I am going to Munich/Bavaria in October, we are renting a car and I am curious how easy/diffuclt it is to navigate from destintion to destintion. I am nervous about getting lost. Thanks for any input.
Where are you driving? Within Munich, finding your way can be a bit difficult, although driving in the city is not really necessary. In most of Germany outside of the cities, however, navigation is pretty easy. Routes and destinations are well marked. One big difference from the US, however. Don't look for signs directing you, for example, to north on the A6. Rather, know the names of the cities in your direction of travel, because that's how the road signs will direct you. And if you do get lost, don't fall for this old joke "Exit the autobahn at the town of Ausfahrt."
Tom's info is correct. Your first day or outing may be a bit daunting, but driving in Bavaria is a breeze. As stated above, signs are not posted north or south, etc. but will be posted with town/city names. Just know what towns/cities are in the direction you are going. On the Autobahn, stay to the right...unless you are passing. This is strictly followed (not like in the U.S.) Then make sure you try to pass quickly. I've also noticed in towns/villages, the pedestrian has the right of way. Cars actually slow or stop for people in crosswalks. Here in NJ, they are usually "targets" it seems. We found the Michelin map we bought at Barnes and Noble to be very helpful. Try to get familiar with routes you may be taking before your trip. Me, I take the section or sections of the map that are pertinent to our trip and get 11x17 color copies made. Much easier than having a big map to fold/unfold. I also bring the map just in case.
Linda, maybe this website can help you: http://www.german-way.com/driving.htmlIf you have any question regarding driving in Germany and the differences to the US please feel free to contact me. I'm proud holder of a German and a Californian drivers license.
We are staying in Munich the first 2 days and then we are picking up our rental car at the train station and heading towards Saltzburg and then onto Hallstatt, Mittenwald, Fussen and maybe Rothenburg.
Your plan sounds great! Driving should not be a concern at all. We visited/stayed in all these places (except Rothenberg) recently. If you'd like any information on places to stay, etc., feel free to ask. Again, get a good map, plot out a tentative routes and enjoy. We have gone to Bavaria and Austria 4 times since 2001 and always in October. In my opinion, it doesn't get much better than being in these places in October.
Getting lost is half the adventure. Be sure to buy a good map and buy it in "GERMANY". Too often Americanized maps leave a lot to be desired.
Tim has a good point here. Even if (when) you get lost, try to remind yourself that you will find your way and you are just seeing more of Bavaria than planned.
Linda, you won't have any trouble driving and finding your way. Of course you need a good map, but it is pretty easy navigating, and German roads are great. As for blinking lights: if they blink from the opposite direction it means polizei ahead, if they blink from behind it means you'd better get out of the passing lane...and fast.
Linda, eliminate your worry by renting a GPS with your car, or by buying one here in the states, trying it out, and taking it with you to Europe.
We always rent thru Autoeurope, and they offer them as an extra.
Once you have used one, you will never go back to using maps and compasses.
Many of the TOM TOM gps's have the european maps built in. Most of the other GPS's that you buy here in the states require you to purchase a EU chip, or program.
I would find a room on the outskirts of Munich. Driving in the big city is not great. Take the train or metro. Driving out of the city is no problem. We have done it many times. We stay with local transportation until we leave the city. Have fun.
The tip to take a gps is good. We purchased the tomtom go 910 gps which not only has Canada and U.S. maps but also western Europe. TomTom gps systems are made in The Netherlands but can be purchased in the U.S. Going with a gps is so much easier and after previous trips relying soley on a map we will never go again without a gps.
Linda, www.mapquest.com does directions for Europe, too. Look underneath your originating destination and you'll see "Europe" underneath. Click it and you're golden. We used it last time we went.
we're traveling to France in Sept and I am using www.viamichelin.com for directions. They seem very accurate. I have used the site in the US and it is much better than MapQuest.
Thank you everyone for all of your helpful tips! We are spending 2 days in Munich and then renting the car to drive to the countryside.I think I will look into buying a gps in the states and bringing it to Europe with me. Thanks again, Linda
This is close to home. I spend a year planning routes, printing out directions..etc.. I was worried sick that our 2 week vacation last summer would be spent lost. At the Frankfurt airport (I had already made a reservation with Hertz months earlier), I requested..no... I more or less demanded a car that came with a navigation system. NO PROBLEM!! They were just great. This navigation system, took our family all over Bavaria and Austria withour once getting lost or taking the wrong turn. You can tell the machine to talk to you in English. It brough us right to the front steps of every hotel we booked. DON'T leave home without it