Germany and Austrian six-week trip

Old Sep 25th, 2012, 05:43 PM
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Germany and Austrian six-week trip

Hello again. The following information was originally in another thread, but it was getting a bit big and stale so I have started this new one.

To recap: My wife and I are travelling mainly through Germany and Austria next May-June for six weeks. With the help of a number of Fodorites we are very close to finalising our itinerary but have just a couple of loose ends. Our plan is:

1. Fly into Munich - stay 4 nights
2. 4 nights Garmisch-Partenkirchen
3. 4 nights Berchtesgaden
4. 3 nights Salzburg
5. 2 nights St Gilgen
6. 5 nights Vienna
7. 3 nights Prague
8. 2 nights Dresden
9. 4 nights Berlin
10. 3 nights Hamburg
11. 3 nights Bruges
12. 2 nights Amsterdam - fly back to Oz from Schiphol

With the above itinerary, we still have 2 nights yet to fill.

My wife suggested having a look at Heidelberg and Rothenburg, so my question is:

Is it possible to see both places over 2 nights using public transport initially from Munich? Remembering that after the second night, we would need to make our way to Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Any help from fellow posters would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance, Steve.
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 06:58 PM
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So you want to drop Munich from 4 nights to 2 in order to spend 1 night in each of Heidelberg and Rothenburg, and then travel from one of them to GP for your next night? With one of the two Munich nights being your jet-lagged arrival day?

That is a really a stretch objective and I don't think many would sign up for it on a logistical basis or as a reasonable allotment of time. You would have only 2 nights in Munich before taking a couple of 2-3 hour trips for single night stays in each of RodT and Heidelberg to immediately end up in the Alps for 13 nights over 4 locations that are all within 3 hours of each other (and 3 of them are only 60 minutes from each other).

If it were me, and I really wanted to see RodT (which I would) and Heidelberg (which I wouldn't) I would take some days from those 13 Alps days to accomplish it.

Are you avid hikers who plan to hoof around the Alps daily for 6 or so of the 8 days allotted for GP and Berchtesgaden??
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 07:41 PM
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Hi Aramis. I'm sorry, but you have misunderstood. I mentioned that "with the above itinerary, we still have 2 nights to fill". In other words, we fly into Munich and have planned for spend 39 nights as outlined in the itinerary. However, we do not fly out until AFTER the 41st night. We still have 2 nights more to spend somewhere in Europe. We certainly will not be reducing our 4-night stay in Munich.

BTW, our original plan was to spend 7 nights in Munich and a few days each in GP and Berchtesgaden, but we were inundated with posters imploring that we spend far more time in the Alps rather than in Munich.

You mentioned that you would not stay in Heidelberg. So would we be better off staying in Rothenburg for 2 nights?
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 09:16 PM
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I think you will be bored to tears staying so long in Rothenburg. Give it a couple of hours to walk around if you like, but if you want a more authentic, medieval town, not filled with buses and souvenir stores, there are better ones. Büdingen would be my suggestion. Heidelberg is worth a stop, but you don't have to stay there overnight. Würzburg would also be good.

Have you considered traveling down the Rhine for a day or so? Or on your way north, a stop in Erfurt, Quedlinburg or Lübeck?
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 10:53 PM
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I would spend more time in Amsterdam, with perhaps a day trip to Delft by train.
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 03:58 AM
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Sorry, that misinterpretation was my fault, not yours.

You can surely fit 2 nights in somewhere north of Munich. I don't know if I would split them 1/1 between Heidelberg and Rothenburg. Unless you are avid hikers, mountaineers (in Oz?), or just love to sit gazing at mountains for days, I really do think that 13 days in the Alps is a lot. Berchtesgaden, Salzburg (glorious), and St. Gilgen are all within 60 minutes of each other

I have been to RodT 3 times and will return. In no way does it bore me to tears. It is at its best between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m., and you don't get that unless you stay overnight. While not chock full of majestic sites, it makes a good base to see some other places in the area; Nurnberg, Wurzburg, and Dinkelsbuehl, for example, all within 90 minutes by train or bus. With 2 days there, you have quite a few options
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 06:21 AM
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Hi Aramis. Your point about staying overnight in RodT is the reason I planned an overnight stay. We learned on our last (8-week) trip through Europe that the best time in touristy places is after the day-trippers have all left.

St Mark's Square in Venice was a comparitive ghost town after 6pm - wonderful!

As far as hiking, mountaineering etc. Again, we have learned when travelling for a longer period - I know a lot of Americans are unable to travel for longer than a few weeks - like we do, we sometimes just want to veg out. Have a laundry day; grab a coffee and not do much else. It gives you a second wind prior to the next adventure. We were told that the Alpine region in Germany/Austria was idea for just that.
But, that said, we are open for suggestions if you can think of places better spent than 13 days in Alpine territory.

Hi Cathinjoetown. You know, after I had already submitted my original post here, I thought whoops - someone is going to think we are mad only staying in Amsterdam for 2 nights. I should have explained. On our last trip we spent 7 nights in Amsterdam and had the most wonderful time ever. Love the place. This time around, we simply wanted to spend a little more time in Bruges because we only stayed there for 2 nights last time. It is not possible to fly out of Bruges (or even Brussels) back to Oz, so we opted for Amsterdam as our outgoing city because we love it so much. So, it really is just a nice place to revisit prior to heading back home.

Mainhattengirl - got to be from the Big Apple with that moniker! Thanks for your suggestions. I will research them all and see what we can do to visit some of the places you recommended.

