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Munich, Austria, Slovenia Itinerary Suggestions

Here is our tentative itinerary for our March 2020 trip. I have booked some, but not all of our hotels, mostly Slovenia's SW and Ljubljana schedule is still up in the air.

Day 1 - Arrive Munich 5pm, stay at Munich airport hotel.
Day 2 - Transfer to Munich Viktualienmarket area hotel. Visit museums primarily Alte Pinakothek. Suggestions for lunch resturants near by.
Day3 - Day trip Neuschwanstein, stay Munich
Day4 - Walking tour of Munich and visit sites, stay Munich
Day5 - Early train to Vienna, stay Vienna, opera in evening
Day 6 - Vienna sites, Stay Vienna
Day 7 - Vienna sites, Stay Vienna
Day 9 - Early train to Ljubljana, pickup rental car at train station, drive to bohinjska bistrica take autotrain to Most na Soci, Stay Most na Soci.
Day 10 - 6 hr Guided tour of Soca Valley, Stay Most na Soci.
Day 11 - 6 hr Guided tour of Vipava Valley, Stay ? (somewhere in SW)
Day 12 - Piran, Lipica, Postojna Caves, Holly Trinity church frescos, Stay SW
Day 13 - Ljubljana (we can do Caves in morning instead if previous day is overbooked).
Day 14 - Day Trip Bled, stay Ljubljana
Day 15 - Ljubljana
Day 16 - Fly out of Ljubljana in at 8pm to London, Stay London airport
Day 17 - Fly home at noon.

Most concerning is train travel, since this is all new to us. Morning trains are important for itinerary to work. Should I prebook or get a Europass? Are all trains available with a pass? On the long trips I want a direct fast train (the Munich to Vienna, and then Vienna to Ljubljana). The Fussen roundtrip and the, Munich to Vienna will be 2 adults, 2 children (under 12), and 2 seniors. The 2 adults and children will be going on to Salzburg, and then Ljubljana (I say this because I've read there are group passes, but I wasn't sure if all trips had to be together or not), and the 2 seniors will heading directly to Ljubljana. I assume we will Uber in the mornings from the hotels to the train stations, just to ensure we get there in plenty of time. Also is it hard to determine where we need to be at the train stations, and how much time should we give ourselves once there to find the right place? Are purchased seats recommended or given the month we are traveling really not necessary? The Vienna to Ljubljana is the longest trip, so we might want to upgrade seats if there is a benefit. I have read the RS train travel tips, but still I'm uneasy about it. Something totally new at for 70ish travelers, is a bit frightening.

Where to stay in Southwestern Slovenia? (probably not Coast) There will be all 6 of us at this point.

What not to miss in Ljubljana (or anywhere else on itinerary)? Any food tours that are recommended? Any recommended AirBnB's, or hotels in Ljubljana?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by
1 posts

You can do this for sure. No need to make reservations for most routes. You can also take the flixbus from Vienna tot Ljubljana. Faster and cheaper than the train. I don't think you need a guides tour of the vipava valley. Very easy to visit by yourself. Ljubljana is not that big, one day is enough to see the highlights like the caste of Ljubjana (https://www.gezinopreis.nl/ljubljana-met-kinderen/). you have enough time there. Day 12 is a bit full if you go to Postojna caves don't miss the nearby castle, it will already make a full day. Do Piran another day.

Posted by
638 posts

I don't understand why you're staying in a hotel by the airport the first night. I wouldn't. Especially if you plan to transfer to a place in the center of town, because that's a 15 minute train ride difference, and messes with the next thing on your itinerary; visiting the Alte Pinokothek. Most hotels won't let you check in until after 2pm, so you'd have to haul your luggage around while hitting the museums.

As for lunch in the museum area, there are dozens of restaurants in that area. The only advise I can give is never eat Mexican in Germany. What I usually do is pick up stuff in the morning and picnic in the park. If you're going to be by the Victualmarkt that's ideal.

