Germany in September?

Old Jul 7th, 2005, 07:05 AM
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Germany in September?

Recently transplanted American expats, now living in Belgium. I am trying to plan a brief holiday for late September/early October, nothing too expensive, probably 5-7 days, and not too crowded. This will be our first real "holiday" since moving to Europe and we plan on taking several more, so we don't have to cram things in. Somewhat arbitrarily, I was thinking of going to Germany, visiting some spots along the romantic road. A couple of questions

1. Will this area of Germany be more crowded while Oktoberfest is going on in Munich? Should we wait until after Oktoberfest?
2. Would we have time to spend a couple days in Munich or would that be too rushed?

Thinking relaxing, driving around, stopping to see some pretty, neat things, drinking some beer, eating some sausage and spaetzel......

Thanks for any advice.
Any other ideas for short holidays would be welcome; still brainstorming....we've got 3 years and want to see as much of Europe as we can but also want to be fairly economical...

Carrie
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 01:15 PM
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Hi
If you enjoy massive crowds, people throwing up and falling down in front of you, being unable to get into the huge tents and especially inflated hotel rates, then I highly recommend Oktoberfest. we were there several years ago and would not consider it again. Think of Mardi Gras.
Wait until afterward and you will be rewarded in Munich. It's been one of our favorite cities.
We've been on parts of the Romantic Rd., stopped at Wurzburg for a couple of days and really enjoyed it as well as Rothenburg ob der Tauber. enjoyed them both. We also enjoyed Bayreuth and Nurnburg.
I hope you enjoy living in belgium.
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 02:06 PM
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Anything 25 kilometers away from Munich is fine. We drove into Munich on a Friday and arrived at the Oktoberfest at 10 AM and and walked around with all types of school children. It was great to see the tents, we ate lunch in a beer tent and then left around 2 PM. We also were early enough to get parking in the public garage almost accross the avenue from the main entrance. Beware, the garage smelled worse than an outhouse. Watch the TV at night and you will see how they party at night. We all agreed it was worthwhile, just to see the hugh tents.
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 02:32 PM
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As a former ex-pat in Uccle (Brussels) Belgium, I assume you will be travelling by car.

A nice route is going from Brussels to Trier, spend the night there. Then drive on to Speyer, Heidelberg via the Weinstrasse (Neustadt an der Weinstrasse). If you are lucky, you might catch one of their fall wine festivals. For that, an overnight in Speyer would be better than the more distant Heidelberg.

From Heidelberg drive along the Neckar river (Burgenstreasse - Castle route) to Heilbronn and catch the autobahn (A-6) going east toward Nuernberg. Although you will be crossing the A-07 going to Rothenburg, I would save it and the Romatische Strasse for another trip.

Instead, before Nuernberg, take the cut-off at the A-6 exit #53 toward Windsbach, Roth, Allersberg and onto the A-9 toward Munich. Get off the A-9 at the A-99 exit/interchange and bypass Munich toward the Salzburg autobahn (A-8).

Take the Salzburg autobahn (A-8), and stop somewhere not too far from Munich for your several days of overnight stays. Along the Tegernse or Prien at the Chiemsee are all good options.

Do your visit to Munich from there by train and avoid the parking problems in Munich. You can get a Bayern Karte for EU19, which allows you and 3 others 1 day of unlimited travel in Bavaria between 9:01AM and 2:59 AM the following morning

Also, from those locations do day trips to Berchtesgaden (by car), Salzburg (by train), etc.

For your return, take the Munich A-8 Autobahn, A-99 Munich by-pass, to the continuation of the A-8 to Stuttgart,Karslruhe, then A-5 to Frankfurt and from there the A-3 to Cologne, and the Cologne - Aachen - Brussels autobahn.

You can do this in one day, but you may decide to break the trip by getting off the A-3 and detour by ways of Koblenz, and staying somehwere there, or a bit south, along the Rhein.

If that appeals to you, let me know and I'll give you a bit more detail about the trip south and the environs of Munich.

One suggestion, gasoline and diesel are very expensive in Germany. Whenever possible, I get a full tank before I cross the border into Germany from Austria or Switzerland (or I enter these countries with as low a tank as possible). I assume the same also applies to Belgium.

