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The Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary in Bavaria, Germany – Deutsche Alpenstrasse

The Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary in Bavaria, Germany – Deutsche Alpenstrasse
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No sooner have the words ‘holiday in the Alps’ left your lips than the word ‘Switzerland’ comes up. For years, holidays in the Alps have been synonymous with the Swiss Alps. Now don’t get us wrong – we have nothing against Switzerland. In fact, we bloomin’ love it. But it can get expensive – we’re talking £100-for-a-casual-meal expensive. Unsurprisingly then, budgeting for a long road trip around Switzerland is enough to send anyone into a tizzy

 

But what if we tell you there is a section of the Alps that is equally pretty, much less crowded, not touristy, and much much cheaper? Nope, it’s not a figment of our imagination – it actually exists!! Welcome to the Deutsche Alpenstrasse (The German Alpine Road). This majestic road passes through picturesque rolling hills, Alpine meadows, quaint villages, gnarled forests, ice caves, enchanting lakes, fairy-tale castles, and more beer gardens than you could possibly count 🙂

 

This road trip through the Bavarian region in Germany features spectacular scenery that will leave you spell bound and gasping for words. Read the descriptions of the places below – this is a road trip you will want to go on asap 🙂

 

Road Trip of Germany - Bavaria

Spectacular? Naah – just a regular sight on a road trip in Bavaria, Germany

 

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This road trip has many stunning Alpine lakes

 

Germany Road Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Munich or Memmingen and pick up rental car
Day 2: Explore Munich
Day 3: The Dachau Concentration Camp
Day 4: Fussen and Neuschenwenstein castle
Day 5: Ettal abbey, Oberammergau, Garmisch Partenkirchen
Day 6: Partnach Gorge
Day 7: Linderhof castle, Plansee, and Karwendelbahn
Day 8: Walchensee & drive to Unterwossen
Day 9: Ice caves in Werfen & Chiemsee
Day 10: Day trip to Salzburg, Austria
Day 11: Drive back to Memmingen / Munich and fly to London

 

Total Distance Covered

1100 kms

 

Where to sleep

1-2 nights in Munich
5 nights in Ettal
3 nights in Unterwossen

 

Day 1 and Day 2 – Munich

Begin your epic road trip in Germany by flying into Munich. If you’ve opted for a flight on a European budget airline, chances are your flight will land at Memmingen airport, 100 kms away from Munich. Pick up your rental car and drive to Munich. German Autobahns are (in)famous for being one of the rare motorways without any speed limits for cars. This is a good time to get accustomed to errr combative German drivers on the Autobahn. Try opting for a hotel or B&B on the outskirts of Munich unless you are willing to pay extortionate parking charges in the city. We stayed at Hotel Grunwald Garni.

 

Over the next day and a half, explore the sights and sounds of Munich. Some of our favourite things to do include visiting the Viktualienmarkt, a farmers’ market that is a daily fixture in the city centre. It’s the perfect place to sample Bavarian treats such as Bratuwurst (sausage) and Leberkase (meat loaf). We also love the Hofbrauhaus, Munich’s legendary beer hall, for the wide array of German beer (and food!) on offer. We discovered Hofbrauhaus, thanks to Monarch’s tips map and it lives up to its name as a true-blue German drinking establishment.

 

 

 

Germany Bavaria Road Trip

Make sure you explore Munich’s food markets and beer gardens 🙂

 

Germany Road Trip

Vid with our gorgeous friend Anna 🙂

 

 

Day 3: Dachau Concentration Camp and drive to Ettal

Start the day early and head to The Dachau Concentration Camp for a somber lesson in world history. This concentration camp held tens of thousands of prisoners (jews, homosexuals, communists), who were then murdered here. We’re written a whole article on our crazy experience at The Dachau Concentration Camp and we would highly recommend a visit.

 

It’s easy to spend the better part of the day at this nightmarish complex. Once you’re done, drive to picture-perfect Ettal, which will be your home for the next 4-5 nights. We stayed at the picturesque Hotel Blaue Gams overlooking the Ettal Abbey and paid £50 per night for a double room including breakfast. You can find the best prices here

 

Read our article on The Dachau Concentration Camp here (opens in a new tab)

 

Germany Bavaria Road Trip Dachau Concentration Camp

The spooky corridors of Dachau Concentration Camp

 

Germany Bavaria Road Trip Ettal

Our hotel in Ettal

 

 

Day 4: Fussen and Neuschwanstein Castle

You will realise you’ve left urbanity far behind when you wake up and glance at the view from your balcony. There are rolling hills, pastures, and traditional Bavarian houses overflowing with flowers as far as the eye can see. According to us, this is the precise moment when the German state of Bavaria starts casting its spell on visitors.

 

Drive down to Fussen, a gorgeous town surrounded by the Alps. Fussen is just 5 kms away from the Austrian border and is straight out of a fairy tale. Spend this day exploring the legendary Neuschwanstein Castle nearby – it is the castle that is said to have inspired Walt Disney. One glance at it, and you can see why. The castle is surrounded by lush mountains and gorges and its spires reach out to the sky. You almost expect a Rapunzel or Cinderella to peek out of one of the ornamental windows.

 

Neuschwanstein Castle  is one of the most popular castles in Germany, so its best to get there early to avoid the crowds. Most guidebooks suggest walking to the Marienbrucke Bridge for a good view of the entire castle but if you want an absolutely breathtaking view, continue walking after the Marienbrucke bridge till you reach the highest vantage point in the area. This is the view you will be rewarded with :-

 

Germany Bavaria Road Trip Neuschwanstein Castle

View from Neuschwanstein Castle

 

Neuschwanstein Castle

Panoramic view of the Neuschwanstein Castle on the left and a horse carriage on the way to the Castle

 

 

Day 5: Ettal Abbey and Oberammergau

After you’ve repeated the whole getting-up-in-the-morning-and-standing-on-your-balcony-for-hours ritual, we suggest tearing yourself away from your quaint hotel in Ettal and walking to the neighbouring Ettal Abbey. This Benedictine monastery is absolutely stunning on the inside. What’s more, it houses a brewery (it’s Germany, you can never be too far from beer 😉 ). Try the locally-brewed beer or Ettal liqueurs made by the monks at Ettal Abbey.

