High Points of South Germany

Old May 22nd, 2002, 01:46 PM
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High Points of South Germany

My family of 12 people will be leaving Hamburg on Monday morning and we have to be in Frankfurt on Friday evening for early Saturday flight back to US. Requesting advice and suggestions of great places to see and stay south of Frankfurt. We are traveling by rail and want to see the best parts in a short period of time.
Old May 22nd, 2002, 03:37 PM
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How far south of Frankfurt? Near Frankfurt are Wiesbaden, Nuremberg, Heidelberg, Wiesbaden, the Rhine and Mosel rivers. Further south you have King Ludwig's 3 Castles', Oberammergau, the beginning of the alps, Garmish Partenkirchen (sp), many charming villages, the Black Forest, Muenchen and many other sites.
Old May 22nd, 2002, 09:43 PM
Harriette Lion
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Heidelberg is wonderful!! See the castle or take a boat ride on the Neckar River
Old May 23rd, 2002, 01:34 AM
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Landsburg is beautiful, Konstanz on the lake and especially Oberammergau which is a delightful little village with beautifully painted houses of biblical scenes and even one with Little Red Riding Hood completely covering it! - charming.
Old May 23rd, 2002, 05:16 PM
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Thinking back over a month long visit to Southern Germany (flew into Frankfurt and out of Munich) if I had one area to pick for a couple of days I would go to the Rhine River. I stayed in Rudesheim for 2 nights and traveled the Rhine by ferry getting off at various towns. There are so many castles to see and picturesque towns. I had a car and the drive to Rudesheim was only 1/2 hour from Frankfurt. I assume you can get there by train.
Old May 23rd, 2002, 06:41 PM
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Shirley, I visited that part of Germany last year. There are lots of options. Rothenberg Ob der Tauber is a fabulous ancient walled city. If you want to see castles, there are many worth a visit, Linderhof and Neuschwanstein among them. (Neuschwanstein was the inspiration for Disney's Cinderella castle.)If you're interested in WWII-era history, the first of the Nazi prison camps, Dachau, is near Munich. Garmish-Partenkirchen is a beautiful resort area in the Alps. A great half-day trip is to go to the top of the "Zugspitze," which is the highest point in Germany. The Schwarzwald (Black Forest) is beautiful, too. I hope you have a great trip!
Old May 23rd, 2002, 08:21 PM
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The castles, Rothenberg, Munich and Oberammergau areas are all doable but a little further away as they are both south and east of Frankfurt. Other ideas in those areas are Chiemsee, the other Ludwig castle, Konigsee, the church in the meadow (Wiessekirche),
and Berchtesgaden/Salzburg which is all the way to the east on the southern border.

I would combine a few things - Heidelberg and a rhine cruise are easy to arrange and one of the closest things mentioned. I'd try to see the castles, with Linderhof being the most ornate, and combine that with the church in the meadow and Oberammergau. If you can spend enough time to get to the southern border with Switzerland then Lake Constance, Shaffhausen and Stein am Rhein could be a nice excursion. (part Germany, part Switzerland)
Old May 24th, 2002, 04:11 PM
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I appreciate all the help. We are thinking about going from Hamburg to Rothenburg, also to Neuschwanstein, which I am having trouble finding train routes or bus lines to there (Help). We would like to go to Salzburg and Heidelberg too. Any help on planning a route would be much appreciated and hotel information would be great as there are so many of us going. Our start point is Hamburg on Monday and the airport in Frankfurt on Saturday for flight home. Thanks, Shirley
Old May 24th, 2002, 05:33 PM
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I can tell you that Rick Steves' Germany, Austria & Switzerland Guide describes exactly how to train into Neuschwanstein Area and Rothenburg. Use Fussen for Neuschwanstein. Here's Rick's description:

Exit left as you leave the train station and walk a few straight blocks to the center of town and the TI. To go to Neuschwanstein, catch a bus from in front of the station.

Here's what he says about train connections to Rothenburg:

A tiny train line connects Rothenburg to the outside world via Stenach (almost hrly., 15 min). If you plan to arrive in Rothenburg by train, note that the last train to Rothenburg departs nightly from Stenach at 20:30 (if you arrive in Stenach after 20:30, call one of the taxi services to get you to Rothenburg for about $20E; ideally order the taxi an hour or more in advance tel. 09861/2000, tel. 09861/7227, and tel. 09861/95100). For those leaving Rothenburg by train, the first train to Stenach departs at 06:00, the last train to Stenach at 20:00.

