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Christmas itinerary for Germany/Austria/Italy

Christmas itinerary for Germany/Austria/Italy

Old Oct 17th, 2021, 03:00 PM
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Christmas itinerary for Germany/Austria/Italy

Hello Fellow Travelers.
After a weekend of reading and researching, I may be more overwhelmed than I was when I started so I thought I would go to my fellow travelers and ask for help and advice on this itinerary.

We are a family of 4 (adult kids 19,23) who will be flying into/out of Munich (arrive December 15 and depart the 29th.)

What we know:
We arrive in Munich at 9am on December 15. We plan to visit Christmas markets and explore Germany for the first 5-6 days.
(I've really struggled over whether or not we should do the Alsace region or Bavaria but since we are flying into Munich, I though maybe we could explore towns along the Romantic Road. I know Rothenburg ob der Tauber is very touristy but it just sceams Chistmas to me and has the look of those classic, colorful Bavarian homes I've come to love from all the blog photos I've admired. I think we would like to stay a nigh here and could even use this as a base and then would need one other recommendation for seeing towns like Regensburg, Nuremberg, Annaberg, Esslingen, Bamberg, Dinkelsbuhl and Wurzburg. We'd like a mix of exploring towns and seeing Christmas markets too. While in Bavaria, we would like to tour Neuschwanstein Castle but not sure the best time to do that and if doing over the holiday would mean really long lines and waits.

Austria:
We plan to head to Austria from Germany on December 20.
What we want to see/do: Salzburg, Hallstatt, Mieders, VIpiteno/St. Magdalena in Italy.

What we have planned:
12/23-26 - Staying in Mieders, Tyrol (near Innusbruck) for Christmas
In a perfect world, we would go there from Munich to Mieders but bc it's Christmas, we also wanted to see Salzburg and attend their Christmas markets. I'm pondering if we should go to Salzberg from Munich and stay 3 nights before going onto Mieders and then doing Halstatt for a night on Dec 26 and then forgo Italy (tho we really want to go to south Tyrol and see the Dolomites) or just do a daytrip to Halstatt from Salzburg. Sigh,...so much to see ,so little time.

I'd also love any recommendations on what to do or any local traditions we must do while in Austria for the week.
Is there a restaurant that anyone would recommend for a meal on Christmas Eve or day? We would love to have a sleigh ride but the only ones I've found are based out of Salzberg on Christmas day and that won't work for us.

Thoughts on itinerary, things to do or places to eat/stay are welcome. Thank you in advance. It's forums like this that I'm always grateful for when I travel and I'll be sure to report back afterwards.

Jeanna
jcole77 is offline  
Old Oct 20th, 2021, 11:33 AM
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We lived in Austria for seven years before returning to the U.S. in 2019, and I understand your desire to see everything. We traveled extensively over those years and still have a long wish-list of places if/when/should we return. That written...

Things to think about in Central Europe at wintertime: shorter daylight, the weather, and reduced hours/train schedules around the holidays. With your schedule I would skip Italy and Hallstaat* and focus on a lovely tour of Bavaria, Salzburg and the Salzkammergut along with your Christmas stay in Mieders. It's a little early for the Christmas market schedules to be out, especially in this almost post-pandemic environment, but what I propose you do is to investigate which markets will be open and plot the time between (are you planning to drive or take the train?) You've got a good start, you just need a little reality and some fine tuning.

*Hallstaat can be a "doable" day trip, but really, the little town is its most magnificent after the day trippers have left. I might leave it out on this holiday.
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 05:32 PM
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Rothenburg will not disappoint you. Just beware that there is a Rothenburg (ob der T
auber) and a RothenBERG, which, as it turns out, is a point on a GPS map. Don't ask me how I discovered this! But Rothenburg, once you get there, is one of the most beautiful walled cities on earth. Be sure to climb the tower for a great view!
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 11:47 PM
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Just beware that there is a Rothenburg (ob der Tauber) and a RothenBERG, which, as it turns out, is a point on a GPS map.”

I guess if you remember “berg” means mountain, that might help.

Last edited by Heimdall; Oct 30th, 2021 at 12:28 AM.
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Old Oct 30th, 2021, 03:29 AM
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First question: are you planning to spend any time in Munich itself? Plenty of Christmas market activity there.
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Old Nov 5th, 2021, 01:44 PM
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I had the pleasure of visiting this area in December 2018
In Munich, the Medieval Christmas Market is a MUST!! In Salzburg, I loved taking a strudel class with Edelweiss Cooking School, and the Advent Market at the Franziskischlössl (weekends only). An absolute highlight, and strong recommendation is to visit St. Gilgen for 3 nights to explore their 3 Christmas markets (via ferry boat), enjoy a winter walk between St. Gilgen and St. Wolfgang via the pilgrim trail Falkenstein (magical in the snow and be sure to ring the church bell!).
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