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Munich/Salzburg trip report Dec. 2022

I thought I would share a bit about our trip to Munich and Salzburg. This was a "girls trip" as it was myself, our daughter and our sons girlfriend (ages 25-30, and me mid 50's). We only had a week, but packed in a lot, without feeling rushed.

On a whim this past summer, we decided we wanted to go to see the Christmas markets. E (our daughter) and I had been to both cities before, but K had never been to Europe before. We used miles and planned the trip in about 2 weeks.

Our flight there was from Seattle to Atlanta to Munich. We were supposed to have a 2 1/2 hour layover in Atlanta, but it was snowing here in Seattle so we were delayed 90 minutes due to de-icing. By the time we landed in Atlanta, we walked straight to our gate and walked right on. So glad I chose that amount of a layover.

We started out in Munich for 3 nights, staying at the Hotel Lux. Loved the hotel and the location! It is a block or two from Hofbrauhaus, so very central but without the noise. They do not have an elevator, but rather a spiral staircase and we were on the 4th (so US 5th) floor. The staircase was beautiful though. The hotel breakfast was cooked to order and I don't know where they get their croissants, but they were actually better than anything I have had in France, believe it or not! They have a great bar there too with the most unique drinks and a lovely atmosphere.

We wandered the usual Christmas Markets nearby, but also ventured to the Medieval Christmas Market which was interesting and I am glad we went, but was not my favorite. We also went to Haidhausen Christmas Market, which was more local artisans. Loved that one and went twice. We enjoyed the market at Marienplatz more in the morning when it was not packed to the gills. The "show" at 11am of the Glockenspiel is fun to see, which we knew about as we had been before.

We also did a walking tour one day, which was excellent. I always try to fit one of those in on every trip. I had booked the tour online, but when we arrived the guide was very curt and said no and walked away. Very odd, so we found another guide and inquired and were welcomed to join in.

I knew that the Chinese Tower was closed as was the Christmas Market that is usually there, but we wandered the English Garden anyway and stopped by there. The Gluhwein stand is still open, but that is it. It was nice to wander the park with a warm mug of that. Then we had to show K the surfers as she was not expecting that of course;)

We stopped and listened to street performers one day as they had a baby grand piano and some cellos etc and were playing some beautiful music. I am still wondering how they got the piano there and what they did with inclement weather.

Most of our time in Munich was just spending wandering as many markets as we could find, with no agenda. Worked out perfect for us.

For a few days, we headed to Salzburg via the train. I booked through DBahn which is pretty easy to use. A week or so before, I received an email sating there was a disruption in our route and something about a track closure. I could never figure out what that was as it did not pertain to our route. Turns out there was no disruption in our route at all, which was nice.

In Salzburg, we stayed at the Alstadhotel Weisse Taube. Loved that hotel as well. Very central location as it was literally around the corner from the markets. They had a nice shoe shining machine by the door which we put to use. We liked the markets in Salzburg more than in Munich, FWIW. The day of arrival we took a cooking class with Edelweiss Cooking School. We made apple strudel and some cookies, then the chef served us some goulash before we had the strudel and cookies for dessert. It was a lot f fun to learn how to make these, but also to just enjoy the company of other travelers.

We had hoped to catch the Krampus Parade right after that, but we were too late.

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2004 posts

That evening we had dinner at Zwettlers, which we had been to before. It did not disappoint! When we were walking out the door to leave, the Krampus and Santa Claus were entering, so we went back in and got to watch. That was a lot of fun and made up for missing the parade!

We thought about ice skating, but were a bit too tired at that point so said we would do it the next day.

The next morning we had an early Sound of Music Tour. I did make a bit of a mistake in skipping the hotel breakfast. We thought we would find something smaller in town before the tour, but nothing was open, even Starbucks. We did pass by a hotel that had breakfast that was open, so stopped there. OMG, it was so good! Gasthof Hotel was the place. It was too bad that we were on a time crunch, so we just sampled a few things and then had to race off. What we had was so good though! They had a 3 tiered platter, as well as sparkling wine, juices, breads, eggs, cakes you name it! You could have sat there for hours. Anyway, we had to hurry up to get back to catch our tour.

I booked the tour with Bobs Special Tours and it was excellent! When we were having breakfast, a man heard us tell the waitress that we had a tour and were short on time. That led to the conversation and it turned out they had done that tour the day before and he said he hoped we got Johnathon as our guide as he was excellent. We did!

The tour was in a small bus, with 8 of us total. Nice group of travelers, and the guide was as good as we had hoped for after the high recommendation. We learned a lot about what was true and what was not in regards to the Von Trapp family as well as how filming issues went. We had time to wander a bit while in Mondsee, which was nice.

