Our itinerary is to fly in to Munich, train to Garmisch for 4 nights, train to Munich for 2 nights, train to Salzburg for 4 nights, return to Munich for 1 night and fly home the next morning. I am trying to plan each day for the Garmisch and Salzburg bases. Looking for suggestions for things to do, side trips, restaurants etc. We are a group of 6 active adults and will be using public transportation.
Stacie: You really should start by reading some travel guides, and they're available in most libraries. Wikipedia.com also has reading on virtually every city. There are so many things to do in both Munich and Salzburg that it's hard to make recommendations. Garmisch is just a small place. Let me say that touring the Nymphenburg Palace and the Royal Residences (downtown) in Munich are must sees. Visiting Dachau is another must see--out in the northwest suburbs. The English Gardens are especially nice in June. And there's always the beer halls. Salzburg also has a bunch of tourist sights, many of which are Beethoven related. There's also a big fortress. And don't forget to spend the afternoon with The Brothers at Augustiner out in their beer garden.
"Salzburg also has a bunch of tourist sights, many of which are Beethoven related." I think you mean Mozart. But I would basically agree with David. There is not that much to see IN Garmisch. However, from there I would take side trips to Mittenwald (maybe as far as Seefeld or even Innsbruck), Oberammergau, Linderhof, and the castles at Füssen. Likewise, I don't think there is enough in Salzburg for more than a day or two. You could take the train an hour or two down to Werfen and tour Hohenwerfen Castle, the castle seen on the hill in SOM when Maria starts teaching the kids to sing. You could also make a day trip to Mondsee, scene of the wedding in SOM. Or, make a side trip to Hallstatt, although, if you go there, it really should be for a night or two. In fact, I'd rather go to Hallstatt than to Salzburg. Also, Berchtesgaden is close by, also more worthy, in my opinion, of a visit than Salzburg. Actually, I might take a day off of both for more time in Munich. There is a lot to see in Munich. I spent an entire day in the Deutsches Museum. On your way between Munich and Salzburg (either direction), stop off and see Ludwig's island palace at Herrenchiemsee.
Actually, I have done quite a bit of research and have lots of ideas. I am looking for the advice of those who have visited places that they would recommend. We would like to make the most of the time available and so many of the best ideas come from Rick Steves' travelers:-)
Hi Stacie, We've spent a good amount of time in the Salzburg/Berchtesgaden area and the Garmisch/Mittenwald area during many trips the last dozen years. Based in Garmisch: Garmisch, Sommerrodelbahn (luge ride), the Zugspitze, Mittenwald, Karwendelbahn cable car, Ettal Monestary, Oberammergau, Linderhof Palace (amazing to see), Seefeld, Innsbruck incl. the Nordkettenbahn cable car, old town of Fuessen, Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles, Tegelberg cable car and luge ride. Our "must sees" would be: the Zugspitze, Linderhof and Mittenwald. Based in Salzburg(we love Salzburg): Salzburg, Hohensalzburg, Hohenwerfen Castle, Hallein Salt Mines, Hallstatt, St. Gilgen (all of the Salzkammergut area actually), Berchtesgaden incl. Konigsee, Jennerbahn cable car, Salt Mine, Eagles Nest. Our "must sees" would be: Salzburg, Hohensalzburg (the views are worth it alone), Berchtesgaden area and Hallstatt.
Our favorite restaurant is the "Don Camillo" in nearby Bad Reichenhall. In Salzburg, for a great sandwich, try a "Bosna" at the Balkan Grill. It's a walk up type place on a "side street" in the pedestrian zone. Paul
Use one of your days at Garmisch for hiking. There are two spectacular Klamm ( gorge) hikes, PartnachKlamm and Höllenalklamm. Both take you through a gorge just feet above the raging torrent, on an engineered trail parly carved in the rock and partly on well-protected planks and bridges. There is a small charge but well worth it. From the top of Partnachklamm, you can continue upward to a viewpoint and restaurant high above the valley,mand ride a lift(the historic Graseckbahn or the newer Eckbauerbahn) back to town. Höllenalklamm is a bit farther from town but is my favorite. Mfrom the top, you can continue 30 minutes to the hut of the same name for refreshments at a table looking up at the Zugspitze. It you want to make a day of it, hea left toward Osterfelderkopf on the Alpspitze, where you can ride a gondola for the 4000 foot descent back to town. This is a beautiful hike, but make sure you check the closing time for the gondola, and don't miss it! There is another fun and interesting hike on a cabled path across the face of the Alpspitze. You access it from the top of the same gondola. Our favorite restaurant in Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the Alpenhof. It is in the center of the pedestrian zone and has outside tables which are great on a nice evening. Inside seating too. The menu combines traditional Bavarian specialties with more modern dishes. Skip dessert there and head to the Dolomitic Eiscafe ( if it is still there, check on that first). They have the best Spaghetti Eis we have found anywhere.
We were just in Salzburg and loved it. You might want to look up Fräulein Maria Bike Tours. Good for all ages. Take you to many of the Sound of Music movie sites. Whether u are a fan of the movie or not, you will have a great day. We had a blast. I would reserve spots in advance. You will love Salzburg!
Like previous posters, I have been in this area extensively. I like to do a combination of things such as museums and castles along with walking/hiking. In Munich: Alte Pinakothek & Neu Pinakothek, Dachau, the palaces and shopping in the pedestrian zone. Salzburg: St. Peterstiftskeller Restaurant (oldest restaurant in Europe by St. Peter's Cathedral), Mozart's museum in his Geberthaus, Sound of Music Tour (if you aren't driving). A day trip to Obersalzberg to visit the Nazi Documentation Center and Hitler's Bunkers Museum (from here you can also take the bus up to Hitler's Eagle's Nest). Personally, Garmisch is too commercialized for me. I prefer a smaller town in this area. Lermoos, Austria, which is south of Garmisch, is in the Zugspitze Arena with lots of hiking possibilities. You can take the train from here to Fuessen for the castles. Also like Linderhof, Ettal Monastery (Gregorian Chant) and Neuschwanstein. If you need lodging recommendations, send me a personal message. Have a great trip!