful - and very inexpensive for the quality. On our last visit we had an incredible dinner in a restaurant just below the castle that was sophisticated, delicious and cost less than $150 for dinner for 2 (from amuse bouche to dessert, including wine, water, tip - everything) that would have been at least twice that in NYC or western europe.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 11th, 2008, 10:36 AM
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There are people on here with definite opinions of Vienna. Some like it very much, and some don't like it at all. I am one of the former. We lived in Vienna for 2 yrs in the 1980's. While not as old as some European capitals, the architecture in Vienna is lovely. They have some of the greatest museums in Europe and wonderful food and wine. I would definitely spend at least a couple of days there.

As far as the Salzburg area, there is Hallstatt which we truly love for its drop dead beauty, but there are also the scenic towns of St. Gilgen and Wolfgangsee on St. Wolfgang. I would spend a day in Salzburg and at least 2 or 3 days exploring the rest.
bettyk is offline  
Feb 11th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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Definitely go to Prague...we absolutely loved the city! Stay near the old town square. I think your itinerary looks fine...we spent 3 nights in Salzburg, 3 in Vienna and 4 in Prague.

Have a wonderful trip.
travelfan1 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2008, 11:18 AM
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...but there are also the scenic towns of St. Gilgen and Wolfgangsee on St. Wolfgang.


Sorry, that should be the scenic towns of St. Gilgen and St. Wolfgang ON Wolfgangsee.


bettyk is offline  
Feb 11th, 2008, 12:12 PM
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No, you cannot go wrong with Prague if you haven't been there yet. Although I am with DAX on this. I don't like this city that much and also have no desire to go back. See my recent thread on this subject:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35103859

Between Salzburg and Prague you should try to see the Wachau region. Awesome vineyards, picturesque scenery and small towns. But given your time frame I doubt it is doable.

I.
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Feb 13th, 2008, 03:07 AM
  #8  
jrpinto
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You also might want to check out Bratislava. It is a good day trip from Vienna - only an hour away. It's a beautiful city and everything there is very cheap. You can tour the castle, take a walk around old town, and then make it back to Vienna.
 
Feb 19th, 2008, 06:57 AM
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We did a similar trip Sept/Oct last year (except for Halstatt). Prague is well worth it, but 3 days was enough for us in Prague, we got to see as much as we wished. When in Vienna I would strongly recommend a day trip to Melk Abby and the Wachau Valley.

When staying in Vienna we took the train to Melk, saw the AWESOME Melk Abby (will have you in AWE!!!), once we finished our visit at Melk we took the "Danube River Cruise" from Melk to Krems. It is so beautiful. All the vineyards on the hillsides. If you love wine, especially a nice white wine, the Wachau Valley is great! The boat let us off in the town of Krems. we had dinner here and then took the train back to Vienna. (that was our approach and worked out perfectly, a GREAT day trip from Vienna).

We also took a day trip to Bratislava. Basically got to say we got to see the capital of Slovakia. It is only about an hour train ride from Vienna.

Salzburg is beautiful and LOTS to do. We did a Sound of Music tour which we really enjoyed. We also did a Mozart type tour on our own.

I would strongly recommend the Melk and Danube River Cruise if you are in the Vienna area as a day trip.

Might be able to take a day off from one of your other destinations and use it for Melk.

Hope this helps a little.
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