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mike_b12 Dec 5th, 2003 01:27 PM

Vienna and Salzburg
I am planning to visit both Vienna and Salzburg next fall.
What would be the best way to split up 5 days and expierence both cities?
My interest are music and history of both places.

Keith Dec 5th, 2003 02:15 PM

2 days Salzburg and 3 in Vienna. Salzburg is wonderful, but there is much more in Vienna.


Operaman Dec 5th, 2003 02:29 PM

I would give all 5 to Vienna. That way you can settle in and get a better feel for the place. Vienna has so much to see and do your 5 days will go by in a flash! If you decide to do Vienna for all 5 consider an apartment, it is the best and cheapest way to experience this beautiful city.

bob_brown Dec 5th, 2003 06:47 PM

I agree with the other comments, although Salzburg does have its merits.

For your time portions, you need also to factor travel time into your plans. Although the rail trip is fairly quick, about 3 to 3.5 hours depending on connections, it still eats up a portion of the day.

If you like music you can find it in both places, but Vienna has 2 operas.
Performances at Die Volksoper are good without costing you 120 € for a decent seat. I have seen performances of Die Lutige Witwe and Die Fledermaus there and both were fun.

I think Salzburg has merit, but to some extent it is overblown even if I think it is charming. One long full day there should suffice, and then take an evening train to Vienna and be ready to go for 4 days the next morning.

I really think it boils down to what you want to see and do.

I know I suggested to a casual friend who was going to Vienna that Schönbrunn Palace would be an interesting visit.
He responded by saying he could not care less about the Hapsburgs and to heck with their palace. So it depends on what draws your attention.

tomboy Dec 5th, 2003 06:53 PM

Be SURE to take in the Kunsthistoriche Museum. I thoroughly enjoyed 4 hours there, and I'm not an art buff.

bob_brown Dec 5th, 2003 07:00 PM

Oooh. PS on the art museum:
The last two times I was there, the Kunsthirsorisches Museum had a special.
One year on Karl V and the next year El Greco. We were lucky and arrived in time to visit the El Greco exhibit during a special "hold over week."
The exhibit was so popular that it was kept in Vienna for an additional week, and I was in the right place at the right time to see it.
Fortune smiled!

seafox Dec 6th, 2003 04:17 AM

good comments from folks - again I would emphasize watch your travel time between the two. Driving can take a full day

mike_b12 Dec 6th, 2003 09:46 PM


JonJon Dec 7th, 2003 01:34 AM

I would agree that if those are your two MAIN interests then no more than two days in Salzburg and I would use the latter part of the second day to travel to Vienna which is much larger and, as someone said above, has more to offer.
You can easily "do" the old part of Salzburg in a day to include the fortress (and that's the part of the city most people find seem to find interesting except for perhaps the Helbrun Palace and its incorporated Wasserspiele which is a short, easy public bus ride from the "old town" area).

JoyceL Dec 7th, 2003 07:49 AM

If you only have 5 days, then skip Salzburg and spend the entire time in Vienna. Vienna has so much to see that even with 5 days you will not be able to visit everything.

The Salzburg historical area is very small. It can be seen in a half-day. I had scheduled 2 days there, and regretted it.

dixon Dec 7th, 2003 09:54 AM

If you go to Salzburg, I do not recommend at all the Gray Line Sound of Money tour. (Music). I thought it was an egregious ripoff. It was mostly a bus ride around the highways with running commercials about some tavern and Mrs. Brown's strudel, which we had no time to eat.

If you want more details, I will supply them.

bob_brown Dec 7th, 2003 10:01 AM

In Vienna there is a museum called in German Das Haus der Musik, the House of Music. It features displays on the anatomy and physics of sound and there are exhibits on the various famous composers and musical groups associated with Vienna.

Given that the museum has such organizations as the Vienna State Opera, the Vienna Philharmonic, and musical luminaries such as Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, etc. to work with, I was diasppointed.

But, the presentations were interesting to me even though I thought much more could have been accomplished with the subject matter, hence my disapointment.
I think I may have gone in expecting to be bowled over and dazzled.

Perhaps it has improved since I was there 2 summers ago. I was very curious as to why there was nothing much on Bruckner. I asked, but the right people were not there.

Language was not a problem. Most of the staff spoke better than average English.

cparris Dec 7th, 2003 01:30 PM

I would go to Salzburg for atleast one night...I found it a very beautiful city. If you only spent one night perhaps you could leave at 2pm so that you would reach Vienna by 5-6 and still have the morning in Salzburg and the evening in Vienna. Definately go to the Kunsthirsorisches Museum and have some delicious pastry in their amazing cafe. The treasury was interesting with all the jewels. My husband also went to the house der musik and found it overpriced for what there was to see...

BTilke Dec 7th, 2003 05:12 PM

On a similar length trip, I opted to do Salzburg as a day trip from Vienna. It was a long day, however I enjoyed being able to see Salzburg and not miss out on anything too important in Vienna.
The train trip from Vienna (westbahnhof) to Salzburg takes 3.5 hours, so your total travel time will be 7 hours--if you decide on this option plan on leaving early in the morning (also, because I was spending so much time on the train, I splurged for first class). In Salzburg, I took an abbreviated SoM tour, only 2 hours, which showed the SoM highlights yet gave me plenty of free time in town (the tour was a van tour, not a bus, and there were only five of us taking it). It was a beautiful day and tho I was dog tired when I got back to Vienna and went straight to bed, I thought it was worthwhile overall.

Keith Dec 8th, 2003 04:44 AM

IMO, there are enough SoM sites within walking distance in the old part of Salzburg to satisfy all but a diehard SoM fan, without taking a tour.


sweet22 Dec 8th, 2003 02:20 PM

I would spend one full day in Salzburg and four in Vienna. Some people that I know consider Salzburg the most beautiful city they've ever been to, but it really only takes a day to see most of the major sites- Mozarts birth place, residence, makartsteg, and a walk through getreidegasse, which leads you to most of those sites. As a person interested in music, it would be very interesting for you to visit Mozarts birthplace and residence, etc. to learn about his life and see his actual instruments and compositions. It was one of the highlights of my trip. Vienna has more to offer, though, I think. Definitely spend four days there. Since you are interested in history, I would recommend visiting some of the palaces for this, especially Hapsburg Palace, which has different tours and museums to choose from. Vienna Boys Choir would be a good choice for your musical interests, and also takes place at Hapsburg Palace on Sundays. I also enjoyed Shonbrunn Palace, which should only take a half day. Stephansdom is a must see, including the tour of the catacombs. It only takes a few hours. If you can, make a reservation for a show at the Spanish Riding school- it's good, and a great part of Vienna's history. Oh, and cafe Dremmel is a personal recommendation of mine! It might be fun to learn which historical figures used to frequent some of these older cafes, and then stop for a cafe along your way to museum... Oh, speaking of which, I didn't really enjoy Belvedere for some reason, and wouldn't recommend it.
I think I could go on and on... Vienna is one of my favorite cities.

Keith Dec 9th, 2003 05:36 AM

Asise from the more obvious music, there is a wide variety of oportunities to enjoy music in Salzburg. I attend a wonderful candlelight chamber music concert in the fortress. Also had a fun evening listening to jazz in a small bar in the old part of the city.

Many US groups include Salzburg on European tours and provide free concerts.


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