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Germany/ Austria- We have only 6 days & want to make best use of those

We are planning a 6 days trip to Germany/ Austria in September. 6 days are inadequate and hence want to optimize our itinerary.

We will be reaching Munich at 6am on Day 1 and leaving at 11am on Day 7. We are confused as to which of the following options we should choose:

Option 1
Munich 2 nights
Black forest 1 day (don’t know which is the best place to explore black forest)
Rothenberg or castles 1 day
Heidelberg 2 days

Option 2
Day 1: Fly into Munich and reach Halstatt via Salzburg
Day 2: Halstatt and Salzkammergut region
Day 3: Salzburg
Day 4: Salzburg
Day 6: Munich
Day 6: Munich
Day 7: Fly back home

We love scenic places. Your recommendations/ suggestions will be very useful. Thank you everyone in advance.

Posted by
19170 posts

In six days, there is too much to see near Munich. Forget the Black Forest, Heidelberg, Hallstatt. Closer to Munich, you've got the Alps in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Mittenwald, Oberammergau, Füssen. The lakes - Kochelsee, Tegernsee, Shliersee, and Starnberger. Munich itself could take the entire six days. Go to Linderhof or Herrenchiemsee. If you want to see an authentic castle, go to Burghausen or Harburg. Even going as far as Rothenburg or Salzburg is a stretch.

Posted by
20461 posts

Now don't throw Salzburg out with the bathwater. It is an easy trip from Munich and worth a couple of days. But the Black Forest is nothing special compared to what is just one hour south of Munich.

Posted by
2935 posts


I'd arrive and head right to Salzburg or Berchtesgaden for 4 nights. They are close together, so pick one as a base and visit the other from that base. Plenty to see and do, including the alps in Berchtesgaden area. Ride a Sommerrodelbahn (luge ride), visit a Salt Mine, ride a cable car or two, take a lake cruise on the Konigsee (by Berchtesagden), spend a day on the Wolfgangsee (visiting, St. Gilgen, St. Wolfgang, etc.), and of course visit Salzburg and Berchtesgaden. You won't run out of things to see or do. We've spent 18 nights, on 5 trips to this area since 2006.

Spend your last 2 nights in. Munich.

Either on the way from Munich to Salzburg or Berchtesgaden or on the way back to Munich, stop and visit "Mad" King Ludwig's Herrenchiemsee palace.


Posted by
425 posts

I would do Halstatt as a day trip from Salzburg. As a matter of fact I DID Halstatt as a day trip from Salzburg. While in the Halstatt area, you might consider the trip up to the 5 finger platform and an ice cave tour. They were pretty cool. I would cut a Salzburg day and add it to Munich, and maybe get a tour of Dachau too. Like others have said, on the way from Munich to Salzburg, the Herrenchiemsee Palace is pretty neat as well. I stopped in Andechs for some great beer, but it doesn't sound like you have enough time for another lay-over! Anyway, go for Option 2 and plan from there! Have fun!

Posted by
62 posts

I would head to Salzburg as well. it is worth at least three days including a trip to the Eagles Nest. If you go to Halstatt you should to spend the night, the train ride is pretty indirect between Salzburg and Halstatt. we drove and saved time. Without a car, all you will see in Tirol (Fussen/Garmish) are the famous castles. I would think about renting a car in Munich, drive to Tirol for a couple days, then on to Salzburg and Halstatt, back to Munich for at least a day and night so you can enjoy a beer hall.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. They are very useful. We are now thinking of 3 days in Munich and 3 days in Hallstat/ Gossau/ Salzburg. I had the following questions:

  1. We are thinking of visiting Gosau & Hallstat during the 3 days that we have in Salzburg. Should we make Salzburg our base & do a day trip to these places? Or should we stay in Hallstat/ Gosau?
  2. Also, is it possible to cover Gosau & Hallstat in a day's time?
  3. Is 1 full day enough to see best parts of Salzburg? Or should we keep 2 days?
  4. Based on our plans, should we keep 4 days for salzburg region and 2 days for Munich?

Thank you once again.

Posted by
19170 posts

"Without a car, all you will see in Tirol (Fussen/Garmish) are the famous castles."

Casey, none of what you said makes any sense. First, Tirol is a state in Austria; the "famous castles" are in Bavaria, not Austria. Second I've never had a car in Gemany/Austria, but I have been all over that area, including Hall, Innsbruck, Seefeld, Reutte, and the außerfernbahn in the Tirol, as well as Oberstdorf, Immenstadt, Pfronten, Füssen, Wieskirche, Oberammergau, Linderhof, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Mittenwald, the lake area (Kochelsee, Schliersee) in Germany - basically everywhere I wanted to go. A car is not necessary if you understand the system of public transportation.

In addition to rail lines, RVO (Regionalverkehr Oberbayern), a DB subsidiary, runs an extensive network of buses in southeastern Bavaria.

Posted by
6798 posts

Also... the "famous castles" near Füssen are late 19th-century residential palaces, not castles; Salzburg is a good place for authentic castles.

Salzburg castles

I would spend 3 nights in B'gaden w/ visits to Salzburg and the Königssee. Then 3 nights in Munich. You could visit Herrenchiemsee on your way from B'gaden to Munich - get off the train in Prien, stow bags in locker. When you're done, it's one hour to Munich from Prien by direct train.

Posted by
154 posts

Option 2 is a better choice in my opinion and it already looks like you received a lot of advice on how to adjust that. Hallstatt is one of my favorite areas in Europe and if you enjoy swimming, boats and hiking you could easily spend more nights here than Salzburg. Salzburg is a great city and has a lot of good sites too so I would just balance what is more important to you on the trip. You can get a good visual idea on each area by watching some of Rick's Episodes.