Germany - few days left for .... where?

Dec 19th, 2009, 02:21 PM
  #1  
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Germany - few days left for .... where?

Once again in planning this trip, I need your suggestions, opinions, & comments, please. We've not been to Germany & I previously posted a thread which helped us decide on the following -

first full 5 days (6 nites) in Munich, with day trips to Salzburg & Dachau; arrive April 25; depart May 1; flight from London to Munich on 4/25.

6 full days in Berlin; arrive May 5; depart May 12; 7 nites

May 12 arrive in Hamburg for transatlantic cruise on May 13 from Hamburg.

That leaves May 1 to May 5 (3 full days/4 nites)? Extra day(s) in Munich? Extra day(s) in Berlin? Extra day(s) in Hamburg? Any good ideas?

Here's some of what we want -
1. someplace with easy transport from Munich, & to Berlin, & not much more costly than the average airfare from Munich to Berlin.
2. Hubby has ruled out renting a car for our first trip to Germany & I have agreed.
3. We are not big on small towns with nothing to offer but quaint & scenic - a day trip is OK, but not several days.
4. We prefer spending the extra days in one place, rather than hopping around.

We were thinking - what about staying someplace close to King Ludwig's castle & the Black Forest? Those 2 places would be of interest to us, we think. But would there be easy & reasonable cost transport from Munich to there & then on to Berlin?

We like history - what about Nurnberg? Is that good for several days or would it be a day trip from Munich?

What about Vienna?

In case it makes a difference, our hotel price is around $200, give or take a little.

This trip itinerary is coming together (love it when that happens!) & I'm eagerly awaiting your suggestions. Thanks in advance, Julie
JulieAgain is offline  
Dec 19th, 2009, 02:49 PM
  #2  
yk
 
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I actually really enjoyed my trip to Nürnberg in 2007. I based in Nürnberg and did day trips to Bamberg (a UNESCO heritage site), Bayreuth (to see Wagner sites), and Wurzburg (another UNESCO town). The old town of Nürnberg itself is much nicer than what I had expected. Here's my trip report: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...of-spargel.cfm
yk is offline  
Dec 19th, 2009, 04:10 PM
  #3  
 
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Check out Wuerzburg. From there you can take a day trip to Rothenburg (using the Bayernkarte/ Bavarian ticket). Wuerzburg itself offers some good sightseeing - - the castle overlooking the river, with an excellent museum; the palace in the middle of town; good restaurants, good local white wines..

It is on the ICE route to Berlin. You can interrupt the trip on the same ticket, as long as the interruption is not longer than 48 hours.

You can also go on a Bayernticket (EUR28) for the two of you from Munich to Wuerzburg (or Rothenburg).Since you can only use Regio trains, the Munich - Wzbg trip may be longer than you want to do.

From Wzbg. go by ICE to Berlin (I'm doing the reverse in May).

If you book on line (see www.bahn.de)89 days before the trip(s) you may be able to catch great discounts: EUR 29 p.p. between Munich, Wzbg. and Berlin, on any type train. But you have to commit yourself to a specific train for each section. The fare includes a reserved seat.
treplow is offline  
Dec 19th, 2009, 08:09 PM
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Nurnberg and Rothenburg are both worthwhile destinations. You could easily spend 2 or 3 days in Nurnberg. Rothenburg is a good day trip. I love the city of Freiburg as a central location if you decide to do the Black Forest, but that is pretty far west of your other destinations. It sounds like your plans include larger cities; I would highly recommend also visiting a small town along the way. Have a wonderful trip!
minnehappylis is offline  
Dec 19th, 2009, 08:12 PM
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dresden is very nice and easy to get to from berlin....
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 19th, 2009, 10:05 PM
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If you added all or some days to Hamburg, you'd get more diverse impressions than from more of the same in the South.
Hamburg is Germany's 2nd biggest city, and has huge cultural offerings and many sights.

Plus there are mid-size to small towns nearby which give you totally different vistas, like Lübeck.
http://www.luebeck.de/languages/eng/...ait/index.html

From Munich, the King Ludwig castles near Füssen (Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau) make a full day trip by train but do not require to relocate yourself if you prefer to stay in same hotel in Munich. While renting a car is not necessary for what you have planned so far, it could be an option for doing a loop drive to Neuschwanstein, Wieskirche, Ettal monestary, and Linderhof castle (another Ludwig castle). Herrenchiemsee castle can be easily reached by train (and boat, because it's on an island) from the Munich-Salzburg line. But would be too much IMO to combine it with your planned trip to Salzburg on one day.

The Black Forest would require much more planning, since it takes a while to go there by train, and the Forest is in fact a huge area with not only one place to go and stay. A car will almost be indispensible to explore.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2009, 10:49 PM
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If you're into larger cities then I'd say Dresden, Leipzig or Nürnberg. Plenty of things to do in each of them and also in the surroundings (with Dresden offering most for excursions).
Ingo is offline  
Dec 20th, 2009, 12:08 AM
  #8  
hsv
 
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I think you allow really plenty of time for Berlin and may want to cut that short by a day (I know many people here will tell you that you could spend 2 weeks in Berlin without seeing it all,but I think 5 days give you plenty of time already). This frees up another night. You have originally wanted to see Vienna. Thus, there may be an opportunity to fit a visit to Vienna into the schedule. You could even cut out 1 night in Munich, 5 days is quite a bit of time there, too.
With regards to your actual schedule I also think you should try to arrive in Berlin at least 1 day earlier, if not 2 (i.e. on 03 May). I strongly recommend to reserve at least 1, if not 2 full days for Hamburg. As was said before, Hamburg is Germany's second largest city and is definitely worth seeing. There may not be the super-must-see sights, but the whole ensemble is indeed quite attractive. While a port city may sound industrialised, the port is actually quite beautiful, Hamburg is currently doubling the size of its city center in one of Europe's largest gentrifcation projects, converting large part of its port modern living and working quarters with some pretty interesting architecture, it offers wonderful strolling opportunities along the Elbe River among old captain's houses, or along the Outer Alster Lake right in the city center and world class shopping possibilities in its inner city shopping passages as well as trendy and quirky lifestyle in the Schanzen- and Karlolinenviertel.
Hamburg is also only a very convenient 96 minute train ride from Berlin, so you would not lose much transfer time.

