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Itinerary Help For First Trip To Germany  
User currently offlineAKLDELNonstop From New Zealand, joined Apr 2006, 311 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1659 times:

Hi All,

I am planning my first ever trip to Germany with a group of friends towards the last week of August and needed some help with the itinerary. We will have about eleven days - Friday to the following Monday. I know this is nowhere near enough time to see Germany properly but unfortunately we only have about 11 days at our disposal. The idea is to see the highlights and cover as much as possible. So I was hoping people familiar with Germany (including of course the Germany based members in the forum) would be able to help me with my itinerary.

The things I really want to see are
1. Berlin (East and West Side, Brandenburg Gate etc. etc.)
2. Rhine Valley
3. Munich
4. Dachau ( Is this recommended? Is there a museum/memorial here? I do love my history so don't want to miss out on historic sights)
5. Neuschwanstein Castle

My tentative itinerary based on internet research as of now is

Day 1 Friday - Arrive Frankfurt in the afternoon and rent a car. See Frankfurt city. Overnight in Frankfurt
Day 2 Saturday - See the Rhine valley and then drive to Baden Baden. Overnight in Baden Baden
Day 3 Sunday - See Black Forest. Overnight in Baden Baden
Day 4 Monday - Drive to Munich via Neuschwanstein Castle. Overnight at Munich
Day 5 Tuesday - See sights in Munich. Overnight in Munich.
Day 6 Wednesday - See Dachau. Overnight in Munich
Day 7 Thursday - Drive to Dresden. Overnight in Dresden (not so sure on this one)
Day 8 Friday - See Dresden. Drive to Berlin. Overnight in Berlin
Day 9 Saturday - Berlin. Overnight in Berlin
Day 10 Sunday - Berlin. Overnight in Berlin
Day 11 Monday - Fly back

Unfortunately Days 1 and 11 are fixed but I would love some input on how to structure the rest of the itinerary. And would also love input on whether I am missing out on things I really shouldn't miss out on.

Thanks in advance!

AKLDELNonstop

36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRabenschlag From Germany, joined Oct 2000, 1010 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1624 times:

Quoting AKLDELNonstop (Thread starter):
Day 1 Friday - Arrive Frankfurt in the afternoon and rent a car. See Frankfurt city. Overnight in Frankfurt
Day 2 Saturday - See the Rhine valley and then drive to Baden Baden. Overnight in Baden Baden
Day 3 Sunday - See Black Forest. Overnight in Baden Baden
Day 4 Monday - Drive to Munich via Neuschwanstein Castle. Overnight at Munich
Day 5 Tuesday - See sights in Munich. Overnight in Munich.
Day 6 Wednesday - See Dachau. Overnight in Munich
Day 7 Thursday - Drive to Dresden. Overnight in Dresden (not so sure on this one)
Day 8 Friday - See Dresden. Drive to Berlin. Overnight in Berlin
Day 9 Saturday - Berlin. Overnight in Berlin
Day 10 Sunday - Berlin. Overnight in Berlin
Day 11 Monday - Fly back

Just some quick thoughts on your plans:

Day 3: I am not sure whether you can "see" the black forest, as it is, well, a large forest area (and perhaps not even outstanding by international standards, but this is my humble opinion). Again in my humble opinion, you may be able to find more exciting places than Baden Baden. My recommendation is to be very clear to yourself as to why you want to go there. In my view, it is not a no-brainer-have-to-go-there location.

Day 7: Stopping in Dresden on your way to Berlin will be interesting if you are into baroque architecture. Staying over night will be wise because driving from Munich to Berlin in one day will be a bit draining.

Have a pleasant trip!


User currently offlineAKLDELNonstop From New Zealand, joined Apr 2006, 311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1586 times:

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 1):
Day 3: I am not sure whether you can "see" the black forest, as it is, well, a large forest area (and perhaps not even outstanding by international standards, but this is my humble opinion). Again in my humble opinion, you may be able to find more exciting places than Baden Baden.

Thanks this is just the type of information I am looking for. Would you recommend staying over in Stuttgart? Is there much to see there?

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 1):
Day 7: Stopping in Dresden on your way to Berlin will be interesting if you are into baroque architecture. Staying over night will be wise because driving from Munich to Berlin in one day will be a bit draining.

