Bavaria Itinerary

10 Day Bavaria Itinerary & Road Trip Guide

Julie Austria, Germany, Itinerary 50 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.


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 castle 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 Fussen 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

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.


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 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 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 2019: September 21 – October 6
  • Oktoberfest 2020: September 19 – October 4
  • Oktoberfest 2021:  September 18 – October 3

About This Bavaria Itinerary

TobogganWe 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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Comments 50

  1. I am looking at your Bavaria itinerary and it looks wonderful for next fall. Question, how could we work in a visit to Hallstatt?

    1. Post

      It looks easy to do a day trip from Berchtesgaden or Salzburg to Hallstatt (we haven’t done this but from what I found online it looks straight forward). It’s easiest if you have a rental car, taking about an hour and a half drive from either of these two places. If you do not have a rental car, you can take a train between Salzburg and Hallstatt (but this can take up to 4 hours one way…not very time efficient). In this itinerary, there is not much extra time to add in a day trip to Hallstatt. Either you have to give up a day somewhere or turn this into an 11 day itinerary. You could combine Zugspitze and Neuschwanstein into one day and keep your fingers crossed for clear skies. A bit of a gamble but might be worth it if you do not have time to spare. Cheers, Julie

  2. Hi guys! I love your blog. Am planning a 10-day trip in late-March, early-April for my family of four (includes two teens 16 and 18). Will wind up in southern Switzerland to visit my sister. Thoughts on where/how to do this? I don’t see an itinerary for Switzerland…though this Bavaria one looks good. Thanks for any help you can give!

    1. Post

      Unfortunately, we have not visited Switzerland yet, other than one hour in the town of Buchs (located right next to Liechtenstein). During our stay in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, we took a day trip out to Liechtenstein. You can do the same thing, but instead of driving back to Bavaria, drive to your final location in Switzerland. You will have to decide how much time to spend in Bavaria (picking your favorite things on this itinerary) and how much time to spend in Switzerland. Cheers, Julie

    1. Post

      Both are great times to visit Bavaria. June gets a little more rainfall than September. However, if you were in Munich towards the end of September, you could go to Oktoberfest, if that interests you. Cheers, Julie

  3. Hello!

    Stumbled upon your site and it is a fabulous place for checking out what’s good to see and do in Europe. I am keen to follow your itinerary for Bavaria. May I ask where you stayed in Berchtesgaden, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Rothenburg? It will be a party of 4 travelling together (3 adults and 1 child). Where would you recommend for us to stay? I am planning late May 26 to June 5, 2018.

    Many thanks!

    1. Post

      Hello Sandra. Well, I won’t be able to give you much valuable information. We did not stay in Rothenburg (we drove up from Garmisch and then stayed in Munich). In Garmisch, we stayed at a wonderful apartment rental called Apartment Debbie but it is not a rental property anymore. In Berchtesgaden, we stayed at a budget guesthouse of which I no longer know the name. Sorry!! I suggest checking Trip Advisor or for accommodations for your trip. Cheers, Julie

  4. Julie & Tim, (and kids)
    We used much of your information to formulate our trip for October through many of the places you captured here for us. Thank you for the ideas, inspiration and guidance. What a fun family and adventure you’ve had/are having! Thank you! Craig & Julie – Wisconsin, USA

    1. Post
  5. Hi,

    I am looking for some help on finalizing my itinerary. I’m traveling to Bavaria for 6-7 days with my wife. We will be there from 25th August to 31st. Below are a couple of options we are considering. It would be great to have some feedback.

    We will be using trains for all our travel as neither of us hold an IDP.

    25th noon – Arrive in Munich from Mumbai, take a train to Salzburg, stay in Salzburg
    26th – Salzburg city tour
    27th – Day trip to Berchtesgaden, night at Salzburg
    28th – Day trip to Chiemsee, then go to Munich
    29th – Travel to Garmisch-Pertenkirchen/Zugspitze, spend the night
    30th – Mittenwald, back to Munich
    31st – Fly out

    We can maybe skip Chiemsee and take a train from Berchtesgaden to Innsbruck and then go to GP/Zugspitze. Alternatively, we could do a day trip to GP and spend the entire 30th in Munich. Open to consider any other options as well.


    1. Post

      Hello Sambhav. I think your first few days sound wonderful. I honestly do not know much about Chiemsee. It looks nice, but I am wondering if you are losing valuable time visiting Chiemsee, going all of the way to Munich, and then down to GP. I know that solely using public transportation makes this itinerary more challenging.

      I like your idea of skipping Chiemsee, going to Innsbruck and then to GP.
      28th – to Innsbruck during the day, end in GP
      29th – GP/Zugspitze
      30th – Mittenwald, on to Munich

      If you can work out public transportation, you could also swap Mittenwald for Neuschwanstein. There might even be the chance to see both Neuschwanstein and Zugspitze on the same day (on the 29th). We did this, although we had a rental car. There may be a tour company that can do this for you or maybe you could hire a private driver for the day? Whatever you decide to do, Bavaria is a gorgeous place to visit and you really can’t go wrong. Have a great time! Cheers, Julie

  6. Your family is beautiful and the photos too!
    Although I would stay a few more days on the Romantic Road, I think your itinerary is really good and perfect for first-timers!

    1. Post

      Thanks. Yeah, it’s a quick itinerary, but works well for people who want to see a lot but don’t have time to spare. Cheers, Julie

  7. Finishing up our 10 day trip to Bavaria following your itinerary and wanted to take the time to thank you for the advice. Absolutely fantastic trip! Didn’t follow itinerary to the letter but close enough. Loved the towns you suggested we stay in….all 3 were fantastic! Only changes we made were; loved loved Innsbruck (much more than Salzburg) and did end of skipping Romantic Road(didn’t want to do the drive)

    Thank you for helping plan a WONDERFUL TRIP!

    1. Post
  8. hi.. if we plan this trip in upcoming April with our toddler, how will it be in terms of weather and feasibility? We will be travelling from India and looking for 10 days in europe

    1. Post

      In April, the weather varies greatly. You can have winter like conditions with snow or mild, springlike temperatures. I have heard that the Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden does not open until May because of the snow. Just pack for winter and spring conditions and hope for the best! Cheers, Julie

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