 

Then onto our favourite village in the area – Oberammergau. As if it wasn’t enough for Bavarian villages to seem like they belong in a fairy tale, they went ahead and painted the walls of all the houses in this village with fairy-tales by Brothers Grimm. Seriously! This Alpine Road Trip in Germany cannot get any better. Have lunch in Oberammergau and spend the afternoon marvelling at the houses and trying to decipher the tales on their walls.

Germany Bavaria Road Trip-4

Ettal Abbey nestled within the Alps in Bavaria

 

Germany Bavaria Road Trip Oberammergau

Houses painted with fairy tales in the village of Oberammergau

 

Germany Bavaria Road Trip Oberammergau

Close up – fairy-tales in Oberammergau

 

 

Day 6: Partnach Gorge and Garmisch Partenkirchen

A relaxing day spent exploring Ettal and its surroundings needs to be followed by a bout of adventure. Partnach Gorge is one of the crazier natural wonders that we’ve visited. This 260 ft deep gorge has been cut into two by a river and it’s actually possible to walk through it. There’s water (waterfalls, streams, you name it!) everywhere, so make sure you wear a waterproof jacket and non-slippery shoes. You might have to crouch at certain points but its worth it. This is an experience like no other.

 

Partnach Gorge is also the gateway to a number of hikes in the area. Once you’ve crossed the gorge, you can choose a hike that suits your fitness level. This adventure needs to be followed with a lazy evening.

Spend the evening driving around the Garmisch Partenkirchen area. You’ll spot beer gardens, tiny villages, sylvan country retreats, cows grazing on storybook pastures, and very few tourists. Make sure you sample a Bavarian platter, complete with pretzels, bratwursts,sauerkraut, potato salad, and leberkas. Yummy 🙂

A word of caution – the rustic nature of this area means there aren’t too many vegetarian or international restaurants in the area. If you, like us, enjoy sampling local food, then you’re in for a treat. But if you have dietary restrictions or you’re craving non-Bavarian food, then you might have to look for a supermarket.

Germany Bavaria Road Trip Partnach Gorge

Water water everywhere at Partnach Gorge, Bavaria

 

Germany Bavaria Road Trip

Partnach Gorge is a crazy wonder of nature

 

Road trip of Germany Bavaria

You have to sample a Bavarian platter, complete with pretzels, bratwursts,sauerkraut, potato salad, and leberka

 

 

Day 7: Linderhof castle, Plansee, and Karwendelbahn

Walking into the ostentatious and preened grounds of Linderhof Castle is akin to walking into a fairy tale. This is King Ludwig’s smallest palace. It’s nowhere near as crowded as Neuschwanstein Castle and that makes it endlessly charming.

 

You could spend the afternoon picnicking at neighbouring Alpine lake Plansee – the lake is in Austria and is less than 20 minutes away from the Linderhof Castle. The glistening green-blue waters, characteristic of all Alpine lakes, offer a peaceful retreat.

 

Don’t leave the area without going on a cable car ride near Mittenwald -Zugzpiste is the most popular one but it is invariably crowded (and overpriced!). We love Karwendelbahn – a near vertical cable car ride leads visitors to the top of one of the highest mountains in the area. We were the only ones at the time we visited and we had the whole mountain to ourselves, with a giant telescope for company. The view from the top just cannot be described in words – one can see the Alps across Austria, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. It is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime moment, one you won’t forget for years to come.

 

Germany Bavaria Road Trip Linderhof Castle

Linderhof Castle is one of the highlights of a Road Trip in Germany

 

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Karwendelbahn – View from the top (we were the only ones around!)

 

Germany Bavaria Road Trip-24

Spot us? It’s easy to spend hours hiking at the top

 

Germany Bavaria Road Trip-40

It’s possible to see the Alps across Austria, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland from the top

 

 

Day 8 : Walchensee & drive to Unterwossen

After experiencing everything from gorges and Alpine lakes to picturesque villages and monasteries, it’s time to leave Ettal and drive further east to Unterwossen. This is one of the most scenic and romantic drives in the world and the scenery needs to be seen to be believed. Make sure you stop at one of Germany’s deepest and largest Alpine lakes, Walchensee, on your way to Unterwossen. The lake is nestled in the Alps and the grandiose setting provides a perfect excuse for a long-drawn meal or coffee and kuchen (cake) at a cafe overlooking the lake.

 

Check in at your hotel/B&B in Unterwossen and prepare yourself for an otherworldly adventure the next day. We spent 4 nights at the gorgeous Hotel-Gasthof Sonnenbichl and paid £45 per night for a double room including breakfast. You can check here for prices.

 

Germany Bavaria Road Trip

Lake Walchensee is one of the many Alpine lakes of the German Alpine Road

 

Germany Bavaria Road Trip-24

The tiny Bavarian village close to where we stayed 🙂

 

Road Trip in Germany Bavaria

The Bavarian countryside makes us very happy 🙂

 

 

Day 9: Ice caves in Werfen & Chiemsee

Drive to the ice-caves in Werfen, Austria. Once you’ve parked your car, trek uphill for 20 minutes to the cable car, take the cable car to the top of the mountain, and walk for another 20 minutes. Soon you will see caves looming in the distance. This is the entrance to the world’s largest ice-caves. Aah – get ready to enter a world that seems like it doesn’t belong to planet Earth.

 

Visitors can explore upto 1 km of these caves with a guide. Inside, there are giant icicles, stalactites, stalagmites, and naturally-occurring ice-sculptures that will leave you spell bound. It’s hard to take photos inside the caves but these pictures should give you an idea of what lies inside the labyrinthine ice-caves of Werfen.

 

On your way back, stop by at Chiemsee, a freshwater-lake in Southern Germany.

