We drive it every year, and it's really simple. We stay at the Marriott and we take the Middler Ring around Munich (follow the signs for Garmisch) and head out on 95. It's a really nice drive that takes about 90 minutes. You'll have the Autobahn until you're outside of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Then it's two lane. Then you follow the signs to Innsbruck E 523. You'll go straight through Garmisch, passing by the famous ski jump. There is a little incline there, but no where along the route will you have sharp inclines. We've driven this in all kinds of weather, and we've never had a problem. Once past Garmisch, you'll pass Mittenwald and then cross over into Austria at Scharnitz. The highway is 177, but don't get hung up on highway numbers...just follow the signs that direct you to Innsbruck. Once into Austria, it's about 15-20 minutes to Seefeld. You'll be going up an incline here (passing lane added), but it's not bad. You'll turn off to Seefeld at the top of the hill. There's a nice lookout right before you get to the turn off. Take the first exit to Seefeld and drive straight into town. Like I said, it's an easy 90 minute drive from Munich. Enjoy! You'll love Seefeld! We're driving there on the 24th of December, leaving the 2nd of January.
Thanks for the informative post jdmckay.
We have a similar road travel plan, leaving Munich on 24th to Tirol area (near Lavant) and then heading back to Munich on Jan 1st. We are renting a car at Munich and are travelling with 2 small children and I had a couple questions it would be great to have some inputs on:
1. Do we to order snow tires for our rental car to drive from Munich to Tirol (Lavant area) ? We want to do this if it is safe and needed(cost is approx 140euros)
2. Is the traffic going in and out of Munich to Austria going to be a big concern? Being stuck for hours on a highway traffic jam with small children would be something I'd prefer to avoid. If there is a reasonable chance that this could occur, we might have to rethink plans and rebook accomodation if needed to be close to public transportation.
3. Would you know if there are steep roads between Munich and Tirol area that we should avoid?
Thank you in advance for any inputs folks have on this.
It is mandatory to have the snow tires, so you won't have a choice on that matter. Check the weather ahead of time, and if it seems to be a snowy spell coming up it might be worth getting a set of snow chains if you're planning on driving much in the mountains. All in all, we've experience very few problems driving throughout the Tirol region. Last year on Christmas day we drove from Salzburg to Seefeld. It rained the whole way. However, once we got ten minutes out of Seefeld it started to snow, huge flakes! It was awesome! They treat the roads, so they weren't slick at all. I looked up the Lavant area, and it looks like you'll take the autobahn to around Kustein, and then the highways down toward Lavant. I've never been down that way (only as far as Kitzbuhl); however, it looks like you'll have major roads the whole way with a couple of passes of about 6000 feet. It doesn't look bad at all. I highly recommend renting a car. You'll love the freedom it brings. We go for day trips and find quaint towns and great scenery wherever we go. It really easy to rent, pick up, and return your car from the Munich airport. As far as traffic, I don't see many problems on the 24th. We'll be driving to Seefeld from Munich on the 24th and I don't anticipate any back-ups. Good luck and I'm sure you'll enjoy your journey!
Thanks jdmckay - appreciate the inputs.
I've made sure we get the snow tires and it sounds like we should be set. We're looking forward to the trip as well :)
Surprised that no one mentions the ned for a vignette / Highway use tax sticker .
While rental cars from austrian rental offices may have this sticker , those from germany most probably will not have it.
Stiff fines for driving on major austrian roads without it.
Police check for this regularly especially near borders.
A 10 day sticker is 7,90 euro.
Worth the price to avoid problems
Most gas stations near to the border sell them. most border crossing areas may also have a stop for them. Some signage to direct you.
Good point, Vertical...We always stop at Scharnitz to purchase our Vignette. We have also experienced checks by the police for these passes.
If the OP is driving only to Seefeld over Garmisch and intends to return the same way and does not intend to venture out further using the Austrian Autobahn Network then a Vignette is not required.
Vignette mention was specific to the traveler toward lavant , but certainly applies to all traveling in Austria.
Not all roads are subject to the Vignette system, but for a tourist not having good knowledge of the roadways and restrictions , buying the vignette for 7,90 euro for the 10 day period can save hundreds of euro in fines and also allow " Peace of Mind " being able to drive anywhere free of any stress or worry regarding the saystem.
From Seefeld driving down to and along the Inntal Autobahn and Innsbruck , you would need the vignette - unless needlessly staying to the slow back roads mostly unknown to a tourist.
Hamiriver - if you are solely driving to Seefeld over Garmisch then going back the same way you don't need a Vignette. If you decide to go back a different way - over Innsbruck and the Austrian Autobahns you will
However 24th December - there could be a problem on the roads and much depends what time you are travelling. Many people take the 24th off work but those working will finish work and start heading home at midday. You wil therefore find the A99 busy with a mixture of commuters and holiday traffic. There is a lot of commuter traffic on the A8 Salzburg anyway on weekdays.
The road from Kufstein Süd through Ellmau is slow going on weekends. especially saturdays, as Hotel/Holiday changeover day -- not sure how much traffic you will come up against on the 24th December on this route
If the traffic is bad you will see this by the long tailback back onto the Autobahn at Kufstein Süd exit. It would then be better to carry on until the next exit Kirchbichl or Wörgl and drive around through Westerndorf/Brixen in Thale Kirchberg in Tirol Kitzbühel to rejoin the 161. In this case you MUST have a Vignette and for your peace of mind, as said above, you may be better off having one
The much longer but more autobahn route to Lavant round via Salzburg Tauern tunnel you would of course require a Vignette but also have the Toll for the Tauern Tunnel