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8 days in Germany

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I will be traveling with my husband and one other couple to Germany for 8 days in May 2013. We are all under 30 and imagine our trip to include: German food, castle(s), beer, beautiful countryside (hiking would be nice), architecture, exploring, shopping, Lederhosen, etc.

We are going to rent a car for the whole trip and have seen that the cheapest flights are round trip to/from Berlin (we are from NYC). However, I have received advice to stay the entire week in Munich and take day trips to Fussen, Chiemsee, and Salzburg. I also really want to visit Dachau for a day. However, flying in/out of Berlin adds a 5+hr drive each way; our party is not adverse to this drive for the $180+ea in savings. I wanted to know if this drive is a waste of time (since we only have a week) or if it might just add to our experience of seeing some of the country? is it worth it? --seeing Berlin for a day or two also interests us.

I am interested in reading what advice or suggestions others have for our trip. Maybe if we are missing something or being too ambitious with this plan? None of us have traveled to Germany before, so we look forward to planning a successful first trip! Thanks!

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