 

Road Trip of Germany - Bavaria

This road trip in Bavaria is full of stunning castles that seem to appear out of nowhere

 

Road Trip of Germany - BavariaRoad Trip of Germany - Bavaria

Hiking to the largest ice caves in the world in Werfen on a really foggy day

 

Road Trip of Germany Werfen

Icicles inside the ice caves in Werfen, Austria (photo – salzburg.info)

 

Day 10: Day trip to Salzburg, Austria

The achingly perfect landscapes, lakes, and mountain passes on this road trip of Germany and Austria can be overwhelming. How is one to drink up all this beauty all at once? If you’re an urban bunny and you’re missing large cities, then hop over to Salzburg for a quick day trip. Just make sure you park your car at one of the park-and-ride parking lots outside the city. Else you will spend the day looking for parking spots or being stuck in traffic jams in Salzburg.

 

Once you’re in Salzburg, walk around and absorb the atmosphere. If you’re a Sound of Music fan, then you’ll know what to do even before you get there. Visit Mozart’s birthplace, explore the Hohensalzburg Fortress, or just spend your time marvelling at the old shops or stocking up on supplies at Getreidegasse and Alter Markt Square.

 

Roadtrip of Germany - The German Alpine Road

Driving through clouds on the way to Salzburg, Austria

 

Germany Bavaria Road Trip

Salzburg – panorama

 

 

Day 11: Drive back to Memmingen / Munich and fly to London

Spend the last day driving back on the roads you would’ve grown to love in the past couple of weeks. You will drive past dozens of Bavarian villages. Try spotting the Bavarian Maibaum (Maypole), a constant fixture in most villages. It’s a tall pole depicting various rituals and traditions of Bavarian life. In a few hours, you’ll hit the Autobahn – crank up the speed and enjoy the last few hours of driving without speed limits. Do keep in mind that there are some stretches on the Autobahn where there ARE speed limits – so do keep an eye out for the signs 🙂

 

It’s the end of the trip but we’re sure this is a trip you’ll remember for ages. This Alpine reverie offers panoramas which are as pretty as those you can find in Switzerland but at less than half the cost. This road trip of Germany and Austria offers cable car rides, picturesque panoramas, trekking opportunities, rustic German food and beer, and natural wonders by the dozen – it’s calling out to you. What are you waiting for? 🙂

 

Germany Bavaria Road Trip

There are more beer gardens than people on this road trip of Germany 🙂

 

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A traditional Alpine building overflowing with flowers

 

Germany Bavaria Road Trip-12

Glistening green Alpine lakes – it’s hard to get enough of them 🙂

 

You won't forget this road trip of Bavaria easy - give it a go!

You won’t forget this road trip in Bavaria easy – give it a go!

 

We hope that we have managed to tempt you to plan an amazing road trip through Bavaria in Germany. If you have any questions or would like to add something to this itinerary, drop us a comment below 🙂 And before you go, do check out some of the related articles:

Are you crazy about Road Trips too? Read about all our favourite road trips in one place 🙂

Do you know we shot an outfit post in a Bavarian forest  when we were in Ettal

Love Germany? Read all our posts on Germany here

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140 Comments

  1. Great story about a wonderful place in Germany. And highlighted with some awesome photos!! I have done this route many years ago and it is just a beautiful piece of the world with great art (castles). Thanks for sharing!

    • Hey Sabine – did you enjoy it as much as we did? We were just left awestruck by all the castles on the route 🙂

      • Hi Savi/Vid
        Thanks for a detailed insight.

        Would like some details on the toll charges while you are shuffling between Austrian and Germany border. I heard about buying a “go maut” in German fuel stations, before entering Austria to avoid penalties? Could you educate little bit on that?

        What are the speed limits and speed cameras on the road both in Alpine region and Austrian villages? Are the speed limits well marked like in Scandinavia?

        Do you have specific recommendations on Alpine roads one must visit to capture some picture perfect scenic experience on road?

        Thanks in advance for taking your time for reply.

        • Hey Subrat,

          Apologies for the late reply. Internet has been patchy the past few weeks. Before you enter Austria, you can buy the vignette at any of the fuel stations near the border. A vignette valid for 10 days costs EUR 8.80 and you MUST stick it on your car’s windshield (inside).

          Speed limits vary from region to region so you should keep a lookout when driving. They are well marked.

          In our opinion, the whole stretch of Deutsche Alpenstrasse is gorgeous.The stretch from Fussen to Ettal is particularly beautiful.

          Hope this helps

      • Hello and thank you for your post. I am flying to Munich and wish to do your road trip except in a shorter period of time. Can you please tell me with which company you rented your car and the costs as well as what type of car did you rent. Thanks.
        Mariane

        • Hi Mariane,

          We rented through Hertz. The cost was around GBP 25 per day for an economy category car.

          Hope this helps 🙂

  2. Thats a perfect getaway post with the Oh So amazing pictures. 🙂

    • Thanks Sonal – A Road Trip in Germany actually is THE perfect getaway 🙂

  3. Germany has always been one of my dream destinations! With these stunning pictures m tempted too!

    • Rashmi go, go, go. Germany offers the perfect package – the cities offer alternative spaces (especially Berlin) while the countryside is absolutely dreamy.

      • We have 10 days in Germany. We want to do a road trip but combine Black forest and Bavaria. We are also driving around. In terms of the no. of days the choice is spending 2 days in Berlin or Salzburg. What would you recommend

        • Hi Alka,

          To be honest, we preferred Berlin out of the two (it’s a tough choice though :))

          Have a great trip.

  4. just went back to that time ages ago when I’d gone through the dreamy village of Garmisch and they all look just the same. It’s as if time has stood still and is in awe of the beautiful alpine Bavaria. Bravo!

    • Thanks Raj – I hope these places never change. They have a special quality about them that seems to transcend time 🙂

  5. I love Germany! I lived in Munich for 15 months between 2012-2013 and your pictures are making me miss it all! I’ve been to most of the places mentioned in this post. All are so so gorgeous! If you guys get a chance someday also visit Rothenburg, it’s very fairy tale-esque and adorable as well.

