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2021 Spring Break Bavaria Road Trip/ Vienna/ Prague

Looking at spring break 2021 (Last week of March and First week of April) was looking at doing a trip like this (see below) wondering if doing Prague and Vienna is to much after Bavaria road trip. Or should I flip it and start in Prague, than head to Vienna and finish in Germany. Coming from the States how is driving in Germany? We will be traveling with our kids who will be 9 and 13 at the time we leave. What’s your thoughts? This will be our first time in this area. Thanks

Day 1- Arrive in Munich, Drive to Berchtesgaden for 3 nights
Day 2- Berchtesgaden (Eagles Nest, Lake Konigsee, Salzbergwerk)
Day 3- Salzburg, Austria
Day 4- Drive to Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Home Base for 4 nights)
Day 5- Zugspitze (On a Clear Day)
Day 6- Neuschwanstein Castle, Hohenschwangau Castle
Day 7- Innsbruck, Austria
Day 8- Romantic Road to Rothenburg ob der Tauber( skip?) / Munich (2 nights)
Day 9- Munich
Day 10- Train to Vienna
Day 11- Vienna
Day 12- Vienna
Day 13- Train to Prague
Day 14- Prague
Day 15- Prague
Day 16- Home

Posted by
669 posts

Easter is April 4, 2021. Is there a specific location you want- or don't want- to be on Easter?
Have a great trip!

Posted by
1367 posts

Coming from the States how is driving in Germany?

I found driving in Germany (I was mainly on small back roads, not highways and flat, not hilly) to be very pleasant and relaxing. If you haven't driven in Europe before, I suggest you familiarize yourself ahead of time with the road signs - (Edit) which (while standard) are generally pictures, without explanatory words.

Also, know the "default" speed limits in Germany because I saw (far) fewer speed limits signs on the back roads than I would expect to see in the US - you are expected to know them. (Speed limit signs will be posted where they differ from the "defaults.")

I found this speed limit info: "General speed limits in Germany are set by the federal government. All limits are multiples of 10 km/h. There are two default speed limits: 50 km/h (31 mph) inside built-up areas and 100 km/h (62 mph) outside built-up areas."

German nationals on the forum have advised that the tolerance for speeding is very low. Whereas you might expect to get away with 5 or even 10 miles over the speed limit in the US, do not expect the same in Germany.

Posted by
1367 posts

As a solo traveler, I prefer taking trains to driving. But on my trips where I've done both, I prefer to get the driving out of the way early in the trip. However, I generally don't like to drive on my arrival day. And if I have to drive on the 2nd day, I like to end the day early because I know I'll feel sleepy early that 2nd evening.

Depending on how you manage jet lag on your first few days, you may wish to reconsider the approx. 155km from Munich to Berchtesgaden on your arrival day.

Posted by
39 posts

Good to know on driving in Germany and will definitely read up on it the closer we get to it.

As for Easter I hadn’t really thought about it and didn’t know it was on the 4th. Any recommendations? And are towns/ sites shut down for Easter? Looking at our schedule it’s looking like the 2 castles in Neuschwanstein

Posted by
669 posts

Google the dates of the Prague Easter markets- it's fun for the whole family: interesting foods, gooey desserts, local crafts, hand-painted Easter eggs, and Slavic dancing/ singing .

Unless it's a "must do", I'd skip the Fussen Castle experience. You can Search feedback here. It's a lot of work and standing in lines for a very short, uninspired tour, IMHO, [especially for N- Castle; H Castle is more interesting]. There are lines even with the timed-tickets, as you must be in place before your time.

I love Rothenburg - half-timbered houses, walking on the town walls, climbing the quirky steps of the Town Hall, [for a look-out over the town], and the Night Watchmen tour [check for off-season schedule.] Lots of great activities for the kids.
I love Vienna but don't know anything about Easter markets and activities.

At that time of year, it will most likely be spring one day, winter the next, repeat cycle. Just pack layers. I enjoyed our trip in that season, but did miss the leaves on the trees and the gardens in bloom.

So nice that you have a family experience!

Posted by
39 posts

Awesome thanks Pat,
Looking at Prague for Easter is when we will be there so we will definitely check that out! And we are from the Pacific NW so we know the Cold spring time so it won’t be a shock to us. Just hoping for a clear day when we visit Zugspitze. And as far as the Füssen Castles that’s what initially drew me to that region and to plan a road trip. So we will definitely check the box if you will and visit them. Have you don the Royal Crystal Baths over there as well?

And speaking of weather as I know it can change. How is the Eagles Nest during March/ April? Mild/ a little chilly?

Posted by
613 posts

"From 1 November to 15 April you may only drive in winter conditions, such as icy roads or roads covered in snow or slush, if you have winter tyres fitted. If you are caught without winter tyres in Austria in such conditions, you will be fined €35."

Also, you need to buy a vignette at the border, about 20 Euros.

High airport tax on cars at MUC. I saved big bucks renting in town. Spend firs 1-2 nights in Munich-- not only saves money on car but you won't sleep well on the flight, you will have jet lag, and you are going to be driving in a very deferent place. Taking a day to recover.

Don't just familiarize yourself with International road signs, memorize them. Make every body going memorize them because the driver will appreciate help.

