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Gimmelwald, Lucerne, Salzburg and Munich in 10 days?

Hey Everyone,

My wife and are traveling to Europe in July and are trying to nail down an itinerary. We are flying into Zurich and out of Munich. We are planning to get the 5 day/ 3 country Euro rail pass.
Here is our itinerary:
Gimmelwald-3 nights
Lucerne-1 night
Salzburg-3 nights (Sunday being one of the days, so we are concerned about closures of popular destinations). This is also during the Salzburg Festival.
Munich-3 nights

Do you think this is a good idea? We are REALLY looking forward to Gimmelwald and the Berner Oberland area. Should we stay longer there? Should we make Lucerne 2 nights and Munich 2 nights? Please let me know what you think. Thanks!

Posted by
1444 posts

I might add a night to Luzern and then do it on the first two nights. It's a nice town to explore in its own right, but I'd rather recover from jet lag there than up in the alps. Gimmelwald and the B.O. will be the highlight of the trip. I would deduct a night from Salzburg or Munich to pay for the extra night in Luzern.

Posted by
245 posts

Im in agreement with hitting Lucerne first. Recover there and add an extra night. Its a great little city and stunning lake scenery. I would pull a day from Salzburg. In my opinion you really don't need too much time in Salzburg plus its only about an 1 1/2 drive to Munich so you can spend most the day there then drive that evening if you wanted.

Posted by
20461 posts

I would not do this with a Eurail pass. The pass only gives a 25% discount beyond Interlaken Ost station, so you will be disappointed with what the pass covers in Gimmelwald. Without any extra trips while in Gimmelwald and Luzern, you would be a lot better off (financially) just paying for tickets from the airport to Gimmelwald, then Gimmelwald to Luzern. You can buy nonrefundable tickets now from www.oebb.at for Luzern to Salzburg for 34 EUR per person, then from Salzburg to Munich with a Bayern Ticket costing 31 EUR for 2 when bought out of a vending machine. I figure US$410 for 2 vs US$680 for a 3-country Saver 5-day pass for 2.

Posted by
7209 posts

Don't be fooled into buying a Eurail Pass. It will do you no good beyond Interlaken (where everything is you want to see). You can travel all over Bavaria (Munich to the Neuschwanstein Castle to Salzburg) can be traveled for as much as you want for about 30 Euros per day or about 40 for both of you. You definitely don't need a Eurail Pass.

Posted by
6098 posts

I completely agree with adding another night or two to Lucerne. I would take that day away from Munich or possibly from Salzburg. I have been to all of those cities, and I liked them all quite a bit. Sometimes when I plan trips, I take days away from cities that I'll likely return to for future travel. For example, where I live, Paris tends to be the airport with the cheapest fares and most direct routes. So when I plan, I'll take days away from Paris knowing I will end up there again. Looking at your itinerary, your "Paris" is Munich. Munich is easy to get to and close to other areas that might be fun for future travel. I've been to Munich twice. The first time we stayed three nights. The second time, I did Munich on a day trip from Salzburg. Because I'd been there before I could schedule a day for my daughters that would allow us to see a lot of the things I knew would interest them. I don't think I'd get the Euro rail pass. If anything, I'd get the Swiss Rail Pass. Then when you are leaving Switzerland, go to Buchs SG., and change then to an OBB train for the remainder of the way to Salzburg. When you go to Munich, look into the Bayern ticket which ends up to be rather inexpensive. You need to use a specific machine that sells the Bayern ticket and not the OBB office. My girls and I went to Munich round trip for something like 50Euro, total!

Posted by
21 posts

Thank you for your Question.I asked a similar one for a similar trip.I The advice to your question was very helpful to me.The passes are very confusing.I am going to be in the Berner Oberlander 6 days and the trains and lifts seem very expensive, I am using a 8 day swiss pass because of all it covers,and the non-refundable tickets in all the other countries.The Swiss pass also covers musieums and lakeboats.(in Lucerne and all of Switzerland) Iam staying two days in Lucerne because of this post.

Posted by
245 posts

One other thing- I would drive and not train. All the places your going have good roads and plenty of parking. You won't need your car in Munich so just return it there when you get into the city. I usually compare prices- car vs train. For us its almost always been cheaper to rent a car.

Posted by
20461 posts

Car sits in a paid parking lot in Gimmelwald while you are there, and the drop off fee for a car rented in Switzerland and dropped in Germany, far from the border, will be very steep. Also, buy an Austrian vignette and get an International Drivers Permit to go with your license.

Posted by
6098 posts

Those particular cities are so well served by public transportation that your travels would be so much more carefree than if you have a car to be dealing with.

Posted by
94 posts

If you're in Salzburg on Sunday the 29th, you could fill the day with Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg at 11:00 and the Vienna Philharmonic at 20:30. Order tickets soon, though.