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LHarbar Feb 15th, 2014 07:04 PM

Germany-berlin marathon
I need help...I've never been to Germany and am running the Marathon Sept. 29. Help needed with post Berlin plans. We'll see Berlin before Marathon but have 4 nights post marathon to enjoy Germany. I can only wish marathon in Munich as the things that interest me most are around there...Rothenburg, Nuremburg, Salzburg and the castles near Fussen. I am so perplexed on how to best invest our time. I would just love to get the real Germany experience (quaint towns, biergartens, history.) I realize it's right in the midst of Ockoberfest and I do love me some beer but I don't want to get caught up in the circus atmosphere and crowds. I'm just betting there's awesome beer everywhere in Germany:) Suggestions, such a short amount of time. Thank you for input!!

Cowboy1968 Feb 15th, 2014 09:23 PM

Oktoberfest affects only Munich proper. And especially the availability of hotel rooms here.
For travels to Salzburg, Füssen, Rothenburg etc. it has no importance. So you can choose and go wherever you want. Just not to all four potential destinations you mentioned.

You should look into open jaw flights, i.e. TO Berlin but BACK from Munich. So you don't have to backtrack to Berlin after your 4 nights in the South.
Technically, there is one downside to this as most flights to the US leave in the AM hours. Which means that you'd need to spend your last night in Munich or near the airport where you would pay Oktoberfest prices.
To avoid this, you could check flights from Nuremberg. It will mean another connection but you'd save the pricey hotel in Munich or trecking to Frankfurt.

If you wanted to see Nuremberg and Rothenburg, you could spend your 4 nights in that area (Franconia), and add Bamberg or Würzburg. As this is Bavaria's wine country, it will be bit more wine than beer and oompah but beer gardens exist everywhere also in Franconia.

MyTownHAM Feb 15th, 2014 09:29 PM

I can see your predicament... 4 nights translate into full 3 days... not enough to see even the few places you listed, unless you rush through them. This is what I would recommend, assuming your return flight is out of Munich:
1 - Start early!! Rent a car in Berlin (one-way with drop-off in Munich), get a good road map from your car rental agency or the ADAC (the German Automobile Club) and take the Autobahn towards Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber. Note: there are many "Rothenburge" in Germany, so make sure it's this one. (Distance: 530 km or 330 miles/5 hours - Alternate: fly Berlin to Nuremburg, then rent the car). Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber is the most medieval town anywhere in the country - a real gem and a great place to spend the rest of your first day and evening, because Nuremberg is just big enough to get lost trying to find your way around (thus wasting time while seeing nothing). For the night, book a "nice" room (including breakfast) in the nearby town of Schillingsfürst at "Flair Hotel - Die Post", Rothenburger Strasse 1 (Rothenburg, 13 miles away, is overpriced).
2 - Schillingsfürst to Neuschwanstein Castle near Füssen & Schwangau (240 km or 150 miles/2 1/2 hours): It's as picturesque as the posters promise. Climb up the winding road or take a horse-drawn carriage, then the guided tour of this "fairy-tale" king's dream castle.... 27 km (30 min.) from here - on the way to Munich - is the "Wieskirche" (Pilgrimage Church of Wies), another "must" when in the area and a further 40 km (25 miles) you'll find King Ludwig II's other dream home, the "Linderhof Palace" near Ettal Abbey (in the middle of nowhere but easily accessible by car). None of it is really a big detour, but certainly worthwhile seeing....
This will have taken given you some insight into the romantic side of Germany. But now it's on to Munich, your last stop before returning home (and adding Salzburg would be a killer)!!
Stay in the downtown area (near "Frauenkirche" - Our Lady's Church), have a beer or two or more, some crispy Bavarian pork hocks and sauerkraut (it all goes well together) and enjoy some people-watching. I always recommend hopping on a tour bus to discover the city highlights, without missing anything or getting lost in a big, strange city ---- Reflect on what you have seen:2 of the 3 largest German cities, Berlin (1) and Munich (3)... sadly, you'll have missed Hamburg (2), my hometown and "numero uno" by a country mile, but that's for another trip ;o)) ... and the beautiful countryside while discovering places from a time long past...
Whatever you decide to do, enjoy!! ...and, good luck with the Marathon. I hope you'll better your all time record!!
P.S. Germany has over 1250 breweries... you'll never run out of beer, no matter how hard you try!! Prosit!!!

MyTownHAM Feb 15th, 2014 09:48 PM

I forgot to add a few links for you... here they are: ------- ------- -------- -------- -------- ------- -------

MyTownHAM Feb 15th, 2014 09:54 PM

... another of the many "senior moments" I have to deal with...

TRY TO BOOK AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE IN ADVANCE (FLIGHT, CAR RENTAL, HOTEL)... you'll benefit from the best deals on offer.

