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  #1  
Old 02-23-2016, 07:18 PM
pranav_jindal pranav_jindal is offline
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Help planning itinerary for May ED

Hi folks!

We just ordered our M235i with Adrian Avila for ED in the last week of May. We are scheduled to take delivery on May 24 at 9.40am, so now it's time to start planning our itinerary. We're really excited and looking forward to our anniversary trip - this will be our second BMW but first ED (and first anniversary gift for my wife). We have to be in Zurich on May 30-31 for a talk so are planning to fly in and out of Zurich.

Given this, below is the initial itinerary we chalked out based on all the information I could gather from this forum. We are trying to strike a balance between driving and sightseeing. Please feel free to suggest feasibility and changes. Also, we'd appreciate suggestions for hotels, and things to do in all these places.
  • Day 1 (May 21) - Leave US for Zurich
  • Day 2 (May 22) - Get to Zurich. Take train to Munich. Walk to marienplatz in the evening and spend night in Munich somewhere near Hauptbahnhof
  • Day 3 (May 23) - Planning to tour the BMW museum and factory and some sightseeing (suggestions welcome). Spend night in Munich
  • Day 4 (May 24) - Delivery day. Post delivery, drive to the Fussen area - visit Neuschwanstein castle if time permits. Hotel suggestions? Schlossrestaurant Neuschwwanstein? Spend night in the Fussen area.
  • Day 5 (May 25) - Drive to Berchtesgaden via Linderhof Palace. Want to catch as much of Alpenstrasse as possible. Would we have time to do anything in the evening? Spend night in Berchtesgaden
  • Day 6 (May 26) - Salt mine, cave(?), drive to Salzburg. What places can we see in Salzburg assuming we have to return back to Berchtesgaden at night? Spend night in Berchtesgaden
  • Day 7 (May 27) - Drive from Berchtesgaden to Verona via Glossglocker pass. Spend night in Verona
  • Day 8 (May 28) - Visit Colosseum in the morning and drive to Lake Como. Wife is a fashion designer and really wants to drive through Milan - can we do that on the way? Spend night in Lake Como
  • Day 9 (May 29) - Please suggest some sight seeing. Ferry, boat rides, visit to smaller towns, all sound interesting. Spend night in Lake Como
  • Day 10 (May 30) - Drive to Zurich. Couple of questions - any suggested scenic routes? Also, is it possible to visit Jungfrau or Mt. Titlis on the way? Spend night in Zurich
  • Day 11 (May 31) - Talk in Zurich (all day). Spend night in Zurich
  • Day 12 (June 1) - Sightseeing in Zurich. Spend night in Zurich
  • Day 13 (June 2) - Drop off car and head to Zurich airport to fly back stateside

Too many questions, but we'd love to get your feedback on this tentative itinerary, and what we could do to make this trip more memorable.

Last edited by pranav_jindal; 02-24-2016 at 06:47 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-23-2016, 08:02 PM
visi107 visi107 is offline
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Congrats on your future car. My wife and I are doing our ED on May 14th! Unfortunately i can't help you bc this will be our first ED as well.
I'm basically looking through other members' posts to get an idea and when you are done with those then go here http://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=504 and repeat lol
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:57 AM
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I like your itinerary. Good choice of places to visit and done at a reasonable pace. I have put my suggestions below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by pranav_jindal View Post
[*]Day 3 (May 23) - Planning to tour the BMW museum and factory and some sightseeing (suggestions welcome). Spend night in Munich
I enjoyed touring the Residenz and Nymphenberg Palace. Both are palaces used by Bavarian Kings. Both are pretty impressive. Residenz also has Crown Jewels on display.

[*]Day 5 (May 25) - Drive to Berchtesgaden via Linderhof Palace. Want to catch as much of Alpenstrasse as possible. Would we have time to do anything in the evening? Spend night in Berchtesgaden
That will be a pretty long day but I would definitely keep Linderhof in your plans. I really like the Alpenstrasse and always recommend driving the section between Fussen and Berchtesgaden, but if you are dealt a really terrible day (rain, snow, fog, etc) you might just take the autobahn. In short, if you cannot see the mountains the Alpenstrasse will be disappointing.

[*]Day 8 (May 28) - Visit Colosseum in the morning and drive to Lake Como. Wife is a fashion designer and really wants to drive through Milan - can we do that on the way? Spend night in Lake Como
I would not drive in Milan. Either take the train from Como or drive to the outskirts and take public transportation from there. Driving in Milan or any big city, especially any big city in Italy, is no fun.