I wouldn't bother with Fussen in March, especially as a day trip. If the whole point is to see Neuschwanstein Castle you'll be wasting a day for something best seen from the parking lot. And if the weather's normal for that time of year it will be a cold, grey, wet day.

Last, it's not very clear what the detour to Salzburg is intended as. It's not on the itinerary at all, so what's the plan? A day trip? If so you're going to get into Most na Soci very late. Salzburg is not a place you can jump out and see in a couple hours. It requires more walking than Munich as the inner city transportation grid is not as extensive. It's 20-30 minutes from the train station to the center of the old town walking in snow (in March).

Posted by
74 posts

KGC...I thought about staying in town the first night. But, then and we will be tired mostly. We are the seniors and negotiating the train station for the first time after an overnight flight with a 5 hour layover in London, just seemed to be overwhelming. But almost nothing is in stone, our reservations at the Airport can be cancelled. If we took and Uber from the airport, maybe it would be less stressful, than negotiating the train. Hopefully the hotel in town will keep our luggage if we go this route, and can't check in early.

I was concerned about the Neuschwanstein Castle day trip too, given the time of year. And the transportation to and from takes alot of time. Is there a better way to shorten the time required for a visit...other than a train/bus trip?

We are traveling part of the time with our son and his family, they are going on to Salzburg and then Ljubljana. Which I added to see if the group Europass was a possibility. The itinerary is ours, shared in part with son, but not identical.

The area tours will be combined with farm/winery visits. So it might be overkill, but we are small farmers so this is in our wheel house of interest.

Gezinopreis, I'll check the flixbus out...thanks.

Posted by
16614 posts

II'm about as cheap a traveler as you'll find, but I'd be in a taxi (or Uber) on arrival day, no matter what the cost. It takes energy and time to change hotels. Don't do it more often than you need to.

I think two days plus a few hours in Ljubljana would be lovely. It's a charming, highly walkable city, though I make no promises about good weather in March. In the summer (don't know about winter) there are food and craft/art markets near the river. The art/craft stuff was on weekends.

To me there's not enough benefit from first-class rail tickets to justify the extra cost. The second-class seats are normally perfectly comfortable. Sometimes the carriages on short-distance local trains are more basic, but those trains sometimes don't have first-class cars anyway.

I don't know anything about group rail tickets, so this is a more-general comment: There should be considerable savings available on the Munich-Vienna and Vienna-Ljubljana rail tickets if you buy them early. But I doubt that they're on sale yet, and you need to be absolutely certain about your travel schedule before making the purchase, because the bargain tickets will probably be non-changeable and non-refundable. Rail passes almost never pay off for tourists who make their plans well ahead of time, because the advance-purchase fares are so reasonable.

Posted by
74 posts

acraven...thank you for the great suggestions.

It does make sense to stay another night in downtown Munich, I'll check it out.

So I will wait on the train tickets and book early and separately. When do you guess the schedules will be out for next year? Are the train stations easy to negotiate? I find them a bit intimidating, especially with instructions in a language that isn't my own.

Posted by
1847 posts

Hi, Ricki. Your trip seems to be coming together very nicely. Nice work on piecing it together. My thoughts...

  • Is this a family trip with grandparents (you), parents, and grandchildren? If so, don't face the train anxiety battle alone... enlist your child/in-law to help with that. By the time you are taking the train to Ljubljana, you'll feel comfortable with it.
  • I strongly affirm your decision to consolidate your Munich stay to just one location. The Uber Munich website estimates the cost of a transfer to Viktualienmarkt area to be about 50 to 75 euro for 1-4 people; it doesn't give an estimate for 6 people but the website says vans are available for up to 6 people. Have you considered scheduling a transfer ahead of time with a transfer company? I was playing with quotes on the websites of Munich transfer companies, and it looks like you could do this for around 100 euro for 6 people with 6 pieces of luggage. You would have someone waiting for you outside of baggage claim with your name on a sign who could walk you to the van -- no trying to find meet-up points.
  • On the topic of a base for SW Slovenia, perhaps Štanjel if you want a place with character, or Divača for good transportation connections? If you're looking for a place to accommodate 6, AirBNB may be your best bet -- do a search with Štanjel, Divača, and even Hrastolvje to see what's available for a group of 6. On the coast, I love Piran.
  • I like the idea of doing the coast, Hrastolvje and Lipica on a busy day 12 and then Postojna Cave and a quick look at nearby Predjama Castle on the way to Ljubljana
Posted by
74 posts

