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8 Days --- Passau to Munich: What to do? Where to go?

I have posted a few times here regarding our trip and have received lots of great guidance.. So we keep revising our ideas based on the generous info received here, thank you! This is our first ever European trip so, in a way, we are flying blind -- but with your help, we are figuring it out.

OK - so after a week-long Danube River bike/boat cruise, we will have 8 days & nights more of vacation left! We need to make a plan and figure out the best places to go. That's what this post is about.

But just to fill you in, prior to these 8 days, we will have been on a river cruise on the Danube. Places we will have visited during the cruise are: Engelhartszell, Aschach, Bratislava, Budapest, Esztergom, Vienna & Wachau. The cruise begins & ends in Passau. (We plan to stay in Passau for 2 nights prior to the cruise. BTW: Any suggestions on where to stay in Passau?)

So! … after the cruise we have 8 days & 8 nights more to go (July 29 - August 5). What to do, what to do??? The only for sure thing we have to do is be on a flight home from Munich at noon on Monday Aug 6th. (Need to stay by the airport the night before and catch shuttle to airport. Any ideas where to stay?)

OK - for the 8 day trip, starting in Passau and ending in Munich: We are open to lots of possibilities: renting a car, taking trains, (or a combination of the two) ...or? Also, we need to make reservations for lodging along the way, so need suggestions/recommendations for that too.

Our first itinerary for these 8 days was way too much. Thankfully, based on previous posts, we know now that we need to revise this. But we need your help. What would YOU do with these 8 days? Where would you go? Where would you stay? Eat? Tours to take? Things like this.

We are so thankful for your help! :)

Posted by
45 posts

First off, you are going to have a great set of experiences on your bike trip. My wife and I have cycled the Danube three times and have been in and out of Passau. We did the trips on our own, without a guide service. but we have met many people who used Reisen and been very happy. We have only spent the night in Passau on two trips....the other time we started elsewhere along the river. We stayed at the hotel across from the train station at Hotel Deutscher Kaiser. It was about five years ago and it was fine. Can't remember a bad experience about it. Last summer we stayed at the Rotel Inn, also near the train station. We wanted to try something different so went with this. See their web page and you will know what I mean. This is less expensive, rooms are very small, like a dorm room. The private bathrooms, some large and showers are across the hall. Breakfast was cafeteria style. It was very clean, lots of older people staying there.

As far as your trip. I have both rented cars and used trains in Germany. For eight days on this trip I would use the train. Easy, lots of choices, inexpensive. Not sure what you are looking for. Some people would go to Prague for 4 or 5 days, and then back to Munich for the rest of the time. I could easily see that being a great time. But since you have been to Budapest and Vienna I would try this.
From Passau I would go to Regensburg by train for two nights. Old Town is a UNESCO site...fabulous. From there I would go to Munich. You could easily spend 3 days in Munich. From Munich I would go to Salzburg for two nights. Also from Munich you can go to Garmisch and Fussen for two nights. If you see these on a map you can see they are all within 2 -3 hours of each other by train.

Why these places: Garmisch is the quintessential cute Bavarian village. Great torts! The Zugspitze is nearby. You could spend a night there and then go over to Fussen to see Neuschwanstein castle or do a bike around the lake (highly recommend it...can rent bikes in Fussen. It will be a great ride even if you have done the Danube) and spend the night there and then back to Munich. Salzburg is home to Mozart, can get to Hitler's Eagles Nest from there, even the Sound of Music tour of you want to be on a bus with 50 people singing "the hills are alive...". Plus a Hallstatt trip if time permits. (I probably would not go to Hallstatt if I was going to Garmisch. Hallstatt is just Garmisch with a lake!)
Not sure what you are looking for in lodging or how many of you there are. Lots of choices in RS Guide. As far as staying in Munich we stayed out near Olympic Park. The hotel was Mercure Hotel Munchen am Olympiapark. It was less touristy, the tram was one block away. We have stayed there on two different trips to Munich and loved it. No need to stay by the airport as you end up taking the S Bahn out there no matter what. Just take it the morning you need to go. The hotel can help you with the logistics. It is also easy to get to when you arrive in Munich by train from Passau or wherever you are coming from. Happy travels!!

Posted by
28101 posts

This trip is going to be so much fun!

Remind me how many is "we"?

In 8 days around the southeastern area of Bavaria you can do so much. Back later with ideas.... gotta go to earn a penny.

Posted by
15 posts

Hi Nigel - it's the 2 of us, my husband & myself only - we are in our early 60's. Thank you!

Posted by
1814 posts

In principle, there are two attractive routes: (1) Going south as far as Salzburg and Berchtesgaden following the rivers Inn and Salzach, then west towards Munich; (2) going north-east as far as Regensburg, then south to Munich. The descriptions below assume that you will have a car.

But first I'd take some time to explore the area of Passau:

Passau itself: the Cathedral St Stephen, a fine example of Italian baroque (btw: it is the historical mother church of St Stephen's in Vienna; don't miss the organ concert at noon, at one of the largest organs world wide - actually a combination of five organs); Kloster Niedernburg, the burial place of the first Hungarian queen (and Bavarian princess) Gisela; the (small) historical town.

-- Schärding, nice baroque town in Upper Austria at the river Inn, 15km upstream from Passau, and the Engelhartszell monastery at the Danube SE of Passau. Both can be reached by boat too, case you are not fed up by your cruise.

-- Exploring the region of genuine Bavarian Baroque and Roccoco, i.e. churches build by the Asam brothers and others: Fürstenzell (Michael Fischer), Aldersbach (Asam) - in the courtyard of the monastery there sits the small brewery which has a good Bräustüberl offering lunch; Osterhofen-Altenmarkt (Asam); Metten Abbey (near Deggendorf, stunning library by Holzinger).

-- Alternatvely, just be lazy and spend some time in one of the spas in lower Bavaria south of Passau, i.e. Füssing, Griesbach or Birnbach (the latter one being my favourite becaus of it's rural character).

Attractions on route No. 1 include:

Braunau in Upper Austria (Hitler's birth place), Burghausen (largest castle of Germany), the Austrian / Bavarian twin towns of Obernberg (Silent Night church) and Laufen, Salzburg and Berchtesgaden / Königssee. Then I'd follow a segment of the Alpenstrasse as far as Reit im Winkl (beautiful landscape) and north to lake Chiemsee; on the larger one of the two islands there is the Herrnchiemsee castle of Ludwig II. South of Rosenheim you can take a cog railway up to the Wendelstein mountain (fine views) and then proceed to the alpin lakes Schliersee and Tegernsee. From Tegernsee it's a 50 min. ride into Munich.

Attractions on route No. 2 include:

Metten (if not visited on a day trip from Passau); Bogen (Asam church): Straubing (good example of an historical Lower Bavarian town, very interesting Roman and Celtic museum, gothic cathedral, yet another Asam church in the Ursulinen monastery); Regensburg (...); from nearby Kelheim a very nice boat trip of 60min goes through the narrow Danube gorge to Kloster Weltenburg (Asam church, nice beergarden, hosts one of the oldest breweries in the world); Ingolstadt (former residence of the Bavarian dukes); Landshut (magnificent gothic cathedral, baroque town, medieval castle), Freising (one of the oldest Cathedrals in Bavaria; the brewery in nearby Weihenstephan claims to be the oldest in the world). From there it's a 30 min. ride into Munich.

(BTW, most of the trip is in Bavaria not in Austra; so re-posting on the German forum may bring up more responses.)

Posted by
15 posts

People on this forum are so thoughtful and generous with both their time and responses.
I am so thankful for all the help. You have truly helped us!!