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Wachau -Train or rent car from Vienna? Cesky Krumlov too?

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Washington, DC
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Wachau -Train or rent car from Vienna? Cesky Krumlov too?

My husband and I are spending about three days in Vienna early Sept. and then wish to go to the Wachau Valley. Possible itinerary: train from Vienna to Melk (non-stop possible?). Boat from Melk to Spitz. Bicycle Spitz to Durnstein. Bus Durnstein to Krems and spend the night. Next day train to Linz and then shuttle to Cesky Krumlov. Spend the night. Figure out way back to Vienna (any suggestions?). ALTERNATIVELY - Thinking about renting a car for 2-3 days. BUT, would not want to drive in Vienna, itself. Any place to rent a car at a nearby train station (direction Wachau Valley)?

Questions: If we stick with the train, where can we store our luggage while "running around" the Wachau Valley? Specific place to rent bicycles in Spitz (that may be returned in Durnstein)? Recommend adding Cesky Krumlov to the mix?

Thanks!

Vienna, Austria
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1. Re: Wachau -Train or rent car from Vienna? Cesky Krumlov too?

Why not staying a night right in the Wachau? It is actually easy to go there. Get the train from Vienna to Krems, then by the local bus line WL1 to a place (right) in the Wachau (e.g, Dürnstein, Weissenkirchen, Spitz) that preferably also has access to the ferry services. From a moreless central place in the Wachau you can even reach the farthest towns Melk and Krems within a relatively short time. On the day you contiue to Linz you simply take the local bus to Melk (train station) and catch two trains (initially local service, then express) to Linz. Thereafter by shuttle to Cesky Krumlov.

A rental car would make the whole undertaking much easier (but isn't a must as explained above). Moreover, with a car you could follow the river in upstream direction where you additionally find beautiful sections beyond Melk. I question whether Cesky Krumlov should be included in your itinerary. I know the picturesque views of the old town but there also nice options on the Austrian side. A very nice area is the "Salzkammergut" (Lake) District between Linz and Salzburg where you find many clear lakes, cozy towns surrounded by mountains of moderate height.

Check here: www.salzkammergut.at

Edited: 25 February 2014, 18:20
Washington, DC
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2. Re: Wachau -Train or rent car from Vienna? Cesky Krumlov too?

Thanks so much for your suggestions! I will check out the "Salzkammergut" (through your link) as an alternative to Cesky Krumlov. It sounds like that would be a whole lot easier. And, it also sounds like renting a car for 2-3 days would be a good idea. BUT, as mentioned, we prefer not to rent in Vienna as we don't like driving in large, unfamilar, cities. Do you know of a place in the general direction we are heading (accessible by train) where we could rent a car. Of course, I can do research on my own...maybe we can rent in Krems or Melk.

vienna
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for Lower Austria
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3. Re: Wachau -Train or rent car from Vienna? Cesky Krumlov too?

Several answers to your questions-

Yes - some trains Vienna- Melk do not require changes.

But those with a change - this in St. Polten can be done easily and quickly.

The St. Polten station was fully renovated a few years ago- user friendly and well marked - just short distances between tracks.

Melk makes a great visit

www.stiftmelk.at

many bike options-

DDSG the boat company rents bikes with their Danube tours

www.ddsg-blue-danube.at

Next Bike - many kiosks to rent and drop off bikes along the Danube

Melk- Spitz- Durnstein Krems included

www.nextbike.at

In Spitz

www.wachau-touristik.at

do not know if they have one way feature.

An alternative -many hotels and pensions have bikes for their guests to use.

Luggage storage - Krems and Melk train stations have 24 hour lockers in several sizes.

Hotels will quite often hold luggage for you.

With bus, train boat and bike travel - no great need for an auto if you decide not to rent.

To my knowledge neither Melk or Krems have normal auto rental firms.

One local auto dealer has rentals in krems but these normally for clients having service.

I would stay in Durnstein or Spitz.

September will be grape harvest time- and some interesting almost wine drinks- fun to see the harvest.

Most, Sturm etc. great for a different experience.

The villages mentioned above have fine choices of accommodation and completely change character after the end of the day when most tourists leasve,

Durnstein especially nice with old buildings , village walls and castle ruins lighted.

Washington, DC
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4. Re: Wachau -Train or rent car from Vienna? Cesky Krumlov too?

Thanks for your advice. Sounds like we have a nice "problem" in trying to figure out where and what to do... so many good choices!

vienna
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5. Re: Wachau -Train or rent car from Vienna? Cesky Krumlov too?

some sites that may help you

www.wachau.at

www.donau.com

www.duernstein.at

www.krems.at

www.stiftmelk.at

Vienna, Austria
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6. Re: Wachau -Train or rent car from Vienna? Cesky Krumlov too?

I would not worry about renting a car in Vienna. If you will be leaving Vienna in the late morning, traffic won't be a problem. Alternatively, you could go to Vienna Airport by public transport and rent from there what in particular would make sense if you left Austria by plane from there. From Vienna Airport to Krems, the downstream "gate" to the Wachau, you can entirely rely on expressway, You can either use A4 (towrds Vienna), A23 (in direction Brno, Praha), A22 (towards Stockerau) and finally S5 or rely on A4 (towards Vienna), S1 (towards Vösendorf), A21, A1 (towards St. Pölten) and finally S33.

Dublin, Ireland
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7. Re: Wachau -Train or rent car from Vienna? Cesky Krumlov too?

re renting a car and going to krumlov....just beware, SOME hire companies do not allow their cars into the Czech republic. so if booking, and you want to go there, check before you pay!

Edinburgh, United...
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8. Re: Wachau -Train or rent car from Vienna? Cesky Krumlov too?

To get to Cesky Krumlov from Linz by train, I would highly recommend the Donau-Moldau-Ticket, which is available at the ticket machines and counters at Linz Hbf. for €18 per person (or €10 if you have an Austrian railcard). This counts as a four-day open return and can be used on Austrian and Czech trains from Linz to Ceske Budejovice (Budweis) and from there on the local Czech train to Cesky Krumlov. You can find out more about it on the ÖBB website: oebb.at/en/…index.jsp

Ceske Budejovice is also worth a stop if you have time between changing trains - there are lots of restaurants and cafés as well as a good hypermarket next to the railway station.

Washington, DC
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9. Re: Wachau -Train or rent car from Vienna? Cesky Krumlov too?

Thanks for this advice!

Washington, DC
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10. Re: Wachau -Train or rent car from Vienna? Cesky Krumlov too?

thanks.