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bettyk Mar 15th, 2004 09:35 AM

Germany Trip -
So, I'm already planning our trip to Germany and Austria next April/May, but finding it very difficult because there are so many fabulous places and not enough time!

My tentative itinerary for our trip looks like this:

Days 1 & 2 - Arrive Frankfurt, drive to Cochem for 2 nights. Spend Day 2 visiting Burg Eltz, Bernkastel and Bielstein.

Days 3 & 4 - Drive to Bad Wimpfen for 2 days with the idea of visiting Schwabisch Hall, Norlingen and Dinkelsbuhl on Day 4.

Days 5 & 6 - Drive to Meersburg (via Schaffhausen and Rhine Falls). Plan to visit Urberlingen, Birnau and Stein am Rhine on Day 6.

Day 7 - Overnight somewhere in the Garmisch area.

Days 8 & 9 - Drive to Hallstatt for 2 nights. Spend Day 9 visiting Wolfgangsee and other sights.

Days 10 & 11 - Drive over to Berchtesgarden / Konigsee for 2 nights.

Day 12 - To Landshut

Day 13 - To Bamberg. Any interesting places to stop between Landshut and Bamberg?

Day 14 - Leave Bamberg mid afternoon for overnight at Frankfurt Airport for returning home next day.

I'd really like to work Tubingen into this itinerary, but not sure where. None of our driving days will involve more than 3 hours of driving based on my viamichelin research.

Also, need recommendations for hotels or gasthofs in Cochem, Bad Wimpfen, Meersburg, Berchtesgaden, Landshut and Bamberg. Would like to keep costs to around 70 - 100 Euros per night.

Open for suggestions and recommendations. Thanks.

rach Mar 15th, 2004 09:49 AM

TOO MUCH! Too much! Too Much!!!
Day 2, you cannot comfortably enjoy Burg Eltz, Bernkastel AND Bielstein! I have been to this area several times, and the Mosel was made for relaxation and meandering. Perhaps two sites with some rushing to appreciate what's before you...
As for places to stay in/near Cochem, try their site
or etc
all will send you a colorful prospectus by mail when you request online, though many of the individual properties have links with pics and prices. Good luck!
I am so tired just reading your itinerary that I must rest now...

bettyk Mar 15th, 2004 10:08 AM

Rach, I appreciate your response, but I don't necessarily agree with you. This is how we have always travelled and find it is not tiring for us.

Obviously, if we cannot visit Burg Eltz, Bernkastel and Bielstein on Day 2, then something will get left out.

As I said, we are trying to keep our driving times short. But if there is a better way to see some of these things then that's what I was hoping to hear from Fodorites -- something constructive.

TuckH Mar 15th, 2004 10:17 AM

I know full well what you mean about "finding it very difficult because there are so many fabulous places and not enough time!"

I too am planning a similar trip and have done considerable research in preparation. Based on that, I agree with rach that you appear to be overreaching - for our 3 week trip, I plan on doing about half of what you're doing in 2 weeks for instance.

Rather than being constantly on the move, we plan to linger in some scenic towns or spots, soaking up the atmosphere, doing some hiking and exploring local back roads. We'd like to savor the experience and not rush through it.

From the 'net I've amassed a lengthy list of pensions and guesthouses in the areas we intend to visit and with my cell phone and from our car, I plan on making the arrangements for our lodgings when we arrive in the area. I can share with you if you'd like.

bettyk Mar 15th, 2004 10:56 AM

Thanks, Tuck. Unfortunately, we don't have the luxury of a 3 week vacation just yet. Maybe when we retire.

Also, I just don't feel like I'm rushing it when I can leave the hotel by 9 AM and get where I'm going by lunch time. That still gives me at least 8 or 9 hours of daylight to wander around Bad Wimpfen, Landshut, etc., since most of these towns are quite small.

I'm definitely open to the possibility of cutting some places out (maybe dropping Nordlingen on Day 4 and just doing Dinkelsbuhl or eliminating Uberlingen and Birnau on Day 6 if Stein am Rhine is more scenic). That is why I wanted the opinion of people who have been there.

Same goes with accommodation recommendations. I can certainly find the names of places on the Internet, but would prefer to hear from someone who has actually stayed there.

