Germany/Austria/Poland/Amsterdam

Aug 18th, 2013, 10:32 AM
  #1  
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Germany/Austria/Poland/Amsterdam

My hubby & I are toying with the idea of a trip in late november/early dec. Not sure yet. But we were thinking of maybe austria/germany/poland/holland. Yes, I know, that's a lot of ground to cover. I was hoping maybe someone could help -- I have no idea what the actual travel time between places is. Also-would you have suggestions as to good things to do, places to visit, etc? And is this a good time to come? I know it will be cold but we're ok w/ that. We thought it would be nice to see the christmas markets & the cities decorated. i would also like to go into the country & see some of the castles along the rhine. Could we do that in winter? As far as Amsterdam, I'd really just like a day & night in the city, to visit the Anne Franke house & later the nightlife. I'd like to see some of the castles in the countryside in Germany. I want to take the hot-tug! Hear the Vienna Boys Choir, see the Lippizanner horses (did I spell that right?) Take the Sound of Music tour. The Alps. Aushwitz, the Warsaw ghetto (seems wrong to list those w/ the other things). So many things I don't know where to start. I'm thinking 2-3 wks, not sure yet. Suggestions? Thoughts? Ideas? Thanks!
jojoblais is offline  
Aug 18th, 2013, 10:53 AM
  #2  
 
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HOW will you be traveling -- car or train? If by car, you can go to one of the route calculation websites to see how far it is between cities. I like to use https://www.google.com/maps but there are many others such as www.viamichelin.com or www.theaa.com.

If traveling by train, you can use the DB Bahn website in English to get an idea of the train times and connections:

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

I also think you need to prioritize the cities you REALLY want to see and then plot out the time required to see them.

You also need to check out a few guide books and/or websites for the countries you want to visit. It's not difficult to google "Austria tourism" etc., and see what there is to do that interests you.

You may not be able to do everything you want in the 2-3 weeks you have so be ready to cut down your list. It is much better to have time to really visit a place than just drive through on your way to somewhere else.
bettyk is offline  
Aug 18th, 2013, 12:06 PM
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Two week will really not work. If you can pull off 3 weeks you should be able to see most of the things you want. But you will need to focus in germany - which castles - you can't see the whole thing and will need to focus on one area.

Key is getting open jaw flights so you don't have to waste time backtracking and then deciding if you will travel by train or car. (We usually do a road trip when seeing so many different places in europe - but we have not drive in Poland and I'm not sure of the details of renting a car there and driving to Amsterdam. And suspect doing the latter may be difficult and/or expensive - in terms of drop off charges.)
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 18th, 2013, 12:44 PM
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The place you chose are so distant that you could well consider flying between them.
asps is offline  
Aug 19th, 2013, 02:49 AM
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It would be a sin to visit Auschwitz and skip Krakow, an interesting and beautiful small city. It's one of my favorites. I was underwhelmed by Warsaw, a large, sprawling city with lots of Communist-era architecture, most of what I saw was pretty ugly. If you choose Warsaw then do see the Uprising Museum. I would favor Wroclaw over Warsaw.

Unless Auschwitz is your final destination you need to fly to other places (except Warsaw) as the trains from that region take forever to get any place because of the number of stops they make. There is a 3 hour express train between Krakow and Warsaw.

You do need to narrow down your itinerary as you have too much for 3 weeks.
adrienne is offline  
Jan 27th, 2018, 03:37 AM
  #6  
 
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Jojoblais

Jojoblais
Did you and your husband make this trip? We are planning sort of same trip in September. We are flying in to Scotland for 4 days then Krakow for 4 days then heading to Amsterdam area. We have 10 days between Krakow and Amsterdam. We are wondering train or plane. Should we see anything in Germany? Fly somewhere else near? What did you guys do or suggestions. Thanks a bunch!
chelewill is offline  
Jan 27th, 2018, 06:09 AM
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"Toying with the idea" seems particularly apt in your case.

"I have no idea what the actual travel time between places is."

Well, that's easily remediable with a map and the internet. There is absolutely no reason these days to be clueless about any aspect of travel.

