Travel

Go on a great German getaway

Munich beckons with magnificent sights such as the Alps and castles

From whimsical 19th-century castles and museums, breathtaking Alps to stunning natural landscapes, Munich beckons with a plethora of fascinating sights.

And what better way to see the German city, get to know its storied past and take Instagram-worthy photos than to take the wheel and embark on a self-drive vacation?

Here are the best scenic routes, according to Munich's official travel guide Simply Munich.

JEWELS OF GERMANY

Delight in the beauty of Germany's most dazzling highlights on this self-drive route.

Begin the journey at Munich's city centre, where you can find iconic landmarks such as the Frauenkirche, Hofbrauhaus, Nymphenburg Palace and the BMW Museum.

From Munich, drive to the region's highest mountain, the Zugspitze peak.

The German Alps here have a cable car ropeway and glacier train.

Ride the glacier cable car to Zugspitze peak and enjoy the breathtaking view from an altitude of 2,600m.

Next, drive down to the neogothic-style Neuschwanstein Castle and admire the magnificence of King Ludwig II's abode.

At Swarovski Kristallwelten, the 7.5ha fantasy world invites visitors to glimpse the ingenious mind of designer Daniel Swarovski.

For an adventure like no other, check out the famous 500-year-old Salt Mine Berchtesgaden.

Paying homage to the town of Berchtesgaden's tradition of salt mining, the attraction offers slides, trains, a laser light show, magic salt room and a salt shop.

If time permits, take a leisurely drive to Innsbruck and tour the Old Town, see the Cathedral of St James, Hofkirche, the Ambras Castle, Olympiaworld sports complex and Tirol Panorama, a newly-opened museum that offers visitors a panoramic view of the city.

Fans of the 1965 musical film The Sound Of Music can even drive down to Salzburg in Austria and visit these points of interest: Mirabell Gardens, Pegasus Fountain, Schloss Leopoldskron, Hellbrunn Palace, Nonnberg Convent and the St Michael basilica in Mondsee.

GERMAN ALPINE ROUTE

Germany's oldest route has plenty to offer even the most discerning of visitors travelling from Munich and Lindau on Lake Constance to Berchtesgaden on Lake Konigssee, stretching 450km and dotted with plenty of breathtaking sights.

Iconic places of interests and noteworthy attractions include the crystal clear lakes of Hopfensee, Walchensee, Tegernsee, Schliersee and Konigssee; the fairytale castles of Neuschwanstein, Linderhof, Herrenchiemsee, Ettal Abbey and Benediktbeuern Abbey; Unesco World Heritage Sites such as Wieskirche Church, the Watzmann mountain, St. Bartholomew's Church and Berchtesgaden National Park.

In addition to the scenery, partake in gastronomic delights at rustic cottages, cosy beer gardens or lakeside cafes, and try activities such as water rafting, paragliding and a host of exciting winter sports.

CLASSIC ROMANTIC ROUTE

Starting from Munich's city centre, this route takes visitors on a 90-minute drive toward Fussen. En route to Neuschwanstein Castle, travellers can pull over at Lake Starnberg, Germany's fifth largest freshwater lake.

Or stop by Feldmochinger See, Munich's largest lake. Replete with fresh water features, beach volleyball and sandboxes, it is the place to be for an ultimate springtime family- and couple-friendly self-drive Munich holiday.

While making a beeline for Linderhof Palace, visit the village of Oberammergau, known for its once-a-decade passion plays, intricate wood carvings and Luftlmalerei fresco paintings.

LAKE CONSTANCE DRIVE

Begin the two-hour drive from Munich to Lake Constance via the A96 highway and marvel at the beauty of the Nymphenburg Palace while venturing to Hohenschwangau village where the Hohenschwangau Castle stands.

Pull up at the Scheidegger Waterfalls to admire the gorgeous fast-flowing water streams and the German Hat Museum in Lindenberg to find out how the production of German straw hats earned the district its moniker "Little Paris".

Before reaching Lake Constance, take a break at the historic lake town of Lindau to pick German apples.

THE CASTLE ROUTE

Travel back to the 19th century from Munich to Meinheim via the A8, A9 and B13 highways and enjoy a drive that is both captivating and scenic, replete with gorgeous time-honoured castles and gardens.

Revel in the splendour of the city's key tourist highlights, including the Schloss Blutenburg, Schleissheim and Lustheim palaces, as well as the Englischer Garten, before hitting the expressway.

TOURISM & TRAVEL