Julie Austria, Germany, Itinerary 70 Comments

Bavaria is the southeast region of Germany, the land of fairytale castles, Oktoberfest, and lederhosen. With the Alps to the south and idyllic towns dotting its hillsides, Bavaria is a beautiful and romantic destination. View the Alps from Germany’s highest peak at Zugspitze, tour crazy King Ludwig II’s storybook castle Neuschwanstein, learn about WWII history in Munich and Berchtesgaden, and even take day trips into Austria. Bavaria is one of our favorite spots in the world and you will see why on this fast but very enjoyable Bavaria itinerary.

10 day Bavaria Itinerary

This Bavaria Itinerary is Good For:

  • Fairytale Castles and Cities
  • The Alps
  • WWII History
  • Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • Families

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the layers (Where to Go and With More Time). You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest. If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Day 1

Arrive in Munich, Drive to Berchtesgaden

Arrive in Munich in the morning. Pick up your rental car and drive southeast to Berchtesgaden. It is a two hour drive (150 km). Spend the afternoon visiting the town of Berchtesgaden. Want to try giant, German cream puffs? Visit Windbeutel Baron for over-the-top desserts and awesome views over Berchtesgaden.

Tonight, sleep in Berchtesgaden.

Windbeutel Baron

Day 2


The two main sites in Berchtesgaden are Lake Konigsee and the Eagle’s Nest. If you are traveling with children or want to take a tour of the underground salt mines, Salzbergwerk is another option for today’s activities.

Lake Konigsee is Germany’s highest lake. It is a beautiful lake framed by towering, green mountains. Tour boats run frequently, taking visitors around the lake. There are plenty of restaurants down by the water’s edge for great lunch and dinner options. Hikers may prefer to hit one of the trails in Berchtesgaden but this will not leave much time in the day to get to the Eagle’s Nest.

The Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s command post during WWII, cannot be missed, even by those who are not history buffs. Start at Dokumentation Obersalzberg, a museum that gives an overview of Hitler’s life, vision, and eventual outcome. Most of the exhibits are in German although there are some English translations. Buses run from the Dokumentation Center up to the Eagle’s Nest. These buses are the only way to get to the Eagle’s Nest; you are not permitted to drive if you have a car.

The Eagle’s Nest was Hitler’s command post during WWII. This historical building is now used as a restaurant. The best part of visiting the Eagle’s Nest is getting a bird’s eye view over Germany and Austria. It is best to visit the Eagle’s Nest when the skies are clear.

Eagle's Nest

Salzbergwerk is a 90 minute tour through the underground salt mines. Don special jumpsuits, ride on an underground train, and slide down wooden chutes. It’s a great activity for kids…fun and educational.

End your day with dinner in Berchtesgaden.

Day 3

Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria lies just over the border from Berchtesgaden. It takes just 35 minutes by car. Spend the day touring Salzburg, visiting the Salzburg Fortress, Mozart’s birthplace, the Old Town, and Schloss Mirabell. You can even take a “Sound of Music” tour.

Return to Berchtesgaden.


Day 4


After breakfast at your hotel or guesthouse, drive west to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It takes two and a half hours (200km), arriving in Garmisch around lunchtime.

Spend the afternoon checking into your hotel and exploring the main part of town. Have dinner here. Or, if you are traveling with children, consider visiting the Olympic Village, where you can ride chairlifts up the mountain and stand on top of the ski jump. Our kids loved the toboggan ride.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is going to be your home base for the next three days, until you head north along the Romantic Road.

Garmisch Bavaria itinerary

Day 5


This is best done on a clear day. You want to be able to get the best views over the Alps.

There are several ways to get to the summit of Zugspitze…by hiking or by cable car. Most people choose to ascend Zugspitze by cable car. Note, that if you plan to hike up to the summit of Zugspitze, it is a two day journey.

We wrote a detailed post about how to visit Zugspitze that you may be interested in reading.


