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Last Minute Plans - Germany (or maybe beyond!)

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Hello from a longtime Fodorite who is new to the Europe forum!

I just confirmed that DH and I will be leaving for Germany in two weeks, staying just past Christmas. We fly in and out of Frankfurt. This came about due to a business related meeting. We will be picked up in Frankfurt and will spend the first two days in a small town (Niederdreisbach) about halfway between Frankfurt and Dusseldorf. That will give us from the 19th until the 26th when we need to be back in Frankfurt for a morning flight back. (I guess we will actually need to be in Frankfurt on the 25th as our flight is at 10:00 am.) We have never been to this part of Europe and I have not researched anything yet!

We are in our 50's (barely but I'm going with it!) and our travel style is pretty laid back. We normally pick out a few must see and do things and just go with the flow. We enjoy just walking around and finding a spot to enjoy lunch or dinner. I know we (well I) must see a Christmas Market! A castle would be nice! We like history museums and obviously we will be limited by the weather as far as outdoor activities. We won't have a car, so will depend trains and subways etc. I don't want to spend too much time in transit but it looks like in a few hours we could be to lots of cool places even outside of Germany. I'm not sure if we want to pick one place and take a few day trips, or if we want to pick a couple of places to stay.

Our budget for lodging is about $200 a night, less would be good! I would appreciate any suggestions of itineraries and places to see!

Thanks in advance!

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