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Seeking suggestions: Bavaria, Austria, Prague Trip in Fall

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Aug 25th, 2016, 02:44 PM
  #1
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Seeking suggestions: Bavaria, Austria, Prague Trip in Fall

Greetings-
My husband and I (66 & 64 yr old) will be flying into Munich in late Sept and flying out of Munich 22 days later. We are looking forward to seeing a bit of Germany, Austria and Prague. We like to travel modestly and love the scenic outdoors, hikes/walks, bicycle jaunts, some history, and exploring new places. We have committed to nights 1-4 in Munich. We plan to then rent a car and spend night 5 in Garmisch-Part(enkirchen. We are trying to determine the remaining time and welcome any ideas/advice/suggestions.

night 6: Hall (going thru Mittenwald and/or Seefeld to get there)
night 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Salzberg (via Jenbach, take train to Achensee?), Krimml waterful, Grossglockner. In Salzberg, visit Mirabell Garden, old town, fortress, produce mkt, Augustiner Beer Garden, day trip to Berchtesgaden (hike and/or boat trip Lake Konigssee) and St. Gilgen (hike and/or bicycle a bit along lake)
night 12, 13 Nuremberg (return car when we arrive)
night 14, 15, 16, 17 Prague (take Flixbus from Nuremberg?)
night 18, 19, 20, 21 Vienna (take Flixbus from Prague?)
night 22 Munich to fly on following day (take Flixbus from Vienna)

I'm still researching things to do the last half of the trip. Wondering if one or more days in Salzberg should shift to include Rosenberg or add to Prague or Vienna. Thanks for any hints you might have!
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Aug 25th, 2016, 03:40 PM
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Trains can be as cheap as buses if you book way ahead of time - for those involving Germany- at www.bahn.de/en -the German Railways site - 29 euros and up- say Vienna to Munich or bus Nuremberg to Prague.

If price is comparable trains are way more comfy IMO than a crowded bus. For lots on trains check www.seat61.com- great info on discounted tickets; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

I'd head to St Wolfgang in the Lake District - take a boat from St Gilgen perhaps- there is a neat train that climbs a mountain there - I walked down on zigzagging paths.
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Aug 25th, 2016, 06:08 PM
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Thanks for your help. I'm not familiar with the pros and cons of the different types of transportation available so I definitely appreciate your opinion. I'll look into St. Wolfgang too...sounds fun.
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Aug 25th, 2016, 09:17 PM
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kja
 
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It sounds like you’ve done your homework! FWIW, 5 nights in Salzburg seems on the high side to me, and 4 nights in Prague and Vienna seem on the low side, but of course, it all depends on preferences; given the interests you identify (thanks for giving us that information!) your timing could work very well for you.

If you haven’t already seen it, check rome2rio.com for some transportation options. Unfortunately, it isn’t always accurate, but it can give you some good ideas.

There are both pros and cons to trains and buses. I generally find trains more comfortable than buses (not because buses are uncomfortable, but because I like the option to move around that one has on a train, and many trains give more space than buses, particularly if no one is across from you). BUT one almost always has to carry one’s luggage up steep, narrow stairs to enter a railcar, while many intercity buses have undercarriage luggage compartments. (The bus driver or other bus company employee normally monitors stowing and retrieval of these bags, and gives you a tag, so you don’t have to watch at each and every stop.)

Hope that helps!
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Aug 25th, 2016, 09:18 PM
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When you look up timetables, be sure to spell correctly: It's Salzburg not -berg (Burg is a fortified castle, Berg is a mountain, Salz is salt).

The German spelling Nürnberg might get you there more reliably than the anglicized Nueremberg.

You can get from the square outside the station Nürnberg Hbf (= Hauptbahnhof = central principal station) to Prag for as little as 14 Euros, in 3:38 hours, with the InterCity bus that runs several times a day, but not all runs are daily.

On www.bahn.de (the German train system website) input Nürnberg Hbf to Prag and, since the are no trains going that route all the way, this bus will come up.

Prag - Wien takes 4 hours, trains leave at xx:52 most every hour. Look it up at http://www.czechrailwaytickets.com/p...nna-train.html
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Aug 25th, 2016, 10:08 PM
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kja- I appreciate your thoughts regarding the timing (heavy on Salzberg, etc), that's the main reason I posted. It may be that I've spent more time researching the earlier part of our trip, thus discovered more interesting things to see/do in Salzberg or I wonder if we will get burnt out on castles and museums. I wonder if we should eliminate Hall and one day in Salzberg and increase Prague and Vienna to five each. Timing suggestions are most welcome. Good points on train versus bus too. I'm seeing some great rates if I can just figure out my timing.

michelhuebeli- Spelling things correctly does seem to help...thanks. The computer's autocorrect isn't always a help, in this case!
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Aug 25th, 2016, 10:36 PM
  #7
kja
 
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I wish I could be more helpful about the timing, but I can't -- my travel interests are too different from yours to be informative (e.g., I can spend days and days in museums and wouldn't get on a bike if you paid me.) (Well, maybe I'd do the bike thing if you paid me enough....! ;-) )

FWIW, I've never burned out on anything -- museums in NYC, cathedrals in Spain, temples in Japan, mosques in Turkey, ruins in Sicily.... But some people do, so thinking about your reaction to visiting numerous castles and museums is wise. I don't think any of us can give you an answer. You might want to trust your guts on this issue, or make sure you have a Plan B.

