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puddinggow Oct 23rd, 2012 07:14 PM

Munich Trip in April 2012 (Bavarian & Salzburg) - itinerary help please
My Mom and I are planning a trip to Munich at the beginning of April 2013, just after the Easter bank holidays for 5 nights. We have already booked our flights and arrange to stay at the Motel One Sendlinger Tor. We are planning a few days trips and a preliminary trip schedule looks like this.

Day 1 (Wed) – Arrive Munich from London mid-morning & spend the day in Munich
Day 2 (Thu) – Day trip to Salzburg by train (Bayern ticket)
Day 3 (Fri) – Day trip to Mittenwald and Garmisch by train (Bayern ticket) (but please ee below if I should combine with visit to castles?)
Day 4 (Sat) – Hire a car and drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber - return to Munich in the evening. Is there any other towns we should visit that day?
Day 5 (Sun) – Hire a car and drive to Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Oberammergau and return the car in the evening
Day 6 (Mon) – Last day in Munich - return to London in the late afternoon

The schedule is completely interchangeable for the days to visit the various places (except after booking the hire car).

I was contemplating taking a train to Rothenburg and a tour to the castles but it seems cheaper / less hassle to hire a car than take a tour for two persons. Also the train to Rothenburg takes such a long time (although I have read that the 4 min transfer is doable, I don’t want to stress my Mom out too much to make her rush to the next train).

I did think about staying overnight in Rothenburg or Salzburg but I think a day trip is enough for us to get a taste of the places. We like pretty scenery, nice villages/towns and some shopping and not really into visiting museums.

My questions are:

1. Should I move any of the days around? I placed visiting the castles on the Sunday since I figured there is less opportunity for shopping. Saying that, is there anything open in Oberammergau or is it just worth a quick stopover between castles?

2. I was looking at Google maps and saw that a round trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein, Linderhof, Mittenwald and Garmisch would take around 5 hours (I don’t mind driving that much in a day with a few stopovers). If we started out before 7am (on a weekday) could we do the whole trip in 12 hours or would it be too much of a rush? I know most people will say it is a huge rush but if the inside of Neuschwanstein is not that interesting we can skip that and just wander around the outside. Is Mittenwald worth more than 1 hours stopover? Is Garmisch similar to Mittenwald but larger? We are happy to bring our own food and eat on the go.

3. What are the driving conditions usually like at the beginning of April? Should we get winter tyres? I am thinking to hire from Sitx since it appears that the City centre location is the only one that opens really early at 6.30am to late 10pm or providea 24 hrs drop-off service. I can't find any locations for Hertz that has such convenient opening hours.

4. I know there is a small parking lot at the Motel One Sendlinger Tor but saw from others that it is usually full. Would there be a problem finding inexpensive overnight parking? I saw that there you can park in the street overnight close by. Would a parking space be easy to find?

I would really appreciate any advice you can provide!

swandav2000 Oct 23rd, 2012 10:00 PM

Hi puddinggow,

I really wouldn't try to do Garmisch, Mittenwald, Neuschwanstein, and Linderhof in one day. Sure, it's possible to set foot in each one in one day, but it won't give you the experience of actually being there. I say to go more slowly and actually enjoy being where you'll be!

What do you plan to do in Garmisch? You'll need at least half a day to see some of it --

The streets that date from 800 AD (Griesgartenstr and Sonnenstr)

The pedestrian zone along Am Kurpark

Partenkirchen with its pedestrian zone at Ludwigstr

The Olympic Stadium and ski jump

Hiking the Partnachklamm?

Ascending the Zugspitze or the Alspitze

Seeing the beautiful wide fields along St. Martinstr

Going to & walking around the Eibsee

And, yes, I think it will take longer than 1h to experience Mittenwald -- it would be great if you could get out of the town to see some countryside. Walking to one of the nearby lakes is a good way to do that.

Have fun as you plan!


puddinggow Oct 23rd, 2012 11:16 PM

Swandav, many thanks for your advice.

I was unsure if the weather during April would be suitable for hiking but now that you provide me with so many suggestions, I certainly will allocate one day to spend Mittenwald and Garmisch - they sound absolutely wonderful places to visit! I probably would take the train instead of driving.

I would like to walk around the towns and go for a gentle walk (my Mom is in her 60s so we can't doing any really strenous walks but would love any really scenic landscapes). I didn't really explore going up the mountains as I thought most of the cable cars would be closed during the in-between ski and summer months. I see that Zugspitze is open all year round so will look into that.

puddinggow Oct 24th, 2012 07:13 AM

Hi Swandav

Based on your comments about what to do in Mittenwald and Garmisch, I have decided to stay at Hotel Edelweiss in Garmisch. It looks like the best place to stay as my Mom does not like staying in really remote and quiet places at night and Garmisch seems to have enough to keep us busy.

