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recommendation on driving trip in germany

recommendation on driving trip in germany

Nov 2nd, 2001, 09:20 PM
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recommendation on driving trip in germany

i have 3 questions that hopefully some of you might be in a good position to answer.

1. i'll be in germany for two weeks during christmas and new year. i'm planning to take a car and do some light traveling starting with munich. what would be your best recommended destination (with return to minich) during this holiday season? where do you think is the best place to celebrate new years?

2. i'm also planning to spend 2 days skiing. what is the best skiing place close to munich? any pointers?

3. i've heard renting a car in munich airport is much more expensive than in the city. also manual transmission is twice as cheap as automatic. do you know a reasonable rental place in the city? how different is it renting a car in germany than renting it in america? are there anything we have to be aware of?

thank you.
Nov 3rd, 2001, 03:39 AM
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Can't help with your other questions but I can suggest that you would enjoy the GarmischPartenkirchen area. It's only about 80 km from Munich has wonderful scenery, great shopping, and lots to do in the surrounding area. It's Bavaria at its peak. Though we've been there several times, I've never been in winter/at Christmas and everytime I'm there the first thing that I think is "this would be the perfect place to spend Christmas" There are many hotels and gasthofs in a variety of price ranges. Besides Garmisch, there is a "suburb" called Grainau with nice lodging (we stayed most recently in the Hotel Alpenhof there) and you can also stay on the Eibsee near the funicular up the Zugspitze. You can take day trips to Ludwig's castles and to quaint villages like Oberammergau and Mittenwald. There's plenty of ompah pah everywhere. The stores are filled with Christmas year round so I can only imagine that they go nuts about it when it actually gets there. The place was made for Christmas. The only concern I'd have would be how difficult it might be to book at this point. If you decide to go, get on the internet for reservations asap.
Nov 3rd, 2001, 04:12 AM
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Julie grave you great advice and I suspect you will be reading repeated suggestions for those cities.

RE: Rental Car. Rent from the US, pick at the Munich Airport, much, much cheaper. We have rented in Munich from AVIS. They may also have AUTO Europe as their agent. Highly recommend them.

RE: Recm'd Destination. Garmish Partenkirchen (G/P) is a very popular ski and winter sports destinations. Tons of lodging available, but you need to rent ahead of time for that time of the year. The driving in the Bavarian Alps may be a little hairy, you need to go easy. I would recommend from Munich, head out to Oberammergau, stop in Ettal for lunch and beer (the restaurant across the street from the Benedictine monastery has excellent food and GREAT beer brewed by the Monks!).

Another city that I though was lovely was Landshut, kind of half way between the airport and Munich centre.

For New Year, I don't think you can go wrong with Munich, but I bet G/P or a nearby village would be memorable.

I do agree with Julie, it is Nov already, you need to start booking ASAP! I am sure that you are already doing this, but there are tons of info posted already for Christmas travel in Germany. Clear an afternoon to browse and copy and paste to a file. Have fun!!
Nov 3rd, 2001, 05:28 AM
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As stated by Maria, make your reservations in the US, I have used autoEurope3 times and no problems. They are just the reseller, they will use the major companies, Avis, Europacar, etc. There may be a slight fee added to getting the car from the airport as there would be in the US, I don't think that the trouble of trying to save a few $ by going into the city would be worth the effort. I would recommend that you get a good road map of the area, ie from a shell gas station, has a good set of maps. It will make any driving a bit easier. The manual shift is the standard of Europe, you would need to make a special request for an auto trans.
Garmisch-P is a good recommendation, you can also just get off the major road and explore some of the small villages and find some little surprises as you go. If you want another little trip, you can try Salzburg, Austria. A very nice small city with a good Christmas market. Have a good time !!
Nov 3rd, 2001, 06:14 AM
wes fowler
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Drop me an Email. I have a number of driving itineraries in Upper Bavaria that will expose you to thirteen Alpine lakes, three castles, two monasteries, (one of which produces the finest beer in Germany), magnificent Baroque churches and some charming villages.
You're more than welcome to them.
Nov 3rd, 2001, 11:30 AM
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Garmisch is great as everyone says. You may want to check out the Hotel Hilleprandt in Garmisch. It is in a nice neighborhood and includes breakfast. Many people may not be aware of it and it may have openings. We like room 1 or 2 as they are large rooms, downstairs and open to a small patio. Phone is 011 49 8821 2861 Fax is 011 49 8821 74548.

Another area to consider is Berchtesgaden. You can stay there and easily drive over to Salzburg one day to look around. This area also has the mountains, lakes and is beautiful in winter. We have stayed at the Watzmann many times and other posters have also recommended this hotel on Fodors.

For skiiing: Garmisch probably. They had the Olympics there at one time.

Rental cars: No big difference from US. Get a stick as that is what most of them are.

