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Prefer to not get lost leaving MUC a third time

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It crushes me to admit that I've gotten lost both times I've left MUC for Lech. In my defense, I've been traveling for 17 hours by then, and am 8 hours off my home time zone, so I'm kind of a mess at that point. In spite of this idiocy, I'm headed back for more in March, and it would be fun to try something new and get this right for once! A couple of tips just to get me started on the right highway would be greatly appreciated. I've been told the best way is thru Bregenz, which I have successfully reached both times, but only after unscheduled tours of the Greater Freising area. It looks like there are several ways around/through Munich to get to the Arlberg, what's the best? Toll roads are fine. This will be on a Sunday, mid-day. I will have nav, but nav can bring its own set of issues so I'd like to do this the old fashioned way so I can learn it once and for all. Thanks.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Not sure going via Bregenz when starting from Munich makes sense. Unless the weather is bad (less likely in March but still possible) the Fernpass route is the best option but not so easy from a navigation perspective. If autobahn all the way is preferred then go via the Inntal / Innsbruck.

After picking up your hire car simply follow the signs for Munich. This will take you onto the A92 autobahn. I would assume you will be using a navi system, make sure the settings do NOT avoid toll roads. If you go via the Fernpass (the shortest route) you will continue on the A92, then either A99 and through Munich or just through Munich (depends on the navi) onto the A95 towards Garmisch. Let the navi guide you through Garmisch and Ehrwald and Lermoos and onto the Fernpass road towards Imst. When you get to Imst buy a vignette for the Austrian autobahns (a 10 day / "zehn tagen" will cost approximately €10), from a petrol station. From Imst it is a short easy drive on the autobahn to St Anton.

To go on the autobahn all the way, take the A9 towards Munich at the junction with the A92, then follow signs for Salzburg at the junction with the A99 and then A8. After a while you will need to take the A93 towards Innsbruck, Kufstein and Italy. Buy a vignette at the service station on the border at Kiefersfelden. Follow the autobahn to Innsbruck (note 100km speed limit), at Innsbruck head towards Germany / Bregenz NOT Brenner / Italy. Keep heading west and you will end up at Imst as above from where you simply keep following the road to St Anton.

For Lech either come of at St Anton turn off and take the Arlberg pass (road conditions might not be good though less likely in March) or go through Arlberg tunnel, come off at first exit after tunnel and go back towards Lech.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Thank you, appreciate the detail. Interesting that others here (a couple years ago) said to stay away from the Garmisch route and go via Bregenz, so I have. I'm sure this can turn on time of day/day of week. I just want the fastest route. My mistakes have (I think) been in the first five minutes of leaving the airport.....getting off on the wrong foot.

Sure wish you could get vignettes at the car rental desk!
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@Scooter in Seattle, really depends what time of day you are driving. Early morning or evening I would go via Fernpass. During the day I would go via Bregenz.
Fernpass can be very slow when theres lorry traffic.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Leaving the car hire place at the airport and getting to the autobahn should be straight forward. As far as I know all the companies use one multistorey car park. The exit fro this takes you onto a wide one way road, you have to turn left out of the car park. After a short distant the road splits, you take the left fork which is signed "München" do NOT follow the sign for "Erding" (the right fork). There are a few turn offs before this but they are only service roads, the majority of traffic will be going towards Munich. Stay on this road as it merges with some other roads, again follow "München" if it doubt. After a short drive with the runways and terminal buildings either side the road becomes a dual carriage way with traffic coming into the airport on the other side. Ignore the various exits (including the one to Freising) and keep on the road which has now effectively become an autobahn and merges with the A92 after a short while.

I can see why going via Bregenz might work, probably more straight forward navigationally (also a good deal of unrestricted autobahn if you like driving fast) but you do end up going too far west then driving back east. The Fernpass is variable, it can easily get clogged up with trucks or holiday traffic and without local knowledge either good map skills or a navi are needed between Garmisch & Imst. I drove that way last weekend on the way back from St Anton and it was no problem at all.

You can buy vignettes online but need to know the car registration number so no help with a hire car. Occasionally you might find a car with a valid one on it already (though be careful about the expiry date) but buying them is easy, all petrol stations in Austria sell them plus service stations in Germany anywhere near the border.
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Vignette will take about 5 minutes stop, after you've been travelling for 17 hours i'd think that's not a major hardship @Scooter in Seattle, drive to St Anton via either Fernpass or Innsbruck is a fairly easy route (with some big detours if you head in wrong direction), I can't think why you'd want to drive via Bregenz though. A suggestion - photocopy a map before you travel and highlight your route so you can have a rough idea as you go and not be totally reliant on SatNav, follow signs for Munich and Salzburg then Innsbruck/ Bregenz and you won't go far wrong......very fast and busy roads though in Germany, make sure you are ready for the junctions, they come up on you quickly, as do the BMW/ Mercs and Porsches behind wink

One other tip. The SatNav will likely not get a GPS signal in the muliti car park at MUC airport, and once you are out its a quick left after 500m and onto the Autobahn system. Pull up immediately left into the lay-by when you get out and get your route planned/ input into SatNav, once onto the Autobahn there's no stopping. Also make sure you retain your exit ticket they give you at the car hire check in desk, you'll need it to get out.....
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Markymark29, The last couple of times I've travelled to Lech from MUC I've gone the Bregenz way. It's an easy drive and less prone to jams than the Fernpass or the Kufstein route. Looking at Bing maps right now the Bregenz route is half an hour faster than Kufstein and over an hour faster than the Fernpass. If you're going to St Anton rather than Lech then it's probably more or less the same time by either route. If I'm not in a hurry I'll use the Fern pass just because it's a more interesting route.

@Scooter in SeattleFor Bregenz follow signs for Munich then Memmingen then Lindau/Bregenz. It's worth taking 5 minutes in the carpark getting the SatNav into English and the destination loaded before you start. Put Bregenz in as the destination then change it to Lech when you're close to Bregenz, that way you don't need to worry about what route the satnav has decided on.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Why wouldn't you just put Lech into the sat nav in the car park then let it decide the fastest route? It will pick up a gps signal soon enough amd all you have to do is follow the signs for Munich for a few hundred yards
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@Valkyrie, Long weekend traffic jams west of Munich and also on Arlbergexpressway (2 into 1 lane near Dalaas with 15km resultant Stau) are my main reasons for not going via Bregenz not the distance. Kufstein/ IBK is our preference, or better still ZRH and train.
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@Markymark29, funny how experiences can vary. I've been stuck in jams at Kufstein and on the Fern but I've not had any hold ups at all on the Bregenz route!
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@Valkyrie, I've seen the queues up the valley a few times this season and back end of last, probably just a weekend thing however that's when most people travel.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Its a bit like "what is the best ski resort" Madeye-Smiley In summer when we drive down to Italy over the Brenner we generally leave early, before 05:30, and go over the Achenpass. This saves a fairly long detour via Kufstein (Jenbach / Zillertal is pretty much directly south of eastern Munich) and reliably gets us over the Brenner by 08:00, so avoiding the worst of the traffic on the road down to Verona. For this to work an early start is needed to ensure that practically everyone is still asleep in the small towns around Tegernsee thus empty roads.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Thanks everyone, very helpful. Looks like there will be good coverage in the Arlberg!
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