Venice to Vienna and in-between
August 28, 2011 8:03 PM   Subscribe

I will be spending a week in Venice, then am going to Vienna. How should I travel between them? Should I stop anywhere along the way?

The Seat61 site suggests that the Venice-Verona-Innsbruck-Vienna day train route is good for some pleasant scenery. I like the idea of a day on a train with scenery, not so keen on the overnight train. Should I stop anywhere along the way (on that route or your suggested route?).

I leave Venice on a Saturday, and depart for home from Vienna on the following Sunday night. I am staying with a friend in Vienna, so I am really only looking for a couple of days diversion at most (if there is something worth stopping for). In Venice, we have rented an apartment in Dorsoduro.

I am interested in food, interesting day tours, natural beauty, and just general wandering around (on foot, or bike, perhaps). I am not even sure what I might be choosing to miss, so put up your suggestions if I should definitely not miss them! I was a big fan of the Sound of Music as a child - is Salzburg worth a stop?

Also welcome any tips for the above interests in Venice and Vienna.
posted by AnnaRat to Travel & Transportation around Italy (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Salzburg is beautiful and you can easily see most of it in a day. There are even Sound of Music tours which, while cheesy and tourist (von)trappish, my friends and I enjoyed. It takes a couple of hours and you see a bit of the city including the gardens from Do Re Mi and you are taken out into the Salzkammergut to see charming Alpine villages, various filming locations including the gazebo, the von Trapp mansion and church where the wedding takes place. It's a good way to get an overview of the area around Salzburg with some goofy movie fun and, honestly, it was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been in my life. Even if you don't do a tour, Salzburg itself is charming and you can walk/see all of it in a day pretty easily, and there are other non-Sound of Music tours available to take you out of the city to see the Alps. (It's also about an hour and a halfish long, reasonably cheap train ride from Salzburg to Munich depending on your budget, which is also a lot of fun, so if you schedule a 2-3 day stop in Salzburg and/or Munich you can see both places.)

Depending on your feelings about marzipan, if you do stop in Salzburg, be very, very careful of the Mozart-themed marzipan and chocolate candies sold everywhere. You think "Oh, delicious chocolate!" and then bite into a big chunk of gritty, almondy marzipan.
posted by HonoriaGlossop at 8:24 PM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

We recently drove Zurich->Neuschwanstein Castle->Salzburg->Graz->Bled->Maribor->Trieste->Venice. We rented a car and drove it, and it was super easy. Totally worth doing. (We did only 3 hours of driving a day) But even if you take trains;

Some of the highlights to us were the Postonja Caves, Salsburg Salt Mines, Bled Castle. We had some of the best food in Bled, Salsburg and Fussen. Absolutely fantastic.

There are some pictures here if you can stand watching some other family's vacation photos.
posted by lundman at 10:23 PM on August 28, 2011

Venice is kind of boring food-wise but it happens to border one of the best food and wine regions in all of Italy - The Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. I'd go there again just for some San Daniele prosciutto. The town of Cormons also has many places where you can sample Friuli products and wines. Finally, the restaurant Cacciatore della Subida is where I had one of the best meals I have ever had - not to mention the D'Osvaldo prosciutto

Nearby Vicenza, which you can combine with Verona is a great place if you want to see Palladian architecture. Its UNESCO world heritage.
To the East, I also enjoyed visiting Miramare palace near Trieste. Its in a beautiful setting. It was Archduke Maximilian's palace, where he set out from to become the French emperor of Mexico.

Agree with the above poster about Lake Bled. It is picture-postcard beautiful. While there, eat their local pastry Kremna Rezina (link is to my flickr photo)
posted by vacapinta at 2:34 AM on August 29, 2011

Nthing Bled, it is on my list of things to see before I die.
posted by hungrytiger at 3:29 AM on August 29, 2011

What time of year will this be? Innsbruck is a skiing destination, but I spent a couple of days there in the off-season (late June, a few years ago) and really enjoyed it. The city centre is full of picturesque buildings, the mountain scenery is fantastic, it's easy to get up into the mountains if you want to go walking, and I found a rather good Alpine zoo (the Alpenzoo) showcasing the local fauna, which is the kind of thing I tend to look out for when I'm abroad. The photos on the Wikipedia page for Innsbruck give a fairly good indication of the architecture I'm talking about, and here's what a Flickr search for 'Innsbruck scenery' turns up.

It'd probably be a completely different place in the ski season, though - much more crowded, for starters.

And yes, Salzburg's definitely worth a visit. Innsbruck, Salzburg and Vienna all feel quite different from one another, so I'd recommend seeing all three if you can. I'm not interested in The Sound of Music, so I can't comment on that, but I enjoyed exploring the Altstadt - which is picture-book pretty, and built right up against, and maybe into, the cliffs in places - and the castle that overlooks it. The castle has commanding views over the surrounding countryside as well as Salzburg itself; it's well worth the climb (or cable-car) to get there.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 5:44 AM on August 29, 2011

Seconding Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, as well as Lake Bled (and Kremna Rezina!). I also adored Aquileia, which was once one of the major cities of the Roman Empire but is now a quaint northeastern Italian town a couple hours outside Trieste chock full of ruins and an early Christian basilica covered in fantastic mosaics.
posted by Sara C. at 3:12 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Ooh, I had never even heard of Lake Bled (I don't know Europe very well, hence the question)! It looks very beautiful. Thank you all for your suggestions, I am going in October, so I will have a closer look at the options (and what the Italian train strikes might mean for me).
posted by AnnaRat at 3:30 PM on September 10, 2011

« Older Yet another travel filter.   |   Gimme that old-time relief printing Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.