Frankfurt or Mainz, or ???

Old May 17th, 2022, 10:12 AM
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Frankfurt or Mainz, or ???

Hi all! I've rebooked my trip to Germany with my son from our canceled trip in March 2020. This time we're flying into Frankfurt and out of Munich, plus we have a few more nights. We're still sticking roughly to the same itinerary, which is as follows:

November 23, arrive in Frankfurt - spend 3 nights somewhere...I had booked an airbnb in Mainz and was hoping to use the credit that the owner issued, but he has not responded to my message and although his listing is still active on airbnb, all the dates are crossed out which makes me suspect I've lost that money. So, if you were me and my 26yo son, would you spend three nights in Frankfurt and take a day trip to Cologne, or would you stay elsewhere? I could skip Cologne, but my son really wants to go there. Other day trips? maybe we should stay one night in Frankfurt and two in Cologne, or use Koblenz as a base? Koblenz might be a good base for a day trip to Trier. So hard to decide.

November 26-29 - 3 nights in Freiburg. Probably a day trip to Colmar, maybe Basel.

November 29-30 - 2 nights in Fussen. 3 castles, two nights, worth a short stay IMO.

December 1-3 - 2 nights in Munich. Leaving on the 3rd. Not planning any day trips.

As always, thanks for your thoughts!
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Old May 17th, 2022, 01:29 PM
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Frankfurt is ok - has its detractors here, it's a big city with pockets of charm but also a lot of less attractive parts and a safety issue near the station. Much has been done to clean it up and it can be useful if you feel you want to stay near the airport as it's only 12 minutes away by train. For myself I like Mainz, but I see you have already discovered it - only about 40 mins west of the airport and an ideal place to crash out the first day. Lots to see and do in Mainz so it's not just a good base but a destination in its own right. Wiesbaden is almost as good. Location-wise it is equal, just on the right bank of the river. It has a lot of beautiful 19th century architecture. If you want a counter-point to Mainz, look at Wiesbaden. Fewer museums or attractions than Mainz but OK as a base. Cologne is definitely worth a visit, but a day, not an overnight. The cathedral is the big drawcard, but the museums in Cologne are also very good. The city was destroyed during WWII and was rebuilt in an unattractive style so don't expect pretty buildings there. I have never stayed in Koblenz and certainly if you felt you wanted to explore the Mosel region, Koblenz would make a good base, but with only 3 days (or 2, not counting the jetlag day) I would stick to the Rhine and probably Mainz, which is much more of a hub.

Lavandula
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Old May 17th, 2022, 01:58 PM
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Thanks! I knew there was a reason I picked it, and I think it was because of the easy access to other areas by train. I've purposely put off doing a ton of planning this time because of the uncertainty of covid!
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Old May 17th, 2022, 02:14 PM
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Well, with only 2 days you will have to be discriminating - perhaps a day in Mainz doing the sights there and a day on the river - a Rhine cruise north leaving from Mainz up to Koblenz and then train down one of the river banks visiting the little towns. I like the right bank better myself, but if you find yourself on the wrong side for whatever you wanted to see, there are ferries across the river. Don't take a cruise up to Cologne, it's too far and there is some fairly unattractive scenery up to Cologne. I don't know when you will fit in your day trip to Cologne, that would be another day on top of what you have planned. Can you budget more time?

Lavandula
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Old May 17th, 2022, 02:34 PM
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If we don't stay in Cologne, we'll have three nights in Mainz, so we could take a daytrip to Cologne, have a day on the river, and a day exploring Mainz and Wiesbaden.
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Old May 17th, 2022, 04:27 PM
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Yes, but don't count on much for the first day unless you are coming from the UK or Europe. If you are coming from North America or Australia you might be quite jetlagged and won't want to do much on the first day - maybe just get your bearings around the hotel, maybe a meal, and then late afternoon time to sleep it off. Also you have not included travel days in your itinerary, so Nov 26 will also be taken up by travelling and will be out of the mix for sightseeing. You will need to do this for everywhere in your itinerary. I would set it out like this:

Nov 23 arrival and jetlag day. Night in Mainz
Nov 24 Mainz
Nov 25 Mainz
Nov 26 travel to Freiburg
Nov 27 Freiburg
Nov 28 Freiburg
Nov 29 travel to Füssen; night in Füssen
Nov 30 Füssen
Dec 1 travel to Munich; night in Munich
Dec 2 Munich
Dec 3 depart Munich

If you look at it like this you will actually see you have travel days which don't allow for much sightseeing. You only have one full day in Füssen on the ground (I assume you want to do Neuschwanstein from there), even if you have part of your travel day, and one full day in Munich. That may be OK - if you only have 10 days, that's what you have - but you will have to plan accordingly.

Lavandula
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Old May 18th, 2022, 07:21 AM
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Yes, I don't really care about seeing Neuschwanstein but my son does, so we'll go there and also visit Hohenschwangau. Thanks for your help, Lavandula, and helping me keep the limitations of moving so often in perspective! I usually go to a city and stay there except for one or two day trips at the most, but there is always so much to see and this is my son's first trip to Europe. Can't wait!
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