[*]Day 9 (May 29) - Please suggest some sight seeing. Ferry, boat rides, visit to smaller towns, all sound interesting. Spend night in Lake Como
The two towns that I have visited and enjoyed are Varrena and Bellagio. Both are on the ferry line. But there are many other little towns that are on the ferry route that looked appealing though we have not actually got off to explore. On our last trip we stayed at the Hotel La Perla in Tremezzo and will stay there again when we go back to Lake Como.

[*]Day 10 (May 30) - Drive to Zurich. Couple of questions - any suggested scenic routes? Also, is it possible to visit Jungfrau or Mt. Titlis on the way? Spend night in Zurich
A visit to the Jungfraujoch is likely to take most of a day. If it's a beautiful day it's possible you could squeeze it in. But the Jungfrau, like the Alpenstrasse, is disappointing if the air is not crystal clear.
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:47 AM
SpeedsterBek SpeedsterBek is offline
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Congrats on your order.

Here is something to read if you want ideas for sightseeing in / around Munich
http://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho....php?t=1170588

I think you're trying to squeeze too much, since moving every day to a different hotel can get tiresome. I would suggest maybe taking off 2-3 things that are in the middle, you can always add them back during the trip if you have time.

Take the train to Milan.

Jungfrau or Mt. Titlis - seems like Mt Tiltis is less of a side trip compared to Jungafrau region. Since you're short on time, Mt Tiltis takes my vote.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:44 AM
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Great plan. Consider Andechs monastery which is an hour or so south of Munich. Monk made beer, cheese and pork. Gorgeous monastery. Sleepy own, so go for dinner and maybe spend the night.

For the castle, buy our tickets online and in advance. Its a tourist hotspot and you could spend up to 5 (yes five) hours waiting for a tour in your language.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:44 AM
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I also agree...staying one night in each place is hard. You spend considerable time checking in and out. Maybe 2 nights per location
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:45 AM
pranav_jindal pranav_jindal is offline
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Thanks Trinitony and SpeedsterBek! I agree with your suggestions.

Trinitony, we'll definitely add Residenz and Nymphenberg Palace to our itinerary. Also, Bellagio and Varrena looks good, as does Hotel La Perla.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedsterBek View Post
I think you're trying to squeeze too much, since moving every day to a different hotel can get tiresome. I would suggest maybe taking off 2-3 things that are in the middle, you can always add them back during the trip if you have time.
We're spending a day each at Fussen and Verona - not my ideal choice but did it to make the drive more manageable. But yes, I agree we can play it by ear as well (most likely will happen that way!).

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Take the train to Milan.
Done deal!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedsterBek View Post
Jungfrau or Mt. Titlis - seems like Mt Tiltis is less of a side trip compared to Jungafrau region. Since you're short on time, Mt Tiltis takes my vote.
I think it'll be a toss between the two but yes, Mt. Titlis is "more" enroute!

Do you think the drive from Berchtesgaden to Verona via the Glossglockner pass is doable? I know it will be a long day but we'd rather spend the night in Verona (and see the Colosseum) than Bolzano.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:48 AM
pranav_jindal pranav_jindal is offline
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Originally Posted by ///M-Furby View Post
Great plan. Consider Andechs monastery which is an hour or so south of Munich. Monk made beer, cheese and pork. Gorgeous monastery. Sleepy own, so go for dinner and maybe spend the night.

Thanks Furby! We'll have to choose between the monastry and the Neuschwanstein so leaning more towards the latter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M-Furby View Post
For the castle, buy our tickets online and in advance. Its a tourist hotspot and you could spend up to 5 (yes five) hours waiting for a tour in your language.
Which castle ... Neuschwanstein? This is a great thing to know ...
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:36 AM
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Curious as why you are flying into Zurich first. I have looked at a similar itinerary, flying directly into Munich but flying out of Zurich, for the same cost as a round-trip through Zurich (from Tampa). If available from where you are traveling, it will save you that first train ride in time, money and hassle. It is probably worth a look, as many travel sites have a "multi-city" or "multiple destinations" option.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:58 AM
pranav_jindal pranav_jindal is offline
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Curious as why you are flying into Zurich first. I have looked at a similar itinerary, flying directly into Munich but flying out of Zurich, for the same cost as a round-trip through Zurich (from Tampa). If available from where you are traveling, it will save you that first train ride in time, money and hassle. It is probably worth a look, as many travel sites have a "multi-city" or "multiple destinations" option.
I am giving a talk in Zurich so my flight tickets would be covered as a business expense as long as I fly in and out of Zurich
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Old 02-25-2016, 09:00 AM
pranav_jindal pranav_jindal is offline
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Last edited by pranav_jindal; 02-25-2016 at 09:07 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-25-2016, 09:06 AM
pranav_jindal pranav_jindal is offline
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Here's our planned trip from Fussen to Berchtesgaden ...

