Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

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Savvy
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Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by Savvy » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:37 pm

Hi all!

My wife & I are headed to Europe in late May 2018, landing in Munich and departing from Zurich. We are starting with 3 nights in Munich and ending with 3 nights in Interlaken (Berner Oberland area). In between, we'll have 4 nights that we are still trying to pin down. Initially, we were thinking of 2 nights in Hallstatt, 2 nights in Salzburg but are now re-thinking it. We like hiking, nature, castles, history, etc. & are hoping to travel by train once we're in Europe. Salzburg is slightly "out of the way" from Munich to Interlaken but it seems like the best destination area to visit. We have not been to Germany, Austria, Switzerland but have been to many parts of Italy.

What would you suggest? Where would you go?

Thanks all!!!
Savvy

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by adamthesmythe » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:53 pm

For hiking you can't beat Saas Fee, with two spectacular high routes along each side of the Saas valley and lots of other possibilities.

Grindewald above Interlaken has some good hiking but nowhere near as much as Saas Fee (or Zermatt, next valley over).

Getting from Salzburg toward Interlaken by train was painful the last time I did it, there was a bus connecting the ends of two train routes. Things might be different now.

If you want to see castles and/or smaller towns you will want a car. Make sure you have the right highway stickers if you drive.

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by desiderium » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:54 pm

It is safe to skip Hallstatt. It is a beautiful little town that is completely over-run with busloads of tourists. You can enjoy it and get away on foot to some nice hiking, but is a bit out of the way not worth spending part of a short trip IMO. If you go to Salzburg, you could take a bus to nearby Berchtesgaden, which has great alpine scenery, a beautiful lake and very good hiking.

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by Nestegg_User » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:04 pm

Near Munich is Fussen, with the Neuschwanstein castle and it's not too bad of a drive.
It was difficult to find good accommodations at Hallstatt (that didn't cost $$$). The valley just west (Gosau) was a very nice picturesque view , but I didn't notice that it had lodging.
We stayed in the downtown area of Salzburg, just over the river from the castle. It's very pedestrian friendly there
Last edited by Nestegg_User on Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by radiowave » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:36 pm

Zermatt may be a little out of the way, but excellent hiking, no cars in town.
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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by ClaycordJCA » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:36 pm

It’s been years, but if you are interested in castles, consider a Rhine River day cruise. I went from Cologne to Munich, stopping for a night in Heidelberg. I believe I went on the K-D line.

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:26 am

Next year, I’m going to be in Lucerne for a week and then take the boat to Mt Rigi for a mineral spa. I’ve read the view is beautiful. There’s some hiking, not sure how much.

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by Jeep512 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:04 am

It's been a while since I was there, but we thoroughly enjoyed Fussen and the Neuschwanstein castle.

You might consider Innsbruck or some other ski resort area (Stubaital). Even in May, they may be running the gondolas.

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by Savvy » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:48 am

Thanks all for your feedback! I will research all of these destinations tonight and circle back! Really looking forward to the trip. :sharebeer

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by JLG1111 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:04 am

desiderium wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:54 pm
It is safe to skip Hallstatt. It is a beautiful little town that is completely over-run with busloads of tourists. You can enjoy it and get away on foot to some nice hiking, but is a bit out of the way not worth spending part of a short trip IMO. If you go to Salzburg, you could take a bus to nearby Berchtesgaden, which has great alpine scenery, a beautiful lake and very good hiking.
We spent some time this summer in Salzburg and Berchtesgaden. I would highly recommend Königssee and Obersee for hiking. We had a car, but many buses do run to this area as this poster described. The wooden boat ride on Königssee was magical. Enjoy your trip!

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:04 am

adamthesmythe wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:53 pm
Grindewald above Interlaken has some good hiking but nowhere near as much as Saas Fee (or Zermatt, next valley over).
From Grindelwald you also can take the train up to Kleine Scheidegg, which will have a very nice view of the Swiss Alps. DW and I were there this past May, and there was still snow on the mountain peaks.

If you do go to Kleine Scheidegg, you should eat at the Restaurant Bahnhof; good food, nice atmosphere. At Kleine Scheidegg you can also change trains and go on up to the Jungfraujoch, the highest point in Europe reachable by rail.

BTW, Interlaken is a beautiful town.
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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:07 am

Jeep512 wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:04 am
It's been a while since I was there, but we thoroughly enjoyed Fussen and the Neuschwanstein castle.
DW and I were considering a trip to Neuschwanstein Castle in a couple of years. I'm curious, did they let you take pictures at the castle? From what I've read, they're pretty persnickety about that.
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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by JupiterJones » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:19 am

Salzburg is particularly great if you're a classical music fan. Or an Austrian schnapps fan. :-) And I thought Hallstatt was absolutely wonderful and might not be too touristy in May (we were there in October and it wasn't bad at all).

All that said, it's sort of going the wrong way, isn't it? They'd be great stops if you were flying out of, say, Vienna or Budapest. But Zurch? Maybe not so much.