Here's our revised itinerary:

Day 1 (Wed) – Arrive Munich
Day 2 (Thu) – Day trip to Salzburg by train (Bayern ticket)
Day 3 (Fri) – Hire a car and drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber - return to Munich in the evening. Is there any other towns we should visit that day?
Day 4 (Sat) - Drive to Mittenwald and Garmisch and stay overnight in Garmisch
Day 5 (Sun) – Drive to Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Oberammergau and return the car in the evening
Day 6 (Mon) – Last day in Munich - return to London in the late afternoon

tkeats Oct 24th, 2012 07:14 AM

Just returned from our trip to Munich, Salzburg, Vienna. You have to see the Munich glockenspiel (real touristy, but fun), and the market. The driving from Munich to Lindenhof and back should be enough for one day. Neuschwanstein is even further,and in lots of very hilly and narrow roads. It too, is at least 1/2 day. Oberammergau is a quiet little town when the Passion Play is not on, so a quick stop, maybe. Don't miss Rothenburg, it is great.

Russ Oct 24th, 2012 08:07 AM

"I was contemplating taking a train to Rothenburg and a tour to the castles but it seems cheaper / less hassle to hire a car than take a tour for two persons...
Day 4 (Sat) – Hire a car and drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber - return to Munich in the evening. Is there any other towns we should visit that day?
Day 5 (Sun) – Hire a car and drive to Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Oberammergau and return the car in the evening"

Not an inexpensive proposition, and very time consuming. Perhaps not very rewarding either since so much travel is involved.

Options for more leisurely sightseeing near Munich aren't always in the guidebooks for Americans but can be quite rewarding:

Ludwig's Herrenchiemsee "castle" (all of his are late 19th century palaces, really) is quite fabulous. Herrenchiemsee is near Prien on an island by the same name in Chiemsee Lake, about 1 hour east of Munich by direct train (Bayern ticket.)


Even closer to Munich is Schleißheim Palace - an easy, direct, 20-minute S-Bahn trip from Munich's main station.


Landshut has a fine old town without the tourist horde of Rothenburg - and it's less than 1 hour from Munich by direct train (Bayern ticket):

Multilingual brochure:

Regensburg's old town is a preserved UNESCO World Heritage site - and a little over one hour from Munich by direct train (Bayern ticket.)

Russ Oct 24th, 2012 08:10 AM

Forgot something: visit the Regensburg and Landshut town websites for information on local tours, etc.:

azzure Oct 24th, 2012 09:21 AM

Just returned from a similar trip (and stayed at Motel One Sendlinger Tor, which I can recommend). MY only thought is that if you like pretty scenery, cute villages and shopping you will regret not spending more time in Rothenburg. Also, the Night Watchman's tour there should not be missed! (8 PM every night).

bardo1 Oct 24th, 2012 10:16 AM

Most trips that include Munich, Salzburg and other Bavarian towns are usually 10-14 days. Is there ANY way to go for more than 5 nights?

puddinggow Oct 24th, 2012 06:22 PM

Thank you all so much for all your great advice. You have provided me with tons of options of places to visit!

Unfortunately I have already paid for the flights. I can only take just over 2 weeks holiday at Easter and retun to the UK (where I grew up) every Easter & need to spend some time at home to chill out & run errands so trip time is limited.

I have a very bad habit of packing too much into my trips. This time I have resisted the temptation to move hotels every day or two and tried to locate us in one hotel and make day trips from Munich.

That's why despite also really wanting to book an overnight stay at Rothenburg, I decided to just go for the day. Maybe I should see if I should visit the sites Russ recommended nearer to Munich and leave Rothenburg for another trip but I also really want to see it too. Aghhhh I wish I had an extra more couple of days!

Garmisch and the surrounding area look too good to only pass-by and the more I read about it the more I look forward to going up the Zugspitze.

I am thinking to drive to Mittenwald early on Sat and explore the town, then drive onto Garmisch, walk around what time do the shops close on Sat?), check-in to the hotel and ascend the Zugspitze by cog-wheel train in the afternoon and descend to the Lake Eibsee by cable car and walk around (probably not the whole way around). Would I be able to go to Partnachklamm on Sun morning(park at the Olympic Park)?Then drive to the Castles and return to Munich in the early evening?

I saw the separate thread SwissChocolate posted about recommendations for hotels in Garmisch. I booked the Hotel Edelweiss due to the reviews in Trip Advisor. It looks like a nice place albeit a little bit more pricey than I was expecting to pay but still ok. Compared to the cheaper places recommended, do you think the Eldeweiss is worth Euro 142 for a double room with balcony?

swandav2000 Oct 24th, 2012 11:04 PM

Hi again,

Well, I don't think you need a car for your trip; in fact, I am so against driving in Bavaria that I cannot help travellers who decide to drive here (it would be hypocritical of me).

I live in Garmisch, and I don't have a car --

It looks like you're getting all the help you need --


puddinggow Oct 25th, 2012 12:04 AM

Swandav, I'm sorry if I have offended you by deciding to drive vs taking the train. I was originally set on just taking the train but I am concerned that my Mom would get too tired, changing trains, waiting for buses, or walking too long distances. I do understand your view - where I live I don't own a car and only take public transport. I appreaciate all your help.

bardo1 Oct 25th, 2012 05:55 AM

Well then, you have that you have.