Are we covering too much of the Alpenstrasse ... should we get on the Autobahn for a bit, say between Oberaudorf and Inzell?
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  #13  
Old 02-25-2016, 10:30 AM
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If you have time I would recommend driving all that you show on your map. The part of the Alpenstrasse from Fussen to Lindau, which is to the west of your map, is less scenic. Of course if it starts to get dark I would cut over to the autobahn - you might have time the next day to do some of the section that you missed. Or if the weather is forecast to be improving or deteriorating you might just do the part of the Alpenstrasse where it is expected to have the better weather.
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Old 02-26-2016, 06:38 AM
pranav_jindal pranav_jindal is offline
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If you have time I would recommend driving all that you show on your map. The part of the Alpenstrasse from Fussen to Lindau, which is to the west of your map, is less scenic. Of course if it starts to get dark I would cut over to the autobahn - you might have time the next day to do some of the section that you missed. Or if the weather is forecast to be improving or deteriorating you might just do the part of the Alpenstrasse where it is expected to have the better weather.
Thanks a lot! We'll try our best to stay on track
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:32 AM
pranav_jindal pranav_jindal is offline
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Planning the ED trip is fun and time consuming - extremely distracting too Thank you all for your suggestions. Our final itinerary looks similar to what I posted upfront but we made tweaks based on your suggestions on where to go and what all to see. We decided to fly directly to Munich and made reservations through Sixt. Now we're working on the hotel bookings and have a few questions as we finalize our itinerary:

1. We're doing the museum and the factory tour on May 23 and taking delivery the following day (Tuesday, May 24) at 9.40am. Is it too ambitious to plan a tour of the Neuschwanstein and the Hohenschwangau castles on the same afternoon/evening as our delivery day? How long will we be at the Welt, and is the drive to Fussen around 2 hours as Google maps shows? We want to buy tickets to the castle tours ahead of time so want to make sure we reach the castles in time for our tour. Will there be time to squeeze in a short stop at Andechs monastery?

2. I found two salt mines in the Berchtesgaden area - one in Berchtesgaden and the other in Hallein. Which one do you recommend?

3. Also, we're planning to combine the salt mine tour with Sommerrodelbahn "Keltenblitz" and the Eagles nest. Will this take the whole day or can we budget time for something else (like Document Center) as well?
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pranav_jindal View Post
Planning the ED trip is fun and time consuming - extremely distracting too Thank you all for your suggestions. Our final itinerary looks similar to what I posted upfront but we made tweaks based on your suggestions on where to go and what all to see. We decided to fly directly to Munich and made reservations through Sixt. Now we're working on the hotel bookings and have a few questions as we finalize our itinerary:

1. We're doing the museum and the factory tour on May 23 and taking delivery the following day (Tuesday, May 24) at 9.40am. Is it too ambitious to plan a tour of the Neuschwanstein and the Hohenschwangau castles on the same afternoon/evening as our delivery day? How long will we be at the Welt, and is the drive to Fussen around 2 hours as Google maps shows? We want to buy tickets to the castle tours ahead of time so want to make sure we reach the castles in time for our tour. Will there be time to squeeze in a short stop at Andechs monastery?

2. I found two salt mines in the Berchtesgaden area - one in Berchtesgaden and the other in Hallein. Which one do you recommend?

3. Also, we're planning to combine the salt mine tour with Sommerrodelbahn "Keltenblitz" and the Eagles nest. Will this take the whole day or can we budget time for something else (like Document Center) as well?
Haven't been to the salt mines in Hallein, but have been to both Berchtesgaden and Hallstatt, and would go with Berchtesgaden hands down.
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:42 AM
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Haven't been to the salt mines in Hallein, but have been to both Berchtesgaden and Hallstatt, and would go with Berchtesgaden hands down.
Thanks Wine-O! That looked better to me as well but not sure if anyone here has been to the one in Hallein...
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:50 AM
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Another option for the Berchtesgaden area is the Königssee. The boat ride is enjoyable, there is a restaurant adjacent to St. Bartolomä for a bier and lunch (out door seating too, if the weather cooperates). There are some hiking options direct from St. Bartolomä to you can continue on the boat to Salet Alm and do some light hiking around the smaller lake.

As far as Salzburg, lots of things to do depending on your interests: sound of music tour, Fortress tour, window shopping, concerts, beer garden, etc.

If you do the Eagle's nest, a few other ideas worth considering: documentation center (as you mentioned), light hiking around the Eagle's nest or even down to the bus stop (as opposed to using the elevator), lunch in the Eagle's nest restaurant, bunker/tunnel tour at the Hotel zum Turken (http://www.hotel-zum-tuerken.com/bunker.html)

While I have done Eagle's nest, Königssee and salt mine in a day, I wouldn't recommend it as you wouldn't be able to fully enjoy all three experiences.