So here's one idea: How about going in a sort of up-over-down route to get to Interlaken? Note that, while you could do it by train and bus, this would probably best be done with a rental car:
  • From Munich, head up to spend at least one night in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. I cant recommend this tiny medieval town highly enough. Actually, with the time you have, you could zip in and hit several spots on the "Romantic Road". But if you only do one, RodT is the one to do. And staying the night lets you experience the town after the tour buses leave and before they get there the next morning. (A good general rule for any charming small town.)
  • Another option would be fit Nuremberg between Munich and RodT.
  • Head west to Heidelberg. A lively old town area, cool castle ruins to tour, etc. Either spend the night or just pop in for the day before heading...
  • South to the Black Forest and hit the spas.
  • Then (or instead) scoot on over into France and visit Colmar. From there, it's an under-three-hour drive to Interlaken.
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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by Raybo » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:23 am

I was in Munich in June and went from there to Interlaken (actually to Wengen). It wasn't an easy transfer. We took a bus to Zurich and then a train to Interlaken. Be sure to check your connections before you set your plans in stone.

If you go to Salzburg definitely take in Berchtesgaden! It is 15 miles from Salzburg and an easy train or bus ride. If you like being active, rent a bike in Salzburg, take the train to Berchtesgaden, and then ride back. It is all downhill!
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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by gd » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:53 am

I'd agree Salzburg is off course, unless there's something specific you want to do or see there. You don't have that much time to travel. Neuschwanstein is almost obligatory if heading south from Munich. If you want German alps, hiking, cable cars to mountaintops and nature you'd presumably get that around Garmish, well known by Americans for the military R&R there. More obscurely for Americans unless you're an ice skater or ski jumper, Oberstdorf. If you head south past Garmish over the pass then west, you'll see more dramatic alpine scenery than west through southern Bavaria (past Oberstdorf) and to Lake Constance, but I expect you'll see plenty of alps around Zurich. There's Burg Meersburg on the north shore of Lake Constance, I was there 30 years ago and recall a big old castle but can't remember much else.

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by mageedge » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:20 am

I'm writing this at the end of 5 weeks meandering around the same area you are visiting. Lots of good suggestions so far and, thinking of your plan to stick with public transport, I'd suggest 2 nights at Garmisch and then 2 nights at Innsbruk. It looks like direct train or (quicker) bus from Munich then direct bus from Garmisch to Innsbruk (c.1 hour) and then direct train Innsbruk to Zurich (3.5 hrs).
Great hiking/cable car options in Garmisch - the top of Zugspitze was awesome, you can go up from German side and come down the Austrian side to Ehrwald and get a 25 minute train back to Garmisch
Innsbruk has the old town with some interesting Hapsburg history in addition to great hiking (that can be said about anywhere we went in the Tyrol!) and the Nordkett funicular/cable car that begins right next to the old town (stop off at the Alpenzoo on the way back down).
We spent 3 night last week in Grindelwald and found that area around Interlaken to be truly magnificent. I'm sure you'll enjoy it whichever choices you eventuallty pick

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by Savvy » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:03 pm

Thanks all for your tremendous input! I looked up every location you all mentioned - needless to say, I learned a lot more geography! :D I think your insight is really helpful in that we don't need to go to the Salzburg area at all, given that it's out of the way. I think a priority we need to make is directness to the location (from Munich to Switzerland) since so many places will be amazing. We had hoped to visit the Neuschwanstein castle already - so we will be sure to do so.

@mageedge I was taking my time through each post, carefully considering options. Before I got to your post, based on other recommendations, I was thinking Garmisch and Innsbruck. Thus, seeing your post, I think you solidified our plans!

P.S. I loved that this post brought out several people that have only posted a few times ever!

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by Cruise » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:09 am

If you are heading to Interlaken and Zematt, do take in Crans-sur- Sierre. Also, Brienz. Near Garmisch is Lermoos, which we used as a nice base years ago. Definitely do Jungfrauhoch. Salzburg? No. Berchtesgaden? Yes. There is an interesting salt mine nearby. Can’t really go wrong in Switzerland, Austria and Bavaria.

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:28 am

Cruise wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:09 am
If you are heading to Interlaken and Zematt, do take in Crans-sur- Sierre. Also, Brienz. Near Garmisch is Lermoos, which we used as a nice base years ago. Definitely do Jungfrauhoch. Salzburg? No. Berchtesgaden? Yes. There is an interesting salt mine nearby. Can’t really go wrong in Switzerland, Austria and Bavaria.
Haven't been to the other places, but +1 on Brienz. The view of Lake Brienz is breathtaking.
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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by Jim85 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:01 am

Garmisch is a great base to visit the castles from. In addition to Neuschwanstein, I'd also recommend Linderhof another of King Ludwig's castles. Oberammergau is also nice village to visit in the area. Home of the Passion Play (once a decade but not in 2018) but worth visiting anyway. The Zugspitz from Garmisch is fun to go up but Jungfraujoch out of Interlaken is on a whole other level. If the weather is good, I'd highly recommend a trip up Jungfraujoch. Its a whole day affair and pricey but something you'll never forget.

