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New Germany trip itinerary - help please?

New Germany trip itinerary - help please?

Mar 12th, 2011, 02:37 PM
  #1  
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New Germany trip itinerary - help please?

For some reason I am having much more difficulty planning my itinerary for this trip than any other trip I have done (and I have travelled a lot). Maybe there are just too many options!

In any case, I would love your help. We arrive into Zurich Airport at 8:30 am on 22 May and depart from there at 10:15 am on 30 May. We are going to buy the German Twin Rail Pass. We know that it is a bit more expensive than getting the Bayern card, but we like the idea of taking the fast trains, being able to leave earlier than 9 am if we choose, and having access to some boats as well.

The places we definitely want to explore are Salzburg and the environs (maybe 2 days there), 2 days in Munich (including a half day trip to Dachau), and a few days in the Garmisch/Fuessen/Mittenwald/Castle region. I was also toying with spending a day at Lake Konstanz either on our arrival day or our final day (and maybe taking my wife on a boat to Stein am Rhein or even Rhine Falls), but that doesn't have to happen.

Can anyone please suggest a realistic itinerary that would cover these areas and makes sense from a logistics standpoint? I was originally thinking we would go Zurich-Salzburg-Munich-GP, but the travel from GP to Zurich airport is a nightmare. Also, the Dachau memorial is closed on Mondays, so I have to take that into consideration.

Please advise?

Thanks,

Michael
mjknycmjk is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 03:14 PM
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I'd advice you to rent a car or stay a few extra days or forget about Garmisch. Arriving/Departing from Zürich for a trip to Austria/Bavaria isn't the best idea. Train connections are lousy from Zürich. Bavaria has a centalized infrastructure as far as trains are concerned. Everything goes from or to Munich. The king just couldn't imagine that anyone whould ever want to go somewhere else but Munich..
logos999 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 03:29 PM
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ditto what logos said.
A rental car might be the better option.

If you are determined to use trains, I'd go Zurich-Munich-GAP-(again Munich to change to)-Salzburg-Zurich.

I was wondering if that German Twin rail pass really is such a bargain. You will also travel with Swiss rail, and possibly also Austrian rail if you go Salzburg-Zurich (which should be the most convenient connection with a "railjet"). So how much money do you really save in Germany?

Besides the Bayern ticket, you can use the regular fares which also let you take faster trains.

Between Munich and GAP there are only regional trains, so a Bayern Ticket will suffice. Same between Munich and Salzburg (some "fast" trains, but not really much faster than the regional trains).
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 04:37 PM
  #4  
 
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Zurich - Munich - Salzburg - GAP - Konstanz - Zurich

Salzburg - GAP and GAP- Konstanz both have to be done by connecting back in Munich, but this route has you doing no other backtracking and allows you to comfortably see Konstanz and still get to ZRH on the day of departure (direct train to the airport of just over an hour).

This gets a lot easier over 8 days if you drop GAP, and staying those extra days in Salzburg would allow you to fill up on the Alps via Berchtesgaden. Koenigsee and/or the Salzkammergut on a day trip.
Aramis is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 05:41 PM
  #5  
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I think you may be right, Aramis. If we don't try to stay in GAP, that makes this trip much simpler. Is it easy to day trip from Munich to Fuessen, Mittenwald, or Garmisch? We are interested in the castles, so Fuessen would probably make sense (or we could take a tour from Munich). Would you stay 4 nights Salzburg/3 nights Munich or vice versa?
mjknycmjk is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 05:47 PM
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>Is it easy to day trip from Munich
Yes.
>4 nights Salzburg
too much
logos999 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 07:14 PM
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check out these sites for lots of great info on German trains - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com (peruse this site's Germany chapter in its free European Planning & Rail Guide that suggests several German rail itineraries including places you mention) and www.ricksteves.com - and for schedules www.bahn.de - the German Railways web portal.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 13th, 2011, 06:10 AM
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Whether you spend 4 nights in Salzburg or Munich depends on how many of; Berchtesgaden, Koenigsee, St. Gilgen, Halstatt, etc., to which you might want to take day trips.

Munich certainly has more to see than Salzburg for a 4 day stay, but it is not as quaint. Salzburg is more "in the mountains" than Munich, but day trips to the places you might want to see could be a little harder to organize. If you were willing to rent a car for a couple of days in Salzburg, that would change things. I would suggest you look into some of the places you might want to see near Salzburg and investigate how easily it is to get to them using the mode you think you will be taking. That should help you make the decision.

Of course, choosing whether to stay 4/3 or 3/4 between Munich and Salzburg can be made almost inconsequential depending on whether you transfer between them early in the day (giving the extra day advantage to the place you are traveling to) or later in the evening (keeping the extra day advantage with the place you are leaving).
Aramis is offline  
Mar 13th, 2011, 09:13 AM
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Salzburg's sites are clustered in a more compact area than Munich - though if you want to see the ballyhooed Sound of Music country then that is mainly out of town - and easily to see this wondrous countryside of lakes and mountains and meadows and Edelweiss ("Edelweiss, edelweiss... can here Julie Andrews singing that song right now!) it is easy to do by public transit - take the hourly or more postal buses to places like St Gilgen then hop a boat on Lake Wolfgang to St Wolfgang - take the tiny steam train up to the summit above town, etc. And you can also take minibus tours - affordable day long Sound of Music tours from Salzburg to see the main sights from the movie.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 14th, 2011, 06:49 AM
  #10  
 
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I was originally thinking we would go Zurich-Salzburg-Munich-GP, but the travel from GP to Zurich airport is a nightmare>

you can just hop a train from GP to Munich and change to Munich Zurich trains, using your German Railpass until the Austrian border at Bregenz, then having bought a supplemental ticket from there to Zurich Airport.
PalenQ is offline  

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