Day trip from Munich to Oberammergau

How to get to Oberammergau from Munich and spend a lovely day in rural Bavaria the easy way

Oberammergau probably needs no introduction. It’s the place of the decennial Passion plays, filled with fresco-adorned houses, and there are traditional woodcarving shops all over town. But how do you get from Munich to Oberammergau as a tourist? Let me, a local, give you a good overview.

historic house in oberammergau with beautiful fairy tale frescos on the outside

Oberammergau is some 90 kilometers (56 miles) away from Munich. You have three choices to get there: take the train, rent a car, or book a tour. I’m going to break all three of them down to you and show you the pros and cons.

Book a tour to Oberammergau

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If you ask me, the probably best way to do a day trip is booking a tour. Now there are no separate day tours to Oberammergau from Munich. So let me explain why.

The scenic town is basically somewhere in the middle of nowhere. In a way that’s part of its allure but it almost makes it hard/complicated to reach. On top of that, there’s actually not that much to see there. You can easily fill an hour or two walking through the center of the town but that’s about it.

From Munich, there are special tours to Neuschwanstein Castle. And some of them will stop in Linderhof Castle and Oberammergau for an hour. And if you ask me, that’s all you need. I personally went on this tour three times already because it’s just so convenient.
Here’s the direct link to the tour I always book (like when friends are visiting, etc.)

bus to oberammergau very early in the morning
Tourists getting on the bus to Oberammergau very early in the morning

You will see all three major highlights in one day, the tour operators are very experienced, they reserve the tickets for you, and so on. It’s very smooth, they are very experienced and I can only recommend it. There’s also a premium version of the same tour by the same operator. It’s a fancier and roomier bus with free snacks and drinks

interior of the tour bus to oberammergau and beyond
Interior of the tour bus

Now you might be wondering why I, as a local, book a tour, right? The thing is, seeing all three highlights in one day is simply not possible with public transport. Renting a car makes this possible but it’s typically also more expensive and way less relaxed. The tour bus will take the exact same direct road. And that is precisely the reason why I recommend and book that tour: it’s just so convenient!

(Plus the tour has way over 8200 very positive reviews. So it’s not just me thinking this.)

How to take the train from Munich to Oberammergau

train tracks to oberammergau in Winter - very scenic

Naturally, you CAN get to Oberammergau using public transport. Bavaria’s train network is quite awesome and will basically get you anywhere…

…except Oberammergau. There are no direct trains. You can either take the regional train to Garmisch-Partenkirchen from Munich Central Station an exit in Oberau and then the bus for the last stretch to Oberammergau. Or you take the train to Murnau and then transfer to the train to Oberammergau (but that option is only available later in the day so possibly worthless for a day trip.

train schedule munich to oberammergau
Some train options early in the morning

In either case, it will take you roughly 1h 50 minutes to get to your destination. The good part is that it will only cost you 26€ both ways if you buy the “Regio-Ticket Werdenfels”

You can organize your trip on the official website of the German Train Service. It’s easy, it’s in English, and they do have an App.

Taking the train will allow you to get the max out of your time in Oberammergau. This will allow you to get on a private tour with a local that will show you all the most amazing traditional houses, etc. You can also go on a hike or visit the nearby Ettal monastery (just a 5-minute ride on the bus away).

Renting a car for a day trip to Oberammergau

scenic road to oberammergau in winter

If you are a larger group (4 or 5 people) then renting a car will possibly award you with the most flexibility. It will be the fastest way to get to Oberammergau and you can structure your day any way you like. You can still book a local tour once you arrive but you will easily be able to stop at any of the many highlights on the way or beyond.

So you could stop at Ettal, Linderhof Castle, or move onwards to Garmisch-Partenkirchen (and the famous Partnach gorge).

With a group of 5 it will also be cheaper than a tour (there are discount train tickets available. For 5 adults, the train ticket would still be only 66€ both way).

The downside is that you have to navigate the German Autobahn. While our road system is internationally renowned and as good as it gets, it can be challenging for foreign drivers. There’s the speed (you’ll definitely see people passing you with 180mp/h) but also slightly different rules for overtaking and sticking to the lanes. It’s no rocket science for an experienced active driver but if you only casually drive along the freeway with 40 mp/h once every full moon, then it will be a very stark contrast.

a beautiful house in oberammergau bavaria

While not all rented cars will have a navigation system, Google Maps works even off the grid with GPS and will easily get you there. It’s literally just taking the A95 Autobahn in a straight line all the way to Oberau and then turn right once to get onto the B23 for those last 10 kilometers. Ideally speaking, this will only take around 80 minutes. Do keep in mind that traffic jams are very likely within Munich during the rush hour (so possibly leave earlier or later to avoid that).

So to sum it up:

  • If you want it nice and convenient, take a tour
  • If you want it cheap and flexible, take the train
  • If you want to explore the vicinity and don’t mind the extra costs, rent a car
a beautiful house in oberammergau bavaria

Anyway, that’s how to get from Munich to Oberammergau. Comment below if you have any questions.

How to get from Munich to Oberammergau - three easy ways explained

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