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First timers itinerary help, Nov/Dec 2021

Pittsburgh...
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First timers itinerary help, Nov/Dec 2021
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Hello!

My husband and I are celebrating a 15 year wedding anniversary and his 40th birthday this year. We are antsy to travel again to celebrate these events and are thinking positive thoughts for international travel late this fall.

Because our available timeframe for travel is limted, we are considering a one-week Bavaria/Alps trip the last week of Nov/ first week of December. I could use some help with our itinerary. We love culinary experiences, breathtaking scenery, Christmas festivities, and have a special interest in staying somewhere (at least for a night or two) that has an infinity pool view of the alps. We enjoy learning about cultural traditions and history, but are not necessarily looking for a lot of WW2 experiences this trip.

I'm interested in ways to maximize our time, streamline travel, and for suggestions that we may not have considered. In the past, we have tended toward organized day tours, but are open to branching out and trying trains this time around.

Day 1 Explore Munich. Food tour/Pretzel Class. Christmas markets. Overnight Munich.

Day 2 Zugspitz/Garmisch/Mittenwald? Overnight Munich.

Day3 Neuschwantstein/Fussen. Overnight Munich.

Day 4 Transfer to Salzburg. Explore Salzburg and Christmas markets. Overnight Salzburg.

Day 5 Hallstatt-Overnight Salzburg.

Day 6Transfer back to Munich. Explore more of Munich. Overnight Munich

Day 7 Fly out from Munich

How could we fit Nuremberg and/or another town into this itinerary?

How might we adjust this itinerary to include a 1-2 night stay somewhere near either Berchtesgarden or near Garmisch-Partenkirchen without adding days (or MAYBE adding one day)?

Thanks so much for any input!

4 replies to this topic
Mainz, Germany
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for Munich, Germany, Bavaria, Frankfurt
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1. Re: First timers itinerary help, Nov/Dec 2021
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Well, you can't have it all but you may want to stay flexible with your plans so you can adapt to the weather. If it is outright nasty or not much of a view it doesn't make sense to get on top of Zugspitze - or travel into the mountains at all. Then you could do a daytrip to another interesting city like Augsburg, Landshut, Regensburg or Nuremberg from Munich.

You could stay in Berchtesgaden a couple days and visit Salzburg from there. Kempinski and Edelweiss have pool areas with great views. Hotel Post in Lermoos on the Austrian side of the Zugspitze has stunning views from the pool as well.

Erie, PA
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2. Re: First timers itinerary help, Nov/Dec 2021
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Thank you for the suggestions! I like the idea of staying at Edelweiss for a few nights instead of Salzburg, but still being able to go to Salzburg for a day. That way, if the weather is bad one day, we may still have 1-2 other days to work with. Is there easy train access from Edelweiss to Hallstatt? And, of the towns/cities you mentioned, I know Nuremberg has well reviewed Christmas Markets, but which of the others do?

Mainz, Germany
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3. Re: First timers itinerary help, Nov/Dec 2021
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No, Hallstatt is too far for a daytrip by train from Berchtesgaden. If I'm not mistaken it would be a 3.5 hours trip - one-way! But imho it neither makes sense from Salzburg in the winter with the limited daylight. I guess that there may be bus tour options from Salzburg, but you better inquire in the Salzburg forum about it.

Nuremberg's christmas market is probably the famous one in the world, but imho not necessarily the most atmospheric. It gets a lot of bus trip visitors and can get very, very crowded. Given that Regensburg has one of the most well-preserved medieval oldtowns in Germany and that this alone gives the city's Christmas markets a magical setting I'd put Regensburg higher on the list than Nuremberg. The market in the courtyard of the Thurn & Taxis Palace is particularly pretty. Regensburg can easily be reached by regional train from Munich and you can cover the whole trip with one inexpensive dayticket: https://www.bahn.com/en/view/offers/regional/regional-day-ticket-for-bavaria.shtml

Paradise, California
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4. Re: First timers itinerary help, Nov/Dec 2021
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The ground travel from and back to Munich for day trips on Days 2 &3 is time consuming - and you are visiting at a time of year when daylight is in very short in supply and when the alpine weather is crummy. You are making a wise choice to spend 2-3 nights near Salzburg for the reasons you stated but also as a substititute for the two N'stein and Garmisch/Mittenwald outings from Munich. If you do get good weather, the Alps around B'gaden are spectacular .

https://www.maxpixel.net/static/photo/1x/Watzmann-Mountains-Berchtesgaden-Germany-Alps-1797521.jpg

https://img.fotocommunity.com/blick-vom-jenner-auf-den-koenigssee-144102d2-856a-4f0d-a1f1-3162b549a867.jpg?height=1080

Nothing much ever took place at Neuschwanstein, a palace with a fake castle exterior that was built in the late 19th century and occupied for only a few months by Bavarian King Ludwig II. Rather than spending a full day to do a 30-minute tour of the very peculiar N'stein, why not visit Nymphenburg Palace, which is right in Munich? A half day spent on that would offer you much more in the way of regional history and culture.

https://www.theworldisabook.com/16991/munich-with-kids-nymphenburg-palace/

I completely support your interest in visiting Nuremberg - it's a lovely city. 2-3 nights there would be no mistake. It does get enormously crowded for its famous Christmas market, however, especially on weekends - so fit that stay in on weekdays if possible. Regensburg is a good suggestion too - a UNESCO World Heritage city. I've never seen its Christmas market, but 1-2 nights there sounds like a very good option as well.

Your interests in Munich seem to be the food tour/pretzel class, with no other specific sightseeing. I might reorganize as follows for a more streamlined trip.

Day/night 1: In Munich

Day/night 2: Morning sightseeing (Nymphenburg?) + afternoon train to Salzburg/Berchtesgaden base for 2 nights

Day/night 3: In area

Day/night 4: Morning and afternoon In Sal./Bercht. area + late afternoon train to Nuremberg or Regensburg for 2 nights (Samples: 17:00 train from Salzburg, arrive 19:52 in Nuremberg; 17:08 train from Salzburg, arrive 20:09 in Regensburg.)

Day 5: In area

Day 6: In area sightseeing + late afternoon train ride to MUC airport hotel for final night before flight home. (Samples: 17:02 train from Nuremberg, arrive 19:06 at MUC; 17:14 train from Regensburg, arrive 18:32 at MUC.)

Edited: 24 February 2021, 16:49
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