Munich to Paris

Hi- Our family is traveling into Munich and out of Paris next summer and we have 17 days to travel through the region. My husband and I have been to Paris before and want to go back to Varenna, Lake Como. Our teenage boys have never been to Europe before and we want to see as much as possible. We are traveling by train and don't mind moving at a fast pace. Can anyone suggest an itinerary that would include the following: Munich/ Castles Varenna Interlaken St. Moritz (?)- is this worth seeing? Zermatt (worth it?) Any other must sees along the way...Milan(?)
Paris We'd like to spend 5-6 days in Paris and rent an apartment. Any companies you'd suggest? Just in the planning stages now other than the plane tickets. Thank you in advance for any and all suggestions!

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

Julie, I'd need some time to look at this, but a few initial thoughts.... > Munich - you can easily visit the Castles either by making the time-specific reservations on your own, or going with Radius Tours who will make all the arrangements for you. They also offer tours to Dachau and walking tours in Munich. > Varenna - that's a fairly straight forward trip through the Brenner Pass (change trains in Verona) to Milan and then Varenna. > Interlaken - one option you might consider is to travel north to Tirano and take the Bernina Express (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) to Chur. From there make your way to Interlaken. Are you planning to stay IN Interlaken or in the Lauterbrunnen Valley (Gimmelwald, Mürren, Lauterbrunnen)? > St. Moritz - you'll pass that on the Bernina Express trip, but I'm not sure if it's worth seeing? > Zermatt - very posh and aside from seeing the Matterhorn I'm not sure there would be a lot of interest there for teenage boys. > Milan - I'd skip that. Other places you could consider: > Dolomites for a few days - hiking, etc. Stay in Castelrotto or perhaps Bolzano. It's on the way from Munich to Verona. > From Chur, take the Glacier Express towards Interlaken. > On the way form Switzerland to Paris, stop in Colmar for a few days (day trip to see the incredible Cathedral in Strasbourg). I'm sure the group here will have lots of good suggestions. Good luck with your planning!

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
2276 posts

OK, hows this for a route? Munich, train to Fuessen and see the castles as a day trip with a Bayern ticket. Munich to St Moritz via Lindau, Bregenz and Chur. Worth seeing? Maybe. But it is a jumping off place for the Bernina Express to Tirano and Varenna. After a few days in Varenna, ferry to Como, then train to Bellinzona, Andermatt, Brig, and Zermatt. After a couple of days, Zermatt to Brig, Lausanne, and on to Paris on the TGV. I left out Interlaken. RS is going to scream bloody murder! But on this rail tour of the Alps, I think you have to choose between InterLaken/Berner Oberland and Zermatt. I'm going with Zermatt because everyone on the Helpline will be in the B.O. and Zermatt will be deserted. (Is this where I put in the smiley face emoticon or LOL?) So with 11 days from landing at Munich to checking in to your Paris apartment, this how I see it: Munich 4 nites (include day trip to Fuessen/Neuschwanstein. St Moritz 1 nite Varenna 3 nites
Zermatt 3 nites Replace Zermatt with B.O. if you so desire.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9131 posts

"> Zermatt - very posh and aside from seeing the Matterhorn I'm not sure there would be a lot of interest there for teenage boys." Ummm... hiking? The high altitude hiking above Zermatt is about as amazing an experience as you can get in the Alps.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

@Tom, Yes, that's true but the Berner Oberland should provide lots of hiking opportunities. As there are seven possible places to visit in a 17 day time frame, IMO it's prudent to skip one or two of the locations mentioned. Zermatt and St. Moritz seemed like two logical locations to skip. Some of the locations (Munich, Paris) will require more than the average of 2.4 days, so I was trying to allow for that. As I mentioned at the beginning of my reply, this was only a few brief impressions. I was just on my way out to the Gym, but wanted to get a few thoughts down on paper (so to speak). Cheers!

Posted by Julie
Raleigh, NC
2 posts

Thank you for the ideas...I like the Munich- ST. Moritz- Como-Gimmelwald- Paris itinerary. A few questions having never been to most of these places. The trains you mentioned - Bernina Express and Glacier Express- where would you suggest we get on/off for them? Also, is it unreasonable to add a night between Gimmelwald and paris in Montreux? Leave there for Paris?

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
2276 posts

The St Moritz to Tirano Bernina Express is run by RHB. http://www.rhb.ch/Bernina-Express.2188.0.html?L=4 Take a morning departure from St Moritz, and arrive in Tirano, Italy about 2 1/2 hours later. You then connect to a Trenord train to Varenna-Esino. Timing is such that you get about an hour in Tirano. The schedule for Trenord is: http://www.trenord.it/it/servizi/motore-orario.aspx The train to Varenna is about an hour and a half. Now you can get to Interlaken 2 ways. The simplest is simply ride the Trenord train from Varenna to Milano Centrale and changing to a train to Spiez and then to Interlaken. The other way is to start with a ferry ride to Como, a taxi to Como San Giovanni station, then a trains to Chiasso, Arth-Goldau, Luzern, and Interlaken. Schedule at www.sbb.com. Sure, want to stop at Montreux? Go ahead. You might even take the Golden Pass route for even more mountain scenery. http://www.goldenpass.ch/?Language=EN
When you get to Paris, you're going to need a rest. With all these Swiss trains, look at a Swiss Pass or a Swiss Visitors Half Fare Card.

Posted by Brian
Silverdale, WA
43 posts

I would heavily lean towards renting a car instead of taking the train which would allow lots of side trips and flexbility with kids. Not sure of the boys age, but there are lots of cool alps adventures if they are into outdoor activities: paragliding, canyoning, and so on. You can do that in Austria or (for more money) in Switzerland. Don't overlook Chamonix as a possible high mtn stop instead of Zermatt and (for sure) St. Moritz (very skippable to me). The lift/summit is amazing at Chamonix. I enjoy Lake Garda more than Lake Como, and Venice/Verona/Dolomites are striking distance from Garda (easiest with car). Tons of options.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7976 posts

Neither Zermatt nor St Moritz would be high on my list. Grindelwald would for one night. If you switch to using a car (probably quicker and surely cheaper for a mob), you're going to have to ditch it at Feiburg maybe and ride the rails on in to Paris or the cost of leaving it in a second country will eat you alive.