Also, check Auto-Europe, a U.S. outfit specialized in offering great car rental deals for Europe:

LHarbar Feb 15th, 2014 10:00 PM

AHH, great information. I've just been at such a loss. I don't want to waste time and in the meantime not see anything. I've been a little leary of renting car as we will be two femaies with no knowledge of the area but my gut was this would be best use of time as opposed to train. At this point I realize salzburg would be adding too much. Definatly would rather enjoy the small amount of time taking in Germany soaking in local ambiance. I'll look into Schillingsfurst as an option. Very helpful, thanks so much...

LHarbar Feb 15th, 2014 10:02 PM

Wow, and that's just a few links...overwhelming!! I'll get busy:)

MyTownHAM Feb 15th, 2014 10:36 PM

Why not rent a GPS from the car rental agency (just make sure they have one that talks to you in English) or buy one at home to take along with you (loaded with German/European maps).
It'll come really handy when driving in a town and if need to bem just stop at a gas station and consult your road/street map.
Autobahn driving is much easier, as long as you DO NOT pass anyone on the right side... that's a definite no-no. Instead, just stay in the right lane, take it easy and let the Beemers, Mercedes and Audis careen past you on your left with 130+ mph. After no time you'll get the hang of it.

LHarbar Mar 7th, 2014 06:22 PM

For some reason I'm hesitant to rent a car but now I think the best thing is to rent a car, spend two nights in Rothenburg for and then head to fussen for 2 nights and last night in Munich. Anyone have favorite hotels, amibence and local feel. Never know, may not make it back so want to do it right. Question: I'm interested in WW2, will there be time to take in Nuremburg or should I just go straight to Fussen to enjoy Bavaria. Would also be interested in Eagles Nest, do you think there's time for this as well as the Castles? I'm sure this is discombobulated but I need to begin to nail down some rooms and plans.

dfourh Mar 7th, 2014 07:20 PM

If you only have 4 nights, I would keep it simple. From Berlin, take a direct train 4 hours to Bamberg. Bamberg is lovely, and has the best beer scene in all of Germany. From there it's an hour by train to Nuremberg. If you split your nights between Bamberg and Nurmburg you can do a day trip (an hour each way) to Rothenburg o.d.t. Then fly home from Munich or Frankfurt, whatever is more convenient.

The advantages to this is: it is very low stress and maximum ease as travel goes (distance driving in Germany can be a hassle); you get great beer, see some great stuff, take it at a nice pace, and have fun. Simple, sensual, and sweet. If you rent a car, the stresses start to mount real fast, especially in such a short time frame. I would save Salzburg and the castles for the next trip.

LHarbar Mar 8th, 2014 06:02 AM

d, that is good advice I know. It's just so tempting to want to cram it all in. Thank you for a sensible spin, maybe I should reevaluate...

dfourh Mar 9th, 2014 02:42 PM

The thing is, driving in Germany, particularly on the Autobahn, can be really miserable (back roads can be delightful - - but don't work for really long trips). Some of it depends on your days of travel (watch out big time for the frequent holiday starts/ends in the different Germany states) but the "staus" can be awful. If you listen to the traffic radio, it is a long litany of delays, some of which can be extreme. I try to avoid long car trips as much as possible.

LHarbar Mar 24th, 2014 07:33 PM

OK, if anyone is still bearing with me, I've restructured. We will fly from Berlin to Munich early Mon. morning. I've booked a hotel in Munich, although have cancellation option. I initially thought I'd stay in Mittenwald as base but got worried about train connections to Castles. It sounds so complicated. I had also wanted to see Dachau, although realistically this could be done from Mittenwald to Munich on day trip. Just can't decide because of Ockoberfest. It just appeared that there were better day trip options out of Munich, although the idea of staying in scenic Mittenwald is very appealing. Any additional thoughts?? Also, if you were going to choose between Mittenwald or Rothenburg, what's your pick??

29FEB Jun 5th, 2014 11:17 AM

I realize this is late in the game, but we were in Berlin during the 2013 Marathon.

Saw <u>so</u> many runners who could barely move the days after - limping up stairs, almost collapsed in elevators. They were elated to have run the race, but were certainly paying a price.

I'm sure you're aware of post-run situations, so this is just a reminder to plan days after thoughtfully.
Good luck and good for you!

Dukey1 Jun 5th, 2014 12:25 PM

The best thing is NOT to rent a car in Berlin if all the stuff you really want to do is IN MUNICH.

The fastest train trip between the two takes a little over 6 hours; you can get there on an Airberlin flight for a little over $100 and that takes 1 hr 15 minutes.

You can get to the castles in Fuessen by rail as well as to Salzburg; you can even get to R-burg by rail with one change but you'd probably want a car for that. I would not rent a car for things in Munich and if you cannot get a cheap hotel room in Munich rent a car and stay in nearby Augsburg.

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