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Traveling to Europe for the first time, please help

Hi there, I'm planning a trip to Europe in about a month, this idea started with my dream to visit Oktoberfest! I am single, 30 years old, I live in Los Angeles. Looking to do some partying, sightseeing, enjoying the culture, and also relaxing. I am considering first flying to Amsterdam with a 1 way ticket, spending 3 days there, from there spending a couple of days in Belgium or Prague, not sure yet, whatever is convenient on my way to Munich.I will eventually be arriving in Munich for Oktoberfest! I've read the weekends are very crowded and difficult to get a seat in tents, should I come on weekdays?

This will be a solo trip unless I can find someone with a free as schedule as I. I would love to spend at least 3 days in Munich, or as many days as it takes to fully enjoy the festival, Munich, and Bavaria! I want to check out the beer halls in old town and enjoy the culture, sights, and meet locals and tourists. I also would love to see neuschwanstein castle and go inside if possible, and whatever else you recommend in Bavaria.

Since I have a free schedule now, I don't need to buy round trip flight tickets, so I am free to go back to Los Angeles almost whenever I want, which is great because I can spend as many days as I want in any of the destinations I mentioned, and even continue traveling after Munich if I am not home sick, please recommend somewhere after Munich. I am not wealthy, actually lost my job which is why I have so much time. Luckily I have some savings and I am willing to spend enough money to make this trip amazing!

This will be my first time in Europe. I don't know where to stay/hotel in Munich so its not too expensive. I know that I am planning this trip last minute as I've read people plan a year ahead. I've heard it is very expensive to stay near the festival if anything is available. What general advice would you give me sir? I appreciate your suggestions very much! If you can give me general advice on the entire trip, great!. If you prefer only to advise regarding Munich, I appreciate that as well.

Posted by
1348 posts

Regarding airfare, with the exception of some budget airlines like Norwegian buying two one way tickets tends to be very expensive. So you should look into multi-city or open jaw flights. Fly LAX to Amsterdam for the start and from your final European destination home. This will require that you come up with a firm return date. If you decide to extend your trip you may be able to change your flight for a fee and fare differential.

It doesn’t seem like you have a long trip planned but do be aware that the EU does have strict policies regarding how long you can stay. Within the Schengen area most visitors are limited to 90 days in 180 without a visa. This does not apply if you have a passport from an EU country.

Posted by
5565 posts

I think someone with your focus should spend a week or so in Berlin.

Oktoberfest: Have a look instead at this Stuttgart Fest option.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannstatter_Volksfest

Esslingen is a nice university town you could stay in if Stuttgart is full or expensive or just doesn't appeal. There's a LOT to see in Stuttgart and in this region too!

https://landlopers.com/2015/05/31/esslingen

Ludwigsburg: https://www.schloss-ludwigsburg.de/en/palace/

Besigheim: https://www.stuttgart-tourist.de/en/a-besigheim

Neuschwanstein is a more modern building with a fake castle exterior. You can visit real medieval castles on your way south to Munich or Stuttgart by making a stop in the Rhine River Valley south of Koblenz:

http://www.loreley-info.com/eng/rhein-rhine/castles.php

Posted by
707 posts

You are free to travel which is great, Oktoberfest is not only crowded itself, but so are the hotels. The first thing to do is to look at various booking sites (I usually use Booking.com first) and see what you can find for hotels within the Munich area. The farther away from the festival grounds the cheaper it is, but I doubt if it will be cheap.

Next step - binge watch the RS tour videos on Youtube to get some adventure ideas to add things to do to place names.

Having said that, there are lots of places/things to see between Amsterdam and Munich including Bruges and Brussels, the Rhine Valley (just post-harvest of the brilliant white wines) , Wurzburg, Bamberg and Nuremberg, etc. Check the ViaMichelin website or even Googlemaps to get a handle on the geography.. For example, Prague is not really between Amsterdam and Munich. It is easily reachable by bus or bus/train combinations from Nuremberg or Munich.

You can check out pretty much all of your desired connections for September and October on Bahn.com already so investigate and have some fun. You can also see the different fare combinations. To save money you can also check out the regional deals and the Flex-Price and saver fares.

https://www.bahn.com/en/view/offers/regional/index.shtml?dbkanal_007=L04_S02_D002_KIN0059_FLYOUT-ANGEBOTE-REGIONAL-ANGEBOTE_LZ01

Bavaria has lots to do away from Munich.

https://www.schloesser.bayern.de/englisch/palace/index.htm

If you want something more Alpine head for Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Innsbruck just south of there in Austria.

https://www.gapa.de/en

https://www.tirol.at

https://www.innsbruck.info/en/

Have a great time.

Posted by
3271 posts

Since this seems a spur of the moment impulse, with zero research or planning; and since you've never been to Europe before, I just have to ask: do you have a passport?

Posted by
13512 posts

I don't know where to stay/hotel in Munich so its not too expensive. I
know that I am planning this trip last minute as I've read people plan
a year ahead

Yes, hotels are very expensive during the festival and started booking up many months ago. I don't personally have any experience with this budget outfit - which is a camping option with almost all gear provided - but you might take a look? They have different packages with different add-ons, the solo "glamping" option costing a minimum of €150 per night, including 2 meals per day + other goodies. Non-fancy solo tent package looks to be €85 per night w/2 meals a day, and cheapest is €65 to share a tent/2meals a day with people you don't know (not an option I'd personally choose). I've no idea if they have any room left but, well, it's a budget option for folks OK with partying.

https://www.stoketravel.com/trip/oktoberfest/#slide=trip_overview&tab=trip_overview

To give you some idea how early people book for Oktoberfest and how pricey hotels can be....
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/germany/oktoberfest-2020-hotel

Posted by
17 posts

Wow! what a great community you guys have here, I really did not expect to get so many helpful/thoughtful replies, I want to express my sincere appreciation! Thank you!! I hope I do this right, will try to respond to everyone's comment. Before seeing these responses I actually did some researching and came up with a new plan, please see the end of this response for the new plan, and if its not too much trouble, I would appreciate your advice/suggestions again

Rocket: I came up with a new plan that is more scheduled which I guess means I could buy round trip tickets to save money

Russ: Before I saw your response I stumbled upon the Stuttgart festival and decided to check it out and spend a couple of days in Stuttgart, Esslingen looks beautiful and I might check out those 3 places you mentioned as well. Didn't know Neuschwanstein was modern, good to know, I prefer authentic sites so probably will check out those other castles

NickB: You're right this is very last minute hopefully I can find hotels for decent prices in Munich, if not, nearby hopefully. I've been spending many hours these past few days watching YouTube videos, reading articles, etc trying to figure out where to visit and sights to see, etc, still learning so much! Definitely going to explore Bavaria and probably the surrounding areas of Stuttgart and Amsterdam as well

CJean: Im pretty sure I have a passport, also not sure if this matters but I was born in Moscow and I have dual citizenship in USA and Russia

Kathy: I Really would not feel comfortable staying in a tent, I like to have a restroom with mirror, toilets, etc and a decent sized bed since im 6'2 tall, place to hang my clothes, etc


Here is the new plan, please let me know what you guys think, any advice and suggestions is greatly appreciated!

