First trip to germany! Help!

Nov 5th, 2011, 05:09 PM
  #1  
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First trip to germany! Help!

Okay we are going in may there are 4 of us 2 kids 17,14! We will be flying into Munich arriving 750 am! So we will have that whole day to see munich(we wont be jet lagged flying in from CPH) we will spend that night in Munich. then what should we do! there are various daytrips we could take out to the Rhine region. Or should we go to different towns along the rhine region? We fly out of Frankfurt. We want to see the 2 famous castles, pretty scenery. etc. Will it be easier to take day trips out of munich? There is one to Salzburg, Romantic Road- Harburg and Rothenburg, day trip to the 2 famous castles which i cant spell, nuremburg day trip and many more! Is this recommended? or should we travel by train down to various places?
Taylort771 is offline  
Nov 5th, 2011, 05:26 PM
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I hate to break it to you but there are a lot more than 2 famous castes. Do you mean Mad Ludwig's Neuschwanstein and Linderhof? There is also Nyphemburg in the Munich suburbs, Herrenchiemsee and a bunch of others, including one IN Munich. then if you head over to the Rhine there are a bunch more there.

If you are getting off an overnight plane you should assume you will be jet lagged. And one day isn;t really enough to see much of Munich.

How many days will you have all together? There are a bunch of places you can see as day trips from Munich and if you pick a central town on the Rhine that will let you see a bunch of sights there. But without knowing how much time you have it's hard to make recos.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 5th, 2011, 05:28 PM
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"we will spend that night in Munich. then what should we do! there are various daytrips we could take out to the Rhine region."

You seem pretty confused. It's 5+ hours each way between Munich and the Middle Rhine Valley on the fastest train connections. That cannot be a daytrip.

"Or should we go to different towns along the rhine region?"

What do you mean "or"? I'm confused.

"Will it be easier to take day trips out of munich? There is one to Salzburg, Romantic Road- Harburg and Rothenburg, day trip to the 2 famous castles which i cant spell, nuremburg day trip and many more! Is this recommended? or should we travel by train down to various places?"

When you say "day trips", do you mean organized tours by bus? Are you asking whether you should pay for tours or travel by train on your own throughout Germany? If so, I'd say it's generally a simple matter to travel independently in Germany. Tours will cost you much more.

You mention castles. The Rhine region is where you'll find authentic 800-1,000-year-old fortified castles. The ones south of Munich are palaces and fanciful 19th-century creations. You're probably referring to Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein.

I think you need to spend some more time wording your questions more clearly.

When is this trip, anyway?
Russ is offline  
Nov 5th, 2011, 05:34 PM
  #4  
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Okay this trip is in May. We have a total of 7 days on the ground.
The castle is Neuschwanstein
There are tours on a website vi ator.com and they are all day trips 10-12 hours long.

So I am very confused how we should do this! Should we stick with all the day trips?

If not how would we pick which towns to choose from to stay in and what else to see? I have never really planned a trip like thsi!


thanks
Taylort771 is offline  
Nov 5th, 2011, 06:02 PM
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Get a guidebook for Germany and read some of it. I cannot emphasize this too strongly. Guidebooks such as Frommers, Fodors and Rick Steves generally tell distances or time by train or bus and how often the bus or train travels per day.

When you decide which cities you want to visit, you can also check Viamichelin.com in order to check distances.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Nov 5th, 2011, 06:06 PM
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Just curious---to what airport does CPH refer?
Pegontheroad is offline  
Nov 5th, 2011, 07:17 PM
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OK. 7 days on the ground in May, flying in from Copenhagen to MUC, ending at FRA.

I'll assume that you are interested in the tour destinations you mentioned and will make some train ticket suggestions.

I'd suggest 4 nights in Munich. You can do "daytrips" by yourselves from Munich without viator or other organized tours. Your entire family can travel by train on a "Bayern" (Bavaria) Ticket from Munich to any town in Bavaria and back for 29 Euros whether your daytrip destination is Salzburg, the Füssen castles, or Nuremberg:

http://www.munich-touristinfo.de/Bavaria-Ticket.htm

(This same ticket gets you all from MUC to Munich proper as well.)

Then I'd suggest one night in Rothenburg. Use the Bayern ticket to get there.

After that, spend 2 nights on the Rhine. Buy a point-to-point train ticket to get there. Tickets don't go on sale until 92 days prior to travel, but if you buy them then at the German Railways site, you'll get the cheapest ones at 69 Euros total for 3 adults and 1 child (over 14 = adult) for Munich to Oberwesel (just one of several towns on the Rhine you might choose.) If you wait, only the regular price tickets will be available. Use this page for schedules and ticketing:

http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

A ticket like the "Bayern ticket" for the Rhine area is available for visiting towns and castles on your own in this area - it's about 30 Euros/day for your family:

http://www.vrminfo.de/en/tickets-and...-pfalz-ticket/

To get to the FRA train station from Oberwesel there are direct trains that take one hour.
Russ is offline  
Nov 5th, 2011, 08:46 PM
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This is one confusing thread.

