Help me plan vacation in Austria, please

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Steve Kutzer
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Help me plan vacation in Austria, please

Post by Steve Kutzer » Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:01 pm

Hi Delcampers,

My wife and I will be spending 2 weeks in Austria. We have some loose plans but these are subject to change, based on recommendations of those knowledgeable about the area. We are looking for a mixture of hiking (nothing serious though, just a few kilometer trails now and then) and cultural activities.

We are flying into Stuttgart, Germany. Primarily because it's the best price ticket I could get.

1st night either in Stuttgart or perhaps a train to Munich for a day there.

Train to Innsbruck and a day or 2 there.

Rent a car and then:
- Drive to Salzburg for 3 days
- Drive to Hallstatt for a few days
- At this point a little unclear. We'd like to drive the Grossglockner High Alpine road, but not sure we want to spend a night at 8500' elevation (I don't do great at high elevation)
- So then possibly to Klagenfurt and/or Graz
- End up in Vienna, where we'll shed the car and stay for 3 days or so. We know we'll be there September 15, as we have tickets to a concert
- Fly back to Stuttgart for a day and then back to the U.S.

If we do that route, we miss the northern part and Linz.

So... anything we should absolutely see and do? Any smaller musical venues that we should check out? And is Stuttgart worth the visit?
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Briant
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Re: Help me plan vacation in Austria, please

Post by Briant » Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:32 pm

Hi Steve
I flew into Stuttgart for a business trip last month and was taken south to the university town of Tübbingen. Well worth a visit.
In January i spent a week in Vienna. I can reccomend Hotel Austria on Fleischmarkt.

First take a trip to Dobblinger music shop and buy their guide book on musical sites in Vienna. You will not be disapointed. I found The Haus of Musick very interesting.
Vienna should not be missed.

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Steve Kutzer
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Re: Help me plan vacation in Austria, please

Post by Steve Kutzer » Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:43 pm

Thanks for the recommendations. I'll definitely stop in at the music shop, although I am pre-ordering what concert/opera tickets I can. I am thinking about the AirBnB route instead of hotels (cheaper and nice to have a kitchen for savings on breakfast, plus I think they might be in more interesting parts of the city).
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Briant
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Re: Help me plan vacation in Austria, please

Post by Briant » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:17 pm

Also whilst in Vienna take a look at st Anne's kirche which is close to haus of Musick. They hold evening concerts there, given by student string quartets. I have been to a couple plying Mozart and Beethoven SQ. they were very good, ane reasonably priced.

Avoid the many tourist concerts given in period costume playing the best of Mozart!

Enjoy yourself.

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bert
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Re: Help me plan vacation in Austria, please

Post by bert » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:06 pm

10 Years ago my wife and I stayed in Agathawirt in Bad Goisern, which is very close to Hallstatt. Don't think we ever had better food in a hotel. Hallstatt could be reached on foot or by train/boat.

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stefan73
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Re: Help me plan vacation in Austria, please

Post by stefan73 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:55 pm

Innsbruck:
- The "Hungerburgbahn" - great architecture by Zaha Hadid https://www.nordkette.com/en/home.html

Salzburg:
- Mozarts Birthplace: http://www.mozarteum.at/en/museums/moza ... place.html
- Hohensalzburg Fortress: https://www.salzburg.info/en/sights/top ... g-fortress
- avoid anything with the label "The Sound of Music"

Hallstatt:
- The ancient Saltmine https://www.salzwelten.at/en/hallstatt/saltmine/

Vienna:
- Collection of Historic Musical Instruments https://www.khm.at/en/visit/collections ... struments/
- Giant Ferris Wheel (for that "The 3rd Man"- Feeling) https://www.wienerriesenrad.com/
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Steve Kutzer
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Re: Help me plan vacation in Austria, please

Post by Steve Kutzer » Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:40 pm

Thanks!

Anybody familiar with Vienna - can you tell me about the neighborhood near Walmueller Park? If these are neighborhood names they're Hungelbrunn and Favoriten. Interested in safety and noise and access to transportation (listing says 7A and 65A Autobus). There's an airbnb there quite inexpensive and the pictures look good with good reviews.
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Steve Kutzer
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Re: Help me plan vacation in Austria, please

Post by Steve Kutzer » Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:43 pm

Oh dear ...
have read or browsed quite a few guidebooks for Vienna, including some that make suggestions for "off the beaten track" approaches to the Austrian capital. The latter ones usually recommend things that are slightly less touristy than the main attractions; in none of these books I have come across a single reference to the 10th district, Favoriten. I find that unfair - there are so many reasons why one could want to go to Favoriten: To get mugged; to get raped; to get molested by a gang of foreign teenagers - or simply to watch a bum take a decent poo in the public.
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Claughton
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Re: Help me plan vacation in Austria, please

Post by Claughton » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:43 pm

We visited Salzburg which is a wonderful place for a few days. There are many concerts to be enjoyed and we found one in the Mirabel Palace which was principally a programme by a string quartet BUT for part of the programme the quartet was joined by a guitarist. The concert was in a salon in the palace and it was wonderfully intimate ....we could almost reach out and touch the musicians. They were top class artists. Search the events listings on the Salzburg tourist office website and see if there is a classical guitarist in the programme whilst you are there. Even if not please do consider attending one of the concerts I doubt you will be disappointed. One other tip....there is a hotel called, inevitably, Hotel Mozart.....it is on Franz Joseph Strasse . Just about 100 meters up the road is a sort of wooden building ...more of a shack really...but it is the best fish restaurant in Salzburg. We found it by accident and we were really impressed with the food and the value. Go there!! A bit if googling will find it. It is called something like Pescheria Backi.

