Please sign in to post.

Driving in Schöneck, Saxony

This December, we're visiting my son in Schöneck. It's rather inaccessible, lengthy train rides with connections from any major city. We're considering renting a car to travel between Schöneck and Dresden, and perhaps Leipzig, however, my son has recommended that we not drive. It's close to the Czech border with a different approach to driving rules and practices. The road conditions are challenging and most likely, will be covered in snow. If you've driven this area, especially during the winter, please share your experience. Your suggestions or alternative means of transportation are appreciated!
Vielen dank! Sandra

Posted by
2173 posts

Listen to your son. Schöneck is as mentioned not the most accessible village in Germany, renting a car won't change that fact. Being 2:40 by train from Leipzig, 2:15 from Chemnitz and 1 hour from Zwickau is not that far away, and I don't believe driving will be faster. Especially not in the winter. I visited the area a couple of years ago by train (and a bit of bus) from Leipzig and the trains worked fine, comfortable enough and changing trains at the stations was not difficult. So my suggestion is that you take the train.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you for your quick response. We have family members coming from different US cities at different times. One is only going to have 3 days in Schöneck, so I was hoping to minimize the travel time for him by driving. He's flying into Dresden. Also, there'll be 5 people, so I thought a car would be more economical and give us flexibility. Thinking we'll all just meet up in Dresden for those 3 days.
My husband will be happy not to drive!
Thank you again! Sandra

Posted by
17986 posts

If it were my trip, I'd use the train. There is hourly rail service from Dresden to Schöneck (Vogtl) with only one change of trains in Zwickau, also between Dreden and Leipzig. For any side trips, if you stay in the states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Turingia, there is a pass good for unlimited travel all-day in the three Länder combined. It sells for €24,50 for the first person, €7,50 for each additional adult, up to five total (€54,50, or €10,90/P w/ 5). Plus, up to three children 6-14 can travel with you on the pass (under 6 are always free on German Rail). It might be a lot cheaper than a rental car (or two).

Use the German Rail Query Page for schedules and fares. Schöneck's station is "Schöneck (Vogtl)".

Posted by
13 posts

Guess it's unanimous, the train wins! Thank you for the tip on the Länder pass, too. Any other suggestions you have are greatly appreciated!
Sandra

Posted by
2173 posts

Yes, the Länder tickets are usually great value for money. Especially if you are a group.

And if you are arriving on different flights at different times, the train has even more advantages. Then everyone can make their way on their own to Schöneck as soon as they arrive.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you for all the great transportation tips and advise!
Any suggestions on lodging for 6 in Dresden? We'd like to stay in the city. I'm looking at Airbnb's for apartments. We'd prefer to support family-run lodging, but Rick says most of the hotels are chains.
Dining and sightseeing recommendations are welcome, too! From Rick's "Dresden at a Glance," are there any that wow'd you?

Posted by
744 posts

I have never had a problem driving in this region in winter during my visits. Could be little to no snow in December. Different years and different weather. The weather in this region does brew up kind of on its own. The roads are generally smaller, but have improved over the last 30 years. The only time I got stuck was during Fasching (February) in a good snowfall in Oberwiesental, and that was in a back yard of a FEWO. If you are not familiar with driving in snow then the train is probably your best option.

Posted by
1618 posts

Rick says most of the hotels are chains

Most? Well, at least I can recommend one that is definitly not, Hotel Martha in Dresden-Neustadt, a 10 min. walk from the historic center across the bridge. Quiet, comfortable and lovely. If you are on a budget, another choice would be Gästehaus Loschwitz, located in a beautiful suburb. But it is a 15-minute tram ride from the city centre.

Posted by
2173 posts

Any reason for staying in Dresden? It is a lovely place to visit, so nothing wrong with that. But if I was in your position and planning to visit Schöneck, I'd try to stay a bit closer to Schöneck. E.g. Chemnitz or Zwickau.

Posted by
945 posts

To drive or not to drive... With good road conditions, getting from Dresden or Leipzig to Schöneck is going to be quicker than by train, but in December, you can't be sure of good road conditions. Schöneck is at an elevation of 700m, so there is a pretty good chance of early snow.

My husband will be happy not to drive!

I would make that my guideline for this decision. I don't know of course if your husband would be the main driver, but if that is the case and he feels uncomfortable about it, go for the train.

I'm looking at Airbnb's for apartments. We'd prefer to support
family-run lodging, but Rick says most of the hotels are chains.

For apartments, look for "Ferienwohnung". For family-run lodging, look for "Pension" (they usually expect a minimum of two nights' stay). If you decide on Airbnb, make sure you get a registered one. Some cities aren't too crazy about Airbnb using up precious living space and, consequently, cost of housing skyrocketing, so they have really tightened the reins on that.

P.S. When booking train tickets or using your car GPS, be sure to enter the right "Schöneck" - there are several... You need the "Vogtland" (or short "Vogtl.") in there.

Posted by
135 posts

I just wanted to add, we were in Dresden 2 weeks ago, with a rental car. We did a day trip from there and the only issue we had, was lots of road construction consisting of detours and lane closures. I agree that for your trip, the train makes a lot of sense.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you to all! We'll be taking the train for all our travels between cities, be on alert for Vogtland, and staying at Pensions. Much appreciation for all your great advise!