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Visting Germany and feeling overhelmed at planning, any suggestions

OK, so I am planning a trip for my boyfriend and I for the end of July and early August. We plan on getting to Munich from Brugee around August 1 and staying for approxatmley 5 or 6 days. We are both outdoors type people and do not want to spend all of out time in museums and shopping. We are would like to go to Fussen and see the castles there and thought about speding a night there? Any suggestions? We have also talked about going to Austria for a day, possibbly Zugspitze? How far is Zugspitz from Munich or Fussen and is it worth it? I have never traveled to this part of the world so I do feel a little overwhelmed. What would be the best way to travel, car, bus, train? Also we want to try and stay in little B&B's instead of hostels or hotels. Any suggestions on those?
Thanks for yall's help

Posted by
123 posts

Amy - Google Maps! I also had many of these same questions. I think we're relying the trains in Amsterdam and Bruges, then picking up a rental car. Anyway, I was google mapping today. Fussen and Zugsptize seem to be only an hour drive from each other (going through Austria) so I was hoping we could do them both in a day. Castles first thing in the morning, then to Zugsptize for the remainder of the day. We may take a day to Salzburg but may take a train, same with Dachau. Essentially, maybe you'll want a car for just two days and maybe rely on trains and buses the rest? I've never been, so I can't give you specifics, but spend some time on eurail looking at trains and google maps for driving times and don't stress. Enjoy this part, for me, planning is half the fun!

Posted by
2723 posts

Hi amy, We've always rented cars for our trips to Germany and Austria. Driving in these countries is pretty much as easy as here at home. We also love staying at family owned/run B&B's, Pensions, Gasthofs, etc. Off the top of my head, with 5 days to spend, I'd suggest splitting your time based in the Berchtesgaden/Salzburg area and Fuessen or even the Mittenwald/Garmisch area. You could day trip over to the Fuessen area and visit Neuschwanstein from Mittenwald/Garmisch. This is a little over an hour drive. The Austrian ascent of the Zugspitze is about 45 min. drive from Fuessen in Ehrwald, Austria. You can also go to the top of the Zugspitze from Garmisch. Both go the the exact same place, the top of the Zugspitze, and yes, it's worth doing. www.zugspitze.de www.zugspitze.at We've been to Bavaria and Austria 7 times since '01 and if interested, have pic's (3 pages of them) at: www.worldisround.com/home/pja1/index.html Paul

Posted by
2995 posts

it's hard to say what the 'best way' to travel is because it's very individual. some poeple here swear by cars (see above). I find using the rail network here very easy and stress-free and prefer it to driving, although i drive sometimes. 'driving in germany is easy' well driving on highways and country roads in rural areas is easy, sure. the autobahnen can be very intimidating/stressful to some people, particularly when you're on a section with only two lanes, so you're either stuck behind slow semi trucks or attempting to pass as an audi going 150 mph comes up behind you suddenly. driving in the center of cities is also not particularly fun, even if you can deal with the narrow streets, difficult parking, and one way roads, it's just time consuming. as to destinations, do you have a guidebook? RS' Germany guidebook is pretty good for this part of Germany, and Lonely Planet has a Bavaria book that's pretty good, too. no one can tell you what you will like the most. if you're going to go to Austria for a day, I'd recommend spending the night in Salzburg - take the train.

Posted by
18384 posts

I've spent over 4 months (cumulatively) in Germany since 2000 and never needed a car. Germany has the most extensive rail network in western Europe (and 2nd by only 1% to Switzerland in rail density). And in the area along the Alps, rail is complemented by an extensive networks of buses run by a Bahn subsidiary, RVO. If there is anyplace where a car is not needed, it's Germany. The top of the Zugspitze is shared by both Germany and Austria, and you can easily go from one "top" to the other. I think accessing the Zugspitze summit is a little easier from the Garmish-Partenkirchen side. If you want to go to both Füssen and the Zugspitze, I would suggest spending a night or two in Oberammergau. Both are readily accessible by bus from Oberammergau, as is Linderhof. Little B&Bs will be harder to find in Munich, but I know of a really good one in Oberammergau.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you guys for the info. Yes Lee, I would love the info for the bed and breakfast in Oberammergau. How far is it from Munich and how would we get there, train? I know that we are going to want to stay in munich one or two nights just to see what it is about, but i would rather do the hillside exploring think