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by theplayer11 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:23 am

if staying in Interlaken area, I highly suggest to stay in Beatenburg. The Dorint has all rooms overlooking the lake with the alps in the background..breathtaking views to wake up to. Intertlaken is too touristy.

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:15 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (trip).
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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by euroswiss » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:11 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:28 am
Cruise wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:09 am
If you are heading to Interlaken and Zematt, do take in Crans-sur- Sierre. Also, Brienz. Near Garmisch is Lermoos, which we used as a nice base years ago. Definitely do Jungfrauhoch. Salzburg? No. Berchtesgaden? Yes. There is an interesting salt mine nearby. Can’t really go wrong in Switzerland, Austria and Bavaria.
Haven't been to the other places, but +1 on Brienz. The view of Lake Brienz is breathtaking.
Not sure if you have planned out your 3 days in Interlaken, but if you do have extra time and if you, say, take a boat ride on lake Brienz to the town of Brienz, then consider a visit of Balenberg. It is an open-air museum of Swiss heritage (life-size historical houses from all parts of Switzerland), Culture, handicrafts (live demonstrations), Traditions, etc. https://www.ballenberg.ch/en/


PS: Munich to Zurich is a non-stop train connection (contrary to what a previous poster indicated)

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by tj218 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:48 pm

Did this same trip in 2016, rented a car. We are going back again this summer with our kids. We didn't spend anytime in Munich so this time we are spending more time in Munich. But Salzburg is a great, great city. Small enough to manage on feet and plenty of things to see.

Some notes:

Chiemsee about halfway between Munich and Salzburg was a nice day visit, a huge ornate palace (unfinished) and gardens on an island.
Salzburg a great city, hit the cathedral, the palaces and castle. SKIP Mozart's houses, very touristy, crowded and really overrated.
Hallstatt is very picturesque, we were there in July but it was a highlight. The salt mine tour wasn't bad and informative, but not sure if the price is worth it. We are doing it again as we think our kids will really like it, but just adults may pass.
Bertchtesgaden area was beautiful, but it clouded up from when we were at the museum to the time we got to the Eagle's Nest. The stuff on top is pretty overrated, most of it was looted by the allies and isn't original and now serves as a touristy restaurant. I'm a history buff and I was pretty underwhelmed.
We drove from Salzburg to St. Anton and did a short hike. These ski towns offer good deals for lodging off-season (summer).
Then the next day St. Anton to Wilderswil (outside of Interlaken).
Stopped at Lucerne, not a fun city to drive in during July, the wooden bridge was cool...but we are skipping it next time.
The road to Interlaken is breathtaking. Wasn't too impressed with Interlaken the city though.
We did a bunch of hiking (Gimmelwald, Murren, Schynige Platte) Schynige Platte was stunning. Hiking up there was a top 10 life experience. If you like hiking or scenic views, this is a must.

Flew out of Zurich.

We plan on doing Neuschwanstein with the kids, Rothenberg and Dachau next time in the Munich area, but this thread is good for ideas!

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by bubbadog » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:16 pm

Berne is a great city to visit and very close to Interlaken. It was one of our favorite stops on our trip to Europe last summer. We took a train then a ferry from Berne to Interlaken. The views were spectacular!

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by Wiess » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:49 am

We visited some of these areas in May of this year and our thoughts are below.

We had a rental car when we visited Hallstatt and the lakes region. Dropped off the car in Salzburg and relied on public transit. Munich to Salzburg was an easy train ride, about 1.5 hours. I think there is a train that will take you from Salzburg, through Innsbruck, to Interlaken

Munich
- our accommodation was close to Marienplatz which was also convenient for the Viktualienmarkt and surrounding restaurants.
- we also enjoyed a walk through the Englischer Garten which is one of world's largest urban public parks (Wikipedia). This is a beautiful park and a great break from the city. There is also a beer garden for a snack and refreshments. It was interesting to watch the surfers in the middle of the city.

Salzburg
- accommodation just a little outside the downtown on a convenient bus route
- a great city for exploring and another great beer garden

Hallstatt
- nice town and okay for a quick visit, not sure if it warrants two nights
- very small and tour buses arrive mid to late morning
- maybe consider Bad Ischl, a bigger town that we enjoyed. We stayed in St. Gilgen but would likely stay here next time.

Enjoy your trip

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by Traveler » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:10 am

Near Munich, definitely go to Neuschwanstein Castle and nearby Hohenschwangau Castle. If you're into WWII history, you can tour the Dachau concentration camp. Salzburg might be a bit out of the way but you could go to Innsbruck which is closer. In Switzerland, Lucerne is nice. I spent a couple days there in May this year and it was beautiful, albeit more expensive than Iceland, Tokyo and possibly London. Near Interlaken you can see Jungsfrauwoch, Grindelwald and/or GImmelwald. Most of all, enjoy your trip!

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Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:36 am

I am very biased but would head to the Nubergring. Take a siting lap in the taxi then run a Golf sport for as many laps as you con stand. Take an instructor with you.
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