Bavaria 8 day itinerary

Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 06:16 PM
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Bavaria 8 day itinerary

Hi all! My wife and I are looking to do a Bavaria trip next April/May 2023 for about 8 days. We were supposed to go in 2020 but it got ruined by covid We are in our 40s and away from our 3 kids for an adult-only trip, so we are a bit limited on time that we can ask our parents to watch the kids. I visited Munich about 15 years ago for a weekend, but other than that most of it will be new for us.

Curious what you all would think about this itinerary:
1 - red eye flight
2 - arrive early in Munich, rent a car and drive to Oberammergau, hopefully check in early to the hotel, afternoon at Linderhof Palace, overnight in Oberammergau
3 - morning at Neuschwanstein/Hohenschwangau, drive to and stay the night in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
4 - day in Bamberg, overnight in Bamberg
5 - couple of hours in Regensburg, drop car off in Munich, evening train to Salzburg
6 - Salzburg
7 - Salzburg, evening train to Munich
8 - Munich
9 - Munich
10 - flight home

So we'd be staying 1 night in Oberammergau, 1 night Rothenburg, 1 night Bamburg, 2 nights Salzburg and 3 nights Munich

Thanks!
Scott
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Old Mar 24th, 2022, 03:55 AM
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Thinking about this, not a fan of the multiple 1 night stops. What if we were to add a day and do 2 nights in Oberammergau, 2 nights in Rothenburg ODT (with a day trip to Bamberg), 2 nights in Salzburg and 3 nights in Munich?
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Old Mar 24th, 2022, 05:48 AM
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My first thought regarding your itinerary is that you probably shouldn't be driving anywhere on your day of arrival. My second thought, why drive at all, why not just take public transport?

It's very fast paced. You've only allowed one full day for Salzburg, an area that could easily fill two weeks.

With eight days, I think I'd stick to 2 bases. Both Munich and Salzburg are good bases for day trips. From Munich you can visit Neuschwanstein/Hohenschwangau and Oberammergau as two separate day trips. You could also visit Regensburg as a day trip from Munich. But that's three days, and leaves no time for Munch.

From Salzburg you can make easy day trips to Berchtesgaden (not on your list) and the Salzkammgergut, and still have a full day to explore Salzburg.

I personally feel one night is not long enough to justify the trek to Rothenburg. Especially as you plan to use your one and only day there as a day trip to Bamberg.

Having said that, a few years ago I led a ladies trip to Germany on a similar schedule. We had three nights Bamberg with a stop in Nurnberg on the way, two nights Rothenburg and three nights Munich, with a side trip to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau.

The trip was utterly exhausting, and we used public transport.

Last edited by Melnq8; Mar 24th, 2022 at 05:57 AM.
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Old Mar 24th, 2022, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Melnq8 View Post
My first thought regarding your itinerary is that you probably shouldn't be driving anywhere on your day of arrival. My second thought, why drive at all, why not just take public transport?

It's very fast paced. You've only allowed one full day for Salzburg, an area that could easily fill two weeks.

With eight days, I think I'd stick to 2 bases. Both Munich and Salzburg are good bases for day trips. From Munich you can visit Neuschwanstein/Hohenschwangau and Oberammergau as two separate day trips. You could also visit Regensburg as a day trip from Munich. But that's three days, and leaves no time for Munch.

From Salzburg you can make easy day trips to Berchtesgaden (not on your list) and the Salzkammgergut, and still have a full day to explore Salzburg.

I personally feel one night is not long enough to justify the trek to Rothenburg. Especially as you plan to use your one and only day there as a day trip to Bamberg.

Having said that, a few years ago I led a ladies trip to Germany on a similar schedule. We had three nights Bamberg with a stop in Nurnberg on the way, two nights Rothenburg and three nights Munich, with a side trip to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau.

The trip was utterly exhausting, and we used public transport.
Thank you for the feedback! Yes, all the one night stops are a bit much and in my 2nd post I already changed it I was thinking adding one extra day to be 9 days and changing to the accommodations to 2 nights in Oberammergau/Gamisch area, 2 nights in Rothenburg, 2 nights in Salzburg and 3 nights in Munich.

