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Munich and Salzburg - Help with itinerary

My wife and I are planning a trip to Munich and Salzburg for an undetermined number of days, before flying to Marseille France to join a riverboat cruise. So we will fly from Atlanta to Munich, spend x number of days, and later fly from Munich to Marseille. We have never visited this are of Germany nor have we visited Austria.

I am thinking of renting a car upon our arrival in Munich and driving to Salzburg. I would keep the rental car for day trips while in Salzburg. Then we would drive back to Munich and return the rental car.

After pouring over trip forums for 2 days, here is a rough itinerary start. It comes out to 4 nights in Salzburg and 2 nights in Munich.
I would appreciate any advice on the number of days in each city as well as things to do / places to visit. If 6 nights is too much time, I could shorten to 5 nights. Thanks for your advice and opinions!

Day 1) Salzburg: Flight arrives in Munich 8:40am. Rent car and drive to Salzburg. Visit Salzburg Old City.
Day 2) Salzburg: Sound of Music Tour; Fortress Hohensalzburg
Day 3) Salzburg: Hallstatt
Day 4) Salzburg: Berchtesgaden; then Hohenwerfen Castle (add or substitute Konigssee?)
Day 5) Munich: Drive from Salzburg to Herrenchiemsee New Palace; Drive to Munich and return rental car
Day 6) Munich: Dachau; Hofbrauhaus
Day 7) Flight from Munich to Marseille, France to join river cruise

Posted by
1524 posts

I think 6 nights is plenty of time for this trip..

Day 1) Salzburg: Flight arrives in Munich 8:40am. Rent car and drive to Salzburg. Visit Salzburg Old City and Salzburg Cathedral.

Day 2) Salzburg: Sound of Music Tour; Motzart Residence, Fortress Hohensalzburg.

Day 3) Salzburg: Hallstatt or as another option the towns of St. Gilgen and St. Wolfgang.

Day 4) Salzburg: Mirabell Palace and Gardens; then Hohenwerfen Castle.

Day 5) Munich: Drive from Salzburg to Herrenchiemsee New Palace; Drive to Munich and return rental car

Day 6) Munich: Munich Residenz or BMW Museum and Hofbrauhaus

Day 7) Flight from Munich to Marseille, France to join river cruise

Posted by
288 posts

If you do decide to do Königsee, make sure to do the hike to the Obersee. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I think the hike to the Obersee takes like 30 mins (give or take) and it is so worth it.

Posted by
3083 posts

Hi, Gary. Welcome to the Forum! You've picked a great area of the world to explore before your river cruise. I absolutely love Salzburg. It's one of my favorite cities.

A few random thoughts:

  • The Rick Steves Vienna Salzburg and Tirol has a great self-guided tour of the Salzburg old town
  • If you like Mozart and have limited time, I found the Geburtshaus (birth house) much more interesting than the the Wohnhaus (later building in which he lived that is mostly reconstructed after being bombed out in WWII)
  • I found Hallstatt most compelling in the evenings and the in the mornings when the tourist hordes were not yet present; if you visit it as a day trip, you will be there amidst the hordes. I'm not sure how worth it that is for the time commitment to get there
  • I think Königssee is great. I would recommend taking the short walk to Obersee from the Salet boat stop, hiking along Obersee's right side to a small snack hut at the other end of the lake, enjoying the view, and then continuing on through a gorgeous alpine meadow littered with grazing cows to Rothbach Waterfall. I find that meadow magical (I was there early in the morning and had it almost to myself).
Posted by
5 posts

Thanks for the responses and especially for the additional ideas on places to visit. I will see what I can work into my schedule. Thank you!!

Posted by
5 posts

Looking more closely at Königssee Lake, is there a nearby town you would recommend visiting? This seems to be a great outdoors and hiking opportunity. Are there hiking maps available, or are they even needed? Any recommendations for lunch?

Thanks!

Posted by
4698 posts

Please, for the sake and safety of others, do not drive to Salzburg after an overnight flight. Dangerous.

Take the train to Salzburg where you will only really need a rental car for Day 3. You do not want a car in Salzburg and Berchtesgaden is easy to reach with public transportation.

Posted by
5 posts

Will public transportation work on the drive back to Munich with a stop in Herrenchiemsee New Palace? Are we talking train or bus?
Thanks.

Posted by
4698 posts

Use the Deutsche Bahn website to find out. I’m sure there is a way. If not, rent your car from Freilassing (on the German side of Salzburg) on the day you plan to drive back to Munich.

Posted by
613 posts

Day 3: include Gosausee (way better secenry than the Hallstatersee asd the N side of tho Dachstein (cable car to view, glacier, & ice cave).

Day 6: Definition of a celebrity: someone who is famous for being famous. Hofbrauhaus is a celebrity beer hall. If you want a real, not a fake news beer hall, go to the Augsteinter near the main train station. Order dunkle bier & food.

Check rental car prices in town vs airport..

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks. I'll check out the public transportation options and the other day-trip options.

Posted by
18380 posts

Will public transportation work on the drive [trip] back to Munich with a
stop in Herrenchiemsee New Palace? Are we talking train or bus?

From where? Salzburg? Berchtesgaden? Yes

There are hourly regional trains by Meridian from Salzburg to Munich (or from Berchtesgaden by way of Freilassing). These trains stop in Prien, which is a 20 minute walk to the harbor from which you take a boat over to Herrenchiemsee island. Instead of the walk, you can ride from the train station to the harbor on one of the world's few remaining steam streetcars.

Posted by
3083 posts

I spent 5 days in the Berchtesgaden area in 2017 and did multiple hikes. Trails were well-marked (and well-traveled), so I never used a map. David Harper, the owner of Eagle's Nest Historical Tours (recommended by RS), has put together an excellent guide to Berchtesgaden that includes 20 hikes: https://www.eagles-nest-tours.com/guide-book/. There are several online resources for hikes in the area; of course, google is your friend to find those.