Driving Germany

Oct 30th, 2005, 12:08 AM
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Driving Germany

After travelling to Croatia we will be flying home from Frankfurt. We would like to take a few days before we fly home to perhaps hire a car and drive one of the famous scenic routes. We will be travelling with three children (10,7,2). Please advise which would be the most interesting drive and how many days would you require. Thanks
westaussiegirl is offline  
Oct 30th, 2005, 02:28 AM
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I'm assuming some things about your plans, as far as getting to Frankfurt and having a few days before you leave. Here's my thoughts.
First, I would drive it myself. No need for a driver
Then, the most scenic part of Germany is the southern Bavaria area, which is quite a way from Frankfurt.
The famed "romantic road" is interesting, but frankly not very scenic until you get way south toward the Alps.
SO, with a few days to wander around, I'd probably drive over to the Rhine and Mosel river valleys. Take a short boat trip on a river cruise boat, and then return on the train to your starting point (an easy day trip). See the cathedral in Cologne. See the castle of Burg Eltz. Stay overnight in Cochem. Maybe make it all the way to Trier.
Maybe take in Wuerzburg (but that is the opposite direction).

There is a person who will probably see your inquiry and post some good advice for you. I can't recall his screenname. He seems to really know his way around Germany.

let me know if I can be of any other help.
ekellyga is offline  
Oct 30th, 2005, 03:51 AM
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Good advice from ekellyga. Not sure when you'll be there, but the Mosel and Rhine make for dramatic scenery and are a good place for kids too. If you felt you hadn't driven far enough, it's also a good area to daytrip out from.

Cochem is a good base town for charm, its services, and its central location for a Rhine/Mosel visit. You'll find the old town a small and easy-to-navigate tangle of streets with plenty of small shops and eateries. Cochem has its own awesome castle adjacent to the old town and a tad uphill - great falconry show there, good tour (but do the Burg Eltz tour instead if short on time.) The kids would probably enjoy the Moselbad waterpark there (on the downstream end of town across the river.) Scenic boat rides (depending on season) up the Mosel to the village of Beilstein are possible from Cochem (about an hour each way.)

From there, you can check out the other Mosel highlights with a short drive: Burg Eltz(a must-see castle), Bernkastel (gorgeous wine village), Trier (Roman settlement and charming small city). Or head over to the Rhine and see Boppard, Bacharach, and the other Rhine villages, and take a Rhine cruise past numerous vineyards and castles for a couple of hours (anywhere between Bingen and Koblenz will be very scenic.) You can also tour Marksburg Castle in Braubach or the Rheinfels Castle Ruins in St. Goar (which are especially good for little kids, I think, since they can climb around on stuff there.) Head up to Cologne if you're up for a longer trip and a drive into the big city, but I think with kids, you're better off closer to your home base.
Russ is offline  
Oct 30th, 2005, 04:02 AM
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I should add that the Mosel is a good place for family biking too. One nice, easy ride is the one between Bullay and Zell (you can continue to Puenderich and beyond if you like.) The paved bike paths along the Mosel are mostly separate from the road and provide lots of good, flat biking with wonderful scenery as you move from town to town. Bikes can be rented in Bullay, I believe, or across the river in Alf, and in Cochem too.
Russ is offline  
Oct 30th, 2005, 04:07 AM
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Further note on biking:


This page (in German) has a map of the bike ride I was describing. Besides Bullay's train station, bike shops are available in Merl and Zell (Find "Fahrradverleih" on the page and the bike shops and telephone numbers are listed there.)
Russ is offline  
Oct 30th, 2005, 09:06 PM
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Thankyou for all the fantastic ideas which have been most interesting and helpful. I am currently trying to gather as much information as I can so I can then start formulating an itinerary. So here are a few more questions you might be able to answer for me.
We will be arriving into Frankfurt by air around the 20 July, 2006 and leaving 26 July giving us 5 days to explore. 1)Where is the best place to hire a car and do you know of any good car rental companies? 2)Is driving in Frankfurt difficult, would we be better off getting the car out of the city? 3)Is self catering accommodation available for short periods.If so any recommendations?
Looking forward to getting some more info. Thanks.
westaussiegirl is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 04:05 AM
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For car rentals, we've been very pleased with www.novarentacar.com and www.autoeurope.com
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 04:33 PM
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we've always seemed to go back time and again to autoeurope.

