3 Awesome Day Trips from Munich, Germany

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When I booked my 5-day trip to Munich, I knew I didn’t want to actually stay in the city for that long. I had never been before (actually, this was my first time in Germany) and, as excited as I was to see the city, I was more excited to find the treasures that surround it.

My Google Maps is completely crowded with stars – either places I want to see or have seen and loved. Most of these, honestly, come from Instagram. I follow a quite a few travel profiles and whenever I see a place I want to go to, which is often, I make sure to star it on my map. Well, let’s just say that the Germany/Austria border area is CROWDED with stars. It really is a photographer’s paradise. Even if you’re not into taking photos, though, these spots are great to go and spend the day, and all within driving distance of Munich.


#1 Hallstatt

Distance from Munich – about 2.5hrs drive (many bus tours are offered as well)

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This is probably 2018’s most Instagrammed town in the world, but after seeing it for the first time, I had to go here. This town was actually the main reason I booked this entire trip.

Even though this is a bit further from Munich than the two other spots on this list, It is definitely worth the drive. Although this small town – which you can walk through in only 15 minutes – has become extremely appealing to tourists over the last year, they’ve done an extremely good job at keeping it’s (somewhat) original state. You can’t actually drive into the town, so all of the parking lots are nearby, and there are a lot of them. It only cost me about €6.50 to park for about 3 hours, and I was about a 10 minute walk from the town entrance.

When you get to the entrance, you’ll see a few little souvenir shops, and if you walk further in, tons of small restaurants. This entrance part does look a little touristy, but as you follow through the straight path, you end up forgetting you’re in an Instagram famous town (just maybe ignore all the selfie sticks).

Hallstatt can definitely be explore in only a couple of hours, but I’d recommend staying one night if you can. There’s lots to do here, from museums, to boat rides, and I can’t imagine having your morning coffee with this view would be too terrible, either.

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#2 – Eibsee Lake

Distance from Munich – about 1.5hrs drive (many bus tours are offered as well)

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Tree at Eibsee |Photo by PetiteVagabond

 

This beautiful spot in Southwest Germany is right before you hit the Austrian border. You can easily take a day and enjoy some time outside of the city. There are plenty of bus tours that go here, but I rented a car and drove down because I wanted to be able to stop and take photos along the road. Parking is available for €4 and the parking lot is less than a 5 minute walk to the loop trail. If you want to catch the sunrise, the cost for parking at the lot goes down to €2, as long as you’re out by 9:30 AM.

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Boat Rental Station | Photo by PetiteVagabond

As soon as you start to walk into the Eibsee area, you’ll see a few restaurants, a gift shop (they sell towels, if you forgot one), and restrooms. There is also a boat rental station a little up further, where you can rent little boats, kayaks, and paddle boards. The lake loop trail, as the name implies, goes all the way around the lake. It’s a super easy walk – no crazy rocks to climb or anything. It’s a beautiful walk, and you’re mostly shaded by the trees, so it’s not bad even on a hot Summer day.

As you’re busy staring at the extremely clear water of Eibsee on your right, don’t forget to peep left about 7 minutes into the trail to find this little “hidden” oasis:

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“Hidden” Little Lake | Photo by PetiteVagabond

This is a great spot to go alone, with friends, on a romantic date, or with children. There’s plenty of places to sit or lay down and take in the scenery.


#2 – Neuschwanstein Castle & Hohenschwangau Castle + Alpsee Lake

Distance from Munich – about 1.5hrs drive (many bus tours are offered as well)

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Aerial View of Neuschwanstein Castle | Photo by PetiteVagabond

Have you ever had a view of a castle, while being on another castle? Yeah, I didn’t know that was possible either – but it is, and it’s just a short drive from Munich! Neuschwanstein and Hoehenschwangau are located in the same Southwest corner as Eibsee, so you could technically do all of these in one day if you start early. Both castles and Alpsee lake share a parking area with lots of parking lots, restaurants and souvenir shops. The parking lot I ended up in was €6, but there’s also street parking if you drive outside of the main town a little bit.

From here, you can get horse carriage rides to both castles. You can also buy tickets to actually enter the castles, although going up to Hoehenschwangau and walking around is free – you just need a ticket to get inside it. Because I’m cheap, I didn’t buy a ticket, but I am sure it’s lovely.

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Hoehenschwangau Castle | Photo by PetiteVagabond

Even if you don’t get a ticket, take the walk up to Hoehenschwangau. From up there, you can see Alpsee Lake, and a distant Neuschwanstein in the background. There is also a couple cool fountains up there worth checking out.

If you’re driving here, keep a lookout on the road – there are tons of cool photo spots along the way, including great angles for a drone if you have one.

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View of Alpsee Lake from Hoehenschwangau Castle Courtyard | Photo by PetiteVagabond

Did I miss any of your favorite spots? Let me know in the comments.

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