I do plan to stay a night in Dresden. And yes, I do like architecture.


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7961 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1581 times:

Quoting AKLDELNonstop (Thread starter):
Day 1 Friday - Arrive Frankfurt in the afternoon and rent a car. See Frankfurt city. Overnight in Frankfurt

I understand this day is already fixed, but I don't see why you would want to rent a car. You don't need it to discover Frankfurt or its surroundings. Worse, you will be jet-lagged, and driving will be a drag.

Quoting AKLDELNonstop (Thread starter):
Day 3 Sunday - See Black Forest. Overnight in Baden Baden

In my opinion it is better to see Freiburg im Breisgau instead of Baden Baden. Baden Baden is a spa and casino town, Freiburg is a university town that has more to offer for younger folks. Besides, Freiburg is situated in the middle of the Black Forest, not bordering it like Baden Baden. In Freiburg you could see the old town and walk up the adjacent Schlossberg to enjoy a nice view over the city and the surrounding Black Forest.
But I agree witrh Rabenschlag: The Black Forest is actually nothing special but just a ... well: forest with some hills thrown in. Freiburg is nice, though, and if you can manage to see Lake Constance on your way to Neuschwanstein: the better.

If you want to see Neuschwanstein from the inside, remember there it will take a *long* time for you in the queue (or on the visitors platform) to wait foryour turn. You can pre-book your tickets online which I highly recommend if you don't just want to see the castle from the outside. The tickets will also include a tour through Hohenschwangau castle. Many say it is more interesting. I have seen been both from the outside only, so I can't tell.
Anyway,your tour from Freiburg or even Baden Baden to Neuschwanstein will be time consuming. Consider spending one night in Füssen before heading to Munich, and then don't go the direct route but follow river Isar, drive along Sylvenstein Stausee, enjoy a coffee in Bad Tölz's Marktstaße and "climb" up Kalvarienberg.

As for Dachau: Dachau has a nice old town, but after seeing Füssen, Bad Tölz and Freiburg it is really not that interesting. The concentration camp: yes, there is a memorial, but there is very little left of the original camp. You won't have the feeling to get beamed back to the 40s. The museum is good, though, and of course a depressive, sad feeling will be there and can indeed be overwhelming.

Since you seem to like history: You may want to do a day trip to Potsdam (take the S-Bahn) and see Sanssouci Palace, the Dutch Quarter and Cecilienhof. History wise, Potsdam has a lot to offer.
Edit: Potsdam is near Berlin, not Munich in case you don't know.

And another thing:
It is Freiburg im Breisgau (there is another, smaller Freiburg someplace else in Germany), and it is Füssen or Fuessen *not* Fussen. Keep this in mind when you feed your TomTom or buy train tickets at a vending machine.

[Edited 2012-04-23 05:14:45]


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User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7961 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1580 times:

Quoting AKLDELNonstop (Reply 2):
Would you recommend staying over in Stuttgart? Is there much to see there?

No, there's the Mercedes and the Porsche Museum, but that's it. Stay in Freiburg if you want to see the Black Forest.



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User currently offlineAKLDELNonstop From New Zealand, joined Apr 2006, 311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1544 times:

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 3):
I understand this day is already fixed, but I don't see why you would want to rent a car. You don't need it to discover Frankfurt or its surroundings. Worse, you will be jet-lagged, and driving will be a drag.

The car will not really be used much on the first day. Just to go to the hotel from the airport. But it saves us time the next day as I do not have to go to a car rental again.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 3):
Freiburg is nice, though, and if you can manage to see Lake Constance on your way to Neuschwanstein: the better.

Thanks for that. I will look it up.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 3):
If you want to see Neuschwanstein from the inside, remember there it will take a *long* time for you in the queue (or on the visitors platform) to wait foryour turn. You can pre-book your tickets online which I highly recommend if you don't just want to see the castle from the outside.

Thanks for the tip. I would want to see it from inside if I am going all the way there, so buying the ticket online makes a lot of sense.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 3):
Since you seem to like history: You may want to do a day trip to Potsdam (take the S-Bahn) and see Sanssouci Palace, the Dutch Quarter and Cecilienhof. History wise, Potsdam has a lot to offer.
Edit: Potsdam is near Berlin, not Munich in case you don't know.

Yes, a day/half day tour to Potsdam is on the agenda from Berlin.