    • Hey Naima – we hear you. You must’ve hated leaving Germany – the countryside is just SO gorgeous. We enjoyed Munich but Berlin’s gotta be our favourite German city 🙂 PS Will definitely visit Rothenburg

  6. ohh myy godd !!! its overwhelming just to loo at it wonder how it must fell to experience all this live …

    • Overwhelming is the exact word I’d use for a road trip in Bavaria Kushagr 🙂

  7. This looks too good to be true. Im definitely tempted. Whats the best time to visit? When did you guys go exactly?

    • Hey Matin – we visited Bavaria at the end of summer but I would say anytime b/w May and October works well. Even cold winter months work well if you intend to ski 🙂

  8. Your adventure looks equally incredible and beautiful! I have not been to Germany or Austria, but I hope to someday soon, I’d love to use your suggestions as a possible itinerary. I have been to Switzerland, and as you mention, it is incredibly expensive, so it’s great there are other nearby alternatives!

    • Thanks Brooke – Germany and Austria are incredibly pretty and the Alpine Road is an amazing alternative to a road trip in Switzerland 🙂

  9. Hi guys, this itinerary of urs looks awesome, however could u be more specific on the financial details ie, the budget needed. Did u drive to any other countries as well?
    Thanks a ton in advance.
    Love,
    vinay

    • Hey Vinay – On this particular trip, we spent our time in Germany and Austria only. Insofar as budget is concerned, you will need to set aside €100-€125 per person per day – this includes all meals, mid-range accommodation, car rental, and entrance to attractions etc. Flights will vary depending on your port of departure. Hope this helps 🙂

  10. The quality of your pictures is amazing. They trily inspire – in fact I made changes to the Germany trip I am currently planning to make sure it includes spending time in Ettal!

    • Aah Ettal is so gorgeous – when are you going to Germany?

  11. Great story and Great pics!!!!! Myself and my hubby are planning to cover Germany and Austria this september and I think We ll plan our trip based on ur itenary 🙂 Thanks a ton for sharing it!!!!!!

    • Hey Shuba – that’s awesome. Have fun in Austria and Germany and do send us photos 🙂

  12. Hey Guys- I have been following your blog for quite sometime now nd I must say u hv inspired me travel nd c the world… I hv actually started off with Dubai… However Europe looks awesome… May b in future will plan out something..
    U guys doin great…. Never stop

    • Hey Komal – you don’t know how excited your comment makes us. We’re so glad we got you travelling – I hope you get to see every inch of the world in the years to come 🙂

  13. Hi Savi Vid, this itinerary is awesome. My husband and me are planning to do the similar route in August with Innsbruck before heading to Unterwossen . Would like to know which car rental did you go for, we are planning to take it from Munich? Also can we take the car crossing the Germany Austria border. Are there any tolls on these border crossings and how many would they be approx?

    Thank you so much for posting these. The pictures are just breathtaking.

    Looking forward to your reply.

    Cheers!

    • Hi Sonu,

      Glad you liked the itinerary and pictures 🙂

      We rented through Hertz. Yes, you can rent from Munich (we rented from Memmingen which is very close to Munich). As for crossing to Austria, yes, you can take it across the border but once in Austria you must have a “toll” sticker on your car – you can get these from any petrol station supermarket. Make sure you get them before or as soon as you enter Austria. You can buy a 10 day sticker for €8.7 I think.

      Hope this helps.

  14. Hey this looks lovely, how much was your average cost

    • Roughly around £125 per day (and night) for both of us including accommodation, car rental, food, and drinks.

  15. Hi

    Great ideas as we are going next month on a very similar trip – we do however have a 3 year old little girl and was wandering how much of your trip would be possible with a toddler in toe??

    • Hey Arwel – the answer to that is ALL of it 🙂 We were in the car for long periods of time and most of the treks/hikes that can definitely be undertaken with a toddler in tow. As far as infrastructure goes, Bavaria is well equipped. However well-stocked supermarkets are few and far in between. You might want to stock in Munich before heading to the countryside

  16. Hey Guys

    We have 6 nights in Germany. Plan to do Munich and the Alps during Oktoberfest. Needless to mention we’ve reserved 2 days / nights at the fest to consume and get consumed by greatest invention in the history of mankind. Plan to drive to the alps and back over the next 4 days before we head to Spain for 8 days. We plan to do a road trip both in Germany (Munich – Alps – Munich) and Spain (Malaga to Barcelona). Can you suggest a shortened itinerary ?

    • Hey there – we’ve written a detailed itinerary for a road trip in Spain that starts in Malaga in a separate post. You can check it out here: You can skip the bits that don’t tickle your fancy. Here’s the link: https://www.bruisedpassports.com/wheres/spain-road-trip-itinerary

      As for Germany, you could stick to the first 4-5 days of this itinerary and skip the bit that spills into Austria. That way, you can explore
      Fussen, Neuschenwenstein castle; Ettal abbey, Oberammergau, Garmisch Partenkirchen, and Partnach Gorge. Have fun 🙂

  17. There’s so much more you can see on a road-trip. I went to Munich last year, and had a chance to explore Neuschwanstein Castle, Dachau Concentration Camp and Salzburg but since I took trains (which was an incredible experience in itself) I missed out on staying in the little Bavarian villages. I love how you plan your holidays? Between the two of you who is the planner and which resources do you use?

    • Hi Deep,

      Absolutely – we love road trips. Savi is the planner and we rely on a lot of different websites to plan our trips. We have used most of the hotel comparison and car rental comparison sites in the past 🙂

  18. I an my husband are planning a trip to Austria, Germany & Switzerland. While doing research, we came across your blog and totally loved it. We plan to have a similar road trip covering parts of Austria & Bavarian Germany (basically the alpine roads) by road. We live in India and hold valid Indian licenses and were wondering if we can hire car and drive on Indian license. Plz advice from your experience. Thanks!!!

    • Hi Shreshtha,

      Yes, you can drive in Germany and Austria using your Indian license. Before you enter Austria, remember to buy the vignette for your car.

      Have fun

  19. Hi guys..how many hours in car….dont want to be forever driving

    • Hi Lea-anne,

      Not long, to be honest. Imagine 2-3 hours of driving every day. Of course on days that you come from Munich or go to Salzburg, this could be more, but never more than 5 hours a day from our experience.

