HELP WITH TRIP TO GERMANY

Aug 11th, 2007, 11:11 AM
  #1  
mariadelagracia
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HELP WITH TRIP TO GERMANY

My husband and I just found out that we can take a trip to Germany (his ancestry home) for 2 weeks in June 2008. Since we travel on frequent flyer miles and use hotel points wherever possible, we need to get all the reservations done ASAP. I am going like a madwoman trying to research, plan and organize this trip so we can finalize it within the next couple of weeks. I would greatly appreciate any input on our itinerary:

6/8: Arrive Frankfurt, pick up car and spend 2 nights through the Mosel Valley
6/10: Drive to Baden-Baden (ancestry home) and spend 1 night
6/11: Stop in Staufen and on to Hallstatt - spend 1 night
6/12: Vienna for 2 nights
6/14: Salzburg for 1 night
6/15: Munich
6/16: Munich
6/17: Dachau as a day trip from Munich
6/18: To Rothenburg via the Romantic Road, spend 2 nights
6/20: Back to Frankfurt
6/21: Fly back home

We donít want to overdose on castles, but would like recommendations on 3 that would be the best in these regions. Also, if anyone has good recommendations for reasonably priced B&Bís or inns in the following places that are located in a quiet, relaxed setting, that would be great: Baden Baden, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rothenburg.

Iíve been reading about the different trains in Germany, and quite frankly, I feel as if my head is going to explodeÖ..very confusing to me. (Iím sure itís me, not the websites). If we decide to take a train(s) somewhere, Iíll be back to ask for assistance.

Would we need a car in Munich or Vienna at all? If not, we could drop the car off in Vienna and take public transportation the rest of the trip. We like the idea of being able to just get into a car and go, but a train ride might be another good experience as well. Unless we would save a LOT of money, saving time is a preference. Any suggestions or input?
 
Aug 11th, 2007, 11:40 AM
  #2  
 
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I can't comment on all questions, but I will say that since you'll be in the Mosel area, Burg Eltz is a wonderful castle. If you haven't visited Neu Schwanstein, you'd probably like it, and you can visit Hohenschwangau on the same excursion.

I like your idea of visitng Staufen, since it is a really charming town, not overrun by tourists.

In Munich and Vienna, a car would be an annoyance. I take the trains all the time when I am in Germany, and I don't consult any websites for information. I drop by the train station ahead of time--maybe the day before--and get my tickets at a ticket agent there, or else, if my trip is a brief one with frequent departures, I just show up at the train station and get a ticket.

It seems to me that your itineray is a bit ambitious. I think I'd cut out Salzburg. I wasn't especially impressed with it--though others may disagree--and there's so much to see and experience in Vienna that I'd spend my time there or elsewhere.

When you are in the Mosel Valley, I recommend staying at the Hotel Haus Lipmann, a favorite of mine and of many other Fodorites.

Despite having visited Germany and Munich many times, I have never wanted to see Dachau. Others feel differently, I know.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Aug 11th, 2007, 11:48 AM
  #3  
 
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You really are covering some ground with this plan. It might make more sense to cut Vienna, although it PAINS me to say that (I'll be in Vienna for my 4th time next month!) We've enjoyed the smaller towns (and the villages also) in Germany and Austria as much as the bigger cities. Regensburg is a particular favorite of ours, but we've not seen Rothenburg.
noe847 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2007, 11:52 AM
  #4  
 
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The 11th - 14th: just too much crazy driving. Not sure what the stop in Staufen is about - nice place, but seems like an immensely time-consuming detour. You'll have maybe 1.5 days in Vienna, a few hours in Hallstatt and Salzburg. Suggest you just lop off Vienna which is huge and simply requires more sightseeing and driving time. It's also no place to have a car! Suggest you drop the car once you're in or near Munich - another place you probably don't want to have a car - and proceed by train to Rothenburg and FRA - it's a waste of rental time to keep it in Munich.
Russ is offline  
Aug 11th, 2007, 11:58 AM
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I was also going to suggest cutting out Vienna - give yourself another day in Salzburg or Munich so you can do a day trip to King Ludwig's castles.

I've been to Salzburg twice and love it - such a beautiful, unique city. Don't miss it if you have the time to see it. Also enjoyed Rothenburg and wish we had stayed more than 1 night.
nycgirl1 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2007, 12:02 PM
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Lots of driving and relocating.

Single-night stops leave much less time for sightseeing than most people realize (expect those that have already learned this the hard way).

An alternative plan would be to spend three nights in Salzburg and do a train daytrip to Vienna.