CPH = Copenhagen

MUC = Munich airport

(Most of us are just travelers and don't work in the travel industry, so all these shorthand codes mean zip to us)

2 famous castles - you lost me somewhat there

Glad there are some who figured out what you wanted and can help you.


My suggestion is: go in one direction and do not backtrack, especially since you have only 7 days. You really don't want to spend a lot of your precious time traveling back to Munich, your "base".

Day 1: Arrival Munich, get from airport to town, check into hotel. Then take the free tour of Munich to get your bearings:

http://www.newmunichtours.com/

Day 2: If the weather is good, go out to Nymphenburg palace, if not, go to the indoor palace in Munich called the "Residenz". For dinner, go outdoors either to the Viktualienmarkt or to one of the beer gardens in the the Englischer Garten:

http://www.aviewoncities.com/munich/viktualienmarkt.htm

http://www.aviewoncities.com/munich/...chergarten.htm

Day 3: Do either Residenz or Nymphenburg. In the late afternoon, take the train to the town of Fussen, which is the best base for your "2 castles". Stay overnight in Fussen.

bahn.com

http://www.germanplaces.com/germany/fussen.html

Day 4: One person gets up really early and gets your castle tickets. Believe the ticket office opens at 8am or 8:30am. You can only take guided tours of the castles and your tickets will have the designated time when your tour starts. Be sure to arrive at the castle at least 1/2 hour before your tour starts.

http://www.neuschwanstein.de/englisch/tourist/index.htm

Spend your second night in Fussen. you will be too tired after the castle visits to do anything else.

Day 5 get on train and go to Salzburg. There's a lot ot do in Salzburg.

Day 6 In Salzburg

Day 7: Return by train to Munich for your flight home
easytraveler is offline  
Nov 6th, 2011, 05:49 AM
  #9  
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Okay thanks for your suggestions, I am still a bit confused myself. I will research some more and use the information given

THANKS SO MUCH!!!!!!!!
Taylort771 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2011, 06:54 AM
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If you're arriving at 8:00 in the morning, you will have arisen in the middle of the night to get to the airport for your flight. Won't you be sleepy and tired? It will be too early to check in to your hotel. Leave your luggage at the hotel and explore Munich.

Have you considered driving? That's the best way to see the Romantic Road and towns around. We really liked the Mosel River. It and the most scenic part of the Rhine are not too far north of Frankfurt.

East of Munich there's Salzburg. (Stop at Herrnchiemsee, another King Ludwig castle on an island in the middle of the lake.) South of Munich is Neuschwanstein and adjacent Hohenschwangau. With a car you can stay in the valley at the base of the castles and get an early atart touring before the bus crowds.

All of this will add up to more than your week. I agree, read some guidebooks, decide what you want to see. And even if you don't drive you can get around by public transportation, don't need to rely on bus tours.
Mimar is offline  
Nov 6th, 2011, 07:42 AM
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Would it be cheaper to drive? It looks like its around $300 to rent a car for the week from Munich to Frankfurt? Would it be easier?
Taylort771 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2011, 08:13 AM
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You definetely need to check a guidebook and decide what YOU want to see.
Otherwise this will be an endless threat of "go to A, but skip B" and "skip B, A is nicer".
You can easily visit 100 towns and 100 castles by merely adjusting your trip from Munich to Frankfurt by a few kilometers here and there.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2011, 10:37 AM
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You really need to make a list of what you want to see - and if you should spend the whole time in Munich - seeing that, well worth a couple of days - plus day trips - or if you want to go and spend a couple of days on the rhine. The Rhine is not a day trip from Munich.

As for the castles, Neuschwanstein looks like a Disney castle but was built for Mad King Ludwig in the 1860's - as was Lnderhof, Herrenchiemsee and several others. They are certainly "real" but they are not ancient (they're about as new as "castles' can be) and were never actually involved in any sort of warfare (as an ancient castle would have been). They were luxury playgrounds for a not very well balanced "king" and his troops of hangers-on,
since Bavaria was not officially part of Germany until 1918.

For 4 people I would definitely rent a car - since that way you can see exactly what you want and fit your schedule to the castle tours (you need to find out when the tours in English are available) rather than the train schedule.

But you still need to decide where you will stay for the second part of your week - since driving from Munich to Frankfurt the day you are leaving ( will mean leaving Munich at least 7 hours before flight time - assume more than 4 hours driving, time to drop the car and check in 2 hours in advance) may well mean a middle of the night or very early start.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 6th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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"Would it be cheaper to drive? It looks like its around $300 to rent a car for the week from Munich to Frankfurt? Would it be easier?"