I want to fly from LAX Wednesday night September 25th around 11pm directly to Amsterdam, which means I would arrive in Amsterdam Thursday evening September 26th about 6pm? I will get settled in or maybe go out for a couple of hours then sleep and wake up well rested Friday September 27th

I think 3 full days in Amsterdam is enough to enjoy it without getting bored

Monday morning September 30th I want to take the earliest train possible to Stuttgart, Germany. I think the earliest train leaves at 8am and the fastest route is 5 hours, which means I will be arriving in Stuttgart about 1pm. The second largest beer festival happens in Stuttgart. I'll enjoy the rest of the day at the festival and sleep in Stuttgart.

The next morning Tuesday October 1st I'll explore Stuttgart until about 4pm. I want to get on the train to Munich by 4pm. The train to Munich is about 2 hours so I should arrive in Munich around 6pm.

When I arrive in Munich I'll get settled in or maybe go out for a couple of hours.

The next morning Wednesday October 2nd I will spend the day at Oktoberfest.

Thursday October 3rd I will either spend the day in the city and old town sight seeing, or go to the Bavarian country side out of town for sight seeing, nature, alps mountains, etc.

Friday October 4th I will spend the day at Oktoberfest.

Saturday October 5th I will either spend the day in the city and old town sight seeing, or go to the Bavarian country side out of town for sight seeing, nature, alps mountains, etc.

Sunday October 6th I will fly home to Los Angeles sometime in the afternoon.

Posted by
5565 posts

So Germany = 1 night in Stuttgart and 5 nights in Munich. Sounds to me like you are banking rather heavily on Munich and the beer fests to keep things interesting.

"I don't know where to stay/hotel in Munich so its not too expensive."

And you will probably be making some big bank withdrawals to cover those extra-pricey O'fest rooms in Munich if you do not already have reasonable accommodations booked.

These are beer fests - enjoyable and lively events but also abnormal happenings that won't give you much insight into the country. If you fear getting bored in an interesting place like Amsterdam, I think the number of hours you've given over to these fests may turn out to be frighteningly dull. It's only interesting for so long (unless "interesting" = unbridled inebriation, which you can get almost anywhere back home.)

So I say one fest or the other. Maybe you allocate two half-days for one fest. Then you have 2 half-days and 4 full days to see some of the real Germany (preferably somewhere else besides overpriced Munich.) If you had any idea how much interesting stuff you are bypassing on your long train ride to Munich or Stuttgart, you would already be revising your visit, I think.

Posted by
901 posts

I just finished reading Rick Steves' Germany book--here are the cheaper hotels he recommends.

Also regarding your statement that you think you have a passport - you will need to find that out, like, today. :) If you don't have a passport, you'll need to apply for one ASAP, possibly with an expedited service to be able to travel in October.

Anyway, RS recommended cheaper hotels in Munich include:

Posted by
4 posts

In Munich during Oktoberfest, the cheapest option is some of the hostels they set up during the festival. But if you're willing to be on a train for 45 minutes, you can really get some cheap hotel rooms. We stayed an extra day at the Stanberg See last year after the festival. It's on the S-Bahn line to the central station, takes 45 minutes to Munich central station and was covered on the Munich travelcard.

For travelling after Munich, the Bavaria ticket let's you travel on the slow trains for around EUR 25. This can get you to Salzburg.

Posted by
27743 posts

If you are travelling in 25 days and you only "think" you have a passport you really ought to find it today. It will need to be in date and also be valid for 3 months after your date of return. If you don't have a date of return you may well expect "extra" treatment from the border agents, and you will likely need a passport valid for six months (to account for 90 day Schengen rules) after your arrival date.

Having a Russian passport won't move things any quicker in the EU, of which Germany and surrounding countries are members and Russia is not, nor in the Schenen zone, of which Germany and surrounding countries are members and Russia is not.

Neither will a US passport - it will be just like other foreign passports. But you will need your US passport to return to the US.

Posted by
17 posts

Ok guys good and bad news, I DO have a US passport, but its EXPIRED xD

I'm going to get it renewed immediately after this response!

Russ: It would be 2 half-days and 1 night in Stuttgart, 4 full days and 4 nights in Munich, I decided to spend most of my time in Munich because of the Oktoberfest, explore Munich, and explore Bavaria which I think is absolutely beautiful (Im sure there are other parts of Germany that are as beautiful if not more) You are right, I am allocating a lot of time to beer fests, maybe instead of 2 full days at Oktoberfest I could do 2 half-days, as you said, then spend the rest of the day doing something else, or do something else in the morning and spend the remainder of those 2 half-days at the fest. I just need to do more research and figure out what I will do with my time. Maybe I should make more time in Stuttgart, or stop somewhere else in Germany on my way there from Amsterdam? Im not sure where to go, what are these interesting places you mentioned? I REALLY do want to see the REAL Deutschland, interact with the locals, I do want to do touristy things but also want a good amount of AUTHENTIC Germany, so please recommend some places :) note: I don't have to take away from my time in Munich to see other places, like I said I don't have a real time limit.

Kelly: going to get expedited renewal on my passport immediately. Thank you so much for the hotel recommendations I will check them out today!

Jnddwd: 45 minutes seems pretty far, hopefully I can find decent or not TOO expensive hotels in Munich, or a bit closer like 15 to 30 minutes away. I looked at Austria a bit but was not too intrigued, I love nature and the mountains but since I'm alone it feels kind of lonely to not have someone to enjoy the nature with. Please tell me what you think, maybe I can go to Austria after Munich if there are things for me to enjoy

Nigel: Good to know, found my passport going to renew expedited right away

Posted by
268 posts

Staying in Munich during Oktoberfest is going to be expensive. So the first thing I would do is limit the time there. Munich is a great city, but not the only one.
The second issue with your itinerary is the distance you intend to travel in a relatively short time. Try not to add too much travel time. With the whole area between Amsterdam and Munich to play with, you should decide what you are really interested in besides the Oktoberfest:

  • Landscape? Mountains? Coast? River valleys?
  • Architecture? Modern or old world charme?
  • Museums? Art? Natural history? Technology? If technology: Cars? Trains? Planes? Miniature railway?
  • History? Cold war? 2nd world war? 1st world war? Middle Ages?

Even if you are determined to explore Bavaria: There are a couple of interesting towns, which are well-connected by public transport, and a lot cheaper than Munich.

Posted by
5565 posts

maybe instead of 2 full days at Oktoberfest I could do 2 half-days, as
you said, then spend the rest of the day doing something else...
Im not sure where to go, what are these interesting places you
mentioned? I REALLY do want to see the REAL Deutschland, interact with
the locals, I do want to do touristy things but also want a good
amount of AUTHENTIC Germany, so please recommend some places :)

Sounds like Munich is for sure.

I previously suggested a stop in "Castle Country" - known more commonly as the "Romantic Rhine" or more specifically the "Upper Middle Rhine Valley.") Castle tours, river cruises, wineries, etc. Boppard is an attractive and convenient old-world town. If this sounds good to you after some research, I suggest you leave A'dam mid-afternoon on Sunday so you can pull into Boppard around 7 or 8 pm. You can get a single w/ breakfast for Sun & Mon nights at the Pension Haus Weller for $84 total on that booking website that starts with "b'.

