Best place in Germany to stay to visit Vienna?

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by Gadget88, 12 Oct 2019 at 23:20.

  1. Gadget88

    Gadget88 Member

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    I was thinking of staying in Munich is this the best place? It’s 4 hours a while for a day visit is there anywhere I can catch a 3 hour train ride to Vienna? I am keen to check out the station looks impressive a similar to Rotterdam and Berlin.
     
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  3. AlexNL

    AlexNL Established Member

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    Why would you go to Germany if you want to visit the capital of Austria? :)

    Anyway, if you have no preference for Germany you may want to consider Regensburg, Plattling or Passau. There's a bi-hourly ICE service from either of those cities directly to Wien which will get you there in 3h19 or less.
     
  4. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    I think the best place to stop in Germany if you want to visit Vienna is Bratislava.

    OK, you might argue that Bratislava is not in Germany - but look at it this way.

    If you say you are stopping in Munich, but actually stay in Bratislava, you leave the capital of Slovakia and travel through Vienna to get to Munich - obviously you need to do this and to be able to tell your friends you've stopped in Munich.

    Then you come back to Vienna for the actual visit. Spend a day eating Bratwurst on Stefan's Platz feeling you've got to know the heart of Austria, then you go back to Munich (after all, you are pretending to stay there), before quickly hopping on a train back to Bratislava via Vienna.

    That way you a) visit Vienna three times in a day - so you feel REALLY good about getting your money's worth psychologically while b) actually stopping in Bratislava, which will save you money 'cos it's cheaper than Munich.

    I think we could start a whole new series of threads like this, eg What's the best place to stay to visit Paris when not stopping in France? Could run and run.

    ps Saying you've stayed in Munich when you've kipped in Bratislava is not even a white lie, really. I mean, they build VWs in Bratislava - you can't get much more German than that, can you? - And the city has a German name (as does everywhere from Paignton to Yokohama) - it's called Pressburg. You can even tell your friends you stopped in 'a place near Munich called Pressburg' - and they won't have a clue in any case.
     
    Last edited: 13 Oct 2019 at 08:34
  5. citycat

    citycat Member

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    I always look forward to Gadget88’s questions as they increasingly get more eccentric.

    The UK to New York in three hour segments is still the best though. Did you ever make that trip Gadget88?
     
  6. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Returning to the real Germany :)

    Passau and Salzburg are both 2:20 to Vienna, so staying in Freilassing (effectively a German suburb of Salzburg) or a small town a little further into Germany would be an option.

    Passau is the obvious choice, a nice little city at the confluence of two rivers but sometimes swamped by cruise ship passengers.
    Regensburg is exactly an hour further, a bit bigger - not been there but on my list. Plattling is a railway junction and IIRC has nothing particular of note.
     
  7. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    Your question is a bit like asking where is the best place to stay in Scotland in order to visit London for the day, because you would quite like to check out "the station"!

    If you are going to be spending 6 to 8 hours of your day travelling, then that won't leave much time left over for actually looking around the city itself. The attractions in the city are quite spread out, and it takes awhile getting between them. If you are only going to see "the station", I certainly wouldn't spend 6 to 8 hours travelling just to see either Westbahnhof or Sudbahnhof, let alone Mitte. The tram/underground/overground network, however, is well worth exploring, especially the more historic parts of it.

    Vienna is well worth visiting, but you really need to spend a couple of days actually in the city.
     
  8. duesselmartin

    duesselmartin Member

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    Salzburg is located conviniently between Munich and Vienna.
    Freilassing is of course a lot cheaper and somewhat alpine.
    Munich station is rather underwhelming I think.
     
  9. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    Regensburg is a lovely little cathedral city on the Danube, with a rich medieval centre (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
    It's where the German Electors used to meet to elect the Holy Roman Emperor.
    The centre is a bit of a hike from the station, but there are frequent trams/buses.
    There are through hourly regional trains to/from Munich Airport, as well as to Munich Hbf, taking just over an hour, as well as 2-hourly ICEs to Vienna and Frankfurt.
     
  10. Sir Felix Pole

    Sir Felix Pole Member

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    Vienna Hbf is certainly worth a visit - it is a major rebuild and replacement of the old terminal Suedbanhof to allow through running, and is similar to Berlin Hbf in concept although much less grand. I stayed in the hotel forming part of the complex, and is was fascinating to observe the late evening international departures - you can wander freely on the platforms. Westbanhof, formerly the main station for Salzburg and beyond is a dull 1950s structure, rebuilt after heavy bombing, and eerily quiet these days. As others have said, Vienna requires several days at least to explore, with plenty of transport and non-transport interest - the extensive tram network is fascinating with very cheap 'day rover' tickets available. Like all major capital cities accommodation can be expensive and scarce - the Christmas Market season is about to start - so if that is your worry may I suggest Linz - a pleasant city with an excellent service to all parts of Austria and much less touristy than Salzburg. I wouldn't hike all the way from Muenchen just to see Vienna Hbf, to be frank.
     
  11. Gadget88

    Gadget88 Member

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    Don’t worry about time to explore I stayed in Zurich and managed Milan in a day was fantastic. Also hope to do Rome in a day just can’t decide which one to do first. I’m not a fan of long breaks so I like to do things in a short space of time and by Eurostar rather than flying.

    I enjoyed Italy very much but I’m a big fan of Germany so I’m keen to try places on the border. Salzburg doesn’t look as good as Vienna.
     
  12. takno

    takno Established Member

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    I visited Vienna for 3 hours last week, which was plenty for me. You could spend a lot longer there, but Europe is full of interesting cheaper places you could spend a lot of time. I did it on the way between Bratislava and Prague so it only added an hour into the total journey time anyway.