Anyway, if nobody has any other alternatives or suggestions, then I'll just have to go with my instincts.

artstuff Mar 15th, 2004 12:56 PM

I'm also planning a two week holiday in the Rhine - Baden/Wurttemberg - Bavaria area. Unfortunately, we won't be travelling for 2-3 years (still paying off last year's holiday), but it's never too early to start planning. We find that the planning stage can be almost as much fun as taking the actual trip. We love learning about the history, culture, architecture, etc. of the area beforehand, so that we know what we are looking at when we get there.

We also can only afford no more than two weeks travel at a time, and there is so much of the world to see out there. My husband and I plan, what we affectionately call, "Punch Your Ticket Tours." We cram as much as we can into our two weeks of travelling. With a well planned itinerary, it's amazing what you can cover. We actually did 21 cities in 21 days on our first European tour. Everybody's travel tastes are different. This might not be for you, but it's what we enjoy and have done several times.

I am interested to know how your trip goes, since we will be visiting many of the same areas. Please keep us posted.

Robyn [email protected]

tomboy Mar 15th, 2004 01:22 PM

I don't recall where Landshut is, but there's a nice area NE of Wurzburg about 50 miles from CZ border. Check out a town called Gasweinstein (sp? Goss?)and near town of Pommersfelden, a prince-bishop palace with art collection. The area seems to be one Germans go for a holiday weekend.

rex Mar 15th, 2004 01:34 PM

This place is 8-10 miles outside Landshut - - I have also stayed IN town at the Lindner(?) - - Gasthof zur Linde (in Hohenpolding).

The price was right (especially because we had kids that were fine with their three bed rooms). Doubles are 60 to 95 (euro).

Best wishes,


maitaitom Mar 15th, 2004 01:54 PM

In September, my wife and I spent two great days in Beilstein. On Day Two, we went early to Burg Eltz, had a nice lunch in Cochem and were in Berkastel-Kues for an a mid to late afternoon walk, beer and pastry.

We then drove back to Beilstein, had a lovely dinner at our hotel and still found the energy to consume mass quantities of German wine and sing German folk songs that night.

It sounds like you like to have full days. So do I, and I never felt rushed on that day. As a matter of fact, it was a very fun and memorable vacation day. Make sure you take the short cut to the castle, and you'll get everything in you want to do (and more).

jyoung Mar 15th, 2004 04:14 PM

I lived in Bamberg for a few years, so I know a little about it. I wish I could recommend a good place to stay, but I can't remember the name of the great Gaushaus we stayed at. If I remember it, I'll let you know. Bamberg is a charming town/city, but for me there isn't much to do. But if you looking to just spend a couple of hours in a city, the downtown section of Bamberg is pretty lively. Here's the link to Bamberg's offical tourism page:

I saw that someone recommended Wuerzburg, which is a little ways from Bamberg (depending on how fast you're driving) and I would go see that instead. It's a larger city with a beautiful castle. And, even though it is larger than Bamberg, you can see a lot within a couple of hours.

As with most German towns, both cities are full of history and are beautiful. I wish you luck with your trip and I hope this helps.

ekellyga Mar 15th, 2004 04:30 PM

The previous reply mentioned Wuerzburg....good choice. The imposing castle on the hill is neat, but don't miss the Residenz, which is easy to miss since it is not up on the hill, and sightseers go for that imposing structure on the hill. The tour of the Residenz is very good, historic.
Also, we like to travel much like you do. We move along quite a bit, and it seems too hectic to others who hear about our trip, but we love it that way and always have fun.
Good luck.

ekellyga Mar 15th, 2004 04:40 PM

Forgot to mention...between landschut and Bamburg....the towns of Regensburg and Nurnberg are great.
For your last night before flying out of Frankfort, we always use the Hotel Tanne. It is about a 8 minute cab ride from the terminal. Clean, family run. They will give you a wake up call and arrange for your cab to be there when you need to leave. I believe they have a website. If not, email me and I will try to find their phone number.

In Cochem, I would try to stay on the side of the river that the castle is on. It just seems closer to the "action".
[email protected]

RufusTFirefly Mar 15th, 2004 05:42 PM

Bamberg is an absolute gem of a city--it's a World Heritage site. Even has a pope and an emporer buried there. There's plenty to see and do in Bamberg for a couple of days anyway. We stayed 2-1/2 days and didn't see everything we wanted to--though the half day was spent visiting old friends of my parents.

We stayed at the hotel Brudermuehle in the center of the Altstadt. A wonderful old place, slightly over 100 euros for a double room. It's right on the river--if I'd fallen out of our window, I'd have been in the river. Perfect view of the old Rathaus.

