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Question about renting a car vs using public transport Munich - Salzburg

Question about renting a car vs using public transport Munich - Salzburg

Jun 4th, 2012, 03:40 AM
  #1  
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Question about renting a car vs using public transport Munich - Salzburg

I am in the process of planning a trip to Munich-Salzburg for next May/June, probably 12 to 14 days including travel from Chicago. We’ve been to Germany several times but always with a group. This next trip I am thinking about renting a car in Munich and driving to Salzburg. We would initially stay in Munich for several days and travel to Salzburg, do some sightseeing and return stopping in Fussen and G-P then return to Munich.

I’m looking for some guidance on renting a car vs. other options. If I rent a car does it make sense to do so from the train station or elsewhere? Since I’ve never driven a car in Germany I am a bit apprehensive. Any guidance regarding driving there would be appreciated.

Would it be better simply to travel by train to Salzburg and do day trips by bus?
pauljagman is offline  
Jun 4th, 2012, 04:00 AM
  #2  
 
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I can't speak to the rental location, but I wouldn't be apprehensive about driving along the route you proposed at all. We drove a similar route from Fussen through Reutte to Salzburg, with a return to Munich a couple of years ago in early spring and loved it. The winding roads provide many opportunities to stop for photos or interesting stores and places to see, and everything is remarkably well signed. Along the way you'll have to obtain a "vignette," a driving toll of sorts as you pass between Germany and Austria, but places to find them are everywhere, and well marked. If you're comfortable driving in Chicago, you'll be just fine in Germany and Austria.
fourfortravel is online now  
Jun 4th, 2012, 04:27 AM
  #3  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi PJ,

If you are not grossly burdened by luggage, I suggest that you take the train from Munich to Salzburg. You will not need a car in Salzburg.

Get the Salzburg Card http://www.salzburg.info/de/sehenswe...urg_card/index. We very much enjoyed our stay at http://www.ammoos.at/main.php?language=en&m=home%29

What daytrips from Salzburg were you planning?

Go back to Munich by train and then rent your car.

There are fees for train station pickup, so you might wish to see if the savings of picking up downtown would be worth the cab fare to the rental office.

Use the car to visit F, G-P, and wherever else you might be thinking of.

>Any guidance regarding driving there would be appreciated. <

Stay on the right, except to pass.
If you are on an autobahn and wish to pass do it carefully. There could be a Porsche doing 150 mph coming over the hill behind you.
Get back in lane ASAP.

In general:
Germans are good drivers
the roads are well maintained
the signage is good

For auto rental, I suggest www.gemut.com, www.kemwel.com or www.autoeurope.com.
I would rent a VW Golf.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Jun 4th, 2012, 04:45 AM
  #4  
 
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"Would it be better simply to travel by train to Salzburg and do day trips by bus?"

Probably. It may depend on where you're headed.

Munich-Salzburg by train is sort of a no-brainer. It takes 2 hours on the RE train, 26€ for 2 with a Bayern ticket. That's roughly the cost of the gas alone if you drive.

A daytrip to Berchtesgaden from there is possible by bus or by train. For Hallstatt, the train gets you to the Hallstatt station - then you ferry across the lake to the town. Use the train to reach Hohenwerfen Castle.

Daypasses for Austrian trains come in at 28€/day total for 2-5 people with the "Einfach Raus" ticket:

http://www.oebb.at/en/Tickets/Groups...cket/index.jsp

So public transport has the edge in many ways - cost is low and you won't pay parking or vignette fees either. You can't get a ticket or a door ding or get lost or stuck in traffic. You don't have to sign contracts or pick up or drop off the car. And both passengers can enjoy the scenery without driving or navigation duties.

Here are a few day trip possibilities from Salzburg and transport options:

http://www.oebb.at/en/Travelling_in_...tips/index.jsp

But it's possible you aren't going where the trains and buses go. You haven't said. It's possible that the getting to destination A by train will take a little longer than by car if a change of train is required or the route is indirect.
Russ is offline  
Jun 4th, 2012, 05:31 AM
  #5  
tn
 
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I agree with the other posters. Driving in Germany is no problem. The autobahn is excellent and the rural roads are also well maintained.

