Germany is right up there alongside France, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom as one of the most visited nations in Europe. Whether you're admiring the many museums of Frankfurt, visiting the gorgeous cathedrals and religious monuments in cities like Cologne, taking part in the Oktoberfest celebrations in Bavaria, or visiting iconic and historic sites like the Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Wall in Berlin, Germany offers a myriad of travel experiences for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Clearly, there's a lot to be seen in Germany, and many people planning vacations in Germany aren’t quite sure where to start as there are simply so many different things they want to do, so many cities they hope to visit, and so many experiences they wish to have. A lot of trips to Germany start off in Munich.
The capital of Bavaria and the third biggest city in the country, Munich is famed as a key hub of culture, history, and art. Some of the best things to do in Munich including visiting the Neus Rathaus and Frauenkirche, catching a Bayern Munich match at the Allianz Arena, admiring the beauty of Nymphenburg Palace, and sampling some of the local Bavarian cuisine.
Munich is also an excellent place to plan day trips around Germany and even over the border into Austria. In fact, one of the most popular day trips from Munich takes you to Salzburg, Austria. A fascinating city with a lot of historic monuments and amazing architecture, Salzburg is a must-visit location and can add a lot to your Munich vacation. Here’s how to plan the perfect day trip from Munich to Salzburg.
Getting to Salzburg from Munich
Munich is about 150 km (93 miles) away from Salzburg, so the journey between these two cities isn't too long. This means that if you're planning a day trip to Salzburg from Munich, you have a few different options available in terms of how you get there. Also, you won't have to worry about getting up too early, as the whole journey can be completed in less than two hours. Your main options when traveling to Salzburg from Munich are car, bus, and train.
Getting to Salzburg from Munich by Car
Those who have their own car or a rental vehicle in Munich may choose to simply drive to Salzburg. The drive is quite a pleasant one and mostly just follows one straight Autobahn all the way. Getting in and out of the two big cities can be a little tricky for inexperienced drivers, but there are clear signs to follow and drivers can make use of GPS technology to make the journey simpler if needed.
Another advantage of driving from Munich to Salzburg is that you can make stops along the way and have the freedom of being able to park where you like and visit other nearby locations as desired. To drive to Salzburg, simply follow the A8. The journey can be done in about one hour and 45 minutes.
Getting to Salzburg from Munich by Bus
As with many places around Europe, it's perfectly possible to take a bus from Munich to Salzburg too. This is the slowest mode of transport you could choose for your Salzburg day trip, with the journey taking around three hours on average, but it's also often the cheapest, especially if you book your tickets in advance.
You can get bus tickets to Salzburg for around 7 or 8 euros with a company like Flixbus, and the buses come with plenty of comforts like free Wi-Fi access, luggage storage, power outlets, snacks and drinks, extra legroom seats, and more.
Getting to Salzburg from Munich by Train
In general, when you're trying to get almost anywhere around Europe, especially Western Europe, taking the train is usually one of your best options. Many trains run between Munich and Salzburg each and every day, so you can get up early and set off to Salzburg to have a full day exploring the city, before heading home in the evening.
The journey takes just under two hours on average and leaves from Munich Central Station or Munchen Ost, taking you direct into the center of Salzburg. Just like with the bus, the tickets for the train to Salzburg can be quite cheap, especially if you book in advance.
Important Information and Things to Do in Salzburg
- Getting Around - Salzburg is quite a large city, but it's not as big as Munich, so most visitors should find it quite easy to navigate. The public transportation in this Austrian city is very reliable and quite affordable too, so you can make use of the trams and buses if you like. You can use the same tickets on trams and buses, so a good option is to buy a day ticket and then hop on and off the buses and trams as needed. However, you can see most of the main sights and get a lot out of your day trip simply by traveling on foot.
- Best Time to Visit Salzburg - Salzburg is a beautiful city at any time of year, but it can get quite crowded in the summer months. The weather is nicest in the summer, with lots of warm temperatures and sunshine, but if you'd like to enjoy warm temperatures and smaller crowds, visiting around September is a good idea. Another good time to visit Salzburg is towards the end of spring (April or May) as you’ll still avoid the biggest crowds but should get lots of sunny days.
- Things to Do - There are plenty of things to do in Salzburg, whether you're visiting the Altstadt (Old City) or Neustadt (New City). History and music buffs will want to visit the birthplace of Mozart over in the Altstadt, which is also home to some stunning baroque and medieval buildings, but there's a lot to see in the Neustadt area too, including the amazing Mirabell Palace. Other landmarks include Salzburg Cathedral, Schloss Hellbrunn, and the mythic Fortress Hohensalzburg, which dates all the way back to the 11th century.