Get a car with a decent engine as the autobahns are not too friendly to the cars with dinky engines that cannot get out of anyone's way. You want a car with power.

Get a road signs book/atlas. If it is your first time to drive over there you will be glad you had the road sign info. Not difficult, but you will need a reference guide.

Be sure your car has an ice scraper with it or buy one. You will need it in the mornings.

Get the car company to explain the parking rules to you and the use of the paper clock they put in the car. Some of this simple knowledge saves hassle later on. Lead free gas is Blei frei.

Great area for winter. Have a good time!
Nov 3rd, 2001, 02:13 PM
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I also recommend Auto Europe. I suggest spending your first few days in Munich, then renting the car after you've done your sightseeing in town. With Auto Europe, the rate is the same whether you pickup in town (Hauptbahnhof) or at the airport. I also suggest you request a diesel car - diesel fuel is much cheaper than regular.
Nov 3rd, 2001, 03:29 PM
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I agree with the recommendations for a rental from Auto Europe. I have used them many times in different countries.

I would love to be in that area during the Christmas holidays. I would travel north on "The Romantic Road" and spend some time in Rothenburg ob der Tauber for an enjoyable stay in a wonderful medieval town.

There are also many other interesting places in that section of Germany.

Enjoy, Jim
Nov 4th, 2001, 06:08 AM
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In May I rented a car out of the Munich Airport through Europe by Car. Their rates beat most of the others. About comparable to Auto Europe.
Nov 4th, 2001, 06:34 AM
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The wisdom of driving to Garmisch in the middle of winter eludes me. You can get there from München Hbf. in 1 hr. 20 min. by train, whether the roads are icy or crowded or the weather foul, and you can get there and back on a cheap daypass ($18 for up to 5 people travelling together) on any day of the week.) On the train, you can stay late with no worrying about nighttime driving, putting on chains, or whether that .5 liter of Weizen Bier put you over the legal limit. Taxi to the ski resort with the money you save by not renting, if you like.
Nov 4th, 2001, 10:39 AM
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Although I'm not a huge fan of Garmisch, it is definitely where you will want to be. Skiing the Zugspitze is fabulous, the Bavarians really know how to see in the New Year with a bang (literally, they will be firing guns from the mountaintops), you can quickly get to the chapel where Silent Night was written - a spectacular Christmas Eve experience if you can pull it off, and if an early snow cooperates, you will NEED to try cross-country skiing from Ettal through the forests to Linderhof for a real look at winter in Germany. Take the bus from Garmisch up to Ettal and it's an easy ski to the castle, where mats will have been laid on the floors to accommodate ski boots. Have a hot bowl of soup or goulash at the restaurant before skiing back to Ettal. p.s., you can also tour the monastery with your cross-country shoes on... it's normal. Write to the Garmisch tourist bureau for lots of info and make reservations soon...
Nov 8th, 2001, 04:41 PM
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Nordlingen is another charming walled town, but not as known as Rothenburg. Also, Andechs (near Herrsching) is great in the winter for long walks in the countryside and the bier at the Monestary. We usually travel to Germany every Thanksgiving for a week or so..this year as well . We love the holiday markets and hot gluhwein on the street corners. Regensburg (North of Munich) is one of our favorite German cities. The first weekend of December their holiday markets begin.
Nov 10th, 2001, 04:41 AM
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Garmisch is nice, but wouldn?t exchange it for Salzburg. The skiing on the Zugspitze is quite boring, so it depends what you are looking for. In the Zillertal there are excellent skiing areas, about 2-2,5 hours away from Munich. If you really want a great skiing are go to the glacier of Hintertux, lot?s of snow and superb skiing. If you havetime you can take the road along the Tegernsee and Achensee to the Zillertal instead of the highway to Innsbruck, which is also very nice to see. People also likt to see the castles of crazy Ludwig, they are in the south of Munich and on the Chiemsee. But you better get started to make some reservations. Have fun.
Nov 10th, 2001, 05:21 AM
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Just returned from a week in Munich. Agree with other posters regarding Auto Europe. We picked up a Mercedes 220 diesel, standard, at the train station, booked before leaving home. It was a great car for the autobahn and not that expensive. Completely uncomplicated and we did not want to return it!

Would recommend Ludwig's castles but save yourself 3 hours of precious time by not taking the tour of Neuschwanstein. Do drive to see it from the outside, beautiful location. However, we requested the English tour and were given English electronic translators and grouped with the German group of 60. You are herded through the castle by totaly indifferent tour guides and we did not find the interior to be that great.

We did enjoy Herrenchiemsee, but be aware that all the outdoor sculptures have been winterized, (covered by wooden boxes). From here we drove to Salzburg. It is a beautiful and charming city. This was a 1 day trip although more time in Salzburg would have been nice.

Also, Wieskirche is worth seeking out. It is not far from Neuschwanstein and the Garmisch-Partenkirchen area.

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