Friendly service, good restaurant, ideal location, excellent breakfast included with room. 105-120 euros for a double room with bath.

Like maitaitom, we stayed in Beilstein on the Mosel at Hotel Haus Lipmann--this was in June of 2002. At 85 euros a night double with river view, modern bath, breakfast, and street parking, this place was a steal.

waldmossingen Mar 16th, 2004 05:02 AM

Beilstein - Haus Lipmann is tops and reasonable.

Meersberg - Hotel Weinstube Lowen is a great old hotel in the pedestrian-only area

bettyk Mar 16th, 2004 05:14 AM

Thank you, Fodorites! Just what I was looking for. Lots of very helpful information.

Rex, your posts on Landshut are the reason we are going there. I did an internet search and the pictures are fantastic. Thanks for the hotel info.

Since we have already been to Wurzburg, I decided to check out Bamberg since it was still reasonably close to Frankfurt Airport. Again, fantastic pictures on the Internet.

Ekellyga, I like the idea of maybe trying to see Nurnberg or Regensburg on the way to Landshut. Is one more interesting than the other??

Also, has anyone been to both Nordlingen and Dinkelsbuhl? If so, is one preferable over the other?

Do you think that Beilstein is a better base than Cochem?

Thanks again for all the helpful suggestions. Keep 'em coming!

Russ Mar 16th, 2004 05:50 AM

I agree with rach and TuckH that, whether you are tired from the driving or not, you are cramming too much into two weeks. There are too many interesting places to go and things to do in these areas - the Mosel for example - to just zoom in, spend a day, and zoom out.

I'd suggest not overnighting in Bad Wimpfen, but stopping there and continuing on to Schwaebisch Hall and overnighting there. You can daytrip more easily from there to Dinkelsbuehl or Noerdlingen.

I would actually recommend dropping your Lake Constance loop. I love the area, but for the short amount of time you'll have, it isn't worth the time and the gas just to hit the places you've identified - you'll have plenty of more spectacular scenery in the days between Garmisch and Landshut.

Weissenburg is an interesting old walled town between Landsberg and Bamberg. Neaby Eichstaett is lovely too.

One day for Bamberg and surroundings is insufficient.

bettyk Mar 16th, 2004 07:18 AM

Russ, thanks for your suggestions. We stayed overnight in Lindau in 2002 and loved the Bodensee area. We definitely would like to see more. However, I will think about dropping it from this trip and maybe adding another day or two to the Mosel/Rhine River area.

I'll also look into staying in Schwabish Hall instead of Bad Wimpfen, although it appears to be only a little over an hour's drive to Dinkelsbuhl from BW.

We've been to Garmisch-Partenkirchen on a prior trip so our stop there is mainly to break up the long drive between Bodensee and Hallstat.

If we stop in Regensburg or Nurnburg on our way to Bamberg, we probably wouldn't arrive until late afternoon. However, we will have almost the entire next day in Bamberg as we only have to make our way to a hotel near the Frankfurt Airport which is about a 2 hour drive.

Again, I appreciate your suggestions.

bavariaben Mar 16th, 2004 08:03 AM

You obviously have put some time and thought into your itinerary so I hesitate to make any 'big change' recommendations. I also understand that you seem to be comfortable traveling at a fast pace with a busy schedule. What I will do is tell you what I would do within the time frame of your trip, attempting to visit most of the places you have mentioned. I would however eliminate the one-nighters as they are just too much for this old man.

Days 1 & 2 - Arrive Frankfurt, drive to Cochem for 2 nights. Spend Day 2 visiting Burg Eltz, Bernkastel and Bielstein. (I think this is a good start and a nice area to fight possible jet lag. My choice would be to overnight in Beilstein with the Haus Lipmann being a good choice. Another nice little village nearby is Reil where my family and I enjoyed a stay at the Weingut Haus Karina two years ago (

Days 3 & 4 - Drive to Bad Wimpfen for 2 days with the idea of visiting Schwabisch Hall, Norlingen and Dinkelsbuhl on Day 4. (I like Bad Wimpfen as a base for two days. I would probably take the nice drive along the Neckar from Heidelberg arriving in the afternoon which should leave you plenty of time explore Bad Wimpfen. The next day could be spent discovering Schwäbisch Hall, however I would probably forego Nördlingen and Dinkelsbühl for this trip - but if you are determined to visit one or the other I would recommend Dinkelsbühl over Nördlingen. In Bad Wimpfen you might try the Hotel Neckarblick which has been recommended to me -

