First Attempt at Germany Itinerary

Jun 15th, 2006, 07:33 PM
  #1  
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First Attempt at Germany Itinerary

My wife, 14-year-old son, and I are beginning to talk about a trip to Germany (from the US - probably Atlanta or Cincinnati) next summer. Our only contstraint right now is we would like to spend a couple of days with a friend who lives a little southwest of Frankfurt. So my first guess at an interary looks something like this:

Day 1: overnight flight to Munich.

Day 2: arrive Munich; recover from flight; sightsee.

Days 3-5: Munich sights, including Dachau & daytrip to Luwig castles; stay in Munich.

Days 6-7: rent car; drive Romantic Road; spend night in Rothenberg.

Days 8-9: visit friend near Frankfurt; see Heidelburg(?).

Days 10-11: explore Mosel or Rhine valley; old castles; stay in Cochem(?).

Day 12: return rental car in Frankfurt; take train from Frankfurt to Berlin.

Days 13-14: sightsee in Berlin.

Day 15: return to US.

Is this doing way too much? I didn't think so until I actually wrote it down. Would we be better off cutting out either the Mosel/Rhine or Berlin, in order to spend more time the other places? Are there specific things in any of these places (or others that I have missed) that are "not-to-be-missed" for a then 14-year-old boy?

I know a lot of travel enjoyment depends on the individual, but I value the experienced voice of others.

Thanks.

John
jspowell is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 07:51 PM
  #2  
 
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I don't think it's too much - you give just enough time to each target, and travel is so fast by car, you can make this. It's an active schedule, sure, not a lazy vacation, but doable.

On day 6 for example you can stroll through Ulm in the morning, be in Nuernberg for lunch and still see just about as much of Rothenburg as you need to, incl. the guided evening walk with the "keeper of the keys" ("Nachtwaechter"). Then on day 7 you can go to places like Wuerzburg and Bamberg and Coburg, and be back in Rothenburg for supper.

The Frankfurt visit is totally feasible - from Rothenburg in the morning drop south on the A7 and catch the A6 west and visit Heidelberg before heading north to Frankfurt. Let your friend be your guide to the region, you'll have three days (9-10-11), lots to see and do.

Be smart about the location where you return the car relative to where you'll be staying - you don't want to spend half the morning doing it and then having to get to the station for your Berlin train, it takes a good four hours to Berlin, and you want to make the most of that great city. You'll get to see the brand new central station!

Are you planning on flying home out of Berlin? Try for that!

Good luck.

Wk

P.S. Get your burgs and bergs together or you won't find what you want on the websites like www.viamichelin.com and www.mappy.com where you can pull up driving directions and maps.

It's Rothenburg (burg = castle) and Heidelberg (berg = hill, mountain).
WallyKringen is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 08:03 PM
  #3  
 
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Hi John,

It looks pretty good for a first draft. A few suggestions for you to ponder: Maybe subtract a day from Munich and add Nurnberg, Wurzburg or Bamberg to your itinerary after you visit Rothenburg.
Also if you can, try to build in some flexible time for yourself or you'll be dragging by the time you reach Berlin. Bring along a guidebook and do some planning on the fly.
Good luck.

Whitey
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Jun 15th, 2006, 08:24 PM
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I agree with the previous posts, Nurnberg, Wurzburg and Bamberg are all wonderful! DO not miss the famous Nurnberg sausages (small to fit through a key hole) and the Handewerk (Crafts market) and walk the town walls! We also enjoyed Heidleburg castle, the full tour and so much to see. Munich is still my favorite city. It is clean, easy to get around, plenty to see and do. We took bicycle tours (Mike's Bikes), walking history tours, and used guidebooks. If I had to cut something out it would be the RHine area. By the time we finished with the castles in Neuchwanstein and Ludwig's other adventures, we were satisfied. The boat ride up the Rhine has great views of many of the castles but very few tours. Whereas in Heidleberg and Neuchwanstein (group tour of Ludwig's castles available) you get to see many of the details. We enjoyed hiking on Mary's bridge up the steep hill alongside a creek behind Neuchwanstein. I've never been to Berlin but have been to much of Germany over the past six years and have loved every moment. My husband said Berlin is not to be missed...so we're on our way to Wurzburg and Berlin in September. Good Luck...we used the Fodor's book for many good pointers. Very useful. We also visit the railways station in every town for tour guide info, local activities, and decent snacks! Mary
Zydecoqueen is offline  
Jun 16th, 2006, 05:15 AM
  #5  
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Thanks for the responses, and my apologies for the careless spelling -- it was late, and I knew I was just guessing (and of course I guessed exactly wrong!)

Yes, the plan is to try to fly back to the US from Berlin. I was hoping with this itinerary to NOT have a rental car in either Munich or Berlin; that is reasonable, isn't it? Should we try to do Neuchwanstein as a daytrip from Munich (using public transportation), or would it be better to leave Munich a day earlier, to see the castle(s) with a rental car, and spend one night in the Fussen area?

We are not wine enthusiasts, so maybe we could cut a day from Mosel/Rhine. One suggestion I have seen is to stay in Bacharach, take the train 15 minutes to St. Goar, visit the town, then take a boat back to Bacharach.

ZQ: I like the Munich bike tour idea, and I'll be interested to hear what you think of Berlin.

