Germany

 

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A few summers ago (summer 2015), my husband got­­­ an opportunity to travel to Munich, Germany for a month long work exchange. We excitedly jumped at the opportunity to tag along and prepared to explore all that Germany had to offer.

Neues Rathaus, Marienplatz, Munich, Germany

Neues Rathaus, Marienplatz, Munich, Germany

 

We spent most of our month in Germany in the southern state of Bavaria, opting to reduce travel time in favor of spending the short time we had at the attractions visited.  All of our trips were daytrips, opting to reduce hoteling costs, since we were already paying for an accommodation in Munich.  There was a lot to see in and around Bavaria, so we did not feel as if we were missing out.  My husband worked on weekdays, on many occasions late into the night, so we only had weekends to travel as a family.  I did take the kids on day trips on weekdays, as you will see below.

 

Practical Information (as of June 2015):

Most grocery stores in Munich close on Sundays.  If you are in a bind, convenience grocery marts in train stations tend to be open on Sundays, at a higher price of course.

 

Trains and other Public Transportation

The trains in Germany are a great and economical way to travel. It was a nice break from driving and navigating, being able to enjoy fully the vast expanse of green open space every time we pulled out of city center Munich.  The D-Bahn (DeutschBahn) travels long distances outside of the city. D-Bahn offers many different types of tickets. The one we used most often was the unlimited one day intra-state travel (ex:  Bayern or Bavaria Ticket) for 23 EU first person over age 15, add 5 EU for every additional person over 15 years old (to a max of 5 persons). Kids younger than 15 years old of the 1st person travel free. It took me a while to figure this out, but with a pass such as this, even if you had purchased and set the itinerary online, you could change your destination and the tickets would still be valid, as long as travel was on the day it was purchased for and travel is still within the state. Machines in train stations sell these passes, so you don't have to pre-purchase to get the great prices. This pass also included travel on local public buses and trains, both at the city that you start your trip and at your destination. Our family of 4 to 5 traveled often on these 23 EU to 28 EU train tickets. There are also tickets allowing unlimited nationwide train travel for a weekend for under 50 EU for the 1st person, with a nominal amount added for additional persons.

Within Munich, there are two train lines. The S-Bahn that run to the suburbs and the U-Bahn that serves only the urban center. In city center, there tends to be both train lines. We purchased monthly passes at the airport. There are different monthly passes, some with time limitations on when you can travel. For example the pass that only allows weekday travel after 9am (and weekend travel for the entire 24hours) was the lowest price.   Be sure to explore all the ticket options available, especially if you will be in the city for more than a day or two, or if you're traveling with kids. Kids under 15 ride free with a parent holding a monthly pass. Train tickets are valid on public buses and trams as well and vice versa. If you can, ride Tram# 17, it takes you past many sculptures and beautiful buildings in Munich.

 
Destinations we visited:
Karlstor in Munich Old Town Munich - capital city of Bavaria, Castles, City Gates, Biergartens to visit, lots of green space
Neuschwanstein Castle Castles of Bavaria - We visited 5 castles in and around Munich using our Castles Pass 
Mittenwald, Germany

 

Mittenwald - beautiful Bavarian town with painted frescoes on every building, dizzying see-through metal bridge over a deep gorge

Nordlingen, Germany Nordlingen - town at the end of the Romantic Road built into a 14 million year old meteor crater, walk on the medieval city wall, explore beyond the town's wall into the fields that are part of the meteor crater
Fussen, Germany

Fussen - town near Neuschwanstein Castle, beautiful buidings, quaint alleys and roadways along a teal blue river, find the trail leading to the Castles

Berchtesgarten, Germany

Berchtesgarten - Summer Luge Ride, German Alps, beautiful lake

Lake Constance Stilt Houses, Germany Lake Constance - Remains of Stone Age Stilt Houses on a lake bordering three European countries
Austria Ice Cave Austria - Salzburg, Hallein Salt Mine, Eisriesenwelt (largest Ice Cave in the world), Austrian Alps

 

Warning: The safety of these adventures are dependent on a variety of factors including but not limited to: terrain, weather, wildlife, hiker skill level, human error, and other foreseen and unforeseen circumstances. Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information provided at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability for the accuracy and completeness of the information provided.  As such, we will not be held responsible for any harm, injury, and/or loss that may result. Your personal judgement on the safety of each adventure is required at all times. Please use your own discretion and be safe.

 

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