Driving loop through Germany

Old Dec 15th, 2018, 07:10 AM
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Driving loop through Germany

Hi Fodorites,

DW is going to be running the Berlin marathon Sept 29, 2019. We'll be in Berlin at least 27th to 30th.
Cheapest flights NYC-Europe, are to Paris, Amsterdam or London. (Flying into Paris vs Berlin, means cheaper and a direct flight.)
Tentatively formulating plan to fly NYC-Paris early Sept.
We'll rent a small manual transmission car for about $14/day. (No "train is better" conversations please, unless it's much cheaper, which I don't think so. We rented in Spain in Feb. and had a blast. Just need accommodations with parking.)
We'll stay at AirBnbs (no "social twaddle" please, lol), in between or around cities, anywhere from $25 to $50/ NT.
We need to wind up at starting point to avoid expensive drop off fee.
Tentative 3-4 week loop, Paris- Munich-Berlin-Paris, taking around 2-3 weeks to get to Berlin and 1-2 weeks to get back to Paris.
The goal of this trip is to see Germany, already been to Paris and Amsterdam. We'll leave Paris immediately from airport.

Is that the best route? Is it better to start in Amsterdam? What should be included in loop? (Bamberg, Cologne, Dresden...?) Nice places to look for AirBnb as a base to settle in for a few days and tour nearby? How much time for Berlin, Munich? Should I add a 4th week?

I'm budgeting around $3-4K for this trip ($900 for 2 RT flights taking only 1 checked bag for both of us to share. $450-600 for 3-4 weeks car rental. $750-1000 for AirBnbs, 1000-1500 for food, gas and tolls. I.E. ~ $750/wk not including flights.) Whaddya think?

Thank you.

Last edited by Governator; Dec 15th, 2018 at 07:25 AM.
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Old Dec 15th, 2018, 07:42 AM
Join Date: Jul 2018
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I would not drive too small a car. Back aches etc.

Straight route from Paris looks ok : first short step : either sleep at Paris (but 100 euros min) or short leg to Senlis for example. Or Compiégne 20 min from CDG. Charming.
Lille Gand Antwerpen Aachen Koeln Munster Hanover Leipzig Berlin.
with side trips like Koblenz, Dresden even Hamburg

Reims Metz Heidelberg Nurnberg Karlovy Vari Praha Dresden Berlin
with side trips such as Baden Baden Bamberg Leipzig

I haev hardly ever slept in Airbnb esp for a few nights, so can't help - however german towns have cheap hotels (40-50 € a night is enough there).

As for food, I 'need' about 50 e per person per day.
Highways are free in Germany. Small car consumes 7 liters per 100 kms - your loop is about 2500_3000 kms so around 150 liters or 225 Euros.
thibaut is offline  
Old Dec 15th, 2018, 08:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Train is most probably not cheaper, but faster.
The train journey time from Berlin to Paris is about 8 hrs and fares start at 57 USD/PAX.
Munich - Berlin lasts 4 hrs by train and fares start at 22 USD/PAX.
Munich - Paris lasts 5 1/2 hrs by train and fares start at 44 USD/PAX.

As to you ritinerary, there are tons of possibilities: all depends on your interests:
medieval cities, cathedrals, castles, palaces, all kinds of museums, stunning landscapes, riverboats, mountain railways and lifts, fun parks, hiking trails, bike trails, theatre and music performances.....
neckervd is offline  
Old Dec 15th, 2018, 09:20 AM
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AirBnB, no social twadle, but in some cities it is illegal with clients being turfed out. In Paris for example you need a registration number.
Germany has a lot of cheap hotels many of which will be cheaper than AirBnB, you'll find the same with B&B in the Netherlands. Using google maps searching under B&B will often show up fantastic deals including a healthy breakfast. You may also need a city disc for some cars in Germany. I'd check with French car hire to ensure they have charged for this. You may also find that late booking releases great deals. When I do this sort of thing I often book the morning before arrival.

https://www.howtogermany.com/pages/e...ntalzones.html doubt there is a big cost to this, but you need it.

Maastricht is worth a visit
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Dec 15th, 2018, 09:55 AM
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Don't miss the Mosel Valley, one of Europe's primo driving routes from a scenic aspect - could take it back towards Paris via Trier (very historic cities with stellar Roman ruins) and Luxembourg, Verdun, Reims and CDG.

Mosel - stay in a cute wine town - maybe rent bikes for a day and don't miss Burg Eltz, one of Germany's most famous and gorgeous castles just off the Mosel.