Boppard
http://www.loreley-info.com/eng/rhein-rhine/castles.php

Then you'd have a full day on Monday for sightseeing - river cruising (a 2-hr cruise from Bingen back to Boppard shows the best of the river scenery from the best perspective) or tour a nearby castle (Marksburg in Braubach is terrific) or catch the Boppard chairlift to a lookout point for the views or take a walk through Oberwesel or Bacharach or hang out in a Boppard wine garden or some combination of these things. (Getting around this area is easy on trains - and most trains are free because Boppard gives all guests a guest ticket for free local train travel!)

Then on Tue. morning you could catch a train to BAVARIA (Nuremberg base) for 3 nights Tue-Thur. Nuremberg is an awesome city right on the way to Munich and not really affected by Oktoberfest.

Stuff to see, do and enjoy in Nuremberg:
https://tourismus.nuernberg.de/en/discover/places-of-interest/
https://tourismus.nuernberg.de/en/food-drink/nurembergs-specialties/
https://www.europeanbeerguide.net/nurnpubs.htm
https://tourismus.nuernberg.de/en/discover/museums/

You can take a day trip to another great city, Bamberg - less than one hour by train, only €20 round trip on a day VGN Tagesticket plus day pass:

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/624
https://en.bamberg.info/sehenswertes/
https://www.europeanbeerguide.net/bambpubs.htm

Then on Friday morning you head to Munich for 2 nights - it's not a long trip.

So that's my best shot for "real" Germany, keeping in mind your interests as I understand them - you'll be around lots of locals and German tourists rather than the international tourist horde.

Posted by
2987 posts

OP:
I would choose Munich OR Stuttgart for this trip, not both. The fests are pretty similar, so you're just going to get more of the same.

Oktoberfest is Oktoberfest, and the fest is wonderful! The problem is lodging. And you might meet locals at Oktoberfest (I mean, I did) but it's full of people from around the world, which is a lot of fun also.

Stuttgart's Volksfest is similar in vibe, but it's easier to find cheap lodging with easy transit to the fest, and most people who attend are locals or from not very far away (such as northern Italy or Switzerland).

As much as I love Stuttgart, if you can find decent lodging near Munich, then you should just do Oktoberfest. If you can't, then consider Volksfest in Stuttgart as an alternative to Oktobefest. There is a lot to do in the Stuttgart region is that isn't very touristy that is very much a slice of "real Germany" but it's not as famous internationally as Bavaria and Munich. I didn't catch your dates of travel, but there is a Stuttgart Expat Meetups group on Facebook that organizes weekly events, including going to Volksfest, with a mixed group of people who live here, mostly in their 20s and looking to party, that might be able to direct you to events in this region. If you want any advice on sightseeing in the Stuttgart area, also feel free to PM me.

Posted by
17 posts

Thank you all again for your informative responses

Chris: Update: I just booked 4 nights in Munich, I was able to find a 2 star hotel very close to the festival grounds, walking distance, about 150 Euros a night or 800 total. I agree its expensive but it was the cheapest I could find within 1 mile and being close to the festival is important since I'll be spending at least 1 to 2 days there of the 4 days in Munich/Bavaria. I might skip Stuttgart because the main reasons for me going there was the festival and the MBZ and Porsche museums, but it may be redundant to go to Stuttgart for the beer festival since I am spending 4 days in Munich and will be attending Oktoberfest there. What do you think? I love landscapes and mountains and wanted to check out the Alps for sure, like the highest peak in Germany (forgot the name) and Neuschwantstein itself is in a beautiful area. River valleys sound good too, I prefer old world charm, Im planning on driving to some towns in Bavaria (Landshut, Regensburg, Nuremburg, etc) I plan on seeing the BMW museum in Munich and also the Technology/Science museum (I think its called Deutsche museum) and maybe another museum or two, whatever is interesting, there is an Army museum in one of the towns I mentioned Im super into WW2 history and WW1 as well, would love to check some museums or anything related to those subjects, please recommend --- As far as the transportation, I was thinking, I've always wanted to drive a fast car on the German Autobahn and this may be my chance. I plan on renting a BMW M car and driving it from Munich to Landhut, then Regensburg, then Nuremburg, then back down to Munich. Will be driving on the autobahn 92, 93, 3 and 9 respectively. I was reading an article that stated in June of this year there were some temporary? speed limits issues for some or all parts of the Autobahn becasue the 100+ degree weather may cause cracks to the road which is dangerous for fast drivers. Is this true? If it is true, then I would rather take public transportation since I wont be able to fully enjoy the autobahn, and renting the car will be more expensive than using public transportation. Also, I plan on renting the car and implementing this plan on October 3rd, which happens to be a holiday (German Unity day) I'm assuming people will be off work and the autobahn may be congested with traffic? This would spoil the experience as well. Do you happen to know the status of these roads, speed limits, and if there will be traffic? I really appreciate your help. Thank you!

Russ: The Rhine river valley and all those castles are absolutely magical looking. I just booked 4 nights in Munich before I read this. Please read my response to Chris above, I mentioned my updated plan so far, Im still making this trip official step by step, but as of now the only official thing is 4 nights in Munich, 2 days of which will be spent at the festival and in Munich old town/city exploring local sites. Of the remaining 2 days I want to rent a car and explore the towns I mentioned, or whatever you recommend. The last day Im thinking of heading further south towards the Alps and exploring that region? Maybe even a day trip to Austira? I really would love to check out the Rhine river and all those castles, but I think It will be the next time I come back to Germany and I will bring a girlfriend with me to enjoy the beauty and will enjoy it more that way its very romantic, I think I will feel lonely seeing those beautiful places alone, not having someone to enjoy it with. I added all those links and places to my bookmarks/favorites to make sure I don't lose them, thank you so much for the time it took you to send me all that!

Sarah: I decided to take your advise and skip Stuttgart. Please read my updated plan above, Ill be in Munich Oct 1 - 6. Going to Amsterdam before Munich, might add another destination in between Amsterdam and Munich, or after Munich..

Posted by
268 posts

I asked for your interests hoping to give you valuable advice, but it seems you have already figured it out. The highest mountain is the Zugspitze, and would be worth a visit if the weather is good. Garmisch-Partenkirchen with the Partnachklamm may also be a good idea. Unfortunately, I cannot think of a good military museum in the area; though you will find something on the 3rd reich history especially in Nuremberg.