Posted by
2723 posts

Just to set the record straight... I did not suggest anyone rent a car. I simply stated our preference. I did not say by car was the "best way" to travel. I re-read my post and it's not there. Please read me the statement I "swear by cars" in my post. I'm having trouble finding that quote. Someone needs to get a grip on themselves and in the future try not to put words in other people's mouths. Isn't this a forum of ideas, experiences and suggestions? Paul

Posted by
18384 posts

There are trains that go south out of Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in about 1½ hr. About 1 hr south of Munich the trains stop at Murnau. You change trains there and take a spur line up to Oberammergau. That trip, including the change, takes about 1hr 45min. If you leave after 9 AM on a workday, anytime on a weekend day, you can do the trip for €25 for both of you with a Bayern-Ticket. I'll PM you a link to the Gasthaus website. It's only a block from the train station. If I were doing it, I'd come out on the train from Munich to Füssen, take the connecting bus from Füssen Bhf to the Hohenschwangau bus stop by the castles, see the castles, then take a bus from the Hohenschwangau bus stop to Oberammergau. The last bus of the day leaves Hohenschwangau at 5:13 PM, arriving in Oberammergau at 6:37 PM. Or, you could come out all the way to Garmisch, see the Zugspitze the first day, then go on by bus (35-40 min) to Oberammergau, spend the night, and take the bus to Hohenschwangau in the morning. The trains from Füssen back to Munich run until almost midnight.

Posted by
18384 posts

J. (Omaha) "spend some time on eurail looking at trains" "Eurail" (www.eurail.com) has information on rail passes, not train schedules. You are probably looking at the RailEurope site. Don't! Rail Europe doesn't show all of the trains (only the most expensive ones and has higher prices than the Bahn, partly because they don't show discounted prices for German Trains). Use the German Rail (Bahn) website. You don't need to buy tickets in advance for what you are planning. A Bayern-Ticket, purchasable just before travel, is probably you best option for where you are going. "Castles first thing in the morning, then to Zugsptize for the remainder of the day." If you are trying to do this in one day, it would be best to do the Zugspitze early in the morning. It often clouds up later in the day. That's what happened to me years ago. I arrived just before noon, had lunch in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, then went up, and it was too cloudy to see anything. Even with the clouds, I spent so much time on the mountain that I would not have had time for the castles. "may take a train, same with Dachau" It would be foolish to try to drive to Dachau. It's a suburb of Munich, so you would probably have in-city traffic. One Muenchen XXL Tagesticket (€7,50 for one person, €13,10 for up to 5) will cover your trip to Dachau station by S-Bahn and then by bus to the Memorial.

Posted by
3696 posts

Amy... my first thought when you said that you are both outdoor types and don't want to spend a ton of time in museums and shopping would be that some small villages and countryside would be a good choice for you. Given that, I am also going to suggest you consider renting a car. Germany is such an easy place to drive..its quite organized and well mapped out. I am a photographer and love the outdoors as well, so the option of pulling over to enjoy the view, or have a picnic on the side of the road with the mountains in the distance is an important part of my experience. Most times I love to be on my own schedule. I tend to like spontaneity and want to be in particular areas when the light is beautiful. I was in Lubbock a few years ago with a number of photographer friends.... beautiful area.

Posted by
1631 posts

Amy, I also enjoy the freedom that driving in Bavaria and Austria gives me. For hiking, a summer luge ride, and easy access to the sites you want to see, I stay in Lermoos, Austria. There are plenty of B&B's, restaurants and grocery stores. This area is referred to as the Zugspitze Area because of the views of the mountains surrounding this beautiful valley. Check it out at www.lermoos.at If you would like lodging recommendations, send me a personal message.