Nuremberg for me is not worth more than 1 day - and I'd be tempted to say the same about Leipzig.

Overall, I'd suggest an itinerary along the following lines (and this doesn't reflect the flex 1 or 2 days I think there are in Berlin and Munich yet):

25 April: Arrive Munich, Munich
26 April: Munich
27 April: Munich
28 April: Salzburg
29 April: Dachau
30 April: Munich environments (Starnberger See, Tegernsee or Garmisch) / OR: see 1 May
01 May: Depart Munich for Vienna / alternatively Dresden
02 May: Vienna / Dresden
03 May: Vienna/Dresden
04 May: Depart for Berlin/ Berlin
05 May: Berlin
06 May: Berlin
07 May: Potsdam
08 May: Daytrip from Berlin to somewhere (Bad Saarow, maybe)
09 May: Berlin
10 May: Berlin
11 May: Depart for Hamburg/ Hamburg
12 May: Hamburg
13 May: Depart Hamburg
hsv is offline  
Dec 20th, 2009, 09:46 AM
  #9  
 
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Many good suggestions, Julie.

Another one I'll throw out is Regensberg. It is a very authentic city and offers much to see. I spent a few nights there with a day trip to Nuremburg and enjoyed it very much. You could take a boat trip on the Danube to see Valhalla and/or Passau. The Regensberg sausage has earned its reputation as one of the world's best.

*Spelling on this post is not guaranteed.
Dutch is offline  
Dec 20th, 2009, 11:02 AM
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I cannot see Dresden as an alternative to Vienna - not even close in size and wealth of sights.

If feasible, I would stop in Prague for 2-3 days rather than yet another German city.
danon is offline  
Dec 21st, 2009, 10:25 AM
  #11  
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Thank you one & all! Great info & suggestions - gave hubby & I lots to talk about & we did. So, we've decided to forego the western part of Germany for another full trip with probably renting a car, which seems the best way to wander around that part. Countdown #1 decision!

We also strongly considered Prague, and decided that city & area are a whole new trip! Countdown #2 decision.

So, with your suggestions, we were considering one of two options -

the smaller towns between Munich & Berlin, as suggested, but only as day trips with added days onto Munich. So, are both or either Rothenberg & Nurmberg day trips from Munich by train, or too far or too complicated? However, we also thought that the next trip with a car & not concentrating on big cities may be the best time for us to visit that area also?

Vienna - this seems to be batting the best score with us! Get a little of Vienna with a day trip to Mauthausen, a WWII site for us history buffs, plus a very moving part of that history. Is that an easy train ride from Munich with luggage or air better? We can't haul luggage up & down stairs. So if the train stations we would use have lots of stairs, that is out - would need to fly. We can put luggage on & off the train, put it in the above seat racks, but not haul up & down flights of stairs as many metro stations have.

Thanks again for bringing us closer to our final itinerary, Julie
JulieAgain is offline  
Dec 21st, 2009, 04:23 PM
  #12  
hsv
 
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1. There are no stairs to haul the luggage up (or down) at Munich Main Station. I don't know about Vienna.

2. The train takes about 4.5 hours from Munich. Seems a feasible option - and: it goes via Salzburg. So you could further increase the efficiency of your trip by making Salzburg a stopover on your way to Vienna.

3. If you want to travel from Vienna to Berlin, I'd definitely fly. Look at AUA/Lufthansa and Air Berlin/Niki for the best fares.
http://www.aua.com/uk/eng
http://www.lufthansa.com
http://www.airberlin.com/prepage.php
http://www.flyniki.com/
hsv is offline  
Dec 21st, 2009, 06:18 PM
  #13  
 
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I have done Rothenburg and Nuremberg several times as day trips from Munich. Nuremberg is only about 1 hour, but Rothenburg is over 2 hours by train. Rothenburg is my favorite of the two. You will need to change trains 2 times in route to Rothenburg, but it is no problem at all. The connecting trains actually wait on the arriving trains.
scatcat is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2009, 08:31 AM
  #14  
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hsv, thanks for all of that information; kind of you to take the time to post all of those links for me.

scatcat, we are adding Nurmberg to our possible Munich day trips list; thanks for the info. Over 2 hours by train for Rothenburg will probably not be enticing to us - may leave that for our next trip with a car.

Well, we have decided - Vienna for the extra 4 nites, 3 full days. I have been working on the lodging aspect of it & have decided we want to stay inside the ring. I have narrowed our hotel choices to

1. Pension Aviano 592 euros total, no cancel penalty, but has serious construction issue--not on the hotel, right outside somewhere.

2. Pension Suzanne - emailed for prices last nite.

3. Hotel Austria - 144 euros nite; no AC; breakfast included; but need to find out what their cancellation policy is - want flexibility to cancel w/o penalty.

It's coming together. Thanks for your help, Julie
JulieAgain is offline  

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