      Cheers

  20. While planning for our Germany/Austria trip I stumbled across your blog, and ended up using several of your suggestions for hotels and activities. The Hotel Blau Gams in Ettal and the Sonnenbichl in Oberwossen were fantastic! So picturesque and comfortable, and in great areas for exploring. We also went to the ice caves in Werfen, Austria which was a highlight (the hike alone up to the caves was unbelievable!). Thank you, and keep up the traveling and sharing!

    • Dear Shari,

      That’s amazing – it makes all the effort we put in worthwhile 🙂 If you get a chance, send us your pictures from this trip and we’ll share it with out readers on social media!

      Thanks again!

  21. This trip looks like a dream! I’m currently trying to figure out how to spend 8 days in Bavaria in mid-October and many of these spots are definitely going on the itinerary… 🙂
    I really want to check out the ice caves, but the website makes the trek seem a little more athletic. Did you need any special equipment or abilities to tackle that one?
    Also, do you have any hotel recommendations near Ettal / Oberammergau?
    Thanks for the wonderful post!

    • Dear Emily,

      You are going to love Bavaria 🙂

      As for Werfen ice caves, we did not need any special equipment, but please keep in mind that we went in July. I am not sure how the weather would be in mid-October, but I doubt there’s going to be snow on the trekking path. We were able to do the trek uphill and downhill without any issues.

      The hotel suggestions are mentioned in the post (points 3 and 7) 🙂

      Have a great trip.

  22. Hi! This sounds like such an amazing trip, thanks so much for sharing! When did you guys travel? My husband and I are planning something for November or Dcember during the holidays. Do you think it’d still be good weather to do this? Of course, snow is always welcome by us, but we’re wondering about barren grey landscapes and cold trips 😉

    • Hi Sarmishta,

      We travelled in July 🙂

      November/December will have its own charms – think snow capped mountains, fairytale castles, and mulled wine 🙂

      It will definitely be cold. If you enjoy skiing then you must go in December. If you enjoy longer days and driving, go in summers for the scenery is unbeatable!

  23. Hello Savi and Vid,

    I love this itinerary. My wife and I will be spending over a month in Europe in mid June – July 2016. We would like to fit this drive in between our time in Italy and France. Fly Rome to Munich and then Munich to Paris. I think we will have to cut the drive by a day or two. Probably more like 9 or at most 10 days to fit it in. I know it is a subjective question, but if you had to cut a couple days out of the itinerary, what would you eliminate. I do want to keep the layover day in Munich after our flight from Rome.

    Thank you,
    Dave
    Inland NW Washington State, USA

    • Hi Dave,

      Apologies for the late reply!

      Well, we’d cut out the bit at the end i.e. Salzburg. Do try to go to the ice caves in Werfen though 🙂

      Also, a lot of things that we spread across two days can be done in 1 – for instance you can do Ettal, Partnarch Gorge, Linderhof castle, and Karwendelbahn in a day 🙂

      Hope you have a great trip – let us know if you have other questions.

      Cheers

  24. Hi, After a scary time driving in Ireland where there is not enough room for two cars on the road (off the highway), can you tell me how the driving is in Germany? This itinerary looks fantastic. I prefer public transportation due to the aforementioned Ireland experience, but suspect it would be hard to do without a car. Your thoughts? Thanks so much for sharing this.

    • Hey Gina – roads in Germany offer quite a comfortable experience. They’re narrow in some places (near the smaller villages) but not crowded. However public transport can be used to reach most of the major attractions without any problem – of course, you skip out on seeing the offbeat li’l villages when using public transport.

  25. Amazing blog and pictures! EXACTLY what I was looking for when researching a summer 2016 trip to southern Bavaria! Other than the Ice cave and concentration camp – any edits to be made when traveling with a family, including a 4yo? Also – did you find that certain days of the week/times of day limited your options – we’re used to the US 24-7, all-access thing. Also, may choose Ettal as our home base for the trip – would that work?

    Great post – so inspiring!

    • Hi Meg,

      Thanks a lot – happy to hear you find our post useful.

      You definitely won’t find stores open 24/7. In fact, Ettal is a small village so things are quiet once it’s dark. You will definitely find restaurants, so eating out won’t be a problem. On Sundays, for instance, you could drive to the nearest big town (Garmisch) and you’ll find that more stores are open there.

      Choosing Ettal as the base might work, but if you plan to go to Werfen (ice caves), Salzburg, or the eastern side of the Deutsch Alpenstrasse on different days, then it might be too much of a drive out and back. On the contrary, having Ettal as the base will help as you won’t have to pack and unpack.

      Perhaps you could skip Salzburg and do Werfen and the eastern part of the alpine road in a single day 🙂 Definitely doable

      Hope you have a great trip.

      Cheers

  26. This is great! We are thinking of taking our kids to Germany and Austria next summer and I love this itinerary- it has everything we were talking about. We would like to visit Vienna, though, because our family lived there before WWII. Do you think it would be tough to incorporate that for a couple nights?

    • Hey Stephanie – it’ll be easy to incorporate Vienna into this itinerary -just make sure you leave your car at a Park n Ride Car Park as finding a parking spot in the city can be a nightmare on busy days 🙂

  27. Hi, I was just looking over your itinerary again and really like it. My concern is driving in a foreign country. My only experience with that was in Ireland where the roads were often very narrow so it was quite difficult to me. What is the driving like on this itinerary? Thanks!!