Regarding transport: I haven't travelled to Munich by car for a long time (I think trains are the superior mode of transport for travelling between cities - it's just a lot more convenient to read a book or watch a video when travelling rather than focussing on traffic). In general, I would expect any heat-related speed limits to be lifted. Sunday morning is generally the most quiet time on the Autobahn. It is still not a race track, and I'd highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the rules of the road. By the way, Germans who take their car (or motorbike) out for a spin usually do not do that on the Autobahn, but on scenic back roads :)

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks Chris, I'm still figuring out and fine tuning the plan, so far the only thing set in stone is 4 nights in Munich, so I appreciate all the ideas and suggestions you and everyone else has given so far. I definitely plan on going to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and maybe Partnachklamm. I know there is the Bayerisches Armeemuseum in Ingolstadt, I may stop there, but looks like it does not cover much of WW2, if at all. I am taking the train from Amsterdam to Munich, and will be enjoying staring out the window on the way, hopefully it is scenic, and hopefully the roads are open on October 3rd, but I agree the train is playing it safer and cheaper. One advantage of the car though is since I'll be "town hopping" from Munich to Landshut, then Regensburg, then Nuremburg, then maybe Ingolstadt on the way back if I have time, I plan on spending a maximum of 2 hours in each time, if I include the drive time between towns I should be back in Munich by sundown if I start driving from Munich at 7am.

Posted by
17 posts

Also, I know I need a power plug adapter because my US appliances (laptop charger, cellphone charger, etc) the US plugs will not fit in the European outlets. Do I also need a voltage converter? I understand that the voltage in Germany is 230 Volts, in the US its 110 Volts. Is there a combination of these two in one product? Please recommend, thank you!

Posted by
17 posts

Another thing, Im on the Bahn website buying a train from Amsterdam to Munich first class, next question it asks me is Super Sparpreis Europa for 80 Euro OR Sparpreis Europa for 92 Euro... The first one has none of these includes, but the 2nd one includes

  1. Cancellation before 1st day of validity subject to a fee in exchange for voucher
  2. City-Ticket Included

My questions are what is a city ticket? and does the cancellation option benefit me? I am considering stopping in Stuttgart for a couple of hours on the way to Munich, so I can check out the MBZ and Porsche museums

Posted by
8889 posts

Do I also need a voltage converter?

Probably not, most modern chargers are multi-voltage. You need to look at the label on your chargers. If it say "110-230V 50/60Hz AC" you are OK. If it just says "110V 60Hz" then it would "fry" if plugged in to European electricity. Easiest solution is to buy a new multi-voltage charger.

A "city ticket" means it is valid to anywhere in that city, you can continue to your final destination using S-Bahn (commuter rail), U-Bahn (metro), bus and tram on the same ticket. Otherwse the ticket is only valid on the train as far as Munich.

"does the cancellation option benefit me?" - depends, are you likely to want to change your plans?

"I am considering stopping in Stuttgart for a couple of hours on the way to Munich" - these Sparpreis tickets are only valid on the train listed on the ticket. If you want to stop off, make sure you have chosen traisn which will allow you the time you want in Stuttgart.

First class - not necessary, 2nd class is perfectly OK.

Posted by
17 posts

Ah I see, good to know, I checked my phone charger and it is multi voltage.

Oh ok, so I can get on the public transportation for free anywhere in Munich? Can I use it unlimited during the 5 days I am there?

I already bought the train tickets before reading this, leaving Amsterdam in the morning, stopping for a few minutes in Mannheim, then off again to Munich.. I have seat reservations, hopefully the train is going in the direction I'm facing lol. Im excited for the train, apparently its an ICE 3 that can travel 186 miles per hour!

Posted by
8889 posts

Oh ok, so I can get on the public transportation for free anywhere in Munich? Can I use it unlimited during the 5 days I am there?

I guess you are talking about the city ticket - the answer is NO. It is an add-on, instead of your ticket being valid to "München Hbf" (the mains station) it is valid to anywhere in greater Munich. One trip only.
Details are here: https://www.bahn.com/en/view/offers/germany/tickets-for-local-transport.shtml

I already bought the train tickets before reading this, leaving Amsterdam in the morning, stopping for a few minutes in Mannheim, then off again to Munich.. I have seat reservations

In which case, the discussion about a City Ticket is irrelevant, as you haven't got one.
And also you cannot stop off in Stuttgart, as if you have seat reservations, that ticket is only valid on the train listed on the ticket, a stop of perhaps 5 minutes maximum in Stuttgart, not enough time to get off the train.

I looked up train times, is this the one you are getting?

Amsterdam Centraal dep 08:08 ICE 105, Mannheim Hbf arr 12:23
Transfer time 7 min.
Mannheim Hbf dep 12:30 ICE 595, München Hbf arr 15:28

This is two trains, you are not just "Stopping off" in Mannheim, you are changing trains (getting off one and getting on a different one). Each of these trains will make many more intermediate stops:

ICE 105
Amsterdam Centraal dep 08:08
Utrecht Centraal arr 08:33 dep 08:37
Arnhem Centraal arr 09:05 dep 09:07
Oberhausen Hbf arr 09:57 dep 09:59
Duisburg Hbf arr 10:06 dep 10:08
Düsseldorf Hbf arr 10:20 dep 10:22
Köln Hbf arr 10:46 dep 10:55
Siegburg/Bonn arr 11:08 dep 11:09
Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Fernbf arr 11:49 dep 11:52
Mannheim Hbf arr 12:23

ICE 595
Mannheim Hbf arr 12:27 dep 12:30
Stuttgart Hbf arr 13:08 dep 13:14
Ulm Hbf arr 14:10 dep 14:12
Augsburg Hbf arr 14:53 dep 14:55
München-Pasing arr 15:18
München Hbf arr 15:28

hopefully the train is going in the direction I'm facing

No, both trains change direction en route, so you will be going forwards part of the way, and backwards the other part.
The Amsterdam - Mannheim train changes direction at Köln.
The Mannheim - Munich train changes direction at Stuttgart.

Posted by
16822 posts

In Munich, you can buy multi-day transit passes. Price varies on how much of the outer districts/suburbs are covered. You can view the options at
https://www.mvv-muenchen.de/en/tickets-and-fares/tickets-daytickets/index.html

That 186 mph will only be available between Bonn/Siegburg and Frankfurt where there are special dedicated high-speed tracks. The rest of the way is at a more sedate 100 mph max. The quality of the tracks, tightness of the curves, limit how fast a train can travel.

Posted by
268 posts

And also you cannot stop off in Stuttgart, as if you have seat reservations, that ticket is only valid on the train listed on the ticket, a stop of perhaps 5 minutes maximum in Stuttgart, not enough time to get off the train.

Seat reservations don't tie you to a specific train; the type of ticket does. If it is a saver or super saver fare (which I suspect), it is indeed only valid for the specific train. But you can have one ticket, and buy reservations for as many alternative connections as you like.

That 186 mph will only be available between Bonn/Siegburg and Frankfurt where there are special dedicated high-speed tracks. The rest of the way is at a more sedate 100 mph max. The quality of the tracks, tightness of the curves, limit how fast a train can travel.

Mannheim to Stuttgart is also fast: 280 kph is possible there (but the schedules are calculated with a top speed of 250 kph there; they only do 280 in case of delays). Between Augsburg and Munich, the maximum speed is 230 kph most of the way.

If you still want to stop in Stuttgart, you can always buy a separate ticket Stuttgart to Munich. Still cheaper than returning to Stuttgart with an international flight in half a year :)

Posted by
12897 posts

Hi,

You could choose to stay in a private, independent hostel, a few minutes from the central station in Munich. In Munich I've stayed in the hostel but mostly in a Pension. There are cheaper places if you where them. I personally would skip Oktoberfest as the hotels use that time to increase the prices, say a single normally at 45 Euro could be going for 55 Euro or more.

