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Vienna & Salzburg Cheap Eats & Useful Insights

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Jan 9th, 2012, 01:53 AM
  #1
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Vienna & Salzburg Cheap Eats & Useful Insights

Dear Fodorites,

We are slowly pick-up pace with our planning for our upcoming holiday to Austria in May 2012. This will be our first visit to Austria. We are 2 adults and 2 children of 11 years & 9 years.

Currently this is a rough itinerary, please feel free to make any suggestions :
1. Arrive in Vienna
2. Spend 4 nights in Vienna (need inputs on what attractions can be combined)
3. In Vienna we would like to do the day trip to Melk abbey
4. We would also like to visit the Prater as I assume that the kids will enjoy there. We are not very much into museums maybe visit 1 museum which would you recommend.
5. Move to Salzburg - Hotel Am Moos for 5 nights
Plan to cover Salzburg (any suggestions on what to see and what can be combined)
Would like to do the Ice Caves at Werfen from Salzburg
Also, would like to visit St. Gilgen and Salzkamergut area and do the mountain trip excursion. Which one would you recommend?
6. Move to Zell Am See - Would like to visit the Hochalpenstrasse as a day trip. Spend 3 nights in Zell Am See.
7. Move to Seefeld - Spend 3 nights with a day visit to Innsbruck.
8. We are not sure whether to be based in Seefeld or in Garmish. We will not be hikiing. But would like to see Oberamergau, Ettal and any other sights. We have visited King Ludwig's castle so would not want to do that again. We feel Garmish is bigger and offer more in terms of dining options. We will be using the public transport everywhere

Your recommendations required for :
Districts in Vienna where we can be based which have nice small local eateries. We are very keen on eating good wholesome Austrian food like Goulash and Schwein Haxen. Any good budget recommendations are welcome.
For Salzburg any recommendations where we can have good local foods and good portions please.
Also do the butchers make a sandwich in Austria and what are they called in Austria. Like in Germany please correct me if I am wrong but I recall they were called Metzgerie.
We love meats and milk shakes, ice creams, chocolates and pastries.

What are the specialities of Austria that we can take home? Is marzipan also available in Austria? What are the brands of Austrian chocolates?

Any inputs are welcome.

Kind regards,
SKPKCP11
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Jan 9th, 2012, 10:29 AM
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Can't address all of your questions but will try to help with some.

While public transportation in Vienna is excellent, many of the sights you will be interested in are located in an area surrounding St. Stephen's Cathedral in the First District and along the Ringstrasse and can be done on foot or with the Tram.

There are many restaurants and cafes in the area referenced above as well as along Mariahilferstrasse. (Many people wouldn't consider Schwein Haxen as good, wholesome Austrian food.) Yes, Metzgerie is the German word for butcher and is the same in Austria. Many of the local grocery shops will have a deli where you can have a sandwich made. We found that both the Billa and Spar on Mariahilferstrasse would do this as well as having already prepared sandwiches for purchase.

One of the most famous brands of Austrian chocolates is the Mozart Kugels which contain marzipan. You will find these all over Austria but there is a specialty shop on the Kaertnerstrasse near St. Stephen's Cathedral.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 10:40 AM
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I would suggest the natural history museum in Vienna for kids -- we thought it was the best museum of its type we've ever been to, and we are museum buffs. We stayed in the Spittelberg area, and there were quite a few small, interesting restaurants. We particularly liked Boheme, which is fairly upscale, but cozy. It reminded me of Bilbo's house in the Lord of the Rings movie.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 10:42 AM
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You might be interested in my trip report, even though it is a little old:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...nly-vienna.cfm
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Jan 9th, 2012, 11:55 AM
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I was in Vienna a few years ago. On a Sunday morning,when I could not figure out what to plan, I decided to attend a church service at St. Stephen's Cathedral. Not knowing the language, I thought it would be just good to see. I am not even a Christian.
Well, it was early morning service and I was surprised to see many locals already seated. The church pews were full but there was a small number of people standing and so I found a nice spot in the front section and just listened and observed.
The music was just so relaxing and so soothing throughout the service, that I even forgot I was standing and also lost track of time.
When the priest finished talking, a wonderful choir came out and gave the most stunning performance. I was awe-stricken as I had not expected such a great performance. It was simply outstanding.
So, I suggest you make a point to go to some church and enjoy some choir music. Because of Mozart and other famous musicians, music is just so amazing in Vienna. Of course, the church performances are even special in every way. Do give it a try.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 12:06 PM
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There's a butterfly house/museum right by the Burggarten.

