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Family Travel to Germany

My husband and I have traveled quite a bit in Europe,and are now taking our children (ages 8,10 and 12) for a three-week vacation. We are planning to spend time in Southern Germany and Salzburg, Venice and Paris. We are struggling with where to stay in Germany. We are concerned about moving too often with the kids. We fly into Munich, and have considered staying in Munich and taking day trips from there. OR, we could stay in the Garmisch area and take day trips from there. OR We could do both. We are also still unsure about car vs. public transportation. Any advice? Thank you!

Posted by
864 posts

With your children's ages I'd opt for training between Salzburg/Venice/Paris. They can get up and move around, snooze, etc. and you can have fun with picnics, games etc. on the train. This option also allows for home basing - several days in one B&B or hotel. A rental car is useless in Salzburg/Venice etc. When traveling with young children I've always tried to keep it simple. Stay in or near the historical center (or somewhere with a quick metro link to it). Build in lite days with busy ones. Oh, and kiss off the first day you arrive and probably two. Make them really lite days...you and they will feel fine and then suddenly hit the wall with jet lag. Of course you will all do this at separate times to make it REALLY special. This says the bitter voice of experience - lol.

Posted by
6664 posts

"We fly into Munich, and have considered staying in Munich and taking day trips from there. OR, we could stay in the Garmisch area and take day trips from there. OR We could do both. We are also still unsure about car vs. public transportation. Any advice?" Your choices are all good ones for using public transport. I would opt for Garmisch but if you plan to spend several days in Munich, it would make sense to have a place there as well as it takes 1.5 hours each way by train from Garmisch to reach Munich's main station. Garmisch allows all visitors to use local transportation for FREE and showers them with lots of other goodies: GaPa Visitors Card The Bayern Ticket daypass will get you all around Bavaria by train or bus; since your kids travel free on this pass, you'll pay only 26€ per day to travel as you please (after 9 am weekdays) if you leave the Garmisch area on outings to Munich or wherever: Bayern Ticket The "Ausserfernbahn" is a scenic train route included on the Bayern Ticket; it begins in Garmisch, runs through Austria via Reutte, and takes you back into Germany (Kempten.) Ausserfernbahn and the Zugspitze

Posted by
70 posts

We did this in June/July with our kids, aged 12 and 15. In the larger cities, cars are not necessary, and even a pain to have. However, if you want to do the Garmisch route, I would recommend renting a car in Munich and heading to Garmisch. There are a lot of things to do in the area that are best reached by car. Plus it gives you more flexibility as to where and when you can go. On the day you go to Neuschwanstein (I'm assuming this is a stop), make a day trip by visiting the castle in the morning and then spend the afternoon just down the road at the Tegelberg outdoor center where there is an alpine luge/slide that was one of our kids favorite activities! Super fun, and pretty inexpensive. It was a nice break from the sightseeing for them. (and us!)

Posted by
19118 posts

There is plenty to do in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen area without a car. You can't even take a car up the Zugspitze. Oberammergau and Linderhof are accessible by bus from the GaP train station, as is Mittenwald and Seefeld, Austria. I don't think you can drive to the Partnach Klamm. Many people hike from the Olympic stadium, but you can go there by bus.