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a VirtualTourist member from Columbus


Day Trip to Semmering?

My son and daughter-in-law will be in Vienna Dec. 21-30. They want to take a day trip to a beautiful mountainous/ski resort area that is not too far from Vienna. From what I can find out, it seems that Semmering/Hirschenkogel would be a good place for them to spend a day. Questions: Will the train ride from Vienna to Semmering have beautiful scenery? Is the train station right in the middle of the town? Are there taxis in town? There will be lots of snow there, won't there?How far is the cable car to Hirschenkogel from the train station? Can you ride the cable car up and back down just to look around, or is it just for people who are actually skiing? Is there a restaurant on top? Tell me about the main town of Semmering---is it small enough to walk around to shops and restaurants without freezing to death? How long a walk is it to the Grand Hotel Pannhaus from the train station? I have also read about a ski area called Stulech that I thought was at Semmering---if not, where is it?? Any information you could give me about a nice day trip to Semmering would be a wonderful help----I will pass it along to my son---I'm his "travel researcher." Looking forward to hearing from someone. Thanks so much, Sharon Jiles

6 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Vienna

Hi ! My experience about Semmering is too long ago, but maybe it helps a bit to have the right spellings: Gandhotel Panhans - it is certainly not far from the station, as it was built as a hotel for train-passengers. Stuhleck - is in the same area, but we used to go there by private bus organized by our school. The ride from Vienna to Semmering will take 60 minutes maybe and I would not call it very scenic, BUT Semmering is scenic of course. - check for train connections. make a "keywordsearch" with Semmering and other words here on VT - there are some helpful tips as well ! good luck ! Michael

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Split

Hi if I am not completely wrong, there are FIS races that days on Semmering, so may be overcroweded. Try to check this side: Regards darko

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Vienna

Semmering area will be overcrowded during this time anyway. It is the nearest ski ressort to Vienna and after Christmas everybody has holydays, so many people will make day trips to Semmering. Stuhleck is thegreater ski ressort and i do not know, wether they have atrain station, probably not. If you just want to see snow and wander around, hirschenkogel will be the better option for you, if you want to ski go to Stuhleck. Probably Mönichkirchen could be another option, just to see snow. It is a much smaller skiressort at the Lower-Austrian-Styrian border and there are public busses (check, unfortunately only in german (-> Linien -> Line GI for their schedules). Mönichkirchen is much smaller and will probably not be such overcrowded than the semmering area.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Göttlesbrunn

Hello [VT member 3b806] ! Thank you [VT member 3b806] your mail. Hotel Panhans is very close to the train station because it was originally built for the train passengers. In former days nearly all guests came by train ... Hirschenkogel is a rather long distance from the trainstation, as it lies directly on the main road over the pass. There was always a lot of traffic there, but it seems to be better now, because all the traffic is going now through a tunnel under the mountain. Of course there is the cable car going up and down the Hirschenkogel. I think it is not only for people who do skiing. I was up once and went down again. There is a nice viewing point on the mountain and if the weather is good, you can see very much there. If I remember well, there is no restaurant on the mountain. But next to the ground station of the cable car, there are many restaurants. A walk through the village is nice, you can see many wonderful old villas in the very unique style. Semmering was once a very popular holiday resort for the Viennese. Many famous people spent a lot of time there: Composers like Schubert and Beethoven, Arnold Schönberg and literates like Arthur Schnitzler and Karl Kraus, who wrote "Die letzten Tage der Menschheit" (the last days of mankind) here. In summer there is also held a Schnitzler festival here. The train ride from Vienna to Semmering is not so scenic, exept maybe the area south of Vienna, around Baden and Gumpoldskirchen. There are many vineyards here. But in Winter this is not very scenic at all. But you will love the ride along the Semmering mountain railway. It is very scenic! The railway itself was one of the austrian railway pioneer works, because it was the first mountain railway in the world, built by Karl Ritter von Ghega. All these things were the reason, why the UNESCO registered the whole area as a World Cultural and Natural Heritage. I think you will love this area .... Have a great time! Manfred

