Salzburg and Vienna in April for an internet romance?
January 29, 2010 4:21 AM   Subscribe

Salzburg and Vienna (and day trips in Austria) for two in April. Two people from very different countries who have never met before getting to know each other. Your tips and suggestions most welcome.

Australian guy, Russian girl. Met on the internet. Both quite open to things new and old. Music, cafes, city exploration all good.
posted by zaebiz to Travel & Transportation around Austria (19 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I highly recommend checking out the Eagle's Nest, which was Hitler's private home perched atop a mountain. The house itself is very cool from a historical perspective (there's a massive bronze lift carved into the mountain that emerges in his front room), but the view at the top is absolutely spectacular as well -- the site i linked you to has a panorama at the top to give you an idea. I went years ago and still count it as one of my favourite trips!
posted by ukdanae at 4:52 AM on January 29, 2010

On posting, it might seem weird to recommend a WWII relic for a romantic trip, but I just think the whole standing-on-top-of-a-mountain-together thing would be quite cool.
posted by ukdanae at 4:54 AM on January 29, 2010

In Vienna there is a very cute, funky walking/shopping/cafe area around Neubaugasse 34, A-1070 - that is the address of a store I wanted to go to which is how we found the area. Lots of street culture and funky shops, if that is something that would interest you.
posted by cestmoi15 at 5:08 AM on January 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

Maybe watch the movie Before Sunrise and retrace their walking route in Vienna.
posted by wingless_angel at 5:23 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

RE: Vienna only...
You should visit at least one of the famous Viennesse cafes-- Cafe Central is one of the more famous ones but also one of the most fun.

If you're into architecture, Vienna has lots and lots of great modern stuff. Try the Postsparkasse on the Ring and the Secessionist building. And Adolf Loos' American Bar- which is super tiny but a jewel box of a place.

There's lots of great,cheap Turkish food, especially in the 16th district.

And there's a fun wine area, Grinzing, with lots of little wine taverns; it's close to the city, I think you can take the bus there.
posted by jenmess at 6:24 AM on January 29, 2010

Salzburg is a wonderful town. I highly recommend visiting the Augustiner Brewery--an old monastery that has since been converted to a beer hall/brewery. Other sites/things to check out: a Sound of Music tour, an ice cave in the Alps, Mozart's house and the Hohensalzburg Castle, which has unbelievable views. Have a great time!
posted by arm426 at 7:12 AM on January 29, 2010

It's a bit hard to say without knowing more about you. Do you like classical music, for example? Nature? Mountains?

Generically, I'd recommend the Schönbrunn gardens for a walk in pretty surroundings (nice weather required) and a visit to the Prater (lots of rides to show off your manliness, conveniently close to a bunch of nature for secluded walks).

I never really got Salzburg's touristy appeal, so I can't help you there.
posted by themel at 7:25 AM on January 29, 2010

Salzburg is delightful. Do you have a place to stay?

Get the Salzburg tourist card. You can buy it at the train station. It's valid for twenty-four hours and gets you free transportation on the buses as well as the castle funicular. You also get free or reduced admission at some of the major tourist spots. When I went last summer, we saved a lot of money because we bought this card.

Make sure you go to Salzburg castle. You should also take the elevator up to Mount Untersburg. The views of the city/castle are amazing.

For a mountaintop experience free of depressing Nazi connections, take the Cable-Car to the top of the Untersberg. Have a beer at the restaurant on top of the mountain.

Skip the boat tours.

2nding arm426's recommendation of the Augustiner Brewery. I was sausaged out by this point in my trip so I had the chicken and it was fantastic.
posted by mmmbacon at 8:05 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

When I was in Vienna, we took a day trip to bicycle along the Danube. I don't remember our exact start point, but I do recall we passed through Melk (visit the monsatery!) and played around in the castle ruins at Durnstein. You'll pass through a number of scenic little towns on the way, with plentiful restaurants and gasthauses in case you want to spend the night. What a fantastic day.

You can rent bicycles at various hotels and shops. More info from Rick Steves

Also in Vienna:
* Go to a heuriger.
* Visit the art museum in the Belvedere
* See an opera at the Staatsoper
* Tour the cathedral's crypt (if you like that sort of thing... I found it fascinating)
* Tour Karlskirche
* Eat lots of donau-kebaps!
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:27 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Salzburg is adorable!
But skip the Sound of Music tour! I was there for a year and never heard a single good thing about it.

