By Car, Train, or Bus to Bavaria’s Passion Play Town
Getting to Oberammergau at the Bavarian Alps in Germany is easy by car, train, or bus. Trains run to Munich while local buses go to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Ettal.
Transportation to Oberammergau, famous for its Passion Play performances, is easy both by car and by public transportation. Depending on the point of origin, trains, buses or a combination of trains and buses provide the easiest access to Oberammergau. Local trains and buses can be very cheap if the Bayern Ticket savings fare of the German Railways is used.
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Traveling to Oberammergau in Oberbayern, Germany
Oberammergau is a small town of around 5,000 near the Bavaria Alps in southern Germany. The nearest large town is Garmisch-Partenkirchen (20 km / 12 miles) but the good transportation network allows for fast and easy access from Munich (München) (90 km / 56 miles) as well. The Austrian city Innsbruck is only 80 km (50 miles) to the south of Oberammergau but mountain roads ensure that driving time is much longer than to Munich.
Oberammergau is famous for the Passion Play (Passionsspiele) that is performed every ten years by the local population. In 2020, over a hundred performances will be staged of the Passion of Christ that lasts in the Oberammergau performance well over five hours. Oberammergau is also visited for the many Lüftlmalerei (tromp l’oeil) painted façades in the old town and skillful woodcarving that are on display and for sale in many studios in the old town.
The next Passion Play series starts in May 2020 – tickets are still available.
Driving to Oberammergau in Bavaria, Germany
A private car makes traveling to Oberammergau not only easy but also ensure easy access to other sights in the region. Traffic in the immediate vicinity of Oberammergau is relatively light allowing drivers to easily make day-trips to places such as Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Schloss Linderhof, Ettal, the Wieskirche, and the Disney-like Schloss Neuschwanstein Castle. All these sights can also be reached by bus but a car make seeing several on the same day very easy. (Some bus day-trip excursions from Munich also visit Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Oberammergau on the same day.)
When driving to Oberammergau from Munich (München) follow the Autobahn A95 towards Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The autobahn ends at Oberau – from here follow the picturesque B23 road to Oberammergau. Total driving time from Munich to Oberammergau is around an hour for the 90-km (56-mile) drive.
Although Innsbruck in Austria is only 80 km (50 miles) to the south of Oberammergau, driving time is easily 90-minute drive or more. From Innsbruck, follow the B177 through the mountains to Mittenwald, another picturesque Bavarian town famous for Lüftlmalerei and woodcarvings. From Mittenwald, the B2 goes through Garmisch-Partenkirchen and on to Oberau from where the B23 goes directly to Oberammergau.
Traveling by Train to Oberammergau near Munich
Traveling to Oberammergau by train almost always requires a transfer – see timetables and booking options at Deutsche Bahn. The Bavaria Ticket is usually the best deal. Oberammergau is on a small, minor railway sideline that ends at Murnau. Murnau is on the mainline between Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Trains between Murnau and Oberammergau run mostly once per hour. The journey takes 40 minutes and goes through beautiful nature.
Total traveling time from Munich to Oberammergau by train takes around two hours. The easiest is to transfer at Murnau to the train to Oberammergau. An alternative is to continue past Murnau and change in Oberau to the local bus. The bus from here passes through Ettal en route to Oberammergau.
When traveling by train from Innsbruck, it is necessary to change at either Oberau or Murnau as above (but of course arriving from the opposite direction) or in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Total traveling time from Innsbruck to Oberammergau is between two and three hours.
Traveling by Bus to Oberammergau
Sometimes using the bus is the easiest way to travel to Oberammergau. From Garmisch-Partenkirchen, it is usually easier and faster to take the bus directly to Oberammergau rather than to take the train with multiple transfers.
From Garmisch-Partenkirchen, bus 9606 runs hourly to Oberammergau in around 40 minutes. Bus 9606 stop en route at Oberau and Ettal.
The Romantic Road Bus does not currently pass through Oberammergau.
Bus and train travel in the Oberammergau region is mostly on local trains allowing for huge savings when using Deutsche Bahn’s Bayern-Ticket discount offer for cheap group or solo travel. Buy online at German Railways.
Popular tourist sights near Oberammergau include Kloster Ettal Monastery, the Wieskirche, Benediktbeuren, the Alps with Zugspitze, Mittenwald, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and two of Mad King Ludwig’s fantasy castles – the Disney-like Schloss Neuschwanstein and the romantic Schloss Linderhof.