User currently offlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2114 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1534 times:

Good itinerary.

If you consider giving the Black Forest a miss, then maybe you needn't go that far south. Instead of Freiburg, you could also stay in Heidelberg (which from my experiences is sort of comparable, small but touristy university town), which would give you more time of the Rhine valley day. The interesting parts aren't really on the route from Frankfurt to Freiburg/Heidelberg, but rather between Wiesbaden and Koblenz. Loreley, St. Goar, the Rhine castles and so on. Saving two hours on the trip would give you more time for those. And because you can take the Autobahn, it'd even reduce the drive to Schwangau the next day.

I too would keep Dresden on the itinerary. It's surprisingly nice.



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User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1532 times:

Here's an idea...

Day 1. Arrive. Stay in Frankfurt.
2. rent car, head to Rhein valley (eg. Koblenz. Nice castle, nearby Mosel valley for vineyards, castle Burg Eltz, Cochem). Stay in Rhein area.
3. Drive to Munich - roughly 6h.
4. Drive out to Neuschwanstein. Return to Munich. Return car in evening.
5. Day in Munich, beer halls, BMW World museum, etc.
6. Day to Dachau by local train (Munich S-Bahn suburban route)
7. Fly or train Munich - Dresden. See Dresden.
8. Dresden-Berlin.
9. Berlin
10. Berlin
11. Fly back.

Basically, I don't think you need a car for your whole trip, and would enable you to see some of the country by DB's excellent (including ICE) trains.

My company has its head office in Munich, so I'm there more often than anywhere else in Germany.

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7961 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1516 times:

If you choose to take the train:

German Rail Pass:
http://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/prices/germany/germanrailpass.shtml

Laendertickets:Check Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg
http://www.bahn.com/i/view/DEU/en/prices/germany/laender-ticket.shtml



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User currently offlineflanker From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1641 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1516 times:

Don't forget to visit Audi at Ingolstadt!!!!


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User currently offlineAKLDELNonstop From New Zealand, joined Apr 2006, 311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1470 times:

Quoting Rara (Reply 6):
If you consider giving the Black Forest a miss, then maybe you needn't go that far south.

From all the replies that definitely seems to be a trend. I think Baden Baden is out of my list then.

Quoting Rara (Reply 6):
The interesting parts aren't really on the route from Frankfurt to Freiburg/Heidelberg, but rather between Wiesbaden and Koblenz. Loreley, St. Goar, the Rhine castles and so on.

Yes this was the one thing that the various tour websites did explain in detail. I think we would drive up to Heidelberg and then do the boat rides and also spend a day in the Rhine area.

Quoting signol (Reply 7):
Day 1. Arrive. Stay in Frankfurt.
2. rent car, head to Rhein valley (eg. Koblenz. Nice castle, nearby Mosel valley for vineyards, castle Burg Eltz, Cochem). Stay in Rhein area.
3. Drive to Munich - roughly 6h.
4. Drive out to Neuschwanstein. Return to Munich. Return car in evening.
5. Day in Munich, beer halls, BMW World museum, etc.
6. Day to Dachau by local train (Munich S-Bahn suburban route)
7. Fly or train Munich - Dresden. See Dresden.
8. Dresden-Berlin.
9. Berlin
10. Berlin
11. Fly back.

Basically, I don't think you need a car for your whole trip, and would enable you to see some of the country by DB's excellent (including ICE) trains.

That is very helpful thanks. I like the idea of splitting up transportation between car and train. Although that said, I may keep the car till Dresden and take a train from Dresden to Berlin. I hear the roads going north from Munich are very pretty.

So my modified itinerary based on the suggestions above would look something like this.

Day 1 - Arrive Frankfurt. See Frankfurt.
Day 2 - Drive to Heidelberg. Rhine cruise covering St. Goar etc. and then stay in Heidelberg.
Day 3 - Drive to Freiburg im Briesgau. Overnight at Frieberg
Day 4 - Drive to Munich via Lake Constance and Neuschwanstein (Is it possible to do both in a day). Overnight at Munich
Day 5 - See Munich, BMW museum, beer etc. Overnight at Munich.
Day 6 - Drive to Dachau, hang out in Munich. Overnight at Munich
Day 7 - Drive to Dresden, Return car. Overnight at Dresden
Day 8 - See Dresden. Take evening train to Berlin. Overnight at Berlin
Day 9 - See Berlin. Overnight at Berlin
Day 10 - Potsdam. Overnight at Berlin
Day 11 - Fly back

How does that sound?

