I'm aware this may have been covered before but I'm trying find out if people felt the combination bus tour seemed rushed or adequate for most people. Most seemed to be 9 hrs. long. With so many companies competing is there one that is better than others?
What is your starting point? Berchtesgaden? Salzburg? Munich?
a guided tour isn't needed imho for either. Transport up the steep hill to what is referred to as Eagles Nest is easy to buy a ticket for, getting to the transfer point is easy by local public transport, and the salt mine is equally easy.
Then you get your time back and do things at your own pace and for however long you wish.
Back in 2014, a friend and I were in Salzburg for around 7 days (1st time there). We decided to go big and do the Panorama Tours Eagle's Nest, salt mine, and Königssee tour. As I recall, we got a discount with Panorama using the Salzburg Card. The day was rushed, but I actually thought it was a good introductory tour to the Berchtesgaden area. We got the full salt mine tour, time at Eagle's Nest to wander around, and a mere 45-minutes at Königssee (no time for a boat ride... just time to walk to "Painter's Point/View" and have a nice view of the lake). My thoughts at the end of the tour:
- That was fun
- That lake was gorgeous
- I want to see more of that lake
- The Berchtesgaden area is beautiful and worthy of its own visit in the future
In 2017, we went back and spent 5 nights in Berchtesgaden. Among the things we did on our return to Berchtesgaden:
- We spent one day doing Eagle's Nest Historical Tours' History Buff Tour (private tour that was amazingly good for a history buff but probably overwhelming for non-history buffs). They have a less-intense half-day group tour, too, that Rick Steves endorses.
- We spent a little over half a day at Königssee, arriving early enough to queue up for the first boat across the lake.
So, our tour was great for whetting our appetite for more experiences in Berchtesgaden. It would have been less satisfying as a "one and done, marked off the bucket list forever" experience.
I agree with Ken that the Eagles Nest is easy to tour on your own, especially if you are starting from Berchtesgaden. I've done it three times in the last 20 years. There is a public bus out to Obersalzberg, from which you must travel up to the Nest on one of the special mountain buses (no other way).
From Salzburg, you can take the RVO bus, Watzmann Express, from around the Salzburg Hbf to the Berchtesgaden Hbf. The Berchtesgaden Hbf is also the central bus station for Berchtesgaden.
Ok, great info, but I need the "For Dummies" version from Salzburg. I know that sometimes once one gets into the area it's self-explanatory, but from here today, not so much. Can all three be done in an all-day long trip?
RVO Watzmann Bus from Salzburg main train station to Berchtesgaden hbf/bus station.
1. Eagle Nest
Public bus to Obersalzberg, then special mountain bus.
- Salt Mine ???
Thanks for the Beginner's versions!
I'm not sure, Pat, depends on you and yours, the weather and how you want to balance your day.
I don't see doing more than two of the three on any one day.
The mines is a fairly large chunk of the day, the so called Eagles Nest, for me and my wife was a most of a day chunk of time, I wanted to ride on the lake but we ran out of time. We were in Salzburg for several days and have been there several times so we are happiest with one biggish thing on any day. We did them on two different days.
your pace may differ
Thanks, Nigel, your advice is always very practical and most helpful. I'm assuming that getting one's self out to the area on public transportation is very doable, that using a commercial tour isn't necessary.
Pat, I concur that you might be lucky to get in 2 of the 3 venues in a day, less if you spend quality time at them. And at the base of the mountain with the Eagle's Nest, there is also the Documentation Zentrum, which is well worth a visit. Spending some time at the Nest and visiting the Doc Zentrum (and the attached bunkers) could be an all day's endeavor, particularly if you are coming from Salzburg.
I would really recommend that someone coming to see venues in Berchtesgaden stay for several nights in Berchtesgaden. If it were my trip, I would stay in Berchtesgaden and make a day trip (Waltmann Express) to Salzburg, but I prefer natural venues V-
V cities, so take my advice for what it's worth.
There is a bus station right out in front of the Berchtesgaden Hbf. The bus from Salzburg (RVO-840, Watzmann Express stops there, also at the Salt Mine). Buses to Obersalzberg (RVO-838) and to Königssee (RVO-841) all start from the Hbf. RV-840 starts from the north corner of Südtiroler Platz in front of the Salzburg Hbf, on Karl-Wurmb-Strasse, just up from the corner with the Platz. If you look at Google Maps, you'll see a little blue square with the outline of a bus. It's right next to Akakiko Sushi.
The Watzmann Express makes several more stops near the Altstadt after starting at the Hbf - at Schloss Mirabell, at the Altes Rathaus, just up river from the Staatsbrücke, on Rudolfskai near the end of Mozartsteg (the pedestrian bridge), and at the Justizgebäude, before heading to Berchtesgaden.
RVO (Regionalverkehr Oberbayern) is a bus company run by German Rail but operating also in Salzburg for travel to/from Berchtesgaden. They have a website at www.rvo-bus.de (it's in German). They sell an all-day pass, called a Tagestickets for 10,60€ for an adult. That would cover round trip on the Watzmann Express plus use of most of the buses in Berchtesgaden that day. There are also child (6,60€) and family (25,-€) RVO Tagestickets, and ticket offers if you want to go to Berchtesgaden by train via Freilassing (longer, but returns to Salzburg much later).
Lee, thank you for all the practical advice. think we will be staying in Salzburg for this trip, [gives us flexibility for weather], but I already see a future trip when we actually stay in that beautiful area.
I love this Forum because of this type of useful advice.
I am travelling in May. We will land in Munich, spend 2 nights, then 2 nights in Berchtesgaden, then one night in Salzburg. We are planning on visiting the Berchtesgaden salt mine in the afternoon of our first day and then all day the second day at Kehlsteinhaus and related sites. I am interested in the WWII history buff tour that Dave mentioned upthread, thanks Dave.
From Salzburg to Berchtesgaden, there is the train via Freilassing. It takes 65min. The RVO bus takes about 50 minutes from the Salzburg Hbf, but it goes from there past the Altstadt, so it might be more convenient, and a little quicker, if you are staying in that area. The adult Tagesticket (all day pass valid on the Watzmann Express and most of the buses in Berchtesgaden, it 10,60€.
However, the last bus back to Salzburg leaves the Berchtesgaden Hbf at 6:15 PM. You have to be done with everything before than or you will miss the last direct bus.
During the week, there is only one more connection back to Salzburg, a bus to Bad Reichenhall at 7:30 and by train (extra cost) from there via Freilassing.
On Saturdays, currently, there are buses to Freilassing that run hourly until 8:13; then the last bus to Freilassing is at 9:59. The last train to Salzburg leaves Freilassing at 11:30, 23 min after the bus from Berchtesgaden is scheduled to arrive.
Königssee offers so much more than a boat ride. There are some reasonably easy hikes that can be done and that end in amazing places. A favorite is to take the boat all the way across the lake to the Salet stop, walk to Obersee, hike along the right side of the lake to the Fischunkelalm snack hut, and then continue on through an alpine meadow surrounded by peaks (and shared with cows -- watch your step!) to Röthbach Waterfall. Not a good idea for people with mobility issues, but a fairly easy hike for most people.
Of course, that makes Berchtesgaden more than a one-day endeavor if trying to fit in other things.