2 weeks in Bavaria and Tirol

Old Jan 10th, 2015, 04:02 AM
  #1  
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2 weeks in Bavaria and Tirol

Planning a 2 weeks vacation for my wife and myself (32 yrs old), for beginning of December 2015. We would like to visit somewhere nice and were thinking of Bavaria and Tirol. We already visited Innsbruck 4 years ago in May. What do you recommend for Bavaria and Tirol? I think we will fly in and out of Munich. We don't want to unpack and pack a lot so if we can stick to 3 places and make them as a base and then we can do day trips by train from those bases that will be fantastic. We like scenery, lakes, mountains (no skiing), some museums, shopping and good food. We will mainly use trains and buses. We are not hikers.
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Old Jan 10th, 2015, 06:52 AM
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December is certainly not the best month for "scenery, lakes, mountains". There is not much daylight in December, it's usually rather cold and heavy winds, snowfall and thick fog cannot be excluded. I would therefore rather spend may time visiting Munich and may be Salzburg (or a bigger town) and some palaces/castles in between
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Old Jan 10th, 2015, 06:54 AM
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I live in Munich. Dec is Christmas market time. Ha, ha, you will be sick of them by the time you leave!!

If you base yourself in Munich, you could do day trips using the Bayern Ticket (or some other regional ticket - do check cos they are cheaper) to Nuremberg, Salzburg, Garmisch.

In Garmisch, you could go up the Zugspitz which is Germany's tallest mountain (not cheap though) - http://zugspitze.de/en/winter/mountain/zugspitze. There is also a mountain lake there called the Eibsee. Spectacular scenery. The town of Garmisch is also quite quaint. You could also spend one or two days in Garmisch if you want more time to enjoy the lovely alps.

There is a lake to the south of Munich called Starnbergersee (Starnberg Lake) which you can get to with the S-Bahn. Unfortunately, the boat trips don't operate in Winter. There are a few places with nice walks along the lake. On a good clear day, if you are lucky, you can see the alps in the background.

Southeast of Munich are two other lakes - Chiemsee and Tegernsee. Lovely Bavarian atmosphere and nice traditional buildings in the towns.

If you want to learn about the concentration camps, there is Dachau. And in Munich, a Jewish museum.

There are also lots of very good museums in Munich to while away your time on a cold winter's day.

One thing I highly recommend is to time your trip with a Perchtenlauf, also called Krampuslauf - see if this would interest you - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwymz5mUScY
This is a procession of mythical horned demons. You can google to learn more about the tradition. The dates for 2015 are not out yet. Make sure you go for the big procession as there are two. The big one last year was on 14 Dec so it should be around the same time. I'm going to guess that it'll be on Sunday 13 Dec this year.

Have you already been to the official Munich website - http://www.muenchen.de/int/en

Getting to Tirol from Munich for a couple of days is also easy if you want a snow-filled holiday.
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Old Jan 10th, 2015, 06:55 AM
  #4  
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I agree,so do you suggest somewhere?
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Old Jan 10th, 2015, 07:32 AM
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I was just in Munich and Salzburg in late November. Yes, the days are shorter but if you are willing to get an earlier (perhaps than usual) start there is still plenty to see and do IMO.

Munich offers a great deal as was mentioned above. Salzburg, depending on what you want to see, you can do in a couple of days IMO (this timeframe might be influenced by the fact that I have been there several times in the past).

Where else in the Tirol? Good question but are you absolutely determined that you MUST fly in and out of Munich? Would you be willing to fly into Munich and out of, say, Venice? Milan? Vienna? Prague? (You do have two weeks remember)

Just a thought.
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Old Jan 10th, 2015, 07:36 AM
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Well Yes I can fly out of Milan as well.
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Old Jan 10th, 2015, 08:38 AM
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Is Lake Chiemsee nice during December? And are there easy day trips from there?
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Old Jan 10th, 2015, 03:43 PM
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We spent 4 nights in the area of Achensee in Tirol a few years ago. It's a beautiful area with several nice small towns such as Maurach and Pertisau. We stayed at a great wellness hotel/spa called Vier Jahreszeiten (Four Seasons) in Maurach.

http://www.4jahreszeiten.at/

http://achensee.com/en/
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Old Jan 14th, 2015, 10:31 AM
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Haven't been checking this thread. I have to go see how to get notified of replies.

Re Chiemsee in Dec - the two islands there are accessible in winter. On Herrenchiemsee island is the castle - http://www.herrenchiemsee.de/englisc...lace/index.htm - and on Fraueninsel (Ladies Island), there is a Christmas market (only on two weekends though). Here is the link for 2015 - http://www.christkindlmarkt-fraueninsel.de/english. I went there for this once and stayed overnight on the mainland. The island is small and you can walk around it quite quickly. There are also some restaurants and accommodation on it. At night, the lights are lit up and it's spectacular.