After the tour, we headed up to the fortress and went through all the museums there. We had been to the fortress before, but not the museums, so that was nice to have something new for E and I.

Dinner that night was at Johaneskeller. When you enter, you go down a long stairway. E went first, then K then me. Somehow, K turned her ankle and fell, but managed to grab the handrail just as her face hit the brick wall. She was ok, but then literally about 30 seconds after she got up, I managed to fall. I have no idea how, but my knees went directions they have never gone. She caught me before I fell further and got me to just sit on the step for a moment. We were not sure whether to laugh or cry, but managed a bit of both;) My daughter was the the bottom looking up at us like "what are you two doing?" A couple men (not restaurant staff) stood there and just stared at us like we were in their way. Anyway, we managed to get up, enter the restaurant and have a wonderful meal. We shared the special of the day, rack of lamb and a pan of spaetzel along with side salads (so good!). Even with sharing between 3, we could not eat it all. The lamb was sooo good though!

Our plan for ice skating after this went out the window as I have been hobbling since the fall. Yes, the ortho will be getting a call tomorrow morning.

The city of Salzburg is absolutely gorgeous at any time but in the evening with the lights even more so.

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2004 posts

The next day we headed back to Munich. I read on the forum about a test alert that would off off at 11am, and sure enough while on the train, my phone and most others had the loudest sound I have ever heard from my phone. I was glad to know what it was!

Once back in Munich, we headed to the Hotel Am Viktualientmarkt to check in. We have stayed there on a previous trip, so I knew it would be good and it was. Dropped bags and headed straight out again.

One thing we purchased at the Viktualientmart on a previous trip was wasabi cheese. I have never found anything close to that at home since then, so had hoped to find it here again. I pulled up a photo of it and asked at one of the cheese stalls, but they told me it was seasonal. I was so disappointed, but oh well.

Some random thoughts. I am not a big fan of the foods in Germany. I found Austria to be a bit better, but not a huge change. For dinners we would order 2 things and share them. The foods are just overall too heavy for my liking. The times that we found good salads were were in heaven. Johanneskeller had the best side salad by far. We ate at Augustiner for lunch one day and dinner another, two different locations. Lunch was great, dinner was disappointing. We had been to that location before and had a great dining experience, but this time the food was overcooked, and the waiter I am pretty sure hated his job. The other waiters looked like they enjoyed what they did, but we had grumpy gus that night;) In the market at Salzburg, there is a potato stand. That was really good! They had all sorts of toppings, but I stuck to the basic of cheese and with corn on top. Sounds really odd, but it was good.

Also, all of the gluhwein stands in Munich had their own mugs, so for a refill you had to go back to that stall. In Salzburg, they all had the same mug, so you could go anywhere to refill/turn in your mug. That was much more user friendly.

We used cash for almost everything, except purchases at the Longchamp and Birkenstock stores. Most of the market stalls required cash. We made sure we had plenty on hand each day, and I managed to only bring home about 150 euro. Nice to have for whenever our next trip will be.

Our flight home was at 7am, so we headed out to Erding the afternoon before to stay at the Ibis there. That was a good call with such an early flight. The hotel itself was great, and incredibly inexpensive. We had two rooms and the total cost was $108 Euro. There really isn't anything nearby, except McDonal's and Burger King right next door, but there is a Home Depot type of store, a sporting goods store and a TK Maxx. So we wandered those for a bit and just repacked and went to bed early.

We made it back to Seattle ok. The Munich airport is pretty easy to navigate, although it was frustrating that there was only one person at the AF desk and they were only taking care of Sky Priority. The other desks for baggage drop off (our bags were already tagged) did not have anyone until 5:30am. Our flight was at 7. We were 4th in line, but if we would have arrived later, I think we may have missed our flight as the line was SOOOOO long. We were supposed to have a 4+ hour layover at CDG, but our flight was an hour late leaving Munich, again due to de-icing.

Arrival at CDG was as expected and basically a mess. There were at least several flights that landed at the same time so everyone trying to go through passport at the same time. With whatever I did to my knee, I cannot do stairs, so we asked about an elevator. The reply we got was that nobody can use the elevator. We even saw them making people on crutches and in casts having to use the stairs. It was the escalator, but it was not working, so basically was stairs. I did what I could, but omg it was painful!

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We headed to our gate and relaxed for a little bit. Then just at the end of the walkway before you board the plane, they were pulling people aside for random swabbing etc. E was one of the chosen ones. She ended up being the last person to board. We saved her overhead bin space though which she much appreciated.