Day 6

Neuschwanstein Castle

This palace is one of Germany’s most photographed icons. Thousands of visitors flock here everyday to see this fairytale castle. Neuschwanstein can get quite crowded, especially during peak season. But don’t worry, there is a way to avoid these huge crowds of people.

The trick to having the best experience at Neuschwanstein is to arrive early. When I say early I mean at least a half hour before opening time, especially during the summer months.

From Garmisch-Partenkirchen it is a one hour drive to Neuschwanstein. Plan on leaving your hotel at least an hour and a half before opening time. Arriving early lets you purchase your tickets into the castle for the first tour of the day. It’s a quick tour and in less than an hour you will be free to explore the grounds around the castle.


Don’t miss Mary’s Bridge. This is the spot to take those iconic photographs you always see of Neuschwanstein. Cross the bridge and head up the hiking trails for views down to the castle. You will leave most of the tourists behind and get stunning views over the valley that most people miss. This is also a great spot for a picnic!

Over Neuschwanstein

You have the option to also visit Hohenschwangau Castle, located just down the hill from Neuschwanstein. Not as showy or spectacular as Neuschwanstein, it may be worth it for those who love castles.

You will have the rest of the afternoon free to relax or explore the other small towns in the area between Füssen and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Day 7

Innsbruck, Austria

Austria is filled with small, photogenic cities and Innsbruck is no exception. Only 64 km (1.5 hours by car) this makes another great day trip from Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Innsbruck was the site of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics. Things to do here include walking through the picturesque old town, ascending the funicular for views over Austria, climbing the tower in the town square, and visiting the Olympic village and ski jump.


Day 8

Romantic Road to Rothenburg ob der Tauber

This is a huge driving day. If you hate the thought of sitting in your car for hours and hours, you may want to skip this day. But, if you want to see one of the most picturesque towns in Germany, don’t miss this. It is worth the drive.

The Romantic Road takes visitors small town hopping as they head north from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Wurzburg. In this itinerary, I only give one day for the Romantic Road, which forces you to skip the small towns in between. If you have time in your schedule, considering adding a day, visiting the towns along the way, sleeping at the halfway point. Our time was limited so we chose to skip right to the highlight of the Romantic Road.


From Garmisch-Partenkirchen it is a 3 hour journey (330 km) by car directly to Rothenburg. If you leave early enough, you will arrive in Rothenburg in time for lunch and can spend the afternoon touring the town. It only takes several hours to visit Rothenburg. The best things to do are wander the colorful streets, view the town from the top of the clock tower, go shopping, and dine on Schneeballen.

Rothenburg Street

Rothenburg Colors Bavaria itinerary

Sleep in Rothenburg or drive to Munich (255km, 2 hours and 15 minutes by car). Once in Munich, drop off your rental car.

Days 9 & 10


There’s a lot to see and do in Munich and everything is connected by public transportation. The top things to do are to visit Dachau Concentration Camp, stroll or bicycle through the Englisch Garden, have beer at one of the many beer halls (Hofbrauhaus is the most famous), see Marienplatz (the main town square), go to the BMW Museum and BMW Welt, and visit yet another olympic park.

Hofbrauhaus Bavaria itinerary

With More Time (things to add on to your Bavaria Itinerary)


Liechtenstein can be visited in one day from Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It is 200 km by car or just under three hours of driving. Yes, it is a far distance to go, but when else will it be this easy to get to this tiny country?

What is there to do in Liechtenstein? Honestly, not much. You can walk up to Vaduz Castle for views over Liechenstein, visit the town square, and visit the wine cellars of the Prince of Liechtenstein. Postage stamp collectors will love the National Museum. We visited Liechtenstein, and even though it was not the most thrilling destination, I am glad we got to see it.

Spend more time on the Romantic Road

This Bavaria itinerary does not allow for much time on the Romantic Road. Add on one to two days to take in all the sites, including Wurzburg.


Bavaria’s second largest city. Spend a day or two here touring the city, drinking beer, and in the winter, shopping at its fabulous Christmas market.


