Why visiting Austria is any day better than Switzerland? 

Tripoto
3rd Apr 2017
Day 1

Note: The budget is excluding my to and fro flight from India to Amsterdam.

This was the first time I was travelling to Europe. I was pretty excited to explore this part of the world. With my Schengen Visa in hand, I had options to choose from about 20 countries and I chose Austria.

I did spend a lot of time researching about the places I would want to visit in this small beautiful country. By shortlisting few places which interested me and putting them on a piece of paper gave my itinerary a good foundation and hurrah, my itinerary fit almost all the places with the time I had. My Flight was at 10:30 in the morning from Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. The flight duration is about an hour and a half to Innsbruck, Austria.

The Most Scenic Airport I have seen till date. Alps in the Backdrop.

Photo of Innsbruck (Airport), Innsbruck, Austria by Gouthami Vasudev

They stand big.

Photo of Why visiting Austria is any day better than Switzerland? by Gouthami Vasudev

Waking up to this everyday? I envy people who live here.

Photo of Why visiting Austria is any day better than Switzerland? by Gouthami Vasudev

Innsbruck is located in the Inn Valley and lies about half way between Munich in Germany and Verona in Italy. This place definitely gives you major relaxed vibes. The kind of place where you want to sit down by the window with a cup of hot coffee and chill. You can walk towards the mountains from anywhere. By the way, on the other side of the mountains lies Switzerland in the Western side of the Alps. The major attractions in Innsbruck are Goldenes Dachl and Ambras Castle. If you are here for skiing you can head to Patscherkofel.

Getting Here : Flights from Amsterdam, Germany and almost any other country close to Austria can be booked. A lot of Trains frequently go through and fro. You can download the OBB app which is the official app of the trains in Austria. Some of the trains go International as well with at least one terminal station in Austria.

Where to Stay: I wanted to visit The Floating Walkway, Dornbirn the next day so I took a train from Innsbruck to Dornbirn where I had booked a room via Airbnb for my first night's stay. The train to Dornbirn is around 2 hours. The journey is mind-blowing while you can settle back and watch the snow capped mighty alps.

Day 2

Rappenlochschlucht is one of the largest gorges in Central Europe. The Floating Walkway is a trek which is an absolute treat to the eyes, alongside a river. The entrance of the walkway is located in Gutle and the end of Rappenlochlucht is Staufensee. I would suggest you to get down here and take the walkway down to Gutle. The trek is easy and will take around 2-3 hours.

Looked like the Staircase to Heaven :)

Photo of Rappenlochschlucht, Gütlestraße, Dornbirn, Austria by Gouthami Vasudev

This picture din't do any justice to this place

Photo of Why visiting Austria is any day better than Switzerland? by Gouthami Vasudev

you can never get lost here

Photo of Why visiting Austria is any day better than Switzerland? by Gouthami Vasudev

i wouldn't mind if you see the river and not me :)

Photo of Why visiting Austria is any day better than Switzerland? by Gouthami Vasudev

I came to my room and packed. I had to leave for Alpbach and my train was at 5 in the evening. Alpbach is voted as "Austria's most beautiful Village" which made me book a stay in a traditional wooden building hotel for 2 nights. Booking.com didn't dishearten me with its prices, as usual.

Alpbach occupies a beautiful location on a sunny plateau at approx. 1000m above sea level. Thanks to its homogenous architectural style and lovely floral decorations which ensures Alpbach is "Austria´s most beautiful village".

I can imagine the same place in winter covered with snow

Photo of Why visiting Austria is any day better than Switzerland? by Gouthami Vasudev

Can easily become a Postcard Picture

Photo of Why visiting Austria is any day better than Switzerland? by Gouthami Vasudev

Very few places to eat and this was definitely good @postalm

Photo of Why visiting Austria is any day better than Switzerland? by Gouthami Vasudev

Places to visit from Alpbach: Rattenberg and innumerable slopes for skiers. Though taking the gondola up just for a view of the Alpbach valley and enjoying the snow is an option always open to non-skiers like me.

Day 3

How to reach Rattenberg: The best part about Alpbach is that you get to tour around the village free of cost. You can ask the hotel staff/host for a tourist card and there you go, transport is for free. OBB App is handy for the bus timings. One can catch a bus which directly goes to Rattenberg. I would suggest you to stop at Brixlegg and walk to Rattenberg alongside river INN. The walk next to the river is prodigious.

With just 400 inhabitants Rattenberg is Austria´s smallest historical town. The medieval pedestrian zone with colorful box shaped buildings is dominated by the unique displays of glass craft. Also, the whole pedestrian zone has free WiFi. Yay!

