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Is a morning enough for Dachau...to and from Munich?

I've got a train from Munich HBF to catch at shortly before noon. Would it be possible and worthwhile to make a morning excursion to Dachau and back before catching my train? I assume I can leave my luggage in a locker at the Munich train station. Thank you.

Posted by
5 posts

You might be able to do a quick trip, but it would be very rushed. It's a 45 minute trip each way from Munich and the camp is open from 9-5 am., and once you arrive, it's a very large site. It's a very emotional visit to make as well. The recommended time to spend is about 3 hours.

Posted by
8872 posts

I think you would be at risk for missing your train. Have you checked the train schedule from Dachau back to Munich? You will need to allow plenty of time to get back to Munich, retrieve your luggage and get to the proper platform for your train. Dachau is a large site and very powerful and emotional. I don't think you will get much out of it by rushing through it. Is there some way you can go another day while in Munich? If not, you should probably save it for another trip.

Posted by
84 posts

Thanks Andrea and Barbara: I have a bit less than 48 hours in Munich...and a lot I'd like to cram in. Given your advice, I think I'll play it by ear, deciding the afternoon before leaving if I'm tired of walking around the city seeing old churches and buildings and go to Dachau instead. If not, I won't attempt it in the AM, but will save it for another trip.

Posted by
8872 posts

Is there a way you could reschedule something you were planning earlier in your time there to the morning you depart, then Dachau into the time slot you originally had for that activity? Dachau is a very worthwhile place to go. I just think your time is too tight for it that last day.

Posted by
84 posts

I may do that Andrea. I don't have ANY definitive plans for my time there. I just know I want to wander around the old city area and the Schwabing area a bit, as I enjoy the architecture, the shops, cafes, etc. No plans for specific tours. I expect to arrive at about 1 PM on a Monday and after checking in to my hotel, hoof it past Sendlinger Tor to Asam's Kirche, the victuelienmarSt. Peter's Kirche, etc. Then dinner at a beer garden and a walk back to the hotel. On Tuesday, I thought I'd head from the hotel (Hotel Uhland, BTW) to Michaelskirche, Frauenkirche, Max Joseph Platz, the Residenz, Wittelsbacher Platz, and from there up to Leopoldstrasse, and Schwabing. Then walk over to the Englishergarten. If I get tired of the wandering, I'll head back to the train station and go to Dachau for the afternoon, instead and try to get to what I missed the next morning instead. Any further suggestions or revisions you have to my plan, would be appreciated.

Posted by
8872 posts

It sounds like a busy schedule. If it were me I would get up early that last morning and do any wandering not too far from your hotel and the train station. Is that hotel near the train station? If it is, you might ask them to store your luggage after checking out. Then you wouldn't have to worry about finding storage at the train station, which is quite large. That way you could do Dachau the day before.

Posted by
18380 posts

Here is the website for the Dachau Memorial. There are guided tours that take about 2½ hrs, but they are in the afternoon. They rent audio-guides so you could go in the morning, or you could go in the morning and just walk around on you own (free admission). According to the Bahn schedule website and the MVV (Munich metro) websites, the last connection back to the Hbf leaves the Memorial on the bus at 11:06 and gets to the Hbf at 11:35. You would have 5 minutes (enough time if you know where you are going) at the Dachau Station to catch a regional train. If you miss the regional train, there is an S-Bahn 7 min later, but it doesn't get to the S-Bahn (underground) station at the Hbf until 11:51. The regional train comes into the ground level of the Hbf, which will make a transfer easier. Prior to the 11:06 bus departure from the Memorial, there is a bus at 10:46; you'd arrive at the Hbf S-Bahn station at 11:31. So, if you get to the Memorial before it opens, you will have 2 hrs, at most, to see it. I would save it for another trip; there are, IMO, many more interesting things to see in Munich (on the other hand, I didn't sleep through World History). I spent 13 nights in Munich, 5 trips not including train changes and business trips, before I bothered to go out to Dachau.

Posted by
8872 posts

I think Dachau is a very personal choice. We went there on our first trip to Munich and I'm not sorry we spent the time to do it. Have I seen everything in Munich? No. Will I ever? Probably not. Different people have different interests.

Posted by
4740 posts

I'd agree with Andrea; it is a personal choice. My first trip to Munich (23 years ago) was only 2 days. I went to Dachau on that trip. I remember Dachau vividly, but the other things I saw in Munich on that first trip did not make as great an impression. I agree with the others. Don't try to do it on your last day.

