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Help w/ 1st Germany itinerary (+ Austria/Switz.?)

Help w/ 1st Germany itinerary (+ Austria/Switz.?)

Old Mar 13th, 2005, 02:25 PM
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Help w/ 1st Germany itinerary (+ Austria/Switz.?)

Hi all,
This is an impossibly open ended question, but would anyone be kind enough to give us some general advice on how to start planning our first trip to Germany?

I will be in Munich for business for 1 week in mid April and want to fly my husband in for a 2 week vacation (can possibly extend a few more days). Some notes...
- We enjoy doing a mix of things on our vacations... love the outdoors, history, architecture, culture... just exploring and experiencing all a country has to offer.
- We are thinking of renting a car (I'm seeing quotes of approx. $500 USD for 2 wks - this is good?) as we enjoy the freedom and we've driven in Europe before, so hopefully it won't be a problem.
- Due to the proximity of Austria and Switzerland, we were also thinking of side trips there... too ambitious?
- budget is a bit flexible, but we can't be too extravagant, so the most economical route would also be best.

The more I read and research online, the more confused I've gotten. There's just so much to see and do! So I'm hoping a few of you experts can give me a list of your favorite trips in this region to help kick start our planning! Thanks so much in advance!!
hailbuzzy is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2005, 03:18 PM
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First of all, mid-April limits things a bit. There is likely to be still quite a bit of snow in the countryside (the roads should be OK) and the weather tends to be unreliable. Bring some good footgear along. And be flexible as to what you want to do on which day.Finally, a car in Munich is one big pain.


I probably would stay in or just outside of Munich (along one of the S-Bahn train lines for an easy coomute) for several days and visit in the city. It has lots of good museums.

Then go by train for a day-trip to Salzburg as well as for one day to Garmisch Partenkirchen, including a train ride up to the top of the Zugspitze.

Having done all that, get a car from AutoEurope, manual Diesel if you can handle that.

Drive to Lindau, city on an island in Lake Constance (Bodensee). From there, do a few day trips to: Meersburg, Lichtenstein and as far into Switzerland as one day roundtrip will allow.

On the way back: Drive Lindau, Immmenstadt, Hindelang, Reutte to Fuessen and on to Munich via Wieskirche (outside of Steingaden, 40km North of Fuessen), Murnau, Autobahn.

Or, if you can book an open jaw: Drive Fuessen, on the A-7 Autobahn north to Rothenburg (overnight) and on the A-7 to the A-3 west, wehich will drop yuo off at the Frankfurt airport. En route stop and visit Wuertzburg for 3m or 4 hours.

For train schedules: http://bahn.de
treplow is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2005, 03:36 PM
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Treplow has a pretty good plan there. If you drive in Austria, remember to stop and buy the little "permit/sticker" at the first gas station you find.

If you need to fly out of Munich, and want to stay "down" that way for most of the trip....you might consider a night in Hallstadt Austria. Picturesque.
Any easy drive north out of Munich could take you to Regensburg, Nurnburg, and Bamburg. Great towns to see.
EK
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 01:21 PM
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You can cover a lot of ground in a car in 2 weeks in Germany. You will have plenty of time to relax and see the area. Plant yourself a few days and explore, then move on. Do not move daily..too much trouble.

You may want to purchase the book by Kathy Brown...GERMAN INNS AND ITINERARIES. She has an entire series for Europe. We have used her many times on trips to Europe. She has recommendations for the small type inns you may be looking for, plus travel itineraries. We enjoy small private inns more than the US chain operations that make you feel you never left home.

Our favorite areas in S. Germany are Munich, Salzburg, Berchtesgaden, Garmisch, Oberammergau and Neuschwanstein.

You can stay in Berchtesgaden a few days, visit Salzburg and that area then do the Alpine drive (if open in April..will have to check) to Garmisch. Stay in Garmisch to visit Oberammergau, Linderhof castle, easy day trip to Innsbruck and one nice trip to Neuschwanstein.

Good round trip for the day is Garmisch to Reutte to Neuschawanstein to Wies church to Oberammergau to Ettal Abbey and back to Garmisch. Sounds like a lot, but it makes for a nice full day.

Have fun. Great area to visit.
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 03:42 PM
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Picking up on some of treplow's ideas, I'd add -

because April weather is so iffy, I'd find a place outside Munich (as s/he said) but to the south of the city. That way you could ad lib it day-to-day, driving to the nearby mountains on nice days (returning at night) and taking the S-bahn train into Munich in inclement weather. (You certainly don't want to be in the mountains when they're fogged in!)

Thus, in two weeks you'll be able to take a half-dozen or more day trips to say, Salzburg, Berchtesgaden, Garmisch, Bodensee, etc, etc. on days of your own choosing.

