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Berlin to Munich to Frankfurt- Suggestions

Berlin to Munich to Frankfurt- Suggestions

Jan 26th, 2007, 03:55 PM
  #1  
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Berlin to Munich to Frankfurt- Suggestions

My husband and I have been asking many questions and Fodors community, as always, has been so helpful. Please look over our tentaive itinerary and feel frr to criticize ( I know you are nor shy!) or offer suggestions. We love art, good food, off the beaten track things to do.)

Fly to Berlin from JFK Sept. 4

Leave Berlin Sept. 10

Spend Sept. 11 to Sept. 13 in Dresden

Take overnight train to Koeln

Leave Koeln Sept. 17

Rhine (? Bacarack, Rothenburg, Stuttgart)

Arrive Ausburg Sept. 21 (Do openning of Octoberfest in Munich.)

Leave Ausburg Sept. 24

Sept. 25 travel to Frankfurt ( Lake Konstanz, Gutach ??)

Fly out of Frankfurt on Sept. 28.

Besides flights and places to stay does anything else have to be booked in adavance.
We might rent a car but most travel will be by train. Are there passes we should get ahead of time? Do the big cities like Berlin and Munich have transportation- museum cards? Are they worth it?

Thanks,

Millie
milliebest is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 04:08 PM
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Hi Millie;

Lots of time in Berlin - good choice.

It looks like you are going to Koeln as a prelude to the Rhine? I think that 4 days in Koeln is more than enough - it is not that rich in sights, nor is the nearby area.

I would suggest, as I always do that you head straight for the Mosel as it is far more scenic and serene and charming than the Rhine (a very storied river that, unfortunately is now a bustling barge way with limited appeal)

3 or 4 days on the Mosel and you could head back towards Munich and stop in Rothenburg - worth it no matter what others might say about the crowds. It is not, however , easily reached by rail.
There is much to do in the area that could keep you busy for a couple of days until you head down to Augsburg - Dinkelsbuehl, Nordlingen, Feuchtwangen, etc.

I recommend Meersburg on Lake Konstanz - lovely little town with easy connections to Mainau, Konstanz, Lindau, etc..

Aramis is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 04:15 PM
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We were in Berlin in November. They do have special cards, but we determined that they were not worth it for us. But they could be for you. It just depends on how intensely you go after the sights/activities included.

We walked a lot in Berlin. Used the S-Bahn, U-Bahn system only once while we were there (3-1/2 days) on our daytrip to Potsdam.

There were 4 of us, so splitting a cab 4 ways was really inexpensive. Even then, we only used a cab 3 times that I remember.

If you hail a cab on the street (not at a cab stand) and are going less than 2 km., you can ask for the Kurtzstrecke fare (short stretch)--it's a flat 3 euro.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 05:39 PM
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Aramis,

Do you know anything about travelling on the KD boats onthe Rhine or Mosel?
milliebest is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 06:29 PM
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We didn't buy the welcome card in Munich when we were there. It is a transportation card that also includes admission to museums. It was summer time and we planned a lot of outdoor things rather than museums, so it didn't make sense. If you are planning to see a lot of things on the list, then it is probably a good idea to get one. We did buy a week pass for public transportation, which was very much worth it for us. We used the trams, S-bahn and U-bahn a lot.

We had a great day trip to Rothenberg from Nuremberg. The train route required 2 train changes, but it was pretty efficient. Quite a few people were going our way, which made it easy. I am not sure how the trip is from other cities though. I definitely recommend going. It was kind of crowded, but it is a really nice town, where you can actually walk on the old city wall - terrific.

J_Correa is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 08:07 PM
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Millie;

I've never taken the boats down either river, but I have driven and stayed on both.

The Rhine is like an expressway with two sets of train tracks up either side and that just sucks away any of the pleasure from those sights it does offer.

The Mosel, on the other hand is like a lazy drive through the country down winding roads.
Aramis is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 06:26 PM
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Any suggestions of interesting places to stay?
milliebest is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 10:00 PM
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On the Mosel, we enjoyed our 3 nights at the Hotel Haus Lipmann in Beilstein very much. You would need a car.

In Berlin, we stayed at the Arcotel Velvet on Oranienburger Strasse. It was different and fun. Nice location with public transportation right outside the door. Lots of restaurants in the area, too. Pleasant, easy walk to the Museum Island, Unter den Linden, and Hackescher Markt.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 01:53 AM
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I second (third?) the recommendation for the Mosel over the Rhine. It is stunning! You can drive the whole valley in a day but I suggest spending a night or two so you can explore a few towns.

Lots of Fodorites recommend the Hotel Haus Lipmann and I heartily agree - good prices, lovely restaurant, and wonderful staff. If you like tiny picturesque villages then this is the place for you.