Posted by
31522 posts

Melissa, If Dachau is a place that's really important for you to see, I think Andrea has the best solution. Reschedule your Itinerary so that you can visit Dachau either the morning or afternoon of the day before you'll be leaving. That way you won't have to worry about storing luggage at the station, and will be able to arrange your time so that you don't miss your train. In addition to touring the site on your own, you could also consider taking a guided tour with Radius Tours. They have morning and afternoon tours, take care of all the arrangements and provide a short tour upon arrival at the Memorial. I used that method to visit Dachau a few years ago, and was very pleased with the tour. They provided some free time for tour members to reflect on their own, which I thought was nice. BTW, Hotel Uhland is a great choice. Their breakfasts are awesome! That's been my preferred stop in Munich for several years. It's not hard to find, once you know the way. As I recall, it's about a 12-minute fast walk from the HBf (maybe a bit slower with luggage). Happy travels!

Posted by
18380 posts

The Deutsches Museum is nearby on the Isar. It's worthwhile just for the aerospace exhibit, but I enjoyed others, like the one on bridge building. If you're not careful, you can take up an entire day there. Isartor is on the way if you walk from Marienplatz to the Deutsches Museum. You can get to Schloss Nymphenburg by streetcar from the north side of the Hbf. People watching and window shopping on the Fußganger Zone (pedestrian zone) between Marienplatz and Karlstor is interesting. And don't miss the Hofbräuhaus.

Posted by
4374 posts

Just a general comment, but I try to schedule travel outside of 'typical business hours'. That means riding trains or buses very early or very late in the day. This allows you to preserve as much daytime for 'touring' possible. So, that means leaving Dachau at 5:00 (or arriving at Pompeii at opening time, etc.). When you return to Munich, you'll still have time to wander (and perhaps reflect on your Dachau experience) then have dinner, etc. Or wander and eat in Dachau... Definitely don't try to go the morning of your departure. Do something easier and closer to the train station that morning.

Posted by
84 posts

Thank you all for the thoughtful answers. Dachau isn't the MOST important place for me to visit, but I would't put it off for several visits. If I do not make it this time, it will definitely be at the top of the priority list next time. It does sound as if trying to squeeze it in at the end of the trip might end up being the worst possible choice, so I won't do that, but will either dedicate a long afternoon to it or put it off. Any thoughts on what I have put at the top of the list, keeping in mind that my favored approach to tourism is walking a lot, taking in places with historical and/or literary connections or that have retained features from the way folks lived long ago, window shopping (and some real shopping) and people watching from an outside cafe or park bench. At the top of my list: The old city...Marienplatz, Frauenkirche, Asam's Kirche, St. Peters, St. Michaels, Alte Rathaus, one or more of the old gates, and particular streets I happen on (or hear of) with old homes. And I'm thinking of spending some time walking around Schwabing...plus,
the Residenz, Wittelsbacher plaza, and winding up in the English Garden. I have essentially one afternoon, one full day and one morning.

Posted by
2995 posts

Pretty sure Melissa is aware the Dachau is a bit of a downer, as is everyone who knows what Dachau is. Melissa, I would also agree with others who say retweaking your schedule a little bit. Honestly, I didn't find that taking in the churches and the sites around Marienplatz took very much time, and I'm a church nerd. Unless you want to go to a big museum or palace, I think you have PLENTY of time to see the things you listed and go to Dachau if you do Dachau the morning or afternoon of your first full day there.

Posted by
84 posts

What do you all think about spending some time walking around Schwabing?
My reading says its kind of a hip place...lots of forward fashion shops, cool cafes and I guess it's the birthplace of some striking art movements (not that I know ANYTHING about art), with evidence of it visible on the houses and in the streets. Worth a few hours' stroll?

Posted by
84 posts

Oh...and I figure I'll get my fill of palaces in the two days AFTER MUnich. I'm headed then via public transport to Hohenschwangau, to do the two castles there (and maybe even do a paraglide over them!), then renting a car for a day to hit Lindenhof, Oberammergau, WeissKirche and maybe Ettal Abbey.

Posted by
1980 posts

My suggestion is to go to DC and see the Holocaust museum there. It is impressive. Then go to Dachau and see what is impressive really.

Posted by
12998 posts

Hi, Yes, I recommend going to Schwabing, it has been years since I was there, definitely where the Germans themselves go. A good stroll would be going from the Marienplatz to the Deutsches Museum, enough signs point the way. You can always take public transportation back to the Hbf.

Posted by
2995 posts

Schwabing was great. Didn't venture there til my 4th trip to Munich, and wish I had sooner. We only spent a few hours in the evening there, but really enjoyed beers at Alter Simpl, which is a historic pub with connections to the once-famous magazine of the same name, and then ate medicore tapas, but there were lots of interesting looking restaurants. Definitely worth a few hours. I also enjoyed the Glockensvertiel too. To me Munich becomes much more interesting the further away you get from Marienplatz.