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Jerry Stevens Jun 6th, 2000 06:23 AM

Help! Ideas and suggestions for Germany trip!?!
My family and I are planning to fly to Frankfurt in August, and will have about 10 days. Need suggestions as to how to mazimize the trip and available time. Should we spend the entire time in Germany or perhaps venture into France, Austria, etc.? First time for the kids (Ages 11 & 18) in Europe - my wife and I were here 15 years ago. <BR> Also, suggestions on mid-priced lodging, best way to travel, etc? Should we rent a car? All responses greatly appreciated.

lara Jun 6th, 2000 07:23 AM

Oh, so much to do...for what it's worth, here are my suggestions: <BR> <BR>Since you have kids with you, I wouldn't miss going to Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. It's a hoot. Also, spend at least one day cruising up the Rhine, especially the area between Mainz and Koblenz. Plan to spend a few hours at one of the towns along the way, such as Bacharach or Rudesheim. I could go on all day about places to visit! <BR> <BR>For a ten day trip, I'd really recommend you stick to one country (this is from experience). You'll find that ten days is really very little to see all the wonderful sights in Germany, anyway. <BR> <BR>As far as getting around goes, I love taking the train. However, since you'll be travelling with older kids, renting a car may be a better bet and will probably be a lot cheaper. <BR> <BR>Have a fun trip and email me if you need more!

Lee Jun 6th, 2000 08:37 AM

Jerry: Lara had some good suggestions. <BR> <BR>We happen to have done a Germany trip last summer for ten days. <BR> <BR>We arrived in Frankfurt and rented a car, heading over to Assmanshausen on the Rhine. We stayed there for two nights visiting the Lorelei, Koblenz, Boppard, St. Goar, Bacharach, Mainz and Rudesheim. Great time! We then headed (early morning) to Munich, stopping first at Dachau. We arrived at our hotel, checked in and headed down (U-Bahn) to the Marienplatz and the Frauenkirche and then the Hofbrauhaus for dinner, beer, pretzels and omm-pah-pah. Fun! The next morning, we headed east to Prien and to see King Ludwig's castle at Chiemsee. We finished early and continued east to Salzburg, where we walked throughout the old town, churches and ate up in the fortress for dinner. It was spontaneous and it turned out really well, heading back to Munich later that night. The next day, we headed to Garmisch and took the cable car to the top of the Zugspitze, absolutely beautiful! We drove over to Oberammergau and stayed there for a night. We left the next day and headed to Ettal to see the basilica, Linderhof Castle and on to the Weiskirche near Steingaden. We left late in the day, driving by way of Neuschwanstein, driving all the way to Dinkelsbuhl to spend the night. We spent the day there, heading nearby to Rothenburg and staying there. We left the following day, heading west to Frankfurt and had dinner in Sachsenhausen. The next day we visited the Romerplatz, St. Bartholomew's, the Hauptwache, Alte Opera, etc. We stayed one more night there, heading to the airport and home the following morning. <BR> <BR>There were five adults with one station wagon and no problems. We booked all hotels over the web in advance. We had been there previously and I lived in Frankfurt in the 80's, so we knew what we wanted to see. <BR> <BR>That's one plan, there are many variations, but I think that gives you a flavor for it. Good luck!