The whole town is colourfull

Photo of Rattenberg, Austria by Gouthami Vasudev

River Inn right next to Rattenberg

Photo of Rattenberg, Austria by Gouthami Vasudev

That's me

Photo of Rattenberg, Austria by Gouthami Vasudev

Captured these mountains from a store in Rattenberg. The Glasses were made by them :)

Photo of Rattenberg, Austria by Gouthami Vasudev

View from Schlossberg ( Rattenberg Castle ruins)

Photo of Rattenberg, Austria by Gouthami Vasudev

The Second half of the day was spent visiting the Snow :) Depending on the time of the year and the weather conditions the ski areas are open. I took the gondola to Ski Jewel Alpbachtal which was luckily open. They generally close by mid April which marks the end of winter for the region. The clouds were foolproof with the sun coming out once in a while. The restaurant at the top of the mountain is impressive. From beer to pizza everything is served here and at the same price as any other restaurant down in the valley. Sitting outside looking at the pine trees covered with a little snow reminded me of the Christmas movies. This being my first experience of snow ever, one can easily imagine my level of excitement.

I din't want to come back

Photo of Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau, Verbindungsbahn Inneralpbach - Schatzberg, Alpbacher Landesstraße, Alpbach, Austria by Gouthami Vasudev

All hail the snow

Photo of Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau, Verbindungsbahn Inneralpbach - Schatzberg, Alpbacher Landesstraße, Alpbach, Austria by Gouthami Vasudev

The pine trees I was talking about

Photo of Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau, Verbindungsbahn Inneralpbach - Schatzberg, Alpbacher Landesstraße, Alpbach, Austria by Gouthami Vasudev

Tried making a snowman but ended up creating a baby elephant

Photo of Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau, Verbindungsbahn Inneralpbach - Schatzberg, Alpbacher Landesstraße, Alpbach, Austria by Gouthami Vasudev
Day 4

It was time to go to my last stop - Salzburg. The train from Alpbach to Salzburg was pretty expensive. Google suggested me an alternative which was Bla Bla Car. Comparing both the means of travel Bla bla turned out to be around 70 % lesser. All went well and I reached Salzburg using Bla Bla Car for the first time in 2 hours.

Salzburg which is the birthplace of Mozart is enchanting from the minute you lay your eyes over it. Located between towering snow capped mountains, this cold region is a wonderful delight. I would highly recommend Pizzeria Toscana restaurant for some Italian food. It is by far the best Italian restaurant I have visited and to top it up it was quite reasonable with the rates as well.

One of the many Chapels.

Photo of Salzburg, Austria by Gouthami Vasudev

Out of all the colors, why did they choose teal?

Photo of Salzburg, Austria by Gouthami Vasudev

Not Paris, they wanted to show that love is everywhere :P

Photo of Salzburg, Austria by Gouthami Vasudev
Day 5

Salzburg means "Salt Castle". The name derives from the barges carrying salt on the Salzach River. I booked a hotel for two days via Booking.com since its a historic town with a lot of places to visit.

My recommendations would be the Old Town where the Hohensalzburg Castle is also located. The view from the Castle is something that you cannot miss. The audio guide tour (included in the entrance fee) inside the castle is a good history class. The old part of the town where the castle is present on the southern bank of the river Salzach has been kepr well preserved. Walking through those lanes gives a historic touch. The old town is also famous for shopping. The Alter Market, Sigmund-Haffner-Gasse and the Kranzlmart are famous for their High End Luxury brands. Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Pandora are few shops I can remember. You would also come across a lot of museums and chapels which can visited, if interested.

Another favorable mention would be to stopover at Eisriesenwelt -Ice Cave located 40 kms south of Salzburg. It is the largest ice cave in the world. Please keep in mind that the cave remains closed in Winters and opens on May 1 for tourists. Check it's website for the updated dates before going.

The river clearly separates the old town from the new

Photo of Why visiting Austria is any day better than Switzerland? by Gouthami Vasudev

Hi Sir. Mozart :)

Photo of Why visiting Austria is any day better than Switzerland? by Gouthami Vasudev

The Castle.

Photo of Why visiting Austria is any day better than Switzerland? by Gouthami Vasudev

I went shopping as well. I would highly recommend to visit the oldest breweries in town Augustinerbräu - Kloster Mülln and Stiegl Brewery Salzburg GmbH (the one near the fort). You won't regret. They have still maintained the traditional beer straight out of wooden barrels and had in ceramic glasses.

Last but not the least, the well acclaimed movie Sound of Music was shot here and the tour which would take half a day is very popular.

From Salzburg, I took a train back to Innsbruk and flew to Amsterdam. There are flights from Salzburg too.

According to me, why would Austria be better than Switzerland any day?

1. You would be seeing the same mountain range - Alps from the other side.

2. Remarkably less tourists which everyone would prefer.

3. The budget falls surprisingly low when compared

4. You also get to visit UNESCO world heritage sites in the same budget and travel across the country

5. You get to be a traveler here and not a tourist.

Switzerland is not any less beautiful by any standards though :) Happy travels!

6 Comment(s)
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V nice !
Mon 10 08 18, 22:34 · Reply · Report
Nic place of sm imfl
Wed 09 20 17, 14:41 · Reply · Report
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Wed 08 16 17, 22:21 · Reply · Report
Much helpful!!
Tue 05 02 17, 07:41 · Reply (1) · Report
:)
Fri 05 12 17, 11:23 · Report
Much helpful!!
Tue 05 02 17, 07:40 · Reply · Report
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