planning itinerary for Dec 6-14

We are currently planning our second trip to Germany. We will fly in and out of FRA. This will be our second trip to Germany, so we have seen several highlights already.

Night 1 - Wurzburg
Nights 2/3 - Nuremburg (day trip to Bamberg)
Nights 4/5 - Munich
NIghts 6/7 - undecided. Fussen, Garmish? suggestions?
Night 8 - FRA (stop in Heidelberg for a few hours on the way)

Currently, I'm thinking we will use the train for the first part of the trip and then pick up a car in Munich for getting around south of Munich. We have read that winter tires are now required. Is that correct? And should we have any concerns about driving in December? We live in Charlotte now, but both grew up in WV, so snow driving is not new. Right now, I think that I would like to stay in Garmish. It seems like it would be a good location for the areas I'm interested in visiting (Linderhof, Oberammergau, Zugspitze). To that point, is it worth the cost for the cog wheel train and cable car to Zugspitze? I'm not interested in skiing, but I do like the idea of sledding and the seeing the views. Are there other places for sledding that would work just as well? I will not be packing snow pants and I see that you can rent that type of gear there. So, I want to make sure we'll have access to the proper clothing, if needed Or would we be better to try to stay in Fussen or someplace else? We are in our mid-30's. so were interested in towns that will have fun places to eat/drink.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
3959 posts

That early, you might have to go to the top of the Zugspitze to find snow. Or you could have a lot. German weather isn't any more predictable than the US. And if you can't find a snow suit, just go with blue jeans, they work in any situation. Garmisch is a resort town, so there will be plenty of party places. Fuessen does not have that rep.

Posted by Paul
NYC area
1700 posts

Fun places to eat and drink? Check out the dates for the Christmas Markets. They should be underway in Frankfurt and Munich by then. We did two trips to visit the markets the past 3 years in late Nov./early Dec. Absolutely incredible holiday atmosphere in the old towns. Stalls selling ornaments, crafts, food, hot mulled wine, etc., etc., etc. The lights, the smells, it's a wonderful time to visit Germany and Austria.

Paul

Posted by Tom
Lewiston, NY
10288 posts

German road crews usually have the roads cleared very quickly. Unless you're driving during a storm, don't worry. And you will likely only see snow in the Alps.

Agree that Garmisch-Partenkirchen will likely offer more nightlife options than F├╝ssen or Oberammergau, but right before the Christmas break, it might be a little dead.

I don't remember seeing any sledding on any of the slopes, either on top of the Zugspitze or on the lower skiing area closer to GaP.

Posted by rockygator
Charlotte, NC
23 posts

Tom,
Are there any other towns that you might recommend? We're not looking for big nightlife, I just wanted to point out that we're not retirees going to bed at 9 pm. But, I would be disappointed if Garmisch-Partenkirchen is 'dead'. Particularly, if by dead you mean closed.

Thanks
Brooke

Posted by rockygator
Charlotte, NC
23 posts

Paul,

The purpose of booking the trip during the first week of December is to visit the Christmas markets. Are there some that top your list?

Posted by Paul
NYC area
1700 posts

Hi Brooke,

We loved the markets in Berchtesgaden, Germany and the ones in Innsbruck, Salzburg, St. Wolfgang and Rattenberg, Austria. According to the website, Garmisch will have their Christmas Market going. We haven't seen a town or village with a Christmas/Advent Market going on that seemed "closed" or "dead". They're pretty big attractions and events. We planned our 2 trips specifically at this time of year to experience the towns during the Christmas Markets.

Posted by Paul
NYC area
1700 posts

Just wanted to add that we didn't get to many places in Germany the last 2 trips. We concentrated on the towns and villages in Austria for the most part. Just wanted to say that towns could be very quiet or seem closed up, but the one's that are having the Christmas/Advent Markets won't be at all. As soon as it starts getting dark, the holiday atmosphere picks up and the markets become more crowded.

Posted by Ruth
Atlanta
204 posts

I like Nuremburg a lot, but I really try to avoid it on weekends during the Christmas market season. Way too crowded then!

Posted by Tom
Lewiston, NY
10288 posts

By "dead", I meant that the bars that are usually filled with apres-ski partiers during the ski season will be nearly empty, if open at all. Some restaurants may not be open. If GaP gets a lot of snow in late November, though, the lower slopes could possibly be in full swing on the weekends, so that could make the nights a bit more lively.

Posted by Paul
NYC area
1700 posts

I indeed stand, Tom. I would believe that during the nights of the Christmas Markets, that Garmisch would be plenty busy. I won't compare Garmisch with a Salzburg or Innsbruck, but even in Berchtesgaden last Dec., while it was a bit quiet during the day, at night the town was crowded, everything, even small shops, where open until the markets closed for the night and the people started thinning out. Terrific holiday experience.

Paul