Thanks a lot for all the ideas guys. This has been very helpful.


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7961 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (2 years 6 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1398 times:

Quoting AKLDELNonstop (Reply 10):
Drive to Munich via Lake Constance and Neuschwanstein (Is it possible to do both in a day). Overnight at Munich

Yes, but only barely.

Quoting AKLDELNonstop (Reply 10):
Frieberg

Freiburg (im Breisgau)! The "ei" in "Frei" is pronounced "I", wheras "ie" as in "Frie" is pronounced "ee". And "berg" means mountain, while "burg" means castle.
Pardon me for being so pushy, but there's probably a Frieberg someplace in Germany, and when you feed your TomTom with it ... I came across some English speakers on another forum who confused Füssen with Fussen or something along that line and drove north or east rather than south.



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User currently offlineandz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8455 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1274 times:
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Quoting NoUFO (Reply 3):
In my opinion it is better to see Freiburg im Breisgau instead of Baden Baden. Baden Baden is a spa and casino town, Freiburg is a university town that has more to offer for younger folks. Besides, Freiburg is situated in the middle of the Black Forest, not bordering it like Baden Baden. In Freiburg you could see the old town and walk up the adjacent Schlossberg to enjoy a nice view over the city and the surrounding Black Forest.
But I agree witrh Rabenschlag: The Black Forest is actually nothing special but just a ... well: forest with some hills thrown in. Freiburg is nice, though,

My favourite place in Germany...

Quoting AKLDELNonstop (Reply 10):
Drive to Freiburg im Briesgau. Overnight at Frieberg

I can recommend a couple of hotels in Freiburg, Rheingold is very close to the station (less than 100 metres) then there is Park Hotel Post and Hotel Victoria in the same street.



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User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Azerbaijan, joined Oct 2003, 14078 posts, RR: 62
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1273 times:

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 11):
Quoting AKLDELNonstop (Reply 10):
Frieberg

Freiburg (im Breisgau)! The "ei" in "Frei" is pronounced "I", wheras "ie" as in "Frie" is pronounced "ee". And "berg" means mountain, while "burg" means castle.
Pardon me for being so pushy, but there's probably a Frieberg someplace in Germany, and when you feed your TomTom with it ... I came across some English speakers on another forum who confused Füssen with Fussen or something along that line and drove north or east rather than south.

For the correct pronounciation remember the following sentence:
"Eisenhower´s niece"

Jan


User currently onlineozglobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2723 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1183 times:

My input:

- Don't, above all, try to be "comprehensive". It will only prevent you from really 'being there'.
- Visit fewer places, stay longer.
- I suggest the little known medieval town of Goslar, in the hills on the former East-West boarder west of Berlin. Here the Saxon kings were anointed and the town is wonderfully preserved.
- In Berlin, walk the backstreets between the Synagogue and Fredrichstrausse, full of internal courtyards, artists and newly revived residential areas. You can start at Hackershermakt.
- In Munich, the old Dominican monestry now brauhouse the city centre, and the English Gardern



When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7961 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1164 times:

Quoting ozglobal (Reply 14):
I suggest the little known medieval town of Goslar, in the hills on the former East-West boarder west of Berlin.

130 miles as the crow flies, which is too far I dare say. Quedlinburg is similar and a bit closer to Berlin. Or take Görlitz which is relatively close to Dresden, but his itinerary is already packed, and I would rather wipe something of the list.



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User currently offlinespeedbird217 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2012, 341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1149 times:

I really would recommend to visit Hamburg. The only problem is that it probably also takes 2 days, and it would be kind of a detour on your route if you decide to go to East Germany.
It would be really interesting, because it is very different if you compare it to places like the South of Germany, especially the people. And it also has such a rich history and is just a great place to be. You could probably drop Dresden and go from Munich via Hamburg to Berlin. It shouldn't be a problem to take the high-speed train or shoot some 50 Euro tickets on Lufthansa from Munich to Hamburg.


