10 Day trip to Germany


Mar 25th, 2011, 02:05 PM
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10 Day trip to Germany

I am planning a 10 day trip to Germany and am looking for advice / insight / recommendations. We are planning on going at the end of September 2011 (to experience Oktoberfest).

My uncle lives in Stuttgart, so as of right now, we are planning on hitting Munich and Stuttgart. Which leads me to my first question- what other cities would you hit?

Our plan is to fly out of Miami and directly into Munich. We are planning on the red eye on Thursday night and land in Munich on Friday morning and spend until Sunday morning there. Then on Sunday, we plan to make our way to Stuttgart. We plan on flying home the following Saturday, which gives us 6 days in Stuttgart to do day trips or time to go some place else. My next question is, what do you recommend? Is there enough to do around Stuttgart to make some day trips? Or would you just spend a few days there and then move on? The upside is that we have a free place to stay in Stuttgart.

One of the places I was looking at that I thought would be a good day trip is the Black Forest. It looks like you could do some nice hiking and spend some time enjoying nature and have a picnic. And I would be remiss if I did not mention that I want a piece of that chocolate cake! But seriously, is it worth the day? And is it something that we can do in 1 day?

Where else in Southern Germany would you recommend? Would you recommend making our way to Zurich or Salzburg? We are not opposed to a flying out of another or country- maybe spending 4 days in Stuttgart and then 2 someplace else.

I guess what I really would like to know is what do you think of this itinerary? What would you change? What would you do?

I think I should probably mention that neither my husband or myself have ever been to Europe. This will be both of our 1st time, and the reason we chose Germany is because my uncle is living there for a couple of years. We definitely want to spend some time in Stuttgart to see him.

Any advice that you could offer would be great! We are still in the very early phases of planning so there is still a lot of flexibility in our itinerary. The only thing that is set is the Thursday-Saturday time frame (due to vacation day restraints). We would also like to be in Munich over a weekend, since we have some friends that live there and they would only be able to play tour guide on the weekend.
JennyDoodle is offline  
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Mar 25th, 2011, 02:08 PM
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Sorry- I would like to add one more thing. My husband is a history buff, so any historical sites would be great
JennyDoodle is offline  
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Mar 25th, 2011, 03:20 PM
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I'd suggest that you do a little more research to decide what places you really want to visit in Germany.

Stuttgart itself is close to lots of interesting places, and it even has its own "Oktoberfest" called the Canstatter Volksfest (begins Sept. 23) which might be a better alternative to Munich's Oktoberfest, which is severely over-attended and which makes Munich a very expensive place to stay (if you can find a room, that is.)

Anyway, you might look into some places a little closer to Stuttgart. The Black Forest lies to the southwest. Tübingen, Schwäbisch Hall, Bad Wimpfen, Heidelberg, and the northern Romantic Road towns of Nördlingen, Rothenburg, and Würzburg are all within reach if you wanted to daytrip or do short overnight trips from Stuttgart.

If you're really into festivals, you might arrive a little earlier than Oktoberfest to visit the Bad Dürkheim wine and sausage fest:
Russ is offline  
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Mar 25th, 2011, 03:24 PM
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definitely find time for the Wurstmarkt. so much fun.

and i like Russ's other ideas too. Germany is MUCH more than big cities.
annhig is offline  
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Mar 25th, 2011, 03:33 PM
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Historical Sites....Europe......hmmm, let me think...... ;-)

OK, you are tied to Munich for 2 nights (Friday and Saturday) and then probably at least 4 in Stuttgart out of respect for Uncle Klaus and the free room (Sun - Wed). That leaves 2 more nights for wandering.

I don't think too many people would suggest that Stuttgart, proper, is worthy of 6 nights out of your 8 night first time trip to Europe. You can certainly get in some day trips that would make a 4 day stay with a relative very enjoyable. I always feel a little stupid suggesting day trips to people who indicate they are going to be staying with friends or relatives because I am sure that they have many more, and better, suggestions than I can dish up from my many trips, but you asked.

Augsburg (mid size city - 250k) and Ulm (small city 117k), are a couple of obvious choices for you to visit on your way to Stuttgart.