Hallstatt is a fairytale town that is located near Salzburg. It’s best visited on a day trip from Salzburg, however, if you have even more time, consider a one night stay here. Here is how I would add Hallstatt onto this Bavaria itinerary:

On day 3, spend the night in Salzburg, rather than returning to Berchtesgaden. The following morning, go to Hallstatt, and sleep in Hallstatt or Salzburg. The following morning drive to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. This adds one day to this itinerary. You can drive to Garmisch-Partenkirchen on the same day that you visit Hallstatt, but it will be a long day with a big drive at the end of it.

Is this Bavaria Itinerary Too Long? What do we recommend skipping?

If you only have a week, you can still see most of what is on this list. On a good weather day, see Neuschwanstein in the morning and Zugspitze in the afternoon. We did it and loved it!

See Salzburg, skip Innsbruck. Yes, Innsbruck is beautiful, but Salzburg has more “must-see” sites.

Spend only one day in Munich. Yes, that’s fast, but you could see Dachau in the morning, tour the heart of the city in the afternoon, and end your day at a beer hall.

When To Go

Any time of year. The summer is peak season. The temperatures are pleasant but expect rain (and crowds of people). While we were here in August it rained almost every day in the afternoon for a few hours. Winter is the time for Christmas markets, skiing, and being able to visit many places with a lot fewer tourists. Spring and fall are shoulder seasons. It would be beautiful to see Bavaria in bloom in May or on fire with autumn colors in the fall.


Oktoberfest is a 16 day beer drinking party in Germany. It takes place in Munich, Germany. View the official website for Oktoberfest here.

  • Oktoberfest 2021:  September 18 – October 3
  • Oktoberfest 2022:  September 17 – October 3
  • Oktoberfest 2023:  September 16 – October 3

About This Bavaria Itinerary

Toboggan Bavaria itineraryWe recommend renting a car. The roads in Germany are fast, safe, and easy to drive. You can get to many places using public transportation but having a car makes life a lot easier. With this itinerary, pick up and drop off your car in Munich.

Your days in Garmisch-Partenkirchen can be rearranged. Plan on visiting Zugspitze on the day with the clearest weather forecast. Weather conditions change rapidly in Bavaria. If you wake up to crystal clear skies in the morning, they may not last long, especially during the summer months!

If you are traveling with kids, do not miss the toboggan (Sommerrodelbahn) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. We went back several times and Tyler and Kara never got tired of it.  

You will need accommodations for three nights in Berchtesgaden, four nights in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and three nights in Munich.

Do you have any questions about this Bavaria itinerary? Let us know in the comment section below.

Want to learn more about traveling in Germany? Check out our Germany Travel Guide.

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Bavaria Germany Itinerary Travel Guide


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Comments 70

  1. For those who have more time, I would definitely recommend visiting the beautiful Bavarian town of Mittenwald, as well as Oberammergau, site of the famous Passion Play. If staying in Garmisch- Partenkirchen, try the Hotel Schatten in Partenkirchen. I’ve stayed there several times and give it an “A” for its Gemuetligkeit! If in Mittenwald, I recommend the Hotel Post.

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  2. We did a similar trip this summer. A great place to stop with kids between Munich and Rothenburg is the Fossil Quarry near Eichstatt, where you can hire a hammer and chisel for each child and they get to bash rocks to find fossils! Was a great stop between them (and we grabbed a quick lunch in McDonald’s in Eichstatt!).

  3. This makes me want to go back!! We went in July of 2015, we were based in Ingolstadt north of Munich for 3.5 weeks and took long weekend trips. Bavaria was by FAR my favorite region. The scenery is just incredible! And Rothenburg may just be my favorite city in the world. I’d highly recommend the Night Watchman’s tour, it’s super crowded in July, but such a good way to see the whole city and get the history of the town. Thanks for sharing this, it was a fun read!

