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Two week trip-Berlin, Munich Salzburg how many days

Hi all-

I'm trying to plan my trip to Germany next year. I'm thinking of splitting time

5 days Berlin,
4 days Munich
3 days Salzburg

Is two days in Salzburg too much?

I'm flying in to Berlin and out of Munich so I'm trying to figure how much time I need.

Posted by
1655 posts

If those are FULL days on the ground in each location, ie. Berlin 6 nights/5 days - looks perfect time allotment to me - or are some of those days arrival, departure, moving days?

Posted by
6154 posts

Pretty good plan.
As for Salzburg, you need a day to see the city (Fortress, Cathedral and Mozart house) as well as a day to do the South of Music Tour. Also, if you visit Berchtesgaden, you need another day.

Posted by
95 posts

I think Salzburg is worth two full days. I’m not sure 4 full days in Munich is actually necessary.

Do you want any time in the countryside? Are you driving at all?

Posted by
6042 posts

+1 for Chris. Also, what month of year? If you're going to look at mountains, it makes a big difference. Chris and I are not saying "Oooh, you need a car", we're suggesting that time and plans are very different the two ways. We briefly had a car near Munich, but it is certainly a liability for Berlin and Salzburg. (That is, if you're making a stereotyped Sound Of Music outing, you might as well book the bus trip. We did. But we took a cab to Hellbrun, and that was fine.)

We try to distinguish between big-city train vacations, and rural trips that include a car. For example, we will choose a soul-less, outskirts Business Hotel so that we can breeze in and out of the parking.

I agree that including Salzburg means you should go to Munich, but I find Munich an over-rated destination. It is not essential to visit Munich on a first visit to Germany. I am not at all criticizing your plan, but you might consider an imagined later trip of Innsbruck-Salzburg-Munich-Vienna (what we did, open-jaw on Austrian Air) and do something more local to Berlin that's completely different, like Leipzig/Dresden/Erfurt/Weimar or if it's summer, UNESCO Gartenreich, Schwerin and Lubeck.

You didn't mention a KL, but I'd point out that Buchenwald is much easier to get to than Dachau.

Posted by
1559 posts

Ok had to revise because of airline reward availability.

I will have 13 full days on the ground. That said. I am taking the ICE train from Berlin to Munich and then taking a train from Munich to Salzburg. I leave from Munich so will have to be back the night before.

I want to see Dachau and Freising(go on a brewery tour at Weihenstephaner. And if time go see the Alps from Salzburg.

Would it be better for a day 5-3-3 instead of 4 in Munich?

Traveling solo so I'm flexible.

Edited to say I'm more of a city girl but thought Freising might be nice middle city and "Bavarian" looking town. I thought I would also try to go to the Mountain top by cable car that was featured on Rick's show in Austria?

Just to get a feel for the city. I understand one can't see all of Germany in two weeks but I've always wanted to see Berlin and Munich since I had a friend in high school that was there for study abroad and came from Munich. Weihenstephaner is my favorite German beer so naturally I'd like to take a tour-I tour Fuller's brewery in London. I'm not interested in any of the castles near Munich and thought I could substitute going to Dachau for that.

Posted by
6042 posts

I kind of remember that Salzburg has a modest chairlift in summer with a small-mountain experience. It's not remotely like Garmisch-P, but it's right from downtown, saving a lot of travel arrangements from Munich.

Posted by
3374 posts

I like a 5-3-3 plan. Berlin is a my favorite large city in Europe. There is a ridiculous number of things to do there.

Munich has grown on me over time. If you want to explore things to do there, check out the Near from Home YouTube channel -- an English speaking couple living in Munich who feature things to do in and around Munich.

Salzburg is my favorite small city in Europe. I think the best places near Salzburg to get a taste of the Alps are near Berchtesgaden -- Königssee and the Jennerbahn. Königssee is a lake surrounded by soaring mountains. You can catch a boat to the far end of the lake, walk to Obersee, walk past the Instagramers getting their Obersee Instagram shot, hike along the right side of Obersee and then hike through a nice alpine meadow to see Röthbach Waterfall (if you are into such things). It's a great hike.

Posted by
1559 posts

Thanks all. It looks like it will be a 5-3-2 full days for Berlin/Munich/Salzburg as I have to catch the train back to Munich the night before my flight home. Even got my First Class ICE train seats for cheap. Hopefully this trip will actually happen as between an illness and Covid, I've planned it twice since 2018. This time I paid for to get fully refundable hotels/trains and flights.