    • Hey Gina – we found German roads quite comfortable to drive on. Just FYI some of the German freeways have no speed restrictions, so be careful of cars flying past you 🙂

  28. I truly enjoyed your blog ! where can i find the roap map tracing where you travelled in this trip ? and whihc month was it ? thank you

    • Hey Lilian – we visited Bavaria in July. You can just use Google Maps to trace a route that includes Munich, The Dachau Concentration Camp, Fussen, Ettal, Oberammergau, Garmisch Partenkirchen,Unterwossen, Werfen, and Salzburg including and excluding destinations depending on personal preferences and the days you have at hand 🙂

  29. During which month did you do this trip?

    • Hey Rita – we visited Bavaria in July 🙂

  30. hi Sid /Savi
    Fantastic blog
    I am trying to do a similar trip this April .We fly into Amsterdam and fly out of Munich .
    We have 14 days of which 5 days will be for visiting Amsterdam ,Bruges and Ghent .
    We then have 9 days for Germany wherein we would like to do Berlin ,Alpine Road and Munich(not necessarily in that order) before we fly back from Munich .
    Pls suggest what we should include/skip in the German section .Do you advise we cut down(eliminate) the time in Brussels if the need be .
    Thanks

    • You can skip the Austria portions from our itinerary 🙂
      PS Make sure you read our article on Things to do in Amsterdam before you hit the streets of the city

  31. Hi Vid/Savi
    Sorry i spelt your name as Sid .
    Thanks

    • Lol- so problem 🙂

  32. Hi again
    I was interested in doing a similar trip as the one you have done with some modifications .
    We wanted to spend about 9 days in Germany out of 14 days in Europe
    The 1st 5 days are planned in Amsterdam Bruges and Ghent
    Thereafter we will have 9 full days for Germany wherein we plan to keep 3 for Berlin and 6 for Munich and the surrounding places .We are doing this in April 2016 and plan to rent a car .
    We were wondering if we should skip the 2 days in Belgium(Bruges and Ghent …1 day each)and use these 2 days for the German section of the holiday.
    Thanks

    • Hey Fakhree – 9 days should be enough to cover the part of Germany you have in mind. However I’d suggesting spending both days in 1 Belgian city – either Bruges or Ghent. It’ll give you a bit more time to soak in the atmosphere 🙂

  33. Thanks again
    I will surely take hints from your article on “Things to do in Amsterdam”
    Also as you suggest we will skip the Austrian section to give us descent time for the Alpine towns in Germany .
    There are some more options in my mind over which i request you to kindly share your suggestions/ideas
    Options
    1)Keep 2 days for Belgium (As originally decided)
    2)Skip 2 days in Belgium and do Salzburg(2days)as an extension of the Alpine journey from Berchtesgaden
    3)Skip 2 days in Belgium and do Black forest(2 days)after which we can do the Alpine journey from Lindau on lake Constance .

    Thanks

    • Hey there – think you should go with Option 1 as that way you can experience a bit of countryside and a couple of cities too 🙂

  34. Hello Savi Vid,

    Thoroughly enjoyed going through your blog and based on it we have rescheduled our entire euro trip to include a road trip through Bavaria. Hope I can pick your brain on a couple of things. We were wondering whether we should extend the trip to cover the Hohe Tauren national park and the carinthian lake region in Austria. However, we only have 6 days set aside for the road trip and as such cannot make up our mind on whether to do a leisurely trip covering Ettal and Unterwossen or to try and fit in the national park/carinthian lake region also and eventually drop off our rental car in Vienna(the exorbitant “different drop off location” charges notwithstanding). our next leg of the trip is in Prague; guessing the travel time from Vienna and Munich are not that different. Eagerly awaiting your suggestions.
    Cheers,
    ganesh

    • Hey Ganesh,

      Glad you liked our blog. What you have mentioned is doable – just cut out a day from Ettal and a day from Unterwossen and add it for the lake region. We feel it might end up being a bit rushed, but you’ll get to see more 🙂

      It’ll also depend on the season you take the trip in – in summers days will be long so you’ll be able to cover more.

      Cheers!

      • hi Savi VId,

        i have gone through your Bolg and found super. please give me yr mail id. need to ask you some questions reg the trip in bayern.

      • Savi Vid, please give me yr email id.

  35. Savi Ved, Please give me your mail id.

    • Hey Monali- you can use the contact us tab on the top right 🙂

  36. Hi Savi Vid,
    Thanks for the fantastic blog !! Really helpful.

    Myself, my wife and son are planning on taking a rental car from Zurich and driving to see some nearby castles in southern Germany and Austria. Which castles would you recommend. We have around 2 and half days before returning our car in Frankfurt.

    Raghu Rao

    • Hey Raghu – if you look carefully, you’ll see we’ve mentioned our favourite castles in the post. Choose one or two based on your personal preferences – scenic castles, castles with great art collections etc. Have an amazing time in Europe

  37. Hi Savi,

    Thanks for the great and helpful blog.
    I want to do a road trip with my girlfriend this summer.
    But we want to do it in 7 days, and our budget is not verry big (around €500 each).
    Do you have tips for us to do a part of your roadtrip?
    What are the highlights, and what can we skip?
    Which excursions are affordable and which are to expensive?

    Chears

    • Hello Jesper,

      You can definitely do this trip in 7 days. You could skip the trip to Salzburg and the ice caves if you wish. The castles are amazing and you must see them 🙂

      If you are driving then you won’t really need to book an “excursion” – you just visit the places and pay the entry fees, which weren’t too much.

      Definitely make time for the drives for they are amazing!

  38. Just planning a road trip somewhere in Europe, I typed Bavarian Road Trips into Google and found you guys. I now know where I am taking my camper this summer. Thanks for putting this on-line. It looks stunning

    • Hey Frankie – always love it when we can persuade a fellow traveller to explore a place we loved so much. Yay 🙂

  39. Hi Savi Vid

    Thank you for this fantastic blog.

    I was unsure of where to travel during the July holidays and I came across your blog and this amazing road trip. I am so going ahead with your itinerary. I have a couple of questions

    – I want to include Berlin in the itinerary (Fly into Berlin and out of Munich) How many days do you recommend for Berlin? Is it preferable to drive from Berlin to Munich or take a train.

    – Are there any farm stay options available? As I have a 2 year old.

    Thanks for your help

    Jeena

    • Hey Jeena

      So happy to hear that you found our itinerary helpful. We recommend spending 3-4 days in Berlin. We’ve written several articles on Berlin in case you’re interested. Here’s the link to all our articles on Germany: https://www.bruisedpassports.com/category/germany
      A farm-stay option would be great with a 2 year old but we don’t know of any in the area. Sorry we couldn’t be of more help on that front.
      Have fun in Germany 🙂

      • Thank you for your quick response. I was trying to book the Hotel Blaue Gams however it showed us an option for the Guesthouse. Is it the same? The Guesthouse seems to be lot cheaper than the Hotel.

