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Winter in Germany/Austria

I'm taking my family of four (4 adults) to Germany and Austria the week after Christmas, I've read Rick's entire Germany & Austria book, but welcome all suggestions.
12/26- Arrive Frankfurt, drive to Rothenburg (Hotels?)
12/27- Rothenburg to Munich (take Romantic road or Autobahn?)
12/28- Munich (priceline hotel, restaurants?)
12/29- Munich or Fussen? (see Bavaria castles, Linderhof)
12/30- Drive to Salzburg (best family hotel/eats?)
12/31- Salzburg (Sound of Music tour in winter?)
1/1 - Return to Frankfurt (maybe Rhine?)
1/2 - Depart to Dallas

It's a tight schedule, but we're seasoned travelers and like to move quickly, what are we missing? Thanks y'all!

Posted by
9032 posts

Be aware that 26 a holiday, as is part of 31 Dec. and all of 1 Jan. Whatever sights you are planning on visiting, please check now to see if they will be open on those days. Shopping will be available on the 31st. but only up to a certain point and if you are in small villages, it may be more limited. Many restaurants go on vacation during this time, but there should be plenty that are open. Museums should be open but again, I would check now. Ditto any tours or ship cruises on the Rhine, etc. Especially on the 31st and the 1st. Do you already have plans for where you are spending New Years Eve? This is one time when a lot of restaurants close so their employees can have off, and if they are open you might need a reservation. Depends a lot on where you are of course, but take some time now to find out. Perhaps email your hotel or B&B and ask them to help you out.

Posted by
10344 posts

This link may help you understand what will be open and closed during that week: holiday closures in Germany

Posted by
12040 posts

You many want to supplement your reading with other sources besides Rick for winter travel. Although I like Rick's books, they're written more for casual site-seeing tourists during the warmer months. In particular, the Germany-Austria edition doesn't really account for the fact that the tourism infrastructure in the Alps changes greatly in the winter to accommodate thousands of skiers. It doesn't sound like you plan to participate in any winter sports, but you should be aware how this will affect lodging availability, prices and public transportation options.

Oh, by the way, the Romantic Road doesn't pass through Munich, it runs parallel to it farther to the west.

Personally, I think your itinerary is probably feasible, but much too rushed. You'll spend far too much time in transit.

Posted by
408 posts

I really liked the Gerberhouse in Rothenburg when I was there on a Rick Steve's tour. Check out rick's rec. hotels in Ruette. We stayed at one on his tour and it was very nice because you could hike to the castle from the hotel. (The Gutshof Zum Schluxen)
Linderhoff is also very nice to tour. The Autobabn is very fast and you will get there quicker than the Romantic road. I have been to Rothanburg two times and both were to and from Munich on the Autobahn. I was in Salzburg in early Dec, and it was wonderful. I have done the Sound of Music tour and it was nice but it was in the summer. Have a wonderful trip.

Posted by
9032 posts

Seeing how you are from Dallas, how are you at driving in snow? Chances are pretty good that you will have some then and that also means putting chains on your tires too. So, maybe trains would be better and then not so many destinations?

Posted by
95 posts

Jo, thanks for the feedback, particularly regarding the holidays in Germany! Fortunately, I grew up in the north and have experience driving in the snow.

Keep the suggestions coming!

Posted by
242 posts

Hey Ken in "BIG D"! ;)

know that you ARE gonna run into a LOT of "Staus" (traffic jams), so please remember not to stress out if you come to a complete stop on the Autobahn (unless you're doing the regular highway thing).

I like the fact that you're back in Frankfurt the night before your flight. I do the same thing, and it is just so much easier and more relaxed to turn in your rental, take the shuttle to your hotel and spend a nice last quiet night in Germany.

Get up early the next morning, enjoy the breakfast buffet, and then take your shuttle back to the "Flughafen".

Have fun!

B~ (in "LITTLE D") ;)