Once in Stuttgart, you should consider a day trip to Tubingen, a tremendously atmospheric university town (80k) coupled with a trip down the Neckar river valley, where there are some great castles and towns.

It is not too hard to venture into the eastern part of the Black Forest from Stuttgart. For example, it is about 1:20 to Baden Baden (on the highway that skirts the northern part of the Black Forest and then about 2 hours back to Stuttgart directly through the BF - Calw is a nice town to visit on this route back.

Options after your Stuttgart stay could be Strasbourg (1:45) and the Alsace wine route, or down to Lake Konstanz and Meersburg (2:00) - a personal favourite and a nice small town to give you a change of pace for an overnight stay, or Zurich - only 2.5 hours away from Stuttgart.

I am presuming you would have a car for all this.

You could depart from Zurich if staying in Meersburg (ferry to Konstanz, then a direct train to Zurich airport - done it and it worked great), or Zurich, obviously, and Strasbourg would allow you the option of heading back to Stuttgart, Zurich, or Frankfurt to depart - all about 2:00 - 2:30 hours away.

Alternately, you could head a little north west of Stuttgart to the Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Wurzburg area and target a flight back out of Frankfurt.

Plenty to think about.
Aramis is offline  
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Mar 25th, 2011, 04:21 PM
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I agree with what Russ said. We have been to all of the towns he mentioned and you will find plenty of history and lovely scenery. But I'm one of those people who thinks there are much prettier areas of Germany than the Black Forest.
bettyk is offline  
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Mar 28th, 2011, 10:31 AM
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Thank you all for your replies! We are starting to get really into our planning. I am going to ask my uncle about different towns as well, but I thought I would try to get a few opinions and see if some places came up over and over.

I think 2 nights in Munich, 4 nights in Stuttgart and 2 nights elsewhere is a great outline. Now it is time to fill in the blanks. I just have to do some research now to figure out where we are going to go.
JennyDoodle is offline  
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Mar 28th, 2011, 12:33 PM
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Having lived in Stuttgart for 2.5 years I can assure you that there are plenty of things to do in the vicinity...I feel like we only touched the tip of the iceberg during our time there! ;-)

Russ and Aramis have already mentioned some of my faves: Tuebingen, Bad Wimpfen, Schwaebisch Hall, Heidelberg. If you will have a car, I highly recommend a visit to Burg Hohenzollern, south of Stuttgart. Also Kloster Bebenhausen, a beautifully preserved monastery outside Tuebingen.

If either of you are at all interested in cars, the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart is fantastic, and I hear the new Porsche museum is also good, although it was not yet complete when we left.

I agree with Russ that you are better off going to the Cannstatter Volksfest for a more authentic Oktoberfest experience. Everything I have heard about Oktoberfest in Munich makes me want to stay away. The Volksfest is not as big - but quite big enough! - and actually populated primarily by GERMANS rather than tourists.

We are outdoorsy types and love hiking but, like bettyk, we never fell in love with the Black Forest. In my opinion you are better off exploring the low mountainous area known as the Schwaebische Alb. There are literally dozens of castles and ruins in this area, some of which we just stumbled upon on our weekend drives, and many offer nice hiking opportunities. (Schloss Lichtenstein, Burg Hohenneuffen, Burg Teck, Burg Hohenurach, Ruine name just a few.)

If I wanted to spend 2 nights somewhere else but still not too far away, I would probably head up to the Mosel Valley and spend a couple of days exploring the villages and vineyards of that beautiful region.
hausfrau is offline  
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Mar 28th, 2011, 01:09 PM
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you have two major car fatories to visit in Stuttgart. Breweries in Black forest, Wineries in Baden-Baden wine area. Bike hire and walking very possible, could cross the border to Alsace or visit Lake Constance. Ulm is just about doable with a great cathedral
bilboburgler is offline  
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Mar 28th, 2011, 04:49 PM
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Another vote for Lake Constance/ Meersburg. Love Heidelberg, too.
Germany is a beautiful country - I think you will have a wonderful time wherever you go. We day tripped to Neuschwanstein and Garmisch Partenkirchen from Stuttgart, too, but I don't remember how long it took. I do remember it was a beautiful drive..
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