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Help with middle of France/Germany trip in June

Help with middle of France/Germany trip in June

Feb 21st, 2016, 07:46 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2016
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Help with middle of France/Germany trip in June

My family of four (two adults, 18yr boy, 16 yr boy) is taking a Europe trip in June. We begin in London and end in Paris, airfare and lodging is set for both cities. We are taking the overnight ferry to Caen, renting a car and spending 3 nights in the Normandy area.

I am running into problems once we leave Normandy on Sunday 12June. Both boys want to go to Freiburg/Staufen/Black Forest area and to Bavaria to Neuschwanstein (maybe Fussen?). We have Sunday-Friday afternoon for Germany, we check into Paris after 3 on Friday 17June.

I have looked at taking the TGV train to Munich and then down to Fussen, or into Zurich and up to Fussen--Does anyone have suggestions for the most efficient trip? Is it possible to plan this without spending two whole days traveling? I am more than willing to break travel up into a few hours a day but am lost as to what the best would be.
akordeliski is offline  
Feb 21st, 2016, 09:16 PM
Join Date: Dec 2014
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From Paris it's about 4 hours each way round trip to Freiburg. If a visit to Neuschwanstein is critically important, it's about 6 hours from Freiburg to Füssen plus 8 hours from Füssen to Paris - 10 additional hours altogether over a return trip from Freiburg - all for a 30-minute tour? I'd invite them to take that trip independently on their own dime, either while the adults are enjoying the Black Forest, or on some future trip of their own.
Fussgaenger is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2016, 12:16 AM
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I'd just drive to the Black Forest and then back to Paris. If part of your party want to travel further let them plan it and take the train. They are both 16+ so should be safe.
bilboburgler is online now  
Feb 22nd, 2016, 12:27 AM
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I understand the boys wanting to see Neuschwanstein, my son was 16 and really wanted to see that castle, we compromised and went to Fuessen for a night (lovely town) took the Tegelberg cablecar and hiked around the trail to the rear of the castle (we didn't do the tour) - seeing it in it's dramatic setting was lovely and the mountains, lake, river, town all gorgeous. So a very worthwhile trip. We then moved on to Mittenwald for some really lovely Bavarian mountain / lake walks. I don't know how best to do this for you, just mentioning that it was a highlight for my son and there is much more to experience than the castles.
Adelaidean is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2016, 09:29 AM
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The most logical itinerary would be somewhat different:

- Fly from London to Munich, train (3:04) to Füssen (Neuschwanstein).

- From Füssen train to Freiburg (5:54).

- From Freiburg train to Normandy (~7 hours).

- From Normandy train to Paris.
traveller1959 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2016, 10:25 AM
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If you and your spouse are willing to make the time commitment to those areas, then point out the drawbacks to your sons (note that your 18yo is an adult), in terms of timing. Ask them how they feel about spending X hours on getting there and back.

Also, ask them what about those areas, and that castle, are so appealing to them? I have never been to Neuschwanstein, but my husband has, and based on his comments, I have not been interested in visiting (though we have been to other areas of Bavaria). It sounds like others have recommended other areas for their beauty.

If they are interested in historic, beautiful castles, then the Loire Valley might fit in better with your other destinations on this trip. I think many of the castles in the Loire are older than Neuschwanstein, but share the same aesthetic in being pleasure palaces, rather than defensive fortresses. Though the Loire Valley does contain some older, defensive chateaux as well (and personally, I find those more interesting).
Lexma90 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2016, 10:32 AM
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I loved Neuschwanstein. It's like I can still see it in front of me when I think of it - and I saw it 30 years ago.

Whathello is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2016, 12:31 PM
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Everyone but some Germans seem to love Neuschwanstein, including myself - not your usual castle or palace or whatever it should properly be called but like Whatgoodbye says above is true with me - been there thrice and all great memories - take time - staying in Fussen is sweet - many typical Bavarian guesthouses and a nice nice town often overlooked by the hoards that tramp thru it making a beeline to Mad Ludwig's Castle and back to the train station.

Then make a day of it - trek up behind the castle on walkways that lead to the Marienbrucke from which you get a nifty perspective of the castle nestled amongst forests in the distance - take the chair lift not too far from the castle into forests just like the Black Forest.


You need not go to Munich to get to Fussen by train, rather from Freiburg you switch off the Munich like at Buchloe or Kempten (if I recall correctly) and go straight down to Fussen. For lots of info on trains check www.bahn.de/en- German Railways official online scheduling and fares (discounts for those who book early enough to get these limited in number discounted ducats); www.seat61.com - good advice on discounted tickets; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Via Zurich from Freibourg would be longer and more expensive probably than thru Germany by train or rent a car here too and meander over from the Black Forest via Ulm and its tall tall cathedral to Fussen - a really scenic route the whole way.

You can swim in the lakes near the castle at Schwangau.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2016, 01:07 PM
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Just a note that this is happening during your stay in France:
greg is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2016, 11:12 AM
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I would drive(early start) from Normandy to Gengenbach on Sunday, June 12. Spend the next couple of days meandering thru the Black Forest and then on to Fussen to see the castles. On thursday end up in Strasbourg for the night.Turn in your car on arrival in Strasbourg. Take the TGV early afternoon on Friday from Strasbourg to Paris.

If Money is not important, you could train to Strasbourg from Normandy(TGV Paris to Strasbourg) on Sunday, rent a car, drive to Gengenbach for the night(Instead of driving Normandy to Gengenbach).


dugi_otok is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2016, 01:44 PM
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If taking Paris to Strasbourg or Basel, etc on a TGV be sure to book way early to save tons of money - www.voyages-sncf.com or www.capitainetrain.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 24th, 2016, 02:46 PM
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and many TGVs are double-deckers these days - and the seat on the upper level has far superior views IME than those in the sunken lower deck whose views are often abscured by walls of the rail bed, wind blocks, etc.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 28th, 2016, 04:51 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Does it have to be Neuschwanstein? Or might this one do instead (it's not far from Strasbourg and really impressive). http://www.haut-koenigsbourg.fr/en/

The whole area is lovely http://www.alsace-wine-route.com/
lynda_berlin is offline  
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