Arrival into SEA was wonderful. Everything is clearly marked and Global Entry is a breeze. We did have to check our luggage coming home as we did a lot of shopping. Baggage claim was exceedingly slow, and of course my bag was one of the last 3 to come off the belt. Even with that, I was still faster going through Global than the girls were.

We made it home safely. I unpacked before going to bed and only had one casualty. One gluhwein mug was shattered, and two chips were broken off another (but still useable). The shattered one was of course my favorite one, but oh well. Guess we need to go back;)

So all in all a wonderful trip with very few plans set in stone, which was nice. I managed to find some wonderful unique items for Christmas gifts, which is always a bonus.

Posted by
557 posts

Another great trip report, thank you! Fun gals trip for sure. You mentioned random swabbing done at the airport, they check for Covid at German airports?

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2004 posts

Luv2travel--oops, not covid related, but rather the extra screening. They swabbed her shoes, her phone and hands and went through her carryon bags.

Posted by
3961 posts

Thanks for the excellent trip report! Always enjoy the details that includes the cuisine, (Guhlwein), hotels, sights, music, shopping (you got me with purchases at Longchamps ;) and Birkenstocks!) Birkys are my go to slippers for my fussy feet. My feet are happy. Plan to buy more for warm weather. Sorry to hear about your injury. Hope all goes well. I appreciated your last statement: “So all in all a wonderful trip with few plans set in stone, which was nice.” Great way to enjoy a week doing what you love. Bookmarked!

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2004 posts

horsewoofie--Last time we were in these cities was mid September 2017. It was nice to be there when we could ride bikes, hike etc, but the Christmas market atmosphere was amazing in a different way of course.

Janis--Yes, the birks are so great for my feet! I wore my new boots today to go grocery shopping and I forgot I was wearing a brand new pair, they were so comfy. This trip was so enjoyable, plus was the perfect mental break I needed. I have already done laundry and repacked as I head to moms first thing tomorrow morning for a few days.

Posted by
427 posts

Thank you for sharing your trip report! I’d love to visit the Christmas markets sometime, though I am beholden to my school schedule. Sorry to hear about your fall and hope you’re feeling okay now!

Posted by
1368 posts

Enjoyed the report. Zwettlers, enjoyed a few meals there myself when I was in Salzburg a few years ago. Our hotel was just around the corner.

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556 posts

"The foods are just overall too heavy for my liking."

Agree and I understand that one wants to eat Bavarian while in Munich. But to be honest I hardly know any Munich local who is eating Bavarian every day - nobody would be able to survive this :-) And eating this stuff at the evening is definately not healthy.

Most of this Bavarian restaurants down town once in a while locals might visit but lets face it they are more for tourists.

There is a reason why Germans are eating these heavy meals for lunch and they do it typicaly only on a Sunday.
Before WWII meat was something special and nobody would have eaten it every day. In fact Friday for example was/is fish day. On Sundays the family came together after curch for a rich and heavy meal with meat. That was it - rest of the week no meet.

In Munich it is so easy to eat light and healthy even German style food. Next time I would rather focus on that.

Posted by
4584 posts

Great trip report, thank you. After visiting Frankfurt area Christmas Markets and museums this year, you've given me a great idea to do the same another year in Munich!

We must have been traveling during the same timeframe because I received what may have been that same test alert on my phone!

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2004 posts

Mignon--We planned this trip at the very end of August and a week later my mom had a medical emergency which meant for the last 4 months I have flown every week (minus 2 ) to go help take care of her and her affairs. So planning was halted immediately when this happened and we had to wing the restaurants and everything else. We travel a lot, so am aware that many of the central restaurants do cater to tourists. We eat very healthy at home, so I am well aware of eating too much meat etc. That is why we shared the meals etc. Still a variety of veggies would have been nice, and I would guess that other visitors would like that too. It's just a different culture and I get that:)

CWsocial--That is funny because I commented on your report that you gave me new ideas!

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3833 posts

Nice trip report! I usually eat one heavy German meal per trip and am done.

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1942 posts

Thanks for the tips. Just to clarify there are a lot of vegetarians in Germany and while the traditional restaurants may be "meat heavy", there are many vegetarian and places that serve both. You can even get plant-based curry wurst now all over.

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3961 posts

I haven’t been to Germany YET, but recall some of the menus we encountered in Prague and Vienna. We did enjoy trying the local cuisine a couple times. The Schnitzel was as big as the plate lol, so we shared. In Prague we found Japanese cuisine around the corner from our hotel. It was wonderful. Also frequented a couple restaurants nearby that offered salad entrees. I am not a vegetarian but tend to eat that way when traveling. I enjoy looking at menus online prior to making reservations. Always nice to hear about recommended restaurants on this forum!