8 days in Germany

Old Oct 14th, 2012, 03:42 PM
  #1  
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8 days in Germany

I will be traveling with my husband and one other couple to Germany for 8 days in May 2013. We are all under 30 and imagine our trip to include: German food, castle(s), beer, beautiful countryside (hiking would be nice), architecture, exploring, shopping, Lederhosen, etc.

We are going to rent a car for the whole trip and have seen that the cheapest flights are round trip to/from Berlin (we are from NYC). However, I have received advice to stay the entire week in Munich and take day trips to Fussen, Chiemsee, and Salzburg. I also really want to visit Dachau for a day. However, flying in/out of Berlin adds a 5+hr drive each way; our party is not adverse to this drive for the $180+ea in savings. I wanted to know if this drive is a waste of time (since we only have a week) or if it might just add to our experience of seeing some of the country? is it worth it? --seeing Berlin for a day or two also interests us.

I am interested in reading what advice or suggestions others have for our trip. Maybe if we are missing something or being too ambitious with this plan? None of us have traveled to Germany before, so we look forward to planning a successful first trip! Thanks!
Lee1102 is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2012, 04:12 PM
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Hi,

I'd say flying into and then back out of Berlin would be too costly, for me at least, in terms time and fuel. Figure 12 hours of your limited time just for the round trip drive and the cost of fuel for the drives. Also figure you'll need to be in Berlin the night before your flight home. That takes a day/night off your 8 days.

Have you checked into flying into/out of Munich or even Frankfurt? Also, check flying into Frankfurt and out of Munich. We've done that before in the last few years. Hard to put a price on time "wasted" flying into and out of a place so far from the area you wish to visit. You're still 8 months out and fares will vary between now and say Feb./Mar., when I'd be seriously looking to buy the airfare.

If you'll have a car, I'd skip staying the entire time in Munich and doing day trips. If Fuessen, Chiemsee and Salzburg are high on your "must see" list, IF you could fly into/out of Munich (ideal), I'd consider your first 3 nights in the Berchtegaden area near Salzburg, 3 nights in the Garmisch/Mittenwald area (day trip to Fuessen) and your last night or 2 in Munich.

Paul
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Old Oct 14th, 2012, 04:43 PM
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A suggested, buy an "open jaw" ticket, JFK - Berlin - Munich - JFK. Then take the train from Berlin to Munich. Check www.bahn.de for the schedules of the ICE trains from Berlin to Munich, and buy the tickets 92 days before your train trip on this web site. They are heavily discounted, but get gradually more expensive as the day of the train departure approaches. These are very comfortable and fast trains. You can reserve your seats when you buy the tickets.
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Old Oct 14th, 2012, 06:03 PM
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Travelling by ICE from Munich to Berlin was for me a very pleasant trip, and interesting to see the old East German country side in comparison. Berlin is such an exciting world city, like New York, and worth a week in itself imho.You are young, and will have other opportunities for travel,so why not just do one area this time?

That said, Munich is great too, but Dachau will take only half a day, I think. Treplow's suggestion is good, too.

Schoene Reise!
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Old Oct 15th, 2012, 04:39 AM
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Lee;

What are your travel dates and waht fare did you find to Berlin? I will see if I can find some other options.
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Old Oct 15th, 2012, 06:04 AM
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Thank you so much for the suggestions. We are planning to travel either the last week of May or the first week of June (depending on the price). We can leave any day of the week (departing on Wednesdays seem to be the cheapest). The cheapest tickets I have found:

NYC-Berlin-NYC: 5/30 to 6/8 for $645 each
NYC-Munich-NYC: 5/23 to 6/1 for $869 each
NYC-Frankfurt-NYC: 5/30 to 6/8 for $898 each
NYC-Berlin + Munich-NYC: 5/23 to 6/1 for $838 each
NYC-Munich + Berlin-NYC: 5/29 to 6/6 for $829 each

so there is a pretty steep savings ($184-$253 each) to consider.
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Old Oct 15th, 2012, 06:58 AM
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If you are deciding on basis of prima facie price tag, you will be framing the issue the way you approached it.

However, if you frame it the way pja1 mentions, you have to look at the value you are getting out of with respect to the resources are you putting in. You might be getting a lower prima facie price, but losing one full day plus a night, depending on how you frame the last evening stay needed in Berlin. You are comparing, in effect, a shorter trip at possibly a lower price vs. a longer trip at higher price. These are two different trips.
greg is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 07:20 PM
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Right now, the ICE trains Berlin - Munich, at the 92 day price, is EUR 29 per person. When the new train schedule comes out, I believe at the end of this month, the prices will go up a bit, but still be a phantastic bargain.
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Old Oct 15th, 2012, 07:31 PM
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Sorry, that's the wrong price I gave you. The price change is on November 11. If you were to buy the ticket today for travel on November 10,2012 , which would be 30 days,the price would be EUR 69 or EUR 59. So, for a 90-days time span next year, it would be a bit higher than EUR 29.
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Old Oct 16th, 2012, 01:48 PM
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"We are all under 30 and imagine our trip to include: German food, castle(s), beer, beautiful countryside (hiking would be nice), architecture, exploring, shopping, Lederhosen, etc."

This sounds like Bavaria to me, so Munich and the surrounding area is a good choice. If I were flying in and out of Berlin, but wanted to go to Munich, I would take the train - ICE train as mentioned above. No driving, no petrol costs, no rental car costs. You won't need a car IN Munich anyway, so you might as well not have one with the additional costs.

