Germany Intinerary

Feb 21st, 2007, 09:26 AM
  #1  
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Germany Intinerary

Hello! My boyfriend and I are in our early 30s and are planning a trip to Germany for 10 nights in late May/early June, flying into Frankfurt and out of Munich. We are looking to stay away from the big cities (aside from Munich), but travel by train throughout our trip to small cities to visit castles/palaces, vineyards, and hike in the Alps.

The following is a tentative sketch of our itinteray:
Nights 1-3 (somewhere within a 1 hr train ride of Frankfurt) Heidelberg, Mainz or Rudesheim
Nights 4-5: Wurburg or Rothenburg
Night 6-7: Bertchtesgaden
Nights 8-10: Munich

I would like to squeeze in a visit to Fussen or even Salzburg but originally only wanted to try to have 3 bases from which to venture out and just don't know if we will have time and we don't want to skip the hike in the Alps.

Please let me know what you think! Is all of this possible by train? We really don't want to rent a car (as we drive way too much at home and want to avoid the fights when we get lost!)
melissaperry2 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 10:20 AM
  #2  
 
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Yes this is all doable by train and you may well want to look into the German Twin Railpass...it will also take you to Salzburg without any extra fee. You can compare prices in German on the www.bahn.de German Rail site and then compare to the cost of the German Railpass. In any case you'll have no problem getting to these places by train. Three resources: www.euraid.com, who are specialists in German rail travel, www.ricksteves.com who has good info on railpasses and www.budgeteuropetravel.com which similar has good info on the German Railpass (Twin pass is just two names on one pass at a cheaper rate than two individual passes.) From the last site be sure to request their free European Planning & Rail Guide which has an excellent chapter on Germany and German trains - rail map, itineraries, etc.
If you want to go the cheapest way you can investigate regional pass for Bavaria as much of your travel is in this region. But these passes have resrtictions and can't be used on the fastest trains between say Heidelberg/Frankfurt area and Munich or Munich and Salzburg. Search for LarryinColorado on this forum as he has done exhaustive research on the regional passes and has posted a lot here on that.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 11:20 AM
  #3  
 
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Bertchtesgaden has 1/2 day tours to both Fussen (castles) and Salzburg. Several hiking opportunities in B-gaden, plus there is the salt mine, the Eagles nest, Konig see, etc. Heidelberg and Rudesheim would be on my list as well as Wurzburg, but I could skip Rothenburg choosing to visit the castles in Fussen instead. Enjoy your trip!
Clea
Clea is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 03:22 PM
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You better check into the suggested 1/2 tour from B'gdn. to Fuessen. That's almost 200km,
treplow is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 03:26 PM
  #5  
 
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Let's try again. You better check into the suggestion that you can visit Fuessen from Berchtesgaden on a 1/2 day tour. That's alomost 200km one way, and I have never been able to drive the distance in less than 3 1/2 hrs., one way. Most of it it is not on autobahns.
treplow is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 03:51 PM
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Nights 1-3: suggest you get a little further up the Rhine where it's more scenic. Bacharach and St. Goar are good options. You can see 3 castles from St. Goar and it's a fairly easy trip across the river and up to Marksburg castle( www.marksburg.de ) and to Bacharach, Boppard, and towns on the Mosel River. Bacharach is a popular place to stay over but less strategically located for exploring by train. Mainz is nice enough but not a destination for a short trip. Ruedesheim can be touristy and expensive, not as scenic as downstream.

Nights 4-5: Suggest you top in Wurzburg on the way, stow bags in lockers, head over to the Residenz, have a meal, then call Wurzburg done and head to Nuremberg for overnight, a much more atmospheric city with lots of stuff to do. Easy daytrip from Nuremberg over to Rothenburg. It's also possible to overnight in Rothenburg, but Nuremberg has a much better pulse in the evening.

Have a great trip.
Russ is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 09:01 AM
  #7  
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Thanks so much for your replies! I do appreciate the input.

I wanted to clarify that I was thinking of Rudesheim or somewhere close to Frankfurt because we don't arrive until 1 pm and know that we will be pretty jetlagged. How much more complicated would a trip into St. Goar be as compared with Rudesheim? If we do the Rhineland area shoud we eliminate Heidelberg or just combine it with tours of Wuzburg/Rothenburg or Nuremburg?

Also, we are interested in touring some vineyards, so I was tossing around Rudesheim or Wurburg as options. Are there better locations that would allow us to tour the wine-making regions?