I'm still a little unsure about including Berlin. We spend a half day or more getting there (although on a train it's a restful half day), and I'm not sure what all I would like to see/do there.
jspowell is offline  
Jun 16th, 2006, 05:31 AM
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In my humble opinion Berlin may be more appreciated better the second time around unless you know you really like modern European cities. ALthough all the Checkpoint Charlie and pre-war museum relics, the wall etc.. are very interesting. South Germany is so pretty. I will never forget the boat ride on the Koenigsee near Berchtesgarden. Have fun.
alex33 is offline  
Jun 16th, 2006, 09:58 AM
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I suggest you skip Neuschwanstein and do Burg Eltz near Cochem instead. While this may be contrary to most opinions, I thought Neuschwanstein to be highly overrated. There are some nice pix to be had from the outside but unless you are really into King Ludgwig history and want to see it for that reason, Burg Eltz is much better.

Just my own opinion.
bettyk is offline  
Jun 16th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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Personally I'd skip the Rhine and do the Mosel -- if I had to make a choice. The Mosel is beautiful, lots of cute little towns, has Burg Eltz, which both you and you son would enjoy. And it's not required to drink the wine. But the most scenic stretch of the Rhine is nice too and it's fun to take a boat.
Mimar is offline  
Jun 16th, 2006, 12:29 PM
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Looks good, except if it were me I would skip Berlin and spend some time in the Alps - either the Obersalzburg region around Berchtesgarten, or the Zugspitz area (or both). The views from the mountains above Berchtesgarten are some of the prettiest in the world, imo.
Bob_KY is offline  
Jun 16th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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I'll chime in with the others and suggest saving Berlin for another time in order to better savor the time in Bavaria. Considering the extra travel time involved in getting to Berlin, along with a relatively short visit there, your time is better spent in Bavaria and the towns already suggested here.

All the best to you!
Trophywife007 is online now  
Jun 16th, 2006, 03:12 PM
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Bavaria is the best! We also enjoyed the Berchtesgarden and Salzburg, etc. I would skip Berlin and RHine areas and you could bet a better feel for Germany (and have plenty to see/do) within Bavaria. Castle trip is so much easier by day trip there is a Mike's Bike trip that takes you by bus from Munich to Neuchwanstein area. You bike for 1.5 hours in pretty countryside amonsgst fowered fields, hike up the back side and see St. Mary's bridge, and finally tour the castle (and hear the story). The tour was not the highlight of the trip and the lunch was okay, but the day was so much fun! My boys were 11 at the time and it was one of their most memorable days.

WHen in Bamberg try the Rauch beer- smokey, slightly sweet and delish!
Zydecoqueen is offline  
Jun 16th, 2006, 03:42 PM
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I would leave Berlin open. There is so much to enjoy on the Romantic Road and on the Rivers that you might not want to rush through them.
L84SKY is offline  
Jun 16th, 2006, 04:38 PM
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Some good suggestions here. I'll add my 2 cents for your consideration. 1 You are right to not plan on having a car in Munich or Berlin. They are more of a hassel than a help. Munich has a great public transportation system and you can learn it easily. While you are there have a very Bavarian dinner at the Augustiner Brewery Restaurant on the fussganger zone a couple of blocks toward the main trainstation from Marienplatz. Also I think they still have a hokey but fun Bavarian evening every night at 7pm on the 3rd floor of the Hoffbrau Haus. If you skip the buffet and just pay for entrance to the show of slap-dancing and alphorn playing it is about 6 Euros. The buffet is about 20. Save dinner for the Augustiner, the Ratskeller (under the rathaus) or Andechs am Dom (right behind the Frauenkirche). They are all good places to eat.

If you are planning on driving from Cochem to Frankfurt then train to Berlin you might just look into dropping the car in Cochem and catching an overnight train to Berlin. You'll save a day of driving/training and you will have already see much the same type of countryside.

If you can squeeze it in there is a wealth of stuff to enjoy down toward Fussen from Munich, worth having a car to explore. Someone suggested Berteschesgaden which is nice and it is 15 miles from Salzburg. That is a bit East of the Fussen are (100 or so miles East). If you take the Garmish autobahn from Munich then hit the backroads when you get in the alps you can make stops in Garmish, Ettal Monastary, Linderhoff (Mad King Ludwig's homiest castle), Oberammergau, Wiese Kirche and then end up in Hohenschwangau to see Neuschwanstein.

When you go there remember to reserve a tour time ahead so you can plan around the schedule www ticket-center-hohenschwangau.de or phone 08362/930-830. Tickets come with strict tour times. Miss your time, miss your tour. Be sure to also see Hohenschwangau (Ludwig's growing up castle on the opposite hill from NS). When you reserve your ticket you will probably get a Hohenschwangau entrance time two hours ahead of your Neuschwanstein tour. Don't miss walking 10 minutes uphill above Neuschwanstein to Mary's Bridge for the best photo op of the castle.

Dispite what others might say about Neuswchwanstein, you should go see it if for no other reason that it is probably the most famous castle in the world. Also include Berg Eltz near Cochum for a completely different experience.

The Romantic Road is "romantic" because of some charming little villages like Dinkelsbuhl. The Road itself is just a road. You can drive north to Rothenburg from the Fussen area. After that check the map (ViaMichelin.com) to your friends location. It may just be on the way to the Rhine/Mosel areas. Another charming area near Heidelburg is the Neckar River. I think it is more picturesque than the Rhine.
AisleSeat is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 07:25 PM
  #14  
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Thanks for all the advice. I'm beginning to think that Berlin should wait for another trip. I'll try to rearrange things and make another proposal in a few days.

John
jspowell is offline  
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