On the "Army Museum" there is one close to Munich, ie, Ingolstadt, and another one is near the Black Forest, if you have a deep interest in war history and WW1 and 2. That in Ingolstadt I've yet to see, but the other near the Black Forest I saw that once, spent all afternoon there in 1989.

I agree with focusing on Berlin. It is also a cheaper city, certainly cheaper than Munich.

Posted by
17 posts

On my ticket it says "Amsterdam C. ->München+City" Does that mean Once I get off at the main train station at Munich, I can get on a bus or another train for free to get to my hotel, one trip only? I read on the city ticket description link you sent me "Free travel on public transport services to get you to the station where you start your train trip, and from the station where you disembark to your final destination" Sounds like I can get free transport from my hotel in Amsterdam to the train station, then when I arrive in Munich I can get free transport to my hotel? or does this only apply in Germany, in other words only from Munich station to my hotel? Yes the train you sent is the one I'm taking, I have 2 reserved seats in first class, one of them I was lucky enough to get a table seat. I hope I picked them both facing forward, if not, maybe will be so kind as to switch seats with me, since its my first time in Europe I would love to stare out the window!

Here is the new plan, about 3 days in Amsterdam, 4 days in Munich, maybe a few days in Austria after Munich, so far I reserved my hotel in Munich and the train from Amsterdam, need to get the hotel in Amsterdam and flight tickets

Amsterdam: 3 days, things to do
Rent a bike then canal tour? Try stropwafel, Dutch pancakes (go to pancakes Amsterdam or pancake bakery) herring, de ballenbar bitterballs (fried ragu), puffiches, kapsalon, Nasigoyn(indonesian)
Foodhallen
Albert cuyp market
Anne Frank house (buy tickets)
Rembrandt square nightlife
Adam lookout sunset
Check out Haarlem town Jopenkerk brewery
Friday 1pm organ concert Haarlem
Enkhuisen old Dutch town life
Coffee shops: Greenhouse, dampkring, boerenjongens
Red light district : Casa rossa sex show, prostitution museum , sex museum
Drink Absinth
Bars/Clubs: cafe bulldog, cafe cox, paradiso, mellweg, de school, studio 80, sugar factory, club air, club nyx
Vrolik deformity museum, smallest house in Europe, blue 360 restaurant,
Visit Jordaan (nice part of town)
Vondel park

Munich/Bavaria:

Day 1: Explore Munich
Day 2: Festival
Day 3: Rent a car, autobahn, North Bavaria
Day 4: Festival
Day 5: South Bavaria

Oktoberfest: Beer tents, Oide wiesn (classic area), Rides, wiesnkoks if tired

Munich: Marienplatz, St Peters Church, Asam Church, Munich Residenz palace, Nymphenurg palace, Deutsches museum, Spaten brewery, BMW museum, Hofbrauhaus beer hall, Opera house

Munich beerhalls: Hofbrauhaus, Augustiner Keller & Braustuben, Lowenbrau Keller, Paulaner Bauhaus, English garden Chinese beer garden

Northern Bavaria: Rent car in Munich and explore following towns in 1 day

Landshut: Trausnitz castle, St Martin Church

Regensburg: Explore old town, Peter's cathedral, Old Bridge, St. Emmeram church, Alten Kapelle church, Porta Praetoria (old Roman wall), Historischd museum, Schottenportal (Scottish church stone entrance)

Nuremburg: Explore old town, Nazi rally center, Christmas market, Nurnberg castle, St Lorenz church, St Sebaldus church, Germanisches museum,

Dachau: Concentration camp

Furstelfeldbrück: Church & skeletons

On a seperate day explore southern Bavaria, spots below

Southern Bavaria: Neuschwanstein castle, Hohenschwangau castle, Eibsee lake, Zugspitze tallest mountain, Herreninsel palace, berchtesgaden (salt mine and kehlsteinhaus aka Hitler's eagles nest)

Maybe after Munich spend a few days in Austria

Austria:

Salzburg:
Mozart dinner concert
Untersburg cable car
Mozarthaus
St Abby church 696 AD
Hohensburg fortress
Eat quesaspetzl
Go to countryside lake district
Sakzkamergut lake district
Luje/metal slide (rollerbahn)
Hallstatt lake town

Innsbruck:
Hungerburg fenicular
Hafelekarspirtze view mountain chairlift
Hofkirche
Cathedral
Stubai glacier ski
Skii
Tyrolean evening show (gundolf family)
Hofburg palace

Posted by
12897 posts

What about the Military/Army Museums? There is another one in Koblenz but that is out of your projected trip area.

Posted by
268 posts

On my ticket it says "Amsterdam C. ->München+City" Does that mean Once I get off at the main train station at Munich, I can get on a bus or another train for free to get to my hotel, one trip only?

Yes, exactly that. Bus, regional trains, commuter trains (S-Bahn) and subway (U-Bahn).

I read on the city ticket description link you sent me "Free travel on public transport services to get you to the station where you start your train trip, and from the station where you disembark to your final destination" Sounds like I can get free transport from my hotel in Amsterdam to the train station, then when I arrive in Munich I can get free transport to my hotel? or does this only apply in Germany, in other words only from Munich station to my hotel?

It only applies in Germany (the city option is only included when it is stated after the respective city).

Yes the train you sent is the one I'm taking, I have 2 reserved seats in first class, one of them I was lucky enough to get a table seat. I hope I picked them both facing forward, if not, maybe will be so kind as to switch seats with me, since its my first time in Europe I would love to stare out the window!

Why two seats? This does not make a lot of sense when travelling solo (it does prevent other from reserving the second seat, but not from using it). As stated before: The trains change direction, so you will have to change seats if you want to face forward the whole time. Most of the route will not be very scenic, though.

Posted by
13512 posts

I have 2 reserved seats in first class, one of them I was lucky enough
to get a table seat. I hope I picked them both facing forward, if not,
maybe will be so kind as to switch seats with me, since its my first
time in Europe I would love to stare out the window!

No, this doesn't make any sense to me either. Why would you book two seats if you can only use one, and why would you expect someone to switch seats with you just because it's your first trip to Europe? You can stare out the window whether your seat is facing forward or not.

(Be careful of exhibiting any "tourist entitlement" behavior. It doesn't go over well with the locals.)

And very kindly but I'm concerned that you don't have a realistic idea of what you can reasonably do in one day. For instance, this itinerary doesn't look remotely possible to me but I'll defer to others on the thread:

Northern Bavaria: Rent car in Munich and explore following towns in 1 day
Landshut: Trausnitz castle, St Martin Church
Regensburg: Explore old town, Peter's cathedral, Old Bridge, St. Emmeram church, Alten Kapelle church, Porta Praetoria (old Roman wall), Historischd museum, Schottenportal (Scottish church stone entrance)
Nuremburg: Explore old town, Nazi rally center, Christmas market, Nurnberg castle, St Lorenz church, St Sebaldus church, Germanisches museum,
Dachau: Concentration camp
Furstelfeldbrück: Church & skeletons

Posted by
14917 posts

Did you contact the passport office yet? Here's my experience when my passports were misplaced (I got them back a couple years later).