One other thought: If you decide to limit your exposure to avoid the risk of burn-out, be sure to make your picks the best-of-the-best! For example, Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum has an absolutely extraordinary collection of art. Don't skip it just because you visited an art museum or two before you reach Vienna! IME, some guidebooks are better than others in identifying the places that are really worth considering, and those that are typically best at that (IMO) are Fodor's, Frommer's, and the Michelin Green Guide.

Whatever you decide, you'll see some wonderful things!
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Aug 25th, 2016, 11:39 PM
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Earlier this month DH and I spent three days in Tirol, including driving the Großglockner Alpine Road and seeing Krimml Falls. With straight driving, the Großglockner can be driven relatively quickly, but the point of the road is to stop and admire. When you add in stops to admire the views, take photos, and eat lunch, the better part of a day, if not the entire day or more could be spent on this activity.

Is it your plan to base in Salzburg and take day trips to Krimml and Großglockner? If so, you'll have more than four hours each day just driving back and forth. Have you considered a loop, with an overnight or two somewhere? We began in Lienz (and drove the Großglockner south to north), then moved on to Krimml, up toward Kufstein and through Berchtesgaden before returning home to Vienna, with a stop in Salzburg for lunch.

Perhaps you could begin in Salzburg, drive the Großglockner north to south and stay overnight in Lienz. You might also consider an overnight along the road to enjoy some of the hiking, as well. The following day, depart Lienz for Krimml Falls (and the Gerlos Pass), then backtrack a little for an overnight in Kitzbuhel before making your way to Berchtesgaden. Or, from Krimml and Gerlos Pass, head toward Kufstein for a night (the town is pretty, and doesn't need more than a couple of hours to see). The following day, enjoy Berchtesgaden and surrounds.

Depending on how your travel falls on the calendar, keep in mind that most museums in your major destinations will be closed on Mondays. I joke that Austria is also "closed" on Sundays, as well, as all stores and many restaurants are not open, either. Bavaria is similar, but Prague is open for business on Sundays (with excellent shopping at Palladium).

When in Vienna, don't discount hiking and scenery in the Vienna Woods, either. At the northern edge of the city one can access the vineyards via public transportation for wonderful day hikes/walks that joyfully end at classic heuriger (wine taverns). Along the western edge of the city is Lainzer Tiergarten, also accessible via public and offering easy paths, the Hermesvilla, and if you're lucky, the chance to see Wildschwein (boars) doing their thing.

Happy Planning!
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Aug 26th, 2016, 05:28 AM
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Salzburg is a beautiful city, very compact and easily walkable, we have visited twice and day trips we recommend are Lake Koenigsee (stay on boat to Salat stop and walk to end of Obersee), it is SO beautiful, my photos somewhere in middle of this album

https://flic.kr/s/aHskfL3qzw

as well Hallstatt (which was a bit trickier by public transport but you'll have a car). Your base in Salzburg gives you access to a very pretty area, with wonderful walking/ cycling options.

We also have done quite a bit of walking around the Mittenwald area, which has lots of well marked trails, and don't miss the Partnachklamm when you are in Garmisch, both walks near end of this album

https://flic.kr/s/aHskDja7Fy
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Aug 26th, 2016, 10:28 PM
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Fourfortravel- Good advice about allowing enough time for the Grossglockner and Krimml Falls. We've decided to take a different, scenic but more direct route. It's easy to plan too much and not have time to savor it. Thank you for the Vienna suggestions! We are considering a bike trip wine tasting through the Wassau Valley. Not too sure if we should count on the weather cooperating in mid Oct. in Vienna.

Adelaidean- In your opinion, would it be worthwhile to spend a few nights in Saltburg and a few in the lake region? Lake Koenigsee looks lovely. Hallstatt too. I appreciate the info on some walks/hikes. I feel we are making some progress thanks to Fodor's forum and fellow travelers. Thanks all!
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Aug 27th, 2016, 12:45 AM
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Despite 2 visits to Salzburg, we did not get to the nearby lake region, had to prioritise and have been to Berchtesgaden twice to do the Koenigsee cruise/ Mt Jenner cablecar (nice walks from there too, but only on clear day).
We had considered Werfen, too, ice cave, fortress, but did not get there either. So much to see
It rains a lot in the mountains, so being flexible and having varying options as daytrips is sensible.
Having said that, I was so disappointed that (3 trains and a ferry later - nearly 3 hours) we arrived in Hallstatt in dismal rain, but it cleared in an hour to a lovely afternoon, and it was just postcard perfect.
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Aug 30th, 2016, 12:02 AM
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Hi SciSyd: Sounds like you have a great trip planned! We have been living in Brno CZ, which on the train route between Prague and Vienna, for the last year and a half and love it here. The NYT put Brno on it's "Places to go in 2016" list this year so you might want to check it out while you're here .