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  4. Curious would adding Vienna and Prague after Munich be do able after your 10 day itinerary? If we did that would you recommend starting in Prague and finishing our trip in Bavaria? Or go from Munich by train to Vienna and Prague? To make it a 2 week trip? Thanks

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      Yes, they would make great additions to this trip. You can add them onto the beginning or at the end just as you stated. How you choose to add them would be personal preference and maybe where you can get the best flight deals (for example, maybe it is cheaper to fly into Prague and out of Munich). Cheers, Julie

  5. Hi, We hope to follow your wonderful itinerary the first week in May. DO you have advise on where to stay or eat at these locations? I would love any recommendations. Thanks

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      I don’t have any specific restaurant or hotel recommendations. We stayed at a great apartment in Garmisch-Partenkirchen but unfortunately it is no longer available. We use Booking.com to find our hotels and book our accommodations, so you could start your hotel/apartment search here. Cheers, Julie

  6. Hi, I am thinking of doing this trip with a friend in March (13-22), but I would like to incorporate a bit of ski. What would you recommend?

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      We don’t have any experience skiing in Europe, yet. I know that there are many ski slopes in and around Bavaria, but don’t know enough to offer any solid advice. Sorry! Cheers, Julie

  7. Hi, thank you for taking the time to share your information. I.m something what- this trip might cost as id line to set it up for my parents. A bal park figure would help. Car rental and attractions.. flights will vary year to year etc. So not that. Thank you so much again!

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      As a ballpark, you will spend a minimum of $100 USD per person per day for food, activities, and lodging (budget to mid-range travel). Add another $100 USA per person per day if you want to stay in nice hotels, have a drink with dinner, and eat at restaurants for lunch and dinner. Rental car prices vary widely. It can range anywhere from $50 to $100 per day for a mid-size car. If you pick up the car and drop it off at two different locations, there can also be a drop fee of several hundred dollars. When we travel through western Europe, we typically spend $600 to $800 per day for our family of four, including the rental car, while staying in 3 star or sometimes 4 star hotels. Cheers, Julie

  8. Great blog! Question, we are planning to go Germany in December. From Germany, we are heading to Prague then Vienna. For our Germany itinerary, should we use munich or nuremburg as our base? We plan on going to rothenburg, nueschwein castle, Salzburg, hamburg. Are those doable? We are renting a car. Should we stay a night or two in munich, nuremberg and rothenburg? Or just pick one as a base. I will be travelling with my husband and our 11month old baby. Thank you!

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      Hello Johanna. The cities you listed are very far apart. For example, to drive from Hamburg to Neuschwanstein Castle it would take over 8 hours. If you want to visit all of these places, I recommend staying in several different cities.

      You can day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle, Rothenburg, and Salzburg from Munich. I think one night in Rothenburg would be very nice, to see it once the day trippers leave. But Hamburg is very far away and you might even consider taking the train here rather than driving because of the distance.

      I think spending several days in Munich (day trip to Neuschwanstein and Salzburg), one night in Rothenburg, and one to two nights in Nuremberg would be nice, and then continue to Prague then Vienna. Hamburg seems so far out of the way that I wonder if it is worth going the distance on this itinerary. Cheers, Julie

    2. Hello Johanna,
      i found this page while looking for tours for the Zion NP 🙂

      I live near Nuremberg, maybe my assessment can help you.
      I would skip Hamburg, because it’s very far away from your route. Especially when you are traveling with a little child.
      You should split your base. For all destinations in the Alps Munich or even further south. Neuschwanstein, for example, is far too far from Nuremberg in one day.
      Rothenburg can be easily reached from Nuremberg, you don’t necessarily have to spend the night in Rothenburg. Beautiful cities around Nuremberg, for example, are also Bamberg and the small Dinkelsbühl (almost the same drive than Rothenburg), if you want to see historic old towns.

      Best regards,

  9. Hi! Is the weather still good between mid October and November in Bavaria? We are planning to travel and enjoy the autumn weather and golden leaves.

