Germany Itinerary Advice, Please

Dec 13th, 2009, 06:55 PM
  #1  
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Germany Itinerary Advice, Please

Via transatlantic cruise, my husband & I plan to arrive in Southampton, England on the morning of 4/25/2010, transport to London, & fly from London to Germany; found BA for $92 LHR-MUC; private car company transport will be about 110 GBP. We assume flying from London is the best method? We will leave Hamburg, Germany for the US via transatlantic cruise on the evening of 5/13/2010 (want to overnite in Hamburg, preferable near the cruise terminal, at least the nite prior to departing). We have traveled in Italy, Netherlands, & London area, but have not been to Germany. If I counted correctly, that is 17 days for land travel.

We definitely want to see Munich and Berlin. We'd like to see Salzburg, Prague & Vienna. And, as mentioned, we need to end up in Hamburg for the nite of 5/12.

So, I'd like your opinions & advice, please,
1. Are the 5 cities too many for the # of days we have? If so, what one(s) do you suggest adding to Munich & Berlin?

2. Or, do you think we should eliminate Salzburg, Prague & Vienna & go elsewhere in Germany? If so, where.

3. how many days in each city,

4. in what order, &

5. how do you suggest getting to & from - air or train? We do not want to have the hassles of renting a car - the liability & big hassle in case of an accident & finding our way around & parking - no thanks. We do not mind taking a group bus tour or train/bus transport for a day trip.

Thank you so much in advance for your help, Julie
JulieAgain is offline  
Dec 13th, 2009, 07:21 PM
  #2  
yk
 
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1. Are the 5 cities too many for the # of days we have? If so, what one(s) do you suggest adding to Munich & Berlin?

YES. You have 17 days, you'll end up with just over 2 days for each city, since you have to account for time wasted when traveling from A to B.

2. Or, do you think we should eliminate Salzburg, Prague & Vienna & go elsewhere in Germany? If so, where.

What are your interests? Do you like big cities? Small towns? Countryside? Art Museum? Hiking? Wine-tasting? Classical Music?

3. how many days in each city
Depends on your interests. Munich doesn't do anything for me. 2 days is more than enough. For others, they can spend 4-5 days there and not get bored. OTOH, DH & I spent a whole week in Berlin and we still didn't get to see all the things we wanted. I'm sure some people feel otherwise. As for Vienna, I have been twice and I can tell you that I'd love to return ASAP and spend 2 more weeks there. I will never get tired of Vienna.
yk is offline  
Dec 13th, 2009, 10:16 PM
  #3  
 
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You might want check easyjet for Gatwick-Munich connection.
It might be easier to reach from Southhampton.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 03:41 AM
  #4  
 
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Just a thought: There are two flights Southhampton-Salzburg. Check www.southamptonairport.com.

Here some comments on your itinerary:

Yes, five cities are too many, and your itinerary seems to consist nothing but cities. Here some thoughts:

München deserves at least two full days for the city alone. Besides, München will be a good base for daytrips.

You need at least one full day for a trip to the Allgäu - with many gorgeous castles and baroque churches, all in lovely scenery. You might also enjoy staying in one of the fabulous hotels there, e.g. here: www.schloss-elmau.de

You can easily include Salzburg into your Allgäu trip. Salzburg also makes a good daytrip from München.

A little northwest of München, there is the Romantic Road with several picturesque historic towns like Nördlingen, Dinkelsbühl, Feuchtwangen, Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

Nürnberg is a beautiful city, and also Würzburg (gorgeous palace, UNESCO World Heritage) and Bamberg (UNESCO World Heritage). Around Würzburg, you find lots of very beautiful wine villages with neat churches and spectacular art (Riemenschneider altars). If you need a nice hotel with good food there, try this one: www.zehntkeller.de

http://www.unesco.de/294.html?&L=1
http://www.unesco.de/306.html?&L=1

When you are driving northwards, I strongly suggest a short stop in Fulda (great cathedral, old town) and a visit of the Wartburg in Eisenach (UNESCO World Heritage).
www.wartburg-eisenach.de

