5 Days in Germany w/son...

Old Dec 26th, 2006, 08:23 AM
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5 Days in Germany w/son...

My 10 year old son and I are spending 5 days in Germany (mid-April) before visiting a relative in Northern Italy. We will be staying near Frankfurt for a few days then visiting a friend near Nurenberg on our way south to Munich...my uncle is meeting us and driving us to Italy through the Alps. My son is interested castles, science and natural history, sports, parks...I'm interested in art, architecture, farmer's markets...we both enjoy city life, food and off the beaten path attractions. I'd like to hear from people who have traveled (or lived) in those areas with kids and what their kids liked best and what we shouldn't miss. Thank you!!
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Old Dec 26th, 2006, 09:54 AM
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For kids and adults Fussen's Neuschwanstein Castle delights most - it'a weird castle that has a surprise at every turn. Munich has one of Europe's premier science and technology museums right in the heart of town...take him to the Olympic grounds, stadium tour, etc. Think BMW has some kind of 'adventure' there as well. Though not in your lists of interest i'd be sure to take any kid to Dachau, the concentration camp for a good dose of reality as a witness to the horrors of WWII and racism. Near Frankfurt you may enjoy the KD Rhine boats (www.k-d.com) - also investigate the German Railpass, a bargain as passes go and your son pays half price - prices start at about $165 for four days of unlimited train travel over a one-month period. Info - www.budgeteuropetravel.com, whom i always recommend for any railpasses (ask there for their free European Planning & Rail Guide that has a good itinerary planner for Germany and details about German trains). Note that if spending several days in one area a regional pass could be in the cards as well. But since you seem to be spending a few days in different areas look strongly at the German pass. You and your son will marvel at German trains - amongst the finest in the world with departures about twice hourly everywhere. Will take you to Fussen and everywhere - passes are also good on the Rhine Boats (KD boats). Nuernberg is famous i believe for some little sausages cooked up at local cafes.
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Old Dec 26th, 2006, 10:37 AM
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The castle in Nuremberg is very cool. It was an actual fortification with a moat and everything, and there is a museum there with a lot of armour, swords, and so on. The old town is fun - a lot of the old walls are still standing, great old buildings, and so on.

Your son will probably also enjoy Rothenberg, which has an almost completely intact city wall where people can walk along the catwalks at the top of the wall. Really cool. The old town is right out of a fairytale.

I definitely recommend the Deutches museum as mentioned earlier - great way to spend an afternoon in Munich. In Munich, for you, definitely go to the Viktulien Markt (I flubbed the spelling, but it is something like that), which is just south of the main square in the Altstadt - great open air market. In Nuremberg there is a nice one too in the middle of old town.

Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles are terrific. Very different from castles like the one in Nuremberg since these weren't built as fortifications.

I don't know that I would take a 10 year old to Dachau. I guess it is really a judgement call based on your kid. I think some kids would get a lot out of it and for others it might be too much, too early.

In Munich there are some towers you can go up into that are definitely worth the effort. One is at Old St Peter's church on the south east end of the Marienplatz (the main square in old town). It is a climb to the top, but well worth it and fun to climb up through the inside of the tower. The other is at the Frauenkirche just west of Marienplatz - for a few euros you climb a couple flights and then take an elevator to the top.
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Old Dec 26th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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Closer to Frankfurt (1.75 hours by train) you can visit Burg Rheinfels, a ruined Rhein castle your son (and you) will enjoy exploring:

http://tinyurl.com/ygb53w
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Old Dec 26th, 2006, 12:12 PM
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Take the half day KD Rhine cruise from Assmanhausen to St. Goar. Several places along the Rhine have chairlifts to the top of the slopes, then you can walk down. Definitely hit Rothenburg, itwould be fascinating for a child (walk along the walls and into the guard towers, etc.). If you have time, take a day trip to Heidelburg and let him explore the castle there.
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Old Dec 26th, 2006, 08:05 PM
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Thanks for all of your suggestions. We checked out the Deutches Museum, castles and Rothenberg online...and the Viktualienmark! This is all very helpful as we plan how much time we'll spend in each place. Giving my son options to choose from also helps me bargain for museum and shopping time!