You have to figure the cost for both options. Use www.viamichelin.com for fuel costs. If you traveled by train every day of your trip, using the tickets I outlined above, to the destinations you say you want to see, and also on the day of your flight to reach FRA, you would spend about 300 Euros tops for the entire family. With the car: you could maybe get a Ford Focus wagon, if you pack light, for a week with insurance for around $350 (250 Euros); then add in your fuel costs - you're looking at about 75 Euros just for MUC-Munich-Rothenburg-Oberwesel-FRA without any daytrips by car from Munich or any around the Rhine, so toss in another 50 Euros or so. You're now at 375 Euros for the car vs. 300 for the train, and you haven't paid for parking fees, etc. So no, the car is very unlikely to save you money.

Is it easier with a car? It's not easy to deal with Munich traffic if you're driving out to other places and back in again. It's not easy to deal with the occasional sleazy rental agent either. On the train, you don't have to navigate, and no one has to do the work of driving - everyone gets to sightsee. And you can have a picnic lunch, a beer and a pee without stopping the train. The daypasses allow you to make impromptu changes; you can get off the train in some town on the way for a look around and get back on an hour or two later - trains are very frequent in Germany. A car DOES give you a wider choice off accommodations - you don't have to concern yourself with proximity to the train station. But that's the only truly substantial advantage I can see for the itinerary you have in mind.
Russ is offline  
Nov 6th, 2011, 12:26 PM
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Russ: you can have...a pee without stopping the train.

I knew there was a reason why I like traveling by train in Europe.
easytraveler is offline  
Nov 6th, 2011, 12:40 PM
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I know there are a lot of people who think that all travel in europe should be by train and not by car.

It's up to you to decide what you want. Car may very well be more expensive. But unless you are doing just straight runs from one city to another driving is usually more convenient and gives you the freedom to do what you want when - not tying you to trains - or to trains at particular times if you are buying some sort of special bargain ticket.

We have done many, many road trips in europe and always enjoyed it. Not sensible if you are staying in the centers of large cities but if you are doing a lot of smaller cities, towns and villages usually more convenient and offers you the freedom to stop whenever you see something of interest. To me, being able to exploit serendipity is very valuable.

I must admit I don;t understand the comment about traffic in Munich - since I have been there at least 6 times and never seen anything that looked like heavy traffic (but that's the perspective of a New Yorker). So, for us - small parking spaces that you have to drive around 10 minutes to find, garages that charge $30 to $40 a night, and more than a few other cars on the road is the norm. Also, IMHO drivers in europe are, by and large, more skilled than in the US and driving is easier and more enjoyable.

If cost is a huge factor then trains might not be much more inconvenient - but unless the difference in price is huge (and to me that means differences in thousands, not hundreds) - I will pick a road trip by car any day.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 6th, 2011, 01:01 PM
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Two comments:
1. You've done absolutely NO research, and are willing to accept ideas from complete strangers, whose taste/interests are unknown to you, and who know nothing about your tastes and interests. See anything strange about this? Would you pick a spouse this way? Would you buy a car this way? Do as suggested, read Fodors book on Germany, then come back.
2. The 2 "famous castles" are a far cry from the most interesting castles in Bavaria. Not to mention they are 18th century palaces, not 15th century castles.
tomboy is offline  
Nov 6th, 2011, 01:20 PM
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Well, I would assume you spend a day or 2 in Munich so maybe a 5-day rental. Plus gas. Does your credit card provide rental car insurance?

By car or train you will have to pay admission fees for each person. Teens usually get discounted tickets.

So compare these costs to train fares and those bus tours. No matter what, without a car, you will have to pay to get yourselves from Munich to Frankfurt. By train?

Driving is easy in Germany. However, the speed limits are either non-exisitent or very high. Stay in the right lane except to pass. Or drive on non-freeway country roads.
Mimar is offline  
Nov 6th, 2011, 01:24 PM
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nyt: A recent study carried out by navigation device manufacturers indicates that Munich is the most traffic-jam-plagued city in Germany:

http://www.welt.de/videos/motor/arti....html#autoplay

nyt says a car "offers you the freedom to stop whenever you see something of interest. To me, being able to exploit serendipity is very valuable." I'd agree with this in the case of an extended stay to visit a smaller area. But given the stated destinations, this is a 7-day trip that traverses most of southern Germany with lots of planned outings and little time for each place, much less extra places; it will require keeping a tight schedule. And serendipitous changes of plans can be made with daypasses, which they'd use on all days but 1 or 2.

BTW, the Bayern ticket can be used on the underground, on trams, and on buses within Munich, another source of savings.
Russ is offline  
Nov 6th, 2011, 01:34 PM
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"The 2 "famous castles" are a far cry from the most interesting castles in Bavaria. Not to mention they are 18th century palaces, not 15th century castles."

Did someone call them 15th Century? They are actually 19th century, not 18th. But yeah, I don't think much of the N'stein tour at all.
Russ is offline  

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