PalenQ is offline  
Old Dec 15th, 2018, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Governator View Post
We'll stay at AirBnbs (no "social twaddle" please, lol).
It would be somehow great if OP wouldn't receive any more help here.
Lubitsch is offline  
Old Dec 15th, 2018, 11:19 AM
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>>anywhere from $25 to $50/ NT<<

Hope you are joking. $25 = €22.

>>1000-1500 for food, gas and tolls<< -- (again I assume you mean $) - using say 25 days . . . $1000 is only $40 per day -- ain't no way no how you can do food, petrol and tolls. And $1500 is only $60 per day. As thibaut says you will spend quite a bit on petrol -- but his calculation is pretty low since it doesn't cover 'meandering' and just covers the basic loop. So let's say a minimum of €250 for petrol - that is nearly $300 right there.

And IF you end up with the full 4 weeks -- the budget would be even more unrealistic.

thibaut: >> however german towns have cheap hotels (40-50 € a night is enough there).<<. Except the OP wants to limit accommodations to €22 - €40-ish per night.
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Old Dec 15th, 2018, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Jul 2018
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Yes Janis, but sleeping for 22 €, even in Germany means you should have a budget for pharmacy : flees, etc.
My budget for a hotel is 50 min in Germany, 90 min in Paris, 120 min in London, then get best hotels for the same price in cities like Krakow, Prague etc.
25$ a night is what I paid about 30 years ago in Chicago and I slept with cockroaches. Or was it Seattle ?
thibaut is offline  
Old Dec 15th, 2018, 10:07 PM
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Munich has just ruled that Air B&B must provide a list of its hosts so that each one can be investigated for abuse. Renting for 8 weeks is allowed each year; more than that, and apartments that function as a permanent holiday rental, will be found and fined (around 300,000€ each).


You can use google to translate it.

Twaddle that.

swandav2000 is offline  
Old Dec 15th, 2018, 11:51 PM
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I find AirBnBs more suitable for stays of at least a few days length. Especially when you have to meet someone in person to get the keys, I‘d prefer a cheap hotel where I can show up late to check-in when the prior stops on my road trip kept me busy longer than expected.
Whether or not starting and ending in Paris makes sense depends on whether you are interested in seeing what is in between Paris and your first or last stop in Germany.
Otherwise you pay motorway tolls in France (not exactly cheap) and waste at least two days on the road for nothing.

If airfare to the usual points of entry in Germany (Frankfurt or Munich) is too expensive, you could also check out Brussels. And drive via Luxembourg to the Mosel river region and go further South/ East from there.

The estimated daily average for accommodation is too low unless you think of that as per person. You may find rock-bottom cheap AurBnB or even budget hotels for € 30 per room in some small towns or villages off the beaten path. But for calculating a budget I‘d rather take € 50 per room and night as a benchmark.

Last edited by Cowboy1968; Dec 15th, 2018 at 11:59 PM.
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Old Dec 16th, 2018, 06:52 AM
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You need to be aware of the need for a Umwelt sticker to enter many German cities in a car. Also if you want to visit Brussels you have to register your car online before you enter the city centre.
You don't have to use toll roads in France of course - there are plenty of toll free alternatives.
But I think if your main aim is to see Germany then bite the bullet and fly into Germany. The car will already have the sticker, and the extra cost of the flight will be counteracted by the cost of the journey and extra nights to and from Paris.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2018, 07:58 AM
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I would be very surprised that a rental car is not allowed to go into Brxuelles - just ask it before...

Bruxelles authorities say that fleet of vehicles can get a permit 'en masse'

Pour les entreprises ou autres types d’organisations disposant d’une flotte de plus de 20 véhicules, il sera possible d’introduire une demande d'enregistrement « en masse », en prenant contact avec Bruxelles Fiscalité via info.fiscalité@sprb.brussels
thibaut is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2018, 08:26 AM
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If it is a French (or other non Belgian) rental it probably doesn't have the permit needed. It is free and easy to organise online.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2018, 08:36 AM
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No need to tie yourself down by using Airbnb or any other reserved room. We used a mix of reservations and just depending on the tourist office when traveling in Germany. Towns of a decent size and tourist towns have tourist offices that can help you get a room. I can think of a few exceptions where reservations would help: Rothenburg or the plus beaux villages of Alsace, for example. It gives you flexibility, and if you are not looking for luxury accommodations, you can try smaller towns where in Germany the local restaurant often has guest rooms. Traveling that way would give you greater flexibility between landing in Paris and your Berlin date. Large cities require reservations because it facilitates arrival and departure, rather than looking for the tourist office in the center of town and then driving to whatever accommodation you have been offered.

Last edited by Michael; Dec 16th, 2018 at 08:47 AM.
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