As part of a longer ride I will be riding from Vienna to Salzburg. The plan is to follow the Danube cycle path to Passau then on to Salzburg via Braunau.
I will be leaving Vienna around September 1. It is about 400km's and I plan to take 7-8 days.
I have a few questions:
1) What are the best towns to visit?
2) What are the best sites to see?
3) Places to stay on a budget?
4) How popular is that area early in September? Do I need to book accommodation or will it be easy to find?
5) Anything else I should know?
Thanks in advance for your assistance. Any comments will help.
I seem to remember cost depended on quality, also if you stay in the 'tourist' towns cost is higher, if you stay outside a town you are often 'persuaded' into eating at the place you are staying, so a cheap evening meal is not an option.
I cant remember the cheapest we stayed in, but guess cost must have been about €30 PPPN, the best (and not most expenive) was a great hotel on the south side at Untermuhl (east of Passau) that was something like €60 PPPN but worth every penny as should have been 4X more.
Basically the Austrians and Germans don't do cheap (or grotty) accomodation, if you want to keep the costs down and don't want to take a tent then I'd suggest you look at Youth Hostals, there are a few near the route, but you may have to plan ahead, and I have no idea of the cost, but I would expect the standard to be high.
The advantage of unplanned travel is you can stop when you like and in most cases we rolled into a town about 4pm and asked at the tourist Info center unless we had seen something earlier that we liked. The downside of this method is it's not the cheapest way to do it.
I think the only place we had a room not worth the money it cost was Passau, bust as it's the usual start or finish place for both the bike trail and the boats to Vienna I guess they can charge what they like.
As you are doing it 'uphill' (east to west) might be best to spend the night at the amazing hotel at Untermuhl (which is right by the campsite), do the gorge in the morning (the most beautiful section of the entire route), arrive in Passau in the afternoon and then cycle out. A suggestion for accomo in Passau would be a 'box' hotel in the dock area, not very nice area, but right on the bike trail and it seemed OK.
I'm an American living in Italy and I'm new to touring, but I know the area you're passing through pretty well and I'm envious. I'm taking some time this summer to tour central and Southern Germany; hopefully you can pass some of your hard earned wisdom on to me.
Brains is right, accommodations shouldn't be hard to come by. One thing I've noticed is that if you go to a campground that is near a village/town, more than likely there will be houses nearby that are also renting rooms, just keep an eye out. I found a very nice (very cheap) room this way just north of Plocken Pass (sp?) on the Italian/Austrian boarder west of Villach.
When you're in Salzburg I have the hotel for you. It is called hotel Zistelalm and it is south west of the city near the top of this BIG HILL. It only takes about 30 minutes to get into downtown Salzburg, but the other way may take you closer to an hour. I'm weak, it took me more than an hour. By the way, nice hotels are always up at the top of hills and the really nice, really cheap hotels with bar maids that flirt with you are at the top of mountains and the only way to get to them is by long cobblestone streets. Anyway, here is their website. http://www.zistelalm.at/
It really isn't as swanky as the pictures look. The food is great, the view is wonderful, the people are nice, they have a good place for your bike so the cows won't steal it, they have a pool, and the rooms are decorated with antiques. Make sure you get the garlic soup.
Keep in touch.
do some reading on Vienna before you go; so you can pick the things that appeal the most. Their symphonies are absolutely wonderful; even if you think you don't like Classical, you should let them work their magic on you. The Vienesse have something called gemutleichkeit. It means something like 'everybody's having a good time'. If you can find a social occasion of some sort; that can be rewarding. Austrian desserts are among the best in the world. Try them all! (just kidding). A pleasant surprise is Salzburger Knokerln.
My spelling may be a bit off there, it's been 30 years. The little corner restaurants have a couple dishes I came to love. Goulash, and Leiberknoodle soup. They have this huge park, but that would eat up most of a whole day. Austrian rum is 50% stronger than American rum; so if you have a rum drink...... If my memory is right, there is a wonderful pub, run my monks in Salzburg, called the Augustiner Keller. I love that place, what I can remember of it