Seems to me that you are just spouting off a random list of possible things you think are available in the areas you want to visit instead of doing some nitty-gritty research on what is possible. I would move away from the "throw darts on a map" approach and get some guidebooks and maps, trawl the internet for the websites of places you want to visit, and fill out a spreadsheet that accurately depicts your travel times and destinations.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 26th, 2019, 09:34 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by chelewill View Post
Jojoblais
Did you and your husband make this trip? We are planning sort of same trip in September. We are flying in to Scotland for 4 days then Krakow for 4 days then heading to Amsterdam area. We have 10 days between Krakow and Amsterdam. We are wondering train or plane. Should we see anything in Germany? Fly somewhere else near? What did you guys do or suggestions. Thanks a bunch!
I've been off this site for such a long time ..... life got in the way & no, we didn't take the trip. We are now back to wanting to travel again, probably sep/oct. But are so up in the air about where we want to go. I'm still interested in the places I was previously, but IDK if the hubby is as much. He's kind of interested in Malta. Right now, I'm very confused, lol
Did YOU ever take the trip?
jojoblais is offline  
Apr 26th, 2019, 09:44 AM
  #9  
 
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Trains will be best for such a wide-reaching itinerary and you may look into a Eurail Select Pass if wanting first-class travel - much more relaxed than 2nd class on many trains - more room for luggage and nicer seats and fewer seats per same size train car.

Trip of a lifetime don't chinch on trains IMO. Good train sites - www.seat61.com - stupendous advice on booking your own discounted train fares well in advance - general info - www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Last edited by Moderator3; Apr 26th, 2019 at 08:26 PM.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 26th, 2019, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Trains will be best for such a wide-reaching itinerary and you may look into a Eurail Select Pass if wanting first-class travel - much more relaxed than 2nd class on many trains - more room for luggage and nicer seats and fewer seats per same size train car.

Trip of a lifetime don't chinch on trains IMO. Good train sites - www.seat61.com - stupendous advice on booking your own discounted train fares well in advance - general info - BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.

With the distances the OP wants to cover, I'd say: fly between destination. Also The Netherlands is the outlier, so I'd scrap it.

Last edited by Moderator3; Apr 26th, 2019 at 08:27 PM.
menachem is offline  
Apr 26th, 2019, 12:25 PM
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The OP also topped her own thread from 5.5 years ago...

Regardless, yes, doing some of ones own basic research regarding average travel times to each destination, what THEY personally want to see, etc. is crucial.

I don't mind helping, but I do bristle at those that expect others to plan their entire trip for them. I'm assuming the OP may have gotten more travel experience in the last 5.5 years and knows that most of his/her questions can be easily answered with a Google search.
Travel_Nerd is offline  
Apr 26th, 2019, 12:58 PM
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OP actually asks a lot of questions about places they would like to visit - are the castles along the Rhine visitable in winter - yes - winter in that part of Germany is usually mild with rarely snow. Even the K-D (k-d.com) boats run along that stretch of Rhine in winter.

I would drop Poland as an outlier - not enough time for all your wishes unless you do 3 weeks.

Maybe land in Amsterdam - spend 2-3 days there

Take train to Rhine Gorge and castles galore. Stay in a cute Rhineside town like St Goar or Boppard or Rudesheim, etc. Take train or boat to Marksburg Castle, about only castle on this stretch of Rhine not destroyed in wars. 2 nights - even smaller towns have Christmas Markets.

Train to Munich - great Christmas Markets there and in nearby towns like Nurnberg
day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich - 'Mad' Ludwig's Neuschwanstein fantasy castle - the most popular tourist sight in Germany I read and next to it is an older castle. Lovely train ride thru countryside and Fussen where train takes you (bus few kms to the castles) is another nice town with Christmas Market. 3-4 nights

Train to Salzburg, Austria - base there for 3 nights to do Sound of Music Tour one day and visit Salzburg's dreamy castle on a hill in town. To experience high Alps take train and or buses to Hallstatt and the awesome high Alps. 2 nights

Take train to Vienna - 3 nights

That's 16 nights

If another week then take train from Vienna to Krakow - 8 hrs but there is a direct overnight train that makes sense and experience Europe's neat overnight trains.
Day trip to Auschwitz by bus or train
Day trip to UNESCO World Heritage Site Wieliczka (sp?) Salt Mines - where huge rooms have been carved out of the salt with chandeliers and stuff - just a few miles south of Krakow
3-4 nights

Take train to Warsaw and fly home from there.

Well that's a sample itinerary that could work and fulfill most of your wishes. And yes a Eurail Select Pass or 15 ow 21 consecutive day pass could work well - in all those countries you can hop on nearly every train without formality - if over 28 they are first class - if under 29 there are youth passes in 2nd class that are bargains.

