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Planning a trip around the O'gau Passion Play

Passion Play tickets are for Sept 25. Current hotel reservations in O'gau for Sept 23-26, but could extend.

Flights are cheapest through Frankfurt or Zurich. May do an open jaw to or from one of these. Leave Tues, 9/20, return Tues, 10/4, 12 days traveling.

Interested in:
Train travel between Innsbruck-Mittenwald-Garmisch Partenkirchen-it's on the list of the most beautiful train rides

*Fussen/Oberammergau/GP: visit Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau (1 day), Linderhof?. Go up a mountain (Zugspitze, the mountain Schwangau or the smaller one by O'gau, go to Garmisch Partenkirchen for a day, go to the play/explore O'gau before the play.

*Salzburg: salt mine tour, go to the castle, walk along the river, visit Mozart spots and old town, and enjoy the beauty of Salzburg.

*Vienna- no clue, (heard that it's a beautiful city), need to read my RS guide book

*Lucerne-main reason to go here is to avoid staying in expensive Zurich. There are hourly trains and it's only an hour ride. There is a very pretty bridge that I've wanted to see. And we need to leave for Bavaria in the morning so we can see the scenery as we travel.

Other interests (hubby and I may stay on an additional week after travel partners return home)
Berner Oberland (been there but loved it)

So trip could look like:

Seattle to:
Zurich-Lucerne-Innsbruck or GP-O'gau/Fussen-Salzburg (3 nights?)-Vienna (2 nights?)-Seattle OR
Zurich-Lucerne- Innsbruck, Mittenwald, GP?-O'gau/Fussen-Salzburg (3)-Frankfurt or Zurich-Seattle OR
(or Lucerne at the end, before flying home)
Frankfurt-Fussen-O'gau-Garmisch Partenkirchen-Salzburg (3)-Vienna (3)-Seattle OR
Frankfurt-Fussen-O'gau-Garmisch Partenkirchen-Salzburg (3)- Lucerne-Zurich-Seattle

I am open to making O'gau a home base. I realize that it's going to be busy there, with bus travel of 1 1/2 hours to Fussen and 45 min to GP. But it might be worth the sacrifice of time to have 5 nights in one spot. And, we need to be in O'gau for the play due to how late it gets out and not having a car/transportation at that time of day.

Thoughts? Other options? It's okay to throw some realism my way! The pocket books aren't too deep, so trying to do this on a reasonable budget. Hotels are looking very expensive everywhere I look and flight costs are definitely higher that 3 years ago!

Thanks, Tina

Posted by
5486 posts

"Fussen/Oberammergau/GP... 5 nights in one spot. And, we need to be in O'gau for the play due to how late it gets out and not having a car/transportation at that time of day."

5 nights in G-P would likely mean better positioning for outings by bus and rail.

The public transport options look less probematic to me than you are saying.

G-P (9:04 am) to Füssen (10:30) is just under 1.5 hrs. as well and is accomplished by train (G-P to Plach) with a connecting bus leaving Plach at 10:09. Check the DB scheduling pages.

Maybe you checked only the bus schedules for O'gau > G-P? There are rail-only journeys from O'gau to G-P at 9:38 and 19:38 pm. I understand that Part II of the play ends at 9:30 after August 14.

You mention the Innsbruck > Mittenwald > G-P train ride, but will you not be spending any time in Mittenwald? I suggest you do. It's quite charming and very different from G-P, and from G-P only 21 minutes by train or 30 by bus. This guide provides a walking route to the sights in town and details on the natural wonders (gorges, Karwendel + mountain lift.)

Posted by
3135 posts

The fact that you are including Vienna means that you've already heard this, but I will reiterate: Vienna is one of my favorite cities and I have heard several people who live in Europe say the same thing. The Sunday church service/concert that RS mentions in his book is wonderful, as is the Kunthistoriches Museum and its beautiful cafe.

Posted by
52 posts

Hi Russ,

Yes, I only checked bus transport. I hadn't realized that the train goes from O'gau to GP. But, even so, 1938 is actually 2 hours too soon (7:38) PM. The 2138 train would give only us 8 minutes from end of play to get to the train station. Having never been there, I don't know how possible it is to wade through 4500 people, nor how long it takes to walk to the station. The 2238 train would get us into GP at midnight. The first seems implausible and the second is undesireable. Let me know if I'm wrong.

I'm assuming that you are suggesting staying in GP over O'gau in order to stay away from the hubub, since travel times are the same as from O'gau.

I have heard that Mittenwald is nice to visit, but haven't researched it yet. I've got to hone in on a couple of places as we have WAY too much we could do and not enough time to do it in. We will need to leave off Lucerne or Vienna, or both, if we want to wander through more quaint villages. Guess this is a conversation I need to have with our travel partners.

Thanks, Tina

Posted by
5486 posts

Apologies for the TYPO. I meant to write 9:38 and 10:38 pm.

Of course you would need to make your own decisions about whether getting home in G-P at midnight is acceptable. Same is true about how many destinations you undertake, how far and wide you spread your travel, how much you spend, what matters to you most. Having visited these places, I'll offer some options for ways to trim time/costs, made in the absence of input from anyone in your travel group, of course.

  • Drop Vienna. If it's accurate that you don't have a clue about it, it's quite a long way off. It combines nicely with Budapest, about 2.5 hours by direct train, maybe on some future journey? Also, it's huge and requires lots of time to get from place to place, IME. Personal impression? Not a place I've ever wanted to return to. A bit dull.

"*Lucerne-main reason to go here is to avoid staying in expensive Zurich. There are hourly trains and it's only an hour ride."

  • From ZRH Lucerne takes you southwest when your Bavarian base is to the east. Switzerland can be dreadfully pricey. There's probably some good reason for using ZRH airport rather than MUC (??) But if you have no definite Swiss destinations, you might travel to the fetching lakeside town of Lindau (Bavaria, near Swiss border, 1.5 hrs. by direct train from ZRH airport) where accommodations are likely more reasonable. From Lindau take the train to G-P/O'gau via Munich. This journey is possible on the Bayern Ticket day pass for possible savings.

  • Skip Neuschwanstein. Overcrowded 25-min. tour, not very interesting.

  • Combine Mittenwald + Karwendelbahn and you needn't do a separate trip for the Zugspitze.

  • From an O'gau or G-P base you can travel the scenic route to Innsbruck cheaply on the regional train to the Werdenfelser Land group day pass. Between your base and Salzburg the Bayern Ticket group day pass applies. Figure 40 - 50 Euros total for all-day travel for 4. These do not sell out and price does not vary - just purchase at the station.

Posted by
52 posts

Zurich and Frankfurt are the cheapest destinations at this point. Frankfurt seems a little far north. And, Munich is quite expensive as we are going during Oktoberfest (with no intention of going to Munich).

Thank you for your input. I will be considering any and all options. Our friends seem happy to let me plan this all out. My son has been to Vienna and loved it. I've also seen LOTS of input from travellers who LOVED Vienna. So, for now, it will stay in the options. I may plan on a few days in Lucerne for just hubby and I, after friends leave. I've wanted to see that bridge for 40 years. lol

Posted by
279 posts

I think you should go to Vienna. I haven’t been yet (well technically I have but I was 2) but as I plan my trip also for the Passion Play I am now most looking forward to Vienna.