Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wrap-Up: Bavarian Favorites

Actual date of this event: 19 October - 4 November

Since I have been back from my trip, I have had many people ask what my favorite city was and what my favorite activity was. It is super difficult to come up with just one favorite town and one favorite activity.  After doing LOTS of thinking, I have come to appreciate things about some of the towns that I did not at the time. I have also come to think of some negatives about some of the towns that I did not before.

Here is are my top five favorite activities from the trip:

1.) Hiking to Andechs Monastery (Munich)

2.) Uetliberg Hill (Zurich)

3.) Hearing the noon bells at Prague Castle

4.) Hiking Kapuzingerberg Hill (Salzburg)

5.) Liters of Dunkel

So many of you have asked which town I liked the best. So here is how I rank each town we visited... starting from the bottom:

Tie for 10.) Hohenschwangau and Andechs --- Wait, you're saying this doesn't make sense because the Monastery was my favorite activity? Yes, its true. Andechs doesn't have much else but that. So if you are looking for a grand ole time in the town of Andechs, you probably wont find it. Hohenschwangau, it's the same story. There is not much else there except the castles. So, if you plan to go to Hohenschwangau to visit the castles, don't expect to find much else. That is why both of these are great DAY trips, not over night trips.

8.) Vienna --- Don't get me wrong, Vienna is a beautiful city, but it just isn't my style. It is loaded with museums, and unless it is a museum of wine, beer and Pappasito's Mexican food, then I'm not that interested. It also is very difficult to find a place to eat/drink that is not smokey. It is much larger than comfortable walking distance. We did not make use of the public transportation, but we easily could and should have. If you love Museums and don't mind smoke, then you would have no problems with Vienna!

7.) Bratislava --- It was REALLY REALLY hard to put Bratislava so low on my list. I hate that the weather affected our visit, and I hate that we visited on a National Holiday. It is not fair to the town, not fair that we experienced it that way, and not fair that you now have a negative view of this place. I think Bratislava is an up and coming place. It has so much potential! It needs a lot of work, but could easily be one of the most fun places to visit. Just like we did, Bratislava would be best for a day trip since there is not a whole lot to do. It was fun to relax for a day and have some cheap drinks!

6.) Garmisch-Partenkirchen --- GP is a great ski town. It is a great hiking town. If you aren't planning to spend your time there doing an outdoor activity, then it is best to stay elsewhere. It is a cute town, and you get great views of the mountains around you. Other than that, there is not much else there to see/do.

5.) Zurich --- Zurich. Is. Expensive. That is the biggest downfall for this place. The only thing keeping this city high on my list is the fact that everything else is AMAZING. There is a lake for water sports. There are hills for hiking. The Alps is right there. There is shopping. The public transportation is the best that we saw all trip. It is so easy to navigate around town and out of town. What more do travelers need?

4.) Munich --- I'm not a girly girl. I like beer. I like to go with the flow. I like to feel comfortable in my skin. This is how Munich made me feel. It was a casual city. It had some great parks that are awesome to hang out in, drink a beer, read a book, etc. Munich is also centrally located, so it is the perfect place to stay while you do day trips to other towns.

3.) Innsbruck --- I think it says a lot that I still have Innsbruck this high on my list even though our time there was pretty miserable with bad weather. I just KNOW that the town would be great no matter if it is summer (for hiking), winter (for skiing) or any other time of year. We stayed in one small area of town during our visit, so I am not sure what else is out there, but I desperately want to know!

2.) Salzburg --- Salzburg has some wonderful views surrounding the city. Mountains around you and that's not even counting the ones that we hiked. I said it before and I will say it again, it is amazing how a flat area of land can all of a sudden have a straight cliff to a large hill. I enjoyed walking the streets in Salzburg even though it was super cold during our visit. Salzburg is also in a great location for day trips of which next time, yes next time, we will take full advantage. It was a hard choice to make between my #1 and my #2, but Salzburg has some strange business hours. If it is difficult to find a place to eat at 12pm and at 5pm, then something is wrong. Everything else impressed me enough though to put it so high on my list.

1.) Prague --- Prague. Oh, I love Prague! Maybe it is because it was just Luke and me. Maybe because it was our first location of the trip. Maybe because Prague is not part of Bavaria and after a while, Bavaria started to get old. I'm not sure, but I think Prague has a lot to offer to all kinds of people. If you like the really touristy stuff, Prague is the way to go. If you like to eat and drink on patios, Prague is the way to go. If you like to see different districts with different qualities, Prague is the way to go. If you like to shop, Prague is the way to go. We spent almost 3 fulls days and at the time, we felt like we had done it all. Looking back, there is still more that we could have done. I would love to go back to Prague when it is a little warmer outside.

Where is your favorite place that you have traveled?

According to TravBuddy, this is how each town ranks in popularity for tourism:
#9 Prague
#13 Vienna
#16 Munich
#49 Zurich
#55 Salzburg
#56 Bratislava
#158 Innsbruck
(#186 Aberdeen)
#197 Garmisch-Partenkirchen
...stopped looking after 300...



  1. Great post Debbie! It seems like your favorite activities are mainly outdoors, which is exactly how I am. My favorite things in Salzburg were definitely the hikes around the city.I didn't care for the culture/food/weird hours, but there is no denying that it's pretty to look at!
    So far from our time in the UK, my favorite trips have been to Krakow and the English Lake District, but we had awesome weather for both trips which has a lot to do with it. Since you like hiking, the Lake District would be a great and easy trip to do- though I'd wait until the summer to go:)

    1. Its crazy how I never wanted to do outdoor activities before moving here. Now, I enjoy that time even if it is cold and wet!

  2. Would you like to go to Prague again in May (when it's warmer) and run the Prague Marathon with me, it's voted most beautiful!?!? Seriously, I'm not kidding. :-) Great post!!

    1. While I was in Prague, I remember telling Luke that I would sprain an ankle if I tried to run on those cobblestone streets. So... yes, Ill go to Prague again in May! But the marathon part, not so much :-\ It'll take some convincing... like offer to buy my post-marathon beer, wine and Gelato :-)

    2. Consider it done...all three :-)


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