The lake itself during the day is as pretty as it can get in winter. You can go to the different villages around and take a look (only recommended if you stay a few days). Unlike other lakes in Bavaria, the boats here run through the winter.http://www.chiemsee-schifffahrt.de/f...r_englisch.pdf

Here's the timetable for this winter just so you get an idea - http://www.chiemsee-schifffahrt.de/f...oad/Wifa14.pdf. It's in German. If you are serious about going, then write to the tourist office in Prien and ask for one in English closer to the date.

In Prien, there is a very nice swimming complex called Prienavera. It's enclosed and they have a pool which is outdoors too. This is heated to 34 degrees in winter. Wellness is also available. Check that out if you want some relax time.

Re Tirol - what do you want to do? Skiing, just be in a mountain village or in a city. Would you be willing to rent a car? If I think of Tirol in winter, then only doing something that revolves around snow comes to mind.

Having said that, one place you could do on a day trip in Tirol is Kufstein. http://www.kufstein.com/en/holiday-kufstein.html. It's a small place that can be covered in a day trip.

If it's mountains you want, you don't have to leave Germany. Two beautiful places are Mittenwald and Reit Im Winkl. Google them. After Mittenwald, the train/road continues through the mountain range and crosses over to Austria/Tirol. There is a town there called Seefeld which is good for cross-country skiing.

Oh yes, talking about Reit Im Winkl, if you base yourself in Prien, you could do day trips also to Salzburg and Reit Im Winkl.

I believe Achensee/Maurach as suggested by bettyk is only accessible by train to and bus from Jenbach which is in Austria. Will take about 3-4 hrs to get there.
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Old Jan 14th, 2015, 10:32 AM
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Oh sorry .. didn't see that you don't want to do skiing. Well then, Kufstein and Salzburg are doable as day trips from Munich.
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Old Jan 14th, 2015, 11:31 AM
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Thanks
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Old Jan 14th, 2015, 01:29 PM
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For your Bavarian train trips they are mainly regional trains that can be used with the bargain Bavarian Lander Pass - bought at any German train station and then both of yous can ride unlimited regional trains and urban transports the whole day for about 29-31 euros total in 2nd class. Even goes to Salzburg (to me a nicer place for non-skiiers than Innsbruck at that time of year) - for lots of nice info on German trains here are some neat sites to check out: www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

If doing Slazburg and Innsbruck - cities are neat at Christmas with Xmas markets, etc you can take one of the most scenic train rides in Europe between them - the longer inland route going wholly via Austria - thru lush Alpine valleys and thru neat towns like and Zell-am-See - also a neat town on a lake - a nice low-key place to stay.
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Old Jan 15th, 2015, 05:02 AM
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"Is Lake Chiemsee nice during December? And are there easy day trips from there?"

Prien is the main town and train hub. Prien's homepage:
http://tourismus.prien.de/en/main/home.htm

munich_madl already mentioned some things in the immediate area. Possible day trips:

1 hour into Munich for shopping, dining, museums
1 hour to Salzburg
1.5+ hours to Berchtesgaden
15 min. to Aschau and the gondola ride up to the top of the Kampenwand (which overlooks Chiemsee): http://www.kampenwand.de/index.php?r...er_990x300.jpg

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...a_Bavaria.html

The "Bavarian Lander Pass" PalenQ mentions is known in Germany as the "Bayern Ticket" and it actually costs €28 per day for two from any ticket machine. It is valid all day on Saturday or Sunday, but on weekdays it is NOT valid until 9:00 am. It would be valid for all the day trips mentioned above and for others throughout Bavaria. When you travel into Munich it will be good on all modes of transport there... subway, bus, tram, etc. Of course if you use it on one day only to reach Aschau, you will pay less if you just get a regular ticket. Read details here:
http://www.munich-touristinfo.de/Bavaria-Ticket.htm
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Old Jan 15th, 2015, 09:50 AM
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The Bavarian Ticket also comes in first class for not that much more and IME on regional trains 2nd class can at times become SRO - especially when they act like school buses with swarms of teens jumping aboard - at those times first class will be rather empty and a good refuge - plus first class is, obviously, always more comfy than 2nd class - so consider the Bayern Ticket in first class - still a real bargain. That said not all regional trains have first class - all that I have been on do but others say some don't.
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Old Jan 18th, 2015, 01:27 AM
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Do you think Berchtesgaden is good during December to spend 5 days there and then take day trips? People suggested also Garmish, but we aren't skiiers, just would like to see some mountains but that is all, so GaP I can do it as a day trip from Munich.
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Old Jan 18th, 2015, 10:11 AM
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I'd say off hand that Garmishc is better as a base than Berchtesgaden - just the number of easy day trips from G-P - the Zugspitze train even if not a skier - buses or train and bus can easily take you to Fussen and Mad Ludwig's Castles - Innsbruck and Mittenwald, both neat towns, are a short train ride - Oberammergau too and on and on.

Berchtesgaden I don't know of many easy daya trips of great interest though Salzburg of course and the Chiemsee for Mad Ludwig's Versailles - Herrenchiemsee on an island in the lake.
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