The Oberammergau Passion Play occurs every ten years. The next one is coming up in 2020.

A possible route is below. This can easily be done in two weeks, since 24 hours of driving is 6 days x 4 hours each on average. Or 3 out of 14 days in the car. This might be too short a time to really visit the area, but it’s similar to many guided tours, which provide an overview for those with little time.

Proposed itinerary for two week trip (flexible since it would be individual car rentals instead of a tour bus)

Day 1: Sunday, June 28   Frankfurt to Worms to Heidelberg. (0:51 – 82 km) Rest up from jet lag after sightseeing.

Day 2: Monday, June 29   Heidelberg to Basel (2:30 – 230 km) to Lindau (2:32 -223 km) (Bodensee – Lake Constance)

Day 3: Tuesday, June 30   Lindau to Oberammergau (1:51 – 136 km) (play 2:30-5, 8-10:30, then overnight). Probably easier to find accommodations on the Bodensee than Oberammergau! But would have to stay there on the day of the play or drive a little farther. Here’s a cute Austrian song about Oberammergau.

Day 4: Wednesday, July 1   Oberammergau to Salzburg (2:18 – 185 km) If you’ve already been to Salzburg, you could visit the Krimml Waterfalls, Admont and Mariazell instead and rejoin the group in Vienna.

Day 5: Thursday, July 2   Salzburg to Wien (3:01 – 295 km)

Day 6: Friday, July 3    Vienna

Day 7: Saturday, July 4   to Bratislava (capital of Slovakia) (0:58 – 80 km)

Day 8: Sunday, July 5   Bratislava to Prague (capital of Czech Republic) (4:40, 409 km)

Day 9: Monday, July 6   Prague

Day 10: Tuesday, July 7   Prague to Dresden to Leipzig.

Day 11: Wednesday, July 8   Leipzig to Wittenberg, where Martin Luther posted his famous 95 theses on the church door. This became the spark that started the Protestant Reformation. Return to Leipzig.

Day 12: Thursday, July 9   Martin Luther sightseeing, return to Wittenberg?

Day 13: Friday, July 10   Wittenberg to Wartburg Castle to Bingen (2: – )

Day 14: Saturday, July 11   Rhein Gorge: train from Bingen to St. Goar: Lorelei Rock, return on boat to Bingen. For more information about Germany and the Lorelei poem, see the website under Germany 

Day 15: Sunday, July 12   Bingen to Frankfurt airport ( – ), fly home


Flexibility allowed by car rentals:

le have already seen some of these locations, their trip can be modified accordingly and meet up with the group later. For example, Oberammergau to Wien via Krimml Waterfalls, Admont and Mariazell instead of Salzburg, or spend an extra night in Bratislava if you’ve already been to Vienna.

If groups want to do different things (e.g., visit a museum or church, go shopping, or have different restaurant preferences etc.) people can group by sightseeing preference for the day instead of with their family unit or group of friends they want to travel with.

If you’ve already been to Salzburg, try visiting the Krimml waterfalls and Mariazell with an overnight stay in Admont.


Martin Luther

Martin Luther was “kidnapped” to Wartburg Castle by his friends. There he translated his Bibel from Hebrew and Greek into German there. This was radical since the Church only allowed Bibles in Latin. It’s not far from Wittenberg where Luther posted his 95 Theses on the church door. Since they were written in Latin, Luther probably intended them for discussion of theology but they were translated into German, printed on the newly invented printing press and quickly distributed (sort of like posting something on the internet today).


Here’s the official website for the Oberammergau Passion Play. The site is worth exploring. Some advice about buying tickets and some background on the region are here. Oberammergau is near Neuschwanstein (the Disney castle) and Wies, which has a beautiful church.

Here’s a guided tour for similar destinations (pretty pricey!) Here’s the itinerary for this 12 day tour, which is really a 10-day visit to Germany.

A much more affordable and flexible experience is possible by renting cars (each couple or group) and staying in smaller hotels or “Zimmer frei” bed and breakfasts in the same city or town. This is the type of trip we are proposing.

Some people could stay at youth hostels to save more money. Germany has lots of them, and some are even former castles. See American Youth Hostels and international hostels in Germany, Austria and Vienna.

Please email me at or if you have any interest in this trip. I plan to post more details and approximate prices soon.