I live in Israel and I have 2 passports, US and Israeli. Legally (usually for most countries), I am required to enter and leave Israel using my Israeli passport and I am required to enter the US on my US passport. I live in Israel and was visiting the US when my passports went walkabout, which I discovered the day before my flight home (with a layover in London). I immediately phoned the passport office in Chicago. They told me I could get an appointment within 48 hours, I would need to bring proof of citizenship (notarized copy of my birth certificate) as well as all the forms and photos. I would also have to prove that I had an airline ticket for departure within a specified time (I think is was 2 weeks from making the appointment). They said they wouldn't guarantee that I'd have my new passport within a week, though it's usually faster than that. I was in a catch-22, didn't want to change my ticket (I was allowed one change for $75) and then not get my passport in time and have to rebook at a cost of at least several hundred dollars. I resolved the issue by getting a temporary travel document from the Israeli consulate within 48 hours.

My point is that it takes a day or two to get everything together for the expedited passport and you may need to wait several days for the appointment. If you haven't done so yet, get the documents, including your flight ticket, and make an appointment ASAP.

Posted by
27743 posts

I wonder about doing all that driving the morning after the Oktoberfest experience.

No hangover?

German police are very tight on drink driving, and are especially watchful around festivals like Oktoberfest. If you drank a lot last night you may very well be over the (very low) limit the next morning.

Driving in and around Munich is not easy - I know I have to do it relatively frequently - and there are speed restrictions on large chunks of the autobahn network around there. If you are returning to Munich from the east you find yourself restricted on the autobahn from 130 kph to 80 or 60. There are cameras.

There are special rules for the autobahn. Many areas it is two lanes each way and the trucks which normally haunt the slow lane will pull out - very slowly - to pass another or several. You have to be ready to throw out the anchors with little or no notice. The turn signal does not mean "may I come out please" it means "I'm coming out, watch out".

When the automatic speed limit signs light up, or the temporary signs are out near road works, they are serious about that. When the traffic screeches to a halt - it will, no matter how fast you are going - you need to be ready and stop too, and hope the guy behind you stops. When you see cars and trucks with hazard lights on ahead of you that is what is happening an you need to react immediately. That is what the English call a tail-back and the Germans call "stau". You will hear of stau of the radio traffic bulletins, and the various types of stau, but unless your German is good you may not be able to follow the broadcast.

When you stop for a stau you are requires to open a zipper, pulling to the side of the lane, or to the shoulder to make an open lane that emergency equipment can travel through at high speed to reach the cause of the stau.

When you are driving at speed you need to use your mirrors as much as you look forward. Even if you are rolling at 170 kph there will be somebody appear out of nowhere doing 50 kph faster flashing their lights. You need to be out of their way before they reach you - but there is that wall of trucks in the way again.

It is really important that you don't cruise in the fast lane. It is illegal and will cause you problems.

You should know that if you are driving faster than 130 kph and have an accident or incident the police will assume you are at fault.

And please don't do it with any alcohol in your blood.

Posted by
17 posts

Chris/Kathy: I meant 2 seats as in 1 seat on each train, since there is a stop in Mannheim to switch to the second train

Chani: I have an appointment this coming Thursday, and I fly to Amsterday 2 weeks after that, hopefully it works out, My 800 Euro hotel in Munich is non refundable, so is the 100 Euro train ride. Do you guys know anything about travel insurance? does that only apply to plane tickets? Do I need to buy the insurance before I buy hotels/flights/trains? I was looking at another travel insurance that covers medical accidents etc while one is traveling, is this a different type of insurance? After I bought my hotel, a few days later I started feeling ill, praying Ill feel better... kind of worried

Nigel: Thank you for the information, I am aware of some of the rules of the autobahn but learned a few things thanks to you, I didn't consider the hangover, but if I am going to wake up at 7am to get the car, I will plan to stop drinking earlier in the evening rather than party all night. Considering renting the car is significantly more expensive than taking the train, maybe I will do that instead, it all depends if there will be traffic on the autobahn Thursday October 3rd (German holiday unity day) and how much of the autobahn will have no speed limit (taking the 92, 93, 3, and 9) please let me know if you know anything about these roads conditions, speed, traffic, etc

Posted by
13512 posts

Chris/Kathy: I meant 2 seats as in 1 seat on each train, since there
is a stop in Mannheim to switch to the second train

Ah, OK. Thanks for clearing that up. :O)

Posted by
3208 posts

You really need to take a closer look at your itinerary, because it doesn't look even close to being realistic. But at least you can remove the Nürnberg Christmas market from the list, it opens on the friday before the first Sunday in Advent.

Posted by
14917 posts

I'm relieved to hear it, Allen :-) You have twice as much time as I did, it should work out fine. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Posted by
17 posts

Kathy: No problem :)

Chani: Thank you!

Badger: Yes I agree its a lot to do for each day, concerning the day dedicated to Northern Bavaria, I could skip Dachau and Feldenfurstbruck, I was going to Dachau to see the camp and Felden to see the church and bejeweled skeletons, and also the Christmas market will be closed? I guess ill skip that as well

concerning Southern Bavaria, what should I change? all the things I listed seem to interesting, hoping to see them all

Posted by
127 posts

Concerning October3 (National holiday in Germany): There are hardly any trucks on the motorways on that day. Except for trucks with a special load they aren't allowed to drive. So racing is easier than on other days. But nevertheless this might become a very frustrating experience for you, because there are hundreds of construction sites with speed limits of 60 or 80 kms per hour on the motorways right now and in the near future. In addition what you intend to do is not sensible at all.

Posted by
3208 posts

The northen Bavaria day really need some replanning. At the moment, considering the amount you'll spend on the road, you will have about 30 minutes at each place (including time spent finding and paying for parking).

Posted by
17 posts

Demag: Thanks for your advice. Is it possible to see where these construction zones are? Is there a website or something that I can get updates on this? or would you know? I will be taking the 92, 93, 3, and 9 autobahn/roads on my trips to Landshut, Regensburg, Nuremburg, and back to Munich, assuming I have time to do all of this if I start at 8am and back in Munich by 8pm ( 12 hours time ) hoping to spend 2 hours in each town sight seeing. Why do you say what I intend to do is not sensible? I am not arguing that it is sensible, its just always been a dream of mine to drive on the autobahn in a fast car. I've given it some thought and with my limited knowledge of the area, I'm assuming it will be more convenient for me to drive to these towns in a car vs a train, reason being that I can jump in the car and be on my way to the next town as soon as I am tired of the town I am in, or if I run out of time in the town I am in. As opposed to a train where I have to get to the train station and wait for the next train. I'm assuming that renting the car will be more expensive than taking the train, I'm not sure the cost of the train, but the car will cost me about 200 Euros for 1.5 days, 600km included. The car is also more risk/responsibility, and I wont be able to enjoy the views driving vs looking out the window of the train and relaxing (assuming there are good views on the way to these towns and back to Munich. Please share your thoughts, as I am able to cancel the rental car 1 day before pick up date (October 3rd)

Badger: Please tell me how you recommend I plan the Northern Bavaria day. I am open to suggestions and it is not too late to change plans. I searched the drive times from town to town, here are the google search results; Munich to Landshut 1 hour drive. Landshut to Regensburg 52 minutes drive. Regensburg to Nuremburg 1 hour and 15 minutes drive. Nuremburg to Munich 2 hours drive. Total drive time is 5 or 6 hours. I plan on starting to drive from Munich at about 8am and being back in Munich by 8pm, so I have 12 hours, minus the 5 or 6 hours, that leaves me with 6 or 7 hours to enjoy the 3 towns, or about 2 hours in each town. What do you think?

