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11 Day Upper Bavaria Itinerary Review

Hi, I'm planning a trip with my boyfriend to Upper Bavaria in early July. We are looking for a mix of hiking, sightseeing and good food/beer. We will be renting a car at Munich airport and returning when we arrive back in Munich. Do you have suggestions for our itinerary? I'm curious what the crowds will be like--we are from California and used to packed beaches and long restaurant lines, should we expect similar here? What times should we avoid driving for traffic?

Garmisch Partenkirchen (3 nights - Wed-Sat)

  • Day 1: Pick up rental car in Munich, drive to Garmisch
  • Day 2: Eckbauerbahn + Partnachklamm, dinner in Ettal/Oberammergau (will Partnachklamm be crowded on a weekday?)
  • Day 3: Neuschwanstein + Hohenschwangau tours in AM (tickets booked in advance), Lake Forgenssee Boat Trip in PM

Prien am Chiemsee (2 nights - Sat-Mon)

  • Day 4: Depart Garmisch, drive the Alpenstrasse Road to Chiemsee (stops: Mittenwald, Braeustueberl Tegernsee) - will there be lots of traffic on the drive from Garmisch to Chiemsee on Saturday?
  • Day 5: Lake Day - Relax on beach, rent kayak/rowboat and picnic on island, maybe see Herrenchiemsee

Berchtesgaden (3 nights - Mon-Thurs)

  • Day 6: Depart Chiemsee, drive to Berchtesgaden on Alpenstrasse Road, Salzbergwerk Salt Mine
  • Day 7: Konigssee Boat Tour, Hike to Obersee + Rothbachfall, afternoon at Eagle's Nest
  • Day 8: Day Trip to Salzburg - Walking Tour, Augustiner Brau (suggestions for concert venues?)

Munich (2 nights - Thurs-Sat):

  • Day 9: Depart Berchtesgaden, lunch in Wasserburg am Inn, night out in Munich (suggestions for stops on way from B'gaden to Munich?)
  • Day 10: Walking Tour, Viktualienmarkt, Hofbrauhaus
  • Day 11: Departure Flight
Posted by
33335 posts

will Partnachklamm be crowded on a weekday?

Yes. My experience is that it is deceptively busy, even if the hike up doesn't show it. The key can be the very full car parks. The bus also goes there, by the way. When you get into the one person wide trail through the canyon and see that it is in fact two way you will see just how busy it is.

Worth it though. Really good fun. Word to the wise - use the restroom before you arrive and cut down on the coffees and teas for some time before. The toilets are few, very expensive, mostly portable ones, not in good condition, and very busy.

Traffic around Munich is very heavy both in the extended morning and evening rush hours, and very heavy southbound towards Garmisch Partenkirchen all afternoon on Fridays and all day Saturdays; in the reverse direction on Sunday afternoons, morning rush hours and to a lesser degree the evening rush hour.

Traffic in Munich is always a zoo.

I see that you are from California where people drive to cross the street. If you have chosen to drive because of that can I suggest that most of the places you have in your lists are very easy to reach by train, with no traffic jams, and by using a Bayern Ticket each day both of you can go anywhere in Bavaria (not using the high speed trains, but the others are about as fast for where you are going) on trains, buses and trams for €31 (if my memory is correct) for the pair of you. Good into Salzburg too.

Speaking of Salzburg - parking is very expensive. If you do any driving on the Austrian autobahn you need to buy a toll Vignette before crossing the border, around €10 from well marked service areas as you approach Austria. Also in Austria all drivers are required by law to obtain (before leaving home) an IDP, available at the AAA, including the 2 California AAAs for northern and southern CA.

I'm a little worried to see you going to Augustinerbraü with a car. (Good choice of place to go, BTW). They do have a carpark but be aware that Austrian and German drinking and driving laws are much stricter than any in the US. The Salzburg bus does go to the door, and some other buses stop nearby.

Are you intending to drive to Garmisch Partenkirchen right after a flight from the left coast, or will you have been in Europe for a while getting over jetlag first?

I love all the places you have listed to see. I'll be there this June revisiting some old favourites. Happy travels.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks so much, Nigel! Your response is very helpful.

Perhaps we will push the Partnachklamm back a couple of days, as we will be arriving late on the first night and (you're right) will need to get over jetlag before jumping into a hike. I appreciate the restroom and trail advice!

We chose to drive because we read that the Alpenstrasse road is especially beautiful to drive, and we like the flexibility it provides to stop along the way or change plans at the last minute. We are, as you say, "drive across the street" Californians (ha!) and it's likely part of the reason we chose to drive this trip. I do not drink much, if at all, and will mostly be just be joining my boyfriend for the ambience of the beer halls. However, I did read that the 840 bus will take us from Berchtesgaden to Salzburg, so we will take that instead of driving to avoid any trouble, buying the vignette and expensive parking. We will also try and use public transit as much as possible once we have arrived at our destinations.

Thank you for all your advice!!