Let's hope the Euro stays near the dollar and if you see a weird almost middle age woman twirling around Salzburg next year, it will be me, doing my best Julie Andrews(j/k). Also trying to use my horrible German.

Posted by
1655 posts

This time I paid for to get fully refundable hotels/trains and flights.

Are you sure those "cheap" ICE tickets are fully refundable?

Posted by
1559 posts

I have travel insurance for that(which I did read). Now if DB screws up that's another story.

Posted by
227 posts

Heather maybe you could share some info what you would like to do while visiting Munich? What are your expectations?

If I would have to guess I would say the majority of the Munich visitors hanging out downtown and do some side trips to the obvious sights - which I consider rather boring. And when people are saying a city or a place is overrated I would like to know why? Is it the vibe or the architecture or what is it? Did they even catch the vibe?

So would be good to know what you really like except Weihenstephaner. Which by the way I think is a good idea to visit. Munich has some cool street art places and not only Marienplatz and Hofbräuhaus :-) And if you like beer there is more than just the big beer halls with oompah music.

Posted by
1559 posts

Munich sights to see-

Walking tour-

See the Marienplatz

Visit the Frauenkirche

Visit one of the town halls Old/New

Munich Residence-palace-maybe

Dachau-

Art Museum-classic gallery

Free museum about the history of National Socialism

Basically the touristy things but I don't like to rush around. I've heard both good and bad about Munich some people love it and some people didn't care for it much.

Posted by
227 posts

Agree just walk around downtown and visit the churches plus get on top of either one. I would suggest to book a tour (unfortunately no recommendation for that) because they could share some insights. I like the little Asam Church in Sendlinger Straße most.
I’m going downtown as well and do some shopping – always worth to do at least window shopping at the 5 Höfe or the Maximilianstraße with all the designer stores. All in walking distance from Marienplatz.
Of course Residenz as well is worth to check out and not forget a food tour at the Viktualienmarkt.

The free NS museum is really important to see. But as well I think one can learn a lot from visiting ‘Haus der Kunst’ – not only the building itself (typical NS architecture) but also its history is interesting: https://www.hausderkunst.de/en/history/chronical
I was there some months ago and they’ve opened their former shelter/bunker. I’ve spent there quite a while and watched some movies about destroyed Munich – very emotional.
Haus der Kunst is in walking distance from Marienplatz on the edge of the English Garden and only 2 minutes walk away from the famous Eisbach Surfers: https://www.munich.travel/en/pois/sports-leisure/eisbachwelle

In the area of the NS museum you find Lenbachhaus/Kunstbunker – I like it a lot mainly because of the architecture and the art of the Blue Rider: https://www.lenbachhaus.de/en/museum/history
And of course not to forget the Pinakothek der Moderne or if you like the Alte Pinakothek – all in walking distance from Lenbachhaus. This whole area packed with museums and the Königsplatz is called the Kunstareal: https://kunstareal.de/en/

But Munich is more and therefore if one wants to visit a different side I recommend visiting the Schlachthofviertel (Slaughterhouse District) – unfortunately only found a page in German but worth checking out the pictures: https://www.kekseundkoffer.de/rundgang-durchs-schlachthofviertel/
The ship (Alte Utting) one the former train track is now a cool bar: https://alte-utting.de/

A bit similar is the new district right behind Ostbahnhof – Werksviertel: https://www.munich.travel/en/topics/urban-districts/futuristic-nesting-ground-with-history-and-lots-of-life-culture-and-creativity

What I think is very touching is the story of the White Rose movement – a group of Munich students fighting the NS regime: https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/sophie-scholl-and-white-rose
Whenever I’m near the main building of the Ludwig Maximilians University (Geschwister-Scholl-Platz) I go inside and spend some time in the Lichthof (atrium). An old building that looks exactly like it did 80 years ago (restored after WWII) and now it is again full of laughter and young students running around. Very touching when you know what happened there: https://www.weisse-rose-stiftung.de/white-rose-memorial-exhibition/

When it is warm outside visiting a beer garden is a must – my favorite is the one at Wiener Platz: https://www.hofbraeukeller.de/aktion/biergarten
Wiener Platz belongs to the district Haidhausen and just walking around there is a treat (worth to check out the pictures): https://www.muenchen.de/stadtteile/haidhausen-wissenswertes-tipps-und-infos

Of course should mention the Olympic Park and its fantastic architecture, the FC Bayern soccer arena (Allianz Arena), Nymphenburg Park and Palace, German Museum, English Garden with the Chines Tower, Bavarian National Museum, Botanical Garden …… I could go on forever now …………..