And watch those "priorite a droit"s.

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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 02:44 PM
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I also recommend Trier but would add the Mosel and/or Rhine River region for a couple of days. Then, I would spend the day in Heidelberg and overnight in Bad Wimpfen. It's a charming little town on the Neckar River about an hour east of Heidelberg. You can easily see the highlights in a half day. I'd save Munich for another trip.
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 04:44 PM
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If you are posted to Belgium for three years there's no need to be racing off to Munich. There's heaps to explore in the region closest to you, the area bounded by Schleiden - Euskirchen - Bonn - Koblenz - Bernkastel - Bitburg -Prüm - and back into Belgium. You get to see Beethovens birthplace, some of the Rhine valley, some of the Moselle valley and some of the beautiful Eifel mountain region, which up to now has been very much neglected on this forum.

Lucky you

Harzer

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Old Jul 13th, 2005, 02:08 PM
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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I am admittedly very ignorant about all there is to do in Germany, but you have helped me identify some high points!

All of the suggestions sound great; basically my options now are:

1. Explore Rhine and Mosel river valley area

2. Visit Romantic Road including trips to Neuschwanstein and Heidelberg

3. Do a little of everything by spending 1 day/night in Trier, 1 night in Heidelberg, ~3 nights somewhere near Munich (visiting Salzburg, Neuschwanstein, and some other stuff as day trips), then driving back, perhaps spending 1 more night in the Rhine/Mosel region on the way back to Belgium

(Treplow, I would be interested in hearing more suggestions of side trips from a near-munich "home base")

So is the consensus that Oktoberfest really only causes problems for visiting Munich itself, and not other places in Germany? I had worried that with so many people travelling from abroad to Oktoberfest they would also be flooding all the other sites in the country....

Carrie
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Old Jul 13th, 2005, 07:17 PM
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Side trips from a near-Munich "home"base: Obviously, Berchtesgaden, taking the Alpenstrasse, either from the Bernau exit of the Munich Salzburg Autobahn, and on to Reit im Winkel and on the B-305 then to Berchtesgdane, or the Siegsdorf exit and the B-306 to the B-305 past Inzell.. Along the Reit im Winkel B-305 way, there is a nice opportunity to take a cable car up the Rauschberg. The station is shortly after Fritz-am Sand (where the Alpenstrasse turns right, by-passing Ruhpolding).

The cable car and mountains top are not crowded, you have a great view of the whole range of the German and Austrian alps before you, plus the Chiemsee lake.

You can also watch parasailors and hangliders take off from the top. There is a fine restaurant, and some easy and relatively short hikes. It is one of those often overlooked gems.

Sights right outside of Berchtesghaden are the Kehlsteinhaus (Hitler's former teahouse), with a 360 degree panorama. It is reachable only by bus (and elevator) from the Obersalzberg. Other sights near Berchtesgaden: The Koenigsee (lake, salt mines,Jennner mountain gondola lift.

The Chiemsee (lake) is well worth a separate trip, visiting both King Ludwig's Herrenchiemsee palace and the convent on the the Fraueninsel. These are reachable by boats, which leave from the docks at Stock, about 4km from Prien.

A drive around the Chiemsee will take you to a very nice restaurant, the Malerwinkel, about 10km from Prien, in a clockwise direction.

The Tegernsee (lake) is a very pretty area. From there roads lead to the Achensee in Austria, or Schliersee, Bayrischzell, the Tazelwurm pass to Oberaudorf, and return via the autobahn.

The Wendelsetin mountain can be reached by a cog railway out of Brannenburg, south of Rosenheim.

I could go on and on. Suggest you get yourself the Green Michelin Guide for Germany.
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Old Jul 14th, 2005, 04:22 PM
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Hi Carrie -

Glad to see you're starting your adventures early. I lived in Muncih for a year and eventhough I got a lot of traveling in, I wish I had done more.

To answer your question - the areas around the Romantic Road, down past Fuessen (Neuschwanstein) and Garmish shouldn't be too impacted by the Oktoberfest. Also, remember that the fest is over on Oct 2nd. Munich would be a good 2 day stop after the crowds have gone
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