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Passau or Salzburg

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We are doing a Christmas Market Cruise the first week of December.  One of our ports is Passau.  The cruise line offers an optional all day excursion that day to Salzburg.  We have never been to either port.  For those of you who have been to both - which did you prefer and why?  Thanks for your assistance.

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Both are quite lovely but we prefer Salzburg as we are huge Mozart fans. We did not take the optional excursion offered by the ship - we opted to take the early morning train thus affording us more time in Salzburg than that offered via the ship. 

Edited by dogs4fun

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If you are a Sound of Music fanatic - then Salzburg.

 

Best read up on both townns and then you make the decision.

 

Salzburg Christmas Market can get very crowded, it has been known that the police have closed off the market because of too many visitors. Also you are looking at upto (could be more, depending on the weather conditions) two hour drive each way.

 

I am totally unbiased.🍻

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Hard choice. Have been to both while driving through Europe. Depends on what you like. To me, Passau is less commercialized, but a smaller scope.

Salzburg excursion is also much more expensive and time consuming.

I am going on a cruise this December and had to make this same choice. I actually wanted Passau but agreed to go to Salzburg with the rest of my group. 

Neither one is a bad choice. As said previously, do some research and choose the best for you!

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Salzburg was a significant bus ride on our cruise - like two hours each way.  Just a factor to consider.

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We docked in Linz and took the high speed train to Salzburg - one hour each way. Very inexpensive and had much more time to spend in Salzburg than those that booked the optional ship excursion (they departed after breakfast - we departed before breakfast). Plus, we actually toured all the sites in Salzburg that my family wished to visit whereas the optional ship tour is mostly a walking tour of the old town with some free time plus lunch.

So - if one is a bit adventurous, there are other options. 

Edited by dogs4fun

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Yes, when we cruised the Danube our cruise ended at Passau. So we arranged our own train from Passau to Salzburg. At disembarkation, we went directly to the train station then on to Salzburg, and spent a night there. Then we took the train to Munich for a night before flying home.

 

Salzburg merits more than a day trip IMO. If a day trip were my only option, I'd stay in Passau and save Salzburg for another time. We found that there was a lot to do over 2 partial days there, and we wanted more time.

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We did a Christmas Markets cruise last December.  We loved Passau.  Yes it is smaller but there is a lot of history there, and there were unique glass items at the market.  Lovely cathedral, that was having a wonderful concert we were lucky enough to get tickets to.  Great shops in addition to the market, we got a cuckoo clock on sale while we were there. 

 

Salzburg was wonderful,huge Christmas Market,  but it is a long drive and you don't get enough time to really explore.  I'd save it for another time.

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On 10/14/2019 at 6:19 AM, jpalbny said:

Yes, when we cruised the Danube our cruise ended at Passau. So we arranged our own train from Passau to Salzburg. At disembarkation, we went directly to the train station then on to Salzburg, and spent a night there. Then we took the train to Munich for a night before flying home.

 

Salzburg merits more than a day trip IMO. If a day trip were my only option, I'd stay in Passau and save Salzburg for another time. We found that there was a lot to do over 2 partial days there, and we wanted more time.

I have to agree.  We did something similar a couple of years ago.  We caught the train from Munich to Salzburg, then stayed overnight before heading to Lucerne the next day.

 

An overnight was definitely better than a day trip, and we got to eat at the oldest restaurant in the world!, but really a second night would have been much better.

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Agree both are worth a visit.

Salzburg is a special place in a scenic setting and deserves more than a couple of hours.

We had a marvellous guide last trip, who made the remark that the city is much more than the sound of music fame, he was correct.

The walk along the river was beautiful albeit was cold and sunny late December.

Many music concerts  are performed during the year,  and held in high esteem around the world. It is a lively university town with cafes and unique shopping opportunities.

The first time we visited on a river cruise we had a long bus ride and a mediocre guide.

The best part was the stop for morning tea in a little town near a lake.

We were marched into an extremely crowded tiny street where it was difficult to see much of interest. Then into the market square area and briefly through the park featured in sound of music.

On the way back she played sound of music stuff.

Another option we had on a different river cruise was brief independent time to see Passau, we had been taken to the church previously to hear the organ being played. 

This time we walked near the 3 rivers and into the town, some lovely buildings, cafes and good shopping areas.  

Then we returned on board for a beautiful scenic cruise to Linz to collect the passengers back from trips to Salzburg or Cesky Krumlov.

Difficult choices that if fortunate may mean other trips, will allow visits to all in time.

There is never enough time and a lot depends on the guide, weather, crowds and individual interests. 

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We have returned from our cruise and we opted to stay in Passau. It turn ed out to be our favorite port. As most everyone suggested, we will do Salzburg another trip.

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