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1st trip to Germany!!...dont know where to start

1st trip to Germany!!...dont know where to start

Jan 29th, 2007, 12:45 PM
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1st trip to Germany!!...dont know where to start

A friend and are looking into Germany as our first trip to Europe. Really dont know what cities to visit and what to see. We enjoy site seeing, both foodies, would like to visit as many 'must see (but not too touristy)' places in the 5 days. Thanks!!

meesh430 is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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Meesh, a liitle more info on your trip would be helpful. You will have 5 days, where will you be flying into and out of Germany or another way? Car rental or train? Some of the must see sites are a bit touristy, because they are what everybody wants to see, (ie Ludwigs castles). With such little time, you should stay in one area to make the most of it. ie Rhine or southern Baveria..Take a look at some of the travel books on Germany and see what looks interesting to you. People will gladly answer your questions, but it needs to be a bit more spefic about what you want to do / see.
mr_compass is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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Hi M,

>dont know where to start.<

Start at your local library with guidebooks to Germany.

With 5 days, I suggest 2 cities max.

If this is your first visit, why do you want to avoid "touristy" places? There are reasons why tourists go there.

ira is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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Yes, I will try some more book research but just wanted to throw out a post and see if I could maybe narrow it a little.
I understand that the touristy place are 'touristy' for a reason. I live in Los Angeles,CA, so probably a touristy place here would be Hollywood. I think there is nothing to see, its not very clean but yet a lot tourist go there. This is what i wanted to avoid by 'too touristy' places. Hope that makes sense.
I think we are trying to keep it to 2 cities. Fly to Germany and then probably train it from there.
meesh430 is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 01:22 PM
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My favorite cities are Berlin and Hamburg, but there will be lots of tourists in both places. On a first trip, I would fly into Berlin and out of Munich, taking the train in between, perhaps stopping in Dresden.
thit_cho is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 01:22 PM
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I meant favorite cities are "Berlin and Munich" (not Hamburg, where I have been most recently, on business, but I wouldn't include on a first visit).
thit_cho is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 01:25 PM
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There are so many wonderful places to visit in Germany, it would be hard to direct anyone without knowing a bit more. I think I could pretty much throw a dart on the German map and be happy with where it landed.
L84SKY is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 01:27 PM
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Second the guidebook suggestion.

Why are you planning to limit yourself to cities only? A common mistake (IMHO) among visitors from overseas. It's often the smaller places that give a more authentic impression of the country, its culture and history - especially in Germany where most larger cities were heavily affected by Worls War II bombs and rebuilt in a more or less ugly modern style.

Get yourself a guidebook or coffee-table book or anything similar to find out more about the country. Then choose one region or one big city and its surroundings. Not more. Five days is very short, so I wouldn't cram too many places and too much travelling in. One base with good options for day trips.

'Must see places' are always horribly touristy.

A few suggestions:
1. Munich, including a day trip to the Alps (Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Zugspitze, for example) and another to Neuschwanstein/Ludwig's castles (if you feel you 'must' see that) or to Rothenburg
2. Rhine and Mosel valley including Cologne and Trier, castles and small towns and wine - a good base would be Koblenz
3. Northern Bavaria (Franken) with Nürnberg, Bamberg, Regensburg, Bayreuth, a wine village on the Main, a hike in the Fränkische Schweiz hills, and plenty of Franconian beer
4. Dresden and surroundings, Meißen, Moritzburg, Sächsische Schweiz and Elbe valley
5. Berlin and Potsdam with a day trip to, for example, Wittenberg or the Spreewald

Each of these would make a great 5-day-trip and can easily be done by public transport.
quokka is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 03:01 PM
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Five days for first trip to Europe - no touristy areas if possible - traveling by train - probably arrive and depart Frankfurt. Make it easy on yourself - spend those five days along the Rhine and Mosel rivers. Lots of castles to see and visit - great little wine villages along the train and boat routes - lots of neat little pensions and zimmer frei available - easy walking and biking.