The drive from Munich train station to Oberamergau is listed as 90km (1 hour, 15 minutes) so that didn't sound too bad even for the first day - I was hoping we could arrange to check into the hotel early afternoon, take a shower and a nap and go out later in the afternoon Even if we couldn't check in early, we could stop at Linderhof before checking into the hotel, which would be close.

With 2 nights in Salzburg, we'd have most of 2 days (thinking one in Salzkammgergut and the 2nd in town) with an evening train back to Munich the 2nd day. You are correct I was planning to skip Berchtesgaden, not sure how the weather is that time of year April/May from what I've read.

We could also just do either Rothenburg or Bamberg and not both, but from what I've read it sounded like evenings in Rothenburg is more pleasant wihtout the crowds so we'd have two nights there with the partial day trip up to Bamburg (which we could always skip if we decided we wanted to spend a full day in Rothenburg).

So would be more like the following:
1 - flight (redeye)
2 - pick up car, check into hotel, visit Linderhof palace/Ettal Abbey, stay in Oberammergau
3 - Zugspitze, stay in Oberammergau
4 - Neuschwanstein/Hohenschwangau, drive to and stay in Rothenburg ODT
5 - day trip to Bamberg, stay in Rothenburg ODT
6 - lunch in Regensburg, drop off car in Munich, evening train to Salzburg
7 - day in Salzburg
8 - day in Salzburg, evening train to Munich
9 - day in Munich
10 - day in Munich
11 - early morning fly home


The other option I was tossing around would be having 2 bases using train and no car, with 4 nights in Nuremburg (with day trips to Bamburg and Rothenburg) and and 5 nights in Munich (with day trips to Salzburg and Neuschwanstein). It just seems like the car would be quicker getting around Fussen and Rothenburg areas.

Thanks again!!
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Old Mar 24th, 2022, 08:37 AM
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We did a similar trip several years ago - Munich, Upper Bavaria, Bavarian Alps. We flipped the destinations around though - visiting Munich first, then Upper Bavaria, then the Alps. That worked really well because we didn't have to go anywhere on arrival in the country - no driving initially which I think allows for getting past the jet lag easier. I try not to drive on arrival after an overnight flight if I can help it - just makes for a better start to the trip. On that trip, we stayed some time in Munich, then took the train to Nuremberg which we used as a base to visit other places by train. Then rented a car and went to the Alps. I liked having a car in the Alps because it allowed us more freedom to wander around. The choice of having a car or taking the train around Bamberg, Nuremberg, and Rothenberg obT really depends on what you are going to do. If you are going to visit the towns, then the train is great - it's easy, train stations are well-located, and you don't have to worry about parking - just hop on the train and go. Rothenberg obT is on a spur line, so you have to change trains to get there, but it's not hard and train schedules are aligned. With a car though, it's easier to stop at the smaller places along the way. You don't have a lot of extra time though, so you might not have time to stop en route anyway.

Regarding Rothenberg obT and Bamberg - I enjoyed them both, but I much preferred Bamberg. So if it comes down to a choice between the two or a choice of which one to visit for the day and which one to stay in, Bamberg has the edge IMO.

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Old Mar 24th, 2022, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by november_moon View Post
We did a similar trip several years ago - Munich, Upper Bavaria, Bavarian Alps. We flipped the destinations around though - visiting Munich first, then Upper Bavaria, then the Alps. That worked really well because we didn't have to go anywhere on arrival in the country - no driving initially which I think allows for getting past the jet lag easier. I try not to drive on arrival after an overnight flight if I can help it - just makes for a better start to the trip. On that trip, we stayed some time in Munich, then took the train to Nuremberg which we used as a base to visit other places by train. Then rented a car and went to the Alps. I liked having a car in the Alps because it allowed us more freedom to wander around. The choice of having a car or taking the train around Bamberg, Nuremberg, and Rothenberg obT really depends on what you are going to do. If you are going to visit the towns, then the train is great - it's easy, train stations are well-located, and you don't have to worry about parking - just hop on the train and go. Rothenberg obT is on a spur line, so you have to change trains to get there, but it's not hard and train schedules are aligned. With a car though, it's easier to stop at the smaller places along the way. You don't have a lot of extra time though, so you might not have time to stop en route anyway.

