Copenhagen or Berlin to Amsterdam

Old Sep 6th, 2021, 01:38 PM
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Copenhagen or Berlin to Amsterdam

We have booked a 2-week bike and barge trip out of Amsterdam on September 9, 2022. We are looking at extending the trip in Europe by 2 weeks before the barge trip. Current thinking is flying into either Copenhagen or Berlin and driving to Amsterdam. We have not been to this part of Europe so both routes will be new. Our interests include driving through the countryside, poking around in small villages. We would also stop if there are battlefields, old castles, and churches along the way.

Looking for input on the pros and cons for either of the routes. What are the must-sees? I have driven many times in Europe so driving is not a negative factor.
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Old Sep 6th, 2021, 03:12 PM
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In the past (but during Covid) we planned a trip between Hamburg and Copenhagen, looking at the area around Flensburg. I got some good replies; click on my screen name to see the question I asked. However now there would be a lot more Fodorites on the forum so I too would be interested to see answers to your question. We haven't taken that trip yet because in Australia we can't travel (yet) but one day we will do it.

We have done the trip Amsterdam - Bremen and also Bremen - Groningen (we have close friends near Bremen and family in Amsterdam) and I can recommend small towns in the area around Bremen if you are interested. We have also done a trip from Hamburg - Lüneburg - Wismar - Schwerin (along the Brick Gothic Route) and then back across Germany to NL and Belgium (Hildesheim - Hameln - Münster - Düsseldorf - Aachen - Maastricht - Brussels). We visited Christmas markets the whole way and drove on back roads for much of it. It was a lot of fun.

On the other hand, if you visit Berlin, I would also be thinking about the roads (autobahns) out of Berlin and where they take you. One takes you past Magdeburg out to Braunschweig (the only road in from the west during the Communist period), the other down to Leipzig and from there across to Kassel. If you want to take the autobahn out of Berlin you might stick to small towns not far from those routes. I don't know of any small towns near Berlin that I would specially want to see (which just means I don't know the area that well) but the land to the north of Berlin is called 'Land of a Thousand Lakes'. Also once when we visited Berlin (we had a car and were coming from Wiesbaden), we stayed in Zossen because the hotel chain we like (Flair) has a hotel there. It was an interesting drive into Berlin with avenues of trees (pastoral landscape) and near Zossen on Sunday mornings there was a large flea market with just about everything you could think of. Potsdam is also worth a visit. I don't think you could go wrong exploring Berlin and surrounds, really.

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Old Sep 7th, 2021, 07:31 AM
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Renting a car and dropping it off in another country is not recommended cost wise. Germany is between Denmark and the Netherlands, so that might define the choice if driving is the intent. There is a lot to see between Berlin and Amsterdam, but you would have to figure out where to drop off the car in Germany. Here are some of the smaller town that are worth visiting:






and a city:

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Old Sep 7th, 2021, 09:39 AM
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When we lived in Berlin there actually were 3 corridors to travel to West Germany.

Near Berlin you have Potsdam which is a nice way to spend a day from Berlin, just an U-Bahn or S-Bahn trip away. Wittenberg of Luther's 95 Theses fame is about an hour drive. Dresden and Leipzig are easily reached by train -- Dresden especially would be a full day trip or an overnight or two from Berlin.

Driving west from B. toward Hanover is the Harz Mountain area -- specifically Goslar, Wernigerode, and Quedlinburg, but if you have a car, there are other smaller villages to see.

Great pics as usual, Michael.
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Old Sep 7th, 2021, 11:50 AM
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The Michelin Green Guide to Germany would be useful for the sights, Fodor's for housing and meals as well as sights.
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Old Sep 7th, 2021, 11:57 AM
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Cycle Copenhagen to Berlin makes the most sense
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Old Sep 7th, 2021, 03:03 PM
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You might just simplify your life a little with Covid requirements by taking on one less border and just driving from Berlin. I like Trophywife's suggestion of going via the Harz Mountains. If you are going to travel on autobahns into the Netherlands, there is a road to the north via Groningen, one in the middle via Enschede and to the south quite a proliferation of roads linking the Ruhrgebiet in Germany with the Dutch side of the border, starting with Arnhem and Nijmegen.