Driving in Frankfurt isn't as horrible as a lot of other European cities, but might as well avoid it if you can. You could pick the car up at the airport, and you are on the autobahn in a second and off to your travel. It's pretty easy, really.

I use www.viamichelin.com for most driving info, and get a good michelin map of the country we are driving in.

ekellyga is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 04:52 PM
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With 6 nights in July, you have many options, such as: west to the Rhein and Mosel; or a circle to the east including such cities as Wuerzburg, Bamberg, Coburg, Nuernberg, or Rothenburg; or a circle to the south to places like Heidelberg, Bad Wimpfen, Schwaebisch Hall, or Wuerzburg.

The Rhein and Mosel might be the easiest to keep the children engaged--boats and swans and such.

But all have their attractions, and distances aren't terribly long.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 05:35 PM
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How about going form Croatia into Munich as a starting point for your car trip. Lots of interesting stuff for the whole family in Bavaria from Munich to Seuschwanstein. As you make your way north you could overnight in Rothenberg o.d.T.

I agree that you can easily negotiate driving yourself on the German roads if you remember to drive in the right lane and only use the left lane for passing on the autobahn. On renting at the airport, Germany has a 21% surtax on rent cars that are picked up at an airport or train station. Keep that in mind.
AisleSeat is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 06:07 PM
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That's Neuschwanstein in Dr. Seuss language.
AisleSeat is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 06:09 PM
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Another thumbs up for AutoEurope. We've had five flawless rentals with the company. A hint: Go to www.gemut.com and ask for a quote from Andrew Bestor. He can often get a better rate through AutoEurope for you. Also, pick up your car off-airport and save the ridiculous 19% surcharge on your entire rental.
Betsy is offline  
Nov 1st, 2005, 07:52 AM
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I have used Bob Bestor a couple of times and have been very satisfied. They have upgraded the cars and the price was the best I could find.
AisleSeat is offline  
Nov 1st, 2005, 08:38 AM
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Germany does have a lot of self-catering apartments and, unlike many other countries, most don't require a weeks stay. We stayed in an apartment for 6 days in Berchtesgaden (southern Germany) and loved it. The apartment was great, price was incredibly low, and the owner was very friendly. She even made homemade rolls for us each morning for breakfast and hung them in a bag on our door!

I used this website to find our apartment and was very pleased:


Good luck!
tcreath is offline  
Nov 1st, 2005, 12:45 PM
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Hi Westaussiegirl!

I assume that you are in Perth or thereabouts. I am an old Cottesloe lad now in Adelaide, but also lived in Germany for a number of years.

If you would like to chat about your trip on the phone, let me know your number via my email:

<[email protected]>

I also have a cousin in Floreat who is my travelling partner and she can give you plenty of advice too.

harzer is offline  
Nov 7th, 2005, 08:49 PM
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westaussiegirl,I am from wollongong and I have just returned from a trip to Europe (September 23) and hired a car out of Munich for eight days.

Leading up to that trip I researched all of the car rental companies including Andrew Bestor who will direct you to Auto-Europe - AE bases it's best prices on the fact that US credit cards allow a free Collison Damage Waiver insurance - Aussie cards do not.

The best deal that I got was with an Irish company called Argus Car Rental.
Argus booked the car through a German hire car company - SIXT.

Advice to hire away from airports and railway stations is good - saves you 19%.

SIXT depot at Munich was about 200 metres from the railway station - I hired a VW Passat station wagon and it cost me A$61 per day.

I travelled mainly in the Black Forest area - as I was on my way to Frankfurt to pick up a flight to Sydney. But all of the routes suggested by other people sound great.
Hope this helps.
jack1 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 10:56 AM
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jayne1973 is offline  

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