Re: train/vs bus a few things to consider: I do agree with those who prefer the train, because it's generally just a more pleasant experience since you have room to move around. If you take the train, go for the high speed Railjet from Prague to Vienna. When you book the train you will have the option to also book a seat, which I highly recommend since the Prague/Vienna train can be crowded. If you opt for the bus, check out "Student Agency" which is what most people here use. (It is not just for students, despite the name.)

In Prague, a highlight for us is the "Jazz Boat" (if you like jazz). You can pre-order dinner or just go for drinks and you get a great city view at night. Check out the Hotel Leonardo for lodging, and the Blue Duck restaurant for a nice meal.

If you want to get off the beaten path in CZ, the wine town of Mikulov on the Austrian border is beautiful, as are Lednice and Valtice. All have castles and beautiful grounds to walk around. Outside Prague, the "bone church" at Kutna Hora is worth a visit. The town of Cesky Krumlov is also beautiful, although crowded with tourists. (One of the things we like about Brno is very few tourists!)

Enjoy your trip!
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Aug 30th, 2016, 11:53 AM
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kim- what do you think of Ceske Budejovice- are there Budweiser tours in the home of budweiser beers?

Thanks
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Aug 31st, 2016, 05:36 AM
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PalenQ: We drove through Ceske Budejovice once on the way to Cesky Krumlov Honestly it was a bit industrial and smoggy, but maybe we missed the good part. If you're looking for a good beer tour I would recommend visiting Pilsen. It's an easy train ride from Prague.
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Aug 31st, 2016, 07:49 AM
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kimharp, I think you missed the good part of Ceske Budjovice. We spent two nights in CB as a base in 2013 as part of our Czech Beer Trail trip, visiting nearby castles and shopping for crystal in CB that was far better priced than in Cesky Krumlov or Prague. Our hotel was right on the square; its restaurant served local sourced menus that were incredible. Because the Plsen tour was intended as the brewery highlight (and it was!), we did not tour any other breweries, just sampling along in various towns as we completed our tour.
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Aug 31st, 2016, 03:13 PM
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thanks both kimand four for their takes - I drove thru C Budjovice years ago with my Mom whose father was born in Bohemia as he called it (and kids at school used to called them the derogatory terms "Bohunks"- often she said telling "Bohunks go home!") - Trebon - a real gem of a town even then I thought - but towns like those were still suffering from years of neglect under commies and none looked very inviting - my impression was more like kim's then.

But I never hear anyone talk about Trebon and today it looks as sweet as I recalled it in the grimy commie era:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Treb...w=1745&bih=868
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Aug 31st, 2016, 03:49 PM
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We are basically the age of you and your husband and have been traveling that area for years....since my time stationed in Stuttgart in the Army in the 70s. Our last trip was in 2015 on a Christmas Market river cruise.

We prefer the ease of renting a car as there are so many small towns you drive through that never show up on the guide books and are quite enjoyable. The roads are better than the US and you have no schedule to fool with.

Check out the HOTEL HILLEPRANDT as a place to stay in Garmisch. Not fancy, but great people. They have a web site. Get a room on the ground level and you have a nice patio outside. We have stayed there about 5 times with different friends in tow. It is an easy walk to town and good parking.

Great sites to see in Garmisch area are Linderhof, Neuschwanstein and the cable car ride to the top of the Zugspitz. The hotel on the shore of the Eibsee Lake is now in private hands. It was still owned by the US government when I was stationed there and cost troopers about $7.00 per night.

The BRISTOL HOTEL is nice for Salzburg. The Sound of Music people used it a part of their HQ in the 60s when filming. Nice people and good location also. We last stayed there in 2007 but there should not be much change to the worst.

Berchtesgaden is an easy drive from Salzburg. Definitely do the boat ride but also check out some of the WWII tours. You can take Hitler's elevator to the top of the mountain to see the place they built for him and enjoy a beer while overlooking Koingsee way below. You can also tour the underground tunnel the Nazis built that our guys could never destroy. The entrance is in a hotel.

Vienna is not one of my must see places anymore. have been through there about 5 times and enjoyed it but the land around Vienna is better than the city IMHO.
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Aug 31st, 2016, 03:53 PM
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Vienna is not one of my must see places anymore. have been through there about 5 times and enjoyed it but the land around Vienna is better than the city IMHO.>

Yes like the awesome Wachau Valley!
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