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How long in Munich, Prague, Salzburg?

My husband and I (in our seventies) will be doing a five day hut-to-hut hike in the Dolomites in September of 2023. We will fly into Munich and then travel to Prague and Salzburg before ending up in Balzano to begin our hike. Friends who have lived in Switzerland suggested that since we'll be spending six days in the Alps at the end of our trip that we would enjoy Munich, Prague, and Salzburg. We've been to Germany but never to Czech Republic or Austria. Our total days before the hike will be eleven or less. In all the traveling we've done, our favorite parts are meeting the people, discovering "un-touristy" type places, trying new food, and generally enjoying the culture. I love music, art, and history ( especially when it relates to books that I have read). We plan to rent a car upon departing from Munich and return the car in Austria taking a train to Balzono. The only planned activities that I've read about in these locations are the tour of the concentration camp at Dachau, a lesson on making strudel, and a Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg. My questions are 1) How many days should we schedule for each city? 2) Are there any smaller towns on the driving routes between cities that are must-sees? 3) On what city highlights should we concentrate? 3) Any suggestions on a good tour/guide of Dachau? I'm looking forward to hearing any seasoned travelers comments soon because my husband is chomping at the bit to make our final reservations.

Tonya

Posted by
2138 posts

It sounds like you have 10 nights then, so I'd go with 3 nights per city with maybe an extra one in Prague, considering it's farther out of the way and you will waste almost a full day of travel before getting there (checking out, getting to the train station, traveling, getting to the hotel and checking in).

That's a lot of places for only 10 nights - if it was me, I'd skip Prague (but I've been there before so that's easy to say). :) But it is a lot of ground to cover during that time period, and you will spend a lot of it traveling from place to place.

Of those three cities, Salzburg was my favorite, although I think Prague had a lot more to see. It's hard to know which sights to recommend since everyone's tastes are different and I don't know yours. Are you driving? if so, you might want to stop at Cesky Krumlov, which is a town in the Czech Republic that is sort of on the way to Munich. It would probably add about an hour or so onto your trip but it is a beautiful town and a wonderful experience. I'm really glad that I stayed there.

You also might want to check out some guidebooks, which will have plenty of sights for you to look at. Rick Steves covers all those cities and has extensive information about sights.

Posted by
825 posts

The last time I did that route it took me 20 days. And I'd been to all of those places multiple times before. I can't imagine spending less than 3 days in any of them unless I knew I was going to come back. Munich and Salzburg were weekend getaways for me. I have pages of notes for those cities.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks, Mardee and KGC, for your thoughtful responses. We're trying to cross off bucket list trips while we're still healthy and able to travel independently. Hence the "cramming" of travel destinations. Why would you skip Prague? Is it less tourist friendly? ( I do plan to check out Rick Steve's guides for more specifics once we narrow down our itinery. ) We have traveled by car in both Ireland and Italy and though we ALWAYS get lost, we love discovering all of the unexpected smaller towns that are less tourist traps, more appealing because of the fewer crowds. We do always want to have a scheduled place to sleep each night and then do our exploring. Thanks for tip about Cezky Krumlov, Mardee. Where did you stay there?

Posted by
4680 posts

I’m not a huge Munich fan, so one day was enough. I feel we adequately saw Prague in 3 days, but another wouldn’t have hurt. Salzburg can be seen in 2-3 days too.

Posted by
825 posts

Places to stay in Prague: Residence U Černého Orla or the Grand Mark Hotel

In Salzburg: Boutique Hotel am Dom

In Munich I used to stay at a pension in the University district, but the lady who ran it retired. There's a lot to choose from. The Marriott Courtyard by the train station is very good, excellent breakfasts, and well located. I've used that for business.

Posted by
4830 posts

I'd say 48 hours is enough to visit Salzburg itself, so 2 nights would do, but if you have 3 nights and if the weather is good, you could venture out to, for example, Hallstatt or Berchtesgaden, so I'd stay 3 nights if possible.

Posted by
2138 posts

Why would you skip Prague? Is it less tourist friendly?

No, not at all - it is a wonderful place, but I was saying that because of the distance. It's a lot further up from Munich and Salzburg so by train it's around 6+ hours and maybe 4 1/2 by car. My trip in 2010 started in Prague, then I made my way down to Munich and then Salzburg. But I was gone about 3 1/2 weeks so had a lot more time.

It definitely is doable and if it's on your bucket list, then go for it. I really loved Prague - it is beautiful and there was so much to see and do. It does have LOTS of cobblestone streets, so your feet will get a workout.