Regarding Rothenberg obT and Bamberg - I enjoyed them both, but I much preferred Bamberg. So if it comes down to a choice between the two or a choice of which one to visit for the day and which one to stay in, Bamberg has the edge IMO.
Thanks for all the info!! It is tough to figure out where to go as there seem to be so many cool places, it is hard to decide between them all!

Our flight out the last day will likely be early so it kind of necessitates that we stay the last night in Munich. I'll figure out options once we go to buy flights though.
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Old Mar 24th, 2022, 09:38 AM
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Yes, there are so many great places in Bavaria to see. It is very hard to narrow it down to something that's manageable for a 10-12 day trip. I've been to Bavaria several times and still only scratched the surface.

If you want to end in Munich due to flight times (which makes sense), you could visit Upper Bavaria first by train, then get a car to visit the alps - then finish up in Munich. That would work well also. There are a lot of ways that you can put this together. I think the key is to not try to cram too much in so that you have the time to really enjoy the places that you do go.
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Old Mar 24th, 2022, 09:46 AM
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Please do not drive on your arrival. It may be only 90 minutes according to your route planner but it is not a route to take when feeling even the slightest bit jet lagged. You can have micro sleeps and honestly driving while jetlagged is the same as driving while drunk. For you safety and the safety of others don't do it.
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Old Mar 24th, 2022, 03:26 PM
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I am also not a fan of your first day - not a good idea to drive when you just get off the plane, leave that for your second day. Also - if you have an overnight flight you will likely conk out in the afternoon so planning any activity you actively want to do for that time is possibly going to go wasted. I know that will probably put a spanner in your works but the first day and sometimes also the last day are often not 'productive'. Perhaps some gentle 'getting to know the neighbourhood' in Munich and a nice lunch might be in order.

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Old Mar 24th, 2022, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by lavandula View Post
I am also not a fan of your first day - not a good idea to drive when you just get off the plane, leave that for your second day. Also - if you have an overnight flight you will likely conk out in the afternoon so planning any activity you actively want to do for that time is possibly going to go wasted. I know that will probably put a spanner in your works but the first day and sometimes also the last day are often not 'productive'. Perhaps some gentle 'getting to know the neighbourhood' in Munich and a nice lunch might be in order.

Lavandula
Thank you! We could possibly switch up the order to take the train to Salzburg when we get in, stay 2-3 nights. And then either rent a car from Munich to drive Fussen area to Rothenburg or Bamberg. Or just use trains and stay in Nuremburg as a home base for a few nights. And then finish out in Munich. Too many options.

I should have said tray I have been to Munich once before, but will be the first time for my wife.

But, starting to think maybe we would like to see Berlin too...

We could do 4 nights in Munich, take the train to Bamberg and stay 2 nights, then take the express train (just under 3 hours) to Berlin for 3 nights and fly out from there?

Last edited by scottulrich7333; Mar 24th, 2022 at 06:47 PM.
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Old Mar 25th, 2022, 05:56 AM
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Nooooo...you're making things worse, not better! Less is more. Stick with one area and leave Berlin for next time.
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Old Mar 25th, 2022, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Melnq8 View Post
Nooooo...you're making things worse, not better! Less is more. Stick with one area and leave Berlin for next time.
LOL I'm starting to have trouble not taking the chance to see Berlin (I've already been to Munich, but my wife hasn't). We could skip north Bavaria and take the train straight from Munich to from Berlin, its only 4 hours from Munich and we could just fly out from there? Or if we were to skip Munich, is there another city you would recommend pairing with Berlin? Daytrips to Potsdam and Dresden?
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Old Mar 25th, 2022, 07:05 AM
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You've fallen into the planning pit. Too many options, too little time. I get it.

My only advice, don't stretch yourself too thin. You can't see it all in eight days. Prioritize what you most want to see/do and go from there.
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Old Mar 25th, 2022, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Melnq8 View Post
You've fallen into the planning pit. Too many options, too little time. I get it.

