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10 nights in/out of Munich - Nearby Countries

There are 6 of us traveling to Munich at the end of April/ early May. We would like to see some other cities during our 10 night trip. One thought was to take the train to Salzburg, then Venice, but not sure after that. We also thought about heading the opposite direction and going to Switzerland. Any recommendations on:

  • Number of nights in Munich
  • Stops on the route back from Venice
  • Other possible routes to consider

For many of us it's the first time to Europe. We'd like to see and experience as much as we can without constantly being on the go.

Posted by
5411 posts

Have you ever been to Europe before? If so, where? What are your interests/likes/dislikes - why do you want to go to Europe? Why did you choose Munich?

Post your actual arrival and departure dates. Most first-time travelers engage in some willful self deception when counting how much usable time they'll actually have in Europe, plan accordingly, and suffer the consequences when their trip turns into a blur of too many trains and not enough time actually being anyplace.

Have you booked your flights already (and can they be changed)? If you fly in to a city and then fly out from the same city (a classic "round trip" ticket) you waste time and money; open jaws is usually more efficient, with the time saved even more critical on a very short trip such as yours. Not saying that's always the case, a round-trip to anywhere (including Munich) may be perfect, but it restricts your options...for example, if you want to go to Venice on this trip, it would waste at least a full day (and some money) to have to circle back and return to Munich for a flight home...so much better to fly home from Venice.

Posted by
27476 posts

Are you all adults? Any mobility issues?

Posted by
6448 posts

When you say 10 nights in/out of Munich does that mean that you have 10 nights on the ground exclusive of flight days? Or do those 10 nights include flight days from US to Munich and from Munich to US, leaving 8 nights on the ground in Europe? I base my question on assuming you are coming from the US. If that's not the case you need to clarify. If you truly have 8 nights in Europe you should limit yourself to two main cities/areas with maybe a stop between the two. With 10 actual nights in Europe you could add a 3rd location.

In addition a little more information about you and your group's interests would help people here suggest places you might like. Do you like museums, bit cities, cafe society, small villages, outdoor pursuits (hiking, biking, walking), photographing scenery, etc.?

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks for the replies. We are all adults between 42 and 65 coming from the US. Four of us have never been to Europe before - all 6 have never been to Germany.

We arrive April 23rd and depart May 3 in and out of Munich, which is pretty set and flights are booked.

Our plan is to take in the culture of the places we're visiting. We're at the early research and planning stages, but I do not anticipate hiking or biking. We've talked about visiting beer halls, cafes, castles, sightseeing, etc.

Posted by
1924 posts

As your trip covers Easter, 2019, just be aware of the pros & cons.

We spent Easter in Salzburg last year. [Altho some stores are closed for Easter & Easter Monday, the sites were not.]
At Rick's suggestion, altho not religious, we attended the two hour service in the Cathedral. It was glorious: the choir, the orchestra, the art!!! We were experiencing the Cathedral in the function for which is was designed, and some of the music was originally written for this site, where Mozart had actually played. It was a sensory experience I will never forget!

If you're in Salzburg, you should consider spend a night in Hallstatt, and from there, Vienna is two hours by train.

So many possibilities...Safe travels!
PS- For Switzerland, make sure the mountain passes are open, as April is still winter.

Posted by
1924 posts

PS PS
I would skip Fussen- I think it's overrated and becoming a tourist trap.

Posted by
529 posts

Venice is definitely too far away. Maybe into Salzburg. What about other parts of Germany? There is much to see just in Germany.

Posted by
1489 posts

Starting with the good news: "culture of the places" - Europe has a lot of culture in manifold means such as architecture, music, literature, art, food and much more. And even in Germany you will find so much different ones.

I would come from the question how to get a taste? Some ideas:

  • Munich is worth staying 2 full days for urban Bavarian culture.
  • A car round trip along German Alpine Road can be very nice in spring. Be aware that cross-border car round trip is special in Europe. I suggest national rentals.
  • Salzburg you mentioned already by yourself but talking of different culture Vienna is more different (4-5 hours by train)
  • Bamberg is close by train to Munich: UNESCO world heritage old town and smoked beer (1 day). By the way: It is administrated in Bavaria but culturally it is Franconian, not Bavarian.
  • From Bamberg not so far away by train is Berlin which offers a lot of different impressions.
  • Dresden is also an interesting option when you are interested in culture.
  • Hamburg has also a different culture (2 hrs from Berlin) and a main event in early May: Port anniversary.

Deutsche Bahn operates most train connections in and also from / to Germany. Check group ticket options. Overview of fast train connections. Venice needs 7-8 hous by train, so more a can do imo.

Posted by
1742 posts

The train ride to Venice is a nice one and if Venice is a top interest, then taking the train there and spending a couple of days there is fine, then fly back to Munich. I think stopping places between the two complicates such a short trip.

There is plenty to do in Bavaria and the Salzburg area.

Posted by
4645 posts

You have 9 full days. Given the size and goals of the group, you should definitely stick to Munich, Bavaria and the Salzburg/Salzkammergut area. Longer trips to Venice and Switzerland will waste 2 of your 9 precious days in transit.