EU drivers follow much closer than Americans. This is unnerving. but understandable once you see how little room there is pass on EU roads. On multi-lane highways, always keep right except to pass. 4 lane Expressways have a fast and slow lane, much less speed variation than in USA. 6 lane expressways have slow, moderate, and fast lanes. Pick one and go with the flow. Road signs are very systematic. This is a good lesson USA could learn.

Don't be discouraged, driving is the best way to go, and its easy outside the big cities.

Neuschwanstein Castle is unfinished inside and as noted, not worth the effort. On the other had, viewed from above (Marienbruck bridge) or below (the parking lot, a restaurant across the way, it is spectacular. There are tables in the restaurant H. Lisl und Jaegerhaus the overlook both castles. The interior to see is the nearby Weiss Kirch.

Mad King Ludwig had two more castles, Linderhoff and The Rezidenze in Munich. Both have better interior sights than Neuschwanstein & Hohenschwangau Castles.

Keep Prague at the end. It is the best thing you will see, and by then you will be over jet lag and can fully enjoy it. Munich, on the other hand, benefits from visiting while brain dead.

Your itinerary is too tight. If Day 2- Berchtesgaden (Eagles Nest, Lake Konigsee, Salzbergwerk) has bad weather, flip it with Salzburg. Organize things as good weather (scenery) days and bad weather (towns, castles, museums) days and play it by ear.

Posted by
39 posts

Awesome info kb!! Thank you! Since I’ve never driven do rental car companies put winter tires on or auto socks to buy in those conditions? And we will definitely play it by year and switch things up if weather rolls in on places we want to see the view for! If we can do that and Mother Nature doesn’t have other plans. Don’t mind driving in the winter type conditions I’ll keep an eye out for AWD cars when we look for rental cars. And will definitely book off site in Munich for it.

Posted by
23250 posts

The Kehlsteinhaus / Eagles Nest usually opens in May. You will have to take that off your list.

Posted by
599 posts

The Fischunkelalm on the Obersee behind the Königssee will be closed too. No cows there either this early I'm afraid. I still would not miss this corner on a blue-sky day for the beauty.

Posted by
6536 posts

You're itinerary is pretty aggressive for a two week trip. Remember your first and last days of any trip are pretty much wasted days. I've made most of this itinerary a number of times.
Have you considered flying into Prague?
Then take the train to Vienna.
From there, the train over to Salzburg is an easy trip. Berchtesgaden is a short trip south of Salzburg, and many day tours are available from there.
And it's just a couple of hours into Munich by train from Salzburg.
After seeing Munich (worthy of 3 days), you could rent a car and head south toward Innsbruck and the Tirol going thru Garmisch or staying there. (I usually stay outside of Innsbruck.) I've done the Neuschwanstein thing, and would skip it. I'd also suggest skipping Rothenburg as it's out of the way and there is just so much to see on the rest of your trip.
As I step back and consider your trip, you're going to be moving pretty fast. Prague is another place you could save for a future trip. After 49 years of traveling this region, we now travel slowly--and better.

Posted by
39 posts

Thanks for the Info David! I have considered flipping where we start like you mentioned. And finishing in Germany. Still very early planning so I can always move things around! I’m wondering if we should delay a bit and take advantage of more late spring early summer weather for warmer weather.

Posted by
50 posts

I would recommend to start right from prague. The "City of a Hundred Towers" is famous for its Old Town Square with its colourful baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval astronomical clock, on which an animated carillon can be seen every hour. The Charles Bridge, completed in 1402, with statues of Catholic saints, is closed to motor traffic.

Take the train in prague and in about 2 hours you'll be in Vienna. I love the area around the river donau and don't miss a day at the prater. Is a must-go for adrenaline junkies :D

From Vienna to munich there are planes but also trains. My personal choice would be train. In about 3 to 5 hours you will arrive in Bavaria. There you have to check the Hofbräuhäuser. I love the atmosphere in these restaurants and you get good food :)
By the way, in Germany you are obliged to carry a safety vest in your desired car. Furthermore, fines over 70 euros are also enforced abroad: https://www.punkte-flensburg.de/bussgeld/#muss-das-bussgeld-auch-im-ausland-gezahlt-werden

Let me know if you need info about innsbruck. Have been there many times..

Posted by
669 posts

Note- The train connections for Prague - Vienna are a minimum 4.5 hours trip. The flights are under an hour.
Healthy travels- whenever!

Posted by
16576 posts

For a good idea of the range of weather you might encounter around the end of March, take a look at the historical day-by-day weather statistics for your key destinations on the website timeanddate.com. The data goes back about ten years. I'd check at least the most recent three years; five would be better.

It's all too easy to look at average monthly high temperatures for an off-season trip and think, "That's not too bad". Unfortunately, you are not likely to experience those temperatures at 8 or 9 AM or as you head out for dinner. Personally, I dislike chilly, wet weather as well as short days, so I would not travel to that part of Europe at the time you plan. However, plenty of other folks don't mind the weather and really appreciate the smaller crowds. In this case, though, if your trip coincides with other people's spring-break vacations, you may experience iffy weather without the full benefit of lower numbers of tourists.

Timeanddate.com