Two weeks: Austria....and...?

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Jan 29th, 2006, 06:51 AM
  #1
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Two weeks: Austria....and...?

I'm considering taking a two week trip to Austria. I have a number of questions...if you can help with one or two thank you in advance:

1. What is a good website for finding distances between cities in this area? I don't know if it is easy to go to both Vienna and Salzburg in a four day stretch for example.

2. What website can I use to find rail times, options and costs within Austria as well as originating in Austria but crossing national borders?

3. Realistically, how much time should my wife and I (mid 30's, enjoy shopping, walking around the town, seeing sights) spend in Salzburg and Vienna?

4. What are some easy cities outside Austria to see and spend some time in? Venice? Zurich? I'm thinking that I would spend a week in Austria and a week outside Austria.

I'll keep doing my research and see if I can answer some of this on my own.
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Jan 29th, 2006, 08:57 AM
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Vienna to Salzburg is about a 3 hour drive on the autobahn, or a 3 day drive on the back roads, stopping at all the wonderful sites along the way... just depends how you want to do it!

My last trip (Sept 2002) we spent 6 days in Salzburg and Hallstatt. 2 nights in Salzburg, then picked up a rental car and drove to Hallstatt, where we stayed for 3 nights. We spent those days wandering around all the gorgeous little towns, just driving, strolling and relaxing..it was wonderful. Then back to Salzburg for our last night, then took a car service to Munich to catch our flight home. It was cheaper and much more convenient than the train.

This is a great site for rail schedules:
http://plannerint.b-rail.be/bin/query.exe/en?L=profi&

For Salzburg itself, two days is plenty..it is a fairly small town. The fortress is amazing, and we really enjoyed Hellbrun (we rode bikes out there...take the bike path).

I'm going back (in a few weeks!!!), and will be ending my trip with 6 days in Vienna. We are pairing Vienna with Prague at the end of a very long trip. Prague is about a 4-5 hours train ride to Vienna. I've been to Vienna before, but only had a couple of days. I think almost a week will be long enough to get to know that area better...we are planning at least one day trip (maybe an overnighter) to the Wachau/Danube valley area.

Salzburg to Venice is about a 5 hour train ride (take the routing through Villach, not Munich). The 2002 trip was a combination Venice/Salzburg trip. It was an easy combination. If you've only got two weeks, I wouldn't try to do Venice/Salzburg/Vienna plus small towns in Austria...that's really too much. You could do Venice/Salzburg & surroundings easily and save Vienna for another trip. Or, you could combine Vienna & surrounding areas with Prague or maybe Budapest. Or, simply stay in Austria for the whole two weeks...one week in the Lake District around Salzburg, and one on the eastern side in and around Vienna. The Fodors Austria book has a good 10 day tour of Austria laid out.

Enjoy your trip ... Austria is a beautiful country!

Anne
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Jan 29th, 2006, 08:58 AM
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whoops..forgot one...

for distances between cities, try viamichelin.com

Anne
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Jan 29th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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I'd spend your whole 2 weeks in Austria, enjoy Melk, Innsbruck, Graz, Zell am See.. you can use an Austrian RailPass If you really want to go outside Austria, Munich/Bavaria in Germany is very close.
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Jan 29th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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Thanks for the great reply Anne!

While the small towns sound great, for some reason I think that may be a bit too relaxed for us. We like cafes and wandering, but also having options from which to choose.

Sounds like we could easily take in Vienna and Salzburg in the course of two weeks. What about venturing into Switzerland?
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Jan 29th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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Spent 4 weeks in Vienna on our last trip there and still had many things that we hadn't gotten to. Wien is an excellent city for Cafes and wandering...get an apartment there and settle in. You can get to Salzburg for an overnight or day trip by train, but 1 or 2 days there is all you'll need.
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Jan 31st, 2006, 03:35 PM
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Have you ruled out going to German for a few of those days? Munich is only 1 1/2 - 2 hours away from Salzburg. There's a lot to see in Bavaria - you could see Newschwanstein or many other castles, etc. If you haven't already seen a lot of Bavaria, I would spend a few days in southern Germany.
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Jan 31st, 2006, 05:23 PM
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Sonodust,
Can you provide more details? I've not ruled anything out at all. As a German-American (i put it on the census) I am interested in Germany. If I were to hang in Austria and Germany, how would you break it down? Berlin is of little interest due to its metro-modern makeup.
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Jan 31st, 2006, 05:48 PM
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I'm really starting to get enamored with the idea of working Venice into this somehow...been there twice and LOVED it. Can Salzburg, Zurich, Vienna, Venice be done in two weeks knowing that we've spend a week in Venice and would simply relax...have a cap?
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Jan 31st, 2006, 10:38 PM
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We spent a week in Austria. Stayed in Lofer, 20-30 minutes from Salzburg. Great town with our window opening to the alps. Bike rental across the street, free passes to the pool and gondola that takes you up the mountain for bike riding down. We drove through Austria with no problems except driving to our bed and breakfast in vienna. I would not drive there again.
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Feb 12th, 2006, 05:49 PM
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I just saw your response/question. We are going to go to Vienna for 2 nights then to Munich/Bavaria for 3 or 4 days. From there we're going to Italy for a week in Umbria. So, I think your idea of Vienna/Salz/Venice is very reasonable. For Train schedules I have been using this site http://www.europebytrain.com/merchant/timetable.html. In Germany we will be siteseeing in Munich for 2 days and then spending one day seeing the countryside including Newschwanstein,Garmisch, and maybe Dachau. Munich has a number of very good museums, as well as a wonderful Old City part of town...
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