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Help me plan 9 days in mostly Bavaria Please.(july/Aug).

Hello Friends, I would like your opinion on my plan for first 9 days of an 18 day journey through Germany/Switzerland. The Switzerland back half is set. I need your help with the first 9 days through Germany. I fly into Berlin w family of 4, kids 7/9 yrs old: 2 nights Berlin. ICE night train (sleeper?) to Munich. 3 nights Munich. Then considering the day trips to Garmisch (Zugspitze/Mittenwald), Fussen (neuchwanstein/Hohenschwangua), Berchtesgaden(Kehlsteinhaus/Sommerdelbahn/Konigsee lake), Hallstatt via Bad Ischl (salt mine/ice cave/town). Considered doing all on trains, ala "Bayern ticket" , but after looking closer, trains take too long, too many indirect links. lost time, lost flexibility. Car appears top save half the time, allows for scenic drives in between (Rossfeld Panorama Road/Passau/Salzkammergut), and spontaneity .
Munich 3 nights or Munich 2/Salzburg 1
Rent car in Munich or Salzburg, take off for
Berchtesgaden 1 night
Hallstatt 2 nights
Fussen 2 nights
return car in Munich 1 night.
Your advice? Too aggressive? car ok? Hallstatt 2 days too much? Better choices?
Thank you!

Posted by
320 posts

jb- I would suggest more nights in Salzburg and day trips to Berchtesgaden and Hallstatt. This would save the time spent packing and unpacking and checking in and out of hotels. So do 2 to 3 nights in Munich, rent car and drive to Salzburg for 4 nights (3 to 3.5 days) with a day trip to Hallstatt and a 2nd day trip to Berchtesgaden. This leaves 1 to 1.5 days for Salzburg. Then drive to Fussen (or Garmisch) for 2-3 nights and then return the car to someplace in Germany that is on your route to Switzerland. (Drop fees are minimal for cars rented and returned in different cities within Germany.. ) You don't have to spend the time returning the car to Munich. this would save you another day of packing, checking in and out, etc. Now you must reduce some of these nights if you are going to start off with 2 nights in Berlin...Have a great trip!!!

Posted by
2815 posts

Hi ,

I agree with one base for Salzburg, Berchtsgaden and Hallstatt. With a car, the drive between Salzburg and Berchtesgaden in 30 min. at the most. Between Salzburg and Hallstatt, a little over an hour. Pick one place to base for all these.

After 2 nights in Fuessen, drop the car in Germany near the border of Switzerland. We've never had any surcharge or extra fees when picking up and returning in different locations in Germany.

So I'd suggest:
Munich 2 nights
Salzburg or Berchtesgaden area for 4 nights
Fuessen for 2 nights
Drop the car, not in Munich, but near Switzerland. Ask the rental co. where you could drop it.


Posted by
105 posts

All depends on what you are wanting....lots of rest, easy days or pack in the sites.
We adored Halstatt, but unless you are wanting to sit and soak in the stunning view, you can do it in one day - including visiting the salt mine.

If you find it is not great weather when it comes time to visit Berchtesgaden, you might want to rethink. We went on a drizzly day and there was NO view. So, once there, probably 2 hours is all you need.

Posted by
105 posts

Forgot to mention....we love driving ourselves in Europe. Go where you want, when, and all that. We took our Garmin (in case the car does not have) and never had an issue finding places.

Posted by
3 posts

Berchtesgaden is a wonderful base for seeing Lake Konigsee, Salzburg & Hallstatt. Consider pension that has family friendly rooms and atmosphere, including farm animals. We loved the boat ride on Konigsee, as well as hikes you'll enjoy with the kids. We drove into Salzburg and found parking with an easy walk to the city where we saw a lot in one day. Your family might enjoy the marionette theatre in Salzburg. Hallstatt is a good day destination as it is stunningly beautiful but small. A good place to visit the salt mines, another destination your children will enjoy.

Posted by
115 posts

I usually don't chime in when more than one person has already recommended a B&B, however Mayringerlehen would be an excellent choice both for you and your children. Exquisite views of the Bavarian Alps and farm animals the kids will love.
The hosts were wonderful and even sent us a Christmas card this year. We spent 4 nights there last fall & will definitely return.

Posted by
154 posts

You have already received some nice recommendations to limit how many time you have to move your luggage. Day trips from Salzburg would be easy and I would overnight in Hallstatt only if you want somewhere to really relax or to do a lot of hiking. You can see the town and get the charm in a day but overnight will give you more options to relax a bit.

I also agree that you might as well drive as far as you can in Germany towards Switzerland to drop off your car instead of going back to Munich. The drop off fee is usually $0-30 to leave a car in a different city within the same country. If you try to drop it in another country that is where you can be hit with $300-500 fees. Not sure where you plan to start your Switzerland portion but there are a few towns connected with good transportation into Switzerland you could look at.

Posted by
1 posts

First off...enjoy your trip!

Do rent a car BUT....Take photos of the car that you pick up...all over the car, under the bumper, etc. We picked up a car in Wurzberg, and drove all over Germany. But when we returned it to the Munich Airport, they will find a scratch and immediately charge you $800+ euros. We were floored. The scratch they showed us was underneath the front of the car, and was 2 inches long. It looked like road tar. We did not damage the vehicle. It was dirty when we picked it up, and could not have seen that had we tried. You are at the airport, trying to catch an international flight home, there is a language barrier, and they tell you to "just have your credit card pay for it." We were against that, since it was not our damage. We contested it, and almost used up our 30 day "Credit card will pay" window. Long story short...we were furious the whole flight home (which sort of ruined our 3 week wonderful European vacation) and when I googled it, it is apparently a rental car scam all over Germany. All companies (Avis, Hertz, etc) We had no such issues when we rented in France. And it may just be at airport rental returns because they know you are on a time crunch. I would still rent a car...I don't mean to scare you.....but just use your camera or cell phone and take photos of EVERY aspect of the car before you accept it. Mark your rental sheet ALL OVER with every little incidental scratch. I mean it. That little 2 inch mark that was underneath the car (had to get on the ground to take a photo up at the guy had to know it was there already) ended up being around $1500 euros. I actually want to go back, and track down the SUV we had, and see if they actually fixed the scratch (started off as $800 euros but ended up being $1500 euros to repair according them). I bet that after my card company paid, they left the scratch for the next unsuspecting person. Again, do a quick google search for "rental car scam Germany damage" or something similar along those lines. See what you find. Still rent a car, just document like crazy. Or pay for the trip insurance...but they will still pocket money off of that. Enjoy your trip though! Sorry to be a party pooper, but I wish we had known this little trick. We were too busy worrying about pick pockets than to worry about Avis of all places.

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