Also, driving through the Black Forest is a slow-going process. If you just want to see Baden-Baden, and otherwise stick to the Autobahns, it is probably doable. Any attempt to take the scenic route, however, would not leave much time for stopping.
smueller is offline  
Aug 11th, 2007, 12:04 PM
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From Baden-Baden to Hallstatt via Staufen, you'll spend the whole day in the car since you'll be on country roads most of the time. No time for stopping and walking around. Is that worth it?

In Hallstatt you'll have one evening. The next morning you'll be back on the road. Again, is that worth it?

I'd cut out Vienna (2 nights mean one full day, that's too short for Vienna anyway) and add one day to the Black Forest area and one day to the Salzburg area, and break the long drive from Baden-Baden to Hallstatt/Salzburg and stop halfway for one night, either along the Bodensee (my preference), or if you feel like seeing the Disneyland castles, in Füssen.

In cities like Munich or Vienna or Salzburg, a car is of absolutely no use. Public transport is excellent, parking is hard to find and expensive and probably far away from the place you actually want to see, and sightseeing in the centers must be done on foot anyway because the most interesting parts of all these towns and cities are closed for individual traffic.
quokka is offline  
Aug 11th, 2007, 12:08 PM
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hi, maria,

why not think about an open jaw trip - into frankfurt and out of munich? and frop austria altogether, leaving it for another trip.

i suspect that once you are there, you wil want far more time to explore your native region - 1 night in the land of your fathers [and mothers] is very short, especially for such a lovely area.

I sugggest

3 nights mosel,
1 night on the deutsche weinstrasse south to B-B.
3 nights BB
2 nights Freiburg
1 night lindau [on the bodensee]
2 nights munich.

you could tinker with this, for example take one nighht from B-B and add it on to Munich.

or if you want to fly in and out of Frankfurt, cut out Freiburg and lindau, go to Munich from B-B via the romantic road, and come back from munich by train.

IMO your present itinerary is too much travel, not enough doing and seeing.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Aug 11th, 2007, 01:48 PM
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Re hotels, what is your definition of reasonable?
BB is a resort town and isn't what anyone would call rowdy, so you will be fine staying in town itself. Among the less expensive hotels, try the Hotel Beeg...just a hop away from the Caracalla spa, nice and quiet, located on a pedestrian street and has its own very good conditorei for delicious pastries and light meals (we go to BB about 3 times a year and always eat there...my husband loves their snail soup, a local specialty). Doubles with balcony are about 120 euro per night (cheaper without balcony, but I think it's worth the extra 10 euro).
http://www.hotel-beeg.de/eng/welcome.html

You could also check to see what kind of rates are available at the 5 star luxury Dorint/Sofitel, which has its own spa. We usually stay there because there and have never paid more than 220 euro per night (for a junior suite with private terrace, we've paid much less for a double). However, their special rates probably aren't available this far in advance.

BTilke is offline  
Aug 11th, 2007, 02:49 PM
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Maria, your heading says help with trip to GERMANY, yet you are also including Austria in what I consider to be a rather short time frame.

I think you have too many 1 nighter's. I also think if this is your first trip to Germany, you should spend more time in Germany and do Austria on another trip.

The Mosel-Rhein Rivers area definitely deserves more time in my opinion. There is just too much to see and do in only 2 days, especially if you will be suffering the effects of jetlag.

One night in Baden-Baden may be sufficient, but there are many other lovely small towns in the Black Forest area that you could explore.

The area from Heidelberg down the Neckar River to Bad Wimpfen is a lovely part of Germany.

A stay in Berchtesgaden would allow you to do day trips to Salzburg and Hallstatt if you want without having to relocate every night.

Suggest you really try to SEE more of Germany but slow down your pace alittle.
bettyk is offline  
Aug 11th, 2007, 03:37 PM
  #11  
mariadelagracia
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Thank you all for your info. Ok, here's our new itinerary:

6/8 Arrive Frankfurt @ 8am, pick up car and drive to the Mosel Valley (2 nights)
6/9 Mosel Valley
6/10 To Baden Baden (2 nights)
6/11 Baden Baden
6/12 Drive through Black Forest, stopping for dinner somewhere and dropping car off in Munich in the evening (4 nights)
6/13 Munich
6/14 Munich
6/15 Dachau day trip from Munich
6/16 Salzburg (2 nights)
6/17 Salzburg
6/18 To Rothenburg(2 nights)
6/19 Rothenburg
6/20 To Frankfurt
6/21 Home

Is it any better to drive from BB to Rothenburg area, to Munich and take train from Munich to Frankfurt?