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Vienna

Sharon, trust in your excellent research and don´t get confused: Semmering is a charming traditional, yet a little "haunted" resort definitely worth visiting; yes, there will be also a lot of people and a ski race after Xmas - exciting. But this won´t bother you too much, it is such a wide area. Yes, the last part of the train ride up to Semmering is very scenic (go there early in the moring!). Semmering is NOT a town, not even a village really. Imagine a mountain pass, and mostly old villas scattered across the mountain slopes in the forest in a wide area - it´s unique! Many old villas are architectural pieces of art. You have to take a taxi from the railway station (too far to walk, a steep slope up the mountain). You may walk the area for an hour or so on foot (if it´s not too cold, hopefully there will be lots of snow! - ask for the "Villenweg") - or by taxi ? - ; you may take a ride up to Hirschenkogel mountain to the restaurant on top; very few shops; some restaurants; make sure to take some coffee or tea at the Panoramahotel Wagner (the most breathtaking location!). I love Semmering! (slogan: "the enchanted mountain") - there is so much history and culture about this area - almost every villa will tell a story of past glory, fame and fortune... some little booklets available at the Panoramahotel Wagner Forget about Stuhleck, it´s just another skiing mountain about 10 km from Semmering pass, no other places of interest there

answered by
a VirtualTourist member


Hi, Your son and daughter in law are going to love semmering. Myself and my wife found it by accident. We were staying in vienna for our anniversary and like your son, wanted to see some proper snow. We asked and were told about semmering. We visited and have been back every year since. Last year we took the children. We are visiting again in February as we can't stay away. They will need to get to Wien Sudbahnhof railway station. From there they will need to catch a train to either Payerbach or Wiener Neustadt (think thats how they are spelt)This train journey is the start of an amazing trip and is worth doing if you just did a round trip. The scenery is absolutely stunning and as you creep away from Vienns the snow gets closer and closer and deeper and deeper. This is called the Magic Mountain Railway and they will see why. It takes you back in time and has an amazing history. Look up Semmering Magic Mountain on Google. There are something like 16 Viaducts and 12 Tunnels on route which coil round to gain height to go over the mountain. The views are breathtaking. They should alight at either of the above mentioned stations depending which train is caught(there may be a direct train I am not sure)and catch the lazy mountain train the last stretch to Semmering. When you get out you wonder where the hell you have been left. Taxis wait at the station or can be called or you can take a beutiful but uphill walk to the Hirschenkogel. Wow. There is very little there but a few hotels/restaurants a post office and bank and some bars. The Igloo bar is good. Then you have your mountain. There are about 7 ski runs and a toboggan run which is about 5km I beleive. Our first visit we just spent the day and went tobogganing all day. Amazing fun! You can hire all you need very cheaply and take the ski lift to the top of the mountain. You can come down again by cable car if you wish but dont pass up the opportunity to be children again and take a toboggan down. You wont regret it. There is a lovely bar and restaurant serving very good food at the top called Liechtensteinhaus. You can even sunbathe in the snow if you wish. If you come down by sledge there are bars on the way down to call in on and a lovely log cabin at the bottom. Last year when we visited the snow was very poor, it was still 2 feet in places. This year so far it has been up to 5 feet and is now about 3 feet. We have been for some fantastic walks in the snow covered woods up the mountain. It was like something from Hansel and Grettel. I think Semmering itself is along the road about 1 maybe 2 miles away. I have never been myself but I plan on walking there this year. I have never been to Stulech either. Sorry. I think the hotel Panhans is ashortish walk from the station but is away from the ski resort. I can recommend either the Sonnwendhof or the Gasthof Berghof where we are staying this year. They are literally right at the foot of the slopes and from the balcony you can watch the night ski sessions which are floodlit. Eerily beautiful! The view down the mountain from the Sonnwendhof is stunning and looks a typical Austrian Chalet type building withy snow covered gables. Visit there websites at and To view the Hirschenkogel visit There are snow reports and pictures and a live webcam to view the area. The webcam is on a tower at the top of the mountain and shows the ski lifts and the Liechtensteinhaus Bar/Restaurant. You can book or view train times at Good luck and I hope they have a very good trip. I hope I hav'nt raved too much about it but I am afraid I am sold on the place. If you want to speak to me about it, by all means call me on 07768 080514 or 0117 975 6677. Regards Tony

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