Hi Dave,
Yes it is a family trip, the two of us and our son, his wife and 2 children. However, they come in on the second day of the trip, so the trip into Viktualienmarket on the first night would be on our own, at approimately 16:30. Boy the Uber sounds pricey...but it would be nice to stay in one location.

Good suggestion in getting my DIL to figure out some of the train info...have to say both my son and DH (dear husband) are relatively useless when it comes to planning. I like the idea of Piran...but my DIL doesn't, so trying to find someplace else, where we can stay 2 nights and be relatively close to the Caves, castle, Piran, and Lipica. I will check on Stanjel, I haven't heard of that town as yet.

Thanks for the encouragement...it's been a learning experience!

Posted by
99 posts

Regarding the trains, this website [https://www.seat61.com/ can be very helpful in explaining the ins and outs of train travel, including booking, in the different countries you are visiting and especially for best options for trains between countries.

Posted by
638 posts

The train/subway from the airport to the center of Munich is easier than getting a cab or Uber. You walk out from Customs following the signs across the open space and into the train station. That takes you right into downtown. The main train station in Munich is a 10 minute walk from the old town gates (on the west side of the old town). Get a hotel there. The Marriott Courtyard is good if you don't want to stay someplace "unfamiliar" and it's 5 minutes (south) from the train station. They will hold your baggage, but if you arrive in the evening there's no need. They also have one of the best breakfasts in town, American and German and best of both. I stay there for business and they give points and have a senior discount.

As for Fussen/Neuschwanstein, there's no easier way to get there; and truly, it's not worth wasting a day for just that. I realize it's a major attraction, but it's best seen as part of touring the area along the boarder.

For wineries you really want to go up around Wurzburg.

Posted by
74 posts

CD thanks for the link...it looks fantastic, can't wait to spend more time reading through it!

KGC... I had no idea the train would be that easy. Where would I buy tickets? My hotel for the remaining days is by the Viktualienmarkt, so I'd probably add the day here so as not to change. I guess I could Uber to my hotel from the train stop much less expensively!

Posted by
638 posts

At the airport the sign you want is a green "S" bahn sign. Follow that. You should come in at a "B" or "C" gate so it's a short walk.

You buy train tickets from the machine just inside the doors. It's easy, just look at the map and you 'll see which colored line you want, and then get a ticket. No need to buy in advance, it's local so there's no real savings. If you're going to be in town for a while you may want a multi day ticket which lets you ride the train, subways, buses, and trams. If you get confused there's an information booth close by and they speak English. Or you can ask the concierge at your hotel, they will know.

From the main train station you can take the 52, 62, or 132 bus and they all stop at the Victualmarkt (every 4 minutes). It's a 12 or 14 minute ride and lot's cheaper than Uber. And Uber can't get you there any faster due to the routes and speed limits. Pick up the bus just outside the west entrance/exit to the train station.

Posted by
74 posts

Thank you for the information...it's funny this level of detail is what I needed to feel comfortable, thanks so much!

Posted by
638 posts

One thing you could do is make little strip maps using Google maps and print them out. Then you can carry a couple sheets of paper instead of a bunch of books. I used to have a app on my phone that took me around all the major cities and that was useful, but now days I find having Google maps is easier to use and super handy.