Also, any suggestions for quiet, relaxing B&B's or inns in Baden Baden, Rothenburg and Salzburg? I think we're sold on Haus Lipmann...have come across good recommendations.
 
Aug 11th, 2007, 05:33 PM
  #12  
 
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Your new plan is an improvement. I'd be tempted to take one night from Munich (unless you are doing another day trip besides Dachau) and add it to the front end somewhere. 4 nights is a lot (relatively speaking) for Munich; you'll have a bit of time there the first evening and also on the Dachau day.
noe847 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 05:58 AM
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Much improved. But I agree w/ bettyk and ann that you need more time on the Mosel. 1st day after flight is often a jet-lagged blur. Trier, Burg Eltz, Bernkastel, and numerous outdoor activities will beckon. I would suggest at least 3 nights there if you hope to see and do a few things.

A Mosel day could be added by staying just one night in Rothenburg and changing your last night from Frankfurt to Würzburg, which has direct train connections to FRA and is only 1.5 hrs. away; W'burg is a stone's throw from R'burg, so you'd still have time to see more of R'burg on the second day and perhaps see Wúrzburg's "Residenz" - a real visual treat - before your final evening. Or.. Munich to Salzburg is only 1.5 hours, so with an early start you could still see a lot and spend just a single night in Salzburg.

Have a good trip!
Russ is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 08:23 AM
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We loved our hotel in Salzburg, Hotel Auersperg - it's across the river and not in the heart of things, but an easy (and pretty) 10-15 minute walk with plenty of shopping along the way. Very quiet location, very comfortable and nicely done. I highly recommend it.

We also enjoyed our Rothenburg B&B and the location can't be beat.
Hotel Kloster-Stuble
http://www.klosterstueble.de/index_e.html




nycgirl1 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 08:24 AM
  #16  
mariadelagracia
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Thanks again for the input. Ok, we've taken a night off of Salzburg (we'll head out early morning on the 16th and do 1 night). We added that night onto Mosel Valley. Where would you recommend we "make our base" in the valley so we can see Burg Eltz, Trier, etc. and stay in the same lodging?

The last night needs to be in Frankfurt because our flight leaves the following morning from Frankfurt.

I am going to get some guide books today and I'm sure I'll have more questions.
 
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:09 AM
  #17  
 
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Do you have to leave from Frankfurt? It seems like your itinerary could be improved by flying open jaw, into Frankfurt and out of Munich. You should be able to do this, even with FF miles.

Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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Mosel Accommodations:
Beilstein (Haus Lipmann) is fine but extremely tiny - not a lot of evening stuff to do - and not the most centrally located. You'd better like it REAL quiet. I usually stay in Cochem as it's the largest of the villages between Trier and Koblenz, with good train connections, but it too is a bit far from Trier. Bernkastel, though smaller, is perhaps the most centrally located town, with a good number of eateries and shops, and if you have a car there you'll find it easier than by public transport (bus-train combo.)
Russ is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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We have reservations at the Hotel Binz in Bernkastel for 13-15 Sept. I'll be writing a trip report when we return in early October.

We stayed in Beilstein at Hotel Haus Lipmann a couple of years ago and loved the town. That part of the river is really beautiful.

While it is quiet, there are quite a few good restaurants. Also, we enjoyed going up to the Burg Metternich castle ruins and walking up to the Karmelitenkirche where they have a Black Madonna and Child from the 16th century.

Here's a link to my trip report:

http://fodorstravel.com/forums/threa...2&tid=34625250
bettyk is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 06:50 PM
  #20  
mariadelagracia
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My husband insisted that we couldn't do any "open jaws" on frequent flyer miles. WEll, I called the airline and we CAN. So now we're flying into Frankfurt and out of Munich. We decided to cut Salzburg out and include the Bavaria region (around Fussen) instead. This is our new and (hopefully) improved itinerary:

6/8 Arrive Frankfurt @ 8am, pick up car and drive to the Mosel Valley (3 nights)
6/9 Mosel Valley
6/10 Mosel Valley
6/11 To Baden Baden (2 nights)
6/12 Baden Baden
6/13 Romantic Rd to Rothenburg(2 nights)
6/14 Rothenburg
6/15 To Bavaria (3 nights)
6/15 Bavaria
6/17 Bavaria
6/18 To Munich (3 nights)
6/19 Munich
6/20 Munich (trip to Dachau)
6/21 Home

** Should we drop the car off in Rothenburg or in Bavaria?
** Would Fussen be a good "base" for exploring the Bavarian region?
 

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