    I wouldn't really say the Hbf was worth a look personally - it's a lot like New Street but without the character, and the entire area is a rather dull new development on the site of the old station. It's a worthwhile project and greatly useful for the city and for through passengers, but as an experience, arriving at West was a lot more exciting back in the day. Obviously other people have differing levels of interest, so it might be a grand experience you.
     
  13. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    Horses for courses. They are both very fine cities from the cultural point of view.
    Salzburg is more "manageable" than Vienna which is much bigger and more complicated.
    Vienna Hbf is a fair way outside the historic centre, Salzburg Hbf is just a short tram/bus ride away.
    The journey between the two is pleasant enough but rather bland - brief views of the Danube east of Linz, the last 30km or so uses a new tunnel.
    Munich-Salzburg has nice alpine foothills/lake scenery, and you can use the €25 Bayernticket as a day ranger ticket on RE services (not ICE/RJ).
    I'd go on about the opera and music scene in both places, but you won't want any of that on a day trip.
    Munich, of course, is excellent in its own way.
    Munich-Vienna is good value at about €30 each way on a Railjet.
     
  14. Gareth

    Gareth Member

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    I did it from Bratislava.

    In fact, I did a triangle Budapest-Bratislava-Vienna-Budapest.

    Bratislava-Vienna is Liverpool-Manchester sort of distance. Budapest is maybe the same again, so still not that far.

    Bratislava is quite small but nice, particularly around the old town. Much cheaper than Vienna.

    Vienna is large, expensive and stressful. Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful and culturally rich. I spent only three days there and still didn't get to see everything. The streets are always chocker block with people walking which way everyways and watch the roads as the motorists are noticeably more aggressive. And yeah, the price for a meal in Bratislava might get you a bag of chips, If you're lucky.

    Budapest is somewhere between the other two in terms of size, cost and things to see and do. It's not Vienna but still very beautiful in its own right. It's also not nearly as expensive or stressful. On balance, it's probably my favourite city of the three. I recommend a day at the thermal baths. I'd definitely consider it as a base for visiting Vienna.
     
  15. takno

    takno Established Member

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    Sounds like the best base yet tbh, although probably worth toweling yourself down before getting on the train!
     
  16. Gadget88

    Gadget88 Member

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    Well what I can see so far is Munich may be best? The other cities are small and don’t seem to offer much. Problem is Brussels to Munich will take up 6 hours to get there. I hoped to have time for the football stadium but might not.
     
  17. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    Vienna - Bratislava is about 75 km. Vienna - Budapest is nearly four times further, around 260 km.

    Uh? I suppose Altnebreac is stressful if you're in a hurry - but Vienna is no more stressful than any city. Indeed, far less than many, since it's pretty safe. It has been voted "Most Liveable City in Europe" (or some such) numerous times. It has an excellent public transport system, the best I've ever encountered, with plenty of explanations in English. You'd have more difficulty getting around Boulogne-sur-Mer than Vienna.

    This is very relative. Do you think you could "see everything" in, say, Islington in three days? Of course not. But our OP seems to delight in visits of a few hours and ticking the box - Been there, Done that. It seems that's what floats his boat.

    Maria-Hilfer Strasse perhaps, between the Ring and the Gurtel. Stefan's Platz and some parts of 1010 - and that's mainly tourists. Otherwise no more than any other major city. Try spending a morning in Grinzing: it's like an Alpine village. re traffic, I accept the Gurtel can be intimidating when driving, but otherwise, I'd say Vienese are more law-abiding than London drivers.
     
  18. ScotsRail

    ScotsRail Member

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    ...indeed it is and I found the area its situated in to be massively underwhelming (being polite).
     
  19. coppercapped

    coppercapped Established Member

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    As a once-upon-a-time resident of Munich, I have to ask 'What did you expect?' It's a large railway station near the centre of the city in quite a densely populated area that was flattened as result of the bombing raids in the Second World War, few old building were left standing. An image of what it looked like in 1945 may be seen here. The whole area was rebuilt as quickly as possible in the 1950s - and the rubble that was cleared out of the city centre now forms the hill in the Olympic park.
    Within easy reach of the Hauptbahnhof in the Arnulfstrasse is the biergarten of the Augustiner Brewery. It's not all bad news... !
     
  20. Gareth

    Gareth Member

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    Seems I've come up a cropper with the Vienna Tourism Board. For the record, I don't actually dislike Vienna but you really need both time and money to make the best of it, I would say.

    And to clear up any confusion, I said it was large, nothing more, nothing less. I didn't make any implication that it was particularly difficult to get around.

    I stand corrected on the geography trivia (though I still found Vienna to Budapest a doddle), but I stand by everything else I said.
     
  21. takno

    takno Established Member

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    Vienna to Budapest is about 2:40 by train against 1:06 to Bratislava. Personally I think you were about ballpark with twice as far. I tend to agree with your assessment - Vienna's nice enough but it's too big to do in a day, and wouldn't be high on my list of places in the area to stay in. Everything is expensive compared to the surrounding area. I'm sure it's probably great to live in, not least because of its bland but useful new station and excellent transport links across Europe, but that seems a bit beside the point.
     
  22. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    I can't say I agree about the drivers, I was in Vienna last week and didn't notice any of that aggression from them, indeed I commented to my wife how patient they are when pedestrians have the right of way. Like you I was there for 3 days, which wasn't enough but in terms of budgeting for meals, drinks etc, a little research in advance and we were able to find prices that were no more expensive than any other major city. Of course there are tourists everywhere, but we found that if you visit attractions in the opposite direction to the tour buses, it was a lot less stressful.
     

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