The Schonbrunn Palace also has several areas of activity for children, although the only one I can remember is the zoo.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 08:09 PM
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Thanks to all you wonderful Fodorites for a quick revert.

Can someone recommend what dishes are good wholesome Austrian food? Also, which are the must-do attractions in the 1st district & ringstrasse which can be clubbed together?

I read a post in Trip Advisor for Zell Am See indicating that it is too crowded and as a result it does not feel a like a typical Austrian town. Any inputs since we would be there in May. We thought on staying for 3 nights in Zell Am See as we would like to visit the Grossglockner and the Krimml waterfalls. In Zell Am See we have a tentative booking for Villa Klothilde. Any inputs on this place in terms of view and location are welcome.

Kind regards,
SKPKCP11
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Jan 10th, 2012, 10:45 PM
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Dear Fodorites,

Your insights & recommendations are great. Await some more details on Zell Am See / Seefeld / Salzburg.

Attractions in Vienna which can be clubbed.

Kind regards,
SKPKCP11
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Jan 11th, 2012, 04:04 PM
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We loved Zell am See and didn't find it too crowded at all. We were there in September 2009 but I wouldn't think May would be bad either. You may want to check out our photos:

http://travel.webshots.com/album/574997901jcmXVZ

We stayed at the Parkhotel Eder, which is directly across from the Tourist Information office and a couple of blocks from the lake:

http://www.alpenparks.at/en-parkhotel-zell-am-see.htm
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Jan 11th, 2012, 08:40 PM
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Thanks bettyk for your suggestion. I have written to Park Hotel Eder. Besides the Grossglockner Road trip and the Krimml waterfalls, is there any other excursion that I am missing out? We are not sure whether the Grossglockner Road will be open in May. Can the Grossglockner Road and Krimml waterfalls be done together in one day? Please let us know.
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Jan 11th, 2012, 09:25 PM
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Children's suggestions for Vienna - at 9 and 11 they are able to go most places with you, but my husband took our (much younger) daughter to the Zoom Children's Museum last year:

http://www.kindermuseum.at/whats_on_...rent_programme

There is a program for 8 - 14 yr olds. It's in the Museumsquartier, with many other museums you might enjoy.

They also went to the Prater, and had a lot of fun on the Riesenrad.

We also went to the butterfly house at the Hofburg, which was nice if possibly a little dull for your older one. I would think the frescoed ceilings in the Austrian National Library (same precinct) would have some wow factor even for your kids. Plus there, as almost everywhere in Vienna, there are horse-drawn carriage rides. I think they might enjoy that.

There is a children's museum at Schoenbrunn, but I think it's aimed (understandably) at German-speaking children. Try the Zoo, which is quite a nice one.

Here is a list (arranged by postcode) of child-friendly restaurants in Vienna. Even if you don't speak German, just click on the arrow which says 'mehr' and it will take you to the address. Most have children's menus.

http://www.citykids.at/de/page/kinde...staurants.html

This second list has similar information but is sorted by district (Bezirk):

http://www.kinderinfowien.at/fileadm...Lokaltipps.pdf

Lavandula
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Jan 11th, 2012, 11:32 PM
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Mozartkugeln are a specialty chocolate from Salzburg, but for sale anywhere in Austria (and beyond).

Though not being a typical chocolate, the quintessential Austria confectionary IMO are the Manner wafers (and dozens of spin-off products in all shapes and sizes). You will find the company's "flagship store" near St Stephen's.

Austrian cuisine is quite diverse, but you (obviously) should try the Viennese Schnitzel (from veal, not pork).
Also the abundance of sweet dishes (not always a simple dessert) like Kaiserschmarrn, Salzburger Nockerln, Palatschinken.

