Munich Christmas Itinerary Help

Himy friend and I have been traveling together over Christmas for the last couple seasons. This coming holiday (2013), we are setting our sights on the Munich area. (I know it's a long way off, but I was listening to a RS podcast on my walk and started thinking about it...) Anyway, we know we want some time in Munich, and we are very interested in at least a day in Salzburg. I would personally like to also visit Bamberg (lived there as a child). We typically travel Dec 19-29 (traveling on those dates). We have, until this point, always stayed in the main city, but are thinking that this trip will require us to move cities. We use airbnb for our lodging. Soooo, main questions: -which city will be best to fly into and/or out of if we want to try to also see Bamberg and Salzburg? where should we make sure to be for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? (Munich? Salzburg? Is it possible to go to a Ludwig castle in December, around the holidays? Would Bertchesgarden be a possible day trip as well? Lots of questionsany tips or input would be appreciatedeven this far in advance. :) thanks, J.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
5086 posts

Since it is a horse apiece from Bamberg to either Munich or Frankfurt airport, might as well just fly round trip to Munich.

Posted by Gary Mc
Salt Lake City
837 posts

I would probably do what Sam suggested. You could also fly into Frankfurt and out of Munich. Frankfurt a bit closer to Bamberg. I would let price and connections determine. I spent a week over Christmas in Salzburg years ago. It was very beautiful but dead. I am not sure about now. I think München would probably have more open; that is a guess.

Posted by Kurt
52 posts

Many German city dwellers head to the Alps (or I guess Spain?) for the holidays - which is usually the two weeks from December 23 to January 5 or so, so cities can be dead. We've been in Munich, Salzburg, Bamberg and Berchtesgaden for the Christmas period and all offer a rather reserved, much less commercial version of the holiday than here in the U.S. I don't know what airbnb is but, you might want to consider a more resort type location/bnb to make sure there will be restaurant options for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I would opt for Munich - easier airport to deal with, Christmas market on-site, you'll feel the holiday spirit as soon as you land. I would suspect most public museums/castles would either close early or all day on the 24th, as well as be closed on the 25th and very likely December 26th also (as that is considered a holiday.)
Far in advance? - for me the best part of travelling is the planning and anticipation - it's only 8 months away!!!

Posted by JR
texas, usa
121 posts

We did this same trip last Christmas. We flew in to Frankfurt (but went to Rothenburg ob der Tauber instead) and then caught the train to Munich for a few days. Salzburg is a great day trip from Munich if you decide to base out of Munich. It will requre a full day though. We spend Christmas EVe in Garmish. It was lovely, but remember that everything pretty much shuts down after lunch on Christmas Eve and little is open on Christmas Day unless you are in a larger city like Munich. We loved the Munich Christmas Markets, the Glockenspeil, Hofbrau, and day trips all over the city and surrounding areas.

Posted by Rob D
Bad Tölz, Bayern
32 posts

Hi Jonelle, if you're a Christmas Market person, then it'll be helpful to know that Salzburg's Christkindlmarkt will still operate on the 25th and 26th December, whereas those in Germany will close for the season on the 24th at the latest. A day trip to Salzburg may be a good idea, then... Enjoy!

Posted by Tom
Lewiston, NY
10681 posts

"Is it possible to go to a Ludwig castle in December, around the holidays? " I'm not sure about the days immediately around the Christmas holiday, but the two castles at Schwangau are otherwise open most of the year. Even if there's a thick blanket of snow on the ground, they somehow manage to keep them open. Bertchesgaden is primarily a ski town in the winter, although a minor one compared to Oberstdorf and Garmisch.

Posted by Darren
Boulder, CO, USA
672 posts

Hi Jonelle, We spent Christmas in Germany a few years ago, and it's wonderful. We flew in and out of Munich, with a Day trip to Salzburg on the 26th (market still open!) and it was definitely not dead! Tons of people, beautiful city and worth more than a day. We regretted driving back at the end of the day. It was an easy day trip from Munich, though, and we even stopped off at Herrenchiemsee on the way there to see Ludwigs Versailles-like palace. that was pretty cool, especially if you're into Ludwig's castles. All of his other ones are open in December, and we visited all of them. Most of the grounds are pretty dead (Linderhof, for example), but the palace interiors are as beautiful as any other time of year. We spent Christmas even in Garmisch/Ettal and had dinner in Garmisch on Christmas Eve. Spent Christmas Day back in Munich.
Bertchesgaden/eagle's nest is shut down for the winter, so plan to head there in warmer months in future. Hope this helps!