Posted by
842 posts

I agree that Venice is way too far, even Switzerland will use up some of your precious time and the only real benefit would be to say you were in another country. Salzburg is definitely a good idea though. This summer I was in that region for almost three weeks but visited several places that would fit in your time frame including Bamberg, Regensburg, Nurnberg and Rothenburg. You could do most of them as day trips from Munich if you really want to, but I would suggest going to Nurnberg for three nights and do day trips from there to Bamberg and Regensburg, then move to Rothenburg for 1 night (best to be there overnight as day trippers clog it mid-day, much nicer evening and early morning). Spend the rest of them time in Munich with a day trip to Salzburg.

I wrote about these places here: https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/blog

Posted by
783 posts

I agree with isabel. If you have never been to Germany 10 days is barely going to be enough to get immersed in Bavaria. For the Alps go south to Garmisch-Partenkirchen for a day. Regensburg is another day or two and beautiful in the spring. Nuremberg is nicer than Munich to walk around. Wurzburg has fantastic scenery. And the smaller towns, Nordlingen, Dinklesbuhl, Rothenburg odT, Ansbach, Bad Windsheim, Crailsheim, Oberammergau, Augsberg, Ingolstadt, Ulm; all are amazing. You could spend a day in each and never see everything. And that's not even beginning to see Munich.

If you must get out of Germany I suggest either Prague or Salzburg. Or both. 2-3 nights in Munich, 2 hours to Salzburg. Two nights there and then 2 hours up to Prague for two more nights. Return back to Munich by way of Nuremberg or Regensburg, and you'll have a really nice time and then spend the flight home trying to plan your next trip.

Posted by
18241 posts

Nancy, "10 actual nights" would be 9 full days, with 2 partial (travel) days on either end.

But even 9 full days is hardly enough. You'll never see everything, so don't try. There is plenty to see just in the Land (State) of Bavaria. The less time you spend traveling, the more time you can spend sightseeing.

Posted by
12794 posts

Hi,

With the time you have, if you only want to stay in Germany and see other places as well as Munich (it's a good choice too), I suggest Ulm, Augsburg, Regensburg, Ingolstadt, Nürnberg,

Re: Venice...there is night train direct from Munich to Venice, if you want that option.

Going to Salzburg and Prague can be easily done if you decide on going outside of Germany.

Posted by
7 posts

All very good information and so much to consider. I am now thinking that Venice is out of the question. Our group would rather spend more time taking in the area than spending two days of our vacation on a train to get there.

It sounds that 2-3 nights in Munich is advised. Some places the group mentioned were English Garden, Marienplatz, New Town Hall, Victuals Market, Nymphenburg Palace, Munich Residenz, Rathaus-Glockenspiel, Chinese Tower, Neuchwanstein Castle. Keep in mind we've never been to Germany so this is all based off of online research. Will that be enough time to explore the city and do some day trips?

Thinking of either heading to Salzburg and possibly Vienna for a few nights or heading the other way staying in Germany and checking out Regnsburg, Nuremberg and Bamberg as possible options. Or would it be an option to skip Vienna and do Salzburg, Regnsburg, Nuremberg and Bamberg? Curious people's thoughts on this route and potential places to stay over vs day trips.

Any information on trains, types, navigating, booking etc would be super helpful.

I appreciate everyone's input this far - it really helps put things into perspective.

Posted by
12794 posts

Hi,

In a way if you drop Vienna, logistically it makes more sense, ie, going to Bamberg, Salzburg, Regensburg, etc. Munich to Vienna takes ca. 4.5 hrs. It used to be 6. I usually say it's a matter of priorities or how desperate you are to see a specific place, say Vienna.

Are you all going to stick together the whole time? If so, then you all have to agreed to an itinerary acceptable to the entire group.

No one is going to take off for a day in order to see his/her particular interest because that interest is not shared by the others? That depends on the group dynamics. Is splitting up an option?

Posted by
7 posts

For the most part we will be traveling together and are planning the same itinerary. There may be a day in Munich were people want to see different things.

Posted by
1924 posts

WE loved the Munich Residentz Palace- spectacular. That's also a good activity for a rainy portion of a day.
I would suggest skipping Neuchwastein Castle [Fussen]- that is a full day trip, and I feel it's getting too crowded and commercial.

Posted by
3142 posts

I was not a fan of Neuschweinstein Castle, but I loved Fussen. It was picturesque and I enjoyed the local museum.

Posted by
82 posts

Maureen, we did a trip in and out of Munich 3 years ago. We had 13 nights instead of 10.
When we landed in Munich we went straight to Salzburg (by train) for 2 nights, then Garmisch Partenkirchen (by train) for 3 nights. Next we rented a car and went to Baden Baden (1 night), Bacharach (2 nights), Rothenburg (2 nights) and ended in Munich (3 nights) and dropped the car off when we got there. It was much less stressful to end in munich so we didn't have to worry about a long drive the day of our flight.

This was a pretty hectic pace, it was our first trip, I'd slow it down next time.