Germany vacation

Nov 1st, 2010, 08:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Germany vacation

We are going to Germany for vacation next year (from the US), flying to Frankfurt July 6 and flying out of Frankfurt July 24, so we have 16 non-flight days to enjoy. We have no plans made. We want to enjoy Germany (and maybe see one (or 2) other country) without trying to do too much. There are 5 of us (3 teenagers). Any recommendations for an itinerary? Also, should we rent a car (minivan)? We have not been to Germany before. Thank you for any recommendations.
Arn_Nev is offline  
Nov 1st, 2010, 08:59 AM
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I'm not trying to be flippant, but if you don't know what you want to do in Germany, then WHY are you going there? Do you want to hike, bike, visit museums, big cities, little towns, mountains, lakes, wine country???

You see, there is too much you haven't told us for us to be much help.

I just spent the last week in Germany, arriving in Frankfurt and then spending a day in Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Romantic Road, two days in Meersburg on Lake Constance, and then two days in Berchtesgaden surrounded by the German Alps.

Austria, or even France, is an easy segue from Germany if you want to add another country but I would mostly try to concentrate on the Bavarian part of Germany and maybe see the area around Salzburg. This is where we are now. We just spent two days in Hallstatt and are now spending two days in St. Gilgen on Wolfgangsee. Both could be done as day trips from Salzburg, however.

Germany is a beautiful country with many diverse activities depending on your likes and dislikes.
bettyk is offline  
Nov 1st, 2010, 09:28 AM
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If you want to see larger cities like Munich, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam you won't have a need for a car. If you want to see smaller towns a car might be a good option. What do you all enjoy doing?

I think teenagers would enjoy Bavaria, Munich, and Berlin. If they like scenery and castles the Rhine and Bavarian Alps would be good options
lindy27 is offline  
Nov 1st, 2010, 10:06 AM
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First cut of advice or a suggestion is to split your time between a rental car and trains. From Frankfurt, i would rent a van and drive south toward Regensburg and then Munich. Drop down into Austria for Salzburg etc and then perhaps the romantic road for more of Germany and over to Switzerland. Head back North. Perhaps through Stuttgart/ Sindelfingen for the Daimler museum, Baden-Baden etc.... back to Frankfurt. This can take about a week. Drop the car and take the train to Paris. for a few days, then train North to Amstaerdam. train back to Frankfurt for your departure.... So, these are just thoughts, but they may help you start to shape your holiday.
seafox is offline  
Nov 1st, 2010, 11:43 AM
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Regensburg, Munich, Salzburg, Romantic Road, Switzerland, Stuttgart, Baden-Baden -- in about a WEEK?

Sorry, but I'm exhausted just typing all that, much less trying to see any of it in just a week!
bettyk is offline  
Nov 1st, 2010, 11:51 AM
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>>>Germany is a beautiful country with many diverse activities depending on your likes and dislikes.<<<

So true. Please specify a bit more what kind of trip you would like. Seafox suggested a "it's Thursday, it must be Belgium"-type of itinerary but there are zillion more options.

E.g. the Rhine Valley with its monasteries, castles, vineyards and picturesque towns, Cologne (a most interesting city), Aachen, Maastricht (a beautiful historical town in the Netherlands), Monschau (Germany's most picturesque medieval town), Trier (rich Roman heritage) and maybe Düsseldorf (a Mecca for modern art and home of the Neanderthal men - with a fantastic museum about the history of mankind).

Another option would be to go further south from Frankfurt. This way, you could see a bit of Switzerland and France (Alsace), too.

Or you go eastwards to Berlin and the picturesque towns in the Harz (Quedlinburg, Wernigerode). If you are interested in Luther, the Wartburg in Eisenach is a must...

Many options..
Echnaton is offline  
Nov 1st, 2010, 12:07 PM
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Very helpful replies, all. I'll spend some time with the map and try to narrow it down some. I would rather take it more leisurely and see less than spending all our time running around. Thank you very much and I'll have more questions once I am able to narrow things down some.
Arn_Nev is offline  
Nov 1st, 2010, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
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We are also planning a family trip to Germany next year with our 6 kids (aged 2-16). Our primary purpose is to visit Martin Luther sites (dh is a descendent) so our time will mainly be spent in the Erfurt and Leipzig areas. However, we are also planning to spend a day on the Rhine and visit a couple of castles, 3 more days in the Rothenburg ob der Tauber / Romantic Road area, then 9 or 10 days near Erfurt.

Obviously, we have a pretty specific purpose for our visit, but I'm trying to incorporate things that our family normally enjoys. We love history, hiking, and music, so we're going to visit castles, medieval towns, nature parks, and some 20th century sites (concentration camp, Communist-era museums). I have a couple music events in mind that we may be able to work in (Thomanerchor in Leipzig, other "music in the park" type events). We have little ones, so we will have to take things fairly slow and in small doses. I'm hoping to stay in small-town "working farm" vacation rentals which will not only accomodate our large family, but might also give us a better feel for "real life" Germany. The vacation rentals will be our 'home base' for several days and we'll take day trips out from there.

We are definitely renting a large van, but since you have teenagers you could easily get away with taking trains, or a combination of rental and trains, as seafox suggested.

Some places that we are not visiting that we'd like to come back for some day: Trier in the southwest (fabulously old), Garmisch-partenkirchen (south near Austria), Dresden, Cologne...there are too many . The most difficult part of planning has been cutting out wonderful places. If it helps at all, determine that this will NOT be your last trip to Germany, (or Europe for that matter) and so you'll have another opportunity to see things that you can't get to on this trip.

Happy planning!
Moselle is offline  
Nov 1st, 2010, 02:20 PM
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Young folks = Munich and Berlin.

If you decide on that with that, then your one or two other country desire will most easily be met by Austria (Innsbruck or Salzburg) and or the Czech Republic.

I would recommend driving; it is a lot of fun, quite reasonable, and incredibly efficient in Germany. For 5 people you will probably find it cheaper if you want to go to places other than big cities and have the car the whole time. Being allowed to take the vehicle into the Czech Republic might be an issue, so a three location trip Munich, Prague, Berlin could be done easily by train, with local daytrips. Each German region has group tickets (Landerkarten) that make day trips to surrounding towns and villages incredibly cheap for groups.

You could always rent a car for some travel and then train for other portions - drop off fees are non-existent or minimal (they are starting to creep in).
Aramis is offline  
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