best things to do in germany

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Mar 19th, 2001, 08:18 PM
  #1
gary
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best things to do in germany

We are starting to plan a trip to germany although we have never been. We would like some advise on the best sights, towns or parts of the country to visit. We have about 10 days - is it best to rent a car and travel throughout the country or something more specific.
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Mar 19th, 2001, 08:48 PM
  #2
Russ
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For small-town exploring, the river valleys are best. The Rhine, Mosel, and Lahn rivers, centering on Koblenz northwest of Frankfurt, are well-known and well-visited but very worthwhile. The Weser River valley to the north of Kassel contains the "Fairy Tale" towns of Hameln, Hannoversch Münden, Höxter and Bodenwerder, among others. So many half-timbered houses here, you'll be dizzy. In Bavaria, the Altmühl River Valley, north of Munich, and the towns of Eichstätt, Pappenheim, and Weissenburg, provide a variety of historical sights and recreational activities that few tourists ever get to.

I guess I'd like to encourage you to select a few places you've read about in guidebooks and whose names you'll recognize, but also to head out on your own to places like these that you haven't heard of. Germany has lots of tourists, but most of them disproportionately swamp places like Berlin, Munich, Füssen, the Pomantic Road, and Rothenburg, while even more interesting spots lie relatively undiscovered a few miles away. It's a terrific country for discovery.
 
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Mar 19th, 2001, 08:53 PM
  #3
Rex
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I have essentially never found a part of Germany that I didn't like. And it is absolutely my favorite country for renting a car, and driving from one destination to another.

Here are some of my personal favorites, in alphabetical order:

Aachen
Baden-Baden, including the Casino
Berlin, all of it
Burg Eltz
Cologne Cathedral
Dachau
Landshut
Lubeck
Neuschwanstein
Oberkirch
Parkhotel Wasserburg-Anholt
Porsche factory tour, Stuttgart
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Schloss Linderhof
Schloss Neuweier (near Baden-Baden)
Schwarzwald Hochstrasse
Ulm
Weimar

Remember, this list contains MY personal favorites. No two people's lists will be the same. I have omitted Frankfurt, Heidelberg, St. Goar, Assmannhausen (never been to any of them), Munich (been there plenty, like other places better), Hamburg (I know a great hotel there, but not that exciting a city), Hameln, Bremen and Lindau (not in the same league with the favorites listed above).

You need one or more comprehensive guidebooks, and read them cover to cover. You will know what excites you when you read about it and/or see it in pictures.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
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Mar 19th, 2001, 08:54 PM
  #4
Arthur
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Drink bier or applewein if in Sachenhousen.
The Rhein area is very pretty, you could take a Rhein cruise for a day. I would rent a car to see the most. The black forest (swarch wald) is beautiful with a lot of charming villages. Wurzburg is worth seeing. Southern Germany (Bavaria) could take the whold time by itself. The area around Garmish Partenkirchen is central to places like Neuschwanstein, Hohenbray and Linderhof castles, also close is Oberammergau, the Zugspitze, Muenchen. Dachau, the first concentration camp is definitly worth going to. The Romatic road with with Rothenburg is a good drive. Salzberg is worth at least a day and not to far. Have a great trip.
 
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Mar 19th, 2001, 09:23 PM
  #5
Linda
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The Rhine cruise is very nice. Hamelin is a beautiful little town. No one has mentioned Berlin and it is an amazing city with the history of the 20th Century as well as culture, nightlife and friendly people. Bavaria is a place unto itself-beautiful and fun-loving people. Ten days will give you only a taste of an interesting country.
 
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Mar 20th, 2001, 02:12 AM
  #6
Nancy
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When my sister & I went in '99 we drove the entire country & were glad we did. IMHO, you see such a more intimate view than by train. One suggestion for either mode of transportation though ~ PACK LIGHT!!!!

We used Rick Steves guidebook & website to plan (www.ricksteves.com). We found his book to be very informative & his pension recommendations very accurate. I didn't care for his maps though! This year I am going back with my husband. We will drive Germany again using Rick's book.

My particular favorite suggestion of his was joining the English Conversation Club they hold every Wednesday night in Rothenburg at a local weinstuble. We met some wonderful local people and some nice British people. We spent the night having some very good conversation & wine.
 
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Mar 21st, 2001, 05:58 PM
  #7
Bob
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Everyone will give you a different trip so here is my version.

Fly into Frankfurt. Drive to Heidelberg. This is a short drive. One night to see old town and visit castle.

On to Rothenburg. Two nights to enjoy the area, night watchman tour, kathe Wolfhardts shop, museums and town at night when towers are lighted. Reichs Kutchenmeister Hotel good location to stay. May even have time to go over to Nuremburg one day.

From there take the Romantic Road to Garmisch. Three nights there to see Garmisch, Zugspitz, Eibsee Lake, Oberammergau, Linderhof, Neuschwanstein, Wies Church, etc.

Leave there and drive the Alpine road to Berchtesgaden. Three nights there to visit Eagle's Nest, Koingsee, Salzburg, etc. Head into Munich for what time is left and enjoy the downtown. Fly out of Munich.

You will have seen a lot of great area and kept the hotel switching to a minimum. With a car you can stop in the small towns along the way and really enjoy the countryside. With any extra time try to fit in the Rhine River area that is very close to the Frankfurt airport.

Now, who's next with a different route?
 
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Mar 22nd, 2001, 01:39 PM
  #8
Linda
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Bob, why a different route. Your's sounds fantastic. Gets in the highlights without being exhausting.
 
