Munich to Salzburg: The Thrilling Route

by editor

Are you planning on driving from Munich to Salzburg? If so, it is advisable to have all the information you need at your fingertips before hitting the road.

First things first, you need to research places to stop and take a rest along the way. You should also find the best restaurants and hotels within your price range.

There are a lot of beautiful things and attractions to see along the way. Between these two magnificent cities, you’re going to discover breathtaking landscapes, awe-inspiring mountains, castles, and much more.

Total driving time is anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending on the route you take. Below you can check our route from Munich to Salzburg. You will also get some useful ideas and tips on what to do and see during this road trip.

Munich to Salzburg ride

So, let’s go for a ride and explore the route!

Driving from Munich to Salzburg – The Route

Some people prefer making hotel reservations in advance, while others simply drive and stop at resorts/hotels along the route without any reservations. Whatever the case, you need to make your road trip itinerary beforehand.

To make things easier for you, we have created the itinerary for your drive. If you follow this route, you can get to Salzburg in slightly more than an hour and a half. Yes, it doesn’t take a lot of time given that Munich lies 144 kilometers (about 90 miles) to Salzburg.

This is actually the fastest and the best route. It follows the A8 motorway. Alternatively, you can travel via the Autobahn A94, which goes northwards.

Let’s assume that you will choose the shorter route. In this case, the itinerary crosses a country border and passes through three memorable locations:

  1. Munich to Holzkirchen
  2. Holzkirchen to Rosenheim
  3. Rosenheim to Traunstein
  4. Traunstein to Salzburg
Munich to Salzburg the route

Munich to Holzkirchen

Are you ready to start the journey? Once you pack everything you could ever need for your journey, sit behind the wheel and head to Salzburg right away.

If you’re not in a hurry, we suggest that you take a short break in Holzkirchen, Germany. In fact, Holzkirchen is supposed to be the first stop of your Munich to Salzburg drive. It only takes about 30 minutes to reach this town when traveling by car.

Munich to Holzkirchen

This Bavarian market town is located in the Miesbach district. While traveling through this area, you will enjoy watching Alpine foothills (aka Alpenvorland).

In the town itself, you can take a look round the buildings and old houses that feature a unique design and architectural style. They add to the beauty of the place. Take the time to walk through the streets and get a feel for the place. 

Holzkirchen is the spot where Radio Free Europe’s transmitting station was established. Transmissions took place in 1951. That was a unique opportunity for Eastern Europeans to hear news from Western Europe.

Today, the town is best known as a place for pharmaceutical production and research. There are two big pharmaceutical companies – HEXAL and Sandoz – positioned in the industrial zone.

Munich to Salzburg - Holzkirchen

Holzkirchen to Rosenheim

Okay, it’s time to keep moving. We will leave Holzkirchen and head to Rosenheim. The shortest driving distance between these two cities is 41.1 km (25.5 miles). 

Depending on traffic, it takes from 30 to 40 minutes to get from Holzkirchen to Rosenheim. Avoid driving during peak hours to lessen travel time. For instance, if your average speed is 80 km/h (50 mph), you will be there in 32 minutes.

For those without a car, we recommend traveling by train. It takes 47 minutes, including departs hourly and transfers.

Holzkirchen to Rosenheim

And here we are in Rosenheim. Located in the gorgeous Inn Valley, this picture-book place delights guests with Alpine charm and distinct southern flair. The city is positioned between the Wendelstein and Lake Chiemsee in Upper Bavaria, waiting to be discovered.

From the modern outlets to traditional market stalls, Rosenheim has a lot to offer. Visitors can enjoy browsing for genuine bargains, traditional costumes, and so on. As you can see in the city’s architecture, Rosenheim shows Italy’s rich history all over the place. 

The city is characterized by a mixture of the cultural scene and modern art. There are pastel-colored charming galleries, landmark townhouses, as well as many restaurants and cafés. Additionally, you will come across numerous fashion boutiques, stores, and hotels. 

The historic center invites visitors for a stroll. So take the time to stroll beneath the arcades and experience the atmosphere and charm of this Bavarian city. Feel free to take a walk between Salin Garden and Mittertor Gate to feel the vibrant life of the city.

The following are the sights you should visit while taking a stroll:

  • Städtisches Museum
  • Holztechnische Museum
  • Lokschuppen exhibition center
  • Stadtische Galerie
  • Salingarten (a sculpture garden)
  • Mangfallpark
  • Max-Josefs-Platz
Max-Josefs-Platz

Rosenheim to Traunstein

Yep, it’s hard to leave Rosenheim, but we must go further. The next sequence of our route goes from Rosenheim to Traunstein. 