Lots to do in this area for sure.
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:57 PM
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Another option for the Berchtesgaden area is the Königssee. The boat ride is enjoyable, there is a restaurant adjacent to St. Bartolomä for a bier and lunch (out door seating too, if the weather cooperates). There are some hiking options direct from St. Bartolomä to you can continue on the boat to Salet Alm and do some light hiking around the smaller lake.
Yes, Königssee is a definite option but we were thinking of doing the boat ride at Lake Como (spending a couple of days there).

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As far as Salzburg, lots of things to do depending on your interests: sound of music tour, Fortress tour, window shopping, concerts, beer garden, etc.
This is great to know ... looks like we'll be pressed for time but will try and include some stuff here.


Also, finally, do you think we will be able to take delivery of the car (9.40am) and drive to Fussen on Tuesday afternoon in time to see the castles?
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Old 03-15-2016, 04:28 PM
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Which castle ... Neuschwanstein? This is a great thing to know ...
Yes, Neuschwanstein
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Old 04-16-2016, 12:18 PM
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Thanks to everyone here, we're on the last leg of planning our trip and have one free day in Zurich before we fly back the next morning. I looked at day trips from Zurich to either Mt. Titlis or Jungfrau - Jungfrau is a lot more expensive. So here's where I am torn - should we do either of these day trips, or rather spend time in Zurich? I feel like since we're in Switzerland, going to one of the peaks will check a box in our travelogue, but then we might be able to find some interesting stuff in Zurich too... Please help ... any advice would be much much appreciated.

We will be returning our car the previous day just so as to not have to worry about it. Anyone had any experience returning the car in Zurich - how long does it take, and is there an option to drop-off after hours?

I'll post our final itinerary as soon as we have this settled. We're picking up the car on May 24 - a little over a month left, it's starting to get real

Last edited by pranav_jindal; 04-16-2016 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:51 PM
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Zurich to Munich is 4 to 7 hours by train according to Google. Since your time is short, fly. However, visiting Milan will cause you to have a truck driver vacation, i.e. on the road a lot. Therefore, I suggest flying.

Zurich to Munich is about $280 one way, a rip off compared to less than $100 one way Zurich-Berlin. Since your wife likes Milan, consider Zurich to Milan Malpensa which is less than $100 one way. Stay 1.5 days and then fly Milan Malpensa to Munich for $53 one way on Easyjet. Consider their 4:25 pm departure. Act quickly because seats may be limited. Other airlines are charging $180 or so for MXP-MUC.

There are so many choices. There is a German enclave in Switzerland. Luxembourg is nice. Switzerland has so many places to see. You can't go wrong.
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:12 PM
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I vote for jungfrau if the weather is good. It can get cloudy up there. Zurich is a big city, like many others.
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:41 AM
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I found Zurich to be not particularly interesting to me as a tourist. It is a good place to drop your car and probably would be a nice place to live, but I would skip it as a tourist attraction.

The Jungfrau offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. You will also see people cross country skiing and dog sledding. The trip up and down involves several cog railways that are an experience in themselves. But it is very expensive and if the weather is not crystal clear it could be an expensive disappointment.

So my recommendation would be to spend your day at the Jungfrau unless the weather is miserable. If the weather is bad I would go to Lucern. I thought it was more interesting than Zurich.
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Old 04-17-2016, 06:39 AM
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There are so many choices. There is a German enclave in Switzerland. Luxembourg is nice. Switzerland has so many places to see. You can't go wrong.
Thanks Dave! I apologize; I should have been more clear. We're flying back to the US from Zurich so don't have to go back to Munich. But yes, we'll definitely take the public transport in to Milan to keep my wife happy (= me less stressed! )


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I vote for jungfrau if the weather is good. It can get cloudy up there. Zurich is a big city, like many others.
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Originally Posted by Trinitony View Post
I found Zurich to be not particularly interesting to me as a tourist. It is a good place to drop your car and probably would be a nice place to live, but I would skip it as a tourist attraction.

The Jungfrau offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. You will also see people cross country skiing and dog sledding. The trip up and down involves several cog railways that are an experience in themselves. But it is very expensive and if the weather is not crystal clear it could be an expensive disappointment.

So my recommendation would be to spend your day at the Jungfrau unless the weather is miserable. If the weather is bad I would go to Lucern. I thought it was more interesting than Zurich.
Looking at places to explore in Zurich, everything is very touristy and seems like it's better to take the pre-arranged tours to avoid delays and chaos on trains ... kind of opposite to the ED trip planning

But yes, Jungfrau does seem better than Mt. Titlis, more so for the experience of the cog rails. I am still convincing myself to shell out $270 pp for this but then ... YOLO!!! I think the weather god will show the way
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