Erfurt with its old town and covered bridge is close by and so is the classical city Weimar.
www.erfurt.de
http://www.unesco.de/313.html?&L=1

If you are driving northwards, the historical towns Wernigerode and Quedlinburg (UNESCO World Heritage) will be absolute highligts of your trip.
http://www.unesco.de/308.html?&L=1
www.wernigerode.de

If you are in modern architecture, nearby Dessau (UNESCO World Heritage) is THE birthplace of the Bauhaus School which so much influenced American architecture.

http://www.unesco.de/311.html?&L=1

From there, it is a short drive to Berlin which deserves at least four, better five days with a daytrip to Potsdam.

From Berlin to Hamburg, you should stop in Schwerin to see the castle.
www.schloss-schwerin.de

These destinations will easily fill 17 days and give you an impression of the diversity of Germany, including small towns and rural areas. This itinerary will include 10 or so UNESCO World Heritage sites.

However, it does not contain Vienna and Prague - just because these cities are somewhat out of the way.
Echnaton is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 05:19 AM
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Vienna and Prague are too far out from the rest of your itinerary. You will spend too much time just traveling there and back given the length of your trip. Save those places for another trip. I agree with 2 days for Munich but it is a good spot to stay for day trips to Salzburg, etc. as mentioned above.
padams421 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 06:56 AM
  #6  
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Thanks to everyone; such good info.

yk, good point about do we like cities or other. On this trip (I'm sure we will return, God willing & the creek don't rise!), we decided to concentrate on cities since we have so many city choices that we do not have time for. When we travel we always prefer history rather than scenery, & we are not into wine & food. So we are good with museums, historical sites, etc. Husband is looking forward to the WWII history; plenty of that for sure!

Cowboy1968 & Echnaton, thanks for the flight info; I'll check them out.

Echnaton, thanks so much for taking your time to list all of those links for me; really appreciate it.

Padams421, seems everyone agrees on the 2 days in Munich, plus add more for day trips, & eliminating Vienna & Prague. Great to narrow down.

OK, so I feel good about concentrating on Munich, Salzburg, & Berlin.

Now I need to look at the flights & decide where to begin. Flying directly from Southampton to Salzburg (or Munich would be better!) would be great. Eliminates the cost & the 2 hour drive from Southampton to London - that's a real good thing.

Seems to make sense to leave Berlin till last, since that will put us closer to Hamburg where we end our land trip.

Anyone have any suggestions for the best way to get from Berlin to Hamburg - fly or train?

Thanks again everyone, Julie
JulieAgain is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 07:52 AM
  #7  
 
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The train Berlin-Hamburg takes 1:39.
Echnaton is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 08:59 AM
  #8  
yk
 
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I'd spend 3 days Munich, 2 days Salzburg, about 1 week in Berlin. You can add a few days to Munich for daytrips such as to Rothenburg/Romantic Road; or add to Berlin for daytrips such as Potsdam, Dresden etc. And also concentration camps since your DH is interested in WWII history.
yk is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 10:34 AM
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I like yks itinerary. If you love history, Berlin will fill a lot of days - beyond the Cold War and WWII, there is also the Pergamon (sp?) museum. I also love Munich and its small size and walkable charm will be a nice contrast to larger Berlin. You can visit Dachau from Munich easily by train. If you search gruezi and WWII here you can see my trip report on Berlin - we were focused on history....

Have fun!

gruezi
gruezi is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 10:35 AM
  #10  
 
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Julie -

I love to train everywhere but often flying is a lot cheaper...

g.
gruezi is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 11:04 AM
  #11  
 
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You can do a nice "C" from Hamburg around western and southern Germany to Munich in the time you have available.

You can leave in Salzburg, since it's very close to Munich.

I would probably drop Vienna and Prague for this trip.

Alternatively, you could go to Berlin from Hamburg, then see Prague and possibly have some time left for Vienna.

Berlin and Vienna have a lot of must sees and really need at least three days each (a week wouldn't be too much) so putting them both in will limit time for other places.
bdjtbenson is offline  

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