User currently offlineRabenschlag From Germany, joined Oct 2000, 1010 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1141 times:

Quoting speedbird217 (Reply 16):
I really would recommend to visit Hamburg. The only problem is that it probably also takes 2 days, and it would be kind of a detour on your route if you decide to go to East Germany.
It would be really interesting, because it is very different if you compare it to places like the South of Germany, especially the people.

Like them being a bit uptight?

Quoting speedbird217 (Reply 16):
And it also has such a rich history and is just a great place to be. You could probably drop Dresden and go from Munich via Hamburg to Berlin.

Dropping Dresden for Hamburg? I don't know. Honestly, I think Dresden has more unique sights than Hamburg. Hamburg is of course rather pleasant by itself, but not truly exceptional on any dimension (perhaps except prostitution).

Just my 2 ct.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Azerbaijan, joined Oct 2003, 14078 posts, RR: 62
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1134 times:

Quoting ozglobal (Reply 14):
- I suggest the little known medieval town of Goslar, in the hills on the former East-West boarder west of Berlin. Here the Saxon kings were anointed and the town is wonderfully preserved.

Loads of mining museums around there as well. The place was famous for it´s history in metal (silver, gold, copper, tin, lead etc.) mining from the early middle ages onwards. It is also the place where the first mining academy was founded.

Jan


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7961 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1127 times:

Look, their itinerary is already pretty demanding. They can save other cities then those already on the list for a future visit.


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User currently offlinespeedbird217 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2012, 341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1126 times:

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 17):
Like them being a bit uptight?

Who exactly are you referring to now?

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 17):
Dropping Dresden for Hamburg? I don't know. Honestly, I think Dresden has more unique sights than Hamburg. Hamburg is of course rather pleasant by itself, but not truly exceptional on any dimension (perhaps except prostitution).

Just my 2 ct.

Everybody has his preferences. I just think Hamburg would be a nice contrast to his itinerary and offer him a different side of Germany.

And saying that Hamburg is not exceptional, well they got one of the largest harbors in the world, a world-famous red-light district and bar scene, they played a major role in German history for a long time with the Hanseatic League, and the city offers so much more.
What exactly do you think it is that makes Dresden so exceptional, compared to Hamburg?


User currently offlineN174UA From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 994 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1105 times:

Having been to Germany 4 times:

I think your itineary is very demanding, and I hope you've built in expected traveling times along the way. I would considering scaling it back, so that you can enjoy more of the top 4 or 5 cities, or perhaps focus on southern Germany this trip, and save northern/eastern Germany for another time.

This is just me, but unless you want to drive at high speeds on the autobahn for bragging rights, I would seriously consider instead buying a Deutsche Bahn (DB) pass, espeically for the longer trips. Taking a night train between Munich and Berlin or Dresden can save you the hotel cost, too. It will give you a great opportunity to see and enjoy the surrounding countryside. I have used DB on every trip, and speak very highly of it, I've never had a bad experience. The pass is the best way to go, however. There is an app you can download for the timetable, as well.

Neuschwanstein: Buy the tickets online, absolutely. Your time inside is a mere 45 minutes, and the real enjoyment is being outside. Be sure to hike up to Marienbrucke (Mary's Bridge) for an amazing photo opportunity. Hohenschwangau, right across from Neuschwanstein is much more interesting, and there's more to see.

Burg Elz: I was there in Oct. 2010, and there was scaffolding and cranes all over it. You can still see the castle of course, but the postcard picture from a distance...not going to happen, unless they finished their construction already. Oh, another thing...if you do go here, it's a bit of a walk from the Cochem train station, and the trail to Burg Elz is behind the restuarant, not by a tiny little bridge by a stream, which I took...  

Dachau: An easy 45 minute or so train ride from downotown Munich. There's a museum there, watchtowers, and outlines of barracks, and a small gas chamber, but that's really about it. Probably 2 hours in the museum and a stroll around the grounds is sufficient.

Munich: Consider doing a walking tour of the city center. For about 10 Euros, this a great deal. On a nice day, the Englischer Garten is the place to be, and also walk along the Isar River, then a stein of beer and a pretzel under the chestnut trees by the Chinesische Turm (pagoda). A quick subway trip up to Olympic park is worth it, and BMW Welt (World) is right across the street. Go through the big building first, and if time, the museum is across the street.

