Germany to Austria by Rail

Apr 6th, 2006, 07:46 PM
  #1  
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Germany to Austria by Rail

Would like to spend about 5 days travelling through Germany and Austria by rail. Planning trip the end of September 2006. Probably flying into Frankfurt. Not interested in skiing...just sightseeing and beautiful scenery. Any suggestions? Is 5 days enough time?
wegonow is offline  
Apr 6th, 2006, 07:52 PM
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Neopolitan
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Is 5 days enough time? Not to see both countries, no. But I guess it that's all you have, it's enough to get a taste of both.
What do you want to see? No cities like Vienna or Salzburg? Stick with the mountains and lake scenery?

For starters, I think you need to stick to the south of Germany and then venture into Austria, maybe going as far as Hallstatt, one of the most scenic little spots you could ever visit.
 
Apr 6th, 2006, 08:49 PM
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I spent four days just bumming around on the middle Rhein two years ago. Base yourself in Braubach and see Marksburg, then go down to Burg Eltz and Cochem. Finally go up to St. Goar and Bacharach. If that doesn't use all your time, go to Pforzheim and down into the Black Forest. Take the streetcar up to Bad Wildbad. There is plenty to see within a few hours of Frankfurt.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 12:58 AM
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I agree with both posters above. You could also venture into Switzerland instead of Austria.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 01:14 AM
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Of course you can take the train south and visit Würzburg, München and Salzburg by train and then go back. This means you will roughly have 1 day per destination and a little bit of time to explore the countryside by regional trains (think about a rental car if you want to see scenery). If that's enough for you I can help with planning. Please specify the exact dates and times (e.g. do the 5 days include the arrival and departure days?).
An alternative would be to skip Austria and see the Rhine valley, the Mosel and Ahr valley and some fascinating historic sites instead. Good train connections, beautiful scenery, romantic castles, Roman ruins, medieval towns, wine tastings, maybe a river cruise and much less time you will spend in a train compartment.
traveller1959 is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 01:22 AM
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I agree with others that you should choose a small area, the size of a middling US State. Examples are Bavaria, the middle Rhine, the Black Forest, and the Austrian Tyrol. I see no reason to go far in so short a stay, nor to see the Swiss Alps if you will anyway see those in Austria. There are local and distance railway stations in Frankfurt airport, with frequent and fast trains where you want to go.

Ben Haines, London
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ben_haines_london is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 01:05 PM
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Well, first of all if you could stretch it to 8 days it would be lots easier on you and you would enjoy it more.
Take the train from Frankfurt - very easy - right at the airport. I got lots of suggestions from Fodorites and ricksteves.com and they wre right on the money. Get a base if you can for several nights and take day trips. I don't have my notes here with me so the spelling might be off, but here is what I recommend. Go to Rothenburg you will change trains twice, but hey, pack light! Plan to spend a night in Rothenburg, to get the old Germany feel. Take the night watchman tour of the town, it is really fun. The next day train to Garmisch-Partinkerken (Sp) They have wonderful B&B's and hotels. Stay there 3 nights. Lots of places to hike or ride to the top of the Zugspitz, the huge water all by the Olymic site from Hitler's day, etc. use this as your base and take a bus trip to Neuschwanstein (King Ludwig's castle). The ride there is beautiful and the hike to the castle even after being taken most of the way by horse drawn cart is strenuous. The next day head into Austria. I don't know much about it as we just rode the train through the country. The up to the Rhine River. We stayed in St. Goar right on the river. Explore the castles and restaurants. Anytime you can stay more than one night in the same place will make for a much better trip. No dragging you luggage around all the time. A word about the trains. We had the schedule printed out before we went, but for more detailed schedules, get them a day ahead, as you arrive in one town, get the departure schedule for the next day. I calculated the time between trains so we knew how fast to hustle when we got off one and jumped on the next. We had the Eurail pass which was great since it is Frist Class. We ended up in 2nd class on the way from St. Goar to Frankfort in the morning rush hour and it was not a pleasant ride - standing with our luggage between our feet for quite a long ride!
Geckolips is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 11:53 AM
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Sorry you had one bad experience traveling in 2nd class, but don't use that to condemn 2nd class in general. It wasn't typical.

The last time I rode in 1st class in Germany was in 1987. The company paid for it. I quickly figured out that it was not worth the extra cost, and from then on I rode in 2nd class, even at company expense .

In the last five years, I have ridden on about 150 train connections, all in second class. I have had to stand two times for a total of about 1 1/2 hours, and I have no reason to believe I would not also have had to stand in 1st class. Once the trains was packed, but few seats were reserved. There were plenty of reservations available. If I reserved when I bought the ticket, and I would not have had to stand.

I figure I have saved at least 65% (over $600) over the last five years by riding in 2nd class. I can stand for that.
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