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Prague, Vienna and Salzburg - is this the right order?

Prague, Vienna and Salzburg - is this the right order?

Old Feb 18th, 2020, 06:19 PM
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Prague, Vienna and Salzburg - is this the right order?

I am just starting the planning process. And I am looking for any feedback regarding the order of the cities we’ll visit. Once I know our arrival and departure city, I can begin to fill in the number of days in each city (or cities in between).

I can plan for up to 14 days with day 1 the day we arrive in a Europe and day 14 the day we depart.

As for the order of the cities and the approximate number of days, I am thinking…

Prague – 4 days (includes arrival day)

Vienna – 4 days

Salzburg – 5 days (includes departure day)

I could add one extra day in any city or a add city in between any of these. I prefer to use rail to travel between cities.

I know that flying out of Salzburg could add one more leg to our flight home, I just thought it would be nice to end our trip there.

Any thoughts or feedback?

Thank you!
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Old Feb 18th, 2020, 07:09 PM
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First, I'm not sure I understand your strategy, as mine is to figure out my ideal itinerary and only then try to identify how to order various places and what my options are for flights. I'm not saying your strategy is wrong -- just noting that I can't necessarily respond to your specific questions.

Some other comments:
  • I'm not sure I follow your accounting of time, as you don't seem to consider the time it takes to get from place to place. And that's not just the actual transit time, but also time to get to/from your lodging, check in/out, pack/unpack/, get lost/oriented. Although it varies from person to person, assuming that you will spend a half day for any transition is not an unreasonable starting point.
  • Your distribution of time seems unusual:
    • only 4 days in Vienna? Perhaps enough for you; some of us want closer to 5 full days there, even for a first visit. Depends on your interests and pace!
    • 5 days for Salzburg? I travel HARD -- on the move every possible moment -- and thought 2 days sufficient.
    • It really depends on what YOU want to see and experience!
Hope that helps!
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Old Feb 18th, 2020, 07:18 PM
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I was wondering what you had planned for Salzburg? You might consider taking a couple nights off of it and adding to Vienna and Prague. The way I count it is 4 nights = 3 full days. So if you're spending 4 full days in Salzburg, well, that might be reasonable depending on day trips or perhaps you'd rent a car and spend a couple of nights in St. Wolfgang area -- just an idea.
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Old Feb 18th, 2020, 07:36 PM
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We did it the opposite way two years ago. Flew into Munich to meet family for two nights then trained to Salzburg for 3 nights, 3 nights in Vienna and finished with 3 nights in Prague. It was a relaxed pace and I wouldn’t have changed any of it. Other than Munich, we hadn’t visited any of those cities before and were by no means trying to everything. We can go back to focus on sites unseen if we choose.
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Old Feb 18th, 2020, 08:23 PM
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Hi, I think the order is just fine but not sure if you also account for travel days - every time you move you lose the best part of a day, so maybe you wouldn't have all those days after all. Rejig to factor them in!

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Old Feb 18th, 2020, 08:24 PM
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Providing you can find flights home from Salzburg, I think your plan sounds good. As for how much time in each place, well that's such a personal choice and I think what you've allocated is fine.

fwiw, we spent four nights in Salzburg just recently. We had one day trip out to St Gilgen and St Wolfgang, and a few hours another day at Untersberg. We found we didn't have enough time to see all we wanted to see in Salzburg nor enough time to do another day trip out of town, which we'd hoped for but that's okay. Perhaps we're just slow but we enjoyed it.

We also visited Vienna and Prague, and although both are lovely, of the two we preferred Prague (this was around the new year period).

Train is the best way to go with this plan. The journey time between Prague and Salzburg is quite long, by any route, so I'd try to avoid that if you can. Westbahn have some wonderfully cheap deals between Vienna and Salzburg.

I get confused when people plan their itinerary in 'days' (I prefer nights) so not sure whether you have extra time available but if you do, and you don't want to add to your other destinations, I'd consider a night or two in Melk, Krems or Durnstein (which we didn't get to but would have liked to).
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 05:18 AM
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Thank you everyone! This is exactly the kind of feedback I needed. When I first starting sketching it out, I did list the stays in nights (which is how I break things down when I develop our itinerary) but thought it was bit confusing.

I envy those that travel "hard", it was the way my family traveled when I was young. But when we travel with our two daughters (19 and 22), I have to build in time for them to hang out in coffee shops and journal or let them plant themselves somewhere to sketch a out a view or two.

I have noted all of the tips but I'm sure I'll be back with more questions. I really appreciate the Forum on Fodor's.
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 06:35 AM
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I agree on trimming your time in Salzburg. I visited it as a day trip from Munich and felt I'd seen enough in a day (which I know is silly, maybe a night there would be nice) that I'd have been hard pressed to spend more than 2 days there without doing a bunch of day trips, I think. Prague and Vienna are both worthy of more time.
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 07:39 AM
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I would not cut your time in Salzburg. We had 3 full days and did a day trip on one of those and felt that we could have used at least another day. We like fast travel too so there was no lingering.
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 08:31 AM
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I would look to fly out of Munich. Far more non-stop options. There are direct trains Salzburg to Munich Hbf every hour or so, all day long. Travel time 1hr 30min. And from there you connect to the S-bahn to the airport. Departures every 12min, 46min ride.
You could travel to Munich the night before, stay near the Hauptbahnhof (Hbf), then get a S-bahn to the airport the day of your flight, at you convenience.
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 12:37 PM
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Taking a feeder flight from Salzburg to Vienna or London to connect to a transatlantic flight is the only way to avoid an extra night for nothing in either Munich or Vienna. Most flights to North America depart in the AM hours, so I would not bet on German Rail and the Munich S-Bahn to provide an on-time service from Salzburg at, say, 6am to catch a 10am flight from Munich. For ages, the mainline between Munich and Salzburg has been under construction here and there.
If flying home from Salzburg should be too costly, you could think of biting the bullet and re-arrange the destinations in this order: Prague - Salzburg -Vienna. While Prague-Salzburg is not a great connection to travel by rail as already mentioned, it will put you in the right location at the end of your trip for an AM flight back home from Vienna.
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Miki2621 View Post
Thank you everyone! This is exactly the kind of feedback I needed. When I first starting sketching it out, I did list the stays in nights (which is how I break things down when I develop our itinerary) but thought it was bit confusing.
For me, the idea is that you list each day and you put something like this:

Sunday--Tour Prague, sleep Prague
Monday--Prague. Travel to Vienna, sleep Vienna.