Day 1 - arrive Frankfurt - train to Bacharach on Rhine (1 to 2 hrs) - spend two days biking, hiking, training or boating up and down the Rhine. Take the KD boat from Bacharach to St. Goar (visit Rheinfels castle - train back to Bacharach). KD boat or cross the river and train to Braubach and visit the mighty Marksburg castle. Train south to Rüdesheim - visit the Drosselgasse - take the cable lift to the Niederwald Denkmal.
Day 3 - train to Cochem on the Mosel (1 hrs) - spend three days biking, hiking, training or boating up and down the Mosel. Train to Trier for a day - boat to Bernkastel-Kues - train to Moselkern and walk thru the woods to Burg Eltz. Lots of other possibilities.
Day 6 - train Cochem to Frankfurt Flughafen (2 to 2 hrs)

If you decide to do something like this - post it on this board and you will get lots of additional advice on how to spend your five days along the rivers... Ben
bavariaben is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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Hello Meesh: I agree with the other posters about the large number of options in Germany. Permit me to describe a trip I made last September: Flew to Frankfurt. Long distance train from Frankfurt Airport to Freiburg. Explored this fascinating university town; rented a car and explored the surrounding Black Forest. Then drove along the Rhine to Assmannshausen on the Rhine, a lovely village not yet overtaken by the hordes who visit Rudesheim 5 km upstream and the only place I know of in Germany that produces outstanding red wine. Spend a day or two in Assmannsahausen (check out the Hotel Krone)and take a river excursion on the Rhine to see the castles and the Loreli. Drive to Frankfurt airport 45 minutes away and fly home. Low key, not at all stressful, and get the favor of Germany. Good luck. Gradyghost
gradyghost is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 05:22 PM
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Well, with 5 days of "not-to-touristy", I agree with either 1.) the Northern Bavaria - Franconia option (Nürnberg, Bamberg, Rothenburg (yucky-touristy but still pretty amazing), Regensburg, Würzburg, etc., or 2.) the Rhein/Mosel option. Franconia has the edge in food and beer, the Rhein/Mosel in wine and scenery. Both areas clearly have tourism, but it's not generally oppressive. Lots of interesting architecture and history in both regions. If nature and outdoor activities are also important, the Rhein/Mosel is the winner - more castles there too that you can visit. and tour.
Russ is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 09:02 AM
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I was hesitant to go to Rothenberg because it is so popular - I was afraid it would be overrun and that would detract from the visit. My husband and I were staying in Nuremberg for a few days and were going to take a day trip by train. I was more interested in Bamberg, but my husband had been talking about Rothenberg as he had been there years before and really liked it. We were still undecided when we went to the train station to buy tickets - it turned out that Rothenberg was within a certain zone and the two of us could get there and back for something like 10-15 euro whereas it would be something like 40 euro for Bamberg because it was outside the zone. So we chose Rothenberg - LOL.

Rothenberg turned out to be really neat - even with the extra tourists, I enjoyed myself a lot. When we got to the old town, we imediately went up onto the catwalk on the old city wall and walked up there - that was really cool. It also seemed to be the opposite way most people were going. We ended up wandering down several streets with only a few other people on them. There were plenty of people in town, but they seemed to stick to several streets and the others were not crowded.

We did some shopping there - actually got the lions share of our gifts and things in a cool shop there where they shipped everything for us so it couldn't have been easier. The woman in the shop was great - she had travelled to our area a few years before, so we had fun comparing notes.

We also had a great lunch in Rothenberg - there is a little beer garden behind the Gasthof Spilator that has a "secret garden" feel to it. Just a shady, cool, comfortable place which was great on a hot day. Nice people, good food.
J_Correa is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 10:26 AM
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How about this: Meesh, tell us where you'd like to spend 5 days in the U.S. (Chicago? Grand Canyon? Miami?) then we could try to map that to something -- not exactly comparable, but maybe analagous -- in Germany.
capxxx is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 10:36 AM
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Hi JC,

Do you have an address for Gasthof Spilator?

I can't find it on Google.

ira is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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Haha - sorry about that Ira. No wonder you couldn't find it - I SPELLED IT WRONG! LOL. Thankfully I was organized enough to take notes on the trip and put it all down when I got home.

Gastof Spitaltor on Spitalgasse - I don't have an address though. I just looked it up on Yahoo to see if I could find anything and found my own trip report, but that was it. LOL.

Here is a map of Rothenberg that I found. Spitalgasse is in the southern-most part of the Altstadt - in the "thumb" and the Gasthof is on that street.

J_Correa is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 03:46 PM
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If you really do not like touristy, then Rothenburg is not for you. It is very photogenic, but the old town is strictly a tourist enclave, largely catering to the mass tour bus trade. Jam packed with cutsey, overpriced shops (some,however, with nice stuff), lots of hotels, bakeries, and restaurants.

Millions of people love it; millions of people are less enthusiastic.

If you are a photographer, it's excellent as they do require that building owners keep things in good repair and painted. We spent an evening and a morning in Rothenburg just to admire the architecture.

And Mrs. Fly is a Christmas decorations freak, so we did go to the famous Christmas stuff store.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
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