Hope this helps. You may want to get Ricks guide.
Old May 24th, 2002, 10:04 PM
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You are stretching yourselves almost impossibly thin by trying to do Rothenburg, Salzburg, Neuschwanstein and Heidelberg from Hamburg in roughly 4.5 days. I couldn't do this alone, really, much less with 12 others - it's just too much travelling.

You sound sold on Rothenburg. Heidelberg isn't far from Frankfurt Airport - might even work as your last overnight. But N'stein (a fake castle with no real history or importance) and Salzburg will mean spending an unreasonable portion of your sightseeing time on the train.

Here's what I would suggest.

Train on Monday to Würzburg, a major train hub and lovely city, and overnight there (with an early start from Hamburg, you might catch the magnificent "Residenz" palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that afternoon and/or walk up to the fortress.)

On Tuesday, leave your bags there in Würzburg and daytrip to Rothenburg. Good train connections.

On Wednesday morning, head west for Mainz, just west of Frankfurt. Check in, then train north to Bingen and take a boat cruise down the Rhine Gorge to one of the wine towns there (St. Goar?) and return by train. Spectacular scenery!

On Thursday morning, take the train north along the Rhine to tour either Marksburg Castle in Braubach on the Rhine or Burg Eltz Castle near Moselkern on the Mosel River (further.) Rick Steves says Eltz is the best in all of Europe. I haven't seen them all, but it is excellent! But it's an hour's walk/hike each way from Moselkern station. Marksburg is also great - a real rustic knights castle. Either of these is much more historically interesting and significant than N'stein many hundred km to the south. Visit the wine towns of St. Goar, Oberwesel, and/or Bacharach on the way back to Mainz. Mainz is very nice for an evening stroll and a nice meal.

On Friday, do Heidelberg. If you want to stay put in Mainz, H'berg can easily be done as a daytrip. From Mainz, you're less than 25 minutes to Frankfurt Airport, and there are dozens and dozens of trains every day.

I think something like this will minimize your overnight moves and the amount of ground you cover so that you can really see some of Germany in the time you have.

I don't know how your're arranging your train travel, but if cost is an issue, I can advise you on cheap daypasses within the Rhine region and within Bavaria. If this sounds good and you have further questions or would like more tips, let me know.

Old May 25th, 2002, 07:05 AM
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Hi Shirley,

Over the past two years I have seen a lot of good advice on Fodors.

THE BEST that I have ever seen is what Russ has laid out for you. It deals with time/place/accommodations, travel modes/times, and site suggestions.

Implicit within his advice is experience.

Russ WOW - super post.
Old May 25th, 2002, 10:58 AM
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WOW---What great responses!!!! This is exactly what I need as this is my first time to Europe. I really like being in one place for more than 1 night. The schedule that Russ set up sounds really great. Here are the ages of the people going and if there are other places that you think might interest us, I would appreciate it very much. 65, 60, 50, [email protected], 40, 37, 22, 19, 18, 16, 13, 11, 7, & 14 months. This includes 2 of our previous exchange students-1 from Germany and 1 from Denmark. I would be very interested in accommodations that are inexpensive for us all and more in depth descriptions of the places Russ mentioned. Would the scenery be comparable to N'stein at the other sites you mentioned? We also need help on transportation advise. We will spend 1 week in Denmark and the last week in Germany. We are thinking about taking the train to Flensburg, renting vans or taking the train to Copenhagen, or Silkborg (close to students home) and we are undecided what would be the most effecient and inexpensive way to go. In Denmark, we plan to go to Copenhagen for 1 or 2 nights, We come back to Fyn, Roskelde, then back to Silkborg for Legoland, then a beachhouse in Esbjorg for 2 nights. This part we have guides for but need to know transportation. We will need either a 15 passenger van, 2 minivans, or a 9 passenger and a car that will take 6 passengers. We have priced the 3 country twin passes, cost of vans, but haven't made a decision on anything yet. The auto rental office is FLengburg closes at noon on Saturday and we won't get there until about 2:30 and I don't know if they will let the kids pick it up early for us as they are both under 25. Would it be smarter to get rail for just Germany or the 3 country. I think we would like the smaller towns to stay overnight as long as they are easily accessible to the trains. I appreciate your help so very much. If you would like to e-mail me with suggestions,please put Fodors in the subject line. Thanks so much
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