Days 5 & 6 - Drive to Meersburg (via Schaffhausen and Rhine Falls). Plan to visit Urberlingen, Birnau and Stein am Rhine on Day 6. (Here is where you could fit in Tübingen if you wanted. If you depart Bad Wimpfen right after breakfast you can be in Tübingen in just over an hour which would give you time for a good walkaround and lunch. From Tübingen to Schaffhausen is less than 2 hours - after which you could make it into Meersburg by early or late afternoon depending on how much time you spend at the falls. Recommend the Gasthof Zum Bären or the Hotel Löwen -

Days 7 & 8 - The Garmisch area is just way too good to only spend one night. Strongly suggest two nights in Garmisch or the Füssen area (especially if you haven't been to the Royal Castles already). With Oberammergau, the Wieskirche, the Ettal, Linderhof, Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau - there is so much to see in this area. Possibilities - and

Days 9, 10 & 11 - Drive to Berchtesgaden area for three nights. Possibilities - and Daytrip to Hallstatt on the 11th.

Days 12 & 13 - Drive via Landshut - spend bulk of day exploring the area - and then continue on to Bamberg for two nights.

Day 14 - Leave Bamberg mid afternoon for overnight at Frankfurt Airport for returning home next day.

We all have our favorite places and you will be visiting many of mine. Whatever you do I'm sure you will have a great trip. Best of luck and if you have any questions about my suggestions - you can reach me at [email protected]. Ben

bettyk Mar 16th, 2004 08:38 AM

Thanks much, Ben, for your valuable comments. I have spent quite a bit of time on your website lately for ideas on places to visit and accommodations.

In trying to make my original message brief, I did leave out that during the time we lived in Vienna we did some traveling and have already visited Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, Wurzburg, Garmisch, Rothenburg, Oberwessel and Munich. Of course, we have also been to Hallstatt a couple of times, but seem to be drawn back to the area. I know it is so close to Berchtesgaden that we could do it as a daytrip, but we definitely enjoy staying at the Seehotel Gruner Baum.

This trip, we definitely wanted to avoid big cities and traffic hassles as much as possible while seeing some of the smaller, more scenic areas that Germany has so many of!!

You all have given me a lot to think about and I appreciate your time and input.

maitaitom Mar 16th, 2004 09:10 AM

"Do you think that Beilstein is a better base than Cochem?"

We also loved the Haus Lipmann ( a good Rufus Fodor's pick). Great location with Mosel views from about every room. Nice, relaxing place to start the trip. Dinners are served out on the patio overlooking the Mosel. Herr Lipmann is a good guy who greeted us at the restaurant.

There isn't much to do in Beilstein, but on Friday and Saturday nights there is music at the place behind the hotel. Very fun. Not for the liver impaired.

It's only about a ten minute drive to Cochem and another 30 minutes to Burg Eltz.

Cochem would have more of a night life, but for the first few days of a trip to Germany, I don't think you can go wrong with Haus Lipmann.

bettyk Mar 16th, 2004 09:31 AM

Thanks, Tom. We aren't really into the nightlife scene these days. Since we like to start our day early, we may take a stroll after dinner and then head back to our room to read up on the next day's activities or wash out a few undies.

I'll check out Beilstein and Haus Lipmann.

Suspaul Mar 16th, 2004 10:38 AM

Hi. If you get a chance while in Meersburg you may want to take the ferry to visit Mainau Island, it's filled with the most beautiful flowers, trees, etc. A great way to spend part of a day. In Meersburg we stayed at the Zum Post, a nice historic hotel in town.

We also rented a great apartment on the Mosel River on the Kues side of the river from Bernkastle. It was such a welcome change from staying in a hotel or guest house as it gave us more room to relax in, a full kitchen and a balcony with a view of the river and of nearby castle ruins up among the vineyards. I think the apartment was in the 48 Euro range. Also, we stayed at a zimmer outside of Berchtesgaden in Konigsee where it was possible to walk 10 minutes or so into the town. They have a nice boat ride and the town, tho touristy is very nice, many restaurants, etc.

If you have any questions please let me know. Enjoy your trip!

bettyk Mar 16th, 2004 11:15 AM

Thanks, Susan for the hotel recommendation in Meersburg. Do you happen to remember the name of the place you stayed in Berchtesgaden?

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