If you could find one center-of-gravity spot - a ferienwohnung in a small town maybe - instead of hopping around, I think that would be best, and would be the simplest and most economical way to do it.
TuckH is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2005, 05:31 PM
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Assuming you'll fly out of Munich, here's a route I can recommend based on our 15 day visit to Germany 2 years ago. Our starting point was different (Bamberg), but otherwise it is a route that worked well for us. Keep in mind that it's just one of dozens of ways you could go in one of our favorite parts of Europe.

Rent a car in Munich the morning you want to leave the city. Drive to the village of Hohenschwangau via Oberammergau and/or Garmisch. Stop at Linderhof Palace for a couple of hours on the way out of the Oberammergau/Garmisch area.

After Linderhof, you will dip into northern Austria, driving along the Plansee. Stop for lunch in the early afternoon along this picturesque lake. (There is a restaurant on the right side of the road after you've been going along the lake for a while--across the road from a beach area. Don't remember the name, but we had a very pleasant lunch.) Drive on through Reutte, Austria and to the little village of Hohenschwangau.

Stay at the Romantic Pension Neuschwanstein in Hohenschwangau (we stayed 2 nights). Very nice place, modern bath, free parking, good breakfast, within walking distance of the castle ticket office. Neuschwanstein castle is right overhead. http://www.albrecht-neuschwanstein.de/index2.html We paid 64 euro for a double.

You would have time to check into the Pension and still see one of the castles that afternoon with no rush. See the other castle the next morning. Have dinner at the Alpenhotel Meier--5 minute drive from the Pension. http://www.alpenhotel-allgaeu.de/engl/e-index.htm

It actually looked like a nice hotel, too, but not within as easy walking distance of the ticket center as the Pension.

You could spend 2 or 3 days in the area depending on your interests. Then drive up the Romantic Road stopping as you wish at such places as the Wieskirche, Dinkelsbuhl, Nordlingen--on the way to Rothenburg.

Rothenburg wasn't our particular cup of tea as far as a place to stay goes (different strokes for different folks), so we fulfilled Mrs. Fly's wish to stay in a castle hotel. We picked Burg Colmberg just a few kms east of Rothenburg. Did day trips for a couple of days from there. http://www.burg-colmberg.de/index_e.html

It's a nice castle on the prerequisite hill overlooking the prerequisite little town (Colmberg) and valley. Has a very good restaurant and a gold course, too. The guestrooms are very up-to-date. As I remember, rooms ran from around 70 something euro to about 150 euro depending on size and view. Check the website.

From the Rothenburg area, we drove to the Mosel River Valley staying in the tiny, pretty village of Beilstein at the Hotel Haus Lipman right on the river--85 euro double, free parking, breakfast, excellent restaurant overlooking the river, friendly and helpful manager and staff. Great macaroons.

Beilstein is very small and quiet--exactly what we wanted to return to after a day exploring up and down the river. We enjoyed having a late dinner and then drinking wine watching the lights dance on the river, chatting with the owner and other guests. We also did a short cruise to Cochem, and we visited Burg Eltz, one of the best castles we've seen anywhere.

After Beilstein, we drove to the Rhein and explored the most popular section for a day on our way to Frankfurt and our hotel next to the airport--for our departure the next day.

For you to get back to Munich, you could drive east, past Frankfurt and visit the wonderful cities of Wuerzburg and Bamberg. Both have a lot to see. Bamberg is one of our favorite small cities in Europe, so I'd visit Wuerzburg for a few hours on the way to my hotel in Bamberg.

In Bamberg, we loved the Hotel Brudermuehle, right on the Regnitz River in the middle of Bamberg's well-preserved, never bombed Altstadt. We had a great stay at the Brudermuehle--the one drawback was the small, though modern, bathroom. Someone who stayed there recently reported a problem with brown water, but we didn't have that problem so it was hopefully some temporary issue. http://www.brudermuehle.de/englisch/englisch.html

Another Bamberg hotel that looked interesting was the Sankt Nepomuk, really right in the river a bit up (down?) stream from the Brudermuehle. We stayed 3 days in Bamberg, and had a thoroughly grand time. Don't know if you'll be there for the white asparagus wave that engulfs Germany sometime in the spring, but if you are you'll have asparagus prepared more ways than there are types of German sausages.

From Bamberg we had taken the train to Munich (Bamberg had been our trip starting point) but driving back to Munich there are lots of nice places to stop; e.g., Nuernberg, Regensberg, etc.

No matter what route you decide on--if you have half as good a time as we did, it'll be one of the best 2 weeks of your life.
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Old Mar 18th, 2005, 11:06 AM
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Wow! Thank you all so much for your advice and the detailed itineraries!! I've bought a couple of guide books and using your tips, I will be doing extensive research this weekend. I'm sure I'll have tons more questions when I'm through but you guys have kicked me off to a great start! Thanks so much once again!
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