In regard to touring the castles in Fussen, I figured that either they won't make the cut on our list or we could try to make a very long day trip out of Munich? I've read such mixed reactions on these castles. Another options is to go to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, instead of Berchtesgaden and we can do our hikes there instead (and see the 2 castles)?

Sorry I have so many questions. There are just too many options!!
melissaperry2 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 10:15 AM
  #8  
 
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FRA to Ruedesheim: 1 hr 10 min - 1 hr 30 min.

FRA to St. Goar: 1 hr. 30 min - 2 hours

The Middle Rhine is a major wine producing region; so is the hearby Rheingau. Without a car, it's tricky to get out to the actual vineyards. There are vineyards surrounding all the Middle Rhine towns. I've hiked through several between towns in the area, like between St. Goar and Oberwesel. I don't think it matters too much which town you plunk yourselves down in as far as vineyards are concerned. Winetasting is possible just about everywhere. I'd contact a local tourist office in whatever town you pick to see what they can recommend and arrange. Here's a page of intro material in English for the Middle Rhine:

http://www.mittelrhein-wein.com/wein...ndex-engl.html

It sounds like you have your plate full without Heidelberg - nice enough but not a must-see in my book.
Russ is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 10:30 AM
  #9  
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I second Russ's suggestion. One highly regarded winery with an almost cult following is www.august-kesseler.de/
His Rieslings are great and his Pinot Noir (Spaetburgunder) are selling at 30 to 60 euro a bottle scoring high with wine evaluators like Robert Parker.
DAX is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 01:36 PM
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As for your schedule, I have to agree with those people who have suggested St. Goar (or maybe Bacharach). However, you can get to Rüdesheim from FRA with a €6,60 ticket from the local transit district (RMV = Rhein-Main Verkehrsverbund), whereas FRA to St. Goar requires a Bahn ticket for about €14.

On the day between nights 3 & 4, you could easily go to Würzburg via Heidelberg. From St. Goar you could travel to Mannheim Hbf using a Rheinland-Pfalz Ticket for €25 (that ticket covers up to five people on all regional trains in RLP all day, after 9 AM weekdays). Just make sure you stay in Rheinland-Pfalz; the fastest route (1:36), via Mainz and Worms to Ludwigshafen, is all in RLP.

Rüdesheim is not in RLP, but you can probably use the RLP Ticket from there as well. Rüdesheim is on a section of track in Hessen between St. Goarshausen and Mainz via Wiesbaden, but it is part of the area of validity for the Ticket. I am just not sure if you can buy the ticket in Rüdesheim.

Anyway, the RLP Ticket is valid all the way to the Hbf in Mannheim, but you will probably change trains in Ludwigshafen, so there you should purchase a Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar (www.vrn.de) ticket to Würzburg. I would suggest the Ticket 24 Plus for €18,50, which gives up to five people unlimited travel for a day in the VRN . This way you could take the S-bahn to Heidelberg (about ˝ hour) and spend as much time as you want before continuing on to Würzburg via Osterburken (2 ˝ hr). The S-bahn from Ludwigshafen goes all the way via Heidelberg to Osterburken; take the regional train from Osterburken to Würzburg. With this route you will be always in the VRN and the ticket will be valid.

You could save a little money by buying single trip tickets from Ludwigshafen to Würzburg for €7,80 per person, but the period of validity for these tickets is 6 hours (Ludwigshafen to Würzburg). That wouldn’t save much and would limit your time in Heidelberg.

Once in Würzburg, you could use the €27 Bayern Ticket for the round trip to Rothenburg (as long as you leave Würzburg after 9 AM if it is a weekday.

Same (Bayern Ticket) holds for Würzburg to Berchtesgaden. The trip takes a couple of hours longer via regional trains vs express, but you save a lot.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 02:48 PM
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As for going to St. Goar or Bacharach. Almost all connections require a change of trains in Mainz, and the train from Mainz leaves on track 11.

Track 11 is not where you might expect it. The through tracks in the station are numbered 1-8. 11 is not a through track and it is not beyond 8. It is a "stub" track next to track 1 way out near the open end of the station, to the right of track 1 as you look to the Northwest (the end away from where you came in from FRA).
Larryincolorado is offline  
Mar 1st, 2007, 08:53 AM
  #12  
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Thanks so much for all of the information, especially the detailed train information, wow! I will print it out and bring it with us. We will see how we feel about a day trip to Heidelburg on the way to Wuzburg but at least I am armed with good train information and have requested the train brochure from www.budgeteuropetravel. Can't wait!
melissaperry2 is offline  
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