Thank you all, once again. Keep the suggestions coming!
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 06:46 AM
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What are you going to do with say 4 nights in Berchestgaden or Garmish?

maybe take a day away from both and stay overnight in both Hiedelberg and Rothenburg, two of Germany's most romantic and gorgeous cities - but ones that can easily be seen in a half day or so.

and yes if you have not been to Amsterdam - I think you have - then two more nights there would be great.
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 04:54 PM
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Hi Palen. I'm sorry, I must not be explaning myself very well. The two nights are additional to the itinerary outlined above. We don't need to take any days from anywhere to make up those two days - they are additional and currently unaccounted for. So it sounds like you would agree with my initial idea of staying in both Rothenburg and Hiedelberg for a night each.

To answer your other question, our plan is:

Berchestgaden:
1. Take a boat trip on the Koenigsee
2. Visit Eagle's Nest
3. Visit obersalzburg Salt Mines

Garmish:
1. Head to Fussen and see both of Ludwig's castles
2. Visit Schloss Linderhof to see the Ludwig's version of Versailles
3. Have a look at Oberammergau and Mittenwald

If you have more "must see" suggestions, please share.

On Amsterdam, yes I explained in my last post that we spent a week there in April this year and loved it. We are only returning there as a logical outbound city for our flight back to Oz after having spent a few days in Bruges. We are staying two nights, however, rather than just the one we need to fly out, BECAUSE we love Amsterdam so much!
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 01:42 PM
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If you have more "must see" suggestions, please share.?

Have you been to Herrenchiemsee, Mad Ludwig's clone, kind of, of Versailles ( a k a the Bavarian Versailles) lovingly plopped on an island in the placid Chiemsee - a short train ride from Berchtesgaden to Prien from whose station you can take an tiny steam train down to the docks or do a short walk for boats to the island the lovely palace is on.

I enjoyed this Mad Ludwig castle as much as any - I thoroughly enjoyed them all Ersatz or not - a surprise at every turn!
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Old Oct 5th, 2012, 07:27 AM
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Visit Schloss Linderhof to see the Ludwig's version of Versailles>

perhaps I was mistaken about the Bavarian Versailles being Herrenchiemsee Palace - I'll have to check that out!
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Old Oct 5th, 2012, 07:42 AM
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For the things you want to do in Berchtesgaden, the tour, the Koenigsee, etc., you do not need four nights and then another four in Garmisch? Too many IMO The Ludwig "version of Versailles is the palace at Herrenchiemsee.

Munich itself is worth at least two nights IMO; Rothenburg you can do in one full day.
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Old Oct 5th, 2012, 09:39 AM
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http://www.herrenchiemsee.de/englisc...lace/index.htm

yes indeedy - official site explains how it was patterned on Versailles by the ego-maniacal King 'Mad' Ludwig - check out his dour picture on the site!
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Old Oct 10th, 2012, 07:07 AM
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Hi Palen, Dukey

Thanks for your info. I don't know where I got Schloss Linderhof from then. What is the significance of that castle if it has nothing to do with Versaille?
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Old Oct 10th, 2012, 09:18 AM
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Linderhof I believe was Mad Ludwig's hunting lodge - or hunting palace really - if I recall right it has many hunting trophies - stuffed critters in it - I enjoyed Linderhof very very much even though it were a long time ago and I do not recall a lot - would certainly include it as a main thing and an easy commute by bus from Garmisch (via Oberammergau I believe, another city worth a look.
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Old Oct 10th, 2012, 10:07 AM
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Hi steve,

sorry i can't help re the Linderhof controversy, but i can suggest that you add your two days to Dresden. so much to see and do there with boat trips, bike rides by the Elbe, the Bastion, plus the sights of Dresden which are going to take at least a day. we only had two nights there and felt really short-changed.

and while you're in Berlin [or en route between Dresden and Berlin] do make time for Potsdam. IMO the Sans Souci palace is well worth a trip by itself:

http://www.potsdam.de/cms/beitrag/10001008/34080/
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Old Oct 10th, 2012, 10:59 AM
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It really is interesting to see how we all have different ideas how to manage your time!! i was going to suggest shortening your time to one overnight in Dresden, we spent about 4 hours there and that was plenty of time to see the restored "old town" area. If you are traveling from Prague you can arrive early in the day and if you leave mid day the next day to travel to Berlin that would be, IMO, enough time in Dresden.
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Old Oct 10th, 2012, 11:54 AM
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If you are traveling from Prague you can arrive early in the day and if you leave mid day the next day to travel to Berlin that would be, IMO, enough time in Dresden.>>

if Dresden were only the restored "old town", snowflake, i might agree with you. but as you will see from what I've posted, it isn't. There's the Neustadt for example which is "neu" only in the sense that it isn't alt ie it's 18th century. Fascinating to wander round for a few hours. then there are the other things I mentioned as well - which obviously you didn't have time for either.

you might not be interested in those things, but that doesn't mean that they aren't worth doing!
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Old Oct 10th, 2012, 12:20 PM
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Hi Steve, we are jsut back in Oz after 5 weeks in Germany and I hope to start posting a trip report later today. We covered some of the same ground that you are planning so you may be interested in how we spent our time.

Incidentally, I think that King Ludwig admired the French aristocracy and almost all of his palaces show some influence from Versailles. Linderhof is a small palace in a lovely setting - there are only a handful of rooms but they are exquisite.
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Old Oct 10th, 2012, 03:41 PM
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Annhig, I was only making a suggestion....as noted when I started out my comments...we all have different ideas on how to manage our time and how long we want to stay in each place!!!
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