Regarding your revised itinerary posted 10/24/2012 @ 10:13am:

It all looks fine except I would suggest you <b>stay in Munich on Day 3</b> and rent the car on Day 4 (leave early, to arrive in Mittenwald by 10 am or so). You could easily spend a week in Munich as well. Your current 1/2 day on arrival and 1/2 day before departure is woefully inadequate.

Promise yourself a proper stay in Rothenburg next time - you really don't have the extra days right now.

swandav2000 Oct 25th, 2012 10:49 PM

Hi again,

You are certainly gracious and kind! And I am so happy to learn that we think alike on public transport!

I do wonder, though, if you are underestimating your mother's abilities? Or does she have a disability? I am a 57 year old woman, and (barring an accident or debilitating illness), I don't think that waiting for a bus or walking a few blocks will be very difficult in 10 years. In fact, the streets of Garmisch are crowded with matrons like me doing grocery shopping on our bikes, and there is usually a small forrest of bicycles outside of our grocery stores.

But I'm happy to see that your trip is coming together!


puddinggow Oct 26th, 2012 08:23 AM

Bardo1 - Actually I hadn't really thought much about exploring Munich other than using it as a base to explore Bavaria. However, the more I find about the city the more it sounds like we should make more time for the area.

Swandav - my Mom and I travelled around Italy last Easter and Spain this Easter by train. My Mom loved it & was amazed how efficient, clean & inexpensive their train systems are compared to the UK. I know she will love the German trains as well.

She has a bad back and while she can walk for an hour on a country walk, she gets tired if she is stopping and starting. She has been hinting about visiting Germany for the last 2-3 years and said she wants to see castles and pretty villages and scenery. I am just worried that getting up early and taking train rides every day to and from Munich will wear her out.

My main concern is getting to Neuschwanstein from Garmisch - it seems to be a two hour bus ride and that would mean no time to visit Linderhof either. If I could take the train from G-P to Fussen, I would certain drop the car.

You really do a wonderful 'job' of promoting the area where you live. I'm sure many people decide on visiting and spending more time there based on your advice!

AisleSeat Oct 30th, 2012 12:07 PM

You are going to have to hurry if you are planning to get there by April 2012. Assuming you meant 2013, April is a lovely time to vist Bavaria.

One night in Munich you could consider the Bavarian Folk evening of yodeLing and dancing on the third floor of the Hofbreau Haus at 7 pm. Ask your hotel to call ahead with reservations as it can fill up with tour busses..

Looking over your schedule you could consider renting a car for a two day loop through Garmish, Mittenwald and then Ettal Monastary, Linderhof, Oberammergau, Wiesekirche and then Hohenschwangau an Neuschwanstein.

Have a good time.

puddinggow Oct 31st, 2012 08:36 AM

AisleSeat - yes I did mean 2013 hee hee. Sounds like a fantastic evening as long as it's not me doing the yodeling - I could clear the room in 10 secs with my singing!

Sounds like a good itinerary. I hope to arrive in Garmish early to catch the first cable car or cogwheel train to the summit of Zugspitze depending on the weather or course.

Dukey1 Oct 31st, 2012 09:28 AM

Since you've decided to use a car to get to R-burg I suggest you go as early as possible; there are a bunch of car parks outside the walls and the town can get mobbed pretty fast.

I would also recommend the palace at Herrenchiemsee IF you are interested in seeing the Ludwig "build" which has the best interior decoration; Neuschwanstein is iconic for sure but the inside is kinda dull compared to the overall exterior so be prepared. Linderhof, OTOH, has the fantasy quality inside.

Personally you could do the Neuschwanstein area as well as Oberammergau by rail and public bus but a car would be MUCH more convenient and driving in Bavaria is not intimidating IMO (having done so).

Oberammergau...great IF you want to see a bunch of wood carver shops and the like (I've been to the Passion Play twice) but that's about it; the monastery at nearby Ettal might be of greater interest.

Enjoy your trip.

november_moon Oct 31st, 2012 12:40 PM

I was underwhelmed by Oberamergau - it is a nice town, but not a must-see. So if you need to leave something off the itinerary in the interests of time, that's what I would leave off.

I also think it is a shame to shortchange Munich so much. At least spend one of your days there.

If you are still interested in the train, but worried about the time and train changes for Rothenburg, there are quite a few other neat Bavarian towns that are easier and quicker to get to. I really enjoyed Rothenburg, but there are other towns that I have enjoyed just as much or more so. Bamberg is my favorite town in that general area. It does take a couple hours to get to, but you can get a direct train or just 1 change enroute. That said, the train changes to get to Rothenburg aren't difficult. No need to stress. That 4 minute train connection will have you sitting on the train for 3 minutes waiting for it to go :)

Dukey1 Oct 31st, 2012 01:36 PM

The train change for R-burg occurs in Steinach. There are about TWO platforms. When your train rolls in on one platform you'll see the R-burg train waiting for you at the other one.

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