>> I'm looking into Hallstatt too. We currently have an AirBNB in Salzburg scheduled for the whole time in Austria, but it's one I can cancel with no charge...so maybe we'll adjust it a day for Hallstatt.
You could consider doing this as a day trip from Salzburg - 2.0-2.5 hours each way. From Hallstatt railway station, you go across the lake in a small boat to the village on the other side. The pier is below the railway station, and there is a path down to it. I can’t remember how steep it is, but doing it without luggage would certainly be easier.
>> we are getting two of the 5 day 4 country 2nd class Eurail passes, a 5 day 3 country 1st class Eurail pass, and the 4 day 2nd class Swiss Travel Pass for while we're in Switzerland.
Make sure to use a first-class pass for any night trains, so you can get a proper sleeper.
>> now I'll get online to make the reservations to Switzerland from Hamburg. Are there a bunch of different vendors for that? Is one better than another?
When I travelled from Interlaken Ost to Hanover, I travelled during the day with a Eurail Pass, and made seat reservations on the Deutsche Bahn website. However, they do not offer reservations for the Nightjet.
Hopefully others can give you better advice about your options.
>> Will taking a night train count as 2 days for the pass?
If you board one or more trains that depart after 7 p.m. (19:00) and arrive at their final stop after 4 a.m. (04:00) then only the day of arrival needs to be entered into the travel calendar.
>> Will there be an issue using our 1st class Eurail pass and then the 2nd class STP?
I would avoid this sort of situation and use a single pass for the whole trip, unless you had to change trains at Basel Bad anyway. Then you could use your 1st class Eurail Pass from Hamburg to Basel Bad, and the second class Swiss Travel Pass on a different train from Basel Bad to Zürich. But it doesn’t look like that would be a sensible use of the Swiss Travel Pass in any case, given your plans for that day and the following day.
>> Alpenrose, We're still working out whether we want to stop in Liechtenstein, so I really appreciate the info so we can make that decision now instead of on the trip.
Make sure you know that there is something worthwhile to see there (and easily accessible by public transport) before deciding to take a break there.
Personally, I wouldn’t bother ;-) I read about tourist attractions in Liechtenstein from time to time, but have yet to come across anything that could hold a candle to the attractions in nearby Switzerland or Austria.
If you wanted to break a trip between Switzerland and Salzburg, I would do so at Innsbruck - a town with a beautiful Altstadt (old town), superb mountain views from town, and easy trips up to the mountain top.
>> Does the Eurail pass handle traveling from Lucerne or Zurich to Salzburg or will we need to buy something to cover the last day in Switzerland other than that, as our STP won't cover us that day?
If you have a Eurail Pass that is valid for both Switzerland and Austria, and validated for the day you travel from Switzerland to Salzburg, yes it will cover you.
>> I'm just looking for reservations, and we would like a sleeper. I'd appreciate some directions.
I assume this is for your trip from Hamburg to Zürich in the night train. I haven’t used the night train on this route myself, so the information that follows is from research, not from personal experience.
From what I understand, this service is run (strangely enough) by the ÖBB (Austrian Railways). If you are buying a ticket, you can book a sleeper on the ÖBB website. However, if you have a Eurail Pass and want to book a sleeper, it seems you have to book through ÖBB Customer Service:
Holders of Interrail or Eurail tickets require a seat reservation in their desired category to travel on ÖBB Nightjet trains. These “Pass” tickets are available at the ticket counter or through the ÖBB Customer Service at +43 5 1717.
www.nightjet.com/en/bu chung/tarifinformation en.html
There are probably other options through third-party agents, but others will be better qualified to advise you on those than I am.