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Traveling from Salzburg across the border into Freilassing, Germany

I am checking the logic of my route planning. My daughter and I will be ending a tour in Zurich June of 2018. We will then be traveling to Salzburg for 4 days and then we will go into Germany for another 5-7 days. We will be taking the train from Zurich to Salzburg and after our time there, I plan on renting a car in Freilassing, Germany to continue our journey. I want to rent the car in Germany since we will be flying out of there and I do not want the extra cost of renting in Austria and returning in Germany. My main question is: How should we get to the rental agency in Freilassing from Salzburg? It is a 6 km walk from our Airbnb to the rental agency. It is a 35 minute train ride. Since this crosses a border, which way makes more sense or is easier? Any suggestions?

Posted by
487 posts

Due to the Schengen treaty the border is not really an issue. Take whatever route is easiest for you. I would not walk personally, but maybe take a taxi if one is available.

Posted by
631 posts

Good plan!!

But where on earth have AirBnB put you?? The Salzburg area local trains take 12 minutes from the main station with 4 intermediate stops, the regional train is only 7 minutes. The border isn't a problem because usually it is completely open. However, there is an annoying lack of bridges over the river! Salzburg city bus line 24 also goes to Freilassing town centre https://salzburg-verkehr.at/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/12-24-j17-10.pdf

Posted by
265 posts

Take the train from Salzburg. I did this a couple of years ago. I walked from the Freilassing train station dragging my luggage. I did this thinking it would NOT be hard to find the rental site. Wrong it was just a gas station with no signage to tell you it was a car rental place. Be sure to have the address and take a cab from the train station. It is a very short distance so won't cost much. .

Posted by
28075 posts

I agree with the two posts above me. If you are only just across the border (6km is only 3.7 miles) it shouldn't take the train over half an hour.

Can you help us? Where are you staying, and where exactly is your car rental? Then we can give you a really precise answer.

I think that getting the car in Germany if you are returning it in Germany is a very good idea.

You're not taking that car into Munich are you? That wouldn't be a good idea. Maybe you could say where you will be driving in those 5 to 7 days? There are several of us fairly familiar with Bavaria and most of the rest of the country (Austria and Switzerland too).

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks everyone. It looks like it is actually only an eight minute train ride according to Google - the rest is walking to the train and then walking to the rental place. Looks like the train is the way to go. I guess my main worry was the border crossing and the ease of going through that.

Posted by
8889 posts

Don't use google for train times. Use the DB (German Railways) site. They run the trains: https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml
That says two local trains per hour, taking either 7 or 12 minutes (some have intermediate stops). Cost €2.70.

If your hotel is a long way from Salzburg station, or the rental agency is a long way from Freilassing station, I would consider a taxi. 6 Km is not far!

Crossing the border should not be a problem. There is (officially) no border checks as both countries are in the Schengen Area and the EU. 1-2 years ago the Germans instituted temporary ID checks due to the refugee issues. That did cause delays, but AFAIK it is over, but you may find some Bundespolizei (German Federal Police) eyeing the passengers for anyone who looks suspicious.

Posted by
3 posts

The Germany portion is somewhat for genealogy purposes. We will be stopping in Oberschonau and then continuing north to Kiel with some side trips. Then probably on the Frankfort if that is where we fly out. I will avoid Munich as much as I can.

Posted by
12964 posts

On this last trip I was surprised that I was "controlled" on the train as it left Salzburg for Munich. The coach was practically empty, so I (solo) was one of the very few passengers in that particular coach. Two of the German police with "Polizei" on the backs came by my seat at the window, one asked me if I had my passport. (The scam idea did occur to me)

Since I have tourist written all over me, I was first struck by the question. It was in German. What I have seen on trains in Germany esp in the west is when there is a passport check if the person looks like a tourist, it is asked in English. The guy asked, "Haben Sie einen Reisepass dabei?" Of course, I was not going to leave it at my Pension in Munich. Even though I was a bit taken aback, , I answered him that I did in German before I could finally get it out of my inside jacket pocket and out of its cover. Still, when they saw it was USA, they did not switch over to English. (Another surprise) As they were flipping through it, I asked, why, (Warum, denn?), ie, why are you checking up on me?.

They asked me another question in German, if I was going to Germany. I thought, obviously, since the train was heading for Munich. As they were finally leaving, I asked if they were the "Grenzkontrolle" The first guy ignored the question, his partner said they were. I thought of asking the guy sitting up front from me 4-5 rows, if he was checked. ...but didn't.

Posted by
631 posts

Google public transport advice, very funny!

for local travel around Salzburg including nearby towns in Germany use https://salzburg-verkehr.at/?lang=en - put the town name (eg Salzburg, Freilassing, Berchtesgaden) as the first word of the location, and then the street or stop name. I just did it for a random address I could remember in Salzburg to the area where Hertz/ Avis/ Budget are in Freilassing and it actually gave the bus 24 as the fastest option (and the cheapest!)

Posted by
18373 posts

From what part of Salzburg are you coming? From the old city, bus 24 comes from Hanusch Platz up Münchnerstraße in Freilassing. Get off and go down Ludwig-Zeller-Straße. There is both a Europecar and a Hertz on that street. Europecar is right there where you get off the bus; Hertz is at the far end of the street.

BTW, Google Maps shows the location of the car rental places in Freilassing.

Posted by
1184 posts

Fred, two years ago there was a big crisis as refugees coming from the Balkan area piled up in Salzburg trying to get in Germany and the German authorities watched the border with great attention, delaying their transit. I guess your passport control procedure is an offshoot of that time.

Posted by
28075 posts

I have dealt with that border - Salzburg towards Munich and vice-versa - several times this week.

No matter what time of (civilised) day, car traffic is delayed upwards of an hour. Trucks even worse. That's on either Austrian autobahn joining the German A8. There are small matrix signs 2 exits prior showing simply "A8 +....". Yesterday it read +54 and was backed up before the Y. The German police are checking every vehicle.

On the other hand entering Austria has been trivial.

The back way from the airport joining at Junction 1 had a 5 to 10 minute delay for a windscreen check, and going the long way via Freilassing had no visible checks crossing the river - but several roads close to the border were sealed off. The B2 onto the A8 was a non-issue.

YMMV

Posted by
28075 posts

by the way these were all before the atrocities in Barcelona and Finland. May be tighter now.