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Transportation advice: Rome-Switzerland-Reutte-Munich

I am new to the forum, so thanks for taking the time to read this post and provide advice! I will be traveling to Europe in early June with my wife and 3 teenage boys. Given the size of the group, I'm at a loss on how to plan efficient transportation without blowing the budget. Right now the 2nd leg of our trip looks like this:

Day 1&2: Tour Rome (public transportation)
Day 3: Travel to Murren, Switzerland
Day 4&5: Tour the Berner Oberland
Day 6: Travel to Reutte, luges
Day 7: Ludwig Castles, Ehrenberg castle ruins
Day 8: Travel to Munich area, Tour Dachau, stay outside Munich
Day 9: Day trip to Nuremburg
Day 10: Tour Munich
Day 11: Fly out of MUC

The plan right now is to:
- Take a train from Rome to Switzerland on day 3
- On day 6, take a train from Switzerland into Germany where we can rent a car (maybe Lindau, Germany?). Drive the rest of the way to Reutte. This is to avoid the rental car company fees associated with returning in a different country.
- Use the rental car for primary transport for the rest of the trip. Including the day trip to Nuremberg. The exception being the day in Munich.

My question is, am I crazy for going the rental car route? When looking at the cost of public transport for 5 people, it seems to me that a rental car is cheaper (using Europcar, etc) and gives us more flexibility.

Also, given our itinerary, any advice on which type of train pass would work best?
Any other feedback would be immensely appreciated!

Thanks again!
RichardC

Posted by
23386 posts

3 teenage boys can take up a lot of space in the back seat, depending on age and bulk. With that and luggage for 5 you'll need a pretty big car, and cars tend to run small.

Getting the car in Germany is a better idea than in Austria or Switzerland because you will be apparently driving in or near German cites requiring an Umweltplakette and a German car will coe with one.

Since you will be on the train already I prose considering if you actually need a car at all, or for as long as you say. Since virtually all your German visit will be in Bavaria, using a very cheap "Bayern Ticket" after 9 am weekdays (with teenage boys 9 am may seem pretty early if they are like some I know) or all day on weekends may save you money and hassle. Valid on non-express trains (no ICE/IC/EC) and also valid on all local buses, trams, U-Bahns (underground trains called subways in the US), and S-Bahns throughout the entire state of Bavaria, in other words all your needs for the day. Depending on the kiddoes' ages it can be even cheaper. 26€ for the first passenger, 8€ for additional. Under 15s free - see below.

Own children and grandchildren:

Children up to 5 years always travel free of charge. If the ticket is
used by up to 2 persons, one person can take any number of own
children or grandchildren under 15 years with them free of charge.

If there are more than 2 paying persons, 6-14-year-olds pay the regular fare.

So how old are the boys?

You say that this is part 2 of the itinerary? How are you getting to Rome? Unless you are coming from just down the line only 2 days in Rome seems awfully short, IMHO.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks for the great feedback, @Nigel

The boys will be 17, 15, and 13. We deliberated Rome back and forth and the boys just have hearts set on seeing the ancient Roman sights. (Not all of us are as wild about going out of the way and dealing with crowds, etc, but we've booked airfare, so we're set now!). As you can see from the full itinerary below, it's not even 2 days in Rome as we fly in early on June 4th and hope to do the Pantheon and spend time in the piazzas that night. The priorities on the 5th would be the ancient Roman sights, hitting the Colosseum early. That will be a Friday, so we hope to do the Vatican "Night Openings". It's definitely a busy itinerary: day of travel, day of touring, repeat!

5/29 Fly USA to LHR
5/30-31 Tour London
6/1 Harry Potter Studio Tour
6/2 Tour Oxford
6/3 Blenheim Palace
6/4 Fly LGW to FCO (early flight, 1/2 day Rome)
6/5 Tour Rome
6/6 Travel to Murren, Switzerland
6/7-8 Tour the Berner Oberland
6/9 Travel to Reutte, luges
6/10 Ludwig Castles, Ehrenberg castle ruins
6/11 Travel to Munich area, Tour Dachau, stay outside Munich
6/12 Day trip to Nuremburg
6/13 Tour Munich
6/14 Fly MUC back to USA

I'm very appreciative for this forum and your feedback.

Posted by
1060 posts

Hi Richard. My suggestion: skip Switzerland and replace it with mountain time in Austria and Germany. Berner Oberland is very nice, but too far out of your way. Instead, from Rome, fly or train to Munich, get your car, and use it to tour Germany and Austria, including some beautiful mountains. Enjoy your trip!