Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Trips I'm Planning: 11 Days in Austria & Croatia

A few months ago, I got the amazing news that my dear friend Sis is engaged! It's been a while since I've gotten to spend time with her (almost 5 years since our time in London, to be exact), so I am really looking forward to visiting her in Austria and being present for her special day.

St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna

Hubby and I have been wanting to explore a few different parts of Europe, and he's never been to Austria, so at first I thought we'd explore Austria some more, or take a train to Prague for a few days, or check out Budapest or some cities in Germany. But he's had a hankering to see Croatia, and Sis has been on a couple of incredible sailing trips there, so we figured - why not check another country off our bucket list! 

Austria - Vienna and Nussdorf am Attersee
Croatia - Split and Dubrovnik

5 - 6 days in Austria, 5 days in Croatia 

DAYS 1 & 2
Arrive in Vienna. Depending on when we land and get to our hotel, we'll spend the rest of the day wandering around the main city center and meeting up with friends! We're likely going to stay in the area of the Opera House - at first glance there are some very reasonably priced hotels in that area, and it's a good hub to catch both trams and the subway lines. We'll then have a full day in Vienna before heading out of town for the wedding.

The Gloriette in the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace

I really want to take Hubby to some of my favorite spots in Vienna like the Schönbrunn Palace, the Anker Clock, St. Stephen's Cathedral, and of course, to have coffee and cake at Café Sacher! We've been really into coffee lately, so I think Hubby is quite looking forward to the cafe culture of the city. Nights in Vienna.

DAYS 3 - 5
On our third day, we'll be heading out of town to Nussdorf am Attersee, the small town on Attersee lake where Sis will be tying the knot! It's about a 2.5 hour drive east and a bit south from Vienna, so we'll rent a car, and take the scenic route, perhaps stopping for a coffee in Melk, or detouring to Hallstatt to check out the vistas. 

Sis has some mysterious to-be-revealed plans for the day before the wedding and the day of the wedding, so we're not planning a lot for the other days we'll be in Nussdorf am Attersee... other than maybe driving the 40 minutes to Salzburg for breakfast or something one of the day! Nights in Nussdorf am Attersee.

Day 6 is essentially a transit day. We'll leave Nussdorf am Attersee on the early side to make it back to Vienna for our flight to Croatia! We'll arrive in Split, Croatia after a 4 hour layover in Zagreb, where we'll hopefully have time to pop into town for a meal! Night in Split. 

Zagreb, Croatia

We'll wake up in Split, and spend the day wandering the city, checking out the Riva waterfront promenade, Diocletian's Palace (and its substructures!), Matejuška Port, and the Peristil Square... there are some seriously cool things to check out in Split. There seem to be lots of kayaking tours offered as well, which I think we would enjoy as an afternoon excursion before having a traditional Dalmatian cuisine for dinner! Night in Split.

From the lovely Getting Stamped blog

There are several day tours to Plitvice Lakes from Split, and I am determined to take one. It's a long day - the drive there and back is several hours, but the lakes are not something I want to miss on a trip to Croatia. Not every tour group operates every day, so I will likely try to plan ahead and pre-book for this tour. I just have to decide which tour we like best! Night in Split. 


Plitvice Lakes (photo by Michael Matti)

Similarly to the tours to Plitvice, there are loads of boat tours to the islands and caves near Split. I'm very interested in some of the tours that check out the Blue Cave, other coves and islands, and Hvar, though we might also look into some that are more about island hopping and snorkeling! Night in Split.

Cove off the coast of Split

DAY 10
Up bright and early this day to make sure we arrive on time for the catamaran ferry to Dubrovnik! The sailing schedules I've found for the Kapetan Luka ferry service has the ferry leaving at 7:40am, but the good news is that they arrive in Dubrovnik at 12pm so we'll still have plenty of time to explore!

High on my list for Dubrovnik are walking the city walls (it's only about 1.2 miles for the entirety, but takes about 1.5 - 2 hours to walk) and spending time in the old city. I have a strange obsession with walled cities, especially ones you can walk on! (See: Obidos, Portugal and Derry, Northern Ireland to name a few!)

After our walk, I am rather determined to find the "hole in the wall" bar. It's actually called Buza Bar, but it's situated really amazingly on rock terraces outside of the city walls. I think it will be appropriate for our last evening in Croatia! Night in Dubrovnik.

Buza Bar, Dubrovnik

DAY 11
On day 11, we'll have the morning to do more exploring in Dubrovnik before heading to the airport to fly back to Vienna. There is tons to check out in Dubrovnik, plus, we'll probably be cramming in some shopping, too! Then, it's zipping back to Vienna for one last night with Sis and her family before heading back home. Night in Vienna. 

Have you visited Vienna and Croatia? Are we missing anything that's a must-see?

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