Austria, Neuschwanstein and Southern Bavaria Tour Plan
Here is a suggested 2-week tour itinerary that primarily concentrates on touring Austria but also hits a couple of great places in Bavaria.
Day 01 VIENNA
Arrive by your own means at your Vienna hotel. most international flights will arrive in the morning and by the time you get to your hotel, it will be close to noon. You may not be able to check-in but drop your luggage off at your hotel and spend the day visiting the city and consider a relaxing dinner and nightcap at any of Vienna’s wonderful restaurants. Vienna has many great beer places but my favorite is AmmutsØn Craft Beer
Day 02 VIENNA
In the morning take a tour of Vienna, hosted by a local guide. Have your tour finish at the magnificent Palace of Schoenbrunn, where you have the opportunity to view some of the State Apartments. The afternoon is more leisure time for shopping and exploring the city at your own leisure or getting used to the jet lag. Tonight transfer by bus or taxi to the Vienna suburban community of Grinzing for a typical Viennese dinner at a local “heuriger” (winery), complete with wine and music.
Day 03 VIENNA – DANUBE CRUISE – SALZBURG
After breakfast depart for Salzburg via train to Krems. In Krems you will board a Danube steamer for a river cruise to Melk. Here you can be taken on a guided tour of the historic Benedictine Abbey, including some of the State Rooms and Church that date to 1702. After the tour, continue by bus to the “Sound of Music” city – Salzburg. Tonight enjoy a very special “Mozart” dinner with music at St. Peters Stiftkeller.
Day 04 SALZBURG
In the morning take an unforgettable guided walking tour of Old Town Salzburg, including a visit to Mozart’s birthplace. The afternoon is more leisure time to explore the town on your own or visit the Red Bull museum. Perhaps a visit to the Festung (castle) or Mirabell Gardens or the Sound of Music museum. If you are into beer a visit to Steigl is a great way too spend some time and enjoy some tasty beers and food and a must stop is a visit to Kloster Augustiner, which hopefully if the weather is in your favor is one of the best beer gardens in all of Europe and Austria’s largest with seating for 1400 people.
Day 05 SALZBURG – BERCHTESGADEN – VILLACH
From this point on we suggest renting a car. Depart after breakfast and travel the short distance to Berchtesgaden in Bavaria, where you will visit the spectacularly-located “Eagles Nest”. After, enjoy a cruise on the Koenigsee, famous for its echo qualities and Bartholomae Chapel. Late, In the afternoon travel to Villach in southern Austria with an evening to explore this quaint town.
Day 06 VILLACH – GROSS GLOCKNER – INNSBRUCK
Today’s journey will be through magnificent alpine scenery. First stop will be at the village of Heiligenblut (Holy Blood), one of the most photographed villages in Austria because of its spectacular alpine backdrop. Continue higher into the Alps where (weather permitting) you will view Austria’s highest peak – the Gross Glockner and its surrounding snow-capped peaks. You will arrive in the city of Innsbruck late afternoon.
Day 07 INNSBRUCK
Following breakfast take a city tour highlighting all the main sights, including the Little Golden Roof, Hofburg, Hofkirche and Olympic Ski Jump. After a lunch break on top of the mountain after taking the tram up, take a short journey to the town of Wattens where entry is included to the impressive Swarovski Crystal World. Great gift buying opportunity. Later in the evening attend a special Strauss concert or spend some time in the town casino.
Day 08 INNSBRUCK – NEUSCHWANSTEIN – OBERAMMERGAU – ETTAL- GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN
Today is a full-day excursion to southern Bavaria to visit the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein, built by “mad” King Ludwig of Bavaria. be sure and make a tour reservation in advance so you do not get shut out. Afterwards, continue to Oberammergau – home of the Passion Play and of Eiscafe Paradisio for some of the best ice cream and gelato in Europe. – and to nearby Ettal for a visit to the Benedictine monastery, Kloster Ettal or if time permits a visit to the Linderhof Palace which was mad King Ludwigs only finished palace. Head a short ways down the road to my hometown, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and enjoy a traditional Bavarian meal at Bräustüberl Garmisch. Be sure and ask if they can make some homemade Kaiserschmarrn for you for dessert. It isn’t always available and takes them 30 minutes to prepare.
Day 09 GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN – MUNICH
If you love the outdoors and mountain views take the cogwheel train up to the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain. Also, make a stop at the 1936 Winter Olympic Stadium where the ski jump is to get a small peek into Germany’s Nazi architecture. If kids are in tow an alpine slide is there as well. Drive to Munich, drop off the luggage at your hotel and return the car. Go get your obligatory Hofbrauhaus visit in. Feel free to enjoy an evening meal there with all the other tourists or go to where the locals go, to any of the Augustiner, Schneider Weiss, Spaten, Lowebrau or Paulauner beer halls. If you want some delicious steaks or ribs go to one of my favorite restaurants called Rusticana (reservations required-it isn’t fancy-just small).
Day 10 MUNICH
In the morning take a city tour-the bike tours are particularly good. In the afternoon a tour of the BMW museum and Olympic Gardens is a great way to spend some time or if that isn’t your scene you can head to the English Gardens and visit any of their wonderful beer gardens. Make sure you visit Munich’s surf spot in the English Gardens where surfers practice on the waves in a small stream. If you want to check out Germany’s craft beer scene the Tap Haus near the Ostbahnhof has a great selection.
Day 11 ANDECHS – MUNICH
Hop on the subway S8 and head to Herrsching. From there take a short bus or taxi to Kloster Andechs to visit a magnificent 15th century baroque church and then go about 30 yards to the Kloster’s beer haul. There you can enjoy some wonderful Bavarian delicacies for lunch. The Hax’n (Ham Hock) is always a hit and enjoy some of the most delicious beer you have ever had. The doppelbock is particularly tasty but you may also get lucky if they have some seasonal beers on. If the weather is nice the beer garden is a great way to spend some time at. Take the bus or taxi back to Herrsching and the S8 back to Munich. Get off at the Marienplatz stop and head to Viktulienmarkt (Munich’s outdoor market). If you are hungry you can find some incredible snacks there.
Transfer to Munich Airport for outbound flights, or extend your stay in this region.
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