But I also agree that taking the train to Salzburg is the best way to go. You could likely do the whole trip by train, but getting from Salzburg to Fussen or GP is a 3 - 4 hour trip. And the ride between Fussen and GP is about twice as long as it would be by car. But you also won't have to hassle with a car, which is a pleasure.

Ira is likely right about renting a car somewhere other than the train station. But if you do rent at the station, I would check the price on dropping the car directly at the airport. I did this last year and the prices was no different for a return at the airport vs. the train station, and being able to head straight there will make your departure travel much more straightforward.
tn is offline  
Jun 4th, 2012, 05:49 AM
  #6  
 
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First of all, DON'T bother renting a car. You do not need it in either Munich or Salzburg as others have said. Parking in Munich can be a pain and why be paying for a parked car?

There are NUMEROUS driving rules in Germany and especially ones that apply to cities re no parking zones, etc. Driving in Germany itself is easy and the roads are well-marked provided you understand all those marks!

Renting a car at the train station in Munich is much BETTER than doing it at the airport because you avoid the airport rental surcharges and fees.
Dukey1 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2012, 06:53 AM
  #7  
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Thanks for the quick responses. I am thinking that maybe we will take the train to Salzburg. We would stay 3 or 4 days in Salzburg. While there we would like to visit the old town, take a side trip to Berchtesgarden, visit Konigssee and perhaps a salt mine. Is an auto necessary to do this?

We would return to Munich for 2 nights. Is it advisable that we rent an auto for Fussen/G-P? The Zugspitze and Ludwig's castle would be our destinations. Also I would like to stop in Oberammergau for a quick visit.

We would then return to Munich for 2 or 3 nights. Perhaps a day trip to Regensberg? I would imagine bus trips are available.

Toting luggage is not too much of an issue. We pack light and are young enough (early 60s) to tote it.

Of course this is all in the planning stages and I could drop Fussen/G-P and simply do a day trip to the Castle. We do intend to come back in the future. Thanks again for your responses.
pauljagman is offline  
Jun 4th, 2012, 07:51 AM
  #8  
tn
 
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The train trip from Munich to GP is a about 1:30 (you can look at all of this by going to www.bahn.com), so you can easily take the train there. I am also sure -- although I am not 100% -- that there will be bus tours you can take to Neuschwanstein from GP. So, you do not need a rental car to get this done.
tn is offline  
Jun 4th, 2012, 08:56 AM
  #9  
 
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I've done it both ways. It was a kick to drive that BMW on those great German roads but parking in Salzburg was expensive.
The train travels a very scenic route and is great for people who have spent three hours at The Augustinerbrau beer garden in Salzburg.
logandog is offline  
Jun 4th, 2012, 12:13 PM
  #10  
ira
 
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Hi PJ,

What draws you to Berchtesgaden?
Check www.bahn.de for train schedules.
I think that there is also an SBahn to B.
((http://www.oebb.at/en/Travelling_in_...ains/index.jsp)

>The Zugspitze and Ludwig's castle would be our destinations. Also I would like to stop in Oberammergau for a quick visit.<

Ludwig had Castles at Neuchswanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee. Which will you visit?

ira is offline  
Jun 5th, 2012, 04:17 AM
  #11  
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Ira -

'What draws you to Berchtesgaden?'

My understanding is it's a beautiful area. Lots of things to do- saltmine tour, Konigssee, Eagles Nest. My father was there as a US Soldier during WW II and he told me about it.

'Ludwig had Castles at Neuchswanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee. Which will you visit?'

I've been to all three however my wife has not. Neuschwantein is the castle she would like to see. I know it's very touristy but the surronding area is beautiful. I like Herrenchiemsee too and would consider it or possibly both.

Thanks for your reply and website information.
pauljagman is offline  
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