I really appreciate everyones advice, I hope I can show my appreciation somehow... Danke!

Posted by
17 posts

I also added an extra day to my flight and purchased a hotel in Salzburg, I want to see the castle there, Mozart concert in the palace, Mozart house, and the countryside lake district, and more if I have time. I have all of the 6th and 7th of October to enjoy Salzburg and the surrounding areas..

Posted by
127 posts

I'm afraid all the websites about construction sites on German Autobahnen are in German only, at least I couldn't find an English one. You could try and google "Autobahnbaustellen Bayern" (construction sites on Autobahnen in Bavaria). There you will find "Baustellen auf der A92, A93, A3, A9" (construction sites on A92 etc.) Why I call your intention to race on the German Autobahns not sensible is very easy to explain. I think I belong to the sensible Germans (far more than 50% according to opinion polls) that are all in favor of a general speed limit (in my case 130kms per hour). Germany is the only relevant country on this planet that hasn't got an obligatory speed limit on motorways. The suggested speed limit of 130 doesn't make any sense IMO. Anyway if driving at a moderate speed or very fast your planned timing on October3 will probably not work. Report if you could prove the opposite.

Posted by
17 posts

I google searched as you advised and found this article, used google translate and after checking the articles advised construction sites I understand that there will be possibly 2 construction zones which may affect me. One on the 92 on my way from Munich to Landshut, and another on the 9 on my way from Nuremburg back to Munich. Here is the site

https://www.antenne.de/experten-tipps/verkehr-und-mobilitaet/baustellen-in-bayern-2019-hier-wirds-fuer-autofahrer-eng

and a few other German sites come up when I search Autobahnbaustellen Bayern, doesn't look too bad? unless I misunderstood lol

Posted by
27743 posts

no amount of logic will dissuade you - you have a dream and want to live it. So you will.

Let us know how it goes.

I haven't gone back and re-read the entire thread because this discussion has become lengthy. Have you pre-planned where you will park at each of the cities you are visiting in this day of driving? You can't just roll up, turn into a space, turn off the engine and go for a walk. Each has larger or smaller pedestrianised areas in the centre and lots of one-way streets. You will probably need to use parking garages. Since you are short on time - even more short when you start to drive and get behind - you should have that planned and already put in the sat nav before you set off. Sat navs don't usually know about some of the pedestrianised areas, you will need to use your eyes.

Not all construction areas show up on maps or engines - some are short duration and just pop up.

Posted by
12897 posts

I would not suggest using google trans at all...unreliable and inaccurate.. If you have not been through a construction site, it's not adviable, a mess really. I would not pick north Bavaria for this Autobahn drive anyway but the distance from from Dortmund to Hannover, ie going through Westphalia. Not worth the effort in paying for parking tickets once you pull into town.

Posted by
17 posts

I considered everyones advice, I guess North Bavaria a.k.a Munich, Landshut, Regensburg, Nuremburg round trip drive is not advisable because of the construction. I could take a train for this trip and rent a car for my South Bavaria trip which will be from Munich to Neuschwanstein castle then Eibsee and Zugspitze, Herreninsel palace, Berchtesgaden.

I will leave Munich by 6am to arrive at Neuschwanstein by 7:30 am which is when the ticket office opens, I will buy my tickets ahead of time online. The website states I need to arrive to pickup tickets at least 90 minutes before my tour, first tour is at 9am and lasts 35 minutes. I will be done with the tour by 9:35am then have breakfast in Fussen the town next to Neuschwanstein, and hopefully on the road to Eibsee by 10:30.am Fussen to Eibsee Is a 1 hour drive so I should arrive in Eibsee by 11:30am. Ill enjoy the lake for about 30 minutes or more depending on what there is to do, then take the cable car up to Zugspitze and possibly spend an hour up there, maybe have lunch at the mountain restaurant. I should be on my way to Herreninsel palace by 2pm, and arriving by 4pm since its a 2 hours drive. I should be done with Herreninsel by Sundown.

I also want to visit Berchtesgaden but I won't have time that day, so I'll head back to Munich. Maybe I can see Berchtesgaden on my way back to Munich from Salzburg on October 8th, I could have dinner there and watch the sunset. What do you guys think? is this a better idea for driving vs Northern Bavaria? Also does anyone know the car parking situations for Neuschwanstein, Eibsee, and Herreninsel?

I think there is some construction on the A95 but its mostly free and there should be no speed limit on the A95 most of the way, according to the first link. My knowledge of construction on these roads is learned from German websites, trying to translate, I know it may not be accurate, don't want to ask too much of anyones time but if you can help me out it is really appreciated. thank you guys.

http://autobahnspeedhunter.com/

https://www.stmb.bayern.de/vum/strasse/verkehrsmanagement/baustellen/a95/index.php

Posted by
27743 posts

are you aware that Herrenchiemsee is on an island in the Chiemsee? ("insel" is German for island) There is a car park near the station and then you can take a steam train to the dock, or there is a pretty large (not free) car park near the dock and the end of the steam train.

The boats out to the island with the palace on it are fairly frequent during the high season - I haven't looked to see what is left running in October after the school holidays have finished. It would be worth it to check. You would need a 20 minute boat ride out to the island, then it is a 20 minute walk to the palace. So if you just happen to get a boat as you arrive and again one is just leaving as you get back to the dock on the island, you will have to add an hour and a half to get out and back to your car, plus visiting time.

https://www.herrenchiemsee.de/englisch/tourist/day-plan.htm

Posted by
17 posts

I know my plans for South Bavaria are time optimistic, I will skip Berchtesgaden, I can do that another day.
Instead, on Thursday October 3rd I will rent a sports car from Turo and drive to Neuschwanstein, then Eibsee/Zugpitze, and if I have time Herreninsel palace. if not enough time for Herreninsel, I will visit Herreninsel on another day on my to Berchtesgaden and Salzburg

After my days in Munich are finished, I am taking a train to visit Salzburg Austria for 2 days, spending 1 night there, already booked hotel. I want to stop in Berchtesgaden on my way from Munich to Salzburg. The only possible issue is I will have my large luggage and carry on with me, so hopefully there is a luggage locker in the train station when I arrive at Berchtesgaden, and hopefully this will be the same train station I will use to depart from Berchtesgaden to Salzburg

After my 3 days in Amsterdam, Here is my Munich & Salzburg schedule in a nutshell, or what I have so far

