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EllyJo1967 Jul 24th, 2020 11:42 AM

Germany 2021
I'am starting to plan my first trip to Germany. I know that I want to see Romantic road, but I also want to go to Brunsbuttel (near Hamburg and where my father was from) and Lubeck. Does anyone have any suggestions? Or a recommendation for a tour company? I want some structure but also some free time to explore. Thank you . Elly

janisj Jul 24th, 2020 12:14 PM

Welcome to Fodors. IME, when specific destinations are a must, especially a place such as Brunsbuttel, a group tour is seldom the best option. Where are you traveling from? Germany is a very (VERY) easy country to navigate on one's own.

Christina Jul 24th, 2020 02:10 PM

Brunsbuttel is a common stop for cruises as it's a very busy port and the entry to a canal, but I think those are closed down. I wouldn't go on one anyway. It's popular on cycling tours, also. Some reviews on Tripadvisor say Silversea does a good cruise on that canal.

But now is not a time to check those out.

I haven't done a tour is years, so don't know best companies in Germany. Collette is good, I think, and has one of the Romantic Rd.

Rick Steves has one that starts in Hamburg and ends in Berlin. I think he does a pretty good job in Germany, he likes it, and his tours may be smaller and have some interesting activities, if you are more active. I think you can get a roommate if you want one, also, not sure, to help costs. I don't think that's the Romantic Road, though.

The problem is for any tour like that, you'd have to add on Lubeck and Brunsbuttel on your own. Which you could do, that are near the starting point of Hamburg, if you have a tour that starts there like Steves'. But if you are going to do that on your own, might as well do the rest on your own, probably.

The Romantic Rd is a very popular tourist route so you can probably find a tour of that area, and then you've have to add the other two on your own.

Now is not a good time to look for tours, either, actually. YOu might look for "tours" that are really more like packages, although they throw in a few overview city tours or something. But they handle the transport, baggage, hotel reservations, etc., so can be convenient if you don't want to do all those details. They usually give you much more free time and meals on-your-own than a fully escorted/guided tour. I've taken a couple of those and liked them as I liked the logistics and baggage all being taken care of, but having my free time to eat or do what I wanted a lot. The company I used was budget but doesn't exist anymore, unfortunately. I did that in a country where I still wouldn't go on my own for safety reasons, though, as well as too difficult to navigate on your own, and Germany isn't like that. It is kind of hard to find the close itinerary you want though

PatrickLondon Jul 26th, 2020 11:00 PM

You could consider getting yourself about between key centres by train, and using local excursion/tour offerings.

bilboburgler Jul 27th, 2020 09:27 AM

Romantic Road is just a marketing thing made up by tourism officials. Enjoy.

I'd certainly visit Lubeck which is special but also go roughly due south to Luneburg which has a similar wonderful centre.

I'd try to avoid a coach tour. Just they tend to be a bit rushed. Trains, cars of bicycles are the way to go. Germany is crisscrossed with many bicycle paths so easy to do.

EllyJo1967 Jul 29th, 2020 07:47 AM

Germany 2021
I would just like to say thank you to everyone who responded to my query. I have found a tour that included Hamburg with some free time. Taking train/bus to travel to Brunnsbuttel and Lubeck. Now I have about 15 months to learn how to , no doubt, slaughter the German language. I should have pressed my father to learn the language years ago. Thanks again to all. Elly

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