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Mar 22nd, 2001, 05:45 PM
  #9
gary
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Thanks - of course we are watching videos and gathering travel books but your input has been appreciated. what a great group of travelers on this message board. Thanks, Gary
 
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Apr 1st, 2001, 02:12 PM
  #10
ben
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stay away from berlin - sucks
 
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Apr 1st, 2001, 02:56 PM
  #11
Dona and Sandy Dunkle, und soary, vee haff
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Apr 8th, 2001, 05:48 AM
  #12
Ralf
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Hi you should go by car and i give you a route from DUS on: Cologne, Rhine-Valley, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Bavarian castles, Garmisch, Munich, in direction to Berlin for example Würzburg or Bamberg, Berlin, Hameln, or directly to Hamburg, Bremen than back to DUS.
Every town has a own homepage: NAME.de will get you through.
 
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Apr 8th, 2001, 08:26 AM
  #13
pat
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I also recommend the City of Berlin to be included in your itienery.
 
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Apr 8th, 2001, 12:17 PM
  #14
Mary
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I"ve been to the Middle Rhine region, Moselle area, Aachen, and Cologne. If you decide on including that area of Germany, I'd recommend a boat ride on the Rhine, visiting Burg Eltz (just fantastic, like out of a dream), visiting the Dom and its treasury in Aachen (which includes Charlemagne's chapel), and visiting the cathedral in Cologne.

I really loved what I saw and experienced in Germany. Also want to mention: Bob's itinerary (above) sounds great. I'll be filing that one away. Thanks, Bob!
 
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Apr 15th, 2001, 12:52 PM
  #15
andy
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HI Gary!

I don't know why everyone is so much occupied with Bavaria. Go to see the North- its hanseactic towns (Hamburg, Bremen , Wismar, Rostock....). Go and see the frisian way of life. Go and see the Beaches on the Northsea on the Balticsea... and enjoy it. It will defenitely give you a different point of view- far away from "fairy- tale- isn't it lovely" towns like Rothenburg, where tourists are the majority of people around. Do you want an artificial or a realistic impression ? You will have to decide, but I promise you- North Germany is worth seeing it. Feel free to email me for further questions..........
 
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Apr 16th, 2001, 11:56 AM
  #16
Linda
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I 2nd (3rd/4th...?) a suggestion for a boat trip on the Rhine. They are a wonderful, restful interlude on what can be a hectic vacation. Also, Trier, the oldest city in Germany, is a wonderful city, much different from many of the other German towns.
 
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Apr 20th, 2001, 02:24 AM
  #17
Philip
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I've done Germany by train, and I find that to be enjoyable. I have found it much more restful to let someone else do the driving. Buy a railpass and you can jump on and off the train wherever you like. The German trains are much nicer than American trains and are amazing at how well they keep to their time schedule.

I suggest picking one or two towns as a home base. For example, you can pick Munich as your home base and take daytrips to Rothenburg, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Salzburg Austria. A book that I can recommend is "Daytrips Germany" by Earl Steinbicker.

For a first trip to Germany, I recommend Berlin and Bavaria.

I really enjoyed Berlin when I was there. Definitely worth a visit. You can cover the highlights in 2-3 days. I found the view from the Reichstag to be quite nice, especially after dark. Taking a stroll down the Unter den Linden is nice. The Checkpoint Charlie museum is quite interesting. And of course you have to experience seeing part of the Berlin Wall. Pay your respects at Marlene Dietrich's grave while in Berlin.

I have also enjoyed Bavaria. Going to Garmisch-Partenkirchen was wonderful. You can take a cable car up to the top of the Zugspitze, Germany's tallest mountain for an incredible view. I have visited Oberammergau to buy the wonderful wood carvings that they do there. I felt that Neuschwanstein was too crowded and the tour was too rushed. I enjoyed Linderhof much better (and it's an easy bus ride from Oberammergau).
 
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Apr 21st, 2001, 10:54 AM
  #18
Amy
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Go to Munich! Its a beautiful city and has much to offer. I loved it so much I plan to live there for a semester next year. I went on a two week trip to Germany as a senior in highschool and I enjoyed every minute of my trip. I would definitly suggest a drive through the mountains also, the scenery is amazing! My favorite castle I visited was Scholß Linderhof- one of king Ludwig's homes- its gorgeous! Neuschwanstein was a little bit too "modernized" for the tourists if you ask me, but still definitely worth seeing.
If you do plan on driving on your trip, just make sure to familiarize yourself with the traffic laws and signs. Driving allows you the freedom to stop at little cities and just walk around and enjoy the REAL germany, it really is a beautiful country.
 
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Apr 25th, 2001, 01:05 PM
  #19
Ben
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If you arrive Frankfurt airport and can depart Munich airport - Bob's suggested itinerary would be perfect. If you have to be back in Frankfurt for departure - you might try something like this.

Rothenburg o.d.T. - one night
Chiemsee - one night
Berchtesgaden - two nights
Füssen/Schwangau - two nights
Meersburg (Bodensee) - one night
Black Forest - one night
Rhine Gorge/Mosel - two nights

One nighters are hard on my system but if you only have ten days I'm sure you want to fit in as much as possible in the time allotted. This is a good loop that would put you back in Frankfurt on time. I have several itineraries and trip reports on my website that are fairly similiar. They may give you some ideas. If you have any specific questions about any of those areas - just drop me an email note. Ben http://www.bensbauernhof.com/itineraries.html
 
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May 13th, 2001, 10:19 AM
  #20
Rex
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to the top - - for peter and bride to be.
 
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