First trip to Germany: Help?

Jan 26th, 2006, 05:04 AM
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First trip to Germany: Help?

A group of us is going to Munich for Oktoberfest and will be visintg in and around that area. We've never been to Germany so any helpful hints as to do's/dont's would be greatly appreciated.

Any suggestions on the best time of year to purchase flight? Do any of the sirlines offer specials? So far, US Air is the cheapest at about $900 per person.

jedivader is offline  
Jan 26th, 2006, 05:17 AM
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Remember, Oktoberfest is really not in begins in late September. Gorgeous time to be in southern a car and just drive. Austria is very nice, too, and the people are very friendly.
pmmg8r is offline  
Jan 26th, 2006, 06:03 AM
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I always suggest looking at surrounding airports as well as the one you want to fly into. My husband and I were in Germany in May. The flights into Munich at that time were going for about $800. We saved over $200 by flying into Nuremburg, about an hour and a half away. If you don't mind taking a train, checking into surrounding airports could save a lot of money. I used to book my flight because they have a feature where they list the surrounding airports (within 90 miles) on the left hand side of the page so it makes it easy to play around with.

You may also want to consider the city you are flying out of. I live in St. Louis but can often save hundreds of dollars by flying out of Chicago instead. I can drive to Chicago in less than 5 hours or I can find flights to Chicago for around $100, which still saves lots of money.

These tips may not always work, but I think its worth considering.

Good luck!
tcreath is offline  
Jan 26th, 2006, 06:52 AM
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I would recommend hitting your local book store and picking up a travel book. We really liked Rick Steves for Germany.
I'm so jealous- Germany for Oktoberfest will be a blast!
I also recommend renting a car. It made visiting the smaller towns very easy. How long are you planning to spend in Germany?
TXgalinGA is offline  
Jan 26th, 2006, 07:03 AM
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I would look at at least one consolidator such as and at least one aggregator such as for flights and prices.

If you are going to fly into an alternative airport you might consider several such as Frankfurt but be aware of just how much money you are really "saving" by flyinginto an alternative and the cost of transferring, taking the train, etc., and I'm talking about the cost in terms of money and time spent.

I assume you have already made hotel reservations, especially if you are planning to stay in Munich itself.
You can, if you want, actually o a lot of the Oktoberfest stuff and stay elsewhere, such as Augsburg, especially if you ahve a car.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2006, 07:35 AM
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The train from Nuremburg to Munich take approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes and cost us, at the time, about 40 euros apiece. Still a lot of savings and only a minor time inconvenience. Its not for everyone but if you truly want to save money then checking into surrounding airports could be a good option.

tcreath is offline  
Jan 27th, 2006, 10:01 AM
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Thanks for all the info, keep any coming!

We will be leaving Maryland on 9/2 and returning 9/18.

jedivader is offline  
Jan 27th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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O-Fest may not yet have started.
tomboy is offline  
Jan 27th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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OOPS! It starts September 17th and goes thru October 10th. So you can fly home with a hangover after all.(But will you be able to wake up for the departure?)
tomboy is offline  
Jan 27th, 2006, 02:17 PM
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You should be able to do much, much better than $900 from the Baltimore/Washington/Philly area. Of course, no one can guarantee what prices will be, but airlines tend to start making good offers 3 to 5 months before the travel date.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 27th, 2006, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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If you can, stay in a guest house. They are usually less expensive and more personable and usually come with a decent breakfast.

Also, remember the phrase "When in Rome...." The German people are very friendly, but they do not like it when foreigners demand that they do things the way that we are accustomed to.

Germany is wonderful, and you will enjoy your trip and the delicious food, I'm sure!
Globerunner09 is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 07:58 AM
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A wonderful B&B-type hotel is the Hotel Uhland, practically across the street from the Oktoberfest park. It's a great hotel, but will get booked quickly for that event. If you search this forum, you will find lots of recommendations for it, including mine. Check it out on their website. It was nicer than we'd even expected. Like an old mansion. Great breakfast room, lobby room with free internet use and coffee on at all times, free bikes to borrow, free parking, newe bathrooms, a lift, beautiful quiet, upscale neighborhood with lots of trees, nice neighborhood restaurants. It's also a great value, but probably most expensive during Oktoberfest. Highly recommend it.
Jan 29th, 2006, 08:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I agree 100% with Globerunner09: Try to book a few nights in Gästhauses and/or Zimmer Frei (rooms in individuals' homes). You'll save a bundle and have a great time. I'm not one for small talk and socializing so I was initially reluctant to stay in people's private homes, but in most cases you have a private entrance and the only time you see the owner is when you arrive and when you are ready to pay the bill.

Keep in mind that virtually every place you stay in Germany will provide a big healthy breakfast. Lots of rolls, bread, jam, honey and usually meat and cheese. It'll fill you enough that all you'll want at lunch time will be a little snack like a würst or strudel to tide you over until dinner.

As far as airfare, have you tried yet? I just found their site and it's got better fares than many of the airlines' own sites. Consider leaving from Philadelphia as their fares are usually the cheapest. Beter yet, you can save much more if you fly from Newark. Yes, I know it's a long drive, but if you have a group going you could save hundreds of bucks.

Like Rufus said, the best fares usually pop up closer to your departure date. I wouldn't buy tickets yet not only because the fares will drop, but anything could happen that might change your plans.
Zeus is offline  

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