My only advice, don't stretch yourself too thin. You can't see it all in eight days. Prioritize what you most want to see/do and go from there.
There is never enough time and it is killing me to only go for a little over a week. I'm going to try to talk my wife into bringing the kids so we can go for a few weeks, but I think her goal is to get away for a bit.
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Old Mar 25th, 2022, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by scottulrich7333 View Post
There is never enough time and it is killing me to only go for a little over a week. I'm going to try to talk my wife into bringing the kids so we can go for a few weeks, but I think her goal is to get away for a bit.
We all wish we had more time for traveling, and there is never enough time to see everything. I think your wife's goal of getting away is a good one - it is important for couples to get away together. You have 3 kids and you have someone willing to watch them for the duration of your trip - even if it is "only" 8 days. Take advantage of that. Go on vacation with your wife. Don't bring the kids. Family vacations are great, but they are different. Completely different. If you want to take your kids to Europe, plan that another time.
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Old Mar 25th, 2022, 02:17 PM
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Munich works better thematically with Bavaria and areas into Austria. Berlin is a totally different animal and takes a lot of time, at least 4 days. It is a huge, great, sprawling thing with a completely different history and not at all like the Bavarian towns. With Bavaria you can for the most part switch off and just enjoy the pretty (unless you are doing Nazi history in Nuremberg and Munich). Berlin demands the brain and full attention, and just isn't pretty. Interesting, moving, challenging, but not really pretty. Do Bavaria this trip, keep it thematically similiar, and leave Berlin for another time. There will be another time, don't worry, and you can bring the kids then. They will love Checkpoint Charlie!

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Old Mar 25th, 2022, 04:26 PM
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Stick to Bavaria

OVERNIGHT
Day 1. Salzburg Arrive Munich in AM. Train to Salzburg.
Day 2. Salzburg Visit Town
Day 3. Salzburg (Rent car in AM at Freilassing, Germany, a short taxi ride from Salzburg).
Day Trip to Salzkammergut.

Day 4. Garmisch-Partenkirchen Drive to Garmisch in AM. Visit Linderhof palace/Ettal Abbey, Oberammergau in PM
Day 5. Garmisch-Partenkirchen Zugspitze in AM. Afternoon in Mittenwald.

Day 6. Rothenburg Visit Neuschwanstein/Hohenschwangau in AM.Drive to Rothenburg in afternoon.
Day 7. Rothenburg Day Trip to Bamberg

Day 8. Munich Rothenburg in AM. Drive to Munich in PM. Turn in rental car in Munich.
Day 9. Munich Visit city
Day 10. Munich Visit city
Day 11. Fly home

Salzburg to Garmisch-Partenkirchen https://goo.gl/maps/rkk9KfHne8tHEaZMA
Garmisch-Partenkirchen-Fussen-Rothenburg https://goo.gl/maps/pni1AahLq8G9sDbN6
Rothenburg-Rothenburg https://goo.gl/maps/FbPswhmGZqhjv5sQ9
Rothenburg-Munich https://goo.gl/maps/gQVqzsPNqkAKzRMZ6
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Old Mar 25th, 2022, 05:02 PM
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[QUOTE=dugi_otok;17347262]Stick to Bavaria

Hi, thank you for the itinerary suggestion!! Still trying to figure out which party of Germany if we just stay in one region. It seems most people here prefer Munich over Berlin?

I'm just thinking that if we go without the kids this trip to Munich and bring them next time in a few years to go to Berlin... I would have guessed the opposite, that Munich, Salzburg, the mountains, castles and palaces would have been more interesting to the kids than the museums, art and history of Berlin?

We would also have more time, probably 3 weeks, maybe even 4 weeks, with the whole family and I would have thought that Munich would tie in a little better with a Europe trip... Something like Paris to Switzerland to Munich.
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Old Mar 25th, 2022, 07:26 PM
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You have a good bit of time to work on your plan, so don’t feel pressed to make make a decision or get it together this minute. I offer some questions and some personal comments/opinions based on my own perspective and experience of traveling with kids and family in Europe. I hope some of it is helpful, but you didn’t ask, so feel free to ignore.

