Germany Trip Questions

Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 12:21 PM
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Germany Trip Questions

My husband and I arrive in Munich June 22 for a 2-week trip and will be using trains and buses for travel. We are from the USA and have never traveled to Europe. In planning, several questions come to mind. Our rough itinerary is:

June 22/24 - Munich
June 24 - late night train to Prague (open for suggestions on what to do and where to stay around an 80-100eur amount give or take some)
June 26 - late night train to Munich and then to Konstanz
June 27/30 - Konstanz
July 1 - Black Forest (open for suggestions on what to do and where to stay around an 80-100eur amount give or take some)
July 2/3 - Heidelberg (open for suggestions on what to do and where to stay around an 80-100eur amount give or take some)
July 4 - back to Munich
July 5 - leave for USA

1. My daughter is an international student at Konstanz and we would like to have her join us for a trip to Prague. Currently, we do no have rail passes. It looks like my husband and I can purchase a German Rail pass for 10 days travel for $324 each. My daughter says not to do that, that we can travel much cheaper by purchasing tickets in Germany. Is this the case?
2. When I look at round-trip train tickets from Munich to Prague (couchette, 2nd class), the cost without rail passes is $636USD for the 3 of us. When I mark "I have a rail pass", the cost drops to $192USD. Is the $192 for reservations, since I marked we have rail passes? Or, is it for the Czech part of the trip? The difference seems to make up for the cost of a 10-day German rail pass. And when I mark, "I have rail pass", does it mean for the Czech Republic as well?
3. My next question is getting around in the places we visit:Munich, Konstanz, etc. Do we need to purchase public transportation tickets, or what do you suggest?
shubbs0528 is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 01:33 PM
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Hi Shubbs,
I just returned from Germany/Austria on Monday, so I can give you a fresh perspective. In my opinion, Munich is a fun city to enjoy the people and beer gardens but I don't know if I would devote more than 2 days total in the city(especially on a first trip to Europe -there's alot more to see elsewhere). I would skip the Black Forest and try to squeeze in one or more of the following: 1.The lakes area of Austria ie. Hallstatt 2. Rothenburg 3. Switzerland(Berner Oberland)4. Venice(or anywhere else in Italy you don't mind training to). Hope this helps.
whitey is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 01:45 PM
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I lived in Germany when in the service and my wife and I still return often.

I agree with the above post: cannot see spending a lot of time in the Black Forest.

I would stick to Bavaria area around Munich....Garmisch/Berchtesgaden or Salzburg. Also drive the Romantic Road up to Rothenburg and then over to Heidelberg.

Places to stay:

WATZMANN in Berchtesgaden.

REICHS KUCENMEISTER in Rothenburg

ZUR BACKMULDE in Heidelberg

You can also get the Kathy Brown paperbook on German Inns and Itineraries. It has some good recommendations that we have been pleased with everywhere we used her.

Germany is fun to drive a car. Avoid the hassles of the trains and rent a car. You will enjoy the small town stops along the way.
traveldawg is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2005, 01:26 AM
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hi shubbs 0528,

why not to stay one week (27th to 2nd) at constance, to visit lake constance area?
lake constance is fine for the landscape and a favorite place for germans to pass their holidays.

from the city of constance (Konstanz in german, lake constance is Bodensee) you can go by boat (line traffic to a schedule) to most of the lake constance cities, as Überlingen, Meersburg, Friedrichshafen. Lindau and Bregenz. also nice to visit is St.Gallen, Switzerland, with a monastry in the center or Insel Mainau, known for its parks and gardens.

at Konstanz, they are supposed to have a tourist information and websites providing information.

as your daughter is a student, ýou should mot miss to visit the university on a hill outside the town. a building quite ugly from outside, so you will hurry to get inside of it, clever designed, you see. the center of the building is the library, which you can enter and look around. but find out yourself. from mensa or commons you have a panorama over lake constance and mainau island. the students are accustomed to it and do not pay this much attention to it. maybe you will.

have a nice stay.
hhildebrandt is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2005, 02:58 AM
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I'd save Prague for another trip. You haven't enough time, and it's too far afield. You'll spend too much time traveling.
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 03:19 AM
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Personally, I think, depending on your interests which you have not yet told us about, you could easily spend two-three days in Munich and surrounds (including the Ludwig castles/palaces near Fuessen/Oberammergau or at Herrenchiemsee) or take in the Residenze and the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich itself, etc., etc.

But it is impossible (for me, anyway) to give you much advice if we do not know what your primary interests are (if they don't include castles, palaces, then forget Fuessen, for example).

You do not say why you want to go to the Black Forest and Heidelberg unless it is because you have read/heard about things to see/do there (which is OK but clarification might help us help you on this).

I agree with not trying to include Prague in this trip, especially criss-crossing the area back and forth to Munich (rather than an open jaws out of somewhere like Prague).

You're going to get a lot more "general" advice such as you have already received and that is all it will be unless you come back with more specific info.
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 06:53 AM
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Thanks to everyone for the advise so far. We will reconsider the Prague part of the trip due to your feedback. As for our interests; we love to hike and enjoy the beauty of nature. I have read about the Black Forest and it was on the way to Heidelberg, so it seemed like a place to hike. My husband traveled on business over 20 years ago to Frankfurt and visited and loved Heidelberg which is the reason for that visit. He wants to share with me what he saw at that time. My husband has no desire to drive, thinks the roads are too fast and we speak virtually no German; he is just not comfortable with that option at this time. Maybe future trips. We had considered Innsbruck and Salzburg; and I would love to go into the mountains in the Alps. I would say our goals are to see some of the sites: Plan to visit the Deutsches Museum (husband is engineer), and perhaps a really good church, castle etc. I would love to stay in a castle one night. Mostly we will be enjoying the scenery, architecture, getting exercise, relaxing in a cafe for a while, hiking, types of activities. Hope this helps.
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Old Jun 7th, 2005, 04:11 AM
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I don't know where you are looking for tickets to Prague, But I just checked www.bahn.de and found tix for two round trip between Munich and Prague for 196 Euros, about 6-7 hours. Perhaps the inflated price you saw includes private sleeper accommodations?

I agree with the others that a trip to the Black Forest (and to Heidelberg) is unmerited if you are flying into Munich. Bavaria is huge and offers so much that you couldn't possibly have a bad trip there. You can almost just throw darts and find places to visit that easily rival the charm of Heidelberg. To the north of Munich, try Bamberg, Nuremberg, Wurzburg, Regensburg, Rothenburg, Weissenburg; to the south, Garmisch, Mittenwald, Oberstdorf, Berchtesgaden, Lindau.

You probably don't need a railpass for Germany. Look into the Bayern ticket (cheap daypass covering regional trains within Bavaria) for up to 5 traveling together - about 22 Euros/day. You can get from Munich to Lindau on Lake Constance with one of these, or to Wurzburg or Bamberg in the north, or Salzburg. For Lindau to the west, in case you do want to explore the rest of Lake Constance or the Black Forest, a similar ticket (Baden-Wuerttemberg ticket, available weekdays; or a happy weekend ticket for Sat or Sun) can be used. Just get these tickets there.

Castles: Northern Bavaria is worth a look (Castle Road) and several castles in the region have accommodations - though you should check into transport to/from before booking.

Enjoy your stay!
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