Posted by
1559 posts

Thanks luckily I'm solo and can plan it on the fly. Sadly, it looks like they won't have the brewery tour on the days when I'm near Munich. Perhaps I'll just try in Munich or Salzburg or just enjoy the Augustiner Brewery beer garden.

That said, would it look weird if I go to a biergarten by myself as a 49 yr female?

Posted by
227 posts

You can go solo in any case to a Biergarten :-) Just like at the Oktoberfest ask if you can sit down. If the people agree will be easy to get in contact with them.

EDIT: I would suggest to check the page of Giesinger Bräu if they are offering tours.
Giesinger is a rather new brewery with a lot of fans.

Posted by
3031 posts

I'm going to weigh in and say that if you're a city person, I doubt you'll find Munich overrated (but you might wish you'd spent your whole trip in Berlin!)

I was underwhelmed with my first couple visits to Munich because the touristy stuff isn't that exciting yet everyone treats it like a tourist town. It's when I appreciated it as a city in it's own right that I grew to love it. Now it's one of my favorite places to visit.

One thing, why do you have to do Munich then Salzburg if you're flying out of Munich? Have one long travel day from Berlin to Salzburg, then head back and visit Munich at the end. Makes a lot more sense.

Don't sleep in Munich's museums, they have among the best collections in Europe. The Alte Pinakothek has Duerer's amazing self-portrait, probably my favorite piece of art in the world. The Glypothek is a truly impressive collection of Greek/Roman statuary, which should probably be returned to where it was stolen, but for now it's nice to see it all in one place.

And while you have to have some Bavarian food and see the main sights, I recommend getting out of the center for a bit and visiting Schwabing or the Glockenbachviertel neighborhoods, especially for more food variety when you're getting sick of German, bars, unique shopping, and just a cool atmosphere.

Personally I think one full day in Salzburg is enough to see the city itself, but if you want to do anything else (sound of music, Eagle's Nest/Koeningsee, Salt mines etc) you'll need that extra night. I like Salzburg fine but I don't think it's worth QUITE the degree to which people here sing it's praises.

Posted by
6042 posts

heather, although I am not of the female persuasion, I want to be sure you understand what Mignon said:

When I went alone to a bierhalle in Dusseldorf, and asked the host for a seat, he took me to a table with three German chemical engineers and three employees from China, in town for corporate training, in English. I was given the last seat at the table, and enjoyed my conversation with them very much. (Actually, the Chinese guys didn't have such good English, but they sure knew how to drink.

Although I had to buy my own food (massive pork knuckle ... ) my money was no good for Altbier or Killepisch, the local liqueur. (I hate Jagermeister, but Killepisch has some charm.)

Posted by
381 posts

would it look weird if I go to a biergarten by myself as a 49 yr female

Heather, who cares if it looks weird ... if you feel you will be safe, do it (just be careful, those German beers have a way of sneaking up on you)

massive pork knuckle

Tim, what's the name of that bierhalle in Dusseldorf!

the FC Bayern socker arena

Mignon, is that a fight club? ... I think you meant soccer :-)

Posted by
1559 posts

Reason I am staying longer in Munich and Salzburg is because I want to see a little outside the cities.

Thanks for all the help. Oddly, some people I know liked Munich better than Berlin as Berlin seemed a bit too gritty for them, probably due to the graffiti and that it doesn't have that typical German downtown

Posted by
6042 posts

Well, Düsseldorf is sometimes called Germany's Longest Bar. So you're not limited to my choice-but I did have a good time, and it was near my hotel.

https://fuechschen.de/brauhaus/

However, I was disappointed with the alleged "oldest brewery" (or was it oldest restaurant?) in town, Brauerei Zum Schiffchen.

Posted by
961 posts

Depending on the time of the year, I would short the cities and enjoy the Alps. Tirol, Arlberg, Osttirol. In Germany near Samerberg and Fischen im Allgäu. Don't have to do anything, just soak it in. Get out out Salzburg for a day.

Posted by
227 posts

"Mignon, is that a fight club? ... I think you meant soccer :-)"

Yeees thanks a lot. Just changed it :-)