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Car travel within Regensburg during the Christmas season

Car travel within Regensburg during the Christmas season

Sep 21st, 2014, 03:18 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 16
Car travel within Regensburg during the Christmas season

We would like to return to Regensburg at the end of November to visit the Christmas markets because our river cruise a few years ago only allowed a short visit. We plan to rent a car and also see a few other places (Rothenburg, Nuremburg). Regensburg seems to present a challenge in terms of driving and parking a car. Are there any recommendations for hotel locations, driving in Regensburg? We don't mind walking but would like to be somewhat centrally located to the many Christmas activities and markets. Are there any other cities in the vicinity of Munich, Regensburg, Rothenburg, that are a must see during the holidays?
Yooper2013 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2014, 06:00 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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We have visited Regensburg in the the Christmas Market Season on two occasions. It is one of our favorites. We visit by train. I did a quick search "parking in Regensburg" and see there are several parking lots near the train station. We have stayed at the Hotel Weidenhof a few times and it is a short walk from the train station (~4 blocks). Once you are in town, there is no need for a car.

http://mcchelsea.smugmug.com/Advent-...5028020_t5NQGm

http://mcchelsea.smugmug.com/Advent-...5030947_4WtqMc

We also stayed at the Park Hotel Maximilian which is even closer to the train station and has underground access to a parking garage. It is normally out of our price range. It is a Rococo fantasy. Great fun except for the price to my cheap self.

The main Christmas Market is at the Thurn and Taxis Palace (Princess in residence) whose grounds are very near the train station, starting right across the street from the Maximilian. Regensburg is the best combination market and city to us.

The town is very walkable. I am almost 70 and have negotiated it the last few years.
Gary_Mc is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2014, 06:14 PM
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I should have stated that we really like the Hotel Weidenhof. It has a good staff, a fine breakfast and a great location in the pedestrian zone.
Gary_Mc is offline  
Sep 24th, 2014, 03:55 AM
  #4  
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Thanks, we are looking into train travel from Munich but need to see if we can get to Rothenburg and Nuremburg. We'd prefer having a car to leisurely explore the area.
Yooper2013 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2014, 06:18 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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We lived in Germany for six years and had our own car. It is a great way to travel.

We traveled your route in reverse several times in recent years: Rothenburg, Nürnberg & Regensburg. We traveled by train and it was easy. There is a mild learning curve but there is always someone to ask at a train station. I like the following Die Bahn template to access train information:

http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

Either way you travel, it is nice trip.
Gary_Mc is offline  
Sep 24th, 2014, 12:18 PM
  #6  
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Thanks again. Would be easier to fly into Frankfurt, go to Rothenburg, Nurenburg and Regensburg by train, departing in Munich? Since we've never done train travel in Europe (or the USA), its a little intimidating.
Yooper2013 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2014, 03:46 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Rothenburg from Frankfurt Airport is a tough first day by train. It is almost 4 hours with 3 transfers. That would be difficult for me after crossing the Atlantic. It is about 2 hours by car but partially on one of the worst autobahn stretches that I remember.

When we fly into Frankfurt, we spent the first night in Aschaffenburg. For the cities that you want to see, I would stick with Munich. They are all in Bavaria, where you can use the Bayern-Ticket if you travel by train. Use only local transport on the website that I referenced to see the local trains and lesser fares.

Trains are daunting the first time but average folks use them all the time. After a couple days, you will be a pro. And, there is always someone to ask. There is often a booth where you can buy a ticket. If you use the ticket machine, there is an English menu you can request.
Gary_Mc is offline  
Sep 24th, 2014, 04:26 PM
  #8  
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Thank you again! You've been very helpful.
Yooper2013 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2014, 07:45 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You know it snows, sometimes a lot, in Germany during Christmas season? If you drive, you have to deal with it on your own. With trains, someone else has to deal with it. Of course, snow also delays trains. Last time I traveled in Germany in December, it snowed about half of the time. The cars on highways were crawling in white out weather while my ICE was running almost at full speed in snow.

To get going with your train travel, first plug in potential connections into the Web site mentioned by Gary_Mc. There are several aspects of train travel that might be new to you.

1. You handle your own luggage. While big stations have escalators and elevators, you might have to carry your luggage up/down stair at smaller stations or if you get off train at the stairs locations and you don't care to fight the crowd on the platform to get to the escalator/elevators. You also handle your luggage into/out of the trains. Traveling heavy will haunt you in every aspect of the train trip.

2. Trains come into tracks = Gleis/Pl in Germany. While the "usual" assignments are printed on departure sheets (yellow), they get reassigned, sometimes at last minutes. At stations with digital displays, this shows up on digital displays at the main entrance, connection corridors, and the platform itself. At smaller station, they only tell you track change in Germany. In most instance, this only requires using the other opposite side of the platform, perhaps 30 feet walk. To this end, it is EXTREMELY helpful for you to use DB app "DB Navigator" on a smartphone with Data Access. Not only you can find last minutes track changes, you can also find delays without having to go to the digital display. Also, once the travel starts, a red progress bar shows where on the route the train is located to help you anticipate your arrival time.

3. Not all parts of the train go to your destination. Long distance trains shed/add cars as they travel. You must be in the correct part of the train. This is shown by the platform display, if any, showing which parts goes where. If your destination is BEFORE any final destination of the parts of the train, it does not matter. The display/paper posted on each car shows where THAT car is going. If you made an error and got on the "wrong" car on the "right" train, you need to move to the "right" car before the train separates. The trains usually stop longer time at larger stations. At small stations, they stop for only a minute. The station that they separate the train requires long time, so you have move time to move to the right car. Inside newer trains, there are digital displays. Two items are 1. the final destination of that car 2. the next stop of the train. If the final destination is beyond your stop, you are in a right train. If the final destination displayed is before where you are supposed to get off for that train, you are in the wrong car - a car that does not travel far enough.

4. If you are traveling on assigned car/seat, you need to know where on the platform you need to get on the train. On extremely long trains, there are locomotives in the middle preventing you from moving to the other side. The usual waiting location is either displayed on digital display, Sektor A,B, etc, signs on platform. There are train composition chart on bulletin board on platform for trains the come into THAT TRACK showing which Sektor your car usually stop at.

5. Trains allow seat reservations. There are only few mandatory reservation required trains in Germany. This shows up in the DB site as mandatory reservations. On trains, the modern ones have red LED displaying which seats are reserved for which segment. If you are riding without seat reservation, find the one with LED off or have reservation on segment beyond your segment. If you are traveling off hours, seat reservation is not necessary.

6. When you feed your destinations into the DB planning site, choose the itinerary by paying attention to:
a. How long is the trip?
b. How many train changes are required?
c. How much time do they give you to switch train?
d. If you miss the connection, when is the next train?
e. Does the itinerary warn you about possible crowded trains?
f. Is there a segment with mandatory reservation? This is usually for a few ICE trains connecting major cities during morning and evening rush hours.
greg is offline  
Oct 1st, 2014, 03:37 PM
  #10  
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We would like to travel at the end of November when Advent begins and also the opening of the Christmas markets. When we visited Germany several years ago at that time, there wasn't a bit of snow. I guess its wishful thinking that that would be the case when we visit again. We're accustom to driving in the white stuff but that doesn't mean we want to get stuck in a blizzard! We're aware that we need to travel light if we take the train. Thank you very much for your insight.
Yooper2013 is offline  

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