Zurich to Munich to Vienna to Venice via auto

Hi! My hubby and I would appreciate advice on the itinerary and where to stay with a rental car. We have 12 days and would like to drive from Zurich to Munich, then Vienna, then possibly Padua outside of Venice. Thanks for any advice.

Posted by david
837 posts

What are you trying to accomplish? Is the drive the thing? Is it primarily to see these 4 cities? Frankly, I think that unless the drive is the theme of the trip, most would recommend using trains.

Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2378 posts

Caty, There are awesome possibilities with a car and such amount of time. My particular recommendations are: - by all means drive to München via Vaduz and Garmisch-Partenkirchen (well worth a stop and climb to Zugspitze) - there is an absolutely stunning scenic drive on the Gloßglockner National Park in Austria. Spend a day there (if travelling between May-Oct), with plenty of stops. - depending on how much time you spend in Wien and München, you should consider a drive to Padua via Lienz and Cortina d'Ampezzo in the Dolomites I'd even go further and suggest you invert the order: Zürich, Padova, München, Wien, including scenic sectors around Lago di Garda, Dolomites, Gloßglockner, Garmisch... take a look on this possible itinerary on Google Maps: http://g.co/maps/2e3dd (only doable late April-late October).

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2193 posts

Not sure if you're planning on just a simple car or luxury car, but be aware that rental companies will not allow luxury rentals to be taken into Italy.

Posted by Caty
Pittsburgh, USA
6 posts

Thank you all very much for the feedback and the suggestions! The drive is part of the adventure and we realize that there is a time issue. Do you have any tips on renting a car in Zurich and driving to these locations? Is it better to rent a smaller car? Are there additional taxes when crossing the borders via car?Thank you all again.

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8700 posts

If you want to save money, rent the smallest car that will have a trunk large enough to keep all your luggage out of sight. You will pay a hefty fee for picking up a car in one country and dropping it off in another.

Posted by Caty
Pittsburgh, USA
6 posts

Thank you. We are coming back to Zurich to return the rental car and fly back to the US. We will rent the smallest car per your suggestion. Does anyone know if there is a way to pay the tolls in advance (simliar to a US EZ Pass) via a transponder device?

Posted by Denise
Lake Forest, CA, USA
1489 posts

I'm assuming you are flying into Zurich and out of Venice. Do you have 12 full days on the ground, leaving out of Venice on day 13? How many days were you thinking of staying in Munich? Or, are you staying there in order to see the castles? Do you have to go to Vienna? It is really out of your way down to Venice. Come back with some more info, and I'll suggest an itinerary. I've been through this area many times.

Posted by Caty
Pittsburgh, USA
6 posts

Thanks Denise! We are flying in and out of Zurich and will pick up/drop off the rental there as well. We want drive rather than train it this time. Considering going to Munich for a few days, then to Vienna, and then possibly to Padua/Venice before driving back to Zurich. we realize that its ambitiuos. Would appreciate any advice!