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      Yes, I think autumn is a nice time to go, however, rain showers are more likely. I have heard the fall colors are nice, just do some research as to when the peak colors are, if this is a big deal for you. Holiday weather is a good website to check weather averages for places you are considering visiting. It gives you an idea of what to expect. Here is the link to Munich in October to get you started. Cheers, Julie

  10. I enjoy reading your blogs and it really helps to plan my Norway trip in late August. I’ve been thinking my next trip combining your 10-day Bavarian and your 3 Dolomites hikes. Is is easy to drive from Salzburg to the Dolomites and then back to Garmisch-Partenkirchen?
    Thanks & Best Regards,

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      That sounds like a great trip! The drive should be fine but you will be on winding roads through the mountains. If you are anyone you are traveling with gets car sick, this could be an issue. It might be best to make your itinerary such that you drive to the Dolomites at the end of your Innsbruck day trip day. You can take highway A22 down to Italy and it would be a quicker, easier drive than going from Salzburg. In my opinion, this region is one of the prettiest in Europe. I hope you have a great trip! Cheers, Julie

  11. Hi Julie

    I love your blogs. If we only have one day to either do a daytrip to Hallstat (from Innsbruck) or to Rohtenburg ob der Tauber (from Munich), which would you choose?

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      That’s a good question! Both are beautiful little towns. I liked our experience more at Rothenburg, just since it was less crowded than Hallstatt. But that doesn’t mean that Rothenburg won’t be crowded…it’s a popular destination in Germany. I would say go to Hallstatt if you want to see more mountains (it will be similar to Innsbruck, but Hallstatt is smaller and more charming). Go to Rothenburg if you want to visit a very colorful, charming town in Germany. Both are great and you can’t go wrong either way. Cheers, Julie

  12. Hi Julie

    Your itineraries are awesome and we are following your Germany/Bavaria/Austria for our 10 day trip. Only thing we added is Hallstatt to it. Do you recommend any accomodation/hotel/Airbnb in Berchtesgaden and Garmisch area?

    Suparna Das

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      Hello Suparna. Adding Hallstatt is a great thing to do! I don’t have any specific accommodation recommendations for this area. Where we stayed in Berchtesgaden was just OK, and the place we stayed in Garmisch was awesome but it has closed. Big bummer. We use Booking.com to find and book our hotels, so you could start your search here. Have a great trip and I’m glad you like our itineraries! Cheers, Julie

  13. We are planning on visiting Eagles Nest on route to Salzburg. I am a bit confused as to how we can tour Eagles Nest. We will have a rental car. Can we drive there, buy tickets, and then take the bus to Eagles Nest? Or should we plan to do a tour once we arrive? So I guess I am asking, is there a ticket office or advanced purchase?
    ps. we live local to you and our kids, although not friends, are the same age. I have LOVED following your travel adventures and you have such a beautiful well thought out website!

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      Hello Jenifer. Thanks for your kind words! Yes, you can drive to Berchtesgaden and once there, buy your tickets. You can park and buy your tickets for the bus at the Dokumentation Center. The bus will leave from here. We did it self-guided, buying our tickets for the Dokumentation Center and the bus to the Eagles Nest the same day as our visit. There is also an option to book a guided tour with Eagles Nest Tours if you want to learn more while you are there. Cheers, Julie

  14. This was fantastic, used this itinerary to plan my 10 day trip in Bavaria with my parents and I. “This is one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on!!” Thanks very much on all your recommendations – truly made it a great time!

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  15. Hi Julie,

    Love your itenaries. Planning a 9 day trip in July by more or less following your Bavaria Itenary, cutting our days in Munich short. Have 2 girls 5 and 8 so hoping to do the Sound of music tour.
    We are planning to rent a 9 seater as have 7 people travelling. Is it easy to drive around with a 9 seater?


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      Yes, you can get around in a 9 seater. The highways and roads in Germany/Bavaria are in excellent condition and easy to drive. We actually drove a 9 seater in Germany (on a day trip from Berlin)…it’s a BIG vehicle but it wasn’t an issue. Have fun! Cheers, Julie

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