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Germany/Austria Trip - Two Weeks & Need Itinerary Help

Hello! My husband & I are headed to Germany/Austria for a two week trip leaving Labor Day weekend (August 29th). We are planning to fly open jaw - into Vienna and out of Munich. I have the Austria part pretty well planned, but I'm coming up short with the Germany part in regards to transportation. Here's what I'm thinking:

Day 1: Arrive in Vienna
Day 2: Vienna
Day 3: Vienna
Day 4: AM Train to Hallstatt
Day 5: Hallstatt
Day 6: Midday train to Salzburg
Day 7: Salzburg
Day 8: Salzburg
Day 9:
Day 10:
Day 11:
Day 12: Munich
Day 13: Munich
Day 14: Munich
Day 15: AM Flight out of Munich

For the blank days, I would love to do the castles and make our way through the little villages (Garmish, Fussen, etc), but my big hesitation is transportation. I'm not opposed to renting a car, but I've been advised it is difficult (or more expensive) to rent in Austria (Salzburg) and return it to Germany (Munich). The way I see it is we have three options:

  1. Rent a car in Salzburg and drive to the little villages/castles. Return the car in Munich three days later.
  2. Take a train from Salzburg to Munich and rent a car, drive to Fussen. Stay in villages along the way back to Munich.
  3. Take a train from Salzburg to Munich. Make Munich our home base for six days & do day trips via train to the little villages. The downside to this is I feel like we lose a bit of our freedon as we're tied to a train schedule. My husband is a photographer who likes to just stop when he wants and take pictures.

Please let me know if I missed something or if you have any other itinerary suggestions! It's been quite some time since I traveled to Europe, so reading through all the forums has been ridiculously helpful!

Also, any suggestions on where to stay/what to do in Garmish/Fussen or any other little villages along the way would be extremely helpful!

Posted by
2768 posts


You could rent a car VERY close to Salzburg in Freilassing, Germany. You could drive and stay in the Garmisch/Mittenwald area before returning to Munich. If you didn't want to drive to Munich, you could always return the car in Garmisch and train back to Munich. Fuessen is about an hour or 1:30 from Garmisch, so it's an easy day trip.


Posted by
7357 posts

Why not take train from Salzburg to Fuessen or Garmisch and use that as base for three days? That would be better than basing in Munich and commuting each day. You can reach any of the places you want to see in the area from Garmisch (more than a village, BTW) and still enjoy the staying in one place.

Posted by
4 posts

Stan - will Garmisch have car rentals? I know it's a larger town, but I didn't find much about it. I know we could take the train to Munich from there, but what about one-way rentals? I'm so conditioned to the States being astronomically over-priced for the one-way rentals.

Posted by
2768 posts

You can pick up cars in Garmich. There's no "drop off fee" if you want to return it in Munich. We've used Andy Bestor at for our last 4 car rentals in Germany.


Posted by
16887 posts

Sounds like you have some a handle on all the choices, now. Happy travels.

Posted by
172 posts

Dear Lindsay, Octoberfest begins Sept. 20. If you plan to stay in Munich close to that date be prepared to pay very high rates. Like you would pay in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. We are staying Sept. 23-26 and the rate is over three times the normal. The price we pay for loving a beer party! Have fun, your post is helping me plan our trip, thanks. Hank Novato

Posted by
320 posts

Lindsay- you might be better off catching the train from Salzburg to Munich and spend 3 nights in Munich. Then pick up the rental car and do your Fussen/Garmisch loop sleeping in one of these towns. (I would personally pick up the car at the airport to get a better selection.) Return the car to the airport the morning of your return flight, or stay the night before close to the airport if you have an early return flight. This is before the Oktoberfest so you should be able to find reasonably priced hotels. . Have a good trip!!!