        Thanks again.

        • Hey Jeena – I have no clue about the guesthouse but it might be the same! I suggest emailing Blaue Gams and confirming before you book 🙂

  40. hi, is there a lot of oil filling stations for the car gas along the road??

    • Hey Hanis – yes there’s a fair few gas stations along the road – no problem on that front 😀

      • hey again, for the drive in germany n austria, do i need to get somekind of road tax,/tols/vignettes?? any important information that i might need to know?? incase i miss anything thanks!!!

        • Hi,

          You will need a vignette if you’re driving in Austria. You can get these vignettes at all fuel stations near the border.

          Cheers

  41. Hi, we are travelling from Australia and are looking to do something like this in very early January 2017. Will we be able to drive on all of the roads at that time of year, or will snow cause us difficulties. Can we access all the areas you talked about at that time of year?

    • Hey Janice – we haven’t driven this route during winter but from what we hear, it’s quite a comfortable drive during winter as well. Most roads are accessible but you’ll need winter tyres 🙂

  42. Hello,

    Thanks a lot for this detailed post. it served as a good inspiration and a base/starting point for us to plan our Bavarian trip. Although we planned it differently here and there – this gave a very good overview of the what’s and how’s.

    Your pictures are beautiful and they sure did lure us to look into Bavarian Alps when we thought about a trip to the Alps! And it was a magnificent trip! Will surely remember this one for a loonnnggg time!

    Thanks,
    Sheetal.

    • Hey Sheetal – so so happy to hear that. Do send us some photos from your trip to Bavaria. We’d love to share them with our readers on Facebook and tag you 😀

  43. Could you suggest a small road drive to bavarian Alps for 1 day or 2 days max from Munich. Unfortunately, I could not stay longer..

    • Hey,

      You could drive to Fussen and Ettal and spend a day or two there exploring the fairytale castles 🙂

  44. Thanks so much for your reports! They helped my wife and I so much in planning our trip.

    • Cheers Michael! So happy to hear that 🙂

  45. Hey Savi/Vid,

    Thanks for this fantastic post. I was looking for a 10 day road itinerary through some of the less beaten paths in Europe when I happened upon your blog. Looks like Bavaria might be a winner.

    My wife and I will be travelling from the US (with our 2 yr old daughter in tow) – was curious if some of the accommodations you’ve mentioned here are conducive to a family. We’re quite low-maintenance when it comes to raising our daughter, so we’re not looking for anything fancy – just want to make sure we won’t be completely out of our element at some of these places.

    • Hey Sameer – sure all these accommodations should work with a child. They’re comfortable and scenic B&Bs 🙂

  46. Dear Savi and Vid,

    This was a wonderful article. It inspired us to make Germany our destination for our annual vacation in July. We used it as our base to draw up the itinerary for our trip. We followed a lot of your recommendations (Unterwossen, the Ice Caves, a Gorge (though we did Leichensteimklamm, instead of Partnach Gorge), Dachau) and it turned out to be one of the best road trips. The ice caves were awe inspiring and we would have never thought of it, if not for this article. So thank you so much for this. In fact, when we visited Berlin, we went to Burgermeister too, since it was on your must try recommendations! And though I m a vegetarian, my husband and friend said it was the best burger they has ever eaten!

    We look forward to planning our next trips based on your travel exploits too! WE totally love your page and vicariously travel all year round through your photos!

    Thanks again!

    Love
    A

    • Hey Aparna – that’s amazing 🙂 So happy to hear this! Do send us some photos from your trip to bruisedpassports at gmail dot com. We’d love to share them with our readers and tag you.

  47. Dear Savi and Vid,

    I was so excited when I chanced upon this post as I am planning a year end holiday to Europe this year!

    My trip is about 18 days to spare and your itinerary seems very doable. I would like to ask if you have been to Rothenburg as I heard that the Christmas Market there is really awesome! Was thinking if its possible to put that in and also possibly visit one more country? (So means Germany, Austria + another country) I would love any recommendations that include natural scenery or quaint towns or places that give out cultural and festive vibes.

    • Hey Sam,

      Thanks for your comment!

      Well, Rothenburg can definitely be added into this itinerary, but you’ll find equally impressive christmas markets in Munich too. That will save you the long drive from Rothenburg to Bavaria. In so far as adding another country, we’d strongly suggest driving into Czech Republic – ample natural scenery and quaint towns. You could end your trip in Prague (return the car the moment you get there and spend 2-3 days exploring the city – it’s one of our favourite cities in Europe and will be amazing in the festive period)

      Do check if you’re allowed to drive the car rented in Munich into Czech – we know you can drive into Austria, but just check about czech republic 🙂

      Have a great trip!

  48. This blog has been our inspiration for our road trip. We added some places in Tirol like Innsbruck and Wattens. Today, we return our rental to Munich but checking out Herrenchiemsee castle first. Thanks for the inspiration. It’s truly beautiful. 🙂

    • Thanks a lot 🙂 So happy to hear you had a great time. Do share photos of your road trip with us 🙂

  49. Hi
    Your road trip has inspired us to do the trip March 2017. We have booked the ferry from the UK already. If the weather is too bad then we will just drive the other way from the ferry to Berlin. Cannot wait!

    • Hey Christine,

      So happy to hear that 🙂

      Where does the ferry drop you?

      Have a great trip!

  50. Good afternoon! my husband and myself are planning a last minute trip to Germany in a week. We will be arriving in Munich. We have 7 days to explore! What would you recommend during this time? Staying in Germany or taking a day trip to Austria? I read that some places are closed in the winter months. Any thoughts and opinions are welcome.

    • Hi Julie,

      The best is to stay in the Garmisch region of Bavaria and do a day trip to Austria. Bavaria is famous for skiing so don’t think anything should be shut 🙂

      Have a great trip 🙂

  51. Hi Both,

    I had just started to plan my Germany Munich trip for around 8 days and I found your website, and it’s a treat , found the perfect itenary and my job almost done.
    I have some different questions then above and you guys might not be able to help me , but still here is my question :

    I am planning to travel with 2.5 years old son , how feasible will be to travel to fairy and bful castles?