For larger towns we thought Cochem and Bernkastel-Keus both looked nice. Trier is interesting for its Roman structures and huge fortress-like cathedral.

If you do the Mosel, be sure to visit Burg Eltz - an unusual, incredibly well-preserved family castle. The tour was only in German when I was there but they have a very good English handout.

I definitely recommend having a car for the Mosel.
hausfrau is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 02:21 AM
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We visited Mosel and Rhine valley and we had no car. It was very easy by train. We stayed two nights in Bacharah Pension Lettie and five nights in Cochem - Pension Alberts. Each day we took the train and visited another town: Trier, Koblenz, Beilstein, Burg Elz castle, etc.
We loved Cochem and, contrary of the many Fodorite's opinion, I would not change it for Beilstein, that in my opinion is too small.
The pension in Cochem was beautiful. It was located in the center of the old town, two steps from the river. We had an apartment - one bedroom, kitchen and living, for 50 Euro per day. We had the breakfest for 5 Euro/person.

If you go to Cologne, a very nice visit is to Augustusburg castle in Bruehl. It is 15 miun. by train from Cologne, and teh castle is near train station in Bruehl.
valtor is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 08:44 AM
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Wow, the Mosel seems a must. We are just intimated about the parking part. Is it easy to park?
milliebest is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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Hi milliebest, the great thing about the Mosel is that the towns are quite small and most have ample, well-marked public parking lots and/or garages. Trier is the biggest of those we've mentioned and the trickiest in terms of driving in, but you just follow the signs for "zentrum" or "altstadt" and then look for parking signs.

Beilstein is so small that you can't drive into it - you literally park out on the main road and walk into the village. As valtor indicated, Beilstein is not for everyone because it IS so small, but you can go for a nice walk into the vineyards and up to the castle ruins.

I have to add that some of the prettiest scenery in the Mosel is not in the towns, it is along the roads that go along either side of the river. There are several stunning overlooks (such as above Trittenheim) that you can't get access to by train. And it is quite easy to drive because the towns are small and the speed limits are low.

hausfrau is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 01:28 PM
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We picked Beilstein precisely because it is very small. With a car we were able to roam at will and didn't get back until late in the evening. So we wanted a quiet place to chill out after a full day of sightseeing and other activities.

We had 3 very pleasant evenings overlooking the river while sipping wine and chatting with other hotel guests and the staff. Though just across the way from the back entrance to the hotel there was a wine cellar that was pretty enjoyable as well.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 03:42 PM
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Now that I think of my wording above-- Mrs. Fly sipped wine. I'm more of a gulper.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 05:18 PM
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No one has commented on Dresden or Frankfurt - is the time in both these places worth it?
milliebest is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 05:26 PM
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Millie;

It would be unfair to say that any city of the size of Frankfurt, or Dresden had nothing worthwhile, it comes down to a question of degrees, number, and variety of sights.

Dresden is a city steeped in history with some of Europe's finest museums.

Frankfurt is Europe's financial centre and much more modern and business-like.

Given a choice I would take Dresden, hands down.

If you are considering the mosel, don't worry about parking, it is manageable and the towns are compact enough that walking them is a cinch. DO NOT miss Burg Eltz if you go. Probably the best castle in Europe, partly because it is so uniquely positioned and so authentic. It is DOWN in a valley, not up on a hill and has been in the same family continuously - fascinating place and quite an enjoyable hike in, and out (pant, pant, pant)
Aramis is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 08:02 PM
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There are several ways to get to Burg Eltz--because of a lack of research on our part (it's a long story), we ended up on the longest most up and down trail. The temperature hit 94 the day we slogged our way to the castle. I was a sodden, dripping mess by the time we got there.

Be sure to research and find the shortest, easiest route.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 12:34 AM
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Well Rufus, at least you got your exercise! Ditto everything Aramis said about Burg Eltz. Unless you want to go for a long hike, you want to find the main parking lot, which is only 800 m from the castle (and there is a shuttle service if you don't want to walk, especially back up). Just be sure to follow the parking signs with the car/bus logo, not the signs with the little hikers! ;-)

I've heard wonderful things about Dresden and plan to visit this year - definitely worth a couple of days.

Frankfurt is more of a modern financial/industrial center and not usually at the top of the list for the traditional tourist activities.
hausfrau is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 07:20 AM
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Yes, I was well exercised by the time we reached the castle. I was so miserable that I didn't take the castle tour--went to the men's room and tried to "bath" using the sink, and then into the shade to sit drinking lots and lots of water.

Never again did Mrs. Fly dare suggest that we "just wing it" on a vacation.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 01:58 PM
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Thank goodness we will be there in September!
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