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Prague - Vienna - Salzberg: Best route/home base

Prague - Vienna - Salzberg: Best route/home base

May 19th, 2014, 01:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Prague - Vienna - Salzberg: Best route/home base

We arrive in Prague April 2 at noon and plan to spend 3 nights (with my husband and 3 teenagers). After Prague, I THINK we want to see Vienna, Salzburg and Munich. We have 5 nights before we have to fly back to London to meet friends, relax, see some sites and fly home.

Rather than ask for city-oriented advice, perhaps is would be best to state our goals and ask how to best accomplish them. I have read some threads with great advice asking some posters why certain cities are even in their itinerary if they don't know what they want to do there...

Here is what I think we want to do:

The zoo and treasury in Vienna (day trip from Salz? or one night?).

Salz. ideas: Sound of Music tour, Hohensulzberg Fortress, Mozart's birthplace?, salt mines? (clearly I need help with attractions).

Then, we want to see a "fairytale" castle or two ...??? and a Holocaust museum -
BMW museum? I heard Munich is nice to walk around.

Obviously it is best not to be moving around with a family of 5 every other day - Is there a good home base for all of this? My biggest challenge may be that I do not know the location of all of these places. For example, if the Vienna zoo is 2 hours south of the city, we won't go. We will travel by plane/train, guided tour or bus (no car rental).

My kids are super easy going (17, 14, 12) and will soak up everything they can in a museum and be equally as happy hiking in the alps.

We do have spg points and if we had one city as a home base for all 5 nights, we could use points for 4 and get the 5th night free...

Thank you in advance for help. I just booked the tickets last night and I need to start narrowing down on our goals... I read a thread about a great 19 Euro train to from Salz to Munich for all 5 of us...
Jill02 is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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I think that is a 29 euro Bavarian Lander Pass you are talking about from Salzburg to Munich - buy it at the Salzburg train station - you are restricted to regional trains like the new Meridian trains that take a little longer but for such savings the way to go. Those trains you just hop on with a valid Bavarian pass.

For lots of great info on trains in those countries I always spotlight these IMO superb sources: www.seat61.com (great info on discounted tickets in general); www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com - there is a Eastern European railpass that is valid in Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary that lets you hop any train anytime in those countries with very few exceptions - if wanting full flexibility to just show up at stations and board it could be a good deal.

But you can also nab discounted tickets from the Austrian Railways site and Czech Railways site, etc but those are sold in limited numbers and thus must be booked far in advance to guarantee and may have restrictions on them about changing or refunding so be sure of your dates.
PalenQ is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 02:04 PM
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Thanks PalenQ! I am definitely starting well in advance! Hard to compare train fares though until I know where I am going... The ticket I read about at 19 Euro (older post though) was called the Bayern - Same thing as the Lander? I just read another thread about a sleeper car from Prague to Vienna - It was crazy long! I will find the money and fly before I do an 8 hour train ride...

Would one night in Vienna then 4 nights in Fussen as a home base work?
Jill02 is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 02:55 PM
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What do you intend to do if you have one single night in Vienna, which means a few short hours in the afternoon and evening, and leaving again the next morning? I would not start in a city the size, variety and importance of Vienna with less than 3 full days, and that's 4 nights not 2. Otherwise better skip it and save yourselves the huge detour, and focus on Salzburg and the Bavarian Alps for your short trip.
quokka is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 08:14 PM
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Really good point quokka. I think we can nix Vienna.

So, 5 nights Salzburg /Fussen?/Munich - how to divide it up...

Best way to get from Munich to London?
Jill02 is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 03:04 AM
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For the castle, Werfen castle, as well as the Salzburg castle are good places to go.
I liked Salzburg and it's surroundings a lot, I stayed there for 4 days doing day trips to places closeby, Halstatt, Munich, Gosau and Berchtesgaden, all were great.
A day trip to Munich works well too, you leave by the 9.30 AM or so train, spend the day and come back to Salzburg late in the night.
Similarly, the Lake District(Halstatt, Gosau,St.Wolfgang) provide excellent hiking/walking opportunities.
You can have a look at my trip report: http://ashwinbahulkar.wordpress.com/...ia-and-prague/
ashwinb is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 05:56 AM
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Best way to get between Munich and London - what do you mean by 'best' - cheapest, fastest, most scenic if going overland, etc.

You could take an overnight train Munich to Paris then hop the Eurostar train to London in the morning - save on the cost of a hotel too and if you can score deep discounted tickets on each may be as cheap as flying and time-wise not any longer.
PalenQ is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 11:09 AM
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Similarly, the Lake District(Halstatt, Gosau,St.Wolfgang) provide excellent hiking/walking opportunities>

I loved St Wolfgang and the lakes - I especially liked hopping on the steam train that goes to the top of a mountain rising above St Wolfgang - took train up and zigzagged down by foot from the top with gorgeous views of the lake in front of me the whole way.
PalenQ is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 01:19 PM
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The steam train is called the Schafberg Mountain Railway and leaves from St. Wolfgang - may interest some folks:

PalenQ is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 09:37 PM
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All excellent ideas! What is so great about this forum is the considerations it raises. Now I am wondering why Munich is on my list... It was the gateway to the Bavarian castles but Salzburg works just as well. Fewer cities, fewer costly transfers (time and money).

That steam train sounds enticing ... Will everything be in full swing April 1?

Now I'm thinking head straight to Fussen from Prague then go to Salzburg as the home base.
Jill02 is offline  
May 21st, 2014, 02:13 PM
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Now I'm thinking head straight to Fussen from Prague then go to Salzburg as the home base.>

but is not the best way to do this via Munich, from which buses are not faster than trains to Prague? Munich may not have the overall charm of a Salzburg but is nevertheless a very interesting city with so much to see and do. Dachau in its suburbs gives the change to have a sobering visit to a former Nazi camp - though that is not everyone's cup of tea.
PalenQ is offline  
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