Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Germany, Bavaria, Romantic Road And Austria in December

Germany, Bavaria, Romantic Road And Austria in December

Jul 11th, 2009, 10:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 168
Germany, Bavaria, Romantic Road And Austria in December

Well after a 2 year hiatus from taking my Europe trips I have decided that this December we are going to be doing another trip.Thinking of going from around December 17th to Jan 2 (14 nights) I will be flying into Frankfurt and Out Of Vienna.

I am putting together a rough itinerary for the trip which looks like this:

Frankfurt 2 nights
Rothenburg 2 nights
Neuchwanstein Tirol area 2 night
Munich 2 nights
Salzburg 2 nights
Vienna 3 nights

I could add a night to either Munich, Frankfurt or Salzburg to make a total of 14. I will be renting a car when we leave Frankfurt and be returning it when we arrive in Vienna. If we can add another 3 or 4 days to the trip (budget permitting) i would think about adding Prague on at the end and flying out of Prague. We have already been to Rhine, Mosel area.

Any thought, suggestions on itinerary, driving conditions in the snow in december, places that will be closed, restaurants, hotels, websites, guidebooks or just any comments would be appreciated.

lexluther is offline  
Jul 11th, 2009, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Make sure your car is equipped for snow. Major highways will be cleared but when you head into the mountains - esp on secondary roads - you may run into some winter road conditions (and be sure you're comfortable driving in snow).

Separately, check out opening hours of major sights. They're likely to be shorter than in mid summer - never mind the fact that the days will be much shorter - dark at 4 pm instead of 9 pm.

I would actually organize the trip somewhat differently - rather than change hotels so many times we prefer to stay in a central location and do day trips. (Either do Neuschwanstein from Munich or vice versa to cut back on changing hotels.) And I've never been enamored of Frankfurt.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 11th, 2009, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,226
Here is a list of some of the Christmas markets in the Frankfurt area if you are interested:

* 23 Nov.- 23 Dec. Offenbach Located around City Hall
* 23 Nov.- 23 Dec. Darmstadt Located at Market Square
* 24 Nov.- 23 Dec. Wiesbaden Located at Castle Square - City Hall
* 25 Nov.- 22 Dec. Frankfurt Located at the Roemerberg Town Square
* 26 Nov.- 22 Dec. Aschaffenburg Located at Castle Square
* 27 Nov.- 23 Dec. Limburg
* 28 Nov.- 20 Dec. Bad Homburg v.d.Hoehe Romantic Christmas Market at the Castle

Though there is certainly enough things to see in Frankfurt to keep you busy for a long time, you might also look at going to Mainz to their wonderful Cathedral, or down to Würzburg. The Residenz there is fabulous. Or a visit to Seligenstadt. If you like classical music, many churches will be having concerts during this time period.
Mainhattengirl is offline  
Jul 11th, 2009, 11:14 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,740
In a nutshell:

Check for a possible surcharge for renting in Germany and returning in Austria.

Check rental contract for winter equipment. Winter tires are a must, chains are not. Snow is not a common feature in December in those lower elevations (possible exception: Tirol). But even with snow, driving is not an issue when you got winter tires.

Christmas markets end on December 24.

From early afternoon Dec 24 until and including Dec 27, shops will be closed (Dec 25/26 holiday, 27 sunday).

Many sights will be closed from Dec 24 until and including Dec 25. You should check potential sight individually for opening hours around Christmas.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jul 11th, 2009, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 23
only thing about a day trip from munich to neuchaunstein is i don't think it's that close.(by time you get there,and the lines for the castle, seeing it, back) i know , when i was in munich last year i wasn't able to make the trip and was very disappointed. besides don't short your time in munich , it is a very pretty , exceptionally clean city. we did one of those hop/hope off buses for a tour of the main sites it was very informative .
NyCitygal is offline  
Jul 11th, 2009, 07:27 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,226
Most Christmas markets close before the 24th, as the stands need to be torn down and the people want to be home by this day. There are a few cities, like Berlin, where the markets run after Christmas. See my previous post. Each city has their own dates, but the trend is to close on the 22nd and 23rd at the latest.