Thanks again and I'd also welcome any must eats?!


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Old Dec 27th, 2006, 03:37 AM
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We live just north of Wiesbaden and have an 8-year-old son. Some of his favorite things in this area are:

Marksburg Castle - just south of Koblenz on the Rhine, this is a huge and intact castle. The tours are only in German, but you are given a pamphlet in English so that you can follow along with the tour. We've been twice in the last six months. http://www.marksburg.de/english/frame.htm

Also, he really loved Hessen Park. It's an open-air museum/park where they've reconstructed original half-timbered buildings from around the state of Hessen. http://www.hessenpark.de/ It's just north of Frankfurt.

Also very near Hessen Park is Saalburg, an original Roman Fort. http://www.saalburgmuseum.de/home.htm We've only been around the outside, as we didn't leave enough time after Hessen Park to go in, but I've heard it is very interesting.

In Frankfurt is the Senckenburg Museum for dinosaur and natural history exhibits. John liked it, but not as much at the outdoor places I've mentioned.

N
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Old Dec 27th, 2006, 04:05 AM
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Dang, that'll teach me to hit enter before I'm ready! As I was saying.....

One of John's all-time favorite places to visit over here is the Technik museum in Speyer. This would make a perfect daytrip and have things for both of you. Everyone we've taken there, from kids to seniors, have loved it. http://www.technik-museum.de/ There is also a sister museum in Sinsheim but it is further away. They are both excellent. In fact, we bought an annual membership two years in a row! A short walk from the museum in Speyer is the cathedral that is well worth a visit. It is considered the best example of a Romanesque-style cathedral in Germany. Speyer is easy to get to by train, but I would recommend a taxi to either the Dom or museum as it is quite a hike from the station. I prefer to save my feet for actual sightseeing

There's also a great swimming complex in Frankfurt, complete with wave pool called Rebstockbad. http://www.bbf-frankfurt.de/erlebnis..._Allgemein.htm

If there is anything else I can help you with in this area, feel free to email me . [email protected]
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Old Dec 27th, 2006, 07:12 AM
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Another great activity for 10 year kids and adults alike is the tour at the BMW plant in Munich. It is absolutely fascinating.The concierge at our hotel got us reservations, but I think that you can also book on-line.We did this tour over two years ago and I'm still enthused. Be sure to stipulate that you want the auto plant tour, I believe that the museum is still being renovated. It is located across the street from the Olympic metro station, so it is very easy to get to.
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Old Dec 28th, 2006, 03:35 PM
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We were in Germany last summer with DD age 9 and DS age 11.

Our favorite castles were Berg Eltz, Marksburg and the Cochem Castle.

We stayed at Auf Schoenberg in Oberwessel. This is a beautiful castle hotel. Absolutely fantastic!

We did not care for Neuschwanstein. It is beautiful from the outside. But it is not what an 8 year old will think a castle should be like.

I agree with previous post regarding Rothenberg. Great town. Must do the Nightwatchman's Tour.

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Old Jan 4th, 2007, 11:41 AM
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Opinions on Neuschwanstein vary greatly...personally i love it very much...not your typical boring castle tour but a surprise at every turn - some bizarre mind-boggling surprise. With a child of 10 i would do some research, tell him about the story of Mad Ludwig and his attempts at Neuschwanstein to re-create the castle of German mythology - a fanciful place - tell him how Mad Ludwig, King of Bavaria who bankrupted the Bavarian Treasury with his castle building never really lived in the castle but a few days before he was found dead in a lake near Munich - a suicide officially but probably a murder just to prevent him from further bankrupting the Bavarian state with his Neuschwanstein like projects. Then he may really be interested in this not your ordinary castle.
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