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Germany -- by car or train in August/September?

Germany -- by car or train in August/September?

Feb 28th, 2010, 02:26 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 103
Germany -- by car or train in August/September?

Hi folks,

I wonder if I could get your thoughts on whether to rent a car for my four weeks in Germany or try to buy train tickets at the sale price a few months ahead.
My itinerary is as follows:
- Bacharach, 3 nights,
-Cochem, 3 nights
-Baden-Baden, 3 nights,
- Lindau, 4 nights,
-Fussen, 4 nights
-Munich, 4 nights,
-Rothenburg, 3 nights,
-Berlin, 4 nights.
I've used Sixt low-cost car rentals and been pleased by their rates, etc., but the kicker is you have to return the car to the same locale for those rates. That would mean Mannheim, Stuttgart or Munich.
We're active types so we spend our days doing lots of hiking and not so much driving.
Thanks in advance for your advice.
swanny65 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2010, 02:42 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,005
With this itinerary, it might be reasonable to rent a car in order to be able to explore the countryside. Except that a car will be a hindrance in Berlin.

If there is really no better rate than the return-to-the-same-station special rate, rent the car in Frankfurt (I assume you will fly into Frankfurt) and return it in Frankfurt after staying in Rothenburg. Then take the train from Frankfurt to Berlin.

Or speak to Sixt and ask them if they are flexible. Or try Europcar, Avis, Hertz. Try also http://www.holidayautos.com or another broker.
Echnaton is offline  
Feb 28th, 2010, 04:30 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,339
Your plan; the Rhein/Mosel, Bodensee, Alps, Romantic Road, would be best served by dirving, I think. The best bits are all in the journey through the landscape and the small towns and vistas along the way.

Car rental rates and the absence of drop fees (your Sixt experience notwithstanding) make Germany the cheapest place to rent car in Europe.
Aramis is offline  
Feb 28th, 2010, 04:33 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,431
Why don't you re-arrange your itinerary a bit and then cover the long distances by train, the local travelling by car. For example: FRA airport to Koblenz by train. Stay there and do day trips by boat/train (one way by boat, return by train)along the Rhein and the Mosel. You can get some heavily discounted train faresfor these day trips, pourchased at the local RR station.. Check www.bahn.de

Then get a car in Koblenz and do Rotheburg, Baden-Baden - Lindau, via Black Forest Valley road (Schwarzwald Thaelerstrasse), Meersburg. After Lindau drive to Fuessen via Hindelang - Oberjoch. After Fuessen drive to Munich via Garmischp Partenkirchen. Return car in Munich. Either take the train or fly to Berlin. If you book the train on the internet (again www.bahn.de) 92 days prior to departure, you can get a "Sparkarte" ticket from Munich to Berlin for anyhere between EUR 29 and EUR49. These tickets are capacity controlled (i.e. there are not many issued, you have to book quickly), non-refundable and are good for a specific train. Just last week I booked a ticket on an ICE train from Berlin to Wuerzburg. I took advantage of the 8 hours time difference, booked on day 93 at 4:30PM (12:30 AM on day 92 in Germany).

A possible variation would be to drive Koblenz - Baden - Baden - Lindau, and visit Rothenburg after Munich, return the car in Wuerzburg.

Pro: You have the car to do some sightseeing from Munich; CON: a car in Munich is a pain in the neck. You can also do sightseeing from Mun ich by train, but the trip Munich - Berchtesgaden - Salzburg via the Alpenstrasse is particularly scenic.

It used to be that if you pick up the car somewhere in Germany and return it anywhere else in Germany, there was no drop-off charge. Now, Hertz charges me EUR20 for pick-up in Wuerzburg, drop-off in Munich. Still much less than cross-border drop-offs.

Of course, there are also some good flight from Munich to Berlin. Check Air Berlin.
treplow is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 06:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 103
Hi again,
Thanks very much to you three for your thoughtful suggestions. They raise some great points, and I'll definitely follow up. Excellent advice.
swanny65 is offline  

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