One possibility is after exploring the area around Berlin, head for the Harz and find a base here (attractions are Quedlinburg, which is UNESCO World Heritage, Wernigerode, the Brocken and its steam railway, Goslar (pretty painted town square), Wolfenbüttel with its library and the 3 million Euro Gospels of Henry the Lion) and leave via Hildesheim (half-timbered houses), Celle (painted facades) and on to Bremen (Schnoor, Roland, the 4 city musicians). Make it a base for a couple of days. From Bremen to nearby Worpswede (artist's colony and old farmhouses in the north German style); the open air museum in Cloppenburg for more farmhouses from all over Niedersachsen, Meyer Werft (shipyards), then across the border to Groningen (NL). Stay in Groningen and explore the area, visiting Bourtange (restored fortress village based on a star; people actually live here, but it is a tourist attraction, rather badly signposted). Perhaps across to Leeuwarden (Frisian city), Harlingen (fishing village) and across the Afsluitdijk (the dike which shuts off the Ijsselmeer), which has a museum and café in the middle of it. Down to Amsterdam from there. This won't take you two weeks unless you get lost in the detail. It takes a 4 hour drive from Amsterdam to Bremen if you are driving fast, so take the time to smell the roses.

I think Fodorites can fill in many of the blanks here. This is just one option, there are many others. Another route might take in Aachen, where the kings of the Holy Roman Empire were crowned; it is rather a swish little city.

Lavandula

Last edited by lavandula; Sep 7th, 2021 at 03:21 PM.
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Old Sep 12th, 2021, 07:18 PM
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Lavandula, Thanks for both of your replies. Very helpful information. We are in the process of mapping out the locations mentioned.
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Old Sep 12th, 2021, 07:39 PM
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Michael, Thanks for your 2 replies on this thread. The photos are great. I have not been in Europe since 2015 so I had forgotten about the Michelin Green Guides. I also saw your posts in Lavandula's 2020 thread on traveling in the area. Again great photos

Regarding dropping off the car in Amsterdam instead of Berlin, when I first looked at this trip the cost was the same for either drop-off location. When I checked last week the difference was about $400. I just check and found the same with only a difference of $220. To me, it is worth that to not have to find other transportation across the border.
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Old Sep 12th, 2021, 07:41 PM
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Trophywife007, Thanks for your reply. We looked up the Harz Mountain area and it is a great suggestion.
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Old Sep 13th, 2021, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by susnobie View Post
Trophywife007, Thanks for your reply. We looked up the Harz Mountain area and it is a great suggestion.
Whatever you decide, please do a trip report. We'd love to read how it goes for you!
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Old Sep 13th, 2021, 02:49 PM
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I echo those sentiments - such beautiful areas and an interesting holiday. I am also keen to see where you visit around Berlin, if you take that journey. Keep us posted!

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Old Oct 3rd, 2021, 11:25 AM
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We have decided to fly into Berlin to start our trip. We do not plan on having a rental car while in Berlin. What area of the city should be be looking at to book a hotel?
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Old Oct 3rd, 2021, 03:17 PM
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A lot of people book in Mitte, but it's more important to book close to any metro station. Berlin is an enormous sprawling thing and you need the metro to get around. Mitte will put you near most attractions, but if there is something special you wanted to see I would book accommodation near that.

I have been to Berlin maybe 4 or 5 times and never seem to see everything. Make your aims modest and you will be satisfied.

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Old Oct 3rd, 2021, 08:09 PM
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The metro is Berlin is called the U-Bahn; there is also an S-Bahn network (above ground trains):

https://www.berlin.de/en/public-tran...subway.en.html

https://sbahn.berlin/liniennetz/ (this link has U-Bahn as well as S-Bahn stations, see the left sidebar at the top)

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