​​​​​​I then highlight all the days where I am not moving from one hotel to the next to see if I have a good balance.

Originally Posted by Miki2621 View Post
But when we travel with our two daughters (19 and 22), I have to build in time for them to hang out in coffee shops and journal or let them plant themselves somewhere to sketch a out a view or two.
Vienna and Prague are good choices, then. Vienna for its coffee houses. Prague I urge you to stay in Mala Strana, for less bustle than Old Town yet really lovely views and quite scenic.

I stayed in an apartment in this section. For a hotel, look at where my cousins stayed:
https://kampagarden.cz/en/

Also in Prague, there is a park with great views of the city. And St Nicholas in Mala Strana, the tower was open until 9 pm or so for the views.

Last edited by 5alive; Feb 20th, 2020 at 12:03 AM.
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Old Feb 20th, 2020, 12:58 AM
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If flight availability means that you need to travel from Prague to Salzburg, then you could perhaps break the journey in Cesky Krumlov or another small Czech town. The bus or train to Cesky Krumlov is about 3hrs and there are a range of shuttle services from there to Salzburg (or you could take a bus or train to Linz and train from there). We did this in reverse a couple of months ago.
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Old Feb 20th, 2020, 03:33 AM
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You don't mention (or, I missed) the time of year you will be traveling, which might affect your itinerary.

In summer or autumn, I would add a day for Vienna for you from Salzburg to go to the top of the vineyards (easily accessible on public). At the terminus of the 38A bus on Kahlenberg is a cafe, where one can admire and sketch the views over the Danube. Then, everyone can wander down into Grinzing or Nußdorf through the picturesque vineyards for lunch or a snack at a heuriger and perhaps more sketching of the charming village. I'd change Salzburg to 4 days and enjoy the mountain tops via the summer gondolas.

~Everyone~ has a favorite cafe in Vienna. Our favorites were Cafe Schwarzenberg (for its old-world style and quite decent Tafelspitz); Cafe Burg Ring 1 (for its bit of an independent expression); Gerstners near Opera (make reservations for lunch upstairs in the palace room; and the HausTorte is fabs); and Meierei-Diglas in Türkenschanzpark. This last cafe was across the street from where we lived and is set in a pretty park, and DDog and I would often stop for a Soda Zitrone or Veltliner while on our afternoon outing. I would only recommend it for warm weather (and make reservations around the lunch/dinner time.)

For an incredible Old World feel, consider a sketching day trip to Bratislava and explore the side streets.

In winter I would keep your Salzburg itinerary and take advantage of the gondolas (Zwölwferhorn and Untersberg) going to the top of area mountains for both cozy Hütte and amazing views; and for the charming Advent and Christmas markets in the Salzkammergut.

For Prague, if summer or autumn, consider a morning or afternoon outing to Vysehrad for the views and the sketching.

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Old Feb 20th, 2020, 09:28 AM
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Thank you again everyone for the insights and tips. I am taking it all in and will begin to narrow it down.

fourfortravel - We are traveling in the summer - mid-June.

lizzyfields778 - Interesting that you brought up Budapest. I did originally consider including it as an additional city but when looking at the travel logistics, felt it would be too much to properly incorporate. I had not thought of Bratislava but will consider including it now but likely as a day trip from Vienna.

I have one daughter that wants to include Prague because of the genealogy research she had done on our family. The other daughter, just wants to take in areas of beauty and has always been taken with the sights of Salzburg from the Sound of Music. So I am trying to include something for everyone.
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Old Feb 20th, 2020, 10:34 AM
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I also visited Salzburg with a Sound of Music lover and we thoroughly enjoyed the Fraulein Maria’s Sound of Music bike tour. It was low key and super fun!
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Old Feb 20th, 2020, 11:05 AM
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I agree with fourfortravel about Vysehrad. We went there on both of our trips to Prague, summer and autumn, and it remains one of our fondest memories. Gorgeous views, interesting small church, beautiful national cemetery, and very few tourists!
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Old Feb 20th, 2020, 11:53 AM
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<<In summer or autumn, I would add a day for Vienna for you from Salzburg to go to the top of the vineyards (easily accessible on public). At the terminus of the 38A bus on Kahlenberg is a cafe, where one can admire and sketch the views over the Danube. Then, everyone can wander down into Grinzing or Nußdorf through the picturesque vineyards for lunch or a snack at a heuriger and perhaps more sketching of the charming village.>>

That's exactly what we did, four4, including a tour of Beethoven's summer house and the nearby Heurige, which we enjoyed very much. Indeed we enjoyed all the Heurige so much that we could never agree on how many we visited.
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Old Feb 21st, 2020, 06:52 AM
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You might look into the flights available in and out of Munich and Prague to determine your order. Salzburg is a short drive from Munich, and you can get better flight times from this larger airport. We have based entire trips on the flight schedules, depending on what is the better order of flights arriving and departing. Also as a side note, I would take a side trip from Prague into Dresden by train--it's only an hour or so away and beautiful!
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