Guidebook Updates for Austria

When we learn of critical changes to the information in our guidebooks on Austria, we post them here. (We’ve also thrown in updates for Bratislava, Slovakia, as it’s included in Rick Steves Vienna, Salzburg & Tirol; for updates on southern Bavaria, also included in that book, see our guidebook updates for Germany). Of course, it’s still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally. Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you’re set for a great trip!

Bratislava

  • The Mahart hydrofoil boats between Vienna and Budapest no longer stop in Bratislava.

For books printed before November 2014, the following may apply:

  • The Nový Most bus stop has been renamed “Most SNP.”
  • The Prazdroj beer hall has closed.
  • Penzion Chez David has closed.

Danube Valley

For books printed before November 2014, the following may apply:

  • There is no longer regular train service along the north side of the river; Krems is only served by a special “nostalgia” train, which does not go to Melk.
  • Mauthausen Concentration Camp Memorial now charges no admission fee. It also has new opening hours: March–early July daily 9:00–17:30; early July–Oct Tue–Sun 9:00–17:30, closed Mon; Nov–Feb Tue–Sun 9:00–15:45, closed Mon.
  • The Tom’s Gourmet, Tom’s Leger, and Tom’s Café eateries in Melk have closed.
  • The Gasthof zum Schwartzen Wirt in Melk has closed.
  • Hotel Stadt Melk has changed its email address to office@hotelstadtmelk.at.

Hallstatt

For books printed before November 2014, the following may apply:

  • The town’s tourist information office has moved; it’s no longer on the main square but rather by the Lahn boat and bus stop at Seestrasse 99. Its hours are the same, except that on July and August weekdays it’s open until 16:00 rather than 18:00.
  • Walking tours run by the tourism office are now offered on Mondays during high season (May–Oct) at 17:00 and cost €8.
  • Hotel Grüner Baum no longer does laundry for non-guests. However, the old town’s “general store,” the Gemischtwarenhandlung am See, has a coin-operated washer and dryer (€5 each, daily May–Oct 7:00–21:30, shorter hours Nov–April, across from the Protestant church, mobile 0664-917-9001).
  • Dirndl Rental to Go now operates out of Gasthof Simony (daily May–Oct 11:00–17:00, Nov–April by arrangement).
  • The Hallstatt Museum is now open May–Sept daily 10:00–18:00; April and Oct daily 10:00–16:00; Nov–March Wed–Sun 11:00–15:00, closed Mon–Tue).
  • The town’s train station (across the lake) now has a ticket machine.

For books printed before April 2013, the following may also apply:

  • Drivers should be prepared for a new parking system, as the town center is now closed to traffic. If you’re staying the night, head to lot P1, reserved for hotel guests. Day-trippers should pick lot P2, which is a shorter walk to the town center.

Reutte

For books printed before November 2014, the following may apply:

  • STM Shuttle Services has gone out of business; there is currently no Reutte-based taxi service to or from the castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau.

Salzburg

For books printed before November 2014, the following may apply:

  • The “Five O’Clock Concerts” (5-Uhr-Konzerte) mostly held in the Michael-Haydn-Museum have been canceled.
  • The Old Residenz palace is closed Mondays, except in July and August.
  • To get the Rick Steves discount for the Mozart Dinner Concert held at the Stiftskeller St. Peter restaurant, reserve by phone at +43 0662/828-695, or email office@skg.co.at.
  • Hotel zur Goldenen Ente is closed for renovations until late 2014.
  • To reach Hangar-7, take bus #10 not (#8) from Hanuschplatz to the Pressezentrum/Kuglhof stop (don’t get off at the airport terminal). Bus #10 runs Mon–Sat 4/hour, Sun 2/hour.
  • The Internet café near the Mönchsberg elevator has closed. Fortunately, the city has free Wi-Fi hotspots in the Mirabell Gardens, on Mozartplatz, and on Kapitelplatz (choose “Salzburg surft” and click “Agree”).

For books printed before August 2014, the following may also apply:

  • Drivers must purchase an Austrian toll-road pass — called a Vignette — if they are using any toll road in Austria, even if they are just going from the German border into Salzburg.

For books printed before December 2013, the following may also apply:

  • Panorama Tours offers a €5 discount off their €40 Sound of Music tour when you reserve by phone at 0662/874-029 or 0662/883-2110 and pay in cash at their bus stop. The discount is not valid for online reservations.
  • The correct phone number for Hotel Trumer Stube is 0662/874-776.
  • Hotel Goldene Krone has been renovated, and is now called Hotel Krone1512. It has the same phone and fax numbers, but its website is now at www.krone1512.at and its email address is hotel@krone1512.at.
  • These route tips for drivers were inadvertently left out of the third edition of Rick Steves Vienna, Salzburg & Tirol:

From Salzburg to Innsbruck: To leave town driving west, go through the Mönchsberg tunnel and follow blue A-1 signs for Munich. It’s 1.5 hours from Salzburg to Innsbruck.

From Salzburg to Hallstatt: Get on the Munich-Vienna autobahn (follow blue A-1 signs), head for Vienna, exit at Thalgau (#274), and follow signs to Hof, Fuschl, and St. Gilgen. The Salzburg-Hallstatt road passes two luge rides (see Hallstatt chapter), St. Gilgen (pleasant but touristy), and Bad Ischl (the center of the Salzkammergut, with a spa, the emperor’s villa if you need a Habsburg history fix, and a good TI, tel. 06132/277-570).

For books printed before April 2013, the following may also apply:

Vienna

  • The Mahart hydrofoil boats between Vienna and Budapest no longer stop in Bratislava.

For books printed before November 2014, the following may apply:

  • The Vienna Opera no longer allows standing-room ticket holders to enter the concert hall after the performance has started. If you come for just the finale, you’ll watch it on closed-circuit TV.
  • The K&T Boardinghouse location at Mariahilfer Strasse 72 has closed; the location at Chwallagasse 2 remains open.

For books printed before August 2014, the following may also apply:

  • The new main train station (Hauptbahnhof) is up and running, and the station known as “Südbahnhof (Ostbahn)” has closed.
  • Lucky Chinese Restaurant has closed.

For books printed before April 2013, the following may also apply:

  • Local guide Lisa Zeiler has a new mobile phone number: 0699-120-37550.
  • St. Stephen's Cathedral has closed its separate museum and has moved its treasury collection back inside the cathedral proper; you'll find it an elevator ride up from just inside the main cathedral entry.
  • At the Kunsthistorisches Museum, curators have been busy rehanging the painting collection. Expect shifts and changes in the locations of many paintings.
  • The Haus der Musik is now half-price after 20:00 (not 17:30).
  • Visitors to Schhönbrunn Palace can now book advance timed-entry tickets online.
  • The Museum of Modern Art (MUMOK) has new hours: Mon 14:00–19:00, Tue–Sun 10:00–19:00.
  • The Vienna Boys' Choir has a new email for ticket requests: office@hofburgkapelle.at.