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Apr 9th, 2013, 09:39 PM
  #1
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travel between Austria and Germany

Hi all. We will be travelling with our family of 4 in June in Germany, Austria and Prague. We plan to take the train from Munich to Innsbruck and rent a car, stay there for 2 days, drive to Salzburg, stay for 2 days, then take the train back to Munich en route to Rothenburg and on to Prague. My questions are:
Is it reasonable to day trip to Nueschwanstein and Zugspitze from Innsbruck? We don't mind mountain driving and would love to explore the alps but I'm having a hard time judging driving times. We would like to avoid staying in a new place every night if possible. How much time should we allow between Innsbruck and Salzburg?
We are planning on taking the train from Munich to Rothenburg. Is there any advantage to driving?
Should we get train tickets in advance for the trips from Munich-Innsbruck and Salzburg-Munich?
Thanks for your help!
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Apr 9th, 2013, 10:04 PM
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www.viamichelin.com will give you options on any itinerary you choose and give drive times and total costs.
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Apr 9th, 2013, 10:57 PM
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Innsbruck to Garmisch for Zugspitze is about one hour driving, there is a short but very steep section after Zirl. Innsbruck to Neuschwanstein is about two hours, it is longer than it looks but still can be done. Innsbruck to Salzburg is a little more than two hours on the highway itinerary via Rosenheim, there is also another possible itinerary via Lofer, shorter but slower, scenic, two hours and half.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 12:57 AM
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May be you hver a look at a map and plan a logical itinirary, unless you are a fan of continuous backtracking.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 05:47 AM
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If you're renting the car, why the train trips? It would make far more sense (not to mention be cheaper) to pick up a car in Munich, hit all of your Switzerland. Austria, and Germany destinations then return the car to Munich, take a train from Munich to Nuremberg and take the express bus to Prague.

If you want to take the train to get the train experience then go for it but it's not saving you any money or time.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 05:48 AM
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Forgot to say that a Bayernticket allows for travel between Salzburg and Munich (but you can't take the ICE).
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Apr 10th, 2013, 12:22 PM
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Sparkchaser echoes my thoughts about the train trips- But you really don't even need to take the train from Munich to Nuremberg. When you leave Rothenburg drive directly to Nuremberg (instead of back to Munich), drop the car there, then hop on the express bus to Prague at the Nuremberg Bahnhof. This further simplifies the travel logistics.

Personally I wouldn't try to make Fussen or Garmisch a day trip from Innsbruck. I would rent the car in Munich and drive to Garmisch or Fussen , depending on the weather. (If your only reason for Garmisch is to go up the Zugspitz, don't waste your time if the weather is bad.) Get up early to see the castles in Fussen then drive on to Salzburg. Notice that I omitted Innsbruck.

Have a good trip...
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Apr 11th, 2013, 09:36 PM
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Thanks for the input. So plan B is:
rent the car in Munich and drive south. Question is where to stay? Fussen vs Garmisch vs Mittenwald? Any compelling arguments to pick one over the others? Or some other interesting place in that general vicinity? We would like to see the castles and hopefully the weather will be good to go up to the Zugspitze. One night or two here before going to Salzburg?
Your help is really appreciated!
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Apr 12th, 2013, 12:02 AM
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What time are you picking the car up and what time can you be on the road the day you leave Munich?
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Apr 12th, 2013, 07:23 AM
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I would like to try and leave fairly early, although with 2 teenagers the definition of early can mean as late as 9:00. Depends on what we find to do in Munich the night before. It sounds like it would be best to get to Neuschwanstein as early as possible. I don't know how early we can get the car or what traffic will be like getting out of Munich in the morning.
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Apr 12th, 2013, 07:14 PM
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Leaving Munich at 9 or 10 AM would give you 2 options depending on the weather.

1. If the weather is good, drive straight to Garmisch (2 hours max) and do the Zugspitz that afternoon. Then drive on to Fussen (about 1 hour) to spend the night . Get up the next AM and do the castles. There is more you can do in Fussen after seeing the castles so you could spend the second night in Fussen. Get up the next day and drive to Salzburg by going south from Fussen and using the Austrian autobahn A12 through Innsbruck or you could go back through Garmisch and take A95 back toward Munich , using B472 from Sindelsdorf through Bad Tolz to Irschenberg where you join A8 to go south to Salzburg.

2. If the weather is bad when you leave Munich drive straight to Fussen and try to see the castles that same day. Stay in Fussen so you can do other things in Fussen the second day if the weather stays bad. You could still spend the second night in Fussen and go to Salzburg the same way as option 1.

2.a If the weather turns good the second day go do the Zugspitz. You could return to Fussen to spend the second night then go to Salzburg the same way as option 1. However, if you can make reservations that are cancelable with no penalty, or you decide to wing it, you might want to consider staying in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen area, or Grainau or Mittenwald for the second night. These towns are all within 15-20 minutes of each other. If you do spend the second night in the Mittenwald /Garmisch/Grainau area, you might want to consider taking the Austrian 177 through Seefeld to join the A12 at Zirl. Then proceed to Salzburg through Innsbruck as described in option 1. I drove this latter route once many years ago and got stuck behind a truck for what seemed like a very long time going down the grade on 177 into Zirl. 177 was a 2 lane road at that time.

Hope this helps out- Have a safe trip!
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Apr 12th, 2013, 09:48 PM
  #12
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Travelforbeer, you are so kind to take the time to give your travel tips. It is greatly appreciated. I think we will stay in Fussen. It looks like there are several good options for lodging there. We are really looking forward to our trip. Thanks to all who offered advice!
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