Salzburg: If you have time, it's a 2 hour train ride east of Munich. If you like Mozart, it's for you. Hohensalzburg Castle above the town offers 360 views of the city. Possibly doable in a day.

Medieval town: It's a little out of the way, but Rothenburg ob der Tauber is well worth a night stay...and take a guided walk at night led by the Night Watchman! Walk along the top of the city wall, too.

Berlin: Definitely do a walking or bike tour, and there are several to choose from, based on the topic of your choice. As you like history, a few hours in the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie Museen is a must for you. Potsdam is another must-see. Cecilienhof is well worth it, as is Sansoucci. You can also take a free tour of the Reichstag...be sure to walk to the top of the glass dome.

Dresden: I was only there for a night in 2004, but it is worth a night's stay. For me, the train ride through the former East was amazing to see, from the train. Chemnitz and Zwickau were like ghost towns it seemed. Walk along the Elbe in Dresden, and go through the Frauenkirche. Baroque architecture all over...it was once (still is?) considered the Florence on the Elbe. People there were ok, not overly friendly to westerners, but not rude either. I definitely sensed a difference in attitudes compared with Munich, Bonn, etc. Still...see Dresen...you'll be glad you stopped.


I'm starting to sound like a tour guide...so I'll stop. I love Germany, and have always had a great time on each visit, except for Cologne, but I digress. I'm envious of your trip...have a great time!

N174UA


User currently offlineAKLDELNonstop From New Zealand, joined Apr 2006, 311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1103 times:

Quoting andz (Reply 12):
I can recommend a couple of hotels in Freiburg, Rheingold is very close to the station (less than 100 metres) then there is Park Hotel Post and Hotel Victoria in the same street.

Thanks for that. This is helpful information. I doubt there will be too many SPG properties in Freiburg, so it would be good to stay at a small local establishment.

Quoting ozglobal (Reply 14):
- In Berlin, walk the backstreets between the Synagogue and Fredrichstrausse, full of internal courtyards, artists and newly revived residential areas. You can start at Hackershermakt.
- In Munich, the old Dominican monestry now brauhouse the city centre, and the English Gardern

Thank you. Again helpful information.

Quoting speedbird217 (Reply 16):
I really would recommend to visit Hamburg. The only problem is that it probably also takes 2 days, and it would be kind of a detour on your route if you decide to go to East Germany.

I will unfortunately have to exclude Hamburg in this particular visit in favor of Dresden and Berlin. But I am sure I will make more trips to Germany in the not so distant future. The other place that I wanted to see in Germany that will have to wait for a later trip is Cologne.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 19):
Look, their itinerary is already pretty demanding. They can save other cities then those already on the list for a future visit.

  

Thanks a lot for all the help. This has been great.


User currently offlineAKLDELNonstop From New Zealand, joined Apr 2006, 311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1101 times:

Quoting N174UA (Reply 21):
I think your itineary is very demanding, and I hope you've built in expected traveling times along the way. I would considering scaling it back, so that you can enjoy more of the top 4 or 5 cities, or perhaps focus on southern Germany this trip, and save northern/eastern Germany for another time.

This is just me, but unless you want to drive at high speeds on the autobahn for bragging rights,

It is a little demanding I agree, but I really want to see Berlin and Munich on this trip. Also I love driving so I do want to experience some of the autobahn at least. That said I am considering dropping of the car in Dresden (instead of Berlin) and taking a train from Dresden to Berlin.

Quoting N174UA (Reply 21):
Neuschwanstein: Buy the tickets online, absolutely. Your time inside is a mere 45 minutes, and the real enjoyment is being outside. Be sure to hike up to Marienbrucke (Mary's Bridge) for an amazing photo opportunity. Hohenschwangau, right across from Neuschwanstein is much more interesting, and there's more to see.

Thank you, this is very helpful. I need to note all of this down so I don't miss out when I am there.

Quoting N174UA (Reply 21):
Burg Elz: I was there in Oct. 2010, and there was scaffolding and cranes all over it. You can still see the castle of course, but the postcard picture from a distance...not going to happen,

Is this the place from where you get a good picture of the castle?

Quoting N174UA (Reply 21):
Munich: Consider doing a walking tour of the city center. For about 10 Euros, this a great deal. On a nice day, the Englischer Garten is the place to be, and also walk along the Isar River, then a stein of beer and a pretzel under the chestnut trees by the Chinesische Turm (pagoda). A quick subway trip up to Olympic park is worth it, and BMW Welt (World) is right across the street. Go through the big building first, and if time, the museum is across the street.