nickie Jun 6th, 2000 09:59 AM

All good suggestions above. I would certainly think about staying two or three days along the Rhine, because it gives you a chance to get over jet lag in a nice setting. We found that taking a cruise the day after we arrived let us get a chance to relax (we traveled from St. Goar to Rudesheim, where we walked around the town - touristy but fun - and took the cruise back. Although you will be much more flexible renting a car - the driving is easy and quick, one of the days you might consider a short train trip to Koln, with its splendid cathedral, and good Roman museum (and dozens of other ones too - from chocolate to the Beatles!)Driving into and out of Koln is a little hectic, and it's easy to get lost.The train station is right in front of the cathedral. <BR>Munich is a lot of fun, with a lot to do, but I would also go on to Berchtesgaden for a couple days - beautiful scenery. There you could tour Hitler's Eagle Nest, go on the saltmine tour, or easy hiking from the Mount Jenner cablecar. If you're driving, you could go to Chiemsee as suggested above, and continue on. <BR>If you decide on Munich, there are a lot of museums, and the Nymphenburg palace. <BR>Rothenburg is fun and would be more so without the thousands of tourists. However at night it is peaceful, and it is a cute city with great shopping. Hope this gave you a few ideas. <BR>Oh, as to your other question - Bavaria is a lot like Austria, so you wouldn't need to go further. I imagine a lot of people on this forum would tell you to go on to Paris by train, but for me Germany would be plenty for ten days.

Alice Jun 6th, 2000 10:25 AM

Just got back a week ago from Germany where we spent 17 days (8 in Germany, 3 in Switzerland, 1 in France, and 4 in Austria + 1 in transit) and I agree with all the previous suggestions. Have just a few to add. <BR> <BR>We stayed in Austria just south of the German border in Plach, a suburb of Ruette, and only about 5 miles south of Fussen and Neuschwanstein. The guesthouse name: Gusthaus zum Schwanen. It was the best deal we had in Europe: very large room, totally renovated with new woods and everything. We had one of the two rooms with a balcony, so you might have to ask for that. We two only paid $56 US dollars! That includes a continental breakfast although we were also offered eggs one morning which we declined (when in Rome...). <BR> <BR>In Germany we did Frankfurt on day of arrival, Andernach, Rudesheim and St. Goar on the Rhine (2 days), Trier on the Mosel + Luxembourg, Rothenburg, Heidelburg, drove into and back from Metz, France, in 1 day, Munich (Marienplatz and the Haufbrauhaus are a must, but skip the subway that have the only filthy restrooms in all of Germany), and then spent one day just relaxing and visiting friends. You have a little more time, so go on up to Koln (Cologne) to see the cathedral. Also, on our way back from Austria, we stopped in Heilbronn and ate a sumptuous sampler meal at the Ratskeller on the old town square. This was probably the best meal we had in Europe and we had many very good meals. Don't waste much time in Frankfurt. It has an old town but so does every other town and better ones, too. See the countryside which is the color of green God meant green to be.

Tony Jun 6th, 2000 02:00 PM

Some great suggestions above, and I agree with them all. The suggestion to linger longer on the Rhine and Moselle is a very good one. <BR>If you do have a car, and want to show a little of France to the kids the city of Strasbourg is also worth a visit, with some great walking tours around the "old city".

margaret Jun 6th, 2000 02:26 PM

Just a reminder - the Passion Play is being held in Oberammergau now through September so that part of Southern Germany will probably be packed full of tourists (and tourist buses). Plan some extra time into your trip for unanticipated delays. Have fun!

Linda Jun 6th, 2000 05:07 PM

You can spend easily the entire 10 days exploring Germany. All of the above suggestions are good ones. I would add Berlin as a not-miss because of the 20th Century history--Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie Museum, Olympic Stadium, Templehof Airfield--even ancient history with Pergamon Museum. Just a wonderful place to see. Also, Dresden is a beautiful, rebuilt city after being totally destroyed in WWII (2 hours south of Berlin). Hamelin (as in Pied Piper of)is north of Frankfurt & on Sundays at 5:30 p.m., they do a reinactment. It is a lovely little town with nice shops. We stayed at Zur Borse near town center (E.10 Holander Gmb H, Osterstrasse 41a 31785 Hamelin). In Berlin we stayed with friends so can't help there. In Dresden, we stayed at Gastehaus Hesse, few miles south of downtown near other friends. It is across the street from the river & located at an old ferry crossing. The Rhine River Cruise is nice & Berchtsgaden very interesting. Munich is a fun city.

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