We are flying into Frankfurt or Zurich and would like to visit Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Prague and Budapest. What would be the best airport and route to follow? We are planning our trip in September.
If you fly into Zurich I would do Munich - Salzburg - Vienna - Budapest - and then fly out of Prague. If you're traveling by train you best bet is to check out Deutsche Bahn and check train times, frequency and travel time between each point. You just want to try and limit the time wasted zig zagging around. Definately fly open jaw so you don't have to return to the same airport you flew into.
Doug: Yes, the easy decision is to drive from Frankfurt through Rothenberg (etc) to Munich. In Munich is where planning your itinerary becomes more complicated. Having a car in a European city is an expensive headache, if it can be avoided. IF you only want to see Salzburg and Vienna, then drop off the rental car in Munich and take the train from Munich to Salzburg, Salzburg to Vienna, and to Prague and Budapest. BUT if there are things you want to see in between these cities that are not easily reached by rail, then it would make sense to keep the car longer. If you keep the car longer than Munich, you will want to reserve accommodations that facilitate parking overnight.