Stores are usually open on the 24th til about 1400 and then cities literally shut down. Unless you have a reservation at a hotel dining room, you won't even find a restaurant open. The 25th and 26th are official holidays and stores will be closed, many museums and tourist sites, but restaurants tend will usually be open unless they have simply closed down for the holidays.

If there are museums or tourist attractions you would like to visit during this time, I would check with them to see what their hours are.
Mainhattengirl is offline  
Jul 12th, 2009, 03:28 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
"I would actually organize the trip somewhat differently - rather than change hotels so many times we prefer to stay in a central location and do day trips.""

I agree. The least amount of packing and unpacking the better.
kfusto is offline  
Jul 12th, 2009, 07:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 168
Thanks to everyone for the responses. Have been reading a little more and thinking of updating the itinerary a little bit:

Munich 3 nights
Rothenburg 2 nights
Fussen or Reutte 2 nights
Insbruck or Hall 1 night
Hallstat 2 nights
Salzburg 3 nights
Melk 1 night
Vienna 3 nights

Total 17 day trip

Has anyone been to Melk, Hallstat or Hall Or Fussen, Or Reutte in December?

Thanks for all the great comments from everyone.
lexluther is offline  
Jul 12th, 2009, 08:51 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,740
Reutte is a nice small town with a castle. But also the whole Ausserfern (the high valley from Reutte to Ehrwald) is a nice spot in winter. While there is often low-hanging grey skies in the lower elevations in Munich, Füssen, or Garmisch, the Ausserfern is higher and thus often enjoys bright skies. Lots of hiking opportunities in the area.
A popular scenic drive from Reutte is via idyllic and remote Plansee to Linderhof castle (already again in Bavaria). If you are lucky and already have snow, you will understand while auto makers like Porsche or BMW go to the shores of Plansee to take fotos for their ads.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2009, 02:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,511
I would do a loop and begin and end in Munich. I would also drop any one niters---skip Innsbruck and hit Melk for 2 hours as you drive. Hallstatt is an easy day trip from Salzburg. So, I would only have hotels at Munich, Rothenburg, Fussen[Oberammergau],Salzburg, and Vienna---5 hotels are better than 8. Start and end in Munich, with the last nite near the airport--I guess that makes 6 hotels. Nice trip !
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jul 13th, 2009, 06:42 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 555
Neuschwanstein is an easy daytrip from Munich if driving a car. You can see more than just Neuschwanstein (e.g., some combination of Hohenschwangau castle, Linderhof, Ettal, the Wieskirche) depending on how early you start out. Of course, winter opening hours are generally a bit shorter, so you have to schedule carefully. You can make reservations for timed Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau tours on the internet so you can plan more precisely and avoid any lines, though lines shouldn't be a big problem in December and January.
Paul1950 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2009, 07:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 679
Shameless plug: Check out my report from our trip to Munich, Neuschwanstein, Salzburg, and Hallstatt last Christmas. It may help answer some of your questions:

Where will you be based on Christmas Eve/Day? In Munich, it seemed to us that everything is very quiet on Christmas Eve (shops closed, some restaurants open) but far more lively on Christmas Day. In fact, almost all restaurants seemed to be open on the 25th.

As for Christmas markets, we were in Salzburg on the 26th and 27th, and the markets were still in full operation. I can't speak for markets in any of the other cities you're visiting, though.

What a great trip you'll have! Even though the weather was very cold, we absolutely loved our Christmas holiday in Bavaria and Austria!
Meredith is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,869
Füssen was fine last year in late Dec. The only difficulty we had last Dec was in Bacharach with places being closed, but you aren't going there. Rothenburg, Salzburg, Fussen were no problem at that time - just the normal caveat that stores shut down at midday on the 24th and don't open until the 27th. Tourist activities (in our case, we did the salt mines and Sound of Music Tour) may operate on the 25th and 26th.
bigtyke is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:51 AM.