Train rides & hiking in Austria


Jan 22nd, 2005, 10:46 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 49
Train rides & hiking in Austria

hi, My friends and I (4 of us) will be in Austria this May & June and we're planning to do some light hiking when we get to Vienna. Seems like the Semmering-Rax-Schneeberg has some great scenery and is near enough for a day trip. My questions are:

1. Has anyone taken both the Schneebergbahn & Semmeringbahn (the steam train)? Which is better or more worth the money?

2. Is it possible to combine trips to Puchberg am Schneeberg & Semmering (for the Semmering Bahnwanderweg) in a day from Vienna? I know that both need to change trains at Wiener Neustadt. Is there some pass that combine both trips?

3. We will also be staying in Innsbruck and I saw this Nostalgia Ticket which covers the Zillertal Railway, Achensee Railway and lake cruise. Is there hiking spots around Achensee area or is it purely a sightseeing thing? Is this Nostalgia Ticket valid for more than a day? Can we use it to take the Zillertalbahn in one day and then the Achensee tour in another?

4. At Innsbruck, we're thinking of taking the train to Bludenz via Landeck to explore the Voralberg area, but is it do-able as a daytrip? We just plan to walk around and take in the Alpine scenery but we're not into intensive hiking or skiing, or even cycling.

4. If we have the Austrian Railpass, do we get discounts for these kind of train rides (ie Schneebergbahn, Semmeringbahn, etc)?

5. And talking about railpass, our itinerary includes Vienna, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Innsbruck and maybe Graz. These are the places we'll be staying for 5-6 nights each. There'll also be daytrips of course. So should I get the Austrian Railpass? I read somewhere that I can get a point-to-point ticket from Vienna to Innsbruck and I can actually stop by Salzburg, stay for a few nights, and then continue on my journey to Innsbruck without any additional cost, meaning I only pay for Vienna-Innsbruck. Is it true? Because if this is so, then it sounds like point-to-point is cheaper isn't it?

6. Finally, we're mesmerised by images of Hallstatt, but is it a good place to use as a base to tour the Salzkammergut area like the Wolfgangsee and Mondsee? We're not worried about the parking problem since we're not driving but travelling to and from Hallstatt seems rather inconvenient. Is Bad Ischl a good place to stay in, since it seems to be the transport hub in that region?

I know I've asked a lot of questions. I have looked through guidebooks (Fodors, Frommers, Lonely Planet, etc) and these are the questions I've been pondering over while planning our trip. Hope someone can answer my questions cos we're really looking forward to this trip. Thanks!
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