At the train station in Munich - does anyone know where you drop the actual car? A couple years ago my husband and I circled that train station a million times looking for any signs that pointed towards car rental returns and found nothing. Eventually we took this car elevator type thing up to the third floor of a ramp and litterally dumped the car in a random parking spot. Put the keys in the drop box of the agency (that a SUPER NICE security guy helped me find). When we got home weeks later, my answering machine had two messages. One that said - "Miss, we have your rental car keys, but we don't have the car. Please call us immediately so we can locate the car". Then a second one that said "found it". Anyways, we might do the drive from Frankfurt to Munich again - but I would love to be better prepared this time so I don't end up in near tears again. Thanks!
Save yourself this, and many more, troubles. Take the train and end all these problems. Rail transit in Germany is quick and efficient. No need for a car.
If you're flying home from Munich, the airport is a quick and very easy place to drop your rental car.
When we picked up an AutoEurope rental car at the Munich train station several years ago, we went to a parking structure next to the station. When you reserve the car, ask them specifically where to drop it off. By the way, we love driving in Europe. We have driven on every trip and really enjoy the flexibility. Yes, we have taken a train here and there, but we enjoy driving. Have fun making lots of memories!
For the first time, we rented a car this past April after spending three days in Munich.
We roughly drove the Romantic Road, stopping in Noerdlingen, Dinkelsbuehl, and Rothenburg. We then meandered over to Nuremburg, stayed three nights, and then drove to Wuerzburg before returning the car at Frankfurt airport and flying home.
Having an auto was SO nice - you can travel and stop at your liesure if you spot something that looks interesting. With the help of a GPS, we went straight to some interesting spots that would have been more difficult using public transportation.
Also, the kind of trip we took would have been difficult to impossible by train, and schlepping luggage on and off trains and finding hotels would not have been fun.
Now, we avoided driving in cities as much as possible, with the exception of Nuremburg, which was a challange in itself. Parking is scarse and expensive.
For cost: we rented a Fiat Bravo diesel, manual transmission. It cost us $250.00 for 6 days. We only put fuel in it once, right outside Frankfurt, and it cost about $85.00. If you consider buying point-to-point rail tickets, taxis, and public transportation, I don't see that renting a car is necessarily an extravagance.
I didn't mean to start a debate of train vs car...but I agree exactly with what Steve said. We have used trains for most of the travel we have done. But the car was great from Frankfurt to Munich. We left when we wanted in the morning. We never had to worry about what to do with our luggage. If we saw something we liked, we pulled over. No waiting in train stations for the next train or worrying about connections. But regardless - trains have been great for entirely different reasons; stress free, no parking, no DROP OFF MYSTERIES!! :) :) I read a life time goal for someone was to drive on the Autobahn, and I have to say, it was worth doing at least once. If you don't have a stead fast itinerary - a car is nice for exploring.
Denise, and your posting answers the original question HOW?
I know that finding the pick-up point for a rental car was hard enough, I can imagine how difficult it is to find the drop-off point. I assume they are in the same building, which is across the street, to the rear of the main train station. I think the best plan of action is probably to send someone inside to rental offices in the station (located on the second floor) and ask exactly where to take the car.
"This die-hard preference for cars on this board reflects that viewers here equate "back door" experience with spending as little time in European cities as possible."
That is certainly not my frame of mind. In 2005, 2006, and 2007 we spent two weeks in Europe without a car. We were in London, Paris, Salzburg, Munich, Berlin, Budapest, and Prague. Because we would not have a car, however, we planned our trips around train travel and doing this DOES effect trip planning.
Since my wife and I are 60 years old, we are not interested in traveling with back packs, which would make train hopping and bus/tram jumping relatively easy. When you consider having to handle luggage on public transportation, not to mention then walking perhaps a good distance to find a hotel, visiting small, off-the-beaten-path places is not easy. So, those three trips did not include small towns and hidden villages.
This year we first flew into Munich and then picked up a rental car on our last day. We did the Romantic Road thing, and stopped in a number of small towns that are NOT easily reachable by rail. We then went to Nuremburg - that was the first truly hectic part of the trip. Once we found our hotel (which, by the way, would have been a nightmare using public transportation), we left the car behind, except when we went to the Nazi rally grounds. In Wurzburg we used the car to visit some places out of town where parking was not an issue.
What I am trying to say is it is not a black and white thing. People have their own traveling "style." This style is determined by budget, age, personal interests, physical condition, and comfort/convenience preferences.
The trip we took this year was conducive to the automobile. The trips we took in the previous three years were not.
Oh, and according to what I could find on the internet, rental car return is on the Arnulf Street side of the Munich rail station (if you are facing the rail station, Arnulfstraße is on the right side of the station).
What company are you renting from? Perhaps they have a more convenient office?
Amy simply asked if anyone knew where to drop a rental car off at the Munich train station--read her original question. She did not ask "should I travel by train or drive?". A very simple question was asked. As has been discussed on a previous post a few months ago--if you have the answer to the original question, then answer it. Otherwise, keep your opinions to yourself.
OK, I answered the question the best I could with the Arnulfstraße thing. And Harry - finding a particular hotel CAN be a nightmare if you are not familiar with a city. YOU may know Nürnberg, but I don't. My GPS found it for us.
But, we have beaten this horse to its last breath.
absolutely nothing wrong with staying at Marriott Courtyard, Holiday Inn Express, Mercure etc.
Harry, I have to disagree with you on this point. OK, well, I guess there is nothing wrong with staying at Marriot Courtyard, usw., as long as you feel there is nothing wrong with going to Florida, to Disney Epcot Germany, and saying you have experienced Germany. That is not my idea of experiencing Germany.
It's not, first of all, a question of cost. I've stayed in those ***+ hotels when I used to travel on business in Europe, and the one thing I found they try to do is to insulate you from the experience of being in Germany. Why do you go to Germany in the first place. To experience Germany, right? The small, family run Gästehäuser give a far richer cultural experience then the big US chains (oh, and, I guess, they also cost less).
If I had the choice between a local hotel and a US chain at the same price (that will never happen), I would always opt for the local hotel.
So Lee, when we fly to Germany should we only use Lufthansa, or is American Airlines verboten?
Michael, should we always fly Lufthansa?
Yes, if you are smart. I can't say anything about AA since I've never flown them to Europe, but I have found service on US flag airlines is dismal, at best.
I've flown to Germany six times since 2000, three times on Lufthansa, three times on a US flag airline. The three flights on Lufthansa were very satisfying. Of the three flights on US airlines, Delta to Stuttgart was by far the best. My last flight, USAir to Munich was disgusting.
For me, one advantage Lufthansa has is it has the only non-stop flight from Denver to Germany. With any other airline, I depart for Europe from somewhere in the east, which means I have a domestic leg, with all the current problems (add on fees, charges for food and beverages, potential check baggage problems) of a domestic flight.