Many of the famous towns in the Alps like Zell am See are and have been major tourist destinations for decades or even longer. So you cannot expect the authentic "quaintness" of an untouched village in the mountains. But that does not mean that those places necessarily have turned into eyesores. Usually you have a more or less historic town center, and hotels, apartment buildings and resorts around it.

Großglockner Road can be open in May or not. It's simply hit or miss according to the general weather conditions. You will have to enquire locally once you get to Vienna (via the road's website, for example). As it is a quite costly private road, you can assume that they will open as soon as it can be done without compromising safety.
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Jan 11th, 2012, 11:37 PM
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P.S. Assuming you will have a rental car, I would incorporate Melk abbey into the drive from Vienna to Salzburg. It's close to the A1 motorway that links both cities and you won't have to "waste" a day in Vienna for something you can easily explore while moving to Salzburg.
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Jan 12th, 2012, 01:13 AM
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Thanks to all - Lavandula & Cowboy for your very good inputs.

Bettyk - Just got a regret from Hotel Park Eder that they do not open for summer season till mid-June.

Any inputs for Vienna please let them keep coming - especially for the attractions to be seen and which we can possible do together in a single day.

Kind regards,
SKPKCP11
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Jan 12th, 2012, 03:25 AM
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My husband just reminded me about the Haus des Meeres (aquarium), which has an aquarium, a terrarium and a lookout on top. It's near the Mariahilferstrasse. Both he and my daughter really enjoyed that, if you're still looking for things for kids to do.

Lavandula
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Jan 12th, 2012, 08:48 PM
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Thanks Lavandula. Please let the suggestions keep coming in.

Any must take home souvenirs? Any must eats? Any must visits?

Can someone elaborate a little more on these Austrian deserts as to what to expect :Kaiserschmarrn, Salzburger Nockerln, Palatschinken.

This is our first visit to Austria and we certainly want to make the most of it. Not sure when we will be back next.

Kind regards,
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Jan 12th, 2012, 10:56 PM
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Actually, you can find infos and pictures right here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austrian_cuisine
The sweet dishes I mentioned have links from there, or via the sub section on Viennese cuisine.
Different than in the US or the UK, cakes are not considered a dessert but a meal of their own which you usually take around 3-4pm with coffee or tea in one of the many cafes or coffee houses.
So don't wonder if you never see any cakes or a regular restaurant's dessert menu, maybe except for the ubiquitious strudels.
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Jan 13th, 2012, 02:41 PM
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I bought salt in decorative bottles in Hallstatt.

In Salzburg, I bought Christmas ornaments that were hand-painted with the Kapelle Oberndorf on them. This is the chapel where Silent Night was first performed (on Christmas Eve in 1818). I had the shop paint "Stille Nacht" around the top of each ornament. They came out very nice! Joseph Mohr, the composer, was born in Salzburg.
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Jan 13th, 2012, 02:51 PM
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you and the children may enjoy the many varieties of sausage, which can be served with potatoes, or sauerkraut, or in a roll, with very mild mustard.

you will also find ay least one very nice beer garden type restaurant at the Prater where one "Schweinhaxe" will probably feed all of you.

for more adult pursuits, you could head out to Heiligenstadt or Grinzing to visit one or more or the Heurige [wine taverns] - nice gardens to sit in, cheap and filling buffets in many of them, a very nice family atmosphere, and good wine to drink. [and you're expected to drink water with it, so it's hard[er] to drink too much].
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Jan 13th, 2012, 07:42 PM
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Hello again SKPKCP11. Some more thoughts. Cafés are a big thing in Vienna. Almost everywhere has good coffee (interesting ones you don't get at home). There are lots that are well-thought of, although many people visit Hotel Sacher. This time we visited Café Central and were not disappointed! Wonderful old-world atmosphere:

http://www.palaisevents.at/en/cafecentral.html

I can also recommend Oberlaa Konditorei, which is a patissier cum café chain.

http://dommayer.at

The one we visited was in the Babenbergerstrasse, not far from the Museumsquartier, Mariahilferstrasse and Hofburg / Austrian National Library. Fabulous cakes, which you can buy to take home if you so wish. I like their Topfenstrudel (cream cheese strudel).

There is also a branch at the Naschmarkt, which in itself is a fun visit (a market).

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