Mirabel gardens, Hellbrun, the Residence, the fortress - all lovely.

Eat at the St. Peter Stiftkeller, and the StieglKeller. And of course, have a beer or two at the Augustiner :D

Enjoy the Austrian pastries and cafes :)
posted by Neekee at 8:28 AM on January 29, 2010

Monastery. Ahem.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:28 AM on January 29, 2010

Go out for some Sachertorte at Hotel Sacher in Vienna or Salzburg, or Cafe Demel in Vienna. Not just amazing chocolate cake, but amazing chocolate cake with a 177 year history! Please note: the Demel and Sacher recipes are supposedly slightly different; I've had and love Hotel Sacher's version, but I've never had Demel's. Hotel Sacher also sells cake you can take home with you (no, really, it travels well -- even on the plane), but the cafe experience is worth it in its own right.

I am in no way affiliated with Hotel Sacher. I just like delicous cake.
posted by bettafish at 8:42 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

It sounds cheesy, but if you don't mind blowing some cash take a horse-drawn carriage tour. There's a bunch in Vienna, and I'm sure in Salzburg as well. It's remarkably romantic and comfortable and a bit silly.

The Wachau wine region to the west of Vienna, on the Danube, is beautiful. You can take a tourist boat there for a day trip, maybe return by train. April's a bit early for all the little wine shops and tourist cafes so do some research. The town of Krems is quite big and stretches for a good 2-3km walk. Melk is pleasant, too, and the monastery there is a fantastic tourist visit.

Budapest and Bratislava are both possible day train trips from Vienna, if you want to see something a little different.
posted by Nelson at 9:42 AM on January 29, 2010

Day trip suggestion:

Less than an hour south of Vienna is a town called Baden (AKA Baden bei Wien), and they have a great collection of spa/thermal pools. That could be nice and romantic!

You can take the train there (including the fast, slow, and ridiculously slow trains), and the views of the Wienerwald and vineyards on the way there are beautiful. By April the manic gardeners will have started planting and re-planting the amazing flower arrangements in the Kurpark (Baden's city park). There are very nice walking paths with wonderful views from the hills. You can even walk from there to neighboring villages through vineyards to eat at their great restaurants (Heuriger) and sample the local wine.

The town Bad Vöslau has similar attractions and is a bit further south, but I'm partial to Baden because I lived there. Essentially almost any town in Austria with the word "Bad" in the title means they have some sort of thermal bath/spa offerings.
posted by Maarika at 10:24 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nthing the vote for the Augustiner Brauerei. I went there over the summer and in addition to having my favorite beer, it's a simply massive maze of a building. Just follow the noise and you'll find the food and drink.

I also took the cable car up the Untersberg. Great views and snow most of the year. The Wasserspiele Hellbrunn was beautiful but a bit silly, but the gardens around it are phenomenal. (I think the Sound of Music gazebo is somewhere around there too)
posted by JauntyFedora at 12:35 PM on January 29, 2010

Lots of great suggestions here! Nthing Festung Hohensalzburg and and Schloss Hellbrun. Plus I'd add Burg Hohenwerfen outside Salzburg, and a salt mine (which Salzburg gets its name from) tour.

Ich liebe Osterreich!
posted by Reverend John at 1:37 PM on January 29, 2010

Oh, and also near Hohenwerfen, The Eisriesenwelt, a mountaintop ice cave with beautiful rock and ice formations, and also a fun trip to the top of the mountain. My wife and I enjoyed this.
posted by Reverend John at 1:40 PM on January 29, 2010

OOH. When in Salzburg, please go to the Fürst candy shop at the Old Market and hungrily devour your weight in Mozartkugeln, a chocolatey nougatey pistachio marzipan obscenity of deliciousness. Of course, you can also go to Mozarts Geburtshaus (his birthplace), but be forewarned - they only have the inferior Mirabell chocolates for sale there. *sigh*

(The house/museum itself is awesome even if you are, inexplicably, not interested in chocolates.)
posted by elizardbits at 3:34 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you so much to everybody. I have collated every single suggestion into a spreadsheet and am working them into a loose schedule. Sounds like it is going to be a really fantastic trip.

PS I loved Before Sunrise - I just hope we are a little more ready for each other than they were!
posted by zaebiz at 5:02 PM on January 31, 2010

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