Day 1, Tuesday October 1st: My train from Amsterdam will bring me to Munich arriving about 3pm, I'll check in my hotel, get settled in, and probably spend the rest of the evening exploring the surroundings, Munich, old town, etc

Day 2, Wednesday October 2nd: Start the day with Oktoberfest, possibly spend the entire day there? see how it goes

Day 3, Thursday October 3rd: Rent a sports car from Turo and drive to Neuschwanstein, Eibsee/Zugpitze, then Herreninsel palace if I have enough time. Then return to Munich, return the car, then maybe visit a beer hall or find something to do in Munich

Day 4, Friday October 4th: Start the day exploring old town Munich, Marienplatz, St Peters church, Asam church, Residenz palace, Nymphemburg palace, Deutsches museum, Spaten brewery, Hofbrauhaus or other beer hall, BMW museum, Opera house(probably just to see building inside and out if no good evemt).. I'm not sure I'll have enough time to see ALL of these places in Munich on this day, but I'll try too see the most interesting ones. then spend some more time at the Oktoberfest? Maybe do Oktoberfest first then explore Munich?

Day 5, Saturday October 5th: Take a train to North Bavarian towns, Landshut, then Regensburg, then Nuremburg, then back to Munich, find something to do the rest of the evening

Day 6, Sunday October 6th: Check out of Hotel, take a train to Berchtesgaden, lock luggage in locker, Salt mine tour, Kehlsteinhaus lunch with a view, then get my luggage and take the train to Salzburg, check in my Salzburg hotel, settle in, and spend the rest of the day exploring Salzburg, maybe see Mozart's house, then enjoy a Mozart concert and dinner in the palace

Day 7: Spend more time Salzburg, see St Abby church, Hohensburg fortress, maybe Untersberg cable car, or skip cablecarif it will be disappointing after Zugspitze since Zugspitze is much higher... then I will go to the country side/lake district, try luje/rollerbahn, leave Salzburg in time to make my 11pm flight from Munich to Los Angeles

I already booked all my flights. On my way back to Los Angeles from Munich I have an 8 hour layover in Moscow. I might leave the airport and see the Red Square for 2 or 3 hours. The plane lands at 3am in Moscow, should be able to get to Red Square by 6am, have breakfast, see the sunrise, do some very quick sight seeing, Kremlin, St Basils Cathedral, etc, then back to the Airport for my 12pm flight

Besides the plane tickets, I also have my hotels booked in Amsterdam 4 nights, Munich 5 nights, and Salzburg 1 night, Need to book my train on October 6 from Munich to Berchtesgaden, and from Berchtesgaden to Salzburg, and on October 7 from Salzburg to Munich for my flight home to Los Angeles. Do I need to book these three train trips in advance? Is it advisable to do so? Benefits? The only train ride I have booked so far is the first train ride form Amsterdam to Munich on October 1st

What do you guys think? I'm very open to suggestions and changes. I appreciate you all!

Posted by
3208 posts

Regarding your trip north of Munich, you make a plan for it I can comment on the plan. And note that the driving times Google maps gives you are very optimistic even under perfect conditions.

I will be done with the tour by 9:35am then have breakfast in Fussen
the town next to Neuschwanstein, and hopefully on the road to Eibsee
by 10:30.am.

This looks very rushed to me. You do realize that you can't drive all the way up to the palace and that it is a 30 minute walk down to the car park? That means you'll be at your car at 10.05. It's a 10 minute drive to Füssen, so you'll be there at 10.15. Say it's a 5 minute walk from the car park to your breakfast place, it leaves 5 minutes to eat breakfast if your going to leave Füssen at 10.30.

Fussen to Eibsee Is a 1 hour drive so I should arrive in Eibsee by
11:30am. […] I should be on my way to Herreninsel palace by 2pm, and
arriving by 4pm since its a 2 hours drive. I should be done with
Herreninsel by Sundown.

As mentioned, Google maps is optimistic. And you need some margin for error, there can be a road construction or an accident along your route. Or you can get stuck behind a tractor on a narrow mountain road.

Posted by
17 posts

Badger: Here is my plan for the North Bavaria/North of Munich; Take a train from Munich to Landshut, then Regensburg, then Nuremburg, and back to Munich. I've listed some of the places/things I would like to see, but I'm open to suggestions. Per my last message, I'm considering taking the train for this trip instead of driving

Landshut: Trausnitz castle, St Martin Church

Regensburg: Explore old town, Peter's cathedral, Old Bridge, St. Emmeram church, Alten Kapelle church, Porta Praetoria (old Roman wall), Historischd museum, Schottenportal (Scottish church stone entrance)

Nuremburg: Explore old town, Nazi rally center, Christmas market, Nurnberg castle, St Lorenz church, St Sebaldus church, Germanisches museum,

I was hoping to do some driving on the German autobahn in a sports car, instead of North Bavaria, maybe I could drive to Neuschwanstein and Eibsee/Zugspitze. Per your comment about parking at Neuschwanstein, Do I need to park the car and walk uphill 30 minutes to the castle? After the tour I need to walk back down the hill another 30 minutes? If so, is there a bus or other transportation that takes people up and down the hill? Whatever is fastest/best, please let me know..

With room for margin of error, and also giving myself time to enjoy Neuschwanstein and Eibsee/Zugspitze without rushing, it may be for the best if I leave Herreninsel for another day. I added up the kilmoters from Munich to Neuschwanstein, then Eibsee, and back to Munich is about 280 km. The car I'm renting has a daily limit of 300km, then it costs 1 Euro for every km driven over 300. I could stop at Herreninsel on my way to Berchtesgaden and Salzburg on October 6th. The only issue with that is having to carry around my luggage and finding lockers at Herreninsel and Berchtesgaden, because October 6 is the day I'm checking out of my Munich hotel and heading to Salzburg. Also, if I visit Herreninsel and Berchtesgaden on October 6, that means I'll be arriving at Salzburg later than planned. I'm hoping to arrive in Salzburg in time to make it to the 6pm Mozart Dinner Concert in Hohensalzburg Goldener Saal. I need to be at the cable car to the fortress by 5:00pm, so I should arrive in Salzburg at least an hour or two early to check in my hotel and get ready for my reservation. To be safe, for October 6 I should probably choose between Herreninsel and Berchtesgaden. Is Herreninsel palace very good? While in Bavaria, Munich, and Salzburg I definitely have opportunities to see other palaces, of course each one is unique and different, my point is there are many palaces and only one Berchtesgaden salt mine and Kehlsteinhaus a.k.a eagles nest, so I am learning more towards Berchtesgaden...

Posted by
27743 posts

Do I need to park the car and walk uphill 30 minutes to the castle? After the tour I need to walk back down the hill another 30 minutes? If so, is there a bus or other transportation that takes people up and down the hill?

Yes up and down. If you don't want to walk there is a horse drawn wagon which goes up part of the way; it goes at walking speed. You may have to wait a turn - they fill up fast.

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1767 posts

I recall the horse drawn carriages going faster than most walkers. The fare going down was half the price going up when we went ( 2011 )