For trips around Munich, trains are great for a lot of stuff. You might consider renting a car for a couple days depending on where you are planning to go. You might also consider basing yourselves in Munich only for the days you want to visit Munich and then basing yourselves in Fuessen, Salzburg, or similar. This will save you some time travelling back and forth to Munich and also will probably save you some money on hotel costs - Munich is a large city, so hotel rates can be expensive compared to the countryside.
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Old Oct 17th, 2012, 04:53 PM
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I would look at staying in 2-3 places in the countryside. Take a look at some of the excellent trip reports at www.bensbauernhof.com for some great ideas.
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Old Oct 17th, 2012, 05:03 PM
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I would do the palace at Herrenchiemsee on the way TO Salzburg since it is between the two cities as opposed to a day trip from Munich.

If you have a car you could also do the Fuessen segment. You need to study a map if you haven't already.
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Old Oct 17th, 2012, 05:16 PM
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I've been to Berlin and also to Munich. How much do you like to travel?

Berlin is a great city for anyone to visit but if you're under 30 imo, it's even better. I love the energy of Berlin.

There's a lot to see in that area.

What are you interested in? Seeing the sights? Hiking? Art? History? In other words, when you think of Germany what do you imagine?
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Old Oct 17th, 2012, 07:01 PM
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I did what you are considering a few years back - spent 9 nights in Munich with most of the days spent taking day trips around Bavaria. DW and I loved it. Some excellent day trips include Salzburg Austria, Mittenwald, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Nuremburg, and Regensburg. Closer to Munich, but good half-day trips include Dachau and the Andechs Monestary. Andechs is great because you can take the S-bahn out to Hersching then hike about 5 km up to a "mountain" (pretty small, though) to the monestary, which is an interesting tour, but also the monks brew great beer and the place has a wonderful terrace and beer garden. Then there is enough in Munich to fill a few days as well.

I agree that if you want to go to Bavaria you'd maximize the value of the trip by flying to Munich, even at a higher price. And if you're going to be based in Munich, you would do very well without a car, just using the Bavarian train system to get around. You can buy a group ticket called the "Bayern Ticket" for around 30 euros that will cover up to around 5 people for a full day using local trains anywhere in Bavaria and a few places nearby like Salzburg and Fuessen.
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Old Oct 20th, 2012, 03:54 PM
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I am with the others who are in favor of spending a little more in airfare and a little less on fuel and a lot less time to go where you want to go, which does sound like Bavaria. If you fly into Munich spend a night or two there to see Munich and Dachau then either daytrip to Salzburg on the train or take a caar to make it easier to stop at Chiemsee. The train is €29 for the Bavaria ticket wich covers five people for tge day but you must leave Munich after 9am.

If you are driving out of Munich toward Neuschwanstein you can take the Garmish autobahn. At Garmish take the road 10 miles To Mittenwald, the violin maker's village. After a stop there back track to Garmish and decide if the weather is clear whether you want to go up the Zugspitze on the cable car. From there head for Oberammergau with stops at Ettal Monastary and Schlos Linderhof. Make a stop in Oberammergau and the twoar Fussen by way of the Weisekirche. When you go to Neuschwanstein I am told there is a sommerroddelbahn luge ride on the mountain behind the castle. I haven't been to that one but they are a lot of fun. Also there are people parasailing off that mountain and you may enjoy that.
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Old Oct 24th, 2012, 03:55 PM
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We lived in Germany when I was in the Army and have traveled back there quite a lot.

Your first paragraph describes Bavaria. I would skip Berlin and head straight to Bavaria. Great scenery, fantastic beer.

You could fly into Frankfurt and drive to ROTHENBURG for your first night. About two hours from airport.

After first stop head south down Romantic Road to Garmisch area. Visit GARMISCH, OBERAMMERGAU, NEUSCHWANSTEIN, etc. Plenty of castles to see in this area.

Then go to BERCHTESGADEN/SALZBURG area. Beautiful countryside.Both cities very close together. The SALT MINE TOUR is fun and a good backup for rainy weather day.

Finish with MUNICH and maybe trip to DACHAU. I have been to DACHAU two times. It is not a happy experince. Fly out of Munich.

I agree with most of the posters. Your time is worth something and gas is not cheap in Germany. I would pay a little more on air and go to the area you want to. Avoid all that time in a car.
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Old Oct 24th, 2012, 04:08 PM
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Just returned from a similar trip. We flew into Frankfurt and spent a few days with relatives, then spent 3 days in Munich (side trip to Dachau), 3 days in Salzburg (side trip to Berchtesgaden) and 2 days in Rothenburg before flying home from Frankfurt. We did all our inter-city travel by train, but a car would be just as easy.
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Old Oct 25th, 2012, 06:00 AM
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Berlin would be a hipper with a greater night life for your age, but you described Munich in your description. I would pick a city, you will be going back, if you don't know it yet let me tell you now, travel in Europe is addictive. Have fun were ever you end up and be careful.
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Old Oct 28th, 2012, 05:53 AM
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Hi there,

if you are flying to Berlin then I suggest a visit to Dresden. It is only a 2 hour drive by car, alternatively you can easily travel by train. Dresden has plenty of historic sights and has a lot to offer such as the world famous Frauenkirche, Church of our Lady, the Old Masters Gallery, Zwinger, Opera House and much more. There are nice bars in Dresden Neustadt, if you are interested in exploring the night life. You also mentioned your interest in hiking. Saxon Switzerland is a beautiful national park near Dresden. A visit to the Bastei for example could be done in a day.
There is also the possibility to visit Auschwitz in Poland instead of Dachau. I hope that helps.
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