Posted by
79 posts

If you are planning to visit the Neuschwanstein castle or the Linderhof castle, I would recommend a tour out of Munich. We took the Oberbayern Autobus tour. The guide was excellent and so were the entire tour. Fussen is a small place - my choice would be to stay at Munich, which offers plenty of options if you want to roam around. We stayed at a rental apartment somewhere in the northern part of Munich near Bonner Platz U bahn station. Booked it on the net on the Homelidays website. The apart,net was very nice and had a lt of options closely.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you guys. Just sitting down trying to figure out what to do

Posted by
18384 posts

There is absolutely no reason to take an expensive "profit added" tour of Füssen from Munich. You can easily do it yourself and save a bundle of €. See my webpage on how to get to the castles in Füssen.

Posted by
45 posts

Hello Amy, For a B&B suggestion in Munich I would try Zeevat's here is the link for them.
http://www.bedandbreakfast-zeevat.de/index.php?topo=titulo2&cont=en&menu=menu3 We stayed there for a few days.......very nice....great breakfast....nice couple that runs it.....you have to make a train and bus connection to get to it..which is no problem for us, very easy. You can look them up on TripAdvisor website......to see all the good reviews. Rates reasonable. Have a good trip.

Posted by
30 posts

In Fussen, I'd recommend a wonderful pension called Dreimäderlhaus. It's on the outskirts of Fussen, not in the town. If you have a car, this is a wonderful place right on the lake. Simply breathtaking, as the mountains rise up behind the lake. Check out the pictures at tripadviser.com. Very private, the owners speak English and are very helpful about getting around to castles, etc. If you like the outdoors, skip actually going into Neuschwanstein (just walk on the outside, it's enough) and hike up to Mary's Bridge (or take the shuttle to it) and keep on hiking beyond that. The view from up above the castle is simply amazing. The only castle we went into was Linderhof, and then we hiked to the grotto there. Great! Another highlight of our trip to Fussen was going up to the Ehrenberg ruins. There's a good restaurant just below it, reasonably priced, and good food. We were in Fussen 3 nights, I can't imagine doing it in less than 2. We actually gave up on doing the Zugspitze, because the view from the mountain over the castles and the hike to Ehrenberg was way cool. As for Munich, we stayed in a hotel but saw many bed and breakfasts we wished we'd stayed in on the outskirts of the city. If you want quaint and cozy, spend the nights outside of the city. We liked Erding, there's an amazing indoor thermal waterpark that blew us away! If you like water slides, they have a ton and they're actually rated for difficulty. We came out battered and bruised, but the hot tubs all around helped to sooth us. Terrific fun! Although we had a car, we did use the train/subway system to get all around Munich....very cheap, easy and it seemed to go anywhere we wanted to go. Enjoy your trip!
Angela

Posted by
1 posts

Lee and all friend travellers We also are interest on using the Bayern pass to go Munich- Garmish - Zugspitze- Oberammergau.... I was just checking bahn.de Monday Aug 20- 9AM from Munich(munchen) to Garmish-Partenkirchen and I can not find a train tranferring in Murnau only see this: München Hbf Gl.27-36 >Weilheim(Oberbay) -RB 91805 >Weilheim(Oberbay) > Murnau - BUS - Bus SEV
Murnau > Garmisch-Part - Train - RB 59509 I thought we could get a train in Munich to Murnau - transfer to another train to Garmish - P. But I do not understand the BUS Weilheim to Murnau.... the train does not get to Murnau????? then to Garmish? HELP PLEASE - -Thanks

Posted by
15 posts

The very best website for train schedules for Continental Europe is www.bahn.de, in my opinion. You can book in a number of different languages depending on your proficiency. I usually choose English. That's suppose to be a joke.