    I have been to munich and garmisch couple of years back with friends and I think those will be doable .

    Any advice ??

    Thanks in advance..

    Cheers

    • Hi Palak,

      Thanks for dropping by 🙂

      We see no reason why travelling with your son might be a problem when visiting the castles – we saw plenty of families with toddlers and the little ones seemed to be having the time of their lives 🙂

      Have a great trip

  52. This trip looks amazing.. Have been ‘holiday-ing’ for while now and would like to start properly ‘travelling’. I know this is “how long is a piece of string” but do you have a rough price (all in for 2 people) that this would have come to?

    Not looking for specifics.. Just wonder if this is in/out budget 🙂 If not I could always tailor it to suit us 🙂 Thanks in advance! Love the blog!

    • Hey James – this roadtrip in Bavaria comes to around $1000/person 🙂 Hope that helps. Do send us photos from Bavaria if you make it there

  53. Hi guys – I wouldn’t usually comment on a blog but I thought I just had to in this case!

    I have been planning a road trip with my partner starting in Germany finishing in Switzerland and was struggling so much to decide on a route (as we have both never been to Germany) and your blog has literally been a life saver!!! It is EXACTLY what I needed and now I have it all booked thanks to you guys. Such a helpful blog – I just wanted to say thanks! 🙂

    Zoe (Sydney, Australia)

    • Hey Zoe – thank you so much for leaving such a nice note for us. So happy to hear you found our itinerary helpful – hope you have a whale of a time in Germany 🙂

  54. Hi,

    Very nice itinerary, hope you could help me out with mine 🙂

    I’m planning a trip from the 30th of June to the 5th along the Alpenstrasse then a couple of days in Munich. we will be in Interlaken (swiss) so the plan is to drive to Lindau, Fussen, Ettal, Unterwossen and then to Munich. where do you suggest i spend the 5 night on that road?

    • Hey Hisham,

      Congratulations on the upcoming milestone 😉

      That’s a great itinerary. We’d suggest spending 3 nights in Ettal and 2 in Unterwossen 🙂

  55. Hi,
    I am planning a trip to bavaria along the lines you have mentioned in july.Since we have a 18 month kid i am planning to skip the Partnach Gorge and Garmisch Partenkirchen.

    Could you advice if the ice cake trek is possible with a kid on stroller?

    • Hey Nikul,

      You might want to confirm with the cave website, but I doubt that you can take a stroller inside 🙁

      Hope you have an amazing trip 🙂

  56. Hi guys ,I need some advice on the road please,1)is it one continual road and 2) are there sections that are very difficult.We have an ageing motorhome and I don,t want to put too much pressure on the engine with difficult climbs
    Thanks

    • Hey Doug,

      It’s not one continuous road. From what I can recall, there weren’t any difficult climbs along the route – maybe a few near Fussen but that’s about it. I don’t think it should be a problem for your motorhome 🙂

  57. Hello!
    Have you used credit card frequently over there? Do you recommend getting cash and if so how much do you recommend to carry as cash?

    • We used our credit card quite often but also withdrew money from an ATM before starting out – a couple of hundred Euros should be fine 🙂

  58. Hello,

    Thanks for a great itinerary. I am planning a road trip for my partner’s birthday in October, and came across this one.
    Would you give me some more details on where exactly you stayed, or maybe some pointers atleast. For ex, when I visited Partnaklam Gorge ( we had taken the train from Munich ), I didnt really find a great place to stay in. Hence, I am looking for pointers to help me out here.

    Thanks,
    Anirban

    • Hi Anirban,

      We have mentioned the names of the hotels we stayed in when we were in Bavaria – you can check these hotels and probably stay there too. For instance, Partnach gorge was just 20 minutes from our hotel in Ettal 🙂

      Hope this helps!

  59. My husband and I just got back from Bavaria and based our trip off of your recommendations in this post. It was a phenomenal trip and greatly appreciate all of your advice and suggestions! I love that your itinerary focused on places that are somewhat “off the beaten path”…it made for such a unique and memorable travel experience. I look forward to continuing to read you blog and hopefully use your travel experience to plan future trips of my own!

    • Hey Caitlin,

      So happy to hear that 🙂 Bavaria is a magical area, isn’t it? Would you mind sharing some photos from your trip with us? We’d love to share them with our readers!!

      Thanks once again

      • Absolutely! I will email them to you soon 🙂

        • Thanks a lot Caitlin 🙂

  60. Hello Savi and Vid ,

    A huuuuge fan this side .. !! We are planning a road trip to Germany but we just have 4-5 days for it.:(
    Please suggest a route (Cities and towns) for those 5 days so that we can make most of the time..that will be great help 🙂
    We will be traveling from Netherlands ..just to mention ..
    Much Love

    Swati 🙂

    • Hey Swati,

      You should base yourself in Ettal and then spend the 4 days exploring the places around as day trips – Fussen, Garmisch, Oberamagau, even Munich 🙂

  61. My husband and I would do a road trip in Germany from Frankfurt to Fussen through the cities of Romantic road. We are staying at Fussen. I have a couple of questions:
    1. Is US driving license valid in Germany or need a IDP.
    2. Any tips/ suggestion on tolls .
    3. For the neuschwanstein castle , how to visit it ie should be go inside and take a trip of the castle or view it from outside and use the day to check out surrounding places. Where else we can go close to Fussen

    • Hi Atreyee,

      a) US driving license should be fine
      b) From what we remember, no tolls in Germany, however if you drive into Austria, you need to buy one of the vignettes (it was around €8 for a week at the time we went)
      c) It depends on your likes and dislikes. Seeing it from outside and hiking up to the view points is great and then you can drive to Ettal and Partnarch Gorge to spend the rest of the day.

      Hope that helps 🙂

      • Thanks Savi Vid . I am a huge fan of your posts and follow every where in insta,fb . I love your dressing sense and photography skills.

        • Thanks Atreyee 🙂

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