My partner and I are planning a Spring trip that includes Germany, Switzerland, and France. We are in our late 20's and have both been to Europe before (it'll be my third trip, his second) but have never been to Germany or any of the locations we have planned except Paris. We both are big fans of parks, castles, cathedrals (we enjoy going to masses and concerts in churches), history, interesting museums of all kinds, good food, easy hikes, and cute villages. We are budget travelers and generally stay in apartments, cottages, budget hotels, or rent rooms in people's homes. We like to mix a few big cities with some more relaxing nice smaller places. We would like to minimize one night stops but don't want to spend too much time driving back and forth to sights either.
The only thing we have tacked down is our flights, we are flying into Dusseldorf, Germany (1.5 hours north of Koblenz) on May 11th and flying out of Paris, France on June 4th so we'll have about 24 days in Europe. Our priorities are to see the Rhine River Valley*, Black Forest, a couple days in the Alsace region in France, Bavaria*, Romantic Road (want to do a night in Rothenburg*), Swiss Alps*, and end in Paris*. Willing to cut a day or two off of Paris if people think it is needed elsewhere, but want time to explore Paris and do a couple day trips there. I would appreciate any comments people have about our itinerary and the best way to organize some of our time. I am particularly having some difficulty in trying to organize our time from Day 5 to Day 12. We plan to pick up a rental car in the Rhine Valley and drop it off before arriving in Munich and then will be getting around by train and public transit.
Day 1: Leave Saturday May 11
Day 2: Arrive at Dusseldorf around 2pm, train or drive to Rhine River Valley (stop at Cologne Cathedral on way), sleep in Bacharach
Day 3: Sleep in Bacharach
Day 4 Sleep in Bacharach
Day 5: Head to Black Forest, spa day in Baden Baden, sleep in Baden Baden or drive to Strasbourg?
Day 6: Strasbourg, France
Day 7: Strasbourg, France
Day 8: visit clock museum and open air museum in Black Forest, sleep somewhere in Black Forest or sleep near Lake Constance?
Day 9: Lake Constance, sleep in Meersburg or Lindau
Day 10: Lake Constance or Fussen?
Day 11: Bavarian castles, abbey, luge ride, sleep in Fussen
Day 12: Drive Romantic Road to Rothenburg, sleep in Rothenburg
Day 13: See Nurnberg and Wurzburg during day, train to and sleep in Munich
Day 14: Munich
Day 15: Munich
Day 16: Train to Swiss Alps, sleep in Murren, Switzerland
Day 17: Murren
Day 18: Murren
Day 19: Paris
Day 20: Paris
Day 21: Paris
Day 22: Paris
Day 23: Paris
Day 24: Paris
Day 25: Leave Paris in afternoon and arrive home
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