You might like a longer trip, but would have to take the children. Your wife wants an adult trip, but it would have to be shorter. How old are your children, or how old will they be by time of the trip next year?
How many children and do any of them already have some particular interests?
You say you could take three or four weeks with the children. If the trip is in Spring, which is a great time, what about their school?

This comes back to your wife’s feelings and your thinking.

Just you and your wife, you can decide to sleep in or to jump out of bed and be sightseeing in minutes. Not with kids. Sit at a cafe all afternoon. Not with kids. Transportation might be different. Could you do trains or would you need a larger car? Hotels or BnBs will be different too. You and your wife could do luxury or backpack. Not with kids. Even little kids can enjoy travel, but may not get much out of it. If they are still quite young, their care may take up so much time that your wife would not enjoy it as much and not be able to stay out with you for late dinners, etc. Maybe this is what your wife is thinking. Maybe she is needing that time with you.

OTOH, by time they are in school, children can benefit from it a lot and be a ton of fun to travel with. They see things we overlook and see them so differently. Their delight is so spontaneous and infectious. We lived in Germany eons ago when my kids were ages 5 - 10. DH and I made one weekend trip to Paris without them. After that, we took them, every time, everywhere. DH and I have traveled on our own in later years, but my memories of so many things my kids said and did during their (and our) first experiences in Europe are what make me smile now. Based on my personal experiences in Europe, if they are school age, absolutely, no question, I would definitely choose a longer trip and take them.

That being said, if you decide to take the kids, can you take a short trip with your wife before then? Perhaps something not requiring so much effort and planning. Look at Travel Zoo. Maybe something would pop up. Maybe just three or four days in Paris. Just get there and go day by day.

Another idea. We did two weeks in Bavaria and Austria with my MIL and FIL. They sometimes watched the children so DH and I had some time, then went off on their own for a bit. It was wonderful, a memory my DDs treasure forty-five years later. We toured Italy with my Mom and The Netherlands with my Dad. We have taken a half dozen trips with my DD and GD. It works great. Is there any way either set of parents would consider joining you for part or all of a trip and taking care of the kids during part of the trip? Yes, I know it is not always easy to be with family like that and it adds to the logistical issues. Just throwing it out there because in spite of any difficulties and frazzled nerves (yep, does happen), I have never for a minute regretted it.

I really like dugi’s itinerary. Funny thing for me though, is, I would like it more for the kids, and I like it as a Summer Family trip when it is so hot in Italy and Spain. My kids loved Bavaria, the castles, lakes, etc. They waded in cold mountain streams, rowed boats on lakes in Berchtesgaden and went to a candle light concert in Herrencheimsee Palace. They liked museums too, but were well prepared for what they would see, and it was in short doses, followed by playgrounds or a physical activity.

I would definitely not do two major cities in a week with kids, and if you do take them, consider which cities. You and your wife know your own children. I would not worry about big doses of history. Just let them enjoy the place. Someone here once said that London was like catnip for kids. I agree 100% with that! My kids also enjoyed Rome and Paris, but they loved London and all of The Netherlands.

Happy planning.
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Old Mar 26th, 2022, 03:46 PM
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Hi scottulrich7333, I actually prefer north Germany over Bavaria. I have spent a lot more time in the north and know it better. I wouldn't say I prefer Bavaria over Berlin, but just when you have planned a whole itinerary for Bavaria, which kind of works, I don't understand why you would suddenly change it for Berlin. But if you prefer an itinerary for Berlin, do some homework on Berlin and some other places nearby, and bring it back here as a question, and we will refine it for you. Take a selection from Berlin, maybe Potsdam, maybe Harz Mountains, maybe Leipzig, perhaps also Dresden - you will need to cut down if you only have a week. But Berlin will consume most of your time. Personally, if you already have an itinerary for Bavaria, I would stick with that. There is plenty for kids to do and see in Berlin (Legoland, Spree River cruise, Checkpoint Charlie, pockmarked buildings from bullet holes ....) wrapped up in a history lesson. Then if you want pretty, Harz Mountains and its little townships is a good choice. Then you could keep driving south back to Frankfurt for your way home, perhaps on the German Fairy Tale Route. You could do just a few of the stops.

Lots of possibilities, maybe for your next trip.

Lavandula

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