This 50-kilometer route pass by the Lake Chiemsee (also referred to as the Bavarian Sea). This freshwater lake is divided into two sections: Inselsee (in the southwest) and Weitsee (the bigger one in the northeast). There’s a large recreation area in Chiemgau, which surrounds the Chiemsee.

After about 50 km (around 31 miles) and a 40-minute drive, you will get to the next destination within your route – Traunstein. We suggest making a quick pit stop here.

Rosenheim to Traunstein

Traunstein is a small town near the Austria-Germany border. It is located in southeastern Bavaria at the heart of the Chiemgau region. This tourist destination is situated around 30 kilometers west of Salzburg. It is positioned 11 kilometers east of Chiemsee and 15 kilometers north of the Alps.

Here, you can find a lot of spots to drink, dine, and feast. Top attractions in Traunstein include Salinenpark, Stadtkirche Sankt Oswald, Hofbräuhaus Traunstein (a family-owned brewery), and Viadukt Eisenbahnbrücke. In addition, you can visit outdoor sports facilities and historic market square.

Munich to Salzburg

Traunstein to Salzburg

After a short break in Traunstein, you should continue the trip, following the Bundesautobahn 8 that links Munich and Salzburg. 

The driving distance between Traunstein and Salzburg is 46.6 km (about 29 miles). The drive from Traunstein to Salzburg takes slightly more than 30 minutes.

Traunstein to Salzburg

There is plenty to see and do in Salzburg, Austria. However, we won’t mention the tourist attractions here because it requires a special review. 

To get a better idea of what you can experience during your stay in this beautiful city, read our post about the best things to do in Salzburg. It’s worth reading, so we recommend that you take a few minutes to look it over.

Munich to Salzburg

Here, we are going to focus on accommodation in Salzburg. If you are one of those people who prefer ecologically minded over traditional accommodation, then check out The Keep Eco Residence (also called The Keep).

Munich to Salzburg

Located in the heart of Salzburg, this eco-conscious accommodation is a good alternative to hotels and hostels. The Keep has an ideal position. By walking along the Salzach River, you can get to the Old Town in just about ten minutes.

There is a wide range of room options to choose from. It’s quite easy to rent a room online. 

Once you select the room that suits your preference, you can also book the morning activities separately or along with the room purchase. The choice is yours. 

No matter what you choose, be sure to check the Keep packages and offers. From mountain top yoga and meditation to musical Altstadt tour, there is something for everyone. This is a great chance to customize your stay in Salzburg and experience the city in a completely new way.

Munich to Salzburg - the keep

Conclusion

In the end, we want to summarize everything said above and highlight the main points of this scenic driving route from Munich to Salzburg.

As you can see, the route pass by two small towns (Traunstein and Holzkirchen) as well as the city of Rosenheim. Here’s the summary of the route once again:

  1. Munich to Holzkirchen
  2. Holzkirchen to Rosenheim
  3. Rosenheim to Traunstein
  4. Traunstein to Salzburg

It is always a good idea to use Google Maps when planning the route. That can help you identify all the pit stops along the way and get a clear picture of the itinerary.

This particular itinerary follows the A8 motorway. It’s the most common, fastest, and easiest way to drive from Munich to Salzburg. You will notice “SALZBURG” signs along the motorway all the way to Salzburg, so it is really difficult to miss the route. 

The drive takes from 1.5 to 2 hours, whereas the driving distance is 145 km. Be sure to get off the highway before hitting the border. 

Here are other important notes for those planning to take this route:

  • Bear in mind that Austria has an obligatory road tax system for motorways.
  • Avoid weekend traffic because it’s rather busy.
  • Once you reach Salzburg, remember that there is no free car parking in the city center.
Munich to Salzburg

Bonus

Are you eager to make another stop besides these included in our route? Take your time and visit Bad Reichenhall, a small Alpine town in Upper Bavaria.

Munich to Salzburg

Situated near Salzburg at the foot of the Chiemgau Alps, this wonderful spa town is a center of salt production. What to see in Bad Reichenhall? Here, you may visit Karlstein Castle, Alte Saline, Spa Familien Resort, and Ortovox Avalanche Park.

You can also visit some places around the city of Salzburg, such as Berchtesgaden and Eagle’s Nest. Create the itinerary according to your needs and explore the German Autobahn on your own.

Munich to Salzburg

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