a human
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Re: Help me plan vacation in Austria, please

Post by a human » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:56 am

If you can get a ticket to the Lipazzan school to watch a practice or performance, that would be memorable. Visiting Schonbrun Palace is also quite impressive. We stayed at a Romantic hotel in both old town Vienna and Salzburg, both were very nice. The Abby in Melk oozes with history and antique manuscripts.
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Re: Help me plan vacation in Austria, please

Post by simonm » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:39 am

Steve Kutzer wrote:
Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:43 pm
... nice to have a kitchen for savings on breakfast,...
While the places to rent this way are very possibly more interesting, the saving on breakfast is not a reason to do it in Austria or Germany. Unless you are staying in international (american) chains, breakfast will generally be included on a take it or leave it basis. Most cafes will offer various breakfast options. From quite early in the morning. Austria is pretty well known for cafes - you don't have to go to the home of the Sachertorte but it is still there.

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Steve Kutzer
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Re: Help me plan vacation in Austria, please

Post by Steve Kutzer » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:03 pm

simonm wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:39 am
Steve Kutzer wrote:
Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:43 pm
... nice to have a kitchen for savings on breakfast,...
While the places to rent this way are very possibly more interesting, the saving on breakfast is not a reason to do it in Austria or Germany. Unless you are staying in international (american) chains, breakfast will generally be included on a take it or leave it basis. Most cafes will offer various breakfast options. From quite early in the morning. Austria is pretty well known for cafes - you don't have to go to the home of the Sachertorte but it is still there.
Fair point. I found a perfect Airbnb in the 1st district for $100/day. It has a clothes washer, kitchen, king size bed and is a block away from the Schottenring U-bahn station. I'll report back afterwards if this lived up to my expectations.
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Gorn
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Re: Help me plan vacation in Austria, please

Post by Gorn » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:29 am

I've lived close to the Austrian border for 49 years, and - of course - I've been there for many times.
First of all: Austria is VERY small. Apart from visiting the cities for cultural things, there's no need to change the places too often to reach the most interesting landscape sites.
A must-see in my opinion are the Krimml waterfalls (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krimml). You can go up to the top, it's a nice and easy walk.
Another thing is walking alongside the river Lech in Voralberg, which is the most western part. You can hike for a few kilometers but also a few days. It's the last wildwater river up to the German border.
I wouldn't recommend to stay too close too Großglockner, it sounds like a tourist trap.
The northern and eastern part of Austria (close to Czech and Hungarian border) does not have that spectacular landscapes as the eastern and central part. Most spectacular mountains are Hohe Tauern. Also very beautiful: Ötztal (Tirol). But the most spectacular mountains (apart from Switzerland) are in South Tirol, which belongs to Italy...if you have time, have a look.

Survival tips for Austria:
DO NOT EXCEED THE SPEED LIMIT - no matter how fast the Austrians are driving. Otherwise you'll get some tickets, I promise.
Some foods and things do not have the same names as in German language (if you have a dictionary with you): Potato - Kartoffel (ger) - Erdapfel (aus). Prune - Zwetschge (ger) - Powidl (aus). Tomato - Tomate (ger) - Paradeiser (aus) and lots more.
Some recommendations to eat: Kaiserschmarr(e)n (kind of ripped sugared pancake), Marillenknödel (sweet apricot dumplings), Speckknödel (bacon dumplings - Tirol). And of course the most famous austrian sausage meal, maybe from a hut in Vienna: Eitrige mit Buckel und Schiß ("purulent one with hunch and poop"). It's a cheese-pieces-stuffed sausage with a bread roll (=hunch) and mustard. If the sausage is heated up, the cheese will melt, that's where the name comes from. Austria is very famous for black humor.
No, Stuttgart is not worth a visit - except if you're a fan of automobiles. If so, have a visit of the Daimler museum.

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Goose997
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Re: Help me plan vacation in Austria, please

Post by Goose997 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:19 am

Gorn wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:29 am

No, Stuttgart is not worth a visit - except if you're a fan of automobiles. If so, have a visit of the Daimler museum.
I think you meant the Porsche museum :D
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Steve Kutzer
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Re: Help me plan vacation in Austria, please

Post by Steve Kutzer » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:58 am

Thanks to Briant, bert, stefan 73, claughton, a human, SimonM and Gorn for your kind recommendations. Things are coming together. I'll post a little more detailed itinerary soon.

Thanks for the warning on food names! I speak just a bit of German, and useful things like food are not deeply learned. But then I think of restaurant menu descriptions here, and I can realize my problem.

Thanks too for the speed warning. I would think the mountain passes should slow us down! We are planning to land in Stuttgart, immediately train to Munich for an afternoon and following morning, then train to Innsbruck and get the car there. After Innsbruck our next stop is Salzburg, and it looks like the Krimml waterfalls would be a good stop en route.

Thanks for the waterfall recommendation as well as the Nordkette. Nature hikes interspersed with good music, food, and museums is just what we had in mind.
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