Walking tour sounds good actually.

Quoting N174UA (Reply 21):
Salzburg: If you have time, it's a 2 hour train ride east of Munich. If you like Mozart, it's for you. Hohensalzburg Castle above the town offers 360 views of the city. Possibly doable in a day.

Been to Austria before, including Salzburg, Innsbruck and Vienna. Absolutely loved that trip. The castle in Salzburg actually has some fantastic views of the surrounding area.

Quoting N174UA (Reply 21):
Berlin: Definitely do a walking or bike tour, and there are several to choose from, based on the topic of your choice. As you like history, a few hours in the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie Museen is a must for you. Potsdam is another must-see. Cecilienhof is well worth it, as is Sansoucci. You can also take a free tour of the Reichstag...be sure to walk to the top of the glass dome.

Again, very helpful.

Quoting N174UA (Reply 21):
Walk along the Elbe in Dresden, and go through the Frauenkirche. Baroque architecture all over...it was once (still is?) considered the Florence on the Elbe.

Hmm interesting.

Quoting N174UA (Reply 21):
I'm starting to sound like a tour guide...so I'll stop.

This is actually very helpful information. Having never been to Germany nor having many German friends, this forum has been an excellent source of information. Any other tips you can add would be very welcome.

Quoting N174UA (Reply 21):
I'm envious of your trip...have a great time!

Thanks. I actually haven't made a trip to a new country to visit in a long long time, which is a shame really given that I travel over 100k miles a year (a lot of it internationally). Most of my travel lately has been for work. So I am really looking forward to this, rather short, trip.


User currently offlinekent350787 From Australia, joined May 2008, 967 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1101 times:

I agree with PPs that you have chosen a very demanding itinerary, and that you really ought to consider train travel (although broken period car rentals will drive that cost up). Two days in Berlin alone barely scrapes a small part of the surface of that city, and there are many other glorious places in Bavaria apart from Munich (eg. Regensburg, Bamberg, and the Bavarian Alps rather than the Black Forest).

Rothenberg ob der Tauber (especially the doppelbrucke) is a fine toytown visit - in fact, the whole "romantic road" is famous for a reason. I like Nordlingen (where exterior for the original Willy Wonka movie were filmed) and Dinkelsbuhl too.

Stuttgart is fine for a stopover, especially if you're into cars at all, with both MB and Porsche Musea there. Praga Cemetary in the afternoon and a walk up to the Weissenhof estate if you're into modern architecture.


25 N174UA : There's a few viewpoints on the trail up to Burg Elz that you can take a picture. Without cranes and scaffolds, it would be something right out of a
26 Post contains links and images NoUFO : That's fine, but last time I went from Berlin to Dresden by train the route was still far from a high speed track. Definitely! This is a must! I thou
27 Post contains images kent350787 : Of course I meant that I find the Bavarian Forest is just as attractive as the Black Forest which is a long way from Bavaria
28 na : Frankurt with the Rhine valley, Munich, Dresden and Berlin is pretty much for a week, as you will be all over the place, missing some great sites you
29 NoUFO : I spent 15 years in Hamburg and so far 4 years near Munich, so I know both cities well and would say they are different. When it comes to beauty, I g
30 na : I suggested to drop Munich because that saves travel time. dito. As I said, only to save travel time, and Mespelbrunn and Rothenburg together seems t
31 Post contains images NoUFO : Same here. Only that there isn't a coast in Hamburg nor are there mountains in Munich. On clear days you can see the Alps in the background when you
32 Rabenschlag : I think Hamburg is quite attractive as a city to live in (depending on one's income, of course), but for a tourist? I don't think so. What are the ma
33 globeex : I actually know most of your potential stops very well. I grew up near Frankfurt, have been living in Munich for 6 years. Members of my family studied
34 AKLDELNonstop : Thanks a lot for all the suggestions. This has been very helpful. Still working on the final itinerary and will post it up once its final.
35 slider : Concur--the whole Mosel valley is a wonderful place! Great wine too!
36 us330 : You'll love Berlin if you are a big time history buff, like I am. After college graduation, I was there for three full days and nearly burned my soles
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