May 18, 2013

One-day trips and weekend breaks around Munich

There are six scheduled school holidays in Bayern. Pfingsten (Pentecost or Whit Sunday) is one of them and in 2013 takes place from the 21st to the 31st of May. During this time, schools close their doors and many families in Munich use this time to travel abroad with the kids.

Some others (like me) cannot leave due to work or other obligations, but even though we are planning to pack a backpack or a small trolley, buy a Bayern Ticket and go to the countryside to discover the rest of Bavaria. This weekend is a long one because on Monday 20th is Pfingstenmontag =Whit Monday

Let me start by saying that Bayern is not just Munich. Fortunately for us who live in this beautiful city, there are many options for one-day trips and weekend breaks and they would not fit in just one blog entry. As a consequence, today I am just going to write about two excursions that I have done in April and that are a must-see for everyone in Munich. 

*** BAYERN TICKET***
If you do not own a car in Munich, this is the ticket you need to buy when traveling around in Bavaria. The DB has a English website that explains all the details but as a summary: it will be your best option if you are (at least) two people, going for a day-trip, to anywhere within Bayern. Other tips: 
  • try to use the machines and not the travel center (they charge you 2€ extra);
  • if you are going to travel often by train, consider purchasing a DB card to get extra discounts for each ticket and
  • try to travel with as many people as posible: the larger the number of persons, the lower is the ticket price...

Screen shot of the DB website: Bayern Ticket 

*** AUGSBURG***
Augsburg is around 65 km far from Munich city center, which means that it will take you  between 30-40 minutes to get from the central station in Munich to the central station in Augsburg if you plan in advance and take the right train (ICE is faster than a standard regional train).

Screen shot of the Augsburg official tourism site

If you drive, as we did, the A8 is your road. But as always, please turn on the radio and listen to the traffic news (Verkehrsmeldungen). One good option is Antenne Bayern, which is a very popular music radio station that informs every 30 minutes on the traffic situation. 

If your German is still not good enough to understand radio news, then you can visit their website where they list all the disruptions, accidents and relevant events in all the Bavarian highways.

The Maximilian Strasse of Augsburg

Back to Augsburg. I knew this city by name because it is the home of the engine and vehicle manufacturer and German giant consortium: the MAN Group. Besides Augsburg is the third largest city in the state of Bavaria and a very attractive destination for summer day-trips.

What can you do in Augsburg?
  • visit the "city within a city" as they call it: the Fuggerei, which is the oldest social settlement in the world;
  • walk across the city to discover the Cathedral, the Glass Palace, the Perlachturm (=Perlach Tower) of the City Hall and the impressive Synagogue;
  • visit the Marionette Theater (Augsburger Puppenkiste) that became famous in the 70's when the German TV broadcasted its show;
  • see a Kayak competition at the Augsburg Eiskanal, which is an artificial kayak water course built for the 1972 Olympic Games and 
  • the city canals and the city three renaissance fountains

Cathedral of Augsburg
The city is quite proud of its local football team the FCA (FC Augsburg). I was there on a Saturday when FC Bayern was playing against them on a friendly game and the whole city was invaded by the football spirit!

The official tourism site of the city offers great tips on where to eat. A good option is to go for a restaurant specialising in Swabian cuisine (=the regional cuisine of Augsburg) which is different from the Bavarian.


***GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN***
These are two popular Bavarian villages both located within an hour and half away from Munich (by train) and surrounded by mountains. 




Why are they popular? because...
  • the highest German mountain is within their limits: the Zugspitze, which is one of the favorite destinations for winter sport lovers in the world and number one in Germany;
  • you can take the Zugspitzbahn and then hike up or down the mountain for the rest of the day;
  • it is where the IV Winter Olympic Games took place and where they would in 2018 if they are selected;
  • both cities have a special charm, the old city centers are specially enchanting with the houses decorated with impressive fresco paintings;
  • you can walk through the beautiful Partnachklamm: a natural gorge located very close to the city center

Ski jump track

Partnachklamm

Partnachklamm

Small Biergarten and restaurant on the way to the gorge
Fresco paintings

Fresco paintings

Fresco paintings

I promise that I will come back soon with more one day-trips around Munich, such as: Dachau, the Neuschwanstein Castle, N├╝renberg, Regensburg and with the summer so close the lakes (Starnberger See, Ammersee, Tegernsee, etc.).

Also before I go, I would also like to add for those of you who are new to Munich: Bayern is the region with the largest number of bank holidays in the whole GermanyTo learn about the school holidays in Bayern for 2013the official site of the city of Munich is your best ally and for the rest of bank holiday, this site is quite useful.

Do you have other suggestions for day-trips around Munich?

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