Cheers!

Last edited by Moderator1; Apr 26th, 2019 at 10:15 PM.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 27th, 2019, 08:25 AM
  #13  
 
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to see Cologne Cathedral book train Amsterdam - Cologne-Rhine with a stopover of say 2 hours in Cologne - otherwise a full day in Cologne would not have much for the average tourist to do.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 27th, 2019, 08:58 AM
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<<
Right now, I'm very confused, lol
Did YOU ever take the trip?>>

Well, you have zero excuses to be confused. There are thousands of guidebooks and maps, internet sites, videos, travel forums, and such to help you sort it out. There is no excuse for being helpless. Do some homework, come to some agreement with your husband on destinations, then come back with at least the outline of a plan.

<<Did YOU ever take the trip?>> Which trip? I've taken hundreds of trips all over Europe (haven't been to Malta, though). Why does that matter? This is YOUR trip. YOU plan it. Plenty of people here will help you sort out the details when you've laid the groundwork.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 27th, 2019, 10:27 AM
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
to see Cologne Cathedral book train Amsterdam - Cologne-Rhine with a stopover of say 2 hours in Cologne - otherwise a full day in Cologne would not have much for the average tourist to do.
It would, if people weren't constantly hearing that there's nothing to see or do in Cologne.
menachem is offline  
Apr 27th, 2019, 10:39 AM
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There is a lot of things to see in Cologne? Yes but for someone on a quick tour of 4 countries will IME find their time spend better elsewhere to fulfill their dreams of a romantic Europe - the sights there are besides the cathedral are of marginal interest to many - I spent 40 days in Cologne and as an avid runner I ran all over the city - yes many old churches and a neat Turkish area and a noted art museum next to cathedral. A nice city but one not as nice to yes the average first-time tourist with a lot on their plate.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 27th, 2019, 10:47 AM
  #17  
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Thank you to those of you who have attempted to be helpful. I very much appreciate it.

I am astounded at the snotty responses from others. First of all - some of us haven't had the good fortune to be able to do the amount of traveling that you have. And so our familiarity with certain things is not the same.

I'm not asking anyone to plan my trip for me. And I'm not an idiot. I am well aware that I can google anything, I can buy and read guide books, I can find out mileage bet places. I can go to websites.

One of the problems is the overwhelming amt of information. There are SO many things i want to do & it's hard to narrow it down.
And every country's website is going to tell you how wonderful things are in that country.

I was hoping for PERSONAL recommendations. The kind of things your friends would tell you when they came home. What they really enjoyed. What was over-hyped. Did they stay in a particularly nice hotel-beautiful spot/rooms/staff. Was there an amazing restaurant? Did they do a fabulous tour, or is there a great site that maybe isn't as famous & you might try instead? Is there a tour or site that was horribly over-priced & not worth it? If you had to choose between one famous site over another - which would you recommend & why? Knowing what you know now, was there something you would have done differently?

No book or website or google search will give you those personal insights. I thought that's what this forum was for. So peo could have friendly discussions w/ others.
jojoblais is offline  
Apr 27th, 2019, 10:48 AM
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>>otherwise a full day in Cologne would not have much for the average tourist to do.<<

One of the least accurate things I've seen on here

>>Trains will be best for such a wide-reaching itinerary and . . . <<

>>Yes but for someone on a quick tour of 4 countries will IME find their time spend better elsewhere to fulfill their dreams of a romantic Europe<<

It seems you are only looking at the original 2013 plans. Its now 6 years later, the new 'possible' trip is at a different time of year for we don't know how many days and Malta is now in the mix.

The OP really hasn't made much headway refining their plans/ideas in those six years, so to even talk about whether 4 hours or 4 days is enough for Cologne is just a bit premature. . .
janisj is offline  
Apr 27th, 2019, 10:50 AM
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4 days is more than enough for Cologne, even for menachem I bet!
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 27th, 2019, 10:52 AM
  #20  
 
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Didn't see you latest post - we were posting at the same time.

>>I was hoping for PERSONAL recommendations. <<

We can give you ALL sorts of personal recommendations -- but you need to at least have a basic idea/framework so we can help you.

#